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Letter from the Executive Director

Mark RiedyMark Riedy, PhD

Editor’s note: This is the first of three letters in which Dr. Riedy reflects on subjects critically important to the advancement of the USD real estate program since its founding in 1993.

In past editions I frequently highlighted the terrific support from our industry stakeholders, but seldom have I recognized the long-standing support of the University of San Diego, which though generally given "behind the scenes" has been equally important to the success of the real estate program. Indeed, USD has been an equal partner with the industry in nurturing and helping the program to flourish over more than two decades.

Women in Real Estate ConferenceStarting in 1993 the University of San Diego warmly embraced the concept of creating a significant academic curriculum in real estate as a natural complement to its popular finance and economics programs. Industry leaders also simultaneously recognized the value of formalized education in real estate and in short order raised $1.5 million to endow the Ernest W. Hahn Chair in Real Estate Finance, which I have been honored to hold since its creation.

The opportunity to hold the Hahn Chair to build an academic program of significance at USD appealed strongly to my passion for real estate and to my career-long enjoyment in building, re-building and/or growing real estate-related organizations. It didn't hurt that USD had an outstanding reputation as a liberal arts university, which today has been enhanced greatly by the growth of its professional programs, nor by the fact that I already knew San Diego to be a strong real estate town over and above its reputation as a travel destination and a community with incredible pride in its military presence and traditions.

Because USD gave me wide latitude to build an academic program that "made sense" without prescribing what such a program would look like, I was free to draw heavily upon my faculty colleagues and upon real estate professionals from San Diego and across the country to begin designing the curriculum. One of the most immediate opportunities for which the university provided resources occurred when in the space of just one or two years three different existing professors asked if they could develop and teach real estate-oriented courses―one a principles course, one in urban economics and one in real estate law. These initiatives meant that those professors would be less available to teach other courses, and USD approved their changes in priorities. A program in real estate was being born.

Thereafter, as student demand and the curriculum grew, USD also approved the hiring first of one, then two and now three full-time faculty, one full-time instructor, several adjunct faculty from the industry, and two administrative professionals to support the real estate program, which in 2014 offers real estate majors and minors for undergraduates and an MSRE degree for graduate students. This expansion in USD support for real estate has been exceptional from the start, and is so strong that USD willingly memorialized its commitment to continuing and expanding that support as part of the agreement creating the endowment for and naming of the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.

Two other major illustrations of USD’s contributions to the success of the real estate program stand out in my mind. First is the rapid (by university standards everywhere) approval of our proposed Master of Science in Real Estate degree by USD’s faculty and trustees in 2004. Universities quite properly are ultra-conservative about approving new graduate degree programs, so our process from start to finish in about one year was extraordinary. Second, when the opportunity to recruit Norm Miller, an internationally recognized author and real estate scholar, presented itself, USD went the proverbial extra mile to help us hire him. Dave Pyke, dean of the School of Business Administration, instantly recognized the value Norm could add to our program and to the university as a whole. Dean Pyke championed our request for approval quickly and successfully, which was especially critical because the competition to recruit Norm was intense.

Rounding third base and heading toward home with respect to my career at USD, naturally part of my focus and concern are the personal and professional qualities, and the capabilities, of my successor. It is reassuring to me and should be to our industry stakeholders as well that Dean Pyke has invited three industry leaders―Ian Gill, Sherm Harmer and Jeff Reed―all strongly committed to the BMC and each a long-time member of the Center’s Policy Advisory Board Executive Committee, to be members of the search committee. Real estate faculty members Norm Miller and Charles Tu also are on the search committee, which adds an additional layer of comfort in terms of my confidence in the final outcome of the search process. Universities rarely appoint industry executives as official members of search committees, so for us to have three knowledgeable and dedicated executives on the search committee in addition to Miller and Tu is extraordinary. Dean Pyke deserves a great deal of credit for taking these steps to ensure the best possible hire of an industry executive capable of transformational changes in advancing the quality and reputation of USD's real estate program and the BMC.

Mark J. Riedy, PhD
Executive Director

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Real Estate Society Hosts First-Time Homebuyer Seminar

First-Time Homebuyer Seminar
(From left to right) Mike Graves and Seth O'Byrne '05 (BBA) answer questions from the audience at the First-Time Homebuyer Seminar on campus Sept. 25.

On Sept. 25, the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, in conjunction with USD’s Real Estate Society, hosted its annual First-Time Homebuyer Seminar on campus. The seminar was funded by the California Mortgage Bankers Association Foundation and provides those interested in buying a home from the USD and Linda Vista communities an opportunity to learn about the lending and buying process from real estate experts. Speakers at this year’s event included USD alumnus Seth O'Byrne '05 (BBA), realtor and team leader at Pacific Sotheby’s International Realty, and Mike Graves, sales manager at Residential Wholesale Mortgage, Inc. Attendees had an opportunity to pose questions to the experts after the speakers’ presentations.

View more photos from the event.

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Center to Host Fourth Annual Women in Real Estate Conference

Jean Kane
Jean Kane

The Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate will host its Fourth Annual Women in Real Estate (WIRE) Conference on Nov. 5. This event attracts real estate and financial services professionals and highlights successful women in the real estate industry regionally, nationally and internationally. Women and men are encouraged to attend.

The keynote speaker, Jean Kane, CEO of Welsh & Colliers International in Minnesota and the 2014 executive chairman of NAIOP, will address the changing face of commercial real estate and how to stay relevant and capitalize on an evolving client base.

Following the keynote presentation, a panel moderated by Bess Wakeman, executive vice president of Jones Lang LaSalle, will focus on the millennial generation and their impact on real estate markets and opportunities. You won't want to miss this interactive panel/audience discussion sharing their insights on a variety of topics and trends related to the next generation of real estate leaders. The panel will include: Kimberly Chanelle Clark, JD, associate at Voit Real Estate Services; Daniele Horton, LEED AP O+M, MS, CEM, Assoc. AIA, founder and principal of Verdani Partners; Melissa Scofield, associate at CBRE; and Kelly Souza '03 (BBA), senior vice president and manager of the Wells Fargo Commercial Real Estate office in San Diego.

For sponsorship opportunities or questions about the conference, contact Kimberly Malasky at (619) 260-4786.

Register for the conference.

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Woodruff Scholarship Recipients Attend Annual Dinner

Woodruff Scholarship Dinner 2014
Fifteen of the 21 Woodruff Scholarship recipients and Mark Riedy at the annual Daniel B. Woodruff Memorial Scholarship recipient’s dinner on Oct. 7.

On Oct. 7, Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate Executive Director Mary Riedy, and his wife Erin, hosted the 11th Annual Daniel B. Woodruff Memorial Scholarship recipients’ dinner at their home in Del Mar. Fifteen of the 21 Woodruff Scholarship recipients attended the dinner as shown in the picture above from left to right, top to bottom: Caleb McKinley ’02 (BBA); Brett Kondrick ’08 (BBA); Molly Jones ’11 (BBA); Mark Riedy; Brad Flewellen ’09 (MSRE); Jon Fuller ’14 (BBA); Chris Lisle ’12 (BBA); Justin Shifrin ’11 (MSRE); Jesse Votaw ’06 (MSRE); Mike Scafuri ’05 (MSRE); Jacob Schwartz ’02 (BBA); Svetlana Istrati ’08 (BBA); Nick Norris ’13 (MSRE); Elsa Ramirez-Diaz ’03 (BBA); Rey Ross ’03 (MBA); and Rodd Miller ’01 (BBA).

“The annual dinner of Woodruff Scholarship recipients is every bit a family reunion,” said Mark Riedy. “Guests come from near and far―Chicago, Salt Lake City, the Bay Area and Long Beach. This year, Elsa Ramirez-Diaz’s baby was even due the day of the dinner. Conversations ranged from growing families and career advances to deals done together and the benefits of being resources for one another. Their respect and affection for one another and for me were palpable―truly a uniquely enjoyable evening.”

The scholarship was established by the Center in 2000 as a permanent tribute to USD graduate Daniel Woodruff ’98 (BA), to honor the most outstanding student pursuing a career in real estate. Woodruff died of cancer at the age of 27, less than two years after graduating from USD.

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MSRE Students Meet Mentors at Kick-Off Breakfast

Mentor Breakfast MSRE
MSRE students meet with their mentors for the first time on Oct. 9.

Students in the Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) program met with their respective mentors at the annual “Mentor Kickoff Breakfast” held on campus Oct. 9. While the mentor program is optional for the students, almost all take advantage of the excellent opportunity to network and learn from top industry leaders. MSRE students who partake in the Burnham-Moores Center’s mentor program are matched with a specific industry leader based upon their career interests and are required to meet regularly with their mentor throughout the academic year.

The Real Estate Alumni Association also offers a mentorship program for interested undergraduate real estate students each semester. The kick-off breakfast for this program will be on Oct. 22. If you are interesting in mentoring an undergraduate student, please contact Joe Bertocchini.

MSRE Program 2015

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Alumni Matters

Chris Arthur
Chris Arthur ’06 (MSRE)
Lawrence Kopp
Lawrence Kopp ’10 (MSRE)

Chris Arthur ’06 (MSRE) joined National Community Renaissance (CORE), one of the nation’s largest owners and developers of affordable housing. In his current role, Arthur is responsible for acquisitions, financial underwriting, securing competitive public funding sources and managing the development process from entitlement through construction completion. After joining CORE in May, Arthur secured competitive financing for the first phase of a 411 unit redevelopment deal in the city of San Bernardino that will break ground later this year and replaces 1940’s era public housing with brand new apartment units. By utilizing density bonuses, tax concessions and subsidies available for low-income housing, Arthur has successfully financed and developed hundreds of units throughout California that serve seniors, veterans, residents with special needs, students and working families. He has over eight years of multifamily and affordable housing development and finance experience, having previously worked at Chelsea Investment Corporation and Palm Communities.

Lawrence Kopp ’10 (MSRE) has been named an independent sales associate at the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Encinitas office. Kopp will be performing a wide spectrum of work from listing office and retail buildings for lease, tenant representation, investment sales and residential sales. Kopp brings more than 16 years of experience to the position after having worked as an associate vice president of commercial real estate at NAI San Diego. He worked as a consultant with the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate to produce local market data reports and is a board member of USD’s Real Estate Alumni Association board.

Alumni News
If you are a USD alum working in the real estate industry, we would like to hear from you. Please e-mail Diane Ice with recent and significant career-related achievements and initiatives. All submissions will be considered for publication.

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Norm Miller Guest Lectures to Students

Norm Miller Speaks
Professor Norm Miller speaks to USD's Economic Council meeting on Sept. 23.

On Sept. 23, Professor Norm Miller, PhD, was the guest speaker during USD’s Economics Council monthly meeting. As an owner of the car and a sustainability expert, Miller was invited to discuss Tesla’s overall sustainability and battery as well as the firm’s long term prospects. On Oct. 1, Miller was a guest lecturer during Associate Professor Xudong An’s evening valuation class at San Diego State University, where he discussed the state of the art in automated valuation models (AVMs) as applied to residential property. 

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MSRE Students Attend ICSC Conference

ICSC 2014Several Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) students attended the International Council of Shopping Center’s 2014 Western Division Conference and Deal Making, held Oct. 1-2 at the San Diego Convention Center. The event is the premier retail real estate networking event in the Western United States and offers tenants, industry experts, career builders and entrepreneurs a way to forge and maintain business relationships within the western region.

The conference’s general session was titled “Development is Revving Up,” and additional breakout sessions focused on hot-button topics in the industry including green building and operations, finance, crowdfunding and retailers. The conference also offered the students various networking opportunities at social functions and the chance to meet with key industry leaders.

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USD Index of Leading Economic Indicators

Alan Gin
Alan Gin, PhD

Alan Gin, PhD, associate professor of economics at USD, has compiled the “USD Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County” for the Burnham-Moores Center since January 2002. The Index is a highly regarded monthly report which offers an outlook of the local economy. Gin is a popular resource for information and analyses and has given over 1,000 interviews to local and national media sources since 2002.

Gin’s most recent Index report appears monthly in The Pipeline.

To schedule a media interview with Gin, please contact Kimberly Malasky, director of communications and administration.

Back to TopIn the News

Professor Norm Miller, PhD, and associate professor Alan Gin, PhD, were included in the Sept. 19, Sept. 26, Oct. 3 and Oct. 10 editions of U-T San Diego’s “EconoMeter.”

Norm Miller, PhD, was quoted in a Sept. 30 Daily Transcript article on how technology is changing the role of real estate agents.

Alan Gin, PhD, was featured in U-T San Diego, KPBS and following his most recent release of the USD Index of Leading Economic Indicators for San Diego County, which he compiles for the Burnham-Moores Center.

Media and Speaking Engagement Inquiries
The Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate is proud to connect our world-class faculty and executive team with the media and the community to discuss a wide range of financial and real estate-related industry topics. To request an interview or speaking engagement, contact Kimberly Malasky at (619) 260-4786.

Back to TopCalendar of Events

WEDNESDay, NOV. 5, 2014

Fourth Annual Women in Real Estate Conference

presenting sponsor: CREW

Time: 7:30 - 8 a.m. breakfast and networking, 8 – 10 a.m. program
Location: University of San Diego, Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110

Keynote: Jean Kane, chief executive officer, Welsh & Colliers International and executive chairman of the board of NAIOP.

Millennial Generation Panel: Kimberly Chanelle Clark, JD, associate at Voit Real Estate Services; Daniele Horton, LEED AP O+M, MS, CEM, Assoc. AIA, founder and principal of Verdani Partners; Melissa Scofield, associate at CBRE; and Kelly Souza '03 (BBA), senior vice president and manager of the Wells Fargo Commercial Real Estate office in San Diego. The moderator will be Bess Wakeman, executive vice president of Jones Lang LaSalle.
Cost: $50 per person
Sponsor this conference. Contact Kimberly Malasky at (619) 260-4786 for more information on sponsorship opportunities.

Register for the conference.

TUESDay, DEC. 2, 2014

15th Annual Residential Real Estate Conference: Outlook 2015

Time: 7:30 - 10 a.m.
University of San Diego,  Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice, 5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, CA 92110

Cost: $65 per person

Sponsor this conference. Contact Diane Ice at (619) 260-2379 for more information or sponsorship opportunities.

Register for the conference.

THURSDay, MARCH 5, 2015

19th Annual Real Estate Conference - SAVE THE DATE

Time: 7:30 - 11 a.m.

Location: Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, 1 Market Place, San Diego, CA 92101
Sponsor this conference. Contact Diane Ice at (619) 260-2379 for more information

or sponsorship opportunities.

Back to TopContinuing Education Information Sessions and Courses

WEDNESDay, OCT. 29, 2014

Continuing Education Information Session

Learn more about USD’s Professional and Continuing Education program and the Real Estate Finance, Investments and Development Certificate.


Time: 6 p.m.
Location: Manchester Executive Conference Center, University of San Diego campus 
Cost: Free


Register for the session.


CEQA and Other Environmental Regulations