The success of the NAIOP SoCal Young Professionals Group is featured in the Spring 2020 edition of Development magazine. The article traces the beginning of this influential organization. Here’s a preview of the article:
Young Professionals Group Makes Its Mark
NAIOP SoCal reflects on the 15-year anniversary of a successful professional development and leadership program.
By Pamela Westhoff
During a meeting approximately 15 years ago about recruiting new members to NAIOP Southern California, James Camp, Tom Sherlock, Al Beaudette and Sayres Dudley of the chapter’s membership committee looked around the room and realized they faced a bigger problem — a lack of diversity and youth.
“We were sitting around a table of 40-year-old white guys and there were no young people in the room,” one of them noted at the time.
Sherlock was a guest lecturer at two local universities. He saw that the real estate students came from more diverse backgrounds than the practicing industry professionals. He also knew the difficulty of moving to California and having to build a new peer network.
To answer those concerns, these Southern California real estate leaders created a young professionals group within the NAIOP chapter. They wanted to attract more members and create an educational program with an active networking component. While they accomplished those initial objectives, the program’s evolution has had a positive impact on the chapter and changed the composition of the Southern California real estate industry at large.
Today, the NAIOP SoCal Young Professionals Group, known as YPG, has over 500 commercial real estate alumni. It is a diverse group of individuals from all sectors of the industry. To underscore its influence, the current NAIOP SoCal Board of Directors includes 14 members who have gone through the YPG program, including three from the inaugural 2005-2006 class.