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Letter from the Executive Director

Mark J. RiedyMark J. Riedy, PhD

As springtime approaches, and the hiring season shifts toward full bloom, I would like to offer employers a checklist of suggestions that might help make hiring decisions more successful, specifically with respect to our undergraduate and graduate (MSRE) students at USD. The ideas are meant to be a guide in assessing students’ self-direction and passion for real estate and real estate finance over and above more traditional measures of academic achievements.

BMC Day at Petco ParkOfficial transcripts, for example, not only provide grade point averages but also detail the real estate, finance, economics, accounting and other relevant courses completed prior to this current semester. Employers also should ask about this current semester as well, because for full-time MSRE students, each semester represents half of all courses taken. For undergrads, this final semester at USD generally includes the courses needed to complete a real estate, finance, or other relevant major or minor and attests to the students’ strongest career interests.

Employers will gain additional insights by asking USD students questions geared toward their extracurricular accomplishments. In the broadest sense of future leadership potential, the ability to work within teams and the discipline to be a self-starter, students who have demonstrated involvement in intercollegiate athletics, for example, most likely will score higher than average on these measurements of future potential. Equally, give higher marks to students participating in campus organizations and initiatives as more than just a member―that is, holding responsible positions in one or more such extracurricular organizations or activities.

Additional questions employers might want to ask include:

  • Are you a real estate major? Minor?
  • Have you held one or more real estate and/or financial services internships while at USD?
  • Do you have/have you had one or more industry mentors? Who? May I contact them?
  • Have you participated actively in the Real Estate Society offered by the Burnham-Moores Center?
  • How many industry conferences or other events hosted by the BMC have you attended? What did you learn?
  • Are you an active student member of any professional real estate trade groups? If so, which one(s) and why?
  • Have you earned one of the scholarships available through USD and the BMC targeted specifically for real estate students?
  • Were you a member of one of the student teams taking part in the real estate case competitions: USC, NAIOP or ARGUS?

Leadership, perseverance and teamwork skills reinforced by a demonstrated passion for all things real estate is more difficult to assess than GPAs, but ultimately will help employers make great hiring decisions, not just good ones.

Dr. Mark J. Riedy
Executive Director

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Luncheon Recognizes Scholarship Donors, Recipients

Scholarship Luncheon
Real estate scholarship donors and recipients attended USD’s 2011 Scholarship Appreciation Luncheon held April 7 in the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice. The annual luncheon recognizes USD donors for their contributions and connects them with the students who are benefiting from their generosity. For a full list of recent real estate scholarship recipients, go here. Those in attendance included: (left to right) Brian Mulvaney of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR); Debbie Curtis of Commercial Real Estate Women-San Diego (CREW); Debra Aitken of CREW; Brian Gates, recipient of The Burnham Foundation Scholarship; Joanne Yaghdjian, recipient of CREW/Susan Friedman Memorial Scholarship; Walter Chui ’10 (MSRE), recipient of NAIOP-San Diego Chapter's Mickey Carhart Memorial Endowed Scholarship and the SIOR Scholarship; Mary Ann Yaghdjian ’07 (MSRE), president of the Real Estate Alumni Association; Allana O'Dell of The Burnham Foundation; Pamela Legge of The Burnham Foundation; Mark Riedy, executive director of the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate; Sean Giffin, recipient of The Burnham Foundation Scholarship and California Homebuilding Foundation's Harry L. Summers Scholarship; Cristina Hermosillo, recipient of CREW/Susan Friedman Memorial Scholarship; Jonathan Kench, recipient of the USD Real Estate Alumni Association Scholarship; Alan Cox, recipient of the USD Real Estate Alumni Association Scholarship; Fred Caminiti of CCIM; Gary Cornelssen of CCIM; and Michael Foulger, recipient of the CCIM Scholarship. Those in attendance, but not pictured, include: Charlie Abdi of NAIOP and Alison Mandelbaum, recipient of NAIOP-San Diego Chapter's Mickey Carhart Memorial Endowed Scholarship and the SIOR Scholarship.
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Joe Anfuso, President, Florsheim Homes

Joe Anfuso
Joe Anfuso ’84 (BBA), ’89 (MBA), on USD’s campus

Q. As a member of CNBC’s Small Business Council, you get interviewed frequently on air. Does media work come naturally to you?

A. I am a little more of a “ham” than I care to admit, so media interviews are really fun for me. I spend a great deal of time studying the market, so when I am being interviewed, I am pretty confident I can answer a question. Also, earlier in my career as a Forensic CPA, I testified in court on over 50 occasions, which helped prepare me to answer questions in a short, simple and concise manner, which is required for television.

Q. You earned two degrees at USD and serve as chair of the Centers Residential Real Estate Committee. What is it about the university that makes it a worthwhile investment for you?

A. Success in business is partly predicated on understanding your market and associating yourself with others who are dedicated and familiar with your industry. USD has given me a great opportunity to meet, converse and associate with many industry leaders and experts, who provide me with the insights and knowledge necessary to lead a regional homebuilding company effectively.

Q. Whats the most important business lesson youve learned during your career?

A. Treat people fairly and honestly. The only thing you have is your word. If people know they can trust you, you can establish beneficial relationships, which you can rely on for the rest of your career.

Q. What would you be doing professionally if you weren’t in real estate?

A. Coaching youth sports. I very much enjoy the life lessons playing sports provides young people. Learning qualities such as commitment, hard work, team-building, competition and sportsmanship are invaluable and will provide a young person life-long benefits.

Q. What advice would you give our students to help them achieve their career goals in the real estate industry?

A. Pay your dues and learn as much as you can early in your career. Don’t worry about the money or what you think you deserve when you are just getting started. As a father of an MSRE graduate, I can assure you, I have had this conversation on numerous occasions. Assuming you are working in the field you enjoy, you shouldn’t be afraid to take a job, just because you think it may be “beneath” you. With the right experience and commitment, the financial rewards will come in due time. It’s much more important to learn everything you can in your selected industry to develop a great career.

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Center’s 2010 Year in Review Available Online

The Burnham-Moores Center’s 2010 Year in Review is now available online. This is the first year that the Center is opting to do an online Year in Review, rather than a printed version, to conserve resources. A list of 2010 donors also is available by going here.

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Professors Take Part in Asia Faculty Development Program

Faculty Development
USD professors in Luneta Park, Manila, Philippines

Burnham-Moores Center faculty members Vivek Sah, PhD, and John Demas, JD, joined a University of San Diego contingent that traveled to the Philippines, Singapore and Malaysia on March 11-20, as part of the Faculty Development Asia Program, sponsored by the Ahlers Center for International Business. Thirteen professors and USD’s Provost Julie Sullivan, PhD, made the trip, which was coordinated by Denise Dimon, PhD, director of the Ahlers Center. During the trip, professors visited universities, companies and organizations to learn about the local culture and history, connect with alumni and explore opportunities for future collaboration for faculty and student benefit.

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MSRE Students Visit Wells Fargo

Kelly Souza
Kelly Souza ’03 (BBA), vice president and team leader at Wells Fargo’s Real Estate Group in San Diego, spoke to MSRE students at a March 25 briefing held at the company’s offices in downtown San Diego. The students listened to presentations from several of the company’s senior-level staff members, who provided corporate information, career advice and industry insights.
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Real Estate Society Features Professional Organizations

Jessie Rich Greer
Jessie Rich-Greer

On March 31, over 50 students attended the monthly Real Estate Society meeting, which focused on networking in the real estate industry. The meeting was moderated by Real Estate Society undergraduate chair Amir Atefi and featured a panel of representatives from local real estate professional organizations who gave the students networking tips. Representatives included: Tim Barr, Urban Land Institute (ULI); Allison Beall, Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW); Jeremy Dentt, National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP); MSRE Student Jessie Rich-Greer, Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM); and Renee Savage ’88 (BBA), Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM).

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Legal Update

State Supreme Court Leaves Prevailing Wage Ruling Intact

By Richard Schulman, Esq.

Richard Schulman
Richard Schulman, Esq.

The last edition of Pipeline highlighted two recent court cases dealing with prevailing wages for development projects in California. The appellate court in Azusa Land Partners vs. Department of Industrial Relations required that prevailing wages be paid for all of the public infrastructure in a private tract when tax-financed bonds paid for some of the infrastructure, calling the entire tract a “public work.” When the article was written, a request was pending for the state Supreme Court to take the case. Since then, however, the state Supreme Court decided to leave the appellate decision in place, so it remains California law. The other case discussed in the same Pipeline, “State Building & Construction Trades Council vs. City of Vista,” which concerns whether the state’s prevailing wage law applies to charter cities, is still awaiting a decision by the state Supreme Court.

Richard Schulman is a land use partner at HechtSolberg, specializing in entitlement and litigation.

Back to TopIn the News

The Center’s 15th Annual Real Estate Conference, held March 3, was further reported on in The Vista, and

Executive Director Mark J. Riedy, PhD, was quoted in a March 12 San Diego Union-Tribune article on Bank of America’s new loan program, which will offer aid to military borrowers.

Professor Norm Miller, PhD, and Associate Professor Alan Gin, PhD, were included in the March 5, March 12, March 19, March 26 and April 2 editions of the San Diego Union-Tribune’s “EconoMeter.”

Louis Galuppo, Esq., residential real estate director, was quoted in a March 14 San Diego Business Journal article on green retrofitting projects.

Norm Miller was quoted in a March 29 San Diego Union-Tribune article on home price gains in San Diego.

Alan Gin’s Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County, which he compiles for the Burnham-Moores Center, was mentioned in several outlets following his February release, which saw the biggest one-month jump since 1977. Articles appeared in the San Diego Union-Tribune the San Diego Business Journal, The Daily Transcript and the North County Times.

Norm Miller was quoted in an April 4 San Diego Union-Tribune article on San Diego County’s distressed real estate market. The article was later posted on

Back to TopCalendar of Events

Deadline for Fall 2011 MSRE Program

  • Last admission deadline is June 1, with decision notification by July 1.
  • For more information, go here.

ThursDay, April 14, 2011

First Annual NAIOP University Challenge (USD vs. SDSU)

  • Registration 2:45 p.m.
    Competition 3 – 5 p.m.
    Reception 5:30 p.m.
  • 10300 Campus Point Drive, San Diego, 92122
  • To register, go here.
  • For questions, contact Annie Grand at

THURSDay, APRIL 14, 2011

Real Estate Alumni Association’s Casual Thursday

Join the Real Estate Alumni Association for a night of networking and reconnecting with old
friends within the USD real estate community.

  • 6:30 p.m.
  • Arterra Bar at the Marriott Del Mar, 11966 El Camino Real, San Diego, 92130
  • For more information, go here.
  • For questions, contact Annie Grand at

TUESDAY, May 3, 2011

Annual BMC Day at Petco Park: San Diego Padres vs. Pittsburgh Pirates

The Burnham-Moores Center invites you to watch the Padres take on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Join alumni, faculty and current students to network at this annual event.

  • 6:05 p.m. Pre-game food and drinks on the Western Metal Rooftop Bleachers;
    7:05 p.m. Game begins
  • $35 per ticket (includes food served until 8:05 p.m. and drinks through the seventh inning)
  • Limited seats available; Limit two tickets per person
  • Petco Park, 100 Park Blvd., San Diego, 92101
  • To register, go here.
  • For questions, contact Annie Grand at

Back to TopContinuing Education - Upcoming Courses and Seminars

STARTS WEDNESDay, may 4, 2011

Legal Aspects of Real Estate


  • Course taught by Jeffrey Stoke, partner at Procopio, Cory, Hargreaves & Savitch LLP
  • To register, contact Monica Phelps-Zambrano, or register online.
  • For more information on this course, go here. For more information on Real Estate Continuing Education, go here.

ThURsDay, NOV. 10, 2011

Update on Tax Considerations in Real Estate


  • Seminar taught by Dan Gatto, founding partner of Gatto, Pope and Walwick LLP, and Phillip L. Jelsma, partner at Luce, Forward, Hamilton and Scripps LLP
  • To register, contact Monica Phelps-Zambrano, or register online.
  • For more information on this seminar, go here. For more information on Real Estate Continuing Education, go here.