Tim Harrison/ WPN

Over the past five years, Genevieve Bauer has lived in four states, which puts her in a prime position to understand the resident needs across Forest City Residential Management's military portfolio of 12,000 units. Service members, of course, are always on the move and often find themselves in new environs long on banality and short on comfort. Even better is Bauer's multifamily background in ancillary services, learned first as a ancillary services coordinator at Security Capital Pacific Trust (which became Archstone in 1997) and then as manager of the entire ancillary service department for Forest City, a position she took on at the age of 25.

In 2003, the Cleveland, Ohio-based development and management firm jumped into the U.S. government's Military Housing Privatization Initiative (MHPI) and quickly won key contracts with both the Navy and Air Force. Angelo Pappas, Forest City Residential's co-president and head of its military unit, says Bauer was a key asset in that operation. “Gen is extremely energetic and intelligent, with an incredible thirst for knowledge,” Pappas says. “She learns and adapts very quickly and takes on issues and initiatives with extraordinary drive and determination.”

Bauer, now assistant vice president of military housing at Forest City Residential, has delivered on that assessment, pitching contract proposals to top military brass and overseeing first-year starts of Forest City military communities in Hawaii, Chicago, and Colorado Springs, Colo. What's next? The birth of Bauer's first child, which is perfectly timed—the MHPI is winding down, which will bring a little bit of geographic stability and much deserved rest. “We are pursuing some of those remaining ventures but mostly concentrating on operating the portfolio that we have in place today,” says the 30-year-old Up and Comer. “There's always more that can be done to improve.”