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© Copyright 2017 by MP Media, LLC

Women in 

POWER

2017 Women in Power recipient, Tammy Carr, Principal 
at Mortenson, has called Greater Phoenix her home for 20 
years. “When I moved here in 1997, Phoenix was the most 
natural fit,” she says. “I wanted to live in a metropolitan 
city with exposure to arts and culture, but also offered a 
healthy lifestyle and open outdoor spaces, and Phoenix 
had all those elements.”

Two years in at Mortenson, a national leader in 

construction and development services, Carr is 

already making a name for herself as one of the 

movers and shakers of the commercial real estate 

industry in the Valley. 

The Phoenix office is currently completing their first 
development project in Arizona, The Hampton Inn & 
Suites in downtown Phoenix, Carr is looking to grow the 
organization’s footprint. 

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 “The Hampton Inn & Suites 

is a project that, as a team, we collectively put significant 
effort behind,” she says. “There were 18 months of effort 
before groundbreaking, and it was rewarding to have 
Mayor Stanton deliver remarks about the importance of 
this hotel downtown.”

A Different 

Background

 
Carr’s career began nowhere near 
the CRE landscape of Phoenix. “My 
family moved regularly from one rural 
town to the next, because my father 
was in the mining industry, which 
was volatile,” she says. 

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 Eventually 

the family settled in Sturgis, South 
Dakota where Carr attended school 
and began her first job in the medical 
industry, a sector she would remain 
at for a decade. However, looking 
for growth opportunities and the 
preferred climate of Arizona, Carr 
found herself taking a position at 
the Phoenix Heart Center. 

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 “I did 

not regret the decision, but was still 
feeling tapped out of growth potential 
in the [medical] sector, so I decided it 
was time for a broader change.”

The Grand World  

of CRE

 
The emphasis on growth and 
opportunity remains one of the 
most distinguishing aspects of Carr’s 
professional life, and was the reason 
for her entry into the commercial 
space. 

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 Her opening foray was on 

the management side, working for the 
national engineering firm Tetra Tech, 
followed by an eight-year stint as 
Principal and member of the ownership 
team at Deutsch Architecture Group. 

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 “I learned a tremendous amount 

there about leadership and creative 
problem-solving,” she says. Much of 
that education was garnered through 
the Great Recession. 

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 Though it 

was a challenging time, the company 
weathered through the storm, and 
in 2011, Carr decided the timing 
was appropriate for her next move. 
The move away from Deutsch was 
again predicated on her desire for 
continuous growth. 

Mortenson

 
The next step for Carr was to 
move to the general contractor 
side and a role as Vice President of 
Business Development at Balfour 
Beatty Construction. “I had a good 
understanding of the engineering and 
architecture side of the business and 
wanted to explore what happens in 
the built environment and field,” she 
says. 

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 Mortenson had approached 

Carr about an opportunity in 2014; 
however, she was not ready to make 
the commitment at that time. A year 
later she reached back out to George 
Forristall, Development Executive at 
Mortenson, this time with a desire to 
join the ranks. “I always admired their 
reputation and culture,” she says. “My 
primary growth goals remained the 
same, I wanted a general contracting 
organization that had a national reach 
and knew a privately held company 
would be a better cultural fit.”