YPG Joins Instagram!

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YPG has officially joined Instagram! Give us a follow @YPG_SoCal. This page will be a public profile and open to anyone. Goals and objectives will include building brand recognition, promoting YPG & Alumni events, and recruitment for future classes.

YPG Professional Power Hour

On February 22nd, the YPG Community Outreach committee put on a community service event that was hosted at the Working Wardrobes Career Center in Irvine (1851 Kettering Street, Irvine CA 92614). 30 volunteers participated from NAIOP along with a team from the event’s sponsor: Sunwest Bank.

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Pictured Above: NAIOP (YPG and DL), Sunwest Bank and Working Wardrobes volunteers

The afternoon started with a tour of the Working Wardrobes Career Center and warehouse. Volunteers were then put into groups of three for a Professional Power Hour which involved talking and mentoring 8 of Working Wardrobes’ clients who were making significant strides to get back into the workforce. Topics that were discussed included: the importance of a first impressions, tactics in networking, an inside look at interviewing and business etiquette.

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Pictured Above: NAIOP (YPG and DL), Sunwest Bank and Working Wardrobes volunteers offering interview and career advice during the Professional Power Hour

The volunteers donated many gently used professional clothing items upon arriving at the event, and some volunteers even helped sort clothes and other donated goods in the warehouse. Lunch was provided by Big Wave Grill.

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Pictured Above: NAIOP (YPG and DL), Sunwest Bank and Working Wardrobes volunteers sorting clothes

This is one more example of NAIOP and YPG members contributing their time and effort to worthy causes in the community.

“Thank you to all who volunteered and to Sunwest Bank for serving as our event sponsor. It was a rewarding and successful afternoon for all that participated!”

-Brooke Birtcher Gustafson, 2016-2017 YPG Community Outreach Chair

Reflections on the 2017 Caprock Cup Competition

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This year’s Case Competition, sponsored by the Irvine Company and CapRock Partners, provided an opportunity for the bright and flowering minds of the YPG class of 2017 to create a development proposal for a parcel of land adjacent to the Irvine Spectrum.  The property enjoyed prime visibility from the I-5 freeway but had access challenges that would confound any developer once they began to sift through the complications intrinsic to the site.

This year, each of the 5 teams worked tirelessly to present a compelling proposal and create a unique vision for the site, ranging from cutting-edge office and eco-friendly multifamily developments with the latest and greatest amenities packages, to a luxury residential tower and, finally, a very unusual combination of self-storage and public park with a proposed density swap play.  Each proposal was thoroughly researched and pitched to play to the site’s competitive strengths and opportunities while mitigating the dangers and difficulties of turning these lofty visions into tangible returns for the competition’s sponsor.

In the end however, only one team could emerge victorious as the winner of the coveted Caprock Cup. And this year that team turned out to be Elevate Residences, who proposed a luxury Residential Tower concept that scored big with the judges for presentation, projected financial returns and concept.

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The other big winner of the night was, of course, the NAIOP YPG program itself and all of the students in this year’s class who had the opportunity to work on a live project that encompassed all of the realms and facets that real estate investors face on a daily basis.  The work produced by this year’s class was top notch and further demonstrated the overall quality and strength of the YPG program.

Great work everyone!

Passing of the Torch: Taylor Arnett steps down as head of the Alumni Committee

Taylor Headshot

As the 2016-2017 YPG class year comes to an end, Taylor Arnett, the outgoing Chair of the alumni committee reflects back on his involvement and accomplishments over the past 4 years.  Prior to chairing the alumni committee this past year, Taylor was in charge of fundraising and also spent 2 years in charge of curriculum.  The YPG program has grown considerably over the past four years in terms of financial resources, brand exposure and overall member involvement.  We asked Taylor to comment on the program’s highlights over the past 4 years that he was instrumental in spearheading:

  1. Founded the Alumni Speaker Series Program which boosted alumni committee meeting participation and provided continuing education opportunities for alumni. In 2016 we were fortunate enough to have the following speakers: FivePoint Communities Chairman & CEO Emile Haddad, Savills Studley Chief Economist Heidi Learner, and American Healthcare Advisors Founding Principal Jeff Hanson.
  1. Continued the Y Games tradition with increasing attendance each year (over 200+ attendees in 2016) and increased support for the Working Wardrobes charity (with over 600 clothing items donated in 2016).
  1. Set records the last two years in sponsorship fundraising which has included many companies that have signed up for multi-year sponsorships, providing YPG with a dependable stream of future funding.
  1. Expanded our reach within the community with impactful community outreach events such as upgrading our Big for a Day Experience to a day at Knott’s Berry Farm and not only donating clothes to Working Wardrobes, but spending time mentoring their clients on job search skills and techniques.
  1. Established the YPG Leadership Summit, a half-day conference focusing on lessons learned from the YPG program, leadership and out of the box thinking.

In reflecting back on his time, Taylor commented, “The YPG Program continues to raise the bar in its accomplishments, and this past year was no exception.  I am proud to have been a part of such a wonderful group and help in elevating the YPG program.  We have accomplished great things; however, none of this would have happened without the continued support from our sponsors.  In addition to all YPG sponsors, I’d like to especially recognize our recent Platinum and Gold Sponsors: LBA, CapRock Partners, Hines, KPRS, NGKF Capital Markets, Panattoni and Sunwest Bank.  Finally, I’d like to thank Cynthia Fusco and her team at CGF Associates, as well as the volunteers on the YPG Alumni Committee who roll up their sleeves and do an amazing job each and every year.  I look forward to seeing what the future YPG leadership has in store and how they will continue to push the boundaries like we’ve done in recent years.”

On behalf of all of the YPG alumni, our thanks to Taylor for his dedication and contributions over the past four years.  The program is as strong as it’s ever been and he’s been instrumental in helping us reach these goals.  Thank you, Taylor!


A word with Parker Hutchison, this year’s YPG John Parker award winner

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Pictured: Parker Hutchison, PMRG; Russ Parker, Parker Properties

Every year, the NAIOP SoCal YPG students vote on and award a fellow student with the John Parker Developing Leader Award to commemorate the student that best exemplifies the positive qualities and traits displayed by the founder of Parker Properties, John Parker. John was an active and passionate developer with extraordinary vision and concepts for developing workplaces centered around the consumer.

This year’s developing leader award was given to Parker Hutchison, a Senior Associate in PMRG’s Asset Management Group in Irvine, CA. Parker graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2007 and began his commercial real estate career at CBRE developing his well-rounded skillsets in three of their departments: market research, brokerage and property management. Parker then transitioned into Asset Management at PMRG and lives in Costa Mesa, CA, with his wife Kathleen and their two dogs, Goose and Dexter.

The most influential person for Parker during the course was Wayne Strom, PhD, who is also a Professor of Behavioral Science at Pepperdine University and has developed most of the educational points for the YPG Course. According to Parker: “Having Wayne teach about how to retrain your brain and transforming yourself to think before reacting was the best take-away from the course.  However, the most difficult concept to learn was how to self-evaluate in a productive and effective manner.”

Parker’s advice to the new class and future students would be to take the time to reach out to your classmates and develop those relationships. They will become your most important asset moving forward in your career. Lastly, practice the tools you are given during the program and make them a part of your every day life.

Big Brothers / Big Sisters “Big for a Day” Event at Knott’s Berry Farm

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This year the Big for a Day event was held at Knott’s Berry Farm on October 29th.  Thirty YPG and YPG Alumni members gave up their Saturday to entertain 14 “Littles” on the waiting list of the Big Brothers or Big Sisters program, who are in need of a role model.  The day started at 9:00 am when the Littles were introduced to their “Bigs” for a day.  From 10:00 am to 2:00 pm, the Bigs, Littles and Staff took on the rides, checked out the attractions and ate lunch.

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Pictured Above: Taylor Arnett, YPG Chair, and Greg Brown, YPG Curriculum Chair, fear for their lives prior to riding Supreme Scream with their Little.    

As participants of the Big for a Day event will tell you, this is truly a fulfilling experience that can help make a difference in someone’s life:

“Big for a Day was a huge success this year because of the commitment from our volunteers. Everyone who volunteered showed up – which speaks volumes about NAIOP at large. 30 Bigs – members from NAIOP’s YPG, Developing Leaders and Board of Directors, as well as a few from UCI’s Center for Real Estate – were paired up with 16 Littles for a morning jam-packed with rides at Knott’s Berry Farm. It was a fun day and a great way to spend quality time with all of the kids.”

  • Brooke Gustafson, YPG Class of 2009 and chair of the Community Outreach Committee

“It was the first year we held the event at Knott’s Berry Farm and it was a great success. Participation among YPG was higher than ever, the Little’s had a lot of fun and the organization has a few new full-time Bigs.”

  • Christopher Drzyzga, YPG Class of 2015 and member of the Community Outreach Committee


Class of 2017-2018 Recruitment Events

Dec Recruitment

The final push for the 13th YPG class was held as a recruitment mixer at Park Place on November 8th, where prospective YPG members were met by Alumni and the current YPG class after a session with Vance Caesar.  The formal information sessions were very well attended and occurred on December 7th and 8th, in Orange County and Los Angeles, respectively.

As always, every year the selection of upcoming YPG classes is intense and each individual application is carefully examined. Each year the task of selecting the upcoming class has become harder due to an overwhelming number of amazing applicants. We are honored to have so many candidates interested in applying for this outstanding program.

The application process for the 2017-2018 YPG class is now closed; however, it’s never too early to start thinking about the next class!  The 2018-19 application period will open in mid-November, 2017.  If you know anyone who may be interested in applying, you can direct them to the YPG page on the website where they can download the 2017-2018 YPG application package, since there will most likely be very few changes.

You can also reach out to the recruitment/selection committee members who will be happy to speak with prospective candidates for future classes.  Members of the 2016-2017 Recruitment/Selection Committee are: Garrett Macklin (chair), Andy Bratt, Julian Freeman, Paul Jones, McCay Major and Chris Tipre.  Contact information can be found in the YPG Directory.

“The committee was excited about the overwhelming interest for the 2017-18 YPG class.  Despite the presidential election, we met many qualified candidates at the recruitment mixer on November 8th as well as the information sessions on Dec. 7th & 8th,” commented Garrett Macklin, YPG Class of 2014 and chair of the Recruitment/Selection Committee

DTLA – The ROW: Event and Tour

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This year’s NAIOP YPG property event was the unique tour of “The ROW” in downtown Los Angeles in October 2016.  This massive 32 acre, 2 million square foot property was repositioned to transform old industrial buildings into creative office hot spots for the modern and urban workforce, as well as support a destination restaurant and retail venues.  The YPG alumni had an amazing turnout for this event and were able to receive a tour of the entire property and gain insight into the project from the developers themselves.  The project itself was first known as the LA Terminal Market and was the major hub for produce distribution across the region.

Jeff Sause of HFF coordinated this year’s event, which is a partnership between Atlas Capital, Square Mile Capital Management and USAA Real Estate Company, and has been repositioning the asset for the past two years.  Located within the Arts District of downtown LA, the area is an emerging creative office market offering tenants an authentic old school feel of downtown LA.  For more information on the project, which is set to open this summer, visit:  http://www.rowdtla.com.

NAIOP Developing Leaders – Latest Winners (and YPG Alums)

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Every year, NAIOP is proud to honor up-and-coming commercial real estate professionals, 35 years of age and under, for their valued contribution and commitment to the industry with the annual Developing Leaders Award. The award is presented to those who have shown exemplary achievements and demonstrated outstanding professional accomplishments in the commercial real estate industry.

The 2016 DLA recipients were honored at the Commercial Real Estate Conference 2016 in Scottsdale, Arizona, September 26–28.  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.

Out of 22 national awards, two went to NAIOP SoCal’s very own Taylor Arnett and Brad Schmitt!  Taylor is Acquisitions Manager at CapRock Partners (and current YPG Alumni Committee Chairman), and Brad Schmitt is Associate Director at Savills Studley (and current YPG Alumni Committee Vice Chair).

The following excerpts are from a recent interview:

What made you want to apply for this award?


NAIOP is a great organization and it does a great job at promoting its developing leaders.  I have applied for the award before, and given my latest leadership role as chairman of the YPG Alumni Committee, I thought it was a good time to apply again.


I wanted to impress my wife and kids of course.  (Add laughter).

In addition to your professional accolades (and YPG Alumni involvement), what activities or achievements do you think set you apart from the competition?


For the last 5 years I’ve volunteered as a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sister of OC.  Also, in my application I tried to communicate how passionate I am about commercial real estate and our professional community.


I have been blessed with a few talents which set me apart including extreme persistence, grit and loyalty. My wife would argue that I also say yes too much.  On a professional and personal level, NAIOP and YPG have provided significant and meaningful value to me so I strive to give back to the organization and others.

How did you find out you won?


I received an email from NAIOP about a week after my daughter was born, so I was working from home.  It was perfect because I was able to share the news right away in person with my wife and new baby.


I received an email from NAIOP and Cynthia Fusco sent along her congratulations.  I felt honored to join the ranks of past winners.

What was the 2016 Real Estate Conference like, and the award ceremony?


Impressive!  Newt Gingrich was the Keynote speaker and he gave a really interesting presentation on global politics.  This was about a month before the election and he gave some very compelling reasons why Trump would prevail which, at the time, was an against-the-grain stance.

The conference was great and the sessions were insightful.  The keynote speaker was Newt Gingrich which was very timely with the election.  He called the Trump win and most (including myself) didn’t believe him.  Little did we know… I’m from Arizona so my parents were able to attend the luncheon with me, which was a treat.

How has this benefitted your career and/or networking so far?


A lot of people in my professional network have been reaching out to congratulate me so it’s provided a great opportunity to reconnect with them.  I’ve also received some recognition from new contacts in the course of everyday business.  The award has definitely helped my company and my personal brand.


Receiving the award brought along many kind comments and congratulations from industry peers, which means a lot to me.  And I got interviewed for this article, which was fun!

Do you anticipate anything coming from this award, or is it simply a nice recognition of your success and hard work so far?


Because it is so exclusive (only 1-2 winners from your region each year), I think it will always connect me to past and future winners in SoCal.  I was honored that Brad Schmitt won this year and we were the only chapter to have 2 representatives.


I am not sure. However, I am a big believer in momentum.  I hope to build off this award and continue to work hard and give back to the commercial real estate industry.

Besides your leadership role with the YPG Alumni Committee, are you doing anything to mentor or support upcoming professionals so that they may follow in your footsteps?


I’ve already signed up to help plan the upcoming NAIOP Icon event.  After my YPG Alumni leadership role comes up in April, I plan on joining a NAIOP SoCal committee and likely taking on a future leadership role within our chapter.  I’ll also continue to attend YPG events and get to know the next generation!


I’m taking an active role in the future leadership of the NAIOP YPG Alumni Committee to ensure that we continue to grow our reputation and brand. The future is bright for YPG and our industry.

YPG Speaker Series

Emile Haddad

The October SoCal YPG Alumni meeting held at Park Place in Irvine was honored to feature guest speaker Emile Haddad, president and chief executive of FivePoint Communities Management Inc., an Aliso Viejo real estate development firm.  Mr. Haddad’s presentation focused mostly around FivePoint’s current master-planned development project at the former Marine Corps Air Station in El Toro, their vision, and life lessons surrounding the project.

FivePoint’s philosophy, which can be seen implemented in their master plan, is centered around how the world is progressing in a more diverse and inclusive manner. Different cultures, ages and even income brackets are becoming more accustomed to living in the same community, and it is FivePoint’s belief that this creates a healthy community that will thrive off each other’s energy and continue down the path of this style of living.

When asked about one of the most attributable traits for his success at the residential development helm, Emile humbly replied, “Fear.” Having been raised through the Lebanese Civil War which lasted from 1975 to 1990, Emile developed life skills and “instincts” that have allowed him to react quickly and survive the ever-changing world of real estate development.

The YPG Alumni Committee meetings are going to continue to feature highly touted speakers, such as Mr. Haddad and Heidi Learner, Chief Economist for Savils Studley.  They have also included presentations from Hines on their Intersect redevelopment project and from Trammel Crow on its Boardwalk office development.

4th Annual Y Games and Working Wardrobes Clothing Drive

The Fourth Annual NAIOP Y Games, held on September 30th at Newport Dunes, was another huge success.  Twenty teams competed this year and well over 200 people were in attendance.  For those who missed out, events included a team obstacle course, water balloon launch, Zorbie (human hamster ball), tidal wave (parachute volleyball), human hungry hippo and the dodgeball final.  Team Viking Quest (pictured below) edged out Team Calgary ’88 in an epic dodgeball final, while Team Where’s Waldo placed 3rd.  We would like to give special thanks to the Fourth Annual NAIOP Y Games lead sponsor NGKF Capital Markets for helping us put on such an unforgettable event!

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Pictured Above: the beginning of Team Viking Quest’s Y Games victory celebration tour

Another important aspect of the Y Games is the Working Wardrobes clothing drive.  Y Games participants donated over 600 articles of clothing, a Y Games record!  The donated clothing will provide instrumental help for the men, women, veterans and young adults seeking professional careers and self-sufficiency. A tremendous thanks is owed to everyone who donated!

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Please click here to view 614 other photos from the 4th Annual NAIOP Y-Games.   

“The Y-Games was a huge success and continues to bring awareness to a great charity, Working Wardrobes.  This unique commercial real estate event allows participants to leave work at the office but still build relationships and network.  YPG did a great job promoting Y Games and creating new, competitive and fun events.  This year had the largest attendance in its history and I see that to continue to grow,” commented Andy Bratt, YPG Class of 2016 and member of the 1st Place Team Viking Quest.

YPG Class Update

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The October YPG class was held at UCI and the guest speaker was Robert Brunswick, CEO of Buchanan Street Partners (pictured above).  Mr. Brunswick provided the class with an outline of the principles of his firm and presented some thoughtful insight related to demographic trends he believes will impact the commercial real estate industry.

Upon the conclusion of Mr. Brunswick’s presentation, the current YPG class gave group presentations to the UCI graduate and undergraduate students as part of the “Day in the Life” program with UCI in which the class is broken up into small groups, separated by specific business segments within real estate (i.e. construction, brokerage, finance, etc.), with each group giving a 10-minute presentation on their respective sectors.

The UCI students were extremely receptive to the presentations and were able to walk away with additional insight into the different career paths that exist within commercial real estate.  Mr. Brunswick was kind enough to stay around to act as one of the judges for the presentations, along with YPG Alums Brooke Birtcher Gustafson (Birtcher Development), Chris Tipre (Trammel Crow) and Brian Baker (Bank of America).

Oct Class 2

The November YPG class featured Doug Holte, President of Irvine Company Office Properties, as the guest speaker.  Mr. Holte provided an overview of his background and his vision of building the Irvine Company brand.  The class was able to join the YPG alumni and future applicants after the conclusion of Mr. Holte’s presentation for the annual recruiting mixer.  The December class featured the assignment of the final project, which will be presented in early March and will provide the student teams the chance to be this year’s winner of the CapRock Cup!



On Wednesday, November 16th, after the final YPG Alumni committee meeting of 2016, those in attendance were treated to an intimate and interactive presentation on the state of the U.S. and Orange County economy from the Chief Economist of Savills and Studley: Heidi Learner.

With little more than a week having passed since Donald Trump’s historic win, the question on everyone’s mind was what his administration’s policies would mean for the economy in California and the nation. With the keen sense of a veteran public speaker, Heidi promised to give us her take on what the president elect’s policies might hold in store for us, but only after we ate our vegetables and sat through the mandatory charts and graphs of economic indicators that are the stock-in-trade of the economics professional.

The digression was a welcome one and contained some interesting tidbits. The positive takeaways included: rising employment rates (good for wage growth and job seekers), and somewhat counterintuitively, lower rates of home ownership (which are a positive for sustained growth and absorption in multifamily). Negative trends included: weak levels of fixed investment (businesses are loathe to deploy capital on long-term investment), low productivity growth, a continued decline in labor force participation (which cannot be attributed solely to an aging population), and a contraction in federal government spending since the last recession (creating a drag on GDP growth). Heidi also expressed concern and called attention to the prevalence of stock buybacks, illustrated by the worrying fact that in the last 12 months, 137 companies in the S&P 500 spent more on buybacks than they generated in earnings (i.e. borrowing money to buy down equity). The last year that buybacks peaked was in 2007.

Drilling down to California and Orange County, we learned that we are generally well diversified by the employment sector, but also enjoy 2.7x the national average of computer and electronic product manufacturing jobs, and 1.8x the national average of real estate jobs. Employment rates, wage and compensation growth, and income per capita also compare favorably to national averages. However, never one to end on a high note, Heidi was also quick to point out that compared to the rest of the country, Orange County lags in terms of population growth, slower rate of household formation, and a large supply of housing completions (both single-family and multi-family) coming online. Orange County has also been slow to regain the prior number of office jobs it had just before the last recession, while the U.S. as a whole surpassed its prior peak back in 2013.

But on to the main course: politics. Love him or hate him, Donald Trump is president and has ridden a tide of populist support into office with the promise of changes to the way we govern the country domestically and do business abroad (at the end of a pen and the barrel of a gun). Taken at his word, Trump’s promise to renegotiate treaties and trade deals that he criticized as poorly structured would shake up the status quo for California, as no state in the union other than Texas exports more goods than California (and our top destination for exports is Mexico). California also has a $762 billion trade deficit in goods, with almost 48% of that deficit coming from goods imported from China.

Trump’s controversial tax plan also promises to make waves, with a promised reduction in tax rates leading to a decline in federal revenues of roughly $9.5 trillion over its first decade before accounting for added interest costs or considering macroeconomic feedback effects. There appear to be few ways to offset such a decline apart from massive budget cuts, which look unlikely given Trump’s promise not to cut social security, medicare and other entitlements. The likely outcome then is more borrowing, which likely leads to inflation, higher interest rates and a stronger dollar, which would dampen the impact of tourism and related spending (bad news for California in general and specifically for Orange County’s largest employer, Disney).

Not surprisingly, Heidi’s presentation ran through its allotted time and had to be cut short, but despite that small disappointment, those lucky enough to have been in attendance left that day more informed and empowered thanks to the teaching moments made possible by Heidi Learner.

More details on Heidi Learner can be found at http://www.savills-studley.com/bios/heidi-learner. Heidi tweets at @heidilearner.

YPG LinkedIn Update


As many of you know from attending our monthly Alumni meetings, the Communications group has made a big push towards integrating with LinkedIN in hopes of using its built-in networking and group functions to further promote our own group.  As such, we wanted to make sure all of our members were aware of this and remind everyone to confirm they are a member of the group!  Please follow the instructions below to make sure you’re a member of the group and receiving group updates and notifications.  Given how powerful LinkedIN is, we hope to leverage its platform to benefit YPG!

Confirm you’re a member of the group:  After you log in, enter the group name “NAIOP SoCal Young Professionals Group (YPG) in the search bar (it should auto-populate for you after about 9 to 10 key strokes).  If you’re not showing up as a member, please request to join the group and send an email to:  JLoughridge@BelayInvestmentGroup.com with the subject:  “YPG LinkedIn Group – Request to Join.”  The communications group will get this processed right away and you’ll be an official member of the group!

Confirm you’re receiving updates:  Under the Account and Settings tab (which will appear if you hover over your picture in the upper right corner…) select the Privacy & Settings drop-down.  Then select the Communications header on the far right and then select the first “Email Frequency” under the Basics header.  Then, under Group Updates (which is the seventh selection below), please make sure the toggle is switched to “on.”  If you don’t want to get emails from all of your groups; please select the details option and make sure the YPG group is switched to “on.”

As members of this group, we ALL have the ability to post stories, updates, industry events or job openings to our group page.  This is a fantastic tool that the alumni can use to better communicate with each other on a more frequent basis.  I personally encourage everyone to confirm they’re a member of the group and receiving the group notifications.  And as with any group posts, please keep the content and frequency relevant and appropriate.

Two YPG Alumni win Developing Leader Awards


Bradley Schmitt (Left) Taylor Arnett (Right)

NAIOP has recently named two YPG alumns, Taylor Arnett and Bradley Schmitt, as recipients of the 2016 Developing Leaders Award.  Taylor and Bradley were two of twenty-one young professionals selected on a national level to receive NAIOP’s prestigious 2016 Developing Leaders Award.  The annual award honors up-and-coming professionals under the age of 35 for their exemplary professional accomplishments, strong leadership and community involvement.  The two were honored at the recent NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona on September 26-28.

YPG Alumns Making News

As the YPG program continues on in its 12th year, many of our own Alumni are coming into the prime of their careers and, accordingly, are at the forefront of many current issues and topics in the commercial real estate industry.  As such, our YPG alumns are being asked to present on and speak at events throughout Southern California.  We wanted to recognize those alumni in the list below:

C.J. Osbrink (’13) with HFF – Opening the Phoenix, AZ office for HFF and expanding the firm’s Southwestern footprint

Greg Brown (‘13) with HFF – Moderating a NAIOP U Panel on the changing regulatory and economic environment

 Chris Tipre (’14) with Trammell Crow – speaking on the future of commercial real estate at the annual Orange County Connect Conference

Eric Brown (’07) with LBA Realty – speaking on the future of commercial real estate at the annual Orange County Connect Conference

Babak Ziai (’08) with BrandView Capital Partners – being named an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California

YPG Around Town

Annual NAIOP SoCal Night at the Fights – Hotel Irvine


YPG Alumni had a record turnout this year at the Night at the Fights

NAIOP SoCal OC BBQ Bash – Balboa Bay Club


YPGer’s turned out in force to enjoy a great summer evening at the Balboa Bay Club full of burgers, beers and networking

YPG Alumni Committee Meeting – Radius – Tustin


Jake Loughridge tours YPG Alumni Committee members through CapRock’s recently completed creative office project – Radius – while detailing the major renovation he managed and highlighting the various amenities provided at the site

YPG/CREW Social Hour – Sky Garden at the Michelson


YPG and CREW Emerging Leaders turned out in full force to enjoy a great summer night with epic views

YPG’s 1st Annual Sand Volleyball Tournament


The Final Teams (L to R): DJ Arellano, Kent Turner, Sean Grubbs, Shaena Cushman, Dillon Auxier, Katarina Elssner, Sebastian Trujillo, Desi Koleva, Greg & Bruce Brown pose for a picture before they face-off

A Sit-Down Interview with Alumni Committee Chairman Taylor Arnett

Nearing the half-way point of the 12th annual YPG class, we caught up with Taylor Arnett (CapRock Partners), this year’s Chairman of the SoCal YPG Alumni Committee, just days after the birth of his daughter. In spite of a busy work schedule and new parental duties, Taylor spent over 30 minutes sharing his thoughts on how far YPG has come and what the YPG brand has come to mean today. He also touched on the phenomenal engagement of the alumni and our sponsors, which has led to YPG events garnering record levels of participation and creating a positive impact in the community. Finally, Taylor touched on his hopes for the continual improvement of the program, and how he draws inspiration from legendary coach Pete Carroll’s approach to promoting internal competition while creating a strong team identity. It is an approach that Taylor firmly believes has been adopted within YPG to transform and improve the program through the best ideas and efforts of its graduates and active members.

Q- Taylor- congratulations on the birth of your daughter. Thanks very much for taking some time to speak with us. Can you give us a few thoughts on where the YPG program is today?

Taylor – The “YPG brand” is stronger than ever as YPG is a program that young talent wants to go through but, also, institutional level real estate executives want to be associated with.  Evidence of this is through our record-setting sponsorship levels the last two years.  We must continue to elevate the YPG brand and take advantage of the momentum that we have in the real estate community. They like the vibe of it, they like the talent that is going through it and what the alumni are doing to stay connected. We now have people coming to us looking to be involved with YPG, rather than us having to go out asking for more of a philanthropic sponsorship. I think that speaks strongly to our brand.

Q- What are some of the goals you have for this year?

Taylor– First and foremost, the YPG class needs to be better than it was the year before, and we as YPG Alumni set the curriculum and run that class, so we’re always trying to push to get better speakers/instructors and elevate the final project. It really starts with recruitment and selection finding the best people  and keeping in mind the value that diversity brings to the program. You take those applicants and combine them with a curriculum that equally values personal, interpersonal and career growth, because they all go hand in hand; and you get a graduate class that comes out more well rounded, that grow as people and leaders, and benefit way beyond just increasing their network by 34 people.

Q- So the message is “do better than the year before.” How do you inspire people to want to accomplish and work toward that?

Taylor– We’re always trying to push the envelope and I’ve noticed that the Alumni Committee leaders have gotten to the point where they really want to do it better than their predecessor did the year before. And I think that competitiveness and that drive and that leadership is something that is elevating the YPG program.

Q- How will that competitiveness and drive affect YPG’s engagement with the community this year?

Taylor– I want to put on events that matter. We may not have an event every month, it may be only once a quarter – but I want the events that we do have to be very impactful and meaningful. I want people to remember them, and I want people to get something out of these events. Maybe that’s a business relationship, or learning a new aspect of real estate, or getting involved with the community – those are three things that we do very well. But whatever it is, I want there to be a deeper value proposition to the YPG Program and alumni involvement.

Q- What are some of the most valuable events, in your opinion, that YPG is hosting this year? And how do they accomplish the goals you outlined for us?

Taylor– The YPG-CREW event, with more than 150 people, was great for building business relationships. It’s an event that connects NAIOP’s YPG to CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) and their membership of commercial real estate young professionals. And that is a great opportunity for us, because we’re always striving for diversity in the program and want to appeal to and include the best people. If you’re at a real estate event and 90% of the people there are male, then you’re obviously missing out on connecting with some of the best people. This event has increased our ability to have a more diverse class in the future because that networking drives some crossover in our applicants to YPG.

Q- How does YPG get involved in the community?

Taylor– Big for a Day is an event we hold in the fall where we partner up with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County to match mentors/mentees for the day.  I did this 5 years ago through YPG, and when the day was over I signed up to be a permanent Big Brother. The experience changed my life and that’s where I see the true value in the event. I mean, it’s great for that four-hour event to provide a kid with a mentor, and I think everyone that participates is making a difference and will get something great out of that experience. But if we could inspire just a few people each year to sign up to be permanent Bigs – that turns a day of fun into a multi-year, potentially multi-generational impact; and that means something. If just 10% of the attendees sign up to be permanent Bigs, I think that’s a huge win and a very big impact that we can have on the community.

Q- I also really enjoyed participating in the Big for a Day event last year and am looking forward to this year’s event. Ok, well I think that speaks well to YPG’s community outreach – how about your favorite educational event?

 Taylor– The best example of that is the Case Competition, aka Final Project. The YPG class “learns by doing” in this year-end competition for a development plan on a real live development site in SoCal.  The judges are well known real estate executives whose questions and feedback is priceless to young professionals.


Taylor with his Wife Monica and new baby girl Parker!

NAIOP SoCal Says Aloha to Another Summer BBQ

On a balmy summer Thursday night, the NAIOP SoCal Board held a special meeting, followed up by the highly anticipated Aloha Summer BBQ mixer at the Jonathan Beach Club in Santa Monica, CA. In what has become one of the standout events in the Los Angeles area -bringing together the NAIOP SoCal Board, Alumni Committee reps, Advisors, and current students of the YPG Class – attendees were treated to a fascinating and enriching presentation from Ashley Powell, the 2016 NAIOP Chairman of the Board, who provided national perspectives on NAIOP. When not moonlighting at NAIOP events, Mr. Powell serves as the Senior Vice President of Bentall Kennedy in San Francisco and has made his voice known as a strong proponent of the YPG program, pledging that NAIOP Corporate will support any local NAIOP chapter interested in starting a YPG program in their area.

In addition to the presentation from Ashley, the YPG Alumni Group was given an opportunity to provide updates from each of its committee chairs directly to the NAIOP SoCal Board, with representatives from Social and Continuing Education, Curriculum and others providing color on their respective focus and agenda for the year.

According to Lee Redmond (HFF) who was in attendance and presented an update on behalf of the Continuing Education subcommittee, “It had always been a challenge for me to get to the Jonathan Club in the middle of the work week; however, this year having to present to the Board, I really got forced to be up there, and I’m really glad that I went – and I want to go every year now, because of the caliber of people in attendance at the Board level.” He went on to say, “The Board Meeting and Aloha Summer BBQ in LA is a really killer event. Orange County does Night at the Fights really well, and I think our BBQ (at the Balboa Bay Resort) is good, but the Aloha BBQ in LA is exceptional.”


Brad Schmitt, Greg Brown and Lee Redmond enjoying the Aloha vibes at the LA Summer BBQ

YPGer’s Focus on Creative Office Opportunities

Creative Office – They’re the latest buzz words to hit the market, like “green” or “open-office” before that. So what is it really and what are the implications?

Creative Office is the exterior manifestation of what’s been happening in the interior for years: open floor plans, flexible work spaces, lots of collaborative space, and fun and informal gathering areas like game rooms or bars. Employers are learning that if their employees are happy and more relaxed, they’ll work harder and be more productive. Replacing individual offices with open bench seating also helps the bottom line because more people can utilize a smaller space. The interior office environment has become a mirror that reflects tenants’ cultures and work styles. What’s starting to happen on the outside is what is most noticeable and game changing.

All too often at non-Creative Offices (especially in certain cities that shall remain nameless), tenants have no choice about how their buildings look on the outside, or if it’s beige or beige. Many buildings lack operable windows or any connection to the outside. Socializing is done outside of work at happy hour. Everyone keeps their heads down and works independently all day long. There is little to no collaboration.

Landlords are finally realizing that we live in Southern California, where it’s sunny most of the time. There is a growing trend towards indoor-outdoor work environments, operable windows, glass roll-up doors and folding walls that open to patios. Outdoor amenities are popping up everywhere with bocce ball courts, ping pong tables, oversized chess, fire pits, barbecues or outdoor kitchens, seating areas, and even wifi-connected outdoor work areas. Finally! If we’re going to be at work most of our adult lives, and see our colleagues more than our families, shouldn’t it be more fun? Wouldn’t this lead to improved recruiting, increased productivity and retention, fewer sick days, and lower vacancy rates? Yes!

Another upside to Creative Office are the opportunities it presents for company branding and identity. Exterior building colors can match company logos; funky architecture can make the buildings stand out rather than blend in. The buildings themselves then represent the company, just as much as their employees or products do.

Harbor Associates is a great examples of a company seizing this growing trend (and a firm started by 3 alumni of the YPG program: Joon Choi, Justin Loiacono and Paul Miszkowicz). Harbor has created a new brand called “Bespoke.” The term literally means ‘goods made to order’ and usually pertains to clothing. At Bespoke Tustin and Bespoke Irvine. the buildings are being delivered with an entitled kit of parts that is fully customizable. The designs were ‘bespoked’ to create a menu of options to choose from, such as customizable colored paneling, secondary entries, joint or individual lobbies, additional roll-up doors, operable windows, outdoor amenity patios, dog runs, basketball courts, EV charging stations, interior bars or putting greens, etc. The market response has been overwhelmingly positive. Harbor’s future tenants will have full interior and exterior design control of their office buildings!

Imagine coming to work every day and being excited to get there. Imagine working outside on sunny days or barbecuing at the lunch while you play bocce ball. Imagine being able to customize your office and linking it with your brand identity. It’s already starting to happen!


Evolving the Program – YPG’s Continuing Education Initiative

One of the most exciting new initiatives from this year’s Social Committee is the establishment of a Continuing Education subcommittee chaired by Lee Redmond (HFF), that is working to create programs and events that engage and provide value to the 400+ graduates and active members of the YPG Alumni. These events will not only be educational in nature, but will work to strengthen bonds, encourage interaction and provide further opportunities for networking.

According to Lee, “As the YPG program expands and evolves, we are trying to enrich all aspects of the program: social, curriculum, sponsorship, etc. And we’re really focused on evolving the program. That directive comes from the leadership of Taylor Arnett and Brad Schmitt, and has the support of previous leaders and advisors to the program. So instead of just repeating the recipe, we’re evolving it into a full-course meal and offerings, and everything is on the table in terms of what we plan to do. There are no growth caps, and we are open to anything and everything that further enhances the program including all the ideas from Alumni Committee members. We are fortunate to have the backing of our sponsors to allow and encourage this, and because of that we now have this new Continuing Education program which we are really excited about.”

The Continuing Education Committee is an evolution of the Alumni Program, but “re-branded and expanded.” One of the new events this year that the Committee is excited about planning is “Wayne for a Day”, which they hope to build into an annual event reuniting YPG Alumni with the veteran instructor for a half-day of discussion and exercises designed to build self-awareness and emotional intelligence.

The Speaker Series is another Continuing Education Committee project, which has been successfully rolled out as a monthly event piggybacking on Alumni Committee meetings, and has served to liven up meetings and add value for those attending the sessions while also increasing the benefits of participating in the Alumni COmmittee after graduation in the program.

Examples of topics and presenters from this year’s Speaker Series include Jim Camp of Rockefeller Group reflecting on the volatility he has faced in his career and how he has navigated and anticipated change in an unpredictable world; and Alumni Committee member Chris Tipre (Trammell Crow) presenting an overview of the Boardwalk, including behind-the-scenes color and an overview of the design interactions the project went through before settling on the final form being built today.

And as Lee Redmond puts it, “the YPG program has never been harder to get into and I think the Alumni Committee is the same. In the past it was ‘who can we get to help,’ but now we have over 400 members and it’s a position where there is competition to be a part of the committee and we’re able to tap people who are motivated, focused and excited about giving back to and growing the program.”

YPG Class Update

ypg-news-8-june-classThe guest speaker for June’s YPG class was Ray Lawler, Hines’s Managing Director of their Newport Beach office and former Naval Aviator in the United States Marine Corps.

Mr. Lawler’s main focus for his presentation was on the comparisons between his experiences in the Marine Corps and how they relate to the commercial real estate industry. Understanding your commander’s intent and focusing your efforts can help you best achieve your own and your company’s goals. Ray also taught the young professionals about the importance of seeking responsibility for your actions. This will help shape you as a leader and further develop you to become a successful commercial real estate professional.

September’s YPG class was held on Tuesday, September 20th, at Columbia Square in Los Angeles. The first speaker was Vance Caesar, Ph.D., leadership coach and mentor. Following Vance was David Simon, Executive Vice President of Southern California for Kilroy Realty, who shared his life experience with the class and talked about his role at Kilroy, followed by a tour of the property.

NAIOP SoCal YPG Celebrates Real Estate Competition with Annual Y Games on September 18, 2015

Now in its third year, the NAIOP SoCal Y Games put on by YPG promises to be bigger, faster, and stronger with a larger field of competition and new games.

This annual competition pits teams of up to 10 people, comprised of members of the commercial real estate industry, against each other on a variety of fun, athletic games. Past competitions have included events such as water balloon launch, tricycle relays and kayak races, as well as team costume contests, among many others. This year the two best finishing teams will face off in a Championship Dodgeball Game.

“This year’s Y Games will be bigger and better – and we are doubling our location space.  I expect that we’ll field more than 200 participants,” said Darren Foster, YPG Chairman. “It’s a great event for young professionals to have fun and network with the commercial real estate leaders of today and tomorrow.”

Title sponsors for this year include Panattoni Development and KPRS Construction.

The event will be held Friday, September 18 at Newport Dunes located at 1131 Back Bay Drive in Newport Beach from 11:30 pm to 4:00 pm. Lunch is provided and a networking reception is planned to follow the games. Participants will also have the opportunity to donate gently-worn professional clothing to Working Wardrobes on that day

Crystal Cove Hike for a Cure

Crystal Cove Hike 2

On Saturday, August 1, 2015, NAIOP SoCal YPG Alumni hosted Hike for a Cure at Crystal Cove State Park in Newport Beach.  The hike raised funds to support the Leukemia Lymphoma Society’s research into beating acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a deadly blood cancer. The Beat AML campaign will fund three years of intense and ambitious interdisciplinary research to create more effective treatments for AML.

“We hosted 80 participants, which was an amazing turnout for this event.  This hike was a fun way for us to raise awareness about AML and contribute to the cause.  This event was particularly meaningful to our committee since one of YPG’s very own, Russ Parker (Parker Properties) is among the small group of AML survivors. We look forward to turning this hike into an annual tradition.” Ali Hawthorne (YPG Community Outreach Chair, YPG ’13)

NAIOP SoCal members and YPG alumni joined in post-hike networking at El Ranchito in Corona del Mar.  In support of the Beat AML Campaign, El Ranchito donated 15% of the proceeds earned back to the cause.

Crystal Cove Hike 1

Message From the Chair

Darren Foster

Celebrating & Building upon YPG’s First Decade

With the graduation of the 2015 class, the YPG alumni base has swelled to over 325.  While the program’s recent grads are certainly poised to become the CRE industry leaders of tomorrow, many of the early program alums are now serving on the NAIOP SoCal Board, regularly participating on CRE conference panels, serving as executives at their respective firms and some are even starting their own companies.

With this broad-based alumni network, the 2015-2016 NAIOP YPG Alumni Committee has aimed to recruit to its ranks both YPG alums who have the long-term perspective of how the YPG program has evolved since its inceptions to also including the most recent program grads to provide the energy and fresh perspective that YPG will need to continue its growth.  This year’s committee is comprised of approximately 65 alums and includes the newly formed LA Subcommittee (16 members strong) that will be specifically aiming to plan events that will continue to engage our LA-based alums. I’m most excited about this new LA subcommittee and working to expand our presence in the LA area.  YPG is so strong in Orange County, and my goal is to expand that reach into the rest of Southern California.

In an effort to keep the YPG Alumni Committee events fresh and engaging, our Subcommittee Chairs are aiming to enhance our existing events while also bringing new events onto the YPG calendar.  I look forward to working with everyone this year and our continued success of the YPG program for the next 10 years!


Thank you,

Darren Foster

2015 Graduation Ceremony & 10-Year Anniversary Celebration

The YPG community closed out the first quarter of 2015 with the graduation ceremony of the 2014-2015 class. The event, held at Andrei’s in Irvine, was the 10-year anniversary of the program’s inception. There was over 130 alumni in attendance and every year was represented with at least one person from each class.


One of the evening’s many highlights was the presentation of the John B. Parker award which is voted on by the class and awarded to the member who demonstrates the highest levels of Leadership, Teamwork, Communication and Growth. This year’s recipient, Andrew Huffman with Hines (pictured below), had this to share: “It was quite an honor to receive the John B Parker award, and to share the day with such a respected group of program alumni.  I benefited greatly from the opportunity to take part in YPG and look forward to staying involved as an Alumni Committee member in the coming year’s program.”

The graduation also celebrated the case competition which marked the end of the 12-month program. Thanks to Prologis, the students were able to work with a “live” site and received great feedback from Prologis’ own Kim Snyder.  All six teams did a great job on their presentations, but ultimately, Team “Pod-Logis” made up by Brad Johnson, Keith Greer, Steven Hilgren, Brett Tanimoto, Jason DiRocco, Brent Ozenbaugh and McCay Major took first place and walked away with the CapRock Cup (the trophy presented to the winning team). When we asked Brett Tanimoto how they came up with the idea he explained, “It was a competitive situation and there was not a whole lot to differentiate your business plan and strategy. We wanted to take some risk with respect to creativity and converting shipping containers to semi-permanent food trucks seemed the best way to do so.”

GroupTeamTeam “Pod-logis” with the CapRock Cup


Our YPG founding fathers: (pictured left to right) James V. Camp (Rockefeller Group), Sayres Dudley (DHR International),  Al Beaudette (Attentus Advisors), Tom Sherlock (Talonvest Capital Inc.).

YPG 2016 Class Update

We are excited to welcome the YPG Class of 2015-2016. The class represents a diverse group of 35 commercial real estate professionals from the legal, development, design, brokerage, banking and ownership side of the business. Students kicked off the program with the Retreat, held once again at the Estancia Inn in La Jolla. Class members were led in instruction by Dr. Wayne Strom & Julie Chesley. The weekend was a big success as class members commented that they let their guards down, learned things about themselves, and left feeling inspired to become better leaders and professionals.

Two classes in and the students have already had the pleasure of hearing Ray Lawler of Hines and Li Wen of Gensler speak. Mr. Lawler focused his discussion on leadership and shared with the students his time as a pilot in the US Marine Corps and how he applies principles he learned in the military to his leadership role within his company and the rest of the business world. In contrast, Mr. Wen shared his thoughts on architectural design and the future of development in LA.

We have exciting speakers on the docket for the rest of the YPG calendar year, including Kim Snyder of Prologis, Robert Brunswick of Buchanan Street Partners, and Darla Longo of CBRE. In addition, upcoming events include the “Y Games” and “Big for a Day” so, it’s an exciting time to be a member of YPG!

Gensler 1 Gensler 2

YPG Sponsorship Update

The YPG Alumni Committee has gotten off to a great start fundraising for the 2015-2016 YPG Year with a Platinum Level Sponsorship from LBA Realty who has been a consistent supporter of the program since its inception.  In addition, CapRock Partners, KPRS Construction Services, Hines, Panattoni Development Company, and Buchanan Street Partners have all stepped up at the GOLD sponsorship level, which includes a Title Sponsorship for a YPG Event, access to exclusive YPG classes and events and recognition on various media outlets.  MC Five Mile, The Alison Company, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, US Bank, Millie & Severson, Prologis, Luther Burbank Savings, GoodmanBirtcher, Ware Malcomb  and Cox, Castle, Nicholson LLP have also all committed to supporting the program at the Silver sponsorship level.

YPG would like to thank all of our sponsor companies for their support of our program!  We couldn’t do it without you.  If your company is interested in supporting YPG, please contact Taylor Arnett at TArnett@caprock-partners.com.

YPG ARTIC Event & Behind the Scenes Tour

Artic Event

This year’s NAIOP SoCal kick-off event was held at ARTIC (Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center), an intermodal transit center in Anaheim. The transit hub links commuter and regional rail service and intercity bus systems including Amtrak, Metrolink, OCTA bus service and Anaheim Resort Transportation. ARTIC’s flexible design ensures that it can serve as a southern terminus for California’s future high-speed rail system.

YPG had the opportunity to take an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the newly constructed LEED Platinum certified building.  The tours were led by Anaheim Transit Officials and the Project Contractor and Construction Manager; and YPG Alumni were able to ask questions about the unique construction methods and new technologies that were utilized in constructing the facility.  Following the tour, YPG Alums joined the Kick-Off event where Anaheim’s transportation manager shared the vision for the transportation hub and the surrounding Platinum Triangle Area.

Artic (1)YPG Alums at the ARTIC Kick-Off Reception

YPG Celebrates the 4th Annual Whitmore Open

Whitmore Open2In April, over 125 real estate professionals and friends of NAIOP YPG attended the 4th annual Whitmore Open golf tournament.  The “Whitmore” is a charity golf tournament unlike any other.  After our friend and YPG past president, C. Whitmore Riske (“Whit”), tragically passed away in October of 2011, several YPG alumni got together to host a golf tournament that would be held in true Whitmore fashion.

Every year, in addition to family-and-friends getting together and sharing memories of Whit, we raise funds to contribute to Whit’s legacy.  Most notably, the tournament raises funds for the future education of Whit’s three year old daughter, Scarlett.  In addition, through the help of many YPG alums, we have been able to raise proceeds for other causes close to Whit’s heart such as the Wounded Warrior Foundation and friends of YPG in need.  Thank you again to all who attended and contributed to such a great event!  We look forward to seeing you next year!

Whitmore Open1

YPG – January Class at Irvine Company’s Offices in Newport Beach

YPG JAN CLASSThe First half of the January YPG class was a presentation from Katlin Jackson, the VP of West Coast Real Estate at Fundrise. Fundrise is a Seattle-based real estate crowdfunding company.  Katlin said Fundrise was created to be more flexible and more creative than institutional funding.  They see a major disconnect between the person who’s making the decisions to purchase/develop real estate (Sponsor) and the investor (i.e.capital brokers, equity funds, etc.). The other issue they cite with the traditional chain is there is little to no transparency; i.e. big institutional investors who are making the decisions are not on the ground where the development takes place.

Fundrise believes they are giving the smaller investor an opportunity to be involved in commercial real estate deals that are usually not available to smaller investors.  Most of their minimum investments are $5,000, although they’ve had some with as little as $100. Fundrise typically provides the preferred equity piece, between debt and sponsor equity, filling 75-90% of the capital stack. They are able to offer no current yield for the first year or two for a new development deal.  They will do mezz debt but most of their sponsors don’t want to do it because of the inter-creditor agreement with the senior lender.  The majority of deals are value-add and new development, currently concentrated in NY, DC, Seattle, and Portland.

The second portion of the class consisted of the “Case Competition Advisor Speed Dating Session” in which the 5 YPG Case Competition teams had 20 minutes with each advisor to go over their preliminary business plans for the YPG Case Competition in February. The experienced advisors were Russ Parker (Parker Properties), Dan Borland (Opus Ban), Joel Stensby (KPRS Construction Services Inc), Tim McMahon (CBRE), and Todd Burnight (Carson Companies).

ypg jan class 2

YPG Alumni Making News

As the YPG program continues into its 11th year, many of our own Alumni are coming into the prime of their careers and accordingly are at the forefront of many current issues and topics in the commercial real estate industry.  As such, our YPG alumns are being asked to present on and speak at events throughout Southern California.  We wanted to recognize those alumni in the list below:

Jon Pharris (’09) with CapRock Partners – Speaking at the Inland Empire RealShare event in January 2015

Aaron Hill (’06) with Bixby Land Company – Speaking at the Orange County NAIOP-U Repositioning Event in April 2015

Jake Loughridge (’14) with CapRock Partners – Speaking at the Orange County NAIOP-U Industrial Event in May 2015

Alan Carmichael (’07) with Alere Property Group – Speaking at the Orange County NAIOP-U Industrial Event in May 2015

Babak Ziai  (‘08) with Brandview Inc. – Speaking at the Los Angeles Connect Event in June 2015

Jennifer Fairfield (‘08) with Newmark Grubb Night Frank– Speaking at the Los Angeles Connect Event in June 2015

Aaron Hill (’06) with Bixby Land Company – Speaking at the Orange County Bisnow Construction & Development Event in July 2015

Samantha Shaughnessy (’16) with Hines – – Speaking at the Orange County Connect Event in July 2015

Brook Birtcher-Gustafson (’09) with Goodman Birtcher – Speaking at the Orange County Connect Event in July 2015

Darren Foster (’09) with Auction.com – Speaking at the Orange County Connect Event in July 2015

Julian Freeman (‘14) with Cox, Castle & Nicholson – Speaking at the Orange County Connect Event in July 2015

Jake Loughridge (’14) with CapRock Partners – Speaking at the Orange County Connect Event in July 2015

Holiday Party


On Friday, December 5th the YPG social committee hosted the annual YPG Holiday Party held at Muldoon’s Irish Pub in Newport Beach.

In addition to eating, drinking and being merry the evening included a raffle, an opportunity for YPGers to make donations to the Herdman Family Memorial Fund and a toy drive for Kidworks.



Big for a Day

YPG and NAIOP SoCal’s Community Outreach Event

On Saturday, October 25th, twenty-five volunteers made up of NAIOP board members, YPGers and significant others came together to support Big Brothers Big Sisters Orange County  by hosting  “Big for a Day”  at Boomers in Irvine. The Big for a Day event hosted 23 kids, ages ranging from 5-14,  who are on the waiting list to be matched with a BIG through the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County.

“This year’s event at Boomers was a huge success!   Bigs and Littles enjoyed a fun morning of unlimited activities such as mini-golf, go-cart racing, laser tag, rides and bumper boats.  There are more than 200 children on the Big Brothers Big Sisters waiting list, and thousands in our community, wishing for the positive influence of a Big Brother or Big Sister.  This event was a great way for volunteers to experience what it’s like to be a BIG and learn more about the organization.”  – Ali Hawthorne (YPG Community Outreach Chair, YPG ’13)

Big Brothers Big Sisters of OC is a mentorship non-profit that serves children in the community from the ages of 6 to 16, by providing them with one-to-one mentors. Become a BIG Brother today – with over 160+ Little Boys on the Wait List we need your help to Start Something BIG! Do you go to the beach? Bring your Little Brother with you. Do you go to baseball games? Bring your Little Brother with you. Do you like to eat? Eat with your Little Brother. It’s that simple – twice a month and you’ll be making a BIG difference. For more information, contact Amanda Hastings at AHastings@BigBroOC.org or (714) 619-7025.

This event was YPG and NAIOP SoCal’s  fourth year hosting “Big for a Day” and needless to say, it was a  huge success  with both littles and Bigs smiling from ear to ear!

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Recruitment Events

Prospective YPG applicants were given three different opportunities to meet current YPGers and alumni and learn more about the program.  The first event was the annual YPG/Developing Leader mixer on November 11th at the Renaissance Club in Aliso Viejo, which had the largest attendance of prospects ever.

Two info sessions were set up December 3rd (520 Newport Center in Orange County) and December 4th (AT&T Center in Los Angeles).  Prospective applicants listened to a panel discuss the ins and outs of the program as well as the application process.  These info sessions saw a combined attendance of over 100.  Special thanks to the Irvine Company and LBA Realty for providing two awe-inspiring locations!

With this kind of interest, it’s no surprise that applications for YPG this year are at an all-time high.



Orange County Event

YPG Classes

August Class

This was Vance Caesar’s first class with the students. He went through the speed of trust excerpt from the Strength Finder book, and how to “be your own brand,” using an exercise where he had the students break into groups and tell each other what “results” they are paid to produce.

The second half of class was a presentation from Russ Parker. He focused on the creative side of real estate development. He told the students how to nurture their creative side in developing real estate and thinking like futurists, referencing and giving away books that influenced him. He also spoke about technology needs going forward, and building for what clients may not even know they need yet.  Russ shared some words of wisdom from his father, John Parker, who was a true trailblazer and legend in the world of commercial real estate.  Take-aways were to never give up, and don’t run away from your problems.  Russ’s presentation was excellent as he covered unique topics that are relevant in today’s real estate markets, and he did a great job of engaging the audience.

September Class


Vance Caesar led the personal and career development session followed by an interactive discussion from Bob Fullmer, President of Fullmer Construction, who covered construction, the development process, and life lessons of running your own (family) company.  After the class the YPGers enjoyed a cocktail cruise on a tugboat in Newport Harbor which was captained by YPG Alumnus Morgan Hill.

October Class

octJana Turner, currently a Partner/Principal with RETS Associates and the former President of Asset Services for CB Richard Ellis, spoke to the YPG class in October on the UC Irvine Campus.  Her presentation was a great success, as indicated from the class survey which gave her very high scores!   Ms. Turner’s presentation discussed the opportunities and (common) challenges in interpersonal communications among professionals.  She shared her secrets for succes in communication: “asking rather than telling, mastering both written and oral communication, and balancing technological communication with in-person communication.”

Ms. Turner utilized CBRE’s acquisition and merger of three major commercial real estate providers during her tenure at the company as a case study to emphasize the importance of preparation and communication to successfully accomplish a targeted goal: “pre-planning, communication, communication, and more communication (!), execution and accountability.”  She says that stretching oneself through tackling challenges, asking for more responsibility and making oneself memorable in the process is the key to becoming a well-rounded and trusted professional. Ms. Turner concluded her presentation with some of her Turner Tips: “be curious, seek knowledge about all industries (not just real estate), READ, constantly network, be aware of posture and what it conveys to others, and dress appropriately for the audience.”

oct2During the October class, YPG students also presented their Industry Presentations to classmates as well as 28 UC Irvine graduate students in the UCI real estate program.  YPG members gave 10-minute presentations on a variety of functional areas including asset management, brokerage and construction development.  The presentations were judged by a panel who critiqued them on presentation quality, audience engagement and quality of visual aids.   The evening concluded with a networking session among the UCI and YPG students.  Feedback among the student body, UCI Career Center and UCI Center for Real Estate has been extremely positive.

November Class

Vance Caesar led his second personal and career development session followed by YPG Alumnus Lee Redmond presenting the Year-End Case Competition Assignment to the YPGers.  The YPGers will form five teams and each team will give a 15-20 minute presentation in February on a 3.5 acre site currently owned by Prologis.  After the Case Competition was described, current YPGers joined YPG recruits for a mixer that included almost 100 people.

December Class

Class was held at Gensler’s state-of-the-art downtown LA creative office space.  Vance Caesar led his final personal and career development session focusing on each YPGer’s personal brand.  Rob Jernigan, Managing Principal of Gensler’s Southwest Region, gave an inspiring presentation on his career path, architecture, and current and future trends in the way cities are designed.

Upcoming Events

Mark your calendars and stay tuned for more information!

Feb. 24 – The YPG Case Competition of a live site in Commerce, CA provided by Prologis will be held at LBA’s Park Place Auditorium at 4PM.  Networking reception and presentation of the “CapRock Cup” trophy will immediately follow the presentations.

March 3 – The YPG Alumni Committee is putting together an exclusive tour at ARTIC (Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center).

March 5 – Whitmore Open

April 2 – YPG graduation event highlighting 10 years of YPG.  All YPGers should expect an invitation.

May 14 – Night at the Fights

Next year’s YPG Alumni Committee will be determined in the next couple of months!  If you are interested in getting involved, please email Darren Foster (dfoster@auction.com) NOW!   In addition to our current committees, a new committee this year is being formed in an effort to reach out to our LA-based YPG alums to more actively engage that portion of our alumni base.

A Special Thank You to our YPG Sponsors!

The NAIOP SoCal YPG Program enjoys strong support from our corporate sponsors who provide both financial support and donated venue space to hold YPG-related meetings and functions.  Without this very generous support, the YPG program wouldn’t be able to provide its wide variety of networking, professional development and community outreach programs for our alums’ participation.  A special note of recognition to the Irvine Company and LBA Realty for consistently providing us with meeting space for our YPG classes.

If you think your company might be interested in serving as a YPG Sponsor, please contact Darren Foster or Taylor Arnett.

A special “Thank You” to our 2014-2015 Sponsors!


NAIOP Events

Golf Tournament

The annual NAIOP Orange County golf tournament was held at Oak Creek Golf Course on September 23rd. The tournament was well attended and concluded with a networking dinner.


Fall Forum

On Thursday, October 16th, NAIOP members and prospective members gathered for SoCal’s Fall Forum Event held at the California Club in Downtown Los Angles to hear expert leaders discuss various trends in the capital markets.

The expert panel included moderator Kevin MacKenzie, Senior Managing Director, HFF and panelists Wayne Brandt, Managing Director, Wells Fargo & Company; John Devereux, Executive Vice President, Commercial Real Estate Group, OneWest Bank; John Murray, Executive Vice President, PIMCO; and Jeff Friedman, Co-Founder / Co-Chief Executive Officer, Mesa West Capital.

The event was very well attended and overall, the panelists were positive about the market. The panel concluded with a networking cocktail event.


USC/UCLA Challenge

Congratulations to UCLA who took home the coveted Silver Shovel, winning the17th annual USC vs. UCLA Real Estate Challenge on November 20th. Student teams from the Lusk Center for Real Estate at USC’s Marshall School of Business and Price School of Public Policy and UCLA’s Ziman Center for Real Estate at the Anderson School of Business went head-to-head to compete, presenting comprehensive proposals for the redevelopment of the 21-acre site of the former Los Angeles Times printing facility in Orange County.



In the News

topBrian Baker (’11) received one of this year’s Developing Leader Awards from NAIOP Corporate at the Development Conference in Denver in October.  To Brian’s left is Tom Wulf, 2015 SoCal Chapter President.

Making Moves

Jason Rich (‘06) was recently promoted to Vice President of Operations with Snyder Langston.

Matt Ela (’12) is now in acquisitions with Cruzan as of October 2014.

Erika Gjovik (’10) is now working for the Irvine Company as a Senior Director within the Apartment Portfolio Management Group.

Shawn Godkin (’12) started his own company, Godkin Design/Build.


Want to know more about what’s happening with your fellow YPGers? 

Log in here for personal updates, including who has tied the knot, who has been expanding their family and more!  If you forgot your log-in information, email Becky Ezell.

2nd Annual Y Games


With 135 commercial real estate professionals in attendance, the 2nd annual YGames did not disappoint! A new team was awarded the Y-Cup and everyone enjoyed a day filled with games, food, drinks and camaraderie. This year’s participants included 81 YPGers, 9 NAIOP SoCal board members and 38 young commercial real estate professionals.

The winning team this year was made up of USC alumni and was led by Tom Sherlock. Team members included Jason Matthews (co-captain), Alvin Zhu, Colin Hooper, Chad Manista, Mike Breiman, Aaron Goldstein and Christopher Yamashita (’15).

Events included a kayak race, football toss, chipping, blindfolded trike race, basketball toss and the ever popular water balloon launch. Points were also given for best team costume which was awarded to the Fun Police (also 2nd place Silver Medal overall) led by Captain Pam Westhoff and Co-Captain Alison Ramsey (‘08). The Bronze Medal was awarded to Risky Deeds with Kevin Jennings serving as Captain and Andrew Bennett (’12) as Co-Captain.

This year YGames received media attention and was featured on Bisnow.com and GlobeSt.com. In a GlobeSt.com article highlighting YGames, Jim Proehl of PM Realty Group and NAIOP SoCal President commented, “NAIOP SoCal’s goal for establishing the YPG program was to find a way to get more young professionals better connected to the commercial real estate industry by building a strong network of real estate professional colleagues.”

YGames is certainly one of the more fun ways to get connected! Special thanks to the YPGers who made the event possible!


Rob Quarton (Y Games Chair), CJ Osbrink (Social Chair), Erich Pryor, Chris Sanford, Ryan Carroll, Josh Needle, Dan Park and Seth Timmons (most pictured above).



YPG Gives Back

This year’s YGames included an opportunity for participants to give to those who are less fortunate. Thank you to everyone who brought donations in support of Working Wardrobes!!! In just 2 short hours, nearly 400 pieces of clothing and accessories were received. In particular they collected a large volume of men’s attire – one of their biggest needs!


Working Wardrobes empowers men, women, veterans and young adults overcoming difficult challenges to confidently enter the workforce and achieve success. Clients participate in career training, job placement assistance and professional wardrobe services in an environment of dignity and respect.


For more information on Working Wardrobes, go to www.workingwardrobes.org/.


Herdman Family Memorial Fund

Our hearts go out to YPG Alum Bridget Herdman (‘13) who recently lost her husband, Mike Herdman, in a tragic hiking accident.

Mike (age 36) was a beloved husband, father and seven-year veteran of the Arcadia Fire Department. A Southern California native, Mike was an avid cyclist, surfer and outdoorsman.  He will forever be remembered as a fun-loving family man who touched the lives of so many in the community.

On behalf of the entire YPG family, we have established the Herdman Family Memorial Fund for the benefit of Mike & Bridget’s six-year-old daughter, Sienna.  Donations can be made on-line here, or you can download a form to pay by cash, check or credit card.

Donations will be accepted until October 15th, 2014 and 100% of the proceeds collected will be provided in support of the Herdman family.  Please contact Brad Schmitt with any questions.


[NOTE:  Donations are not deductible as a charitable contribution for federal income tax purposes.  Please check with a tax professional on any eligible deductions.]

Get Connected & Stay Connected To YPG

How do you stay connected to the 324 YPG alumni and the current class?  We have 3 ways!!!



  1. Search NAIOP SoCal Young Professionals Group
  2. Request to join (membership is restricted to YPGers – past and present)
  3. Enjoy the benefits of being connected!  Start discussions, share interesting articles, post or read job openings and learn about upcoming events! Find out about YPG running and mountain biking groups too!



  1. Search Young Professional’s Group – NAIOP SoCal
  2. Request to join (membership is open to YPGers and prospects) *Joining the group does not give other members access to see your personal Facebook page unless your privacy settings are open.
  3. Enjoy the benefits of being connected!  Get updates on educational events, information on upcoming social events, photos and recaps of events, and network with fellow YPGers.  Feel free to share questions or feedback and share information, links, videos, etc with other group members.



  1. Go to  http://www.naiopsocal.org.  On the right of the green selection bar you’ll see YOUNG PROFESSIONALS GROUP
  2. Click on YPG NEWS and enjoy all the latest happenings with YPG.
  3. Click on YPG Login to enjoy “members only” benefits including YPGossip and the YPG Directory!
  4. The newsletter includes everything YPG-like – recaps of events, updates on the current class, and the gossip keeps you in the loop on what’s been happening with your fellow YPGers on a professional and personal level!  Not sure how to get logged in?  Email bezell@cgfassoc.com.


YPG Joins NAIOP Board Meeting

On July 10th, members from the YPG Alumni Committee and the current class joined YPG chair Brian Baker at the NAIOP SoCal Board meeting.  The meeting took place at the Jonathan Beach Club in Santa Monica and also welcomed special guest Jean Kane, NAIOP Corporate Chairman of the Board.

This annual meeting is a great opportunity for YPG to learn more about the Board of Directors and also provides an excellent opportunity for Board members to become more familiar with the activities of YPG.

Following the meeting, a private reception was held where YPGers could mingle with the Board members before heading down to join the LA Aloha BBQ.


What’s New in the Current YPG Class


The first official YPG class kicked off at the Irvine Company Offices in Newport Center.  Wayne Strom and Julie Chesley followed up the April Retreat weekend by helping the YPGers continue to develop their career and personal development skills with various group exercises and reading assignments.  The class was followed up with a networking session for all 35 YPGers in attendance.  Many thanks to the Irvine Company for hosting the May location!


The June class kicked off the Industry Leader Speaker Series with Darla Longo, Vice Chairman at CBRE and Managing Director of the company’s West Coast Industrial Group.  Prior to the presentation, students reviewed and analyzed a case study for Northwest Corporate Park, a 2.8 million sf industrial park consisting of 19 buildings in Kent, Washington.  During her presentation, Darla discussed the challenges of this transaction and introduced the students to the Managed Bid Process, which resulted in the sale of the park for $170 million, one of the largest industrial sales on the West Coast in 2013.  Additionally, she provided useful suggestions for young professionals, such as continually reinventing oneself, setting clear and honest expectations for clients and team members, and continually asking questions and being curious.  The students asked great questions about both the case study and Darla’s career, which contributed to a very interactive presentation.

Following the class, a networking hour provided an opportunity for several students to speak with Darla directly.  We sincerely thank Darla for her time and CBRE for hosting our June class!



The YPG Program commenced their July session with instructors Wayne Strom and Julie Chesley for the first three hours, followed by guest speaker Robert Brunswick, Chairman & CEO of Buchanan Street Partners.  He spoke to the class and covered his path to entrepreneurship, an exclusive in-depth look at various deals that Buchannan Street has recently purchased, and many other valuable life lessons.  The class commenced with an indoor/outdoor networking session at DPR’s creative office campus at MacArthur Court.  Our thanks to DPR Construction for hosting the July class!

YPGers Seen at NAIOP SoCal Events

Night at the Fights


YPG was “All Aboard” NAIOP’s May 15th Night at the Fights.  In fact, over 100 YPGers were in attendance at this year’s event.  Like last year, we commemorated this gathering with a group photo before dinner.

And YPG can be found behind the scenes too as 4 YPGers are on the planning committee, Brian Meihaus (’06) , Allison Schneider (’07), Alison Ramsey (’08) and Ashley Heglar (’13).

events_fights_middle events_fights_bottom


On June 18th, 72 YPGers enjoyed networking, cocktails and food on the lawn at the Balboa Bay Club during the annual OC BBQ Bash.


Aloha Summer BBQ

On July 10th, 32 YPGs showed up at the Aloha Summer BBQ at the Jonathan Beach Club in Santa Monica.  As mentioned in an earlier article, the current YPG class and YPG board were invited to join the NAIOP SoCal Board meeting beforehand.



In the News

In June’s Real Estate Forum our own Zach Niles (’09) was selected as one of Tomorrow’s Leaders in Southern California.

CJ Osbrink (’13) was named as one of Tomorrow’s Leaders in Retail in the May issue of Real Estate Forum magazine.

June’s Orange County Business Journal quoted Anthony DeLorenzo (’10) in an article about a sale in Newport Corporate Plaza office park.

Making Moves

Chuck Berger (’10) is now a director at Cushman & Wakefield focusing on the Long Beach and Torrance markets.

Gregory Simon (’07) recently accepted a position as director of Capital & Development for SCIenergy, Inc.  His focus will be investment and structuring of SCIenergy’s MESA equity fund, a balance-sheet-neutral project funding vehicle for accelerating the deployment of alternative energy projects like efficiency retrofits, onsite generation, and energy storage at no upfront capital cost to a building owner.

Joe Giordani (’15) is now a mortgage banker at NorthMarq focusing on commercial and multi-family loans from $1MM-$75MM.

Autumn Herzer (’14) was promoted to Construction Manager for the Irvine Company.

Anita Makwana (’09) was promoted at Ware Malcomb and now runs their Los Angeles office.

John Drachman (’12) has left Greenlaw Partners to start his own commercial real investment firm, Stillwater Investment Group.  The initial focus will be on acquiring office and industrial properties throughout Southern California with a variety of different capital sources.  Congrats, John!

McCay Major (’15) is now an Investment Officer for the Real Estate Finance Group at John Hancock Financial Services.

Steven Hillgren (’15) has moved over to Wells Fargo as Assistant Vice President-Relationship Manager.


Want to know more about what’s happening with your fellow YPGers? 

Log in here for personal updates, including who has tied the knot, who has been expanding their family and more!  If you forgot your log-in information, email Becky Ezell.

A Message from the New Alumni Chair

Baker Brian HeadshotWith the graduating class of 2014, NAIOP SoCal’s Young Professional’s Group (YPG) Alumni base is now over 300 strong. The early classes of YPG have grown from being the developing leaders of tomorrow to being the leaders of today.  As YPG enters it’s 10th year, the program has established itself as THE real estate program for Young Professionals in Southern California.

Following in the footsteps of former YPG Alumni Committee chairs Zach Niles, Malcolm Johnson, Whit Riske, Alison Vukovich and so on, is no easy task, but as each Alumni Committee has built upon the success of their predecessors, the 2014 Alumni Committee will continue to do just that. Our goals are to refine, build, and expand upon the continued education, development and networking opportunities in order to elevate the next generation of leaders in the commercial real estate industry. This has been and will be the focus of each of our committees in 2014.

So how will YPG’s 2014 Alumni Committee expand on past success?  Just as many successful companies have done, we will reevaluate strategies, continue to set goals and address the demands of our current YPG class, fellow alumni, and the industry as a whole. One of those strategies in 2013 was a curriculum enhancement that included bringing on board Vance Caesar, Ph.D., a premier leadership coach and mentor, to lead classes in addition to Professor Wayne Strom’s program.  Feedback from the class was very positive, and we will continue to utilize both Dr. Strom and Dr. Caesar going forward.  Additionally, the 2014 class will benefit from ongoing tweaks to the educational training and industry speaker element of the curriculum for the coming year. Another program established in 2013 was the inaugural Y-Games event that included representatives from the 2013 class, YPG alumni, NAIOP SoCal Board Members and Developing Leaders.  The event was a smashing success, with over 100 participants partaking in a day of friendly competition, team building, and networking – all while competing for a chance to win the first-ever Y-Cup.

2014 will offer many of the successful programs of the past in addition to the new and invigorating programs we are developing for the future.  Our second annual Y-Games event planning is already underway and gaining steam.  The curriculum team has an exciting lineup of speakers and events for this year’s class.  Our Community Outreach has several philanthropy events planned for 2014 as YPG continues to give back to the community.  Finally, YPG will continue to educate the alumni through a series of sessions focusing on local real estate, industry speakers and networking opportunities. Each committee chair is focused and excited about bring fresh new ideas to the alumni group in 2014 and we look forward to another successful year!

Brian Baker

YPG Alumni Spring Tour

YPG Alumni toured Irvine Company Office Properties’ newest building at 520 Newport Center Drive on Thursday, March 27th.   Rick Wandrocke, Senior Leasing Director, gave the tour along with leasing managers Scott Tippett and Mike Vukovich of the Irvine Company.  The event sold out with fifty YPG Alums in attendance.

The 21-story office building stands between Santa Rosa and San Nicolas Drive and includes two parking structures with 1,820 stalls.  With Turkish Travertine floors and Roman Classico Travertine walls, the structure was designed to be the most prestigious office bulding in Orange County.  The breathtaking  panoramic views place the future tenants at 520 Newport Center in a priceless business lifestyle.

For more information on 520 Newport Center, visit www.520newportcenter.com.

Alumni Event-Group Photo from 520 Tour

The 2013-14 YPG Class Wrap-Up

Class 1/14/2014

The YPG Class met on January 14th at the offices of Shea Properties in Aliso Viejo. Since this was the final class before the students were to give their Final Project Presentations in February, the first hour of the class consisted of a “Final Project Advisor Speed Dating Hour,” where five industry veterans spent 10 minutes with each group going over their proposed business plan for the project site. A big thanks to our advisors, Scott McPherson (Capital Markets), Joel Stensby (Construction), John Dobrott (Industrial), Jeff Moore (Retail) and Russ Parker (Office/Development).

Community Outreach Working Wardrobes

Operation Interdependence 003

The final portion of the class featured a session with Vance Caesar focusing on personal branding, followed by networking at the nearby Stadium Brewery.


Final Project Presentations


This year’s class received a “live” project for the real estate challenge, generously offered by AVG Partners. The subject property was an industrial site located in Orange County with frontage on the 5 Freeway. Despite its desirable location and visibility, the site presented a handful of challenges and the opportunity for the current class to develop viable strategies to reposition the asset.

Presentations were held February 11th at LBA’s recently renovated Palm Conference Center (formerly Park Place Auditorium). All five teams brought tremendous energy and professionalism in delivering their pitches and were able to navigate a gauntlet of challenging questions from judges Jon Pharris, Caprock Partners; Peter Gilbert, AVG; James Fowler, HFF; Steve Briggs, LBA Realty; and Paul Kristedja, KPRS Construction.

Team Estancia – Scott Wetzel, JLL; Matt Howell, PM Realty Group; John Norton, LBA Realty; Mark Hill, Oltmans Construction; Shea Milligan, KPMG; Cendy Lin, CBRE; and Xavier Colombi, Lincoln Property Co. – ultimately took top honors with an outstanding concept bolstered by thoughtful analyses to secure the 2013-14 Capstone Cup. This year’s real estate challenge represented a radical leap forward in the continued evolution of the program.

YPG Classes-FEB Winning Team

Celebrating Another YPG Graduation

Wrapping up the academic calendar, the 2013-14 YPG class graduated March 11th at Seasons 52 restaurant at South Coast Plaza.  The Graduation Dinner featured YPG Alumni Committee Chair Zach Niles recognizing the YPG facilitators Wayne Strom & Vance Caesar, current YPG Sponsors, the YPG Founding Fathers, and the NAIOP So Cal staff.  YPG Curriculum Chair Taylor Arnett then officially welcomed the class of 2014 into the alumni ranks as each graduate was individually announced and given a personalized award.  Special recognition went out to the Final Project winning team who was awarded the “Capstone Cup” and Jake Loughridge of CapRock Partners who received the John B. Parker Leadership Award for demonstrating the leadership, communication, teamwork and skills that are an integral part of the YPG program.


Community Outreach Working Wardrobes

Operation Interdependence 003

Community Outreach Working Wardrobes

Operation Interdependence 003

Congratulations to our newest YPG alumni members!
Abby Altman RiverRock Real Estate Group
Christina Buhl DEXUS Property Group
Nick Carey Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Matthew Chapman Industrial Income Trust
Joon Choi BlackRock
Xavier Colombi Lincoln Property Company
Michael Duong Pacific Life
Lindsay Felix U.S. Bank
Matthew Firth JMS
Julian Freeman Cox Castle & Nicholson
Gavin Galey Irvine Company
Autumn Herzer Irvine Company
Mark Hill Oltmans Construction Co.
Morgan Hill Voit Real Estate Services
Matthew Howell PM Realty Group
Kevin Jones Lee & Associates
Jason Korengold Turner Real Estate Investments
Cendy Lin CBRE
Michael Longo CBRE
Jake Loughridge CapRock Partners
Garrett Macklin LBA Realty
Shea Milligan KPMG LLP
Bryce Mordoff Jones Lang LaSalle
John Norton LBA Realty
Rudy Olaguez DPR Construction
Joy Perez Ware Malcomb
Max Sauerman Grandbridge Real Estate Capital
Parrish Shope U.S. Bank
Heather Stephens iStar Financial
Kelsey Stuart Eastdil Secured
Jamey Tabata SD Deacon
Christopher Tipre Trammell Crow
Schenelle Villacorta Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Scott Wetzel Jones Lang LaSalle

The 2014-15 Class Retreat

The 2014-2015 YPG Class arrived on Friday, April 25th, at the Estancia Hotel in La Jolla for the annual YPG Kickoff Retreat.  Dr. Wayne Strom and Dr. Julie Chesley led the class of 35 real estate professionals through various self-reflection activities as well as real estate-related case studies, with the goal of helping each individual grow and learn as leaders in their own personal careers and within the industry. The Retreat ended around noon on Sunday, April 27th, with the first YPG Class to follow in mid-May.

Community Outreach Working Wardrobes

Operation Interdependence 003

Community Outreach Working Wardrobes

Operation Interdependence 003

The 2014 Whitmore Open

Whitmore Riske

On May 1st, over 100 YPG alumni and other real estate professionals gathered at Oak Creek in Irvine to take part in the third annual Whitmore Open golf tournament.  Great fun was had by all at the much anticipated event while scramble golf was played in true C. Whitmore Riske fashion.  A special thanks to Snyder Langston, YPG Alumni, and all of our sponsors.  The golf tournament, which honors former YPG Chair Whit Riske, raises funds that will help his daughter, Scarlett, pursue her dreams.  Funds raised also go to one of Whit’s favorite charities, The Wounded Warrior Project.

YPG Alumni Committee Transition

Our YPG Alumni is transitioning into its new year. Special thanks to the 2013-2014 YPG Alumni Committee who made the following events possible:

The Alumni Programs Committee gave us an insider’s look at 520 Newport Center Drive.

The Community Outreach Committee organized another “Big for a Day” event where YPG alumni served as ‘Bigs’ and participated in fun games with the children.  The committee also continued our ongoing partnership with KidWorks where alumni can volunteer with students in their tutoring program.

After two years of “beta testing” by the Alumni Committee, the Mentorship Program has now become a standing NAIOP SoCal committee, with YPG Alum Darren Foster providing guidance and assisting in the transition.  The program will continue the strong tradition of offering a one-on-one mentor/mentee experience to foster a quality mentoring relationship between the upcoming CRE leaders of tomorrow and the experienced leaders of today.

The Recruitment/Selection Committee conducted a few recruitment events and selected our 2014-2015 class.

The Social Committee provided great networking opportunities with the Holiday Party and our first Y Games!

The Curriculum Committee provided first class leadership training, inspiring speakers and a great final project.

Last, but not least, our Sponsorship Committee lived up to the tall order of raising the necessary funds to keep the program strong.

committee transition pic for web - edited

THANK YOU TO THE 2013-14 YPG Alumni Committee
Zachary Niles Chair – JLL
Brian Baker Vice Chair – CIBC World Markets
Malcolm Johnson Past Chair – JP Morgan Chase
Shaun Moothart Chair – CBRE
Josh Needle Cushman & Wakefield
Josh Cox Stirling Development
Mike Chukwueke TIAA-CREF
Matt Miller Gensler
Alison Strother Chair – Chase
Ashley Heglar Chicago Title
Travis Beardslee Cushman & Wakefield
Ali Hawthorne Orion Partners
Emily Mandrup Chair – Pacific Industrial
Debra Bryant Ware Malcomb
Chuck Reiter The Irvine Company
Imelda Delherra The Irvine Company
Ian Britton Voit Real Estate Services
Taylor Arnett Chair- AMC Investments
Shawn Godkin Perkins Will
Chris Sanford Hillwood
Lee Redmond HFF
Ryan Carroll Snyder Langston
Bridget Herdman Herdman Architecture
Darren Foster Chair- Auction.com
Seth Timmons Sabal Financial
Geoff Garland IDS Real Estate
Jessica Quesada Chair- Cushman & Wakefield
Erich Pryor
Greg Brown HFF
Brad Schmitt Studley
Rob Quarton Chair- Topa Management Co.
Daniel Karcher Davis Partners
Brian Dollar Rockefeller Group
Dan Park Greenlaw Partners
Adam Cleary Ticor Title Co.
CJ Osbrink HFF
Brian Baker Chair- CIBC World Markets
George Chevaillier LBA Realty
Andrew Robben Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Kevin McLain Bank of America
Robert Taylor KBS Realty Advisors
Sean Rawson Waterford Group
Sean Tabor Chair – Oxbow Partners
Scott McPherson Vice Chair- U.S. Bank
Al Beaudette Attentus Advisors
Russ Parker Parker Properties
David Salisbury U.S. Bank
Tom Sherlock Talonvest Capital Inc.
Joel Stensby KPRS Construction Svcs.

Brian Baker Chair – CIBC World Markets
Darren Foster Vice Chair – Auction.com
Zachary Niles Past Chair – JLL
Daniel Karcher Chair – Davis Partners
Jessica Quesada Cushman & Wakefield
Josh Cox Stirling Development
Aron Leckband Crown Development
Andrew Tighe HFF
Andrew Bennitt Bank of America
Mike Chukwueke TIAA-CREF
Matt Miller Gensler
Alison Strother Chair – Chase
Ashley Heglar Chicago Title
Travis Beardslee Cushman & Wakefield
Lindsay Felix U.S. Bank
Ali Hawthorne Chair – Orion Partners
Mark Hill Oltmans Construction Co.
Marc Fertig South Shore Building Services
Charles Reiter Irvine Company
Christina Figlio LBA Realty
Cendy Lin CBRE
Imelda Delherra The Irvine Company
Autumn Herzer Irvine Company
Taylor Arnett Chair – CapRock Partners
Jake Loughridge CapRock Partners
Parish Shope US Bank
Matt Firth JMS Management Services
Lee Redmond HFF
Christopher Tipre Trammell Crow Company
Bridget Herdman Herdman Architecture
Brad Schmitt Chair – Studley
Kurt Stuart GE Capital Real Estate
Andrew Robben Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Greg Brown HFF
Julian Freeman Cox Castle & Nicholson LLP
Lisa Reddy Prologis
Kevin Jones JLL
Garrett Macklin LBA Realty
CJ Osbrink Chair – HFF
Rob Quarton Y Games – Topa Management Co.
Erich Pryor GE Capital Real Estate
Josh Needle Cushman & Wakefield
Seth Timmons Sabal Financial
Dan Park Greenlaw Partners
Ryan Carroll Snyder Langston
Chris Sanford Hillwood Development Company LLC
Darren Foster Chair – Auction.com
Kevin McLain Bank of America
Nick Carey Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
Brad Schmitt Studley
Andrew Tighe HFF
Scott McPherson Chair – U.S. Bank
Al Beaudette Attentus Advisors
Russ Parker Parker Properties
David Salisbury U.S. Bank
Tom Sherlock Talonvest CapitalInc.
Joel Stensby KPRS Construction Svcs.

YPGers at NAIOP Events

January Kickoff Event

NAIOP SoCal kicked off the year at “Showtime” held on Thursday, January 30th at Big Newport Cinema which included an all-star panel moderated by Lew Horne, Executive Managing Director for CBRE’s southern California region.

The panel included Brandon Birtcher, CEO of Goodman Birtcher North America; Steve Briggs, Principal at LBA Realty; Steve Case, Executive Vice President with Irvine Company Office Properties; and John Hagestad, Managing Director & Principal at Sares•Regis Group.

These industry experts discussed several topics on what they see in the market and what concerns them in their day-to-day objectives.  The event was highly attended by commercial real estate professionals, including many YPG alums.

NAIOP events-YPGers at Showtime 2014

March Madness

On Thursday, March 27th, commercial real estate professionals gathered at the Yard House in Fashion Island to cheer on their college basketball teams during the NCAA games for NAIOP’s March Madness.

The evening served as a casual networking event giving NAIOP members and nonmembers the opportunity to mingle and enjoy some great drinks and food.  This year it followed our YPG alumni tour, drawing more YPGers to the event.


April Spring Program in LA

On Wednesday, April 23rd, NAIOP members and guests were offered an “Insider’s Look at the Wilshire Grand Center,” being hailed as the tallest building west of the Mississippi when it’s completed in 2017.  Representatives from AC Martin Partners, Turner Construction Company and Cushman & Wakefield provided an overview of the project from both the design and construction perspective, along with owner Korean Air’s vision and how it will change the downtown landscape of LA. The event was held at Elevate Lounge, located on the 21st floor of an adjacent building overlooking the construction site.

A couple of lucky YPGers were able to participate in a hard hat tour just prior to the program. Commented Andrew Robben (Newmark Grubb Knight Frank, Class of 2011): “It was very exciting to tour this monumental site, one that has already been entered into the Guinness Book of Records for the longest continuous concrete pour, because this will be the nicest, newest, and tallest building in the downtown market.  It is truly unbelievable the number of jobs this site will employ over the span of design through development and completion.  And then once completed, the quality of office space could be second to none within the market. “



YPGers Celebrate the Holidays

YPG Holiday Party Pic 1

On Friday, December 13th, YPG held its annual Holiday Party in Newport Beach at Muldoons in Fashion Island. It was a well-attended event with a good mix of current and past YPGers. There were some great raffle prizes and plenty of food and drink to go around. Congrats to Sean Tabor for winning the Stags Leap basket!  Open-mic Karaoke definitely kicked the entertainment up a notch as fellow YPGers shared their hidden talents, giving Beyonce a run for her money!

YPG Holiday

YPG Holiday

YPG Holiday

YPG Holiday

YPG Holiday

YPG Holiday

Not only did the YPG Holiday Party provide fun and priceless entertainment, it also incorporated a Toy Drive for KidWorks.   Toys donated at the event will go to the KidWorks Christmas Store, which provides a way for parents to purchase gifts for their children at a significantly reduced price, empowering extremely low-income parents to contribute to their family’s Christmas celebration. All proceeds from the Christmas Store go directly into a benevolence fund which addresses urgent needs in the community during the Christmas season and throughout the year.

YPG Holiday

YPG Holiday

A big thank you to the YPG Alumni Social Committee for organizing an amazing holiday party!  Members of this committee included Rob Quarton ’09 (Committee Chair), Daniel Karcher ’09, Brian Dollar ’09, Dan Park ’11, Adam Cleary ’07 and CJ Osbrink ’13.

Another big thank you to the Alumni Community Outreach Committee for executing a successful Toy Drive! Members of this committee included  Emily Mandrup ’06 (Committee Chair), Debra Bryant ’08, Chuck Reiter ’10, Imelda Delherra ’09, and Ian Britton ’07.

The Annual Mentorship Program Wrap-Up

On October 3rd,   NAIOP mentors and mentees gathered at Il Fornaio in Irvine for a Happy Hour & Bocce Ball Tournament  to wrap up the annual Mentorship Program. The event was a great way to bring all mentors and mentees together for a little lively competition, networking and an opportunity to receive feedback on improving the program for the year ahead.



Pictured Left: YPG Alum and Mentee, Ali Hawthorne with her Mentor David Dowd of Cushman & Wakefield.

Pictured Right: When in doubt there’s nothing like a tie to settle the score! Darren Foster  (Mentorship Chair), Russ Parker (Mentor & CEO Parker Properties) and Geoff Garland (Mentorship Committee &  YPG Alum ’13)

NAIOP SoCal’s Mentorship Program is open to NAIOP Developing Leader members and YPG Alumni and is designed to match a limited number of mentees with highly experienced industry professionals, providing valuable opportunities for personal and professional growth through focused, one-on-one networking sessions with leaders in the commercial real estate community. The program’s goal is to ensure that all participants come away with a valuable experience that improves their ability to achieve success in both their careers and personal lives.   For more information on the Mentorship Program and how to apply for 2014 Mentor Class, please contact Darren Foster at  dfoster@auction.com or Cynthia Fusco at cfusco@cgfassoc.com.




YPGers at the Real Estate Challenge

On Nov. 15th, USC dominated UCLA, reclaiming the Silver Shovel at NAIOP’s 15th Annual Real Estate Challenge. Every year these rival graduate programs compete by presenting a development proposal to a board of real estate professionals, and YPGers were in attendance to cheer on the schools!

Real Estate Challenge

Real Estate Challenge

Big for a Day 2013

On Saturday, September 21st, 22 volunteers made up of NAIOP board members, YPG alums and significant others came together to support Big Brothers Big Sisters Orange County by hosting Big for a Day at Boomers in Irvine. The Big for a Day event hosted 25  kids who are on the waiting list to be matched with a BIG through the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County.

Big for a Day 9-21-13


“This year’s event at Boomers was a blast!  Bigs and Littles enjoyed a fun morning of unlimited mini-golf, go-cart racing, laser tag, rides and bumper boats… just to name a few. There are more than 200 children on the Big Brothers Big Sisters waiting list, and thousands in our community, wishing for the positive influence of a Big Brother or Big Sister. “

– Emily Mandrup, YPG Community Outreach Chair and YPG Alumnus (’06)

This event was YPG and NAIOP SoCal’s  3rd year hosting “Big for a Day” and, needless to say, the event was a huge success with kids smiling from ear to ear!

Save the Date: Alumni Programs Event Coming Soon

* Note: This event has been postponed. Check back soon for new details! *

On the evening of Wednesday January 22nd, we will be hosting a tour of the Hyundai HQ building in Fountain Valley with high visibility from the 405 Freeway. We will have an educational piece mixed in with a panel of representatives from Gensler and Hyundai, a tour of the property and a networking reception at a nearby venue.

Highlights of the project are as follows:

  • Going for LEED Gold Certification
  • Located on 17.94 acres of highly landscaped grounds
  • Gross building area is 504,119 SF / 1,970 total parking spaces
  • Six stories with 4 story interior atriums on north and south sides of courtyard
  • Roof garden above the Tech Center (adjacent to the employee cafeteria and gym)
  • Open floor plan features collaborative hubs at each corner; offices along interior of open area and conference rooms along interior of courtyard; brace frames allow for ultra long spans across open courtyard

Stay tuned for more details coming soon!

Learn More About the Legislative Affairs Committee

As YPG alumni become more involved with NAIOP So Cal, we wanted to share some information about the Legislative Affairs Committee.  Currently there are 3 YPG alumni sitting on that committee, Patrick Strader, Daniel Karcher and Nick Arambarri and they’re working to help make a difference.

“NAIOP is one of a few commercial real estate organizations taking a proactive approach to the federal, state, regional, and local laws and regulations that affect what each of us does on a day to day basis.   I got involved with the committee because my architectural background allowed me to contribute in a meaningful way in terms of building design and energy efficiency issues.   I soon realized, however, that  just about all of us are affected by each issue in one way or another.  But the biggest takeaway for me personally is the fact that each one of us can affect real change in the government, either as an individual or an industry, and it can start with something as simple as picking up the phone and calling up the office of your elected official.  

The SoCal chapter has a very active Legislative Affairs Committee made up of a passionate and diverse group of experts who come together once a month to dialogue a wide range of relevant topics and take specific action.  The committee is comprised of architects, attorneys, leasing and financial brokers developers, general contractors, and building owners who touch upon such issues as taxes, environmental regulations, water, land use, transportation and mobility of goods.   Split roll taxes, South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) regulations, and building energy efficiency are just a few of the issues affecting that the group is tackling at the moment, all of which will have a significant impact on what you and your company will be doing in the future.

The Legislative affairs committee is very active all year round and they need “boots on the ground.”  I encourage all of you to consider getting involved by visiting the Legislative Advocacy tab on the NAIOP SoCal website and contacting a committee member.  CLICK HERE for more information.”

– Nick Arambarri, YPG Alumnus (’08),  LPA, Inc.

Class of 2013-14: What Have They Been Up To?


YPG Course Overviews - August Class



The August YPG Class was hosted by the Irvine Company on 8/13/2013 at Pacific Arts Plaza. The class featured Vance Caesar, in his first of three scheduled classes this year, to discuss leadership and being a “happy high achiever.” The industry guest speaker for the evening was Steve Jones, Chairman of Snyder Langston. Steve provided the class with insights into his career journey and work in the construction industry. After the class, current class member Morgan Hill hosted the YPGers on the “William B.”, a tugboat his family has owned for 30+ years that has been retrofitted to accommodate social outings.  The William B cruised for an hour and half while YPGers enjoyed the sites of Newport Harbor, catered Mexican food, and cocktails.

YPG Tugboat



John Magness, Senior Vice President with Hillwood Investment Properties was the group’s 2nd speaker for the Sept 10th class.  This session proved to be a special opportunity for the students as John was able to provide a very unique perspective on leadership given his military background.  The students were definitely entertained throughout the entire class as John shared stories from his military tours as a helicopter pilot, to his assignments as a government consultant in the Middle East, and his eventual transition to commercial real estate.  After sharing the lessons and challenges he faced in developing Hillwood’s flagship industrial campus – Alliance CA –  John opened up the floor for a lengthy Q&A session, and closed by providing each student with a complimentary copy of his book, Pilot Vision.  We sincerely thank John for his time & support of the YPG program.


At the most recent meeting, the YPG class met again with Vance Caesar.   Vance’s hands on approach and unique perspective make his sessions with the YPG group very beneficial, and highly anticipated.  Louis Tomaselli of Jones Lang La Salle was the featured speaker for the October meeting.   This was a highly informative session for the YPG class, mainly because it allowed a large contingent of the group to get a better understanding of what real estate brokers do.  The class was followed by the recruitment mixer at the Renaissance Sports Club which was attended YPG candidates and alumni.  This was a great networking opportunity for many as well as a time for alumni to catch up with classmates.


YPG Course Overviews - Nov Class


The November YPG class was located on the 30th Floor of the AT&T Tower, located in downtown LA.  Our thanks to LBA Realty for hosting the location which had incredible views of LA.  The 35 YPGers were joined by NAIOP Board Members and YPG “Founding Fathers” Al Beaudette of Attentus Advisors and Tom Sherlock of Talonvest Capital, and Alumni Lee Remdond (’12), Malcolm Johnson (’08), Zach Niles (’09) and Taylor Arnett (’09).  The first two-hour session was instructed by Dr. Wayne Strom and focused on leadership strategies within a business setting.  During the 2nd half of the class, the YPG Final Project Assignment was unveiled and discussed.  Like all previous classes, the YPGers will split into 5 teams and deliver a “highest and best use” presentation in February on a real life industrial site in Anaheim, CA.  After the class the current YPGers were joined by approximately 25 prospective YPGers for a networking hour.


December Class

December Class

December’s class was hosted in Manhattan Beach by CBRE and was highlighted by two real estate keynote speakers.

Russ Parker of Parker Properties gave a great presentation about the history of Parker Properties and shared an interesting discussion concerning their vision of creative office spaces and how they incorporate tomorrow’s uses into today’s projects.

The second speaker for the evening was Robert Brunswick of Buchanan Street Partners. Robert shared insights into  entrepreneurial success and engaged the class in an interesting discussion on real estate investing and strategic deal-making.

The class was capped with refreshments and a social networking hour.

Recruiting the Next YPG Class

The Recruitment and Selection Committee held its first recruitment event of the year on October 1st at the Renaissance Sports Club in Aliso Viejo. The event was a success with a turnout of over 50 eligible candidates, thanks in large part to the hard work of event coordinator and Recruitment & Selection subcommittee chair Jessica Quesada and location sponsor Parker Properties. Those in attendance heard a brief overview of the YPG program, learned about the benefits of membership from CBRE’s Jeff Moore and had the opportunity to mingle with this year’s class and alumni. Two information sessions took place November 12th in LA and November 14th in Orange County. Applications for the 2014-2015 class are now being accepted, and the deadline for application is January 10th.

YPG October Recruitment Mixer Pic 3

YPG October Recruitment Mixer

YPG October Recruitment Mixer Pic 2

YPGers Attend NAIOP SoCal’s Annual Fall Forum

On Thursday, October, 17th NAIOP members and prospective members gathered for the Chapter’s Fall Forum at the Balboa Bay Club & Resort in Newport Beach to hear expert leaders discuss various trends in the capital markets.

Sabal Financial Group’s CEO & Founder, Pat Jackson, served as the moderator to a diversified group of panelists including, Charles “Chip” Fedalen, Jr., Executive Vice President & Group Head of Wells Fargo’s Real Estate Banking Group; Bo Mills, Managing Director & Head of Industrial Capital Markets for the Western United States at Jones Lang LaSalle; Len O’Donnell, President & CEO at USAA Real Estate Company; and Scott San Filippo, Partner of Acquisitions with Greenlaw Partners.

Fall Forum 2

Fall Forum 3

“The Fall Forum was informative and had a diverse panel that all take a different approach to their investment. The important takeaway was that product will be trading and there are buyers for both opportunity and core type assets.”

– Andrew Robben, YPG Alumnus (’11) and Director at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank

The event was highly attended by several professions within the commercial real estate community. The evening event continued after the panel with networking over drinks and hefty appetizers.

NAIOP Development ’13 Conference

Industrial and office property professionals assembled in San Diego Monday, October 7th to Wednesday, October 9th for NAIOP Development’13.

The first day of exhibits and breakout sessions kicked off with keynote speaker Hans G. Nordby, Managing Director of PPR/Costar discussing how commercial real estate relates to the economy and how your business is affected by it today. Throughout the day, NAIOP members attended various breakout sessions.

After the first day of panels, Developing Leaders met with Eugene Reilly, NAIOP Chairman and CEO of The Americas, Prologis. The intimate setting gave Developing Leaders a chance to meet and network with other young professionals from all over the United States.

DLs at Naiop Dev


NAIOP’s annual development conference provides unparalleled access to our industry’s top leaders through informative panel presentations and interactive networking opportunities. I especially enjoyed the Developing Leader component of Development ’13 in San Diego as I was able to grow existing relationships with several fellow SoCal YPG alumni as well as meet passionate young professionals from outside of Southern California. Sharing about SoCal’s unique YPG program was a highlight of the evening’s conversation in the Chairman’s suite. I am thankful for the unique privilege that is our YPG experience and connections.

– Developing Leader and YPG Alumnus (’09) Josh Cox, Stirling Development

The last day of the conference began with the two winning architect firms, Ware Malcomb and Riddell Kurczaba, who presented their concepts from NAIOP’s design competition on the Distribution/Fulfillment Center of the Future in the year 2020. CLICK HERE to view the presentations.

One of the wrap-up sessions at the conference included industry icon Carl Panattoni interviewed by his son and current CEO of Panattoni Development Company, Adon Panattoni. In the interview, Carl shared how he got started in the business and how he’s seen it transform throughout his extensive career.

NAIOP Development’13 exceeded last year’s attendance and ended with commercial real estate professionals enthusiastic about the possibilities of their future business.

2013 OC Golf Tournament

On Tuesday, September 24th, the NAIOP SoCal OC Golf tournament was held at Oak Creek and Strawberry Farms in Irvine. The day’s activities included some friendly competition and some of our YPGers even took home some prizes. Congratulations to the winners!

Play Your Own Ball

3rd – 148 – Ian Britton (’07)

Oak Creek Scramble

2nd – Scott Tippett (’06)
Closest to the Pin: Gavin Galey (’14)

Strawberry Farms Scramble

Closest to the Pin: Tim Winton (’06)
Putting Contest: Josh Cox (’09)

Y Games

On Friday, July 26th, YPG hosted the 1st Annual Y GAMES at Newport Dunes. Over 100 participants comprised of YPG current class and alumni, Developing Leaders and Board Members, enjoyed a day of friendly competition, team building and networking.

For a chance to win the coveted Y CUP,  14 teams competed in a series of events such as water balloon launches, kayak races, super trike races,  basketball shoot-outs, frisbee golf, hula hoop challenge and trivia questions.

The 2013 Y Games was a great success thanks to the enthusiasm of all the  participants.  Everyone took ownership of the theme “Winning is Everything” and brought their fun, competitive spirit. With over 100 participants, the attendance exceeded expectations and sold out. There was great weather to match the participants’ great enthusiasm. We hope to see everyone again next year and look forward to  even more people joining the event in 2014.

 – Rob Quarton – YPG Social Committee Chair

1st Place

The competition was fierce but no match for the Snyder Langston team,  led by Captain Greg Blomstrand and Co-Captain Jo-E Immel.  Other team members were Jason Rich (‘06), Ryan Carroll (‘13), Steve Gabbert (‘10), Chris Sanford (‘11), Joy Perez (‘14) and Mathew Jepsen (‘10).

Closing Ceremony (44)

Closing Ceremony (46)

Win or lose, everyone’s spirits were high. Just ask Russ Parker (Captain of the Dream Team): when asked about his experience at the Y Games, Russ said, “I loved my Dream Team mates who proved to be among the most talented competitors in all events except trivia, trikes and basketball!”

Kayak Race (21)




YPG Alumni Committee Meeting

On  April 16th, the YPG Alumni Committee, consisting of YPG veterans and a few newly minted graduates, met at CBRE Newport to kick-start the program’s ninth year. Celebrating the collective achievements from the past year, the Committee, led by new Alumni Chairman Zach Niles, strategized on ways to continue its mission to “educate, develop, connect and elevate commercial real estate’s next generation of commercial real estate leaders.”

The  YPG Alumni Committee is  an active, collaborative committee  comprised  of eight subcommittees, each made up of 4-6 YPG alums that preside over all aspects of YPG.  The committee also serves as a springboard for leadership development and expanding relationships within YPG and the NAIOP Board.

CLICK HERE to meet the Committee.



Sponsorship Keeps YPG Going

Year after year, the YPG Sponsorship Committee reaches out to the real estate community to garner financial support to keep our program running. Without the hard work of our committee and the commitment of our sponsors, YPG would not be the success it is today.

The process begins when the YPG chair presents a budget to the NAIOP SoCal Board of Directors for review and approval. Once approved, our sponsorship goal is set! In April, when the new Sponsorship Committee assumes their roles, they begin reaching out to previous and prospective sponsors, touting the benefits of YPG and securing sponsors for the current year. The Alumni Committee often pitches in to help out, and the entire campaign lasts about three months.

In tougher economic times, raising funds was challenging. In recent years, however, the YPG Sponsorship program has strengthened with the market, thanks to devoted sponsors who recognize the value of the professional development program.

There are three levels of sponsorship – silver, gold and, added this year, platinum.  Each level is distinguished by a financial contribution ranging from $2,500 to $7,500. Sponsorship includes receiving special access to YPG classes and social functions, a copy of the student directory, reports on the current class and an invitation to the commencement dinner.  They also receive recognition on the NAIOP SoCal  website, on signage that is prominently displayed at YPG events, and in press releases distributed to several media publications.

This year’s Sponsorship Committee is chaired by Brian Baker.  “The opportunity to serve as the Sponsorship Chair in 2013 has been an extremely rewarding experience.  I’ve had the opportunity to reach out to real estate leaders in Orange County and Los Angeles to garner support for a program that, in its ninth year, has become THE model for leadership and development in the Southern California real estate community,” said Baker.  “The quality of the program speaks for itself with YPG alumni now sitting on NAIOP SoCal’s Board of Directors, receiving NAIOP’s national Developing Leader Awards, holding executive level positions at their firms and many having even started their own companies.”  Brian also serves as Vice Chair of the Alumni Committee and will be the YPG Alumni Chair in 2014.

For questions relating to sponsorship, please contact Brian Baker at bbaker@centerline.com.

Current Class Happenings


This year the YPG retreat returned to the beautiful Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa. After a quick lunch, the YPG’ers were immediately immersed into Dr. Wayne Strom’s insightful and thought-provoking personal development sessions. Assisted by Dr. Julie Chesley, the group participated in a multitude of team-building and leadership development exercises with Dr. Strom throughout the weekend. In addition to his teachings, the group broke into teams and tackled challenging case studies, culminating in team presentations on the final day of the retreat.

Outside  the classroom, the YPG’ers had multiple breaks, meals and after-hour social events providing them the opportunity to get to know each other.  By Sunday, the group had formed tight bonds and left the venue with open minds and a collective determination to grow, both personally and professionally.

May Class

The new class had its first meeting in May at the offices of Sheppard Mullin in downtown Los Angeles. Continuing the momentum built from the retreat in April, Wayne and Julie orchestrated an afternoon with equal parts instruction, reflection and team-building exercises.

June Class

YPG’s June meeting saw the class give group presentations on their respective industry segments to a group of youth from the Building Block Foundation along with a panel of judges including YPG alumni Chris Sanford (Hillwood Development) and Ed Pitula (McShane Construction), and YPG advisor Sean Tabor (Oxbow Partners).  The competition was fierce with some very outstanding – and entertaining – presentations. The Investments Team, shown here with the judges, was selected as the winner of the competition.

The class also kicked off its speaker series with Steve Layton, principal and co-founder of LBA Realty, who recounted his industry experiences leading up to the eventual founding of LBA with partner Phil Belling.

July Class

July’s YPG session was hosted by Gensler at the firm’s downtown Los Angeles office, giving class members the unique opportunity to check out the former bank branch turned workplace masterpiece. Wayne and Julie led off with various group exercises before handing the reins to Rob Jernigan, Managing Principal at Gensler. Rob discussed the path that led him to his current position at Gensler, providing a case study on the joys of pursuing a diverse and experience-driven career path. Also discussed were trends in building and design, which he says will include a continued emphasis on larger cities and vertical construction to accommodate an increasingly dense metropolitan population, particularly for large markets in Asia and elsewhere.

YPG Mentor Program

The Mentorship Committee, led by Darren Foster, hosted a mentee networking lunch on June 10th to facilitate a round-table discussion of each other’s mentor experiences. The objective was to provide mentees with ideas to maximize the remainder of their time with their mentors. Scheduling time for meetings seemed to be the most common challenge, with the majority of meetings taking place over coffee and lunch; however, a few mentees and their mentors got a bit more creative and chose to meet while paddle boarding, at the driving range and even managed to set aside some time at NAIOP’s Night at the Fights.

The Mentorship Program is designed to bring together young commercial real estate professionals with veteran stewards of the commercial real estate industry. Providing a platform for lasting relationships that lead to personal and professional growth for the mentor and mentee, the program enables YPG alumni to enhance their career progression and the skills and abilities required for leadership.

Mentorship Mid-Year Networking Lunch

The 2013 Whitmore Open: A Meaningful Event for YPG

In May, YPG sponsored the second annual Whitmore Open, a golf tournament to commemorate our friend and former YPG Chair, C. Whitmore Riske III. Since Whit’s passing in October of 2011, Whit’s friends and colleagues have teamed up to host this annual golf tournament.  It provides an opportunity to celebrate Whit’s life in true Whitmore fashion by remembering the joy he brought to each one of us.  In addition, the tournament raises funds to assist with the care and education of his daughter Scarlett. People close to Whit, as well as people who only met him in passing, participated in what has become one of the best golf tournaments of the year. Well over 100 golfers competed in the event and were joined by Whit’s family at the cocktail reception following the festivities. If you missed the fun this year or want to join us again  next year, look for the invitation coming your way next spring!

whitmore 2

whitmore 4

whitmore 1

whitmore 5

YPG Around Town

Night at the Fights

The YPG network was buzzing at Night at the Fights this year. There were 95 YPGers who registered for Naiop SoCal’s premiere event.

YPG Around Town - boysshot

YPG Around Town - boygirl

The LA BBQ Bash

On July 11th several of the YPG alumni committee members joined the NAIOP SoCal board meeting followed by the Aloha Summer BBQ at the Jonathan Club.

YPG Takes Over grouplabbq

YPG Around Town - gbrown tarnett

2013 YPG Mud Run Challenge Crowns New Champions!!!

On June 15th, a group of YPGers gathered to compete in Camp Pendleton’s World Famous Mud Run. This year played witness to a much more difficult and muddy course, an expanded YPG field of 4 teams (20 people total), a very competitive spirit and he crowning a new team of YPG Mud Run Champions.

A very well deserved CONGRATULATIONS is in order to the 2013 Champs Vanessa Adams, John Drachman, Chuck Reiter, Chris Sanford and Mark Hill on their victory and to the rest us who competed in such a fun event for such a great cause.

Everyone had a great time with the friendly pre-race chiding, healthy competition and post-race festivities under the SoCal sun.

YPG Takes Over - mud run 1

YPG Takes Over - mud run 7

Angels Game

On Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 a group of recent grads from the YPG 2012 – 2013 class met to watch the Angels take on the Texas Rangers! (Pictured left to right: Mahir Patel, Lelia Daneshkhah, Brad Schmitt, Zach Zanolli, Kevin McLain, Ryan Schierberl, Ryan Carroll, Andrew Tighe and Robert Briseno. )

YPG Around Town - Angels Game

Community Outreach


Big for a Day has been scheduled for September 21st at Boomers in Irvine.  Watch for more information!

Kidworks’ after-school tutoring will be starting up again in the fall.  Make a positive difference in the lives of school children in Santa Ana and volunteer!

For more information on community outreach events, please email Emily Mandrup emilym@pac-industrial.com.

Thanks to Our Sponsors

NAIOP SoCal would like to thank all of the sponsors that make YPG possible.