As 2015 comes to a close, we asked Steve Martin to look back on the year and share his favorite memories and experiences serving as NAIOP’s Chairman.
What was the highlight of your year serving as NAIOP Chairman?
The people, our members. It’s great to interact with them. They’re so energized about their markets and CRE. I was invited to attend NAIOP Hawaii’s annual awards ceremony and I couldn’t have been happier to travel those ten and a half hours from Atlanta. Being a part of that event and others across the country was very special.
You’ve mentioned one of your goals was communicating the value of diversity for NAIOP and the industry. Tell us more about that.
Increasing diversity in commercial real estate has been a stated goal of previous chairmen of NAIOP and I embraced the opportunity to continue those efforts. I think Corporate has done a great job building diversity in age to commercial real estate through our Developing Leaders program. We’re dedicated to being an inclusive industry.
I’m in the process of putting together a new Diversity Summit to be held directly before the Chapter Leadership & Legislative Retreat in Washington, D.C., in February. We’re starting small, with a group that will include NAIOP members of diverse backgrounds, 2016 NAIOP chairman Ashley Powell, NAIOP President and CEO Thomas Bisacquino, and other members of NAIOP Corporate leadership. I look forward to building relationships and participating in an important dialogue. We aren’t trying to solve social issues, but I strongly believe that by doing business together, positive things will follow.
Is there anything from your experience serving as Chairman that you will take with you and apply to your business?
Traveling to NAIOP chapters across North America helped me to see the opportunities and challenges of the CRE industry in each state, which in turn helped me build a picture of the market as a whole. Having that continuous pulse on the industry is incredibly valuable, and I plan to continue reaching out at the state level and network with leaders in other states to exchange information and share best practices.
What advice would you give to Ashley Powell, incoming NAIOP Chairman?
Enjoy the ride. It goes by quickly.