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Letter from the Executive Director
One of the unique opportunities enjoyed by university-based real estate centers like ours is the ability to attract regionally and nationally recognized leaders, both within the industry — like Sam Zell — and outside the real estate profession, such as former FDA Chairman William Seidman. We plan to capitalize on this strength by launching a new series of distinguished lectures and timely, targeted panel discussions, called "Breakfast at the BMC."
This three-times-a-year breakfast series will be held on USD's campus and be limited to the first 250 registrants. By selecting speakers first and program dates second, we will have more flexibility in bringing outstanding individuals to campus. Some will be widely recognized real estate leaders, while others will be well-respected speakers from other disciplines whose messages will undoubtedly resonate with our audiences.
After a successful run of six years with our Commercial Real Estate Trends Conference, which has drawn crowds of up to 700 people, we have determined that we can offer greater value to our friends in the more intimate setting we envision for our Breakfast at the BMC series. Some programs will feature stand-alone speakers of great interest to you, while other programs may bring together several experts who will discuss forward-looking topics that will shape the world of commerce in some important way.
We have been contemplating this new approach for several years, especially mindful that other industry groups host outlook conferences and topical forums in the region. After careful consideration, we have decided to challenge ourselves with this new and exciting opportunity to bring you thought-provoking speakers and insightful panels of industry experts whose exposure to San Diego audiences has been heretofore limited or non-existent.
Our first program will take place next month. We are in the final stages of securing our inaugural speaker and will communicate the specific details in the next few weeks. As with the rest of our programming, we anticipate that this emerging series will prove to be an extremely valuable networking opportunity for you. Above and beyond the networking opportunities, however, we hope that you will find extraordinary value in gaining access to some of the finest minds you ever would like to hear.
Dr. Mark J. Riedy
USD Contingent Attends Homebuilders' Day in Sacramento
Twenty MSRE students traveled to Sacramento April 18 for Homebuilders' Day, courtesy of the California Building Industry Association of San Diego County. Sherm Harmer, MSRE instructor, PAB member and president of Urban Housing Partners, and Lou Galuppo, residential real estate director at the Burnham-Moores Center, also participated in the event.
USD MSRE students are schooled on the finer points of legislative advocacy during the CBIA's Homebuilders' Day in Sacramento.
The San Diego group was the largest in attendance at the day-long event, which is held each year as a way to educate current and future real estate professionals on legislation affecting the industry and how they can have an influence over it.
The USD group started the day by meeting with representatives from the Building Industry Association of San Diego County. After that, they convened with the entire California delegation for a debriefing on the most significant home-building bills currently before the state legislature. Following lunch at the private Sutter Club, the USD group met in teams with Republican and Democratic legislators representing San Diego County before wrapping up the day with a tour of the capitol.
The visits as well as the meetings proved eye-opening for many of the MSRE students.
"We had learned a lot of the theoretical political practices through our law class with Lou Galuppo, but this showed us how things work in reality," said MSRE student Ron May. "Seeing how laws can be influenced and how the legislation is impacted by the efforts of organizations that are united for a common purpose was a great experience."
Fellow MSRE student Rob Haskins agreed. "It was very enlightening to see how much influence the legislators have over your day-to-day business as a real estate professional," Haskins said. "If it taught me anything it's that the government is for the people and you can have an influence if you go through the right channels to reach the key decision-makers."
Twelve new members were inducted into USD's Alpha Sigma Gamma chapter May 3 at Acapulco Mexican Restaurant in Old Town San Diego. Gina Champion-Cain, president and CEO of American National Investments Inc., was the 2007 honorary member and speaker. During her remarks, Champion-Cain shared with the inductees her advice on the real estate profession and what it takes to weather changing market conditions over time.
2007 Alpha Sigma Gamma Inductees
Gina Champion-Cain-Honorary Member
Eric Frank-MSRE Student
Courtney Fujara-Undergraduate Student
Kas Gallucci-Undergraduate Student
Justin Glasser-MSRE Student
Lay Lay-Undergraduate Student
Andrew Lurker-MSRE Student
Phillip Marshall-Undergraduate Student
Ron May-MSRE Student
Tony O'Neill-MSRE Student
Neil Patel-MSRE Student
Leah Taylor-MSRE Student
Alpha Sigma Gamma, the International Real Estate Honorary Society, was created in 1993 to recognize the scholastic achievements of students in university real estate programs. The society also recognizes the contributions of real estate faculty members and industry professionals. The USD chapter was formed in 2003 and includes 54 regular members and six honorary members. Membership is by invitation only, and students are admitted based on their academic credentials. Overall grade point average, real estate grade point average and the number of real estate classes taken all factor into the equation.
Sponsored by the American Real Estate Society, Alpha Sigma Gamma currently consists of more than 275 members at 20 U.S. universities. Previous USD Alpha Sigma Gamma inductees or members from other university chapters now living in San Diego are encouraged to contact Charles Tu, faculty president of the local chapter, to reconnect with the society.
Burnham-Moores Center Professors Participate in ARES Conference
Associate professor Charles Tu and assistant professor Rohit Kishore took part in the annual meeting of the American Real Estate Society (ARES), held April 11-13 in San Francisco. Founded in 1985, ARES is an association of real estate thought leaders drawn from academia and the real estate industry in the United States and internationally.
Tu served as a co-chair of the society's new mentoring program, which was formed to encourage active participation of new Ph.D.s in the organization. Through the program, a mentoring team of a senior and junior faculty member is paired with a doctoral student who participated in the doctoral seminar at the annual meeting. Tu and his co-chair, former Burnham-Moores Center research director
Elaine Worzala, spent the last several months recruiting volunteers to be mentors. Ten teams were recruited, as well as 16 students from seven different countries.
For his part, Kishore presented a paper he co-authored with Burnham-Moores Center instructor John Demas on: "The Effect of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act on REIT Share Prices." He also chaired a Real Estate Performance Analysis session held on the Saturday of the conference.
Beginning in the fall of 2007, USD undergraduate students will be able to pursue a minor in real estate, thanks to the recent approval by the university's board of trustees. The undergraduate minor is a step toward creating a major in real estate, which has been widely requested by USD real estate students.
With a real estate minor and major, the Burnham-Moores Center can monitor prerequisites more closely, which will enhance the quality of classes and give students the opportunity to take more rigorous and challenging classes. It also will help to increase the caliber of job candidates for San Diego real estate employers, as well as boost the number of students who choose to pursue real estate as a career.
A real estate major is being pursued for the fall of 2008.
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