Over my 32 years as a NAIOP member, I’ve looked to the association for knowledge that keeps me informed, for guidance during the tough times, and for relationships that have helped both my company, EverWest, and me succeed. I’ve always enjoyed engaging with NAIOP any way that I can, whether that’s through involvement in my local chapter in Denver, in my National Forum, or on the board.
Throughout my time as chairman-elect, I’ve thought about my goals for the year ahead and what I have to offer from my own career experiences.
I started my career as an office leasing agent in Akron, Ohio before moving to Cleveland and then Columbus, where I took on a larger leadership role within a development company as regional president. I eventually ended up in Denver, starting what is now EverWest Real Estate Investors.
As I climbed the corporate ladder and took on new responsibilities, I approached every opportunity with an attitude of: “Put me in, coach!” I’ve always wanted to surround myself with people who share that mindset: those with the courage and confidence to be successful, and the desire to make a difference. This is what drives me, and it’s an outlook I encourage us all to take.
The biggest deal of my career came through my involvement on the NAIOP board of directors when we were in Toronto for the annual conference in 2015. After our executive committee meeting, our treasurer Scott Taylor with Great-West Life told me that his company was interested in expanding in the U.S., and asked if I’d like to talk with his CEO. I said, “Yes, let’s set up a meeting in the future.” He said, “How about 3 p.m. today?”
That conversation and meeting started the process of GWL Realty Advisors acquiring our company, EverWest Real Estate Partners – a deal which began with a relationship that was formed through NAIOP.
That single conversation positively changed the trajectory of our business. I know this story isn’t unique and that the deals that have come out of NAIOP relationships are many, but to me, it is a good example of what this association can do. Imagine what more we can accomplish as we all continue our mission here at NAIOP.
NAIOP has always strived to serve our members at every stage of their careers. Over the next year, I’d like to focus on helping our CEOs and Developing Leaders in particular to deepen their engagement with NAIOP and with each other.
My challenge to CEOs: Don’t wait until retirement to give back. Let your experiences help shape NAIOP’s future.
Developing Leaders, I’m excited to get to know you so we can learn from each other. I encourage you to spend as much time as you can with senior leaders to learn from us, and keep sharing with us your views, ideas and challenges. We need to hear from you and we are willing to help.
My challenge to all of you: Stay informed. Read our emails and pay attention at these meetings so that you can take important information back to your chapter and market. Support our PAC so we can continue our advocacy efforts on issues that impact our businesses and our industry.
2020 is the third and final year of NAIOP’s current strategic plan. We have accomplished much related to our goals, and I want to build on these important successes next year so that we can continue to strengthen our industry and prepare our members for the future. Collectively, the strategic plan initiatives supporting workforce development, knowledge, advocacy, membership and resiliency deliver a powerful value proposition to our members and will advance our standing in the industry.
If you aren’t in the Forums program, explore if it’s a good fit for you. I’ve been with my office Forum for more than 20 years. It’s truly one of the best investments of my time and the relationships that I have built are very meaningful to me.
From my own business experience, I appreciate the value of building partnerships with our Canadian members. While we all thrive under the NAIOP banner, I believe there could be greater collaboration between our U.S. and Canadian members. Let us seek out opportunities to share knowledge and explore deals with other members across North America.
I’d like to thank the executive committee, board, members and staff for all of your great work this year and for entrusting me with this great honor. On a personal note, I’d also like to thank my wife, Carol, our family, and my company and business partners for their support as I take on this position.
I feel a bit lucky to be leading the association through what we all expect will be a prosperous year for our industry. If you have any questions or ideas on how we can improve our association, please talk with me. I am open and interested in your feedback, and I’m grateful for the confidence you are placing in me for the year ahead.
Larry Lance, 2020 NAIOP chairman and Executive Vice President – Asset Services of EverWest Real Estate Partners, shared the above message with the NAIOP Board of Directors during the association’s Annual Meeting held at CRE.Converge 2019.