Two important USD rankings came out last week: the School of Business Administration's undergraduate business program was ranked — for the second consecutive year — among the Top 50 programs in the country by BusinessWeek magazine, and USD's baseball team was ranked No. 9 in the USA Today/ESPN Baseball Coaches Poll.
The first ranking is one that we at the Burnham-Moores Center can all take special pride in, given the ongoing strength of our real estate program, which I believe to be an important contributor to the growing reputation for excellence of USD's undergraduate program overall. While seemingly unconnected, I also felt a personal affiliation to the second ranking. In the full-page write-up that appeared on USD's baseball team in USA Today's Feb. 21 edition, the paper chronicled the team's implausible rise in the national rankings under the unconventional leadership of Coach Rich Hill.
Hill brought his team to this level without the financial or physical resources enjoyed by most of the other Top 20 teams, who also have athletic legacies on their side. As Hill said in the article, "Look at the schools that are 1 through 20! What's USD doing on this list?" The team got to where they are, Hill said, by acting "As if." "We didn't worry about the West Coast powers," Hill told the paper. "We were going to build this ourselves. We adopted the mantra, 'Act as if . . . .' Act as if we're a national contender. Act as if we're West Coast Conference champions. Act as if we're West Coast regional champs."
The corollary between USD's baseball team's story and our own at the Burnham-Moores Center is striking. As a young program, we, too, lack the endowment, classroom facilities, research support and reputation enjoyed by the top-level schools we compete against for students, faculty members and financial backing. Yet we continue to believe in and work toward our goal of being in the Top 10 real estate programs nationwide. While USD is a wonderful university and getting better all the time, we never will be a Harvard, MIT, USC, Berkeley or Wisconsin. We cannot compete with their endowments or their brand-name recognition.
To overcome those odds, every single person involved in the Center's program is dedicated to making ours a top-ranked real estate program. We realize that this will not happen overnight. Our efforts now in the areas of student and faculty recruitment, fundraising, curriculum development, career and alumni services, research and external relations may take another five, 10 or 20 years to fully bear fruit. Each day, we plant the seeds to support our long-term vision of a fully endowed, world-class real estate center housed in state-of-the-art facilities in which the top professors in the field provide an industry-oriented, values-based, high-tech education to the best and brightest real estate students from across the country and around the world.
With 110 percent commitment from everyone involved in our program — from students to faculty to staff to committee members, among many others — I'm confident that someday we will realize this exciting vision and be grouped with the best brand name schools in America.
The Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate is pleased to announce the addition of three new members to the Policy Advisory Board (PAB) Executive Committee. Joe Tyson, Tom Sudberry and Brad Geier will offer their industry insight to the now 40-person committee, which is headed by chairman John Robbins, managing director of Wachovia Securities Wholesale Mortgage Division. The PAB Executive Committee is comprised of senior business and real estate executives and provides policy guidance and financial support to the real estate program at USD.
Joseph B. Tyson
Joseph B. Tyson is currently consulting in the capital markets area for several real estate and privately held technology companies. Tyson's focus prior to consulting includes two decades of operational management, capital markets and investment in the real estate area. Most recently, he served as president and chief operating officer at The Picerne Group, an international real estate investment company. Prior to joining The Picerne Group, Tyson worked at Pan Pacific Retail Properties Inc., a public Real Estate Investment Trust. He was executive vice president, chief financial officer, treasurer and secretary from 1999 until the sale of the company in October 2006. Tyson received his bachelor's degree in accounting from Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind.
Brad Geier is a founder, co-owner and chairman of Merlone Geier Partners, a private real estate investment and development firm focused on retail and mixed-use properties on the West Coast. Since 1994, Geier has also served as a managing director and general partner of M&H Realty Partners. Prior to the formation of M&H Realty Partners, Geier held senior positions with Trammell Crow Co. and The Taubman Co. from 1983-93. Geier received his bachelor's degree from Stanford and his MBA from Harvard Business School.
Tom Sudberry is president and founder of Sudberry Properties Inc. Under his leadership, Sudberry has developed nearly 6 million square feet with a market value of $800 million. Prior to starting Sudberry Properties, Sudberry was a U.S. Naval aviator and served on two Vietnam combat cruises. Sudberry received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from Rice University and his MBA from Stanford University. Sudberry also recently completed the Advanced Management Development Executive Program from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
Norm Miller, the center's director of academic programs, has been selected as the 2008 Burns Scholar at the University of Denver. As such, Miller will be participating as a visiting scholar in the university's Visiting Scholar Lecture Series, April 13-14.
Each year, the Burns School hosts a Visiting Scholar to participate in on- and off-campus activities to enrich the student experience and to share the program with an outstanding internationally known real estate scholar. Scholars are selected from a field of nominated candidates and receive an honorarium for participating.
While Burnham-Moores Center grads have made their mark upon the San Diego real estate industry, they are also filling the real estate ranks in another international city: London, England. Currently three graduates, Alexandra Bryant, Kyle Moran and Espen Thoegersen, are living and working in real estate in London. The Burnham-Moores Center recently caught up with the three grads.
Alexandra Bryant, who received her undergraduate minor in Real Estate from USD in 2004, is currently a senior analyst at Jones Lang LaSalle in London. She has lived there since January of 2005.
Bryant, who received the Daniel B. Woodruff Memorial Scholarship in the Fall of 2003, is part of the European Retail Capital Markets team at Jones Lang LaSalle, where she advises investors on buying and selling retail property, mainly shopping centers. While Bryant lives in London, her territory consists of properties across continental Europe. "My primary responsibility is to cover countries where we do not have a significant local presence," she says. "I started out working on deals in Romania and Turkey and have also spent time working on deals in Finland." Her real estate transactions have enabled her to travel all across Europe conducting site visits and tours. With so much international exposure, Bryant says that knowing the cultural ins and outs of different countries has proven to be an important aspect of her job. "Especially in terms of retail, it is important to understand the different cultures and that is not something that is taught in much detail in the United States," she says. Among the first things she bought in London when she first moved there? "A book about the modern history of Europe," she says.
Bryant's journey to London started right here in San Diego, at a Burnham-Moores Center event. She met Brenna O'Roarty, who was at the time the head of Retail Research at Jones Lang LaSalle, at the center's Eighth Annual Real Estate Conference in 2004, where O'Roarty was a speaker. After the conference, O'Roarty and Bryant spent time together touring retail locations throughout San Diego. The two got along so well that O'Roarty later offered Bryant an internship at Jones Lang LaSalle, which eventually led to the job offer in London.
Kyle Moran is a development manager at Gazeley in London, where he has lived for six months. An '05 graduate of the MSRE program, Moran's current job duties consist of establishing new offices, partnerships and securing projects on behalf of customers in the Middle East, North Africa, and Central and Eastern Europe.
For Moran, the differences in work culture between the United States and England have proven to be salient. Moran has found that the "work hard, play hard" philosophy to be especially prevalent in London's real estate industry, a philosophy that he says matches his own. "It is not uncommon for a three-hour Friday lunch to include several bottles of wine and cocktails," he says. "On the 'work-hard' side, though, I've come back to the office after hitting the gym at 10 p.m. to find the office still buzzing to meet a deadline." Compared to the United States, Moran notes that deal-making and documentation is far less formal in Europe; however, business attire and business presentations are the opposite.
According to Moran, the most substantial difference between the real estate industries in the United States and England can be found in the set-up of the industries. England's real estate industry has "significantly more structure," he says, and the government requires a two-year trial period to attain certification and continuing education credentials before you are allowed to conduct real estate transactions.
USD grad Espen Thoegersen is currently an associate at RREEF in London. Thoegersen, who originally hails from Oslo, Norway came to the United States in 1995 to attend USD and graduated in 2000. After working in New York and San Francisco, Thoegersen made the leap back across the pond to London, where he has lived since the summer of 2006. He now works for RREEF Opportunity Funds, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank, where he is responsible for "originating and underwriting value-added and opportunistic deals across all of Europe."
Thoegersen says that the lack of standardized real estate practices across Europe makes conducting business difficult, as different jurisdictions have different tax and legal structures. Despite the challenging legal and business environment, big deals are being made. Thoegersen, for example, is part of a five-person team in the midst of a €5 billion real estate transaction in continental Europe.
Thoegersen echoes Moran's sentiments about London's "work hard-play hard" work culture, which contrasts that of the United States — where typically 'play hard' generally isn't considered as important. In Europe, Thoegersen says: "It's actually accepted to take a day off every now and then."
Howard Englander, president of The Englander Company, spoke to a group of 20 MSRE students, MBA students and administrators on Feb.28 at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice. Englander has been head of the nationally recognized research and consulting firm specializing in residential development for the past 25 years. After offering his industry insights to the students, the group enjoyed a wine and cheese reception.
Norm Miller, professor and director of academic programs, was one of the featured speakers at the Feb. 20 GreenMeet forum, which is a monthly education series produced by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) San Diego Chapter.
Roughly 100 people attended the event, at which Miller presented the findings from the study he co-authored on the economics of green building.
USD alumni Alan Pentico '96, Renee Savage '88 and Real Estate Alumni Chapter President Kip Perry '94 helped represent the real estate industry at the first joint event of the Real Estate Alumni Association and the School of Business Alumni Association, held Feb. 20 at Confidential Restaurant & Loft in downtown's Gaslamp District. More than 125 people attended the event at Confidential, which is owned by USD alum Darren Moore '95.
Jim Young, co-founder and producer of Realcomm, offers his thoughts on real estate and technology to MSRE students Feb. 29 as part of the Asset Management Roundtable. The spring roundtable series aims to expose students to aspects of real estate that are important to receiving a well-rounded real estate education, but that are not incorporated into a full semester-long course. The Asset Management Roundtable took place over two consecutive Fridays, Feb 22 and 29. MSRE students will attend Realcomm 2008 June 9-11 at the San Diego Convention Center, courtesy of Young.
MSRE Students and their instructor, Dave Davis (far left), braved the cold and rain during their tour of the 13th floor of the La Jolla Commons office building being constructed by Hines in the University Towne Centre area. Hines construction manager Andy Stallings and assistant construction manager Bhabesh Praikh are pictured at far right.
Dan Phelan, president and CEO of Pacific Southwest Realty Services, was recently awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America (MBA). According to the MBA, to be considered for the award, nominees must have "a record of long, sustained and extraordinary service to the MBA and the mortgage lending industry" and a "strong reputation for ethical and professional conduct."
Phelan, who serves on the Burnham-Moores Center's Commercial Real Estate Committee, has been involved with the MBA since the late 1970s and has served as president of both the San Diego MBA and the California MBA.
Phelan says the award came as a complete surprise and that he has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from his colleagues. "It is slowly sinking in how much this award means to me, as well as how special it is to be recognized by the industry," he says.
Miller was interviewed by Cyberhomes.com regarding opportunities for first-time homebuyers in the current market.
Miller appeared on KPBS' "These Days" radio program Feb. 20 to discuss green building.
Coverage of the center's new Mulvihill endowed professorship appeared in the Feb. 21 Daily Business Report of the San Diego Metropolitan.
Miller was interviewed by Chris Bagley of the North County Times for a story on solar panels. The article appeared in the paper's Feb. 24 Sunday edition. Miller was interviewed Feb. 28 for the same paper regarding an article on the Senate bill that would allow bankruptcy judges to modify the mortgages of distressed buyers.
Information on the new green building monograph being co-authored by Norm Miller appeared on the Environmental Protection Web site. The monograph is being published under the auspices of the American Real Estate Society, with funding by the CoStar Group.
Application Deadline for Fall 2008 MSRE Program March 14, 2008
· More Information
Real Estate Finance · Continuing Education
· Classes start Wednesday, April 9, 2008
· To register, contact Jodi Waterhouse, or register online
For more information about the Certificate in Real Estate Finance, Investments and Development, go here.
Career Expo Day
· April 10 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in USD's Hahn University Center
Contact Lauren Lukens at firstname.lastname@example.org to register your organization.
The Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate is committed to delivering outstanding education, industry outreach, career placement, and research services to advance socially responsible leadership in real estate.
University of San Diego, 5998 Alcalá Park, San Diego, CA 92110-2492