Role of ‘creator’
Who: Kylie Rowe
What: Vice president of relocation and corporate services, Dickson Realty
Qualities of a great leader: “Leaders must have a balance of humility and confidence. You have to have confidence, but you have to pair that with humility.”
Kylie Rowe is used to flying by the seat of her pants. After all, the last two jobs she’s held didn’t even exist before she was hired.
Rowe currently works as vice president of relocation and corporate services for Dickson Realty, a role she’s held since June 2016. Prior to that, she was assistant director of the Ozmen Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Nevada, Reno, a job she held for just over two years.
Rowe was recruited for both newly created positions – but starting from scratch is old hat for the 32-year-old.
“Every single job I have ever had was something that never existed before, or I was doing a project that never existed and I ran it with little to no oversight,” she said. “I have fallen into so many ‘creator’ roles, and I tend to be good at that because I am resourceful. That’s what I carry through in all of my positions – how to figure out something.”
During her time at the Ozmen Center for Entrepreneurship, Rowe developed the center’s entrepreneurial programs and fleshed out its calendar of activities. While working on campus, she was elected vice president and later president of the college’s Graduate Student Association and represented the college’s more than 4,000 grad students.
But it was her work on her blog “Excellence in Reno” that led to her current position. When Rowe interviewed Dickson Realty president Nancy Fennell, she had no idea that a short time later she’d be working at Dickson Realty.
“I wasn’t trying to be a Realtor, and I was about to get a promotion,” Rowe said. “I was loving my life. But Nancy started talking to me about this concept of relocation and corporate relocation.
“Northern Nevada is a unique market in that there is a lot of opportunity to do direct corporate relocation,” Rowe added. “I work directly with small to medium-sized companies and design solutions to help move either an employee and spouse or their entire family into our area.”
It was a natural fit; most of her previous jobs involved building relationships. Corporate relocation services are common in larger markets, but prior to the last five to seven years, Northern Nevada never was much of a hub for relocation. That’s irrevocably changed, though.
Rowe’s goal is to establish relationships with new companies relocating to Northern Nevada or with regional companies that are hiring and expanding and get their employees on their feet in their new community.
“I work with them before, during and after they come (here),” Rowe said. “The vision that I have is, let’s not only help these people find a place to live, but also help them integrate and get grounded into the community.”
Rowe also works with Dickson Realty’s branding and marketing team, and she heads a digital program where she interviews regional experts about why people want to live and do business in Northern Nevada. The show is syndicated by news website This is Reno – and Rowe recently was named “Best Talk Show Host in Northern Nevada” by a local alternative publication.
“That has been fantastic to help share the message about why people like living here,” Rowe said.
Rowe has been in Reno since 2006. She spent much of her early and teen years in Gardnerville but graduated from New Trier High School in Winnetka just north of Chicago. Prior to graduation, she landed a job modeling for world-renowned Ford Modeling Agency. It may seem like the glamorous life, but in truth it left Rowe feeling vacant.
“I barely graduated from high school, and I always have been a really high achiever,” she said. “I always wanted to get straight A’s and go to college. My momentum for education was on pause because of all the things I was involved with.”
That last may have been true as she transitioned into adulthood, but Rowe has made up for it. She graduated from UNR in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and then earned a master’s degree in social work. If that weren’t enough, she completed the M.B.A. program from UNR’s College of Business this year.
One of Rowe’s biggest mentors in business is her father, Dr. Dan Rowe, who founded the Skin Cancer & Dermatology Institute with offices in Reno, Carson City and Fallon. Rowe enjoys a strong bond with her father to this day.
“We relate on different things,” she said. “He’s the most important man in my life forever. He taught me by example of being such a savvy businessman with the strongest work ethic I know. He’s my sounding board and has helped me navigate various decisions that have led me to where I am today.”
Her past experiences also help her succeed in her role at Dickson Realty. Her master’s in social work helps her critically analyze data and figure out research-based evidence, while her experiences with UNR’s student government help her establish key relationships and be more comfortable in a leadership position.
The most important aspect of leadership is knowing yourself first, she said.
“Being a leader starts with being a leader within yourself,” Rowe said. “When you know who you are, then that is when you can start building off that and figuring out how to be the best asset or complement to something else.”
So what does the future hold as she looks forward to the middle stages of her career? Rowe enjoys public speaking – she’s a member of TEDx University of Nevada – and she also really enjoys broadcast journalism. Rowe also is on the board of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada.
“In my career, it’s been really hard to understand what I am passionate about,” Rowe said. “I’ve always known what I am skilled at, and when I am really good at something, I get confused and feel like I love it. It’s been hard to uncover talents that I’m passionate about at the same time, so I’m grateful my current position affords me the opportunity to excel in a role that I enjoy.”
Construction could begin next year and require about 500 to 600 workers, with a permanent workforce starting at 150 to 200 people with potential to expand.