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Women & Business Feb. 2018: Valentina Vavasis

Valentina Vavasis is Owner of Valentina Vavasis Consulting and Pittsburgh Vernacular and an adjunct professor at the Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture.



Valentina Vavasis 
Owner, Valentina Vavasis Consulting & Pittsburgh Vernacular
Adjunct Professor, Carnegie Mellon University School of Architecture


Valentina Vavasis prefers to work for herself or in a flexible setting, but says the downside of flexibility is that it seems like she works all the time — she’s an adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Architecture, a mother and the owner of two companies, Valentina Vavasis Consulting and Pittsburgh Vernacular. 

What advice does a busy woman like her give? “Maintain your sense of humor because the world is pretty crazy,” she says. 

At CMU, she teaches real estate development and is enjoying getting to know the up-and-coming women of the next generation. “They are a passionate and concerned group, and inspire me,” she says. 

With her businesses, Vavasis does consulting work for real estate developers and recently completed the rehabilitation of an industrial building in Bloomfield with her partner. 

“I have a very specific niche,” she says. “I typically help people take a real estate idea and put structure around it by looking at the strategy, the market, the financial issues and the practical steps to get there.”

Originally from Arlington Heights, Ill., Vavasis has lived in Pittsburgh for 20 years and calls the city her love. She has been a part of ventures all over the city; she worked on the Lawrenceville masterplan, has done work in East Liberty and was Pittsburgh Magazine’s food writer for five years. 

Looking forward, Vavasis hopes to continue making contributions to societal issues, especially ones around community development, and wants to continue teaching and writing about development issues. 

Vavasis says the funniest advice she ever received came from her mother. “[She] told me that my Greek grandmother Valentina used to say ‘You ate the bull; now you have to eat the tail.’ I interpret this to mean that you’ve gotten nine-tenths of the project done … now you have to push through and get to the finish line, even if it’s unpleasant work.”
 

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