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REC Presidents Update Spring 2019

Posted By Mandy Kaegy, Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association, Inc., Thursday, May 2, 2019

As Co-Presidents of the Real Estate Club for the 2019 spring academic semester, Brian and I have been honored to help shape the future of the Club. Thanks in large part to tremendous support from the WREAA Board, its membership, and the Graaskamp Center faculty and staff, we believe the Club is stronger than ever with over 300 active members.


Spring Speaker Series

The Real Estate Club kicked off the spring semester with a meeting on January 31, featuring the CEO of Cube Smart, Chris Marr, as our keynote speaker. Chris gave an interesting talk about the company and some of the demand drivers behind the self-storage industry.



For our second meeting on February 14th, we had Michael Moran (MBA 2006), Head of Real Estate at Allstate. Mike is an alum of the UW MS program and it was great to have him on campus. He spoke about the company’s allocation to real estate, their investment process and what they are investing in today. For our third meeting on March 7th, we had another alum of the program, Alissa Adler (MS 1989) from Podolsky Circle in Chicago. Alissa did a great job engaging students in a more informal type meeting where she gave some excellent career advice for students coming out of the program. She was very insightful and open to answer questions from those in attendance.


On March 28th, the club, along with the Executive Director of the Graaskamp Center, Mike Brennan, presented the Innovator Award to Rob Bond (MS 1983), Co-Founder and President of Bond Companies. Rob talked about his company and some of the exciting development projects they are working on in the Chicago area and on the West Coast. We recently finished up our semester of meetings on April 18th with our Young Guns Panel. For this meeting we invited 3 graduates of the UW Real Estate Program, Zach Zanolli (MBA 2015) from Equity Group Investments, Ashley Caldis (BBA 2009) from Blue Vista and John Fredericks (BBA 2014) from the John Buck Company. It was great to hear from each one of our panelists regarding their time in the program and how they have progressed in their careers since graduation.



Spring Semester Club Trip to Miami

The Real Estate Club headed south on April 3rd for our Spring trip, where we got an in depth look at the Miami real estate market. We had over 30 Club members on the trip along with two UW faculty members, Sharon McCabe and Joe Walsh. For our first meeting in Miami on Thursday, April 4th, we met with Swire Properties, where we heard about their recent development of the Brickell City Center. After this, we met with HFF, where we were treated to lunch and a great capital markets presentation. Post lunch on Thursday we got to tour the Wynwood area of Miami and hear from one of the neighborhood’s founders, David Lombardi. David talked about Wynwood’s history, how it has developed into the arts and culture district of Miami as well as some of the projects they are currently working on. With the help of Chris Dicks and WREAA, we were able to organize a networking dinner on Thursday evening, April 4th, at Wynwood kitchen that saw a great turnout from local alumni. Finally, on Friday, April 5th we had the pleasure of touring the new Four Seasons Hotel development in Surfside with another UW alum, Mike Conaghan (MS 1991). Aside from some rain on Thursday morning, the trip was a great success, due in large part to the help of our local alumni. We learned about the intricacies of the Miami market and how it differs from many other major cities in the U.S. and saw some very impactful and inspiring development projects.



Special thanks to Jared Brunnabend (1999 BBA) of Bayshore Investment Partners and Felipe Izquierdo (2008 MBA) from JLL for their help organizing the trip and setting up meetings while we were in town. We worked very closely with both Jared and Felipe all spring to make the trip an unforgettable one. Big thanks also to Mike Conaghan for an incredible tour of the new Four Seasons development in Surfside. Mike was gracious enough to take us through the hotel as he explained the history of the project and the significance of the Surf Club over the years.


Other Club Events and Outings

In addition to Club meetings and the spring study trip, this semester has also contained numerous networking and educational opportunities for Club members. Our social chairs, Thomas Maguire (BBA 2019) and Nick Maslauski (BBA 2019), planned an ice-skating event at the Edgewater on March 8th. Due to some inclement weather that day, the turnout was less than expected, but it was still a great event.



Not letting the late April snow deter them, Thomas and Nick have also planned an end of semester event at the Union Terrace on Thursday, May 2.


On April 10th we toured the new Peloton Place project by Terrence Wall (MS 1989), which is located at the intersection of Park and Fish Hatchery Road. This multi-family project is in the early stages of development, but we were able to see the current progress and hear from Terrence about his vision for the site and his experience working with the city of Madison. Our plan is to revisit the site again in the fall to see the progress as they move through development. On Monday, April 29th, we will be celebrating our graduating seniors and 2nd year MBA’s with a Graduation Dinner at HopCat, so we are all looking forward to that event as well.


We hope that you will continue to engage with the Real Estate Club as we work to enrich the real estate experience at the University of Wisconsin. We believe the students benefit greatly from a strong network, and the Club owes a great deal of gratitude for the support from WREAA and its members. As Brian and I move on from the program we have two 1st year MBA students, Andy Evans and Jared Schnoll, who will be stepping in as Co-Presidents of the Club. You can reach out to any of us directly with questions, input, or if you are interested in participating.  Please also feel free to check-in on us via our website at www.realestateclub.org. Thank you!


On, Wisconsin!


Brian Cleary (MBA 2019) and Justin Kremers (MBA 2019)

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