Development Magazine Winter 2012

Perspectives

New Voices - NAIOP 2012 Developing Leaders Award Winners: Cultivating Passion to Build Career Success

Developing Leaders value the opportunities and relationships afforded them through NAIOP and are committed to building careers in commercial real estate. Recipients of NAIOP’s seventh annual Developing Leader Award are enthusiastic about the industry, and it is evident in the success they have attained in their commercial real estate careers. Applications were received from Developing Leaders (DLs) across North America, and the honorees were chosen by a selection committee consisting of NAIOP members and industry leaders. Each DL was judged based on six criteria: leadership, professional competency, career goals, education, NAIOP participation and community involvement.

The annual award honors DLs (NAIOP members age 35 and under) for their extraordinary talent and contributions to the industry. Fifteen individuals were honored with the 2012 Developing Leader Award, and their accomplishments were recognized at NAIOP’s Development ‘12 conference in Washington, D.C.

The 2012 DL Award winners are an inspiring and innovative group of young professionals whose backgrounds vary from development to brokerage. They have all worked their way up in their professions. Some knew they wanted to be in commercial real estate when they were children, while others entered into the industry through a happy accident. Read on as they share their perspectives on how NAIOP has benefited their careers.

Sarah Dreyer

Sarah Dreyer
Senior Analyst | Cushman & Wakefield
NAIOP Maryland/D.C.

Q. What motivated you to get involved in commercial real estate?
A. I came into commercial real estate working in marketing for an architecture firm that designed office, residential and hotel properties. In understanding the structural foundation of these amazing buildings, I wanted to learn every aspect of their development, from site selection, design and construction, to leasing and acquisition. Living in the Washington, D.C., area for the past 10 years, I have seen many neighborhoods evolve into vibrant live, work and play environments. I just knew that I wanted to be involved in shaping an urban landscape.

Taylor Fields

Taylor Fields
Commercial Leasing Representative | James F. Knott Realty Group
NAIOP Maryland

Q. How has being a member of NAIOP helped your career?
A. The Baltimore, Md., commercial real estate industry is a small, tightly knit community that enables relationship building, which is essential to a successful career. NAIOP has provided me with a platform to build relationships with industry professionals, ranging from architects and engineers, to brokers and CEOs of local companies.

Andrea Hidalgo

Andrea Hidalgo
Senior Manager | AtSite
NAIOP Maryland/D.C.

Q. What is your ultimate career goal?
A. My ultimate career goal is to own a development company that specializes in revitalizing buildings in low-income communities through defining and applying the following sustainability strategies: 1) Cradle-to-cradle building construction and operations; 2) Community and stakeholder education in sustainable business and household strategies; and 3) Net-zero energy use.

Kim Hofstede

Kimberly Hofstede
General Manager | Real Estate and Finance | Carlson Real Estate
NAIOP Minnesota

Q. What is your proudest career achievement?
A. My proudest career achievement was when Carlson Real Estate closed on a 21-building portfolio in Charlotte, N.C., in 2006. This acquisition marked our company’s entry into the Southeast and became our third office location in the United States. I played an integral role in the acquisition process and with market research for this strategic move by Carlson.

Joseph Johnson

Joseph Johnson
Development Manager | Horizon Properties Group, LLC
NAIOP Pittsburgh

Q. How has being a member of NAIOP helped your career?
A. NAIOP has provided me with many opportunities. Being new to Pittsburgh in 2007, NAIOP allowed me to come into contact with professionals of every trade within the development process. These contacts serve as a valuable resource of knowledge and insight into the inevitable situations encountered on each project. Through the NAIOP Pittsburgh Chapter Economic Development Committee, I stay current on the issues facing the industry, both at a state and national level. The committee also permits me to assist in impacting policy and legislation.

Rusty Kennedy

Rusty Kennedy
Senior Associate | CBRE
NAIOP Arizona

Q. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned thus far in your career?
A. Learning the commercial real estate business during the most turbulent economic time in recent history has taught me to work hard and not take anything for granted. Seeing the effects of the economic downturn illuminated the fact that commercial real estate is what we do, not who we are. I have also learned that there is never a time in life when you should stop giving back to the community and to those less fortunate than yourself.

Kevin MacKenzie

Kevin MacKenzie
Senior Managing Director | HFF
NAIOP SoCal

Q. What qualities make a good commercial real estate professional great?
A. Passion and unparalleled industry knowledge that is passed through services provided to clients. This can apply to any role in the industry. Basically, the top professionals love what they do and are always striving to be the best in their chosen profession. This means a commitment to constantly learning and passing along that knowledge in an effective manner to consistently meet and exceed the expectations of those around you.

Zach Niles

Zachary Niles
Director, Industrial Advisory | 360 Commercial Partners
NAIOP SoCal

Q. What motivated you to get involved in commercial real estate?
A. My favorite game, Hasbro’s Monopoly. This may seem silly, but it’s true. How else can a child be introduced to the fundamentals and strategies associated with building a real estate investment portfolio in such a fun way? I loved the concept of building a portfolio that ultimately, if done correctly, put you in an automatic cash flow position to win the game. In fact, I loved playing Monopoly as a child so much and took it so seriously that my family wouldn’t play anymore. They were either tired of playing or couldn’t deal with my intensity. They obviously weren’t cut out for real estate!

Kerry Olson Hawkins

Kerry Olson Hawkins
First Vice President | CBRE
NAIOP Massachusetts

Q. What is your ultimate career goal?
A. In brokerage, there is no “end” goal for a career other than to consistently build a book of business to increase transaction volume. My goal is to foster long-term relationships as a trusted advisor to my clients and consider their needs above my own, to always do the right thing and, above all else, to value my integrity. I continue to be enthralled by the commercial real estate industry and look forward to each day, as it is certain to be different than the day before.

Brandon Page

Brandon Page
Vice President, Market Officer | Prologis
NAIOP San Francisco Bay Area Chapter

Q. How has being a member of NAIOP helped your career?
A. NAIOP has been integral with my understanding of the legislative affairs process and the importance of involvement with local, state and federal representatives. Further, NAIOP has helped me become a better leader, public speaker and communicator. My involvement in the local chapters has improved my relationships with key real estate industry professionals, including other developers, brokers and contractors. NAIOP has provided a venue to bring all of us together as a community, and a platform to grow both personally and professionally.

Brian Salazar

Brian Salazar
President | Entegra Development & Investment, LLC
NAIOP Massachusetts

Q. What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned thus far in your career?
A. Commercial real estate requires patience, diligence and luck. I’ve analyzed a number of deals since 2007, some with real possibility and others not. Even the opportunities that had potential were sometimes forfeited due to lack of experience or funding. With additional resources at my disposal to effectively complete transactions, I now have a greater appreciation for the real estate process. I’m thankful to have developed the patience to wait for new, and even more fruitful, opportunities to present themselves.

Dave Sobochan

David Sobochan
Principal | Cohen & Company, Ltd.
NAIOP Northern Ohio

Q. What is your proudest career achievement?
A. In 2011, on behalf of my firm and NAIOP, I spoke before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the United States Department of Treasury on a proposed regulation for the New Markets Tax Credit Program. In 2012, also on behalf of NAIOP, I briefed the Congressional Real Estate Caucus on the same program.

Brian Whitmer

Brian Whitmer
Senior Director | Cushman & Wakefield
NAIOP New Jersey

Q. What qualities make a good commercial real estate professional great?
A. From a brokerage standpoint, the best professionals bring a combination of reputation, persistence, patience and thick skin to the table. Great brokers have book smarts mixed with street smarts. Of course, excellent negotiating skills and the ability to see both sides of the coin are paramount when serving as a successful intermediary, which is at the core of what we do.

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From the Archives: Perspectives Articles from the Previous Issue

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At Closing - Supporting Our Chapters through the Strategic Plan 

NAIOP is now deep into putting the goals and strategies of its 2012-2014 Strategic Plan into practice, focusing on developing effective education resources; deepening member knowledge of key government affairs issues affecting us in Washington, D.C., and in our state capitals; and supporting NAIOP chapters with resources to help them engage new members.

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Comments from I.con sessions on data center trends and the industrial market; Solution Series programs on what’s ahead in retail development, retaining talent and the new role of brokerage.

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