Liberty Property Trust hires Justin LeMaster

Liberty Property Trust announced today that Justin LeMaster has joined the company as VP of Leasing and Development in Arizona. Mr. LeMaster now oversees the leasing of Liberty’s 2.8 million square foot existing portfolio, and is also responsible for the company’s ongoing development and pursuit of new growth opportunities in the Arizona’s industrial real estate market.

“Justin brings a valuable perspective to this position,“ said Joe Trinkle senior vice president and regional director, Liberty Property Trust. “His extensive industrial leasing experience coupled with a breadth of market knowledge makes him the perfect candidate to help deliver on Liberty’s commitment to growth in the Arizona market.”

Mr. LeMaster comes to Liberty from Cushman & Wakefield of Arizona, Inc., where he served as a director, specializing in the sale and leasing of industrial properties and land in the metropolitan Phoenix area. Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield, he held the position of associate vice president at Cassidy Turley Arizona. Mr. LeMaster is a member of NAIOP, Urban Land Institute and CSCMP, and is an Arizona State University graduate. Currently, he resides in Phoenix with his wife and two sons.

Caliber CEO honored with Vistage Award

Vistage, the world’s leading CEO peer-advisory organization, recently announced the winners of its 2019 Arizona Member Excellence Awards. Among the three honorees was Chris Loeffler, the founder and CEO of Caliber-The Wealth Development Company. Loeffler was presented with the Vistage Impact Award for making a significant impact on the group and demonstrating remarkable company growth and business development.

Under his direction, Caliber has emerged as an early adopter and industry-leading expert in opportunity zones. Created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017, opportunity zones are designed to spur economic development in underserved communities by providing significant tax incentives. Caliber was one of the first organizations to open a Qualified Opportunity Fund, offering investors the chance to take advantage of what is considered to be the best capital gains tax reduction program of this generation.   

“It’s an honor to be recognized for our work among this group of highly regarded business leaders, many of whom are also valued clients,” said Loeffler. “We pride ourselves on the ability to offer clients lucrative alternative investment options, like the Caliber Tax Advantaged Opportunity Fund, that build wealth and generate long-term capital growth.”

Rulney selected as CFO for UA

Lisa Rulney, a financial strategist with research, academic and administrative higher education experience, has been selected as the senior vice president of business affairs and chief financial officer for the University of Arizona. Rulney was selected following a national search and will assume the role immediately, having served as interim CFO since October.

“Lisa understands the ever-changing environment of higher education and the importance of providing operational transparency, informed analysis and innovative solutions that ensure a strong financial future,” said UA President Robert C. Robbins. “At the same time, she is deeply committed to our mission of improving lives through education, research and community engagement. Lisa’s expertise offers an opportunity for the university to further that mission.”

As CFO, Rulney will serve as the senior business and financial officer, providing leadership and managerial oversight to a division that includes Arizona Public Media; Arizona Student Unions; Facilities Management; Financial Services; Human Resources; Parking and Transportation Services; Planning, Design and Construction; Procurement and Contracting Services; Risk Management; UA BookStores; and the UA Police Department. She also will oversee the offices that handle internal auditing, planning and budgeting, and sustainability.

Eller professor earns National Science Foundation CAREER Award

Yong Ge, assistant professor of Management Information Systems in The University of Arizona Eller College of Management, has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award. Ge is the first researcher from the Eller College to win a CAREER award.  

The CAREER program is a foundation-wide activity that offers the NSF’s most prestigious awards in support of early-career faculty who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization.

Ge’s proposal is to develop advanced machine learning and data analytics methods to address and bridge the talent gap, a mismatch between the workers that employers need and the workforces that labor markets provide. This is an especially critical issue for STEM-related labor markets and minority groups. 

The project focuses on three major tasks: collecting and modeling career, education and job data with machine learning methods, measuring and interpreting the latent gap and developing recommendation solutions to bridge the gap.

“Eller faculty, staff and students are proud of Yong for receiving this prestigious award from the NSF—the first award of its kind for the Eller College,” says Sue Brown, APS professor of MIS and department of MIS head. “His research will address next generation issues that are very important on the UA campus and for the fourth industrial revolution.”

The award offers $500,000 over the period of five years. The NSF awards approximately 450 standard grants or continuing grants to early-career scientists and engineers who they believe will build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.

Crayola Experience hires new GM

The Crayola Experience Chandler has hired its first general manager, Phoenix resident Conor O’Lowney, who has 10 years’ experience with Disney and Merlin (overseeing Sea Life Arizona and  Legoland, which he helped open).

The Northern Arizona University grad (and alum of Sabino High School in Tucson) says of opening attractions: “Opening is exciting – there is energy. It is creating the magic and seeing it come together. The best part is seeing kids have those big-eyed, bright-eyed ‘wow’ moments.”