According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, businesses that were formed in 2009 had a 23% failure rate in their first year, half made it to five years, and only 30% made it to 2021.

This month represents 13 years of business for WeinPlus since our founding in January 2009. In light of this milestone, I wanted to share my gratitude to those who have helped us reach this point.

More than just surviving, WeinPlus has thrived. After starting our business in the depths of the GFC, with an eye toward helping owners and operators navigate the crisis and emerge stronger, there were several key turning points that helped us refine our focus; especially our work with Chris Benjamin at Alexander & Baldwin and Nick Hodge at Kroger Real Estate. These changes brought us to where we are today: advising America’s largest owners and operators as they adapt to the needs of the changing consumer.

At the beginning of each year, I look back at how the business has performed. What’s worked and what should be changed? How did we invest our time and resources in areas with a positive impact? Where should we continue to invest, and when should we shift direction?

Those answers have varied, but year after year the strength of our relationships has stood out as the single biggest impact on our business. In light of this, I’d like to recognize those that have been instrumental in helping us reach this milestone.

  • Our earliest clients. Several key individuals encouraged, challenged, prodded, and took a chance on our business. Craig Sher and Ron Wheeler from Sembler, Jeff Chamberlain from Publix, and Andy Drasites from Blackstone. You could have gone with one of the larger firms, but you believed in us, and that made all the difference. Your partnership has led WeinPlus to a CAGR of 26% since our founding.
  • In 2009, there weren’t many role models that looked like me: women who led a business and balanced career and family. Over time, their ranks have grown, and I have developed wonderful friendships with leading women. Lisa Palmer, Jodie McLean, Jami Passer, Mary Hogan Pruesse, Andrea Weiss, Whitney Livingston, Mary Rottler, and Deb Weinswig; your counsel is never more than a phone call away. For that, I am extremely grateful.
  • It’s said that women need less mentorship and more sponsorship; a sponsor mentions your name in a room full of opportunities. Dirk Aulabaugh, Luke Petherbridge, Conor Flynn, and Ross Cooper, thank you.
  • WeinPlus has not been immune to the impacts of the pandemic. From a high-water mark in 2019, our business meaningfully slowed in 2020 before rebounding in 2021. Special thanks are due to Walter Thoemmes at Kamehameha Schools and Chris Noble at Walgreens for their support and flexibility while our family responded to Covid-19.

I’m often asked what’s next for me, my career, or the business.

We work with the largest companies in America on essential physical infrastructure. We advise institutional real estate owners on the impacts of consumer change, and I serve as an independent director for Alpine Income Property Trust (NYSE: PINE) a net-lease REIT. We oversee shorter-term critical initiatives with some companies and dive deep with years-long exposure with others.

On top of that, I work with the most inquisitive, dedicated, kind, and generous people in this business—and that’s by design—working with these professionals makes each of us better.

Every day is a fresh new adventure. What could be more rewarding than that?

Rachel Elias Wein

Rachel Elias Wein is CEO & Founder of WeinPlus. Focused on the impact of consumer change on commercial real estate, Rachel serves as the principal strategic advisor for industry-leading owners and operators of commercial real estate. Additionally, Rachel is an independent director for Alpine Income Property Trust (NYSE: PINE) a net-lease retail REIT.