Executive Q&A: Bob Gracz
Bob Gracz, vice president of corporate real estate at Avnet, Inc., took on the role of president of CoreNet Global Arizona just last year and is encouraged by the status of his platform goals to grow the membership and organization’s local activities through the instatement of new committee chairs. “I’m enthusiastic about what we’ve accomplished so far and am really excited that everyone is keeping the momentum going,” he said of his recently appointed chairs. Gracz took a few minutes out of his day to talk about the future of CoreNet Global Arizona and what the local chapter has planned for the next year.
You’ve been president of CoreNet Global Arizona’s chapter for just about a year. Looking back, what significant progress has been made with regards to your goals as a chapter president?
Primarily the main goal I wanted to accomplish was setting up a structure that allows us to grow and operate with discipline and accountability. We’ve been able to accomplish that. We’ve been able to set up a number of chair positions and define the required accountability and have the people drive themselves toward meeting goals. I’m very excited that one of the long-term goals in that structure was to create a senior advisory group. […] We recently appointed a chair of education, and we’re in the process of closing on the communications and marketing chair. […] Some of the evidence that the structure is delivering what the chapter intended to do, which was create networking and drive educational awareness to people in the local chapter, that evident by our growth and membership and more participation as local chapter associates. (See interviews with chapter chairs on page 46.)
How have your goals evolved over the last year?
It’s a journey and I firmly believe with the right structure, discipline and people — let’s face it, this is a volunteer situation so people have to be passionate — the program will be self-feeding.
What remains a core focus or concern for a majority members?
The main focus is continuous networking and learning more about how the business is evolving. You can roll the tape back 10 years and there was a lot of office space and what not and now the latest thing is all about work-remote management and companies are becoming extremely efficient at using space, and everybody feeds on that. So, you have an end-user that wants to learn more about how they can do that. You have a landlord that’s saying I need to better understand this so I can position my product to be ready now to help you. That’s really what we’re really bringing out there. It’s leading edge. It’s current time.
One of your platforms was to increase the number of meeting and training options. Have those gone into effect yet?
We have a regular program schedule. We have about 10 programs once a month; the summer months are off-months. We have just introduced the education chair. The goal of the educational chair is to get us to the point to where we have four educational circumstances a year. Once we accomplish that, the desire will be to have at least four and one of them be one corporate CoreNet wants to bring here.
Have you seen an increase in membership?
Yes. When we first started this journey, we were at about 85. Today, we’re sitting on about 129. It’s been quite a big improvement and right in line with the metric we tossed out — 20 percent a year. I think the team’s up for it, and I’m looking for another 20 percent next year.
Who comprises a majority of CoreNet Global Arizona’s membership?
More often than not, the end-users are usually the minority. You usually have a larger broker content, but we’re having a good mixture of what I call the feeders — architects, title companies, interior design and companies that assist corporate real estate — and I think in our chapter we’re having a large success of bringing in the people who help us do our jobs.