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Barbara Harris, Former BOMA President, Dies at 80

Barbara S. Harris, a senior vice president and director of marketing for City Center Development in Los Angeles prior to her retirement in 2006, passed away on September 2 after a long battle with cancer. She stepped down as president of the Building Owners and Managers Association of Greater Los Angeles in 2007.

Harris enjoyed a successful and decades-long career as a real estate professional in Los Angeles, working as a property manager for H.C. Beck Co., Arthur Rubloff & Co., and Crocker National Bank. She was also vice president and chief operating officer of Murdock Management Co. in Westwood, according to BOMA.

“She was an extraordinary person, always concerned about the well-being of others. She truly was a visionary and will leave a lasting memory in the commercial real estate industry,” says Joseph W. Markling, chairman of the board of BOMA.

Harris, who has served BOMA in various capacities, won the BOMA International President’s Award in 1991, as well as other commendations from BOMA. A real property administrator by training, she wrote a handbook on lease escalation methods, and also shared her knowledge as a speaker on the topic.

As a member of the Advisory Board for Commercial Real Estate Women in Los Angeles (CREW-LA), Harris mentored other women in the field, helping them advance in the commercial real estate arena. She was awarded a CREW-LA Renaissance Award in 2005 in recognition of her efforts.

In an effort to further real estate education, Harris also founded the Ross Minority Program in Real Estate at the University of Southern California. The program, providing executive education and certification in real estate development and finance, has graduated more than 400 students in 13 years. Harris served as the program’s president and as a member of its advisory board.

In 2007, Harris was honored with the granting of the Barbara S. Harris Scholarship, presented by BOMA of Greater Los Angeles and the USC Marshall School of Business.

In accordance with her wishes, in lieu of flowers donations in her memory may be directed to the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation (

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