Over 150 of the top Architecture and Engineering Firms in the United States and Canada were represented at the 2019 Zweig Conference to receive awards for the nation’s Best Firms to Work For. The Best Firm to Work For award recognizes the top A/E firms in the US and Canada based on an anonymous surveys and criteria such as workplace practices, benefits, and retention rates. During the event, four NAIOP Southern Nevada member firms were recognized in several categories as a “Best Firm to Work For”.

  • Wright Engineers – #1 Best Structural Engineering Firm to Work For (for the second year in a row!) & #2 Best Firm to Work for 50-99 Employees. “Since the majority of the scoring is based on anonymous feedback from our employees, it’s gratifying to see that our people are truly happy and thriving here,” – Wright founder and CEO Brent Wright.
  • Geotechnical & Environmental Services, Inc. – #1 Best Geotechnical Engineering Firm to Work For & #7 Best Firm to Work For 1-49 Employees. “While GES is proud to have been named the best geotechnical firm to work for at the Zweig national awards gala, it also motivates us to strive towards building a solid team of individuals who work well together and support each other!” – GES founder and President – Greg DeSart
  • Westwood Professional Services, Inc. – #7 Best Firm to Work For 200+ Employees “We look to the Zweig award for feedback from our team and a benchmark for how we compare to the industry.  We like to be able to get candid, confidential feedback from our employees and we like to see how that feedback and our programs compare to the industry and to our competitors.  Lastly when the feedback and benchmarking is good, we like our clients, employees and our perspective employees to know how we compare.  It is a quality measure for our HR team.”  – Kevin Larabee, Westwood’s Vice President, Human Resources
  • Carpenter Sellers Del Gatto Architects – #9 Best Architectural Firm to Work for & #21 Best Firm to Work For 1-49 Employees “ The award is a reflection of the culture we have fostered with our amazing team members and the passion they bring to their work every day” – Carpenter Sellers Del Gatto Principal – Mike Del Gatto

Congratulations to all of these firms!

Matthew Weinberger
Business Development Manager
Geotechnical & Environmental Services, Inc.
702-365-1001 |  www.gesnevada.com| matthew.weinberger@gesnevada.com

DLI Class # 1 – Overview; Everything Encompassing Commercial Real Estate

DLI Class 2020 has officially begun, with the kickoff class being held October 21, 2019 at the Logic Commercial Real Estate office.

Rick Myers, President of Thomas & Mack Development Group, led the class through a brief overview of many key items as they relate to commercial real estate. From finances and development, to markets and segments, Rick discussed important industry terms and practices to take note of as the class moves forward.

In addition to the overview of commercial real estate, Rick had asked the class to come prepared to class by reading an article depicting the perseverance, forward thinking and industry knowledge that allowed T. Boone Pickens to accomplish a market takeover. Beautifully articulated, this article was sure to inspire awareness and foster motivation among the students.

Rick, a true mentor and leader, taught this first class with great passion in building up the next generation of our future leaders in the commercial real estate industry. The importance of being knowledgeable, in all topics of interest, was stressed throughout the duration of the class. “To be interesting, you must first become interested.” A profound statement, that will forever hold meaning to DLI students and graduates.

In conclusion of the first DLI kick off class, students that were nominated to become class president and class vice president were asked to give their speeches prior to the final vote. The votes were counted, and the announcement was made. Thomas Godbout, Vice President of Commercial Lending for First Savings Bank was elected as class President. Christina Stanfill, Director of Project Development for WORTHGROUP Architects & Designers was elected as class Vice President. Congratulations to both!

MDL Group sponsored this class and gifted the students with a copy of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, by Patrick Lencioni. A huge thank you to Hayim Mizrachi and Jarrad Katz for continuing to support the DLI program.

DLI Class # 2 – Site Selection

The DLI class met on November 18, 2019 at the Logic Commercial Real Estate office where students learned about site selection, as it relates to development.

The class began with speaker John Restrepo, Principal of RCG Economics. John oversees economic and financial consulting activities and is an expert in regional economics, market issues and forecasting. John was very informative on the current status of the market and proved to be insightful in leading the class through his detailed reports.

The class was then provided with an array of completed projects on behalf of Jeff LaPour, Founder and President of LaPour, to examine each in great detail. From the initial site selection, development type, risks, hurdles and even an in depth understanding on navigating difficult sellers – Jeff covered it all! The class remained engaged and participated with an open dialog. Students learned that considering out of the box factors while navigating this early process of development proves to be crucial for successful project completion.

Further networking took place at the post class mixer located at SG Bar.

Thomas & Mack Development Group sponsored this class and gifted the students with a copy of Quiet Kingmaker of Las Vegas E. Parry Thomas, by Jack Sheehan. A huge thank you to Thomas & Mack for continuing to support the DLI program.

DLI Class # 3 – Due Diligence

The DLI class met on December 9, 2019 at the Logic Commercial Real Estate office where students learned about all things related to due diligence, entitlements, permitting and scheduling.

With three presenters, all related to the due diligence phase of a project, the class had a lot of valuable information to retain.

The first speaker, and class sponsor, was George Garcia of G.C. Garcia Inc. Identifying his firm as “the red tape Sherpas” that assist with the complex navigation of regulating tools, George discussed the importance of investing in the costs associated with due diligence up front, to save time and money later on. Offering enlightening examples of the many assumptions made in the initial planning of a project, the class learned the implications to schedule, site layout and costs when due diligence is not exercised early on.

Matthew Weinberger, business development manager for Geotechnical & Environmental Services, Inc. (GES) provided further information on due diligence as it relates to the geotechnical and environmental considerations. The class was provided with the many reasons in which this portion of due diligence is of such importance. This discussion included learning about the need for an environmental site assessment to offer early detection of fault and fissure locations, groundwater depth and soil conditions, and how they can all effect the construction costs and/or timeline of a project. Matthew further advised that it is always a good idea to get one-page geotechnical report up front to mitigate the potential negative impact on the overall Pro-Forma of a project.

Lastly, Marianna Hunnicutt, with Kimley-Horn and Associates, provided the class with an interactive approach in learning about the project site and civil engineering considerations for due diligence. In addition to learning about which agencies have jurisdiction on a project site, and the importance of knowing these entities, Marianna discussed survey and mapping, grading and drainage, traffic, utility service availability and existing conditions / constraints on a site. The class was especially responsive to an in-class assignment, in which they had to identify a proper layout for an industrial project on a site, as it related to grading and drainage. The class was all in on participation and enjoyed the hands-on learning experience.

Further networking took place at the post class mixer located at SG Bar, where several Board Members and DLI Alumni showed up to greet the class.

A huge thank you to G.C. Garcia Inc. for continuing to support the DLI program and sponsoring this class.


2019 DLI Class Vice President

Christina Stanfill, Director of Project Development

WORTHGROUP Architects & Designers

Cell 702.575.8024 | www.worthgroup.com | cstanfill@worthgroup.com

This boss seems to recognize that his success is a direct result of the hard work of his team.  What he doesn’t understand is that his team members’ hard work needs to be recognized – and rewarded.  The best companies I know create an environment where their people feel energized and valued.  Pay, benefits, profit sharing, and perks are important, but so is recognition and appreciation, freedom, trust, and opportunities for growth.  If these elements are missing, the best people will leave.

To paraphrase the famous quote by Richard Branson, if you put your people first, they’ll take care of your clients and your business and make you successful.

Click here for more cartoons

In October, I attended my second National NAIOP CRE.Converge Conference in Los Angeles, CA. CRE.Converge is the largest conference hosted by NAIOP, the commercial real estate development association, bringing together 1,500 commercial real estate developers, owners, investors and other CRE professionals from across North America.  In my opinion, the national NAIOP conference allows you to see the vast reach of the NAIOP network and expand your own network. Each year, I meet new people from all over the country who are potential clients, colleagues or friends. The conference allows me the opportunity to strengthen relationships within the NAIOP Southern Nevada Chapter and many occasions to meet high-level industry leaders from other chapters as well.

This year was my first experience participating in one of the NAIOP arranged city tours and I highly recommend it. A small group of us from our chapter were able to tour several projects in Century City and the tour guides provided valuable insight on their market conditions. We learned that over the past 50 years, Century City has transformed into a vibrant city with culture, shopping and industries that make it a Los Angeles destination. Famous films such as “Die Hard” and “Planet of the Apes” have used Century City as their backdrop, and with many production companies headquartered there, movies and television programs continue to be filmed in this dynamic community. We were also able to explore the area’s Westfield Shopping Mall, transformed following a $1 billion makeover. Major renovations include new “experiential” features, amenitized and LEED-certified office buildings, solar parking features, and sustainability initiatives including a water recovery project and more. (Source: https://naiop.org/converge19#Day_2)

There were more than 20 different sessions to choose from at the conference. Overall, the conference covered everything from office, industrial, retail, multi-family to economics, new technologies to trends. There was something for everyone!

Here’s a sample of some of the keynote speakers and breakout sessions from the conference:

  • Tech titan Steve Wozniak spoke about how wearable tech is revolutionizing CRE
  • Marcus & Millichap President & CEO Hessam Nadji spoke with the Pew Research Center’s Richard Fry, Ph.D. about CRE trends
  • Stratfor’s global analyst Reva Goujon spoke about the global economy
  • Designing Office Space for Intergenerational Collaboration
  • Multifamily Modular Development
  • CRE and the Shifting Landscape in Goods Movement, moderated by our very own Rick Myers (President of Thomas & Mack Development Group)
  • Data Centers 101
  • The Latest Trends in Retail

I’m already looking forward to next year’s CRE.CONVERGE Conference on October 6-8, 2020 right here in Las Vegas! I strongly suggest that you consider attending and see what NAIOP has to offer.

Click here to check out the “NAIOP CRE CONVERGE 2019 Recap Video from NAIOP Corporate!

Click here to check the details for CRE.Converge 2020 in Las Vegas!

Cassie Catania-Hsu, President | Broker
Sun Commercial Real Estate, Inc.
Direct: 702-968-7324 | Email: cassie@suncommercialre.com

Save the date for the 23rd Annual 2020 Spotlight Awards Fire & Ice on Saturday, March 28th, 2020 at the Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa.

You are invited to submit your Intent to Enter for Project Awards and Industry Nominations by Friday, November 1, 2019. This year’s event offers 10 Industry and 17 Project Award Categories for Nomination.

Click here for Industry Awards Categories and to submit Industry Nominations.
Click here for Project Category Descriptions and to complete your Intent to Enter for Project Awards.
Click here to sign in or create an account to complete your Intent to Enter for Project Awards. (if you’ve entered previously, log out and back in to start the new entry).
Click here for sponsorship opportunities.

Back by popular demand, we will host 2 Applicant Submittal Workshops in December to offer tips and tricks on making your final application the best it can be for the judging process. The workshops will be taught by members of the Spotlight Committee to offer feedback and examples of previous entries so that you are best prepared to submit your own. Workshop dates are December 4th from 3-5 pm at Alternative Management and December 11th 9-11 am at Sun Commercial Real Estate – more details to follow.

Click here to see the 2019 Spotlight Award Winners

Awards Chair
Cassie Catania-Hsu
Sun Commercial Real Estate, Inc.
702-968-7324 | cassie@suncommercialre.com

Event Chair
Ashley Jager, CPSM
AEC Industry Pro
702-680-5387 | ajager@aecindustrypro.com


Matthew Hoyt of CommCap Advisors has been named a recipient of the National NAIOP 2019 Developing Leaders Award, honoring rising industry professionals throughout the nation. The selection was extremely competitive among the talented and successful Developing Leaders. NAIOP selected five young professionals nationally to receive this prestigious award and will honor the winners at the CRE.Converge 2019 in Los Angeles on October 15, 2019 during the keynote breakfast general session.

Hoyt has been an active member of NAIOP Southern Nevada since 2008 and board member since 2018. He has been involved on numerous committees over the years, including Chair of the Membership/Sponsorship and DLI, committee member on the Community Service and Government Affairs. Hoyt credits chairing the committees to helping his  leadership development.  Hoyt was named the NAIOP Southern Nevada Associate Member of the Year in 2018 and NAIOP Southern Nevada Developing Leader of the Year in 2016.

Established in 2006, the Developing Leaders Award has been given to rising industry professionals from across NAIOP’s chapter network in all sectors of commercial real estate. The annual award honors up-and-coming professionals under the age of 35 for their extraordinary professional accomplishments, strong leadership and community involvement. Finalists are selected by a diverse group of NAIOP board members and Hoyt represents the Southern Nevada chapter.


Cassie Catania-Hsu
President | Broker
Sun Commercial Real Estate, Inc.
702-968-7324 | cassie@suncommercialre.com | www.SunCommercialRE.com

Matthew Hoyt
Senior Vice President
CommCap Advisors
Office:  702.792.7558  | Cell: 702.349.9973 | mhoyt@commcapnv.com



NAIOP’s Developing Leaders Institute (DLI) committee is pleased to announce its Class of 2020. DLI is a 12-month curriculum of leadership and real estate training taught by the leading professionals from the Southern Nevada real estate and development industry. The interest in this program was phenomenal and the selection process was extremely competitive. Included in this year’s program is a group of 21 young professionals who have distinguished themselves as future leaders of the industry.

DLI Supporter level sponsorships are welcomed at $500. If you’d like to become a supporter, please contact me or click here for the commitment form.

Click here to see the class and current sponsors.  Please make sure to congratulate our newest class as you come to know them!

  • Marina Arriola, Logic Commercial Real Estate
  • David Bivins, Logic Commercial Real Estate
  • Christy Bojda, GRN Vision
  • Gitana Cafasso, Burke Construction Group, Inc.
  • Emily Dobbins, Nigro Construction, Inc.
  • Thomas Godbout, First Savings Bank
  • Tom Hanrahan, MCA Realty Inc.
  • Dylan Heroy, Sun Commercial Real Estate, Inc.
  • Kerrie Kramer, Fennemore Craig
  • Brendan Leake, MDL Group
  • Jordan Leavitt, Levitt Insurance Agency
  • Nora Murphy, Newmark Knight Frank
  • Matthew Patros, MDL Group
  • Alexandrea (Alex) Rivera, Grand Canyon Development Partners
  • Armand (AJ) Rodrigues, Geotechnical & Environmental Services Inc.
  • Elizabeth Sant, Brand Real Estate
  • Anna Saravia, Harsch Investment Properties
  • Gabriel Skerlich, Colliers International
  • Christina Stanfill, WORTHGROUP Architects & Designers
  • Travis Tartamella, Wells Fargo Bank
  • Michael Willmore, Colliers International

DLI Committee Chair
Samantha Flaherty
Fidelity National Title Group | 602.931.9134 | samantha.flaherty@fnf.com

NAIOP Southern Nevada’s community project “Getting Dirty for a Cause” is now complete. Last month, the “NAIOP Neighborhood” was dedicated by St. Jude’s Executive Director Christina Vela.

The year-long project was divided into two phases, with each phase involving a complete renovation of two 1,200-square-foot cottages, costing about $40,000 per phase. Renovations included completely remodeling each cottage, from new roofs to floors and new appliances.

NAIOP received sizable donations for the project with St. Jude’s Ranch for Children in renovating the four cottages at its Boulder City campus. Colliers International-Las Vegas’ charitable arm Links for Life donated $20,000 and Martin-Harris Construction donated $5,000. Donations were also received by NAIOP members and friends in 2018 and 2019.

NAIOP members AJB General Contractor, The Korte Company, McCarthy Building Companies and R&O Construction all volunteered to serve as construction superintendents for each cottage renovation. Among other duties, they helped volunteers learn new skills as well as work to maintain a safe work site for all volunteers, and there were many. These four companies made this project happen with their time, labor along with their subcontractors labor and materials.

St. Jude’s Ranch for Children is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has operated in Southern Nevada for more than 52 years, with a mission of rescuing abused, abandoned and neglected children and providing a safe and nurturing transitional home for them. St. Jude’s Ranch serves about 500 local children per year.

The cottages will be used for transitional housing for St. Jude clients who are aging out of foster care as well as St. Jude employees and snowbird volunteers.

“We are very grateful for the support of our community partners; they are critical to helping us carry out our mission in Southern Nevada,” said Christina Vela, St. Jude’s Ranch for Children’s executive director. “We are humbled by NAIOP’s commitment to help us provide hope and healing for the children and young people we serve.”

Click here for the Close Out Celebration Slide Show

Click here for the Chanel 3 Interview

Click here for photos!

Probably the same guy who’s not even out of bed yet and already he can’t wait to get home from work tomorrow.  He’s been written up for being late five times in one week and says, “Great!  That means it’s Friday.”  He thinks, “Work never killed anyone, but why take the chance?”  Chances are, he won’t get far in life.

The idea that if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life is mostly true, but I love (most of) what I do and yet, many days still feel a lot like work.  I’m fine with that, because it’s also true that opportunity is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

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Thinking about joining NAIOP?  Now is the time in October!

NAIOP is now offering 15 months of membership for the price of 12! Get the last three months of 2019 for free with a new 2020 NAIOP Membership!

What do our members value most about NAIOP? Here’s our Top Five reasons.

  1. Members Only Events– Our Southern Nevada Chapter does 2 Members Only mixers per year. If you enjoy Oktoberfest, Bus Tour, Spotlight Awards, Bowling Tournament, Golf Tournament, or Developing Leaders mixers, you’ll love our member mixers. This past year we held a Members Only mixer at the Shelby museum and the other at the brand new Las Vegas Ballpark where we enjoyed the party deck and took in the game on opening week.
  2. Education– NAIOP Southern Nevada provides some of the best CRE educational opportunities in our market. Open dialogue discussions between developers, brokers, attorneys, bankers, contractors, architects, and more dig into detail about what impacts CRE, our market, and your business. Our education events are free and for Members Only.
  3. Sponsorships– Our sponsors make for fun, memorable and insightful events. Sponsors are acknowledged at events, afforded opportunities to speak at the monthly breakfast meetings, and are invited on special market tours. Past sponsor tours include various construction projects such as Raiders Stadium, Las Vegas Ballpark, T-Mobile Arena, City National Arena, and more. We love our sponsors, but to be one, you must first become a NAIOP member.
  4. Committees– Attending monthly breakfast meetings is great but not enough to build strong industry relationships. When you join one of the many NAIOP committees, you’ll gain acumen while working side-by-side with fellow members. This is where you establish true work relationships and grow your business in the process. Many of our members, including our Board of Directors, make a conscious effort to do business with NAIOP members and supporters. In short, NAIOP works.
  5. Government Affairs– Finally, one of the most impactful reasons that members love NAIOP is advocacy. NAIOP Southern Nevada takes an active role in educating government entities and forming professional relationships with elected officials at the local, county and state levels. Any legislation that impacts building, licensing, taxes, parking, you name it, NAIOP lobbies on your behalf with a strong and respected presence.

Take this opportunity to become a member during the month of October and receive 3 months free with our 15 for 12 promotion, and get involved! You’ll expand your reach, grow your business and realize unexpected benefits along the way.


Membership Committee Chair
Matthew Hoyt
CommCap Advisors
Office: 702.792.7558