Featured TRUST Member

Ann Duginske Cibulka, MBA
Director of Real Estate Development – Health Care, Ryan Companies, US, Inc.

Ann Duginske Cibulka has been with Ryan Companies for approximately six years, when she started as a Development Manager in Health Care and worked her way to leading development in health care in their North Region.

In her role, Ann focuses on identifying, securing and delivering new real estate solutions to health system partners and medical providers in the Twin Cities and surrounding upper Midwest region of the country. She also guides customers and project teams through the entire real estate project life-cycle including project visioning, comprehensive strategic planning, financial analysis, feasibility testing, project design, building construction, tenant lease-up, and building operations. Ann also leads sourcing new deals for their team and contributes to growing a national health care platform of real estate development projects for Ryan Companies. 

What do you love about your job?

I have a passion for helping others and recognize real estate is a tool for health care organizations to better serve the growing communities they live in. Nothing feels better than knowing I helped solve a real challenge in providing care to a community or expanding services for those in need through my small part in finding the location and new facility this care can be provided in.

How long have you been with the TRUST?

I joined the TRUST in 2017 and currently serve on the Programming Committee.

Do you have a favorite TRUST memory so far?

One of my favorite memories of the TRUST is of a past Annual Meeting when many women joined for networking prior to the event and I met so many welcoming, kind women who were interested in me personally. Then we went into the program to have a lively discussion with Team Women led by Katy Burke about how to support women’s growth in the Twin Cities. Everyone in the room participated in the brainstorming discussion and I remember feeling so empowered and embraced by the inspiring women who were aligned on a common purpose. It was a magical evening that made me feel so connected to the other women at the TRUST!

How have mentors helped you?

I have been lucky to call many people a mentor in my life. The most impactful mentor I had helped remind me to focus on things within my sphere of influence. I was also reminded to remember when things seem confusing or difficult to distill work into tasks you can make progress on and work that is available to do, and eventually, you will be back on track. I have written on the top of my to do list the following quote, which reminds me of this advice every day when I set about my work:“Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.”

What is the best career advice you’ve received?

Pay attention to your career progress with a forward lens. Ask yourself the following: are you being prepared for the position you want 10 years from now through the work you do, the problems you solve and the people you interact with? A mentor advised me to work backwards on my career path, starting with where I hope to eventually reach at my highest peak on my career path and work backwards in 3, 5, or 10-year terms within roles. Evaluating each role as a step to the final peak has helped me understand if the work I am doing is aligned with my true values and goals in my career path. This has always seemed the most practical way to review the progress I am making on a career path and remains advice I give others. Every few years, I check in on my path and make sure to ask myself these questions relative to the position I hope to end my career on.

What support do you need now to evolve your development as a leader?

Last year, I stepped into a leadership position leading my region’s division of health care in Real Estate Development. This was a huge opportunity and one I was eager to fulfill. My biggest areas of growth now are learning to coach others on my team and continuing to anticipate challenges and new learnings as they come. I run into new situations each day that I must make confident decisions on how to proceed. I also have been working on holding this confidence in my decisions, while filtering feedback appropriately so I can lead in my own style, process and, most importantly, own leadership values. This often can be described as defining your leadership voice and after years of learning, I am enjoying the learning that comes with this next level of leadership and ownership of my work.

How do you support other women in their leadership journey?

Supporting other women is a priority of mine. There were very few women in a real estate development role when I started at Ryan Companies six years ago. We had many women at the company, but few had pursued a career in development. Thankfully, through deliberate work and intention, our company multiplied this number and focused on recruiting, retaining and promoting women in our company and in development work. As one of the trailblazers who was one of a few women at first in development, I recognize it is my job to promote other women and pass my learnings and experience on in any way I can to support other’s growth. To do this more proactively, I worked with a female colleague to launch Ryan’s Women’s Inclusion Network (WIN), which now has hundreds of members in each one of our offices supporting the professional and personal growth of our Ryan women.

How do you cope with the demanding aspects of your career?

Real estate is a challenging field and it can be even more challenging in health care as the delivery of care continues to change and competition for providing care increases within a community. I find it is important to make daily progress on my work, as daily progress does catapult into true success if one is diligent and focused. If every day I am doing something to serve my customers and get a little closer to my goals, I know I can be successful and meet the demands of my career. Also, time management is key. As I moved up in my role, I began asking myself if I should really be doing the work I am doing, or is there an opportunity to shift certain tasks and initiatives to others on my team to give them the opportunity to learn and grow. This helps me prioritize the work I truly can make an individual impact on and focus my progress on my true goals.

How do you cope with the demanding aspects of your career?

As my role grows and more responsibilities are put on my plate, I have learned the importance of scheduling physical activity and workouts on my calendar. I treat my workouts just as I treat a customer meeting. On Sundays, I schedule all workouts for the week so I know what I will accomplish and I do not compromise this important part of my health. It isn’t always easy, and some workouts get canceled or postponed, but it’s a healthy way for me to start the week and a mindset I need that helps me remember my own health is just as important as that client meeting, as I need to be 100% to give 100%.

Any words of wisdom you live by?

My personal mission is to live and work in a way that makes a meaningful, positive impact on others and my community. A favorite quote of mine encompasses my passion and personal drive: 

“I have an irrepressible desire to live ’till I can be assured that the world is a little better for my having lived in it.”

– Abraham Lincoln