A Spotlight on Executive Insight Speaker Meea Kang

Written by Bernadette Austin

Meea Kang, Domus Development

Meea Kang, Domus Development

I remember the very first time I met Meea Kang. Eight years ago I was representing the lender of public funds on a renovation project she was developing. I remember that moment so vividly not only because she was wearing a bright outfit, but because she was the first developer I had ever met that looked like me. As a young woman of color, I did not often find people in the development world who saw things through the same lens I do. We went on to work on four projects together before she gave me the opportunity to work for her at Domus Development.

Domus Development is not your typical real estate company, and that is by design. Under her direction as President, Meea often chooses to take on a more challenging project or a more difficult approach. She will cut through red tape and blaze the trail simply because it is the right thing to do. In Lake Tahoe, she pushed the envelope with a rural infill development in a national forest. In Vallejo, she re-framed the conversation on social equity by creating low-income housing for artists in the face of harsh community opposition.

I am well aware of how fortunate I am to work so closely with someone who I consider an inspiration and a mentor. Meea is an innovative developer, dynamic speaker, and an all-around force of nature. When she speaks at conferences, social media lights up with people calling her their hero or idol when she drops her quintessential Meea-isms like “Problems are opportunities in work clothes” and “Cows don’t sue.” Her public persona matches her private side. She is just as funny and candid at the office as she before an audience.

Meea is not just fun to work for; she takes her role as mentor seriously. She generously shares her advice with me from her own lived experience. We are a pair of Type A women, but I like to think that we have our priorities straight. Family comes first with Meea. Work conversations easily flow from projects and politics to Netflix and designer purses. We often check each other being over-committed. One of my favorite Meea-isms is, “We can’t be high-octane all the time.”

I am fairly certain that I could not be the mother, community leader, and young professional that I am today in many other settings. I am lucky in that respect, but I hope that other leaders will follow Meea’s example in providing the talent in their team the opportunity to realize their full potential. Employers who encourage their young professionals to be engaged in their community and find work-life balance will find a team that is more dedicated to the company, is better connected to potential clients, and has a broader range of experience to draw from.

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