September marked the end of the 2018 Developing Leaders Institute Program and the DLI graduation was the perfect opportunity to celebrate the year‐long commitment and accomplishments of all its members.
For those who are unfamiliar with the DLI Program – every other year, NAIOP Southern Nevada hosts a year‐long program that fosters an environment for young professionals to learn, grow, network and flourish. In this year’s class, 21 promising leaders of Las Vegas’ real estate industry met once a month for a 3‐4 hour class on various real estate topics. Led by prominent leaders of our industry, these classes covered subjects such as Market Analysis, Finance, Construction, Marketing, Real Estate Operations, Investment Analysis, Architecture and Economic Development.
In addition to these monthly meetings, the class was assigned a group project, which took over 6 months to complete. There were four total groups that, given the same project guidelines, were responsible for selecting a site and creating an office, industrial or retail development that would be viable in the real world. Prior to the graduation, each group presented its complete project to a panel of NAIOP’s finest judges, with the winning team to be announced at graduation.
Hosted at Cili Restaurant at Bali Hai Golf Club, graduation night started off with a casual mixer and an opportunity for the 21 graduates and their guests to mingle with class sponsors, the DLI Committee, former DLI graduates and NAIOP’s Board of Directors. It was also an opportunity to feel out the competition as we all anxiously anticipated the announcement of who this year’s DLI Class Project Winner would be. After some drinks and appetizers, we were seated together with our teams for dinner. Matt Hoyt, the DLI Committee Chair, welcomed everyone and gave a quick overview of the program. He then invited each team, one by one, to come up to the front and give a 3‐minute overview of the projects we had been working on all year. This was the first time we were able to hear what the other groups chose to do for their projects, and it was very interesting hearing striking similarities as well as vast differences between groups. At the end of each group’s presentation, each graduate was presented with a Graduation Certificate and ‘Class of 2018’ crystal paperweight.
After all the presentations were complete, Matt shared feedback from the judge’s panel that this year’s group of graduates presented the most competitive group of projects they had ever seen in many years of judging. Kudos were given to each team, as we all significantly raised the bar for future classes. But, ultimately, there was only one winning team, which Matt then announced as Team 1, comprised of Nick Abraham, Mike DiFabbio, Blake Olson, Katelyn Panella and Karina Salazar. Congrats to Team 1! Congrats to all the 2018 DLI graduates – we should all be so proud of this year’s hard work, accomplishments and the life‐long friendships that were formed.
Our class, officially dubbed ‘the Best DLI Class Ever’, is eternally grateful to the committee members, Board of Directors, class instructors and sponsors and would like to thank you all for making this program possible. Each of us walked away with invaluable knowledge and opportunities because of this program and we are so appreciate of the opportunity to be a part of it.
Be Part of the 2020 DLI Class
If you are under 35 years old and aspiring to take your career to the next level, please consider applying for the 2020 DLI Class! Get involved in committees at NAIOP Southern Nevada, go to the monthly breakfasts and put yourself in situations where you can learn from the resources around you. Anyone who has participated in the DLI Program can attest that they have seen a significant impact on their careers—whether its through promotions, new business ventures, life‐long friendships/relationships or Board of Director positions within NAIOP. We look forward to passing the experience along to the next group of young leaders and hope you will consider getting involved.