Evan Koplan, Jackie Orcutt, Cooper Fratt, Rusty Kennedy and Serena Wedlich – clockwise from bottom right – are Millennials who are changing the industry with CBRE. (Photo by Mike Mertes, AZ BIG Media)
10 Millennial leaders in commercial real estate
Entitled. Narcissistic. Detached. If this were a game of Jeopardy! your response might be: What are the three most common words used to describe the Millennial generation? That doesn’t paint a pretty picture considering Millennials are now the nation’s largest living generation. Yet with every raincloud, there is a silver lining. In this case, they are the Millennials who are shattering this stereotype in commercial real estate and are having a major impact on the industry in Arizona. Here are 10 Millennials who are changing the commercial real estate landscape in Arizona.
With five years of commercial real estate experience, Jenna Borcherding specializes in representing tenants in office leasing transactions, assisting corporations both locally and nationally. She has been recognized by NAIOP as a “Developing Leader of the Year.”
Impact of Millennials: “Millennials almost intuitively understand how technology fits into the built environment. Our entrepreneurial community – and the office space that houses it – will thrive as Millennials continue to drive innovation and promote Arizona as the place to be for start-up and technology companies. ‘Silicon Desert’ will no longer be a name that only Arizonans use, but one used across the country.”
Ron Gonski is an electrical engineer and Harvard Law School graduate who handles primarily real estate and corporate transactional matters. While attending law school, he founded and sold a software company.
Value of youth: “(Millennials) focus on people and relationships in an increasingly digital world. My generation is constantly in touch, in dozens of ways. Adapting to those changes is key.”
Impact of Millennials: “Millennials are going to build Arizona with an eye toward sustainability and local pride. They will shape the state in their image, leading to a dynamic, home-grown business landscape.”
Gabe Ortega is a consistent Top 10 producer (2007, 2009, 2013-2015) at NAI Horizon.
Value of youth: “Early in my career I put my enthusiasm to work by gaining as much experience as possible. Today, that combination of energy and experience gives me a great skill set to work with a broad spectrum of clients.”
Impact of Millennials: “Millennials are the largest generation in U.S. history and are entering their prime spending years. Retailers are changing the way they sell and deliver goods by leveraging.”
Chandra Reilly was named to Engineering News Record’s 20 Under 40 list, as well as Building Design + Construction’s 40 Under 40. She is currently the project director for a $180 million casino resort expansion.
Value of youth:
“I have the ability to foster strong connections between more traditional, structured organizational methods and the more flexible, inquiry-based approaches our younger team members take.”
Impact of Millennials: “I think we will see more companies who embrace differences as differentiators, and more leaders who are willing to let their team members take risks in the interest of innovation.”
Casey Treadwell oversees Vintage Partners’ development management, and shop, pad and anchor leasing.
Value of youth: “I grew up around the Westcor culture (highs) and started my career in the throes of the Great Recession (lows), so I’ve seen both sides at a young age.”
Impact of Millennials: “A traditional 15-year wave might only be five years (old) now, so instead of chasing the same projects or submarkets, everyone should be trying to figure out how Generation Z — or whatever they’re called — will affect the next retail wave. Millennials will expect retailers to continue to make their shopping experience easier and faster.”
Millennials become strength of CBRE’s industrial lineup
CBRE understands the importance of bench-strength and grooming the next generation of industry leaders. But when it comes to the industrial sector, the future is now. The commercial real estate giant boasts one of the strongest young lineups of industrial and logistics services professionals in the Valley. These five young stars – none of them are over 35 – are already contributing to CBRE’s industrial business in big ways.
Cooper Pratt specializes in Industrial sales and leasing in the Sky Harbor and Southwest Valley markets. He has been involved in more than 1 million square feet of industrial leasing transactions, 500,000 square feet of industrial sale transactions and 120 acres of industrial land.
Value of youth: “I think commercial real estate has long been viewed as an older generation’s game. I’ve found there are not nearly as many Millennials in CRE as in other industries in the Valley and I think that has given me and other young people willing to work hard an opportunity to make our mark.”
With a passion for giving back, Rusty Kennedy’s time outside of the office is spent serving on the boards of NAIOP and AZ Disabled Sports, membership chair of the CBRE “Young Guns” and as a member of The Camelback Society.
Impact of Millennials: “The business is constantly becoming more tech-savvy and people in the business are becoming more efficient — much of that driven by my generation … Arizona is also a very friendly place to young people who care, have a desire to have an impact and are willing to do some hard work to get things done.”
Evan Koplan specialized in real estate strategies and solutions for industrial landlords, tenants, investors and users. He is one of most successful young brokers at CBRE.
Value of youth: “Most of us come from diverse educational backgrounds and now have immediate access to information, strategic sales training and personal development programs, which pushes creative thinking and ideas. Thinking outside of the box allows us to create value in non-traditional ways. We advance our knowledge and careers in a time where technology is at our fingertips.”
Jackie Orcutt specializes in institutional landlord and buyer representation, industrial and back office leasing and sales. She is also an active and influential member of the business and real estate communities. In 2014, she was named to AZRE’s list of Top 20 Most Influential Women in Arizona. She is president-elect of AZCrew for 2017.
Value of youth: “I think Millennial’s get a bad rep in this town, but maybe the easy answer is that we’re often underestimated? Hard work, ethical behavior, and careful thought and concern for clients has been the core of my business plan.”
Prior to joining Advisory & Transaction Services, Serena Wedlich was a real estate manager with CBRE Asset Services, where she managed more than over 1.2 million square feet of industrial, office and retail properties.
Impact of Millennials: “Technology will be even more ingrained into our daily lives and that will have a dramatic effect on how and where we work. We’re already seeing this, but I think a decade from now it will be much more prevalent. Work will no longer be conducted in a traditional office, but rather in a work-sharing environment or remotely.”