Tag Archives: NAIOP Dream Team

tree-of-hands

Networking with a cause

Last fall, Rachel Luttrell was standing in front of a grill at a Central Arizona Shelter Services (CASS) campus in the midst of monsoon season. She was volunteering at one of NAIOP’s Dream Team barbecues that fed more than 10,000 homeless individuals last year. The grills were having a hard time staying lit, and she recalls the smell of smoke filling her clothes.

“I felt defeated,” Luttrell says. “We grabbed the batch of burgers to refill the serving line and were greeted by volunteers and CASS clients smiling. The smoke smell no longer smelled foul; it smelled delicious! A few clients raised their hands in the air and welcomed the rain on their skin. No frowns, just joy!”

Luttrell, a senior property manager at ACP Property Services and philanthropy chair for NAIOP Arizona’s Developing Leaders Chapter for professionals under the age of 35, says the moment reminded her to be thankful for the food, shelter and support network she has. Developing Leaders hosts five to 10 events a year, including a Halloween costume drive for UMOM, a “Feeding the Homeless” event at CASS and an event that benefits Children’s Cancer Network.

“We realize the importance of strong community in the success of future generations,” Luttrell says.

Most of Developing Leaders’ events, like NAIOP’s Dream Teams, founded in 2013, cap at 30 people. However, Luttrell points out that most networking events that reach much larger groups of NAIOP members can be turned into a philanthropic opportunity (i.e. making admission to an event nonperishable food).

Above: Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona staffers (left to right) Blaine Black, Bonnie Machen, Greg Valladao and Patrick Devine flip burgers on the grills at the Human Services Campus in Phoenix.

Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona staffers (left to right) Blaine Black, Bonnie Machen, Greg Valladao and Patrick Devine flip burgers on the grills at the Human Services Campus in Phoenix.

“It was recognized early on that NAIOP’s members are actively involved in the communities they live and work therefore philanthropy was a natural addition to the existing advocacies. The Developing Leaders felt building relationships occurs best when you are alongside each other, stripped of titles and suites, working together for a common cause.”

Charity is a relatively recent addition to the NAIOP Arizona chapter. In 2008, Megan Creecy-Herman established Developing Leaders’ philanthropy committee, which pre-dates NAIOP Arizona’s own official adoption of charitable efforts in 2010.

Legacy Capital Advisors Principal Keaton Merrell points out that the chapter has engaged in philanthropic events over the years, but didn’t make it a part of annual programming until four years ago. In that time, the chapter has raised about $150,000 for charitable causes through its annual Crawfish Boil benefiting Ryan House and has served about 23,000 meals to homeless individuals. In 2013, NAIOP established Dream Teams, groups of 30 volunteers comprised of about 10 people from three firms, who get together once a month to barbecue burgers and hot dogs for the homeless.

In 2013, NAIOP Arizona fed more than 10,000 homeless people as member firms volunteered on 12 Friday afternoons. Given the name “Dream Teams,” NAIOP Arizona members this year have fed almost 3,000 homeless people.

In 2013, NAIOP Arizona fed more than 10,000 homeless people as member firms volunteered on 12 Friday afternoons. Given the name “Dream Teams,” NAIOP Arizona members this year have fed almost 3,000 homeless people.

“It is always great to see a Dream Team with volunteers who have never done it before and see them team up to feed 800 homeless people,” Merrell says. “Seeing this massive line of people that you are feeding is very gratifying. People that show up for the first time literally had no idea they would be affecting that many people.”

There’s literally a quarter-mile-long line of homeless, says Chuck Vogel, senior vice president of real estate joint ventures and dispositions at American Realty Capital Properties, Inc.
“Until you go down [to 12th and Madison avenues] and do it the first time, you don’t even get it,” he says.

Just wrapping up its first year, word has spread and there’s a waiting list to get assigned to a Dream Team. Currently, there are more volunteers than space to feed the homeless. Registration costs about $75 per volunteer.

“It’s funny,” Vogel says. “We send a follow-up email with photos, and we get phone calls from people saying, ‘Hey we want to go, too.’ It’s almost a competition. They see who has participated. It’s more about who isn’t on that list. Not who is on it.”

Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona staffers (l to r) Blaine Black, Bonnie Machen, Greg Valladao and Patrick Devine flip burgers on the grills at the Human Services Campus in Phoenix.

NAIOP Arizona reports philanthropic efforts, achievements

As part of its philanthropic efforts, NAIOP Arizona has fed almost 13,000 homeless people at the Human Service Campus near Downtown Phoenix and has raised thousands of dollars for Ryan House.

In 2013 NAIOP Arizona fed more than 10,000 homeless people as member firms volunteered on 12 Friday afternoons. Given the name “Dream Teams,” NAIOP Arizona members this year have fed almost 3,000 homeless people.

“One of our clients said, ‘It makes me feel like a Sunday BBQ at home with
my friends. I get to forget for an afternoon where I am and I am so thankful for the folks who give us that chance,’ ” said Margaret Kilman, Assistant Managing Director for HSC-Lodestar Day Resource Center.
“One of our staff members said the volunteers are always so excited to be here and it reminds us all why we do what we do every day. The folks we serve are so happy, too, and it is contagious,” Kilman said.

In 2010, NAIOP Arizona Chairman Todd Holzer said he felt it was necessary to make philanthropy a part of the group’s programming efforts. The board of directors approved the plan. In 2011, Chairman Mike Haenel continued the tradition with the help of the Developing Leaders.

“NAIOP Arizona created the ‘Dream Teams’ in 2013 to expand upon their feeding the homeless efforts,” said board member and 2013 Chairman Keaton Merrell. “Under (2014 Chairman) Megan Creecy-Herman’s leadership, the ‘Dream Teams’ continue with the goal of feeding another 10,000 homeless people.”

Another NAIOP Arizona philanthropic event is the Crawfish Boil. Formed by Chairman John DiVall in 2012, it raises money for Ryan House, which provides respite and palliative care to children with life-threatening conditions and, as needed, end-of-life care. The Crawfish Boil raised an estimated $10,000 this year.

NAIOP Arizona “Dream Team” members that have participated the past two years: Algodon Center, Atwell, Audio Video Resources, Butler Design Group, Capital Asset Management, Cassidy Turley, CBRE, American Realty Capital Properties, Inc., Colliers International, Corgan Associates; Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona, Deutsch Architecture Group, DIRTT Environmental Solutions, DLR Group, Erickson & Meeks Engineering, Hines, Balfour Beatty Construction, HSB, John F. Long Properties, JLL, Kraemer Consulting Engineers; Lawyers Title, LBA Realty, Legacy Capital Advisors, Liberty Property Trust, McCarthy Nordburg, McGrew Consulting Engineers, MW Real Estate, NAI Horizon, Phoenix Design One, PK Associates, Ryan Companies US, Security Title, Skanska, Small Business Finance; Small Giants, Smart Builders, Spectra Contract Flooring, Sperry Van Ness, The Alter Group, Transwestern, Tratt Properties, ViaWest Group, Ware Malcomb, Wells Fargo Bank, Whiting-Turner Contracting, and Willmeng Construction.