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Letter from the Executive Director

Stath KarrasStath Karras

I am pleased and honored to be chosen as the executive director for the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate. Through the focused efforts of Mark Riedy, in conjunction with a stellar faculty, professional staff and an engaged group of industry professionals, the center has a rock solid foundation and reputation.

19th Annual Real Estate ConferenceOur mission of recruiting, educating, mentoring and assisting in garnering exceptional career opportunities for our students was recently greatly enhanced through the establishment of the Mark J. Riedy Legacy Scholarships from funds raised at Mark's retirement dinner and scholarship fundraiser last month, which raised over $300,000.

The Burnham-Moores Center team will maintain our upward trajectory as we graduate future generations of real-estate, business and community leaders. Through The Pipeline newsletter, we will continue to keep you updated on the execution of our mission and the successes of the talented students coming through the undergraduate and MSRE programs. There is no greater joy than to see a graduate, that embodies the values of the University of San Diego, become an active and positive influence in the communities in which they live and work.

In conjunction with the School of Business Administration and the University of San Diego, we look forward to continuing to provide excellent academic and applied experience for those students whom have entrusted us for their education and preparation for personal and career growth.

Stath Karras
Executive Director

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Mark Riedy Retirement Party Raises Over $300K for Real Estate Scholarships

Mark Riedy Retirement Party
Mark Riedy, PhD, and his wife Erin enjoying the speeches at his retirement party at USD's Hahn University Center on Jan. 28.

The Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate (BMC) hosted a retirement celebration and real estate scholarship fundraiser for former Executive Director Mark Riedy, PhD, on Jan. 28 at the University of San Diego. More than 300 industry executives attended the private dinner and over $300,000 in scholarship monies were raised for the newly created Mark J. Riedy Legacy Scholarships.

George Chamberlin, executive editor of The Daily Transcript and a close friend of Riedy’s, emceed the special event. During the celebration, real estate executives, colleagues and USD alumni reflected on memorable experiences working and learning from Riedy. Speakers from the industry and the university included: Malin Burnham, chairman of The Burnham Foundation; Reverend Monsignor Dan Dillabough, vice president of Mission and Ministry at the University of San Diego; Ian Gill, principal of Highland Partnership Inc., managing member of Silvergate Development LLC, and chairman, BMC’s Policy Advisory Board Executive Committee; Stath Karras, the newly appointed executive director of the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate; Mary E. Lyons, PhD, president of the University of San Diego; and David Pyke, PhD, dean of the School of Business Administration (SBA) at the University of San Diego.

The event featured several special gift presentations from former Woodruff scholarship recipients, USD’s Real Estate Alumni Association and the BMC’s faculty and staff. Final remarks came from Riedy’s son, John Riedy, his brother-in-law, John Lynch, and concluded with the honoree, Mark Riedy, offering his farewell and thanks to all those who helped him throughout his career. He also discussed his plans for the future with his family, travel with his wife, Erin, golf and more golf.

Riedy founded the Burnham-Moores Center more than 22 years ago and turned the program into one of the nation’s most respected real estate centers. His last day at USD was on Jan. 15, 2015. Industry leader, Stath Karras, became executive director of the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate effective Jan. 19.

“We owe Mark a terrific debt of gratitude for creating, inspiring, nurturing and growing the BMC to become a benchmark for other Centers of Excellence at USD,” said Ian Gill, who also chaired the retirement party dinner committee. “We look forward to working with Dean Pyke and the SBA to build on his legacy in the future.”

If you are interested in making a donation towards the Mark J. Riedy Legacy Scholarships, please contact Kimberly Malasky at (619) 260-4786.

View our Flickr page for more photos from this special event.

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Undergraduate Student, Craig Henderlite, Named Woodruff Scholar

Craig Henderlite
Craig Henderlite
Daniel Woodruff
Daniel B. Woodruff
1973 - 2000

Craig Henderlite, an undergraduate student at USD, was selected by the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate as the fall 2014 recipient of the Daniel B. Woodruff Memorial Scholarship. Henderlite joins 22 other men and women selected for the honor since the scholarship was created in the fall of 2000.

The scholarship is awarded to an exceptional undergraduate or graduate student who best epitomizes Daniel Woodruff ’98 (BBA), who passed from cancer in 2000. Woodfuff’s qualities included academic excellence, warmth, determination, intellectual curiosity and unabashed love for humankind. One student who exhibits high academic performance standards and has a special story or set of attributes that define him/her as exceptional is awarded this scholarship each semester. Students are not able to apply for this scholarship.

Henderlite will graduate in May 2015 with two degrees, a bachelor of accountancy with a real estate concentration and a bachelor of business administration with a finance major. During his time at USD, Henderlite has held internships in the real estate and financial services industries, working an average of 20-40 hours per week while pursuing his dual degrees. He is also active in the Real Estate Society, a fraternity and has maintained a 3.81 overall GPA. Henderlite has already accepted a permanent position with Wells Fargo in the Commercial Real Estate Group in Irvine, Calif., which will commence in July 2015.

Henderlite will be recognized at the Burnham-Moores Center’s 19th Annual Real Estate Conference on March 5, 2015 and will have the distinct honor of making brief remarks.

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Matt Reno to Receive USD’s Author E. Hughes Career Achievement Award

Matt Reno
Matt Reno ‘80 (BBA)

Matt Reno ‘80 (BBA), founder and CEO of Reno Contracting Inc. and Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s Policy Advisory Board Executive Committee member, was selected as the 2015 recipient of the University of San Diego’s Author E. Hughes Career Achievement Award for the School of Business Administration. The award was inaugurated in 1995 to commemorate the legacy of USD President Emeritus Author E. Hughes and recognizes USD alumni for their outstanding service and exemplary representation of the ideals characteristic of USD’s most outstanding alumni.

The award will be presented to Reno at the Alumni Honors ceremony April 25, where he will receive a bronze medallion as a symbol of his extraordinary service and commitment to the University of San Diego. Reno will become one of only 22 alumni from USD’s School of Business Administration to have earned this distinction.

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Recent BMC Faculty and Staff Awards

Norm MIller
Norm Miller, PhD
Mark Riedy
Mark Riedy, PhD
Vivek Sah
Vivek Sah, PhD

Professor Norm Miller, PhD, was recently selected as a “Top Influential” for 2015 by The Daily Transcript. Finalists were selected by senior executives at The Transcript from a group nominated by members of the business community and staff at The Transcript. Criteria for nomination and selection included: public recognition; recognition as an opinion leader within the community; and contributions made via public dialogue at industry roundtables at The Transcript. The publication also ran a profile on Miller as part of the special publication about the honorees on Jan. 15.

Former Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate Executive Director Mark Riedy, PhD, received a “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the San Diego Business Journal. Riedy was honored at the Journal’s 2015 Top Real Estate Deals event on Feb. 19 at the San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum in Balboa Park.

Assistant Professor Vivek Sah, PhD, co-authored a paper with USD economics professors Stephen Conroy, PhD and Andrew Narwold, PhD, which won the “2014 Best Paper Award” in economics at the Academy of Economics and Finance Conference. Conroy received the award at this year’s conference in Jacksonville, Fl. The paper, titled “The Impact of Elementary School Proximity on Residential Property Values: Evidence for a School Proximity Penalty,” finds net proximity effect to be very negative for housing located right next to elementary schools, private or public.

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MSRE Student Receives Grant to Attend RERI Conference

Clarence Wong
Clarence Wong

Master of Science in Real Estate (MSRE) student, Clarence Wong, was selected to attend the annual Real Estate Research Institute (RERI) Conference on April 29-30, 2015 at DePaul University in Chicago. Wong will also be eligible for a travel stipend up to $1,000 to cover travel-related expenses.

RERI’s research conferences feature presentations of funded papers which are selected on the basis of their contributions to real estate investment decision-making. Conference attendees are among the top academic researchers and practitioners in the institutional real estate industry. By attending the conference, Wong will have opportunities to hear from and speak with these respected individuals and learn about stimulating new ideas that will aid in the formulation of a research topic.

This is the second time a USD student has received a grant to attend this conference.


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Students “Speed Network” with Employers at Annual Real Estate Career Expo

Career Expo
Undergraduate and graduate real estate students (shown left) met with employers at the 13th Annual Real Estate Career Expo.

On Feb. 19, the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate hosted its 13th Annual Real Estate Career Expo on campus. Participants included 51 company representatives from the real estate industry and 79 graduate and undergraduate students. Company representatives were given a résumé book of student participants who attended the Expo. The event was conducted in a speed-networking format, which enabled students to participate in 10 rounds of six minute long informational interviews. After the last round, students had the opportunity to continue networking with the company representatives.

View more photos from the Career Expo.

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USD Teams Selected for NAIOP and ARGUS Case Competitions

University of San Diego's ARGUS Team
The 2015 ARGUS Software University Challenge team (from left to right) Clarence Wong, Mike Vielma, Luc Dreifuss, Lori Malins and Eddie Allen.

Each year, University of San Diego’s Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s graduate and undergraduate students participate in regional and international real estate related case competitions.

The ARGUS Software Challenge is an international annual real estate competition which provides select graduate level students an opportunity to participate in a powerful and compelling competition using the ARGUS software.

The 2015 MSRE team for ARGUS Software’s University Challenge includes: Eddie Allen, Luc Dreifuss, Lori Malins, Mike Vielma and Clarence Wong. Charles Tu, PhD, will serve as faculty adviser.

This year, there are 19 schools competing in the ARGUS challenge, including two teams from Canada and two from the United Kingdom. The case was released on January 30 and the final report and ARGUS files are due on Feb. 27. 

The title of this year’s case is “Think Green 2015.” Teams will analyze a mixed-use property located in Greenville, a fictitious downtown district that has been on the upswing for the past couple of years. The teams will develop strategies to maximize the investment’s potential. This case also involves topics such as transit-oriented development and sustainability.

The USD MSRE team has been recognized all five years of the international competition, winning first place in the competition on three occasions and second place in the other two competitions.

University of San Diego's NAIOP Team
The 2015 NAIOP University Challenge team (from left to right) Sam Rector, Greg Pettersen, Matt Sirianni, Sophia Roberts, Will Bastien and Chelsea Mattoon.

USD’s undergraduate real estate students will participate in the 2015 NAIOP University Challenge. Three teams (USD, San Diego State University and University of California San Diego) compete head-to-head in the competition to find the highest and best use of a piece of land in Sand Diego County.

The 2015 USD team for the NAIOP University Challenge includes: Will Bastien, Chelsea Mattoon, Greg Pettersen, Sophia Roberts and Matt Sirianni. Professor Charles Tu, PhD, will serve as faculty adviser to the team.

The site for NAIOP University Challenge is at the northwest corner of Market and Euclid in Southeast San Diego. This 13.75 acre site is owned by the Jacobs Center for Innovation. The teams will recommend a development strategy for the site that will not only be profitable for the developer, but also enhance economic growth in the local community.

After submitting a written report and making a formal presentation of their findings to judges, each team will present their case to NAIOP members on April 23 at the San Diego Hall of Champions Sports Museum in Balboa Park. The winning team will be announced at the event.

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USD Students Travel to Hong Kong, Dominican Republic over Intersession

Hong Kong
While in Hong Kong, students met with Deming Zhang ’06 (MSRE) (pictured second from bottom right), who works for China Vanke Co., the largest developer in China. Zhang works as a senior associate in the company’s investment banking department.

Over the winter intersession, MSRE students traveled to Hong Kong to participate in a “Commercial Real Estate Capital Markets” course taught by Professor Charles Tu, PhD. The study abroad program was designed for students to learn about the business and economic environment of the Hong Kong region through coursework‚ expert guest lecturers and opportunities to participate in socio-cultural group activities. View more photos from the trip on our Flickr page.

Dominican Republic
Professor Vivek Sah, PhD, (far right) with MBA students at a private Christian school in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

Assistant Professor, Vivek, Sah, PhD, taught an MBA international practicum course in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic over the winter intersession. The course is a consulting class in which the students work on local projects in various international locations for 10 days. While in the Dominican Republic, students were tasked with developing a microloan product for solar panels, targeting private schools, for a microfinance company. In another project, students were asked to conduct a market analysis for a non-profit organization in order to identify the major threats to the faith-based K-12 school industry in the Dominican Republic.

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Tribute to Former Adjunct Professor Sherm Harmer

Sherm Harmer
Sherm Harmer

Sherm Harmer, president of Urban Housing Partners Inc., retired this semester as an adjunct professor for the MSRE program. He taught “Real Estate Development” each spring since 2006, and has consistently been a favorite teacher amongst the students.

On the first day of class this semester, Harmer handed his baton off to Professor Norm Miller, PhD, who is now teaching the course. Harmer recently received the prestigious Crystal Globe Lifetime Achievement Award from Lambda Alpha International, an honorary society that provides a forum for the study and advancement of land economics.

Several of Harmer’s colleagues at the BMC recognized Harmer for being such an outstanding professor during his tenure:

“I am so proud of my friend and inspiration, Sherm, for his industry and USD leadership, teaching and mentorship to our students, which was recognized by Lambda Alpha International with the Crystal Globe Lifetime Achievement Award, ” said Ian Gill, principal of Highland Partnership Inc., managing member of Silvergate Development LLC, and chairman, BMC’s Policy Advisory Board Executive Committee.

Stath Karras, executive director of the Burnham-Moores Center said that “Sherm is one of a handful of individuals that has quietly and consistently worked to grow the BMC to its current stature. Sherm has played an integral part in the strategy and development of the BMC and has been a critical fundraiser. In addition, Sherm has taught several classes and mentored and employed a significant number of the BMC students. There is no question that Sherm has been one of the major catalysts of success for the BMC and we appreciate the time and effort he has put into the program. Most importantly, Sherm has been a role-model for other participants in the program and we know his involvement will motivate others to make a difference.”

“Sherm is the consummate communicator with off-the-chart ratings as a teacher. He stood straight, looked right into the student’s eyes and challenged them to do their best. He is a great role model for all of us and he will be missed in the classroom,” said Professor Miller.

Below are also anonymous comments from student evaluations on Harmer’s class and teaching style at the end of the semester over the years:

“I love Sherm’s approachability and innate desire to bring up the next generation.”
“Sherm’s passion and the overall topic.”
“Realistic approach to development.”
“Great class taught by a key real estate developer.”
“Professor Harmer is a delight to listen to, especially when he talks about his past experiences and accomplishments.”
“I like professor Harmer’s talking pace and his knowledge and vision throughout the world help us have a better understanding of real estate development.”
“Professor Harmer’s knowledge is amazing and priceless.”
“By far the best class in the program.”
“Harmer is a very good teacher in the sense that he has so much experience in development; he, by himself makes the days very interesting.”
“It opened my eyes to the development process. It helped build a foundation in which I will use to continue to learn development.”
“Prof.’s knowledge and experience on current issues and political process and issues in development.”
“The amazing instructor.”
“Without Sherm this class is nothing. I hope he lives forever.”

We will miss you, Sherm!

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Alumni Matters

Michael Crumpacker
Michael Crumpacker ’12 (BBA)
Chris Lisle
Chris Lisle ’11 (BBA)
Kelly Ness
Kelly Ness ’12 (BBA)
Daniel Reeves
Daniel Reeves ’12 (MSRE/MBA)

Michael Crumpacker ’12 (BBA) recently joined Marathon Asset Management LP in New York, NY as an associate. Crumpacker began his career at the Wells Fargo Commercial Real Estate Group in New York. At Wells Fargo, he was involved in the underwriting, origination and management of over $1 billion of structured real estate debt for the bank’s institutional clientele.

Chris Lisle ’11 (BBA) recently started Avanti Development Partners, a real estate advisory and development company based in San Diego. Avanti’s principal focus is to provide project management services to investors and developers in the San Diego region. Lisle’s experience ranges from financial analysis and market research to development management. Most recently, Lisle served as a project management consultant during the development of the Irvine Company’s Northern California retail portfolio.

Kelly Ness ’12 (BBA) was recently named director of development and brokerage services at Nemax Inc., a privately held development and property management company. Ness will perform a variety of tasks in her new position, including listing industrial and retail centers, overseeing new multi-tenant industrial development from planning to completion and assisting in acquisitions in Southern California. Ness recently became a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM), which is awarded to commercial real estate professionals upon successful completion of an advanced analytical curriculum and presentation of a portfolio of qualifying industry experience. She previously worked at Lee and Associates Commercial Real Estate, where she was responsible for listing retail buildings for lease, tenant representation and investment sales in Carlsbad.

Daniel Reeves ’12 (MSRE/MBA) joined the Downtown San Diego Partnership (DSDP) in April 2014 as the vice president of economic development and public policy. In this position, Reeves develops strategic partnerships with companies and organizations and works with DSDP’s strong membership base to foster economic progress downtown. He serves on the Downtown Community Planning Council, the Downtown Parking Management Group, the Regional Chamber of Commerce Public Policy Committee and the Smart Border Coalition. Reeves is an active member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and sits on ULI’s Management Committee, Program Committee, Revitalization and Reuse Council and he co-chairs the Binational Committee. Prior to joining DSDP, Reeves worked as a project manager at Civic San Diego specializing in alternative financing mechanisms and the development of tools that create opportunities for economic revitalization.

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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Recent BMC Speaking Engagements

Real Deal Event
(From left to right) Mark J. Riedy, PhD, George Chamberlin and Stath Karras at The Daily Transcript's Real Deal Luncheon on campus Feb. 12.

Professor Norm Miller, PhD, facilitated a discussion on triple net single tenant leases at Institutional Real Estate Inc.’s 2015 Visions, Insights and Perspectives (VIP) America’s Conference from Jan. 28-30 at the St. Regis Monarch Beach in Dana Point. Miller also recently spoke at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Commercial Real Estate Finance Conference in downtown San Diego on Feb. 2, where he offered his economic outlook. Several MSRE students also attended the conference.

On Feb. 12, Burnham-Moores Center’s Executive Director, Stath Karras, spoke at The Daily Transcript’s Real Deal Luncheon on USD’s campus. Mark Riedy, PhD, executive director emeritus, also attended the event and introduced Karras. The annual event, which is co-hosted by the Burnham-Moores Center, recognizes the winners of The Daily Transcript’s “Real Deal,” which includes San Diego’s top commercial real estate broker deals, sales and leases from 2014.

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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, was quoted in an article in the November/December edition of California Buildings News on whether micro-dwellings could be an affordable solution for the cost of housing in urban areas.

Norm Miller, PhD, and associate professor Alan Gin, PhD, were included in the Dec. 19, Dec. 23, Dec. 26, Jan. 2, Jan. 9, Jan. 16, Jan. 23, Feb. 2, and Feb. 6 editions of U-T San Diego’s “EconoMeter.”

Norm Miller, PhD, was quoted in The Daily Transcript Jan. 7 on drone use in real estate.

An article announcing the last day of former BMC Executive Director Mark J. Riedy, PhD, and the first day of new Executive Director, Stath Karras, appeared in The Daily Transcript Jan. 15.

Norm Miller, PhD, was featured in The Daily Transcript Jan. 15 for being selected as a “Top Influential” for 2015 by the publication.

Former Executive Director Mark J. Riedy, PhD’s retirement dinner celebration and scholarship fundraiser, hosted by the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate, was mentioned in The Daily Transcript on Jan. 29.

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

The Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate’s upcoming 19th Annual Real Estate Conference was mentioned in The Daily Transcript on Feb. 5.

A feature on Executive Director, Stath Karras, appeared in The Daily Transcript on Feb. 16.

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 real estate related industry topics. To request an interview or speaking engagement, contact Kimberly Malasky at (619) 260-4786.

Back to TopCalendar of Events

THURSDay, MARCH 5, 2015

19th Annual Real Estate Conference

Time: 7 - 11:45 a.m.

Location: Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego, 1 Market Place, San Diego, Calif. 92101

Cost: $175 per person, $1,750 for a reserved table of 10 seats or $875 for a reserved half table of five seats

Keynote speaker: John B. Kilroy Jr., chairman of the board, president and CEO of Kilroy Realty Corp.

Panel topics to include: Transformational Technologies Impacting Commercial Real Estate; Demographic Impacts on Real Estate Strategy and Design; and Crowdfunding of Real Estate and its Future as a Viable Capital Source.

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


Register for the conference.

Back to TopContinuing Education Courses and Seminars


Real Estate Investment and Income Analysis 102


WEDNESDay, JULY 15 and 22, 2015

The Real Estate Process



*Please note: The Pipeline will no longer be released monthly. Henceforth, it will be produced bimonthly.


Learn more about the Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate.


Learn more about the Master of Science in Real Estate program.


Join the Real Estate Alumni Association.