One of the more exciting parts of following the world of commercial real estate in Greater Phoenix is watching as new names begin working their way into the limelight. Current market titans like Rick Butler and Bryon Carney were once just starting out as associates or junior architect.
With the rapid pace of development and building and buying and selling in Arizona, we’re beginning to see new faces begin to get some much deserved attention. Below are five of the up and comers in the commercial real estate industry in Arizona who will be worth following as their career trajectories begin to take off:
Years at Company: 2
Years in commercial real estate: 3
Benjamin Farthing is responsible for business development and prospecting, managing the team’s deal pipeline, market research, and assisting his team in all aspects of the sale of single- and multi-tenant investment properties in Phoenix and throughout the United States. As an Associate with CBRE’s Net Lease Property Group in Phoenix. He is passionate about the needs and goals of his clients and enjoys providing thorough economic analysis to support them through the acquisition and disposition process.
Prior to joining the team in August 2018, Farthing was a leasing specialist at RED Development. He was responsible for the leasing of Jordan Landing, a regional shopping mall comprised of 1.8 million square feet of retail space located in West Jordan, UT. Farthing graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Real Estate and Sociology. While at Arizona State University, Farthing was elected as an Appropriations Senator for the Undergraduate Student Government.
Biggest career accomplishment (within the last 3 years): “My second closing, which was a Chase Bank ground lease in Thousand Oaks, California that sold at a 4.37 percent cap rate or $4.4 million in value. The buyer was a high net-worth doctor who was very detail-oriented. I had to overcome several obstacles, but we eventually came to a successful closing within 51 days of listing the property.”
Surprising fact: “When I was a child, I used to model swimwear.”
Years at Company: 1
Years in commercial real estate: 4
A now 4-year veteran in the industry, 26-year-old JP Malham specializes in client acquisition and business development for SiteWorks Landscaping. He is an active member in the Building Owners and Managers Association and the International Facility Management Association. In his short time as Director of Business Development for SiteWorks, Malham has been integral in the procurement of various high-profile landscape maintenance contracts, including Phoenix Children’s Hospital and the ASU Research Park and The Esplanade on Camelback. Malham comes from an industry lineage, following in his father’s footsteps. His father, Chris Malham, has worked in the industry since 1975 and is the founding partner of SiteWorks Landscape.
Biggest career accomplishment (within the last 3 years): Securing contracts with two of the most notable hospital campuses in the Phoenix area, Phoenix Children’s Hospital and St. Joeseph’s Hospital and Medical Center.
Surprising fact: Despite suffering a serious spinal injury during college, Malham has become an excellent golfer within the past year.
No. 1 on commercial real estate bucket list: “To continue the growth of the company my father started while maintaining our reputation as the preeminent service provider in our space.”
Years at company: 4
Years in commercial real estate: 4
Stephanie Oleksa’s part in each client’s journey starts and ends with empathy and respect. Her ultimate intention is to be their “new best friend.” She is a multi-faceted designer and project executioner within the corporate office and tenant improvement world. As a Lead Project Designer, she collaborates closely with each client to set project vision, scope, goals, and most importantly, expectations. She coordinates with consultants and engineers, manages and produces the project’s construction documents and works with contractors to support each project into fruition.
Oleksa approaches design with a people-first mentality and a commitment to adaptability. Her client-tailored approach creates well-scaled, inviting spaces that strengthens her customer’s business goals and values. She is a graduate of the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture at the University of Arizona and has an integrated knowledge of architecture and interior design. Her significant corporate office and tenant improvement project experience enables her to guide clients through a successful visioning process to ensure their operation models are met through a tailored, unique design. Some notable projects in which Oleksa has helped lead design include a 500,000 square foot IT Innovation Center for a global automotive manufacturing company in Austin, Texas, the first headquarters in the USA for a European cyber security company, Kudelski Security, and a national workplace standard for Republic Service’s call centers.
Biggest career accomplishment (within the last 3 years): “My biggest career accomplishment is a recently-completed project on Tempe Town Lake known as the IDEA Tempe Campus. IDEA is an acronym for Innovation, Discover, Education and Arts. The IDEA Tempe Campus is a phased development that focuses on bringing in new biotechnology and technology companies to Tempe. The 18-acre, 1 million sq. ft. project will include five commercial buildings with office, restaurant and retail space, two parking structures, and 40,000 square feet of arts rehearsal and classroom space. Working closely with the City of Tempe, Boyer Company & Okland Construction, this project embraced a multitude of complexities that provided the ingredients to a truly beautiful and successful project. I had the privilege of working on the first of five Class-A office buildings that opened on March 6, 2020. BD, one of the world’s largest medical device companies, was the first tenant to occupy this campus. My challenge as a designer came with this building being a new, six-story ground up Class-A office building. This level of detail, coordination, and opportunity in the tenant improvement world rarely happens. BD brought to the table a complex program. From multiple laboratories, a full-service commercial kitchen, fitness center and training center, each embodied their own challenges which helped me grow and evolve as a designer.”
Surprising fact: Oleksa was offered a scholarship to play Division I women’s lacrosse, but turned it town for her love of architecture and design. After her experience in the industry, she can safely say she made the right decision.
No. 1 on commercial real estate bucket list: “I would love to venture into the hotel and hospitality market. The idea of designing a space that is welcoming and personal, a home away from home, has always intrigued me and I find I’m inspired daily by this particular marketplace. Working in this niche would help me grow and evolve as a Designer as we see the corporate office and hospitality world merge into one environment.”
Years at company: 1.5
Years in commercial real estate: 3.5
With an insatiable curiosity for all things commercial real estate and a knack for excelling, Lauren Tomlin is the definition of an up and comer in the A/C/E industry. She supports strategic marketing plans, public relations activities, the planning and coordinating of special events and the pursuit process. In under two years at Ryan, Lauren has managed to help win over one million square feet of office, industrial, healthcare, retail and public sector work. Known for her dependability, skillful creativity and exceptional relationship-building abilities, Tomlin bridges the gap between what partners expect and reality.
As marketing coordinator, Tomlin develops proposals for our office, industrial, retail, healthcare and public sectors. With exceptional organization and execution skills, she works cross-functionally with construction, capital markets, virtual design and construction, development and our external partners to provide innovative solutions and increase Ryan’s divisional presence. Over the past year and a half, she has made great strides within the company including; coordinating award-winning proposals, pioneering virtual groundbreakings, managing project event logistics, creating process improvement documents, adding support of our Northwest and West regions to her project management portfolio, partnering with our corporate marketing team on national initiatives, leading the creation of offering memorandum templates, providing mentorship to other marketing team members and supervising our project photography and video production in adherence with brand standards. More recently, Tomlin has become embedded in managing community outreach for specific projects to foster a sense of community between Ryan and neighbors for large projects.
Biggest career accomplishment (within the last 3 years): Tomlin coordinated a proposal and interview for a high profile and confidential 500,000-square-foot, class A office build-to-suit project in Colorado, resulting in a win for Ryan. This coordinated effort involved collaborating on a national scale in partnership with Ryan’s Minneapolis and national build-to-suit team.
Surprising fact: There are many facts about Tomlin that are surprising. She swam competitively for 16 years and is probably the biggest churro fan you will ever meet. She also has a disdain for birds of all shapes and sizes.
No. 1 on commercial real estate bucket list: As an avid member of the CrossFit community, her No. 1 commercial real estate bucket list item is to work on a pursuit for a large fitness facility and help with all marketing efforts for the project. Fitness facilities hold a special place in Tomlin’s heart, so the opportunity to win, build, and market one has been her dream since entering the industry.
Years at company: 2
Years in commercial real estate: 4
Dylan Whitwer specializes in the representation of both tenants and landlords in leasing and sales of office properties. He is responsible for assisting in transaction management, developing new tenant relationships, and providing expert market intelligence. Dylan has a high level of skill in understanding clients’ needs and keeping their best interests in mind.
Whitwer comes to NAI Horizon after spending three years working for an environmental and geotechnical engineering firm. He was responsible for environmental site assessments, asbestos surveys, lead paint inspections and Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments. Whitwer possesses a strong background in marketing and business development. In his previous employment he utilized his marketing and business development skills to locate and contact potential clients, analyzed market trends, and tapped social media to attract additional business.
Biggest career accomplishment (within the last 3 years): Whitwer was chairman of the 2018 Valley Partnership Community project, a title normally held by someone with more experience in the commercial real estate industry.
Surprising fact: In his free time, Whitwer gives back to “prep” roots and is a high school wrestling referee.
No. 1 on commercial real estate bucket list: “To finish among the Top 10 producers at my firm.”