Looking Ahead: 2017 Chairman’s Outlook

As I take on the role as chairman, I offer my thanks to my predecessor, 2016 Chairman Ashley Powell, the executive committee, and the board of directors.

It is an honor to take on the responsibility of leadership in an organization that is in great shape, with growing membership, engaged individuals and a strong grassroots network through our chapters. Senior staff are of an excellent quality and their work has well positioned NAIOP as it grows and evolves, adding programs and services that meet our members’ needs, often before they anticipate them themselves!

The forward-thinking initiatives taken on by our Research Foundation and Distinguished Fellows are bringing real value by enlightening our members about trends and opportunities, and the association has taken on a leading role in exploring the e-commerce revolution. Our diversity efforts are gaining traction and recognition, as leading companies work alongside us to further this important work.

Among our greatest achievement is a celebration of a decade of the Developing Leaders program. With 40 percent of all NAIOP members within the Developing Leader age range, the efforts toward attracting and engaging this generation is propelling NAIOP’s growth now and in the years to follow.

On a personal note, it is very rewarding to me professionally to be given the honor to continue to move us forward into our bright future, and I’m honored to lead NAIOP during its 50th anniversary celebration year. It’s especially sweet to be taking over the gavel here in my adopted home state of Arizona. Two personal choices that have born untold success for me professionally have been my choice to locate here in Phoenix 30 years ago, and the decision was to get fully involved with NAIOP over the past 15 years.

Some of my goals and objectives looking forward to 2017 will be to tell my personal story of transition from brokerage to development, as well as educating our chapters and members to the wonderful benefits of our association. Simply put: If I can do it, so can anybody else if they put in the time, resources and energy. There are few secrets; results are highly correlated to effort and time invested.

From a legislative perspective, the political uncertainty surrounding the national election is top of mind now, but when that dust settles, we’ll return to our work and the serious issues important to our industry. Among the issues our team in Washington will be addressing is comprehensive tax reform, which includes potential changes to like-kind 1031 exchanges, energy legislation and environmental regulations. These issues will all have significant ramifications for our industry and it’s important for each of us in this room to be involved. As chairman, I hope you’ll follow my lead and lend your voice and support, particularly to our PAC so that it can continue to be an effective means for NAIOP to reach and work with policymakers.

Finally, I want to convey the concept of thoughtful development with an emphasis upon limited financial leverage. That does not mean that the sky is falling, but is a prudent and healthy observation of where we are as an industry within the economic and development cycles. I urge each of you and our membership to stay aware of the risks and uncertainties we face, and to depend on NAIOP for the knowledge, resources and connections that will be helpful to each of us navigating what lies ahead.

If you have any questions, ideas or suggestions on how we can do a better job for ourselves and our association, please reach out or talk to me at any of our meetings. I am open and receptive to constructive input.

Thank you so much for this honor to lead us forward and I promise I will do my best.

The preceding are comments by 2017 Chairman Jonathan Tratt, given at the Annual Meeting at NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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