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Letter from the Executive Director

Mark J. RiedyMark J. Riedy, PhD

Seven hundred of Southern California’s leading real estate professionals thought our recent 17th Annual Real Estate Conference was “one of the best ever.” In case you missed the event, the PowerPoint presentations are available on the Center’s Website. If you would like to read some of our Master of Science in Real Estate students’ accounts of the conference, go here.

The conference was a great way to launch 2013 as the year that marks the 20th anniversary of the founding of the real estate program at the University of San Diego. The Center will be celebrating the anniversary with our stakeholders in high style later this year, so keep your eyes open for your invitation to this special event. As we celebrate the past, we also look to the future.  During last week’s meetings of the Center’s Task Force on the Future and its Policy Advisory Board Executive Committee, I informed members of my intention to step down from my position as Executive Director of the Center sometime in 2015. 

DeadlinesThe Burnham-Moores Center is blessed with a bright, talented and high-energy faculty and staff. We have many industry executives with extensive experience, impeccable reputations and excellent talent who serve on one of our Policy Advisory Board committees or are active in Center initiatives. All share a genuine passion for real estate. By providing ample notice that I plan to step down as Executive Director, I can openly mentor the Center’s staff regarding my thinking and continue to delegate increasing authority to them. I also can be helpful in responding inquiries from industry professionals who might be interested in career opportunities in the BMC. 

The Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate is on an excellent trajectory. It enjoys terrific industry and alumni support.  It has the faculty, staff, industry and other resources to continue its advances as one of America’s premier university-based real estate centers. My goal over the next two-plus years is to do everything within my ability to continue fortifying our resource base and the wonderfully productive working relationships we enjoy with the real estate and financial services industries.

Dr. Mark J. Riedy
Executive Director

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Annual Real Estate Conference Impresses Students, Industry

By Ryan Blystone, Assistant Director, USD Public Affairs

17th Annual Real Estate Conference
(From left to right) Keynote panelists Irwin Jacobs, ScD, Malin Burnham and Ernest Rady discussed the future of San Diego at the 17th Annual Real Estate Conference March 8.

The 17th Annual Real Estate Conference, hosted by USD’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate at the San Diego Hilton Bayfront Hotel on March 8, presented 700 audience members with industry insights and generally optimistic observations from local and national experts.

But, for the second straight year—last time as a prospective student and this time as a full-time student in the USD Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) cohort that will graduate in May—Inna Panchuk was beaming.

“It’s such a wonderful conference, one of the best in San Diego for real estate,” said the native of Vladivostok, Russia. “The caliber of people who come here and you get to meet are from all over the place. It’s so inspiring. It’s a great conference to come to learn more and to network.”

Panchuk said her attendance at last year’s conference, headlined by U.S. Bancorp CEO Richard K. Davis discussing commercial real estate, helped her decide on the MSRE program over seeking an MBA at USD.

On Friday, Panchuk and another current full-time cohort member, Hao Wen, who came to USD in August from Beijing, China, choosing its MSRE program over those at New York University and Johns Hopkins, were eager to expand on what they’ve learned in the classroom so far.

“This year, I thought the opening panel was fabulous and they gave a great perspective of the future and the current scene of San Diego development,” Panchuk said. “I thought Greg Horowitt gave an inspiring speech about innovation. It was like a TED talk. I also thought Asieh Mansour was very knowledgeable.”

The opening panel featured a San Diego trio of heavyweights in former Burnham Real Estate Chairman Malin Burnham; Qualcomm Inc. Founding Chairman and CEO Emeritus, Irwin Jacobs; and American Assets Trust’s Executive Chairman Ernest Rady.

Asieh Mansour
(From left to right) Speaker Asieh Mansour, PhD, head of research, CBRE, discusses commercial real estate and capital market trends with moderator Charles Tu, PhD, during the conference's third session.

They examined a future San Diego County with its anticipated population growth—estimated to be 1.5 million additional people to its current three million by 2050—and how it will impact infrastructure, the need for a second airport, attracting top talent, the impact of immigration reform, and keeping and developing existing companies. They also touched on the impact of sequestration and how it will affect local projects.

Each one’s parting words expressed optimism for San Diego’s future, as Burnham noted the city has three very strong attributes: “We have the best weather in the world, a great variety of landscapes and being located on the Pacific Rim and Latin America provides opportunities in both spheres.”

Horowitt, managing director of T2 Venture Capital, delivered a Changemaker-inspired talk on the need for changes in economic development to promote innovation and new business formation as it pertains to commercial real estate. Mansour, the head of Americas Research for CBRE, discussed her outlook on commercial real estate and capital market trends.

The day’s final speaker was Fannie Mae’s Douglas G. Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist for its Economics and Strategic Research Group. He examined prospective demographic changes in America and the implications it could have on single- and multi-family real estate and mortgage markets.

Duncan’s takeaway points: “Growth is slowing and shifting toward older, minority and nontraditional households; Economic scars from the Great Recession persist, with stubbornly slow recoveries in employment and income; Housing construction, home prices and loan performance are beginning to improve; and the housing bust induced a shift from owning to renting, particularly among the nonelderly and in the single-family market, but the desire for home ownership remains strong.”

In addition to the conference speakers, Burnham-Moores Center Executive Director Mark J. Riedy publicly recognized USD’s Carey Algaze and Nick Norris, the 2012 spring and fall semester Daniel B. Woodruff Memorial Scholarship recipients, respectively. Algaze earned her MSRE and MBA degrees in 2012 while Norris, a U.S. Navy SEAL, is currently in the MSRE’s part-time program. Both students credited the MSRE program and its faculty members for enhancing their education about the real estate business.

Friday’s conference was part of that equation for Panchuk, Wen and others.

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Students, Employers Connect at Real Estate Career Expo

Career Expo
(From left to right) Laura Pephens, chief operating and financial officer of Residential Wholesale Mortgage Inc., speaks with graduate student  Evan Lippow and undergraduate student Michael Peterson at the Career Expo Feb. 28.

The 11th Annual Real Estate Career Expo was held Feb. 28 with over 50 representatives attending from a variety of fields within the industry and nearly 60 graduate and undergraduate students. The event was conducted speed-networking style, which enabled the students to take part in multiple informational interviews that lasted six minutes each. Company representatives were provided a résumé book of the students registered for the event to assist them with future hiring decisions.

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USD Teams Selected for NAIOP, Argus Case Competitions

The Third Annual NAIOP Case Competition team (from left to right) Katherine Tisch, Jameson Johnson, Tyler Hanson, Assistant Professor Vivek Sah, PhD, Brandon Arner, Samantha Barry and Jared Angell.

The team members who will represent the University of San Diego in the Third Annual NAIOP Case Competition have been selected. USD’s team will be made up of: Jared Angell; Brandon Arner; Samantha Barry; Tyler Hanson; and Captain Jameson Johnson, all seniors at USD; and Katherine Tisch, a junior. Assistant Professor Vivek Sah, PhD, will serve as faculty adviser to the team; Commercial Real Estate Director John Ferber will be the industry liaison.

The team from USD will compete against teams from San Diego State University and the University of California-San Diego by providing their recommendations on the highest and best use for a piece of property, located on the block bounded by Market Street, 11th Avenue, G Street and Park Blvd in downtown San Diego. The property is owned by Civic San Diego (previously CCDC). This year the competition has changed to a two-day format. The teams will do an independent presentation to the judges on Thursday, April 25 at 4 p.m. and the final presentation to the NAIOP membership and general audiences will be held on Friday, April 26 from 7:30 - 9:30 a.m. at the San Diego Marriott Del Mar, where the winners will also be announced.

Argus Team
The 2013 Argus Software University Challenge team (from left to right) Matt Bean, Anthony Ly, Ari Weinstein, Evan Lippow and Nick Norris.

The team that will represent the University of San Diego’s Master of Science in Real Estate program in the 2013 Argus Software University Challenge has also been selected. The Argus team members are: Matt Bean, Evan Lippow, Anthony Ly, Nick Norris and Ari Weinstein. Charles Tu, PhD, will serve as faculty adviser.

The team began working on the comprehensive case on Feb. 8; the final report is due on March 22. This year, 21 universities—including teams from five continents: North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia—are competing in the Argus Challenge.

In the challenge, each team is required to complete a case study. Teams will simulate a comprehensive real-life development analysis of a fictitious commercial real estate project by modeling the provided assumptions using Argus software, which is the real estate industry standard for commercial real estate analysis. Their results are submitted in written report form to a panel of academic and industry judges.

USD has placed the three times the international competition has been held. The USD team won first place in the competition twice, and second place once.

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MSRE Students Pass Argus Certification Exam

Argus logoSix Master of Science in Real Estate students recently passed the certification exam for ARGUS Valuation-DCF and became ARGUS Software Certified (ASC). ARGUS Valuation-DCF has become the industry standard for commercial real estate cash flow projection, valuation and investment analysis. Congratulations to Tom Bobo, Evan Lippow, Anthony Ly, Bryan Masters, Inna Panchuk and Ari Weinstein for passing the exam.

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Real Estate Society Kicks-Off, Students Meet Mentors

Real Estate Society Meeting
(From left to right) Panelists Alex Plishner, Renee Savage ’88 (BBA), Sean Giffin ’11 (MSRE) and current MSRE student Gregor Connors meet before the Feb. 12 Real Estate Society meeting on campus.

On Feb. 12, USD’s Real Estate Society kicked-off its first meeting of the spring semester with a panel of representatives from several local professional real estate organizations. The representatives at the meeting included: Gregor Connors, project manager at Newland Communities and current MSRE student, representing the Urban Land Institute; Sean Giffin ’11 (MSRE), leasing director at NTC Foundation at Liberty Station, representing NAIOP; Alex Plishner, senior community development manager at Shea Homes, representing the Building Industry Association; and Renee Savage ’88 (BBA), senior vice president at Capital Growth Properties, representing the Institute of Real Estate Management.

Mentor Breakfast
(Left to right) Senior Leah Detor meets with her mentor, Kelly Souza ’03 (BBA), senior vice president, Real Estate Group-San Diego of Wells Fargo, at the Feb. 19 mentor kick-off breakfast.

At the meeting, members also were introduced to the Undergraduate Real Estate Mentorship program by Real Estate Alumni Association (REAA) board members Derek Jensen ’07 (MSRE),  Ron May ’07 (MSRE) and Matt Reams ’06 (BBA), as well as undergraduate students who have previously participated in the program.

The following week, the REAA hosted a breakfast on campus, where the undergraduate students and their mentors met for the first time. The 25 students, who were paired with local real estate professionals, are required to meet with their mentors three times throughout the semester and submit a written account of their experiences.

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MSRE Students, Mentors Network on Campus

O'Tooles Event
On Feb. 20, Master of Science in Real Estate students connected with their mentors at a happy hour event at O’Tooles on the USD campus. Each year, MSRE students can chose to participate in the mentor program and be paired with a senior-level executive who can provide career advice. (From left to right) MSRE Student Gregor Connors, mentor Ann Bruce ’02 (BBA) of Cruzan Monroe and MSRE Student Hao Wen at the event.
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Military Times Ranks USD’s Business School 13th in Nation

Military TimesThe University of San Diego’s business school has been ranked in Military Times first-ever Best for Vets: Business Schools survey rankings. Despite this being the survey’s first year, the participation rate was high, with some 100 schools responding, making it a notable achievement. USD’s graduate-level degree programs were ranked 13th, and ranked the highest of any business school on the West Coast. University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business was ranked 55th.

Over the past few years, USD’s business school has gone from being unranked and largely unknown outside of Southern California to being recognized as one of the top programs in the country. With this success has come a sharp rise in interest in USD among college applicants and transfer students.

The MSRE program has two students enrolled who are either currently serving in the military or have veteran status. When asked why USD’s School of Business Administration is a great choice for students active in the military and veterans, Nick Norris, currently in the MSRE’s part-time program and an active duty U.S. Navy SEAL said, “USD has provided an educational foundation requisite to compete in the private sector. Coupled with a decade of combat leadership, my USD education has given me immediate credibility to compete effectively during the next chapter in my professional life in commercial real estate, and ease the stress associated with this transition.”

An article on the survey and the survey rankings appear in this month’s edition of Military Times, both on newsstands and online.

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Professor Norm Miller Speaks to National, Local Industry Audiences

Norm Miller
Norm Miller, PhD

Professor Norm Miller, PhD, was the featured speaker at San Diego Commercial Real Estate’s (SDCRE) lunch meeting in Carmel Valley Feb. 19. Local commercial brokers and lenders came to hear Miller discuss local and national trends in the market. On March 7, Miller was the standalone speaker for a CoStar Webinar “Changing Trends in Office Space Requirements” broadcast, which reached a national audience of over 1,100. During the Webinar, Miller discussed his latest research on: cutting edge designs and formats; perspectives by country, industry or location; office space per worker trends; and the implications for future office space demand.

Back to TopIn the News

Professor Norm Miller, PhD, and associate professor Alan Gin, PhD, were included in the Feb. 8, Feb. 15, Feb. 22, March 1 and March 8 editions of the San Diego Union-Tribune’s weekly “EconoMeter.”

The Burnham-Moores Center’s Journal of Sustainable Real Estate and research from the latest edition was mentioned in a March 5 article on

The Burnham-Moores Center’s 17th Annual Real Estate Conference on March 8 was reported on in several stories and a video following the event including the San Diego Business Journal, The Daily Transcript and the San Diego Union-Tribune (article, video).

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THURSDay, MARCH 14, 2013

Real Estate Alumni Association’s Casual Thursday

Join the Real Estate Alumni Association for a casual night of networking and reconnecting with old friends within USD’s real estate community. A group tour of Kimpton's newly renovated Hotel La Jolla will be available.

  • Hiatus Lounge at Hotel La Jolla, 7955 La Jolla Shores Drive, La Jolla, 92037
  • 5:30 - 7 p.m.
  • Happy hour prices until 7 p.m.
  • For questions, contact Annie Grand at (619) 260-7619.

FRIDAY, APRIL 26, 2013

Third Annual NAIOP University Challenge

  • 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. final presentation to NAIOP and general audiences
  • San Diego Marriott Del Mar, 11966 El Camino Real, Del Mar, 92130
  • For questions, contact Karen Burges at (858) 509-4110.

MONDay, MAY 6, 2013

Annual BMC Day at Petco Park – Save the Date!

The Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate invites you to watch the Padres take on the Miami Marlins. Join real estate alumni, faculty, students and industry professionals at this annual event.

  • 6:10 p.m. Pre-game food and drinks on the Western Metal Rooftop Bleachers; Game begins at 7:10 p.m.
  • Petco Park, 100 Park Blvd, San Diego, 92101
  • For questions, contact Annie Grand at (619) 260-7619.

THURSDay, June 13, 2013

Real Estate Alumni Association’s Annual Bowling Tournament Fundraiser – Save the Date!

Join the Real Estate Alumni Association for its annual bowling tournament fundraiser, which raises money for real estate scholarships.

  • 6 - 9 p.m.
  • East Village Tavern and Bowl, 930 Market St., San Diego, 92101
  • For sponsorship opportunities or questions, contact Annie Grand at 619-260-7619.

MONDAY, JULY 15, 2013

Application Deadline for Fall 2013 MSRE Program

  • To apply or for more information, go here.

Back to TopContinuing Education - Upcoming Courses and Seminars


Property Management


TUESDAY, JULY 16, 2013

Real Estate Process Seminar