I write this letter as I relax after a great powder day at Brian head over the holidays, reflecting on the past year and thinking about the great things to come in 2016. Having moved to Las Vegas in 2002, it honestly took me a few years to realize what a great city it really is. I have been here 13 years longer than I planned on staying but now I proudly call it home.
2015 was a turnaround year for commercial real estate and there is a definite feeling of buoyancy and optimism in our industry. It was a great year for NAIOP under the leadership of Charles Van Geel. We saw significant increases in membership and sponsorship driven by great monthly programs, educational events, and networking opportunities. We brought back the Bus Tour after a several year hiatus and it was a huge success. The media claimed it to be the bellweather of the commercial real estate industry. In addition, there was a feeling of excitement and celebration at the Golf Tournament which sold out quickly and was a lot of fun. Finally, our government affairs efforts led by John Ramous, Sallie Doebler, and Mike Montandon were commendable and we made a real impact during the legislative session.
In 2016, I hope to continue CVG’s legacy of providing great member value through high quality programs. The Board has identified several new initiatives for this year which I feel will drive this organization forward. First, we will re-establish our relationship with UNLV through the Business School, the Law School, and the Lied Institute. The membership committee has been tasked with targeting new student members. We need young people to be interested in our industry so that we can develop the next generation of commercial real estate practitioners.
The second initiative is to build a strategy to promote diversity in our organization as well as in the commercial real estate business in general. While we have done a good job of encouraging gender diversity in our organizational leadership, this effort needs to be expanded. The Board will build a strategy to do this.
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, we need to increase the opportunities for our members to take on leadership roles within the organization. While the Developing Leaders Institute has laid the foundation for this (I am a graduate of the 2008 class), we need to go further to develop future leaders and give them the opportunity to serve our organization in high level positions. The make-up of our Board can be more dynamic and our membership has a tendency to re-elect incumbents providing little opportunity for new perspectives. 2016 will see a small task force of some of our “senior” members including Board Members and Past Presidents to build a strategy to improve this. This effort will be led by the President Elect. As this is such an important issue to me and to the current Board, we needed to make sure that the effort is led by the right person. It is for this reason that the Board has chosen Sallie Doebler to return as President Elect. As one of the key Board Members in the establishment of the DLI program and, as many young members will know, a real cheerleader and supporter for younger leaders in the organization, Sallie is the right person to lead this effort. I don’t think I would be where I am now if it were not for her. On that note the 2016 Officers and Directors are:
President – Mike Shohet
President Elect –Sallie Doebler
Secretary – Rod Martin
Treasurer – Jennifer Levine
Past President – Charles Van Geel
Jody Walker Belsick
Wishing everyone a happy and successful 2016 and I look forward to working with you.