Critical thinker. Problem solver. Dedicated. Selfless. Approachable. Straightforward. Those are some of the words used to describe Brett Hopper, Valley Partnership’s newly appointed chairman.
Throughout his 25-plus year career in commercial real estate, he has worked as an attorney, homebuilder, investor, developer and commercial title insurer, but his day job nowadays is as senior director of real estate development for Opus Development Company.
He is also an adjunct professor in Arizona State University’s Masters of Real Estate Development program, and is a frequent lecturer on real estate law, real estate development and title insurance matters.
These roles in addition to his career experience have prepared Hopper for his duties as chairman in staying true to Valley Partnership’s core mission of promoting and advocating for responsible development.
We caught up with Hopper to discuss what Valley Partnership has meant to him and his vision for the organization as the newly appointed chairman.
AZRE: Where is Valley Partnership headed and what’s the next step?
Brett Hopper: Valley Partnership will stay true to its core mission of promoting and advocating for responsible development. Our Board has set a clear direction and strategy, along with detailed, specific platforms, that we are focused on in 2017. First, we will pro-actively advocate for public policies that advance the interests of the commercial, industrial and master-planned real estate development industries at all levels of government by creating strategic alliances, public/private partnerships, and cooperation within the industry. And second, we will build a legacy for the future of development with educational events, leadership development programs, stakeholder engagement, and community action.
AZRE: What’s one goal you want to accomplish as chairman?
BH: During my tenure on the Board, and particularly in my role as chairman, my desire is that Valley Partnership continue to be the “go to” organization for responsible development that coalesces the real estate and business community and our governmental leaders on the most pressing issues affecting Arizona, including the preservation of economic vitality tools, maintaining secure water supplies, ensuring a well-educated workforce, funding for transportation and infrastructure, and the creation of high-paying jobs, all of which will allow our state and the economy to grow in a sustainable, responsible and balanced manner. I am committed to doing all we can to realize that vision.
AZRE: What’s the value proposition of being a member?
BH: Our members join Valley Partnership for a variety of reasons, whether it be advocacy, professional networking, sponsorship, access to particular member-only events, participation in the young advocates program, involvement with our annual community project, etc. Being a member or sponsor of Valley Partnership is above all else an opportunity to show support for the mission and values of this organization. Our influence and value in large part are dependent upon the breadth and depth of our membership, and I want to ensure that all of our members realize the maximum benefit possible.
AZRE: Favorite part of Valley Partnership?
BH: Valley Partnership has been such a strong advocate for responsible real estate development, but our membership is equally committed to giving back and enriching our community through organizing and participating in our annual community project. For me, the most touching and emotional experience was seeing the young kids at Sunshine Acres cutting the ribbon and running onto the playground of the newly created park. Our committed members made that happen – and there is nothing more rewarding than that!
AZRE: What keeps you up at night?
BH: This is Valley Partnership’s 30th anniversary and I am so proud of what this organization represents and how far we’ve come in advancing the issues that are so vital to the development industry and our state’s economic success. But we can’t take this reviving economy for granted. It’s still fragile and requires commitment from our stakeholders, all levels of government, and the community at large to ensure that the proper economic incentives and development tools are in place to allow our community and state to thrive the in the years to come.
AZRE: Message to members?
BH: I know that the first steps in joining an organization and getting involved can be overwhelming and intimidating. I want to assure all of our members that our Board and Staff are all committed to helping you get to know others, and assisting you in discovering your place and purpose, within Valley Partnership. If you are not yet a member of Valley Partnership, we need you and is the time to join. If you are already a member, I strongly encourage you to step up your involvement by attending one or more of our various committees. If your experience is like mine, you will find that as you serve on a committee, you will develop close relationships with your fellow Valley Partnership members that will enrich your life both personally and professionally.