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Developing Leader Spotlight: Find Your Passion

A passion for sustainability is the driving force behind the work of Langan Senior Project Manager Andrew Chun, CHMM, a recipient of the 2023 Developing Leaders Award. After studying environmental science and urban environmental analysis, Chun brought his expertise and interest in sustainability to a career in commercial real estate. A crucial part of sustainability efforts, he says, is the adapted reuse of blighted properties and brownfields sites.

Andrew Chun

As senior project manager at Langan, Chun specializes in brownfield redevelopment. He has more than 10 years of experience focusing on the acquisition, development and remediation of environmentally contaminated sites. He has successfully managed a variety of developments ranging from residential, healthcare, higher education, commercial and industrial projects throughout New Jersey. In addition, he is one of the founders and current leader of the Young Professionals @Langan employee resource group. He is also co-chair of Langan’s Next Generation Forum and co-chair of Langan’s ERG Leadership group. Chun is a Certified Hazardous Materials Manager.

He is involved in NAIOP New Jersey and serves as co-chair of the chapter’s Developing Leaders committee. This year, he became a NAIOP Visionary, a select program developed by the NAIOP Research Foundation to engage and develop rising industry leaders who are 40 years of age and under.

Outside of commercial real estate, Chun is the leader of the board of advisors for the nonprofit SPLASH (Students Participating in Learning Aquatic Science and History) and stepped down as the president of the Board of Trustees after six years in the role.

NAIOP asked this inspiring change-maker more about his career path and his advice for Developing Leaders new to the profession.

NAIOP: What motivated you to get involved in commercial real estate?

Chun: My passion for sustainability is the driving factor of the work I do. To me, a crucial part of sustainability efforts is the adaptive reuse of blighted properties and brownfield sites. Living in New Jersey, available land is a scarce and limited resource. I am fortunate to work on challenging projects where our team can integrate reliable, innovative environmental solutions that have lasting positive socioeconomic impacts on the community!

NAIOP: How has being a member of NAIOP helped your career?

Chun: I have been connected to some of the best and brightest in the AEC industry – including clients, contractors, attorneys and professional service providers – as well as the next generation of industry leaders. Not only have we helped each other grow in our careers, but I count many of them as friends and colleagues whom I can flourish alongside. The connections I have built over the years will last a lifetime, and I’m excited to continue to grow alongside the current and future industry leaders.

NAIOP: Name a person who has had a notable impact on your career. What did they do that made a difference?

Chun: My current boss Chris Roche has had the biggest impact on my career. We were originally paired together as part of Langan’s internal mentoring program over a decade ago (when I first began working at Langan). I came from a nontraditional background (political science and environmental studies) when compared with my colleagues, and I was struggling to figure out where I belonged in the firm. Chris gave me great advice and it really helped start my path to where I am today: 1) Never stop learning; 2) Raise your hand for every opportunity presented; and 3) Find your passion. Once I found my passion in brownfield redevelopment, Chris was a huge sounding board and supporter when I made my transition from an environmental practitioner into project management on our full-service projects. Chris remains an important role model in my life, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without him!

NAIOP: What is one piece of practical advice you would give to Developing Leaders who are just starting out in their careers?

Chun: Find your passion. It will really change your perspective of whether you’re pursuing another job or beginning your career. After graduating from college, I was just about to start applying for law schools for environmental law. However, I wasn’t sure if I would like the path, and decided to get industry experience first.  Since then, I found a career where I have the opportunity to turn contaminated sites into buildings that create jobs, provide access to essential services, and have a lasting socioeconomic impact. Further, I’ve found a career where I am constantly challenged to develop innovative solutions and get to work with some of the smartest and most passionate coworkers and clients in the industry (at least in my biased opinion).

Read more about the 2023 Developing Leaders Award winners in Development magazine. Applications for the 2024 Developing Leaders Award will open in late April.

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