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Meet David Clark: Incoming Real Estate Club Co-President

Posted By Paige Riemann, Wednesday, February 5, 2020



David Clark (MBA 2020) will serve as Co-President of the Real Estate Club for the Spring 2020 semester. David sat down with Social Media Intern, Paige Riemann, to discuss his career before he pursued an MBA and what he is most excited about for the Real Estate Club next semester. 


David is originally from Maryland, in the D.C. area, and graduated in 2014 from the University of Maryland with a degree in Political Science and Government. His first job out of college was at CoStar where he was a Market Analyst. While at CoStar, he worked with developers and investors to create data sets for their assets. David was driven to go to graduate school to get a better foundation in business skills. He says that he was drawn to Wisconsin, because of the Graaskamp legacy and the Wisconsin reputation. David’s post-graduation goals include returning to the D.C. area.


David is excited about the upcoming semester; he is especially looking forward to the speakers that are lined up for the Real Estate Club meetings and interacting with WREAA. He also said that he is excited to be Co-President at a time when the program is expanding, and to lead an excited and passionate group of students. 


Some of David’s favorite memories from Real Estate Club include the Club trips, especially to Denver and Miami. His favorite REC meetings have been the all-female panel from the Fall 2019 Semester, and a panel from Fall 2018 that was comprised of CEOs that represented companies outside of the four most common property types.


David enjoys reading, playing basketball, and doing yoga in his spare time. He spent his winter break traveling first to Thailand and then Dubai for the MBA trip. 


We look forward to having Clark as a Co-President of Real Estate Club! 

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Meet Mike Crivello: Incoming Real Estate Club Co-President

Posted By Paige Riemann, Tuesday, January 28, 2020



Mike Crivello (MBA 2020) will serve as Co-President of the Real Estate Club for the Spring 2020 semester. He recently met with Social Media Intern, Paige Riemann, to discuss his path to UW-Madison and his appreciation for the generosity of the alumni network.


Mike is from Hartland, Wisconsin, and graduated from Edgewood College in 2011 with his undergraduate degree in Finance and Accounting. After graduating from Edgewood College, Mike started his career as a Home Mortgage Consultant at Wells Fargo. He was then a Realtor at First Weber, before pursuing his MBA at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Having a background in residential real estate, he wanted to pursue an education in commercial real estate, because he felt it offered him more opportunities and challenges. One of the reasons he considered attending UW, was because his aunt, Shari Crivello, (MBA 1996), went through the UW-Madison real estate program.


It was the generosity of the Wisconsin alumni network that cemented his decision to attend UW-Madison. He is impressed that alumni are willing to share their stories and make an effort to be available to talk with students and other alumni. The vastness of the WREAA network, Real Estate Badgers can be found all over the world, also played a role in his decision.  


Mike shares that one of his best memories of being in the MBA program was the opportunity to attend the Global Real Estate Master (GREM) Conference in New York City. He said that he enjoyed a building tour of the One World Trade Center, the tallest building in the United States built on the site of the original World Trade Center. It was also his first time to New York City. He recently had the opportunity to go to Dubai for the MBA trip over winter break.


He says that eventually his goal is to start his own business in development. Mike enjoys golfing and fishing on the lake in his free time.


We look forward to having Mike as a Co-President of Real Estate Club! 


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Fall 2019 Graaskamp Center Update

Posted By Mandy Kaegy, Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association, Inc., Monday, December 16, 2019


Dear Alumni and Friends,


It’s exam week on campus, that time of year that produces recurring nightmares decades after graduation!  One of the privileges of being an academic is the cycle of the school year.  Students come back to campus at the start of the semester excited to catch up with old friends, learn new things, and forge a life path, then journey through the semester picking up life lessons and new knowledge. From a faculty member’s perspective, we too are excited about a classroom full of new students at the commencement of the semester and enjoy the end of semester lull in activity that allows us to focus on research projects and other initiatives.


My focus this “off season” is on a top-to-bottom review of the undergraduate curriculum.  Using input from dozens of you and 30 position descriptions, we have constructed a series of market-based learning outcomes.  With those learning outcomes in hand we have mapped where students are introduced to a subject (class discussion and readings), experience a subject (a course assignment), and master a subject (a course assignment using live real estate information).  In short, the goal is to provide the conceptual context and analysis methods to address a real estate problem and know where and how to source real-time data to solve the problem.


Student learning outcomes that were communicated by alums and present in job descriptions include:

  • Technical Skills such as Excel, Argus, or CoStar; which leads to:
  • Conceptual Knowledge such as constructing an income proforma, comparable grids, and debt/equity investment analyses; which are evaluated through:
  • Critical Thinking where students analyze the size and impact of capital expenditures in a property income proforma, the subtle differences between rent comparables and the subject property in a property valuation, and balance the cash flow benefits with the income volatility risks inherent in property debt and equity underwriting; and conceptualizing this all through the:
  • Commercial Real Estate Landscape where students synthesize the fussy details of the lease agreement into a discounted cash flow analysis and managing the municipal goals and community social needs of a commercial real estate development.

The learning outcomes and process reflect how Jim Graaskamp taught risk management fundamentals and the fit of a development in the built environment.  Our goal is to provide the undergraduates with the expertise to be real estate entrepreneurs with “ . . . . the creativity of Leonardo da Vinci, the sensitivity of the natural world of John Muir, and the political humanity with cash management for profit of James Rouse.  Of course, the graduate student should be something more!”[1]


It has been a whirlwind 15 months since I returned to the UW.  I have the privilege of working with remarkable faculty and staff here in Madison.  From the department chair to the full-time faculty to staff in the Center, I am surrounded by tremendous talent.  In 2019 the Program had several talent additions including Associate Director of the Graaskamp Center, Greg Reed, a proud UW Political Science and MS in Real Estate alum with appraisal, asset management, and CMBS rating agency experience; Senior Lecturer, Bill Camp, an equally proud UW Engineering alum and eight year CFO of a publicly traded REIT; and Academic Department Specialist, Miranda Zuo, who is an excellent administrator and is fluent in Mandarin.  We are currently looking for talented new and engaged faculty to replace Andra Ghent and Moussa Diop who left the WSB last Spring.


Undergraduate enrollment at the WSB is 3,200, up 1,000 students over the past 10 years and is expected to grow another 1,000 in the next five years.  At 4,000 undergrads, the WSB will be about 13% of all majors at UW-Madison, still less than the business majors many other universities report.


Undergraduate Real Estate enrollment is 538 students for the 2019-2020 year (sophomores, juniors and seniors).  This is an all-time high enrollment and compares positively with 194 students in 2007-08 and 134 students in 2011-2012.  The 538 undergraduate majors make Real Estate the third largest undergraduate major in the WSB, larger than accounting, supply chain, and IT among other majors.  Having an abundance of real estate undergraduate students comes with the challenge of providing them with excellence in applied learning experiences.  Recall how transformative your real estate club road trip or case competition or site visit was to your formation?  We need to continue that path of excellence in non-classroom learning experiences for each of our undergraduate students.  One wildly successful example of this non-classroom student learning was the Real Estate Club trip to Denver this Fall where the WREAA Denver team provided a series of memorable tours and presentations.  Another example was the Fall Career Fair with 47 companies represented, 100 company employees available to engage students, and 250 student attendees.  Real estate undergraduate students continue to have little difficulty finding full-time employment with an average Real Estate Analyst salary of $62,300 last year.


We admitted the first MS students in the re-activated MS Real Estate program for the Fall 2019 semester.  These students joined the MBA students and Global Real Estate Masters (GREM) students in class. Real Estate MBA starting salaries in 2019 averaged just north of $100,000.  Our graduate students have the opportunity to participate in leadership roles as teaching assistants, Real Estate Club Executive Committee members and as participants in case competitions and AREIT presentations.


One new potential program for 2020 is a graduate track in Real Estate Private Equity.  We are diligently working with the WREAA on offering a graduate career track in private equity where students will invest funds in private equity investments.  Course instruction will be provided by Mike Brennan, Irgens Executive Director of the Graaskamp Center and Chairman of Brennan Investment Group with the assistance of an active Fund board of directors.


To continue with these successes, we need your help.  First, the Dean is pushing us to grow the graduate real estate programs to 50 students. Please send us the best and brightest undergraduate students and early career professionals to follow in your legacy of graduating from the Real Estate Program at the University of Wisconsin.  Next, we need your assistance in providing the students with best-in-class applied learning experiences.  As I mentioned earlier, these mentorships, site visits, road trips and case competitions are transformative experiences that make us the first choice for college talent and for the real estate firms that hire our students. We need to grow these experiences in scope and scale and will be reaching out to you to share your wisdom and experience with eager and engaged students.


In signing off, the end of the semester is a rich time for me to reflect on the many privileges I have been afforded.  One of those privileges is the wonderful support and kindness that many of you have provided to me in my journey back to our alma mater – I am gratified to be back!


Good luck to our Badgers as they go Duck hunting on New Year’s Day!!!


On Wisconsin!


Mark Eppli, Director,

James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate


[1] James A. Graaskamp quote from Graaskamp on Real Estate by Stephen P. Jarchow.

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Fall 2019 REC Presidents Update

Posted By Mandy Kaegy, Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association, Inc., Monday, December 16, 2019


Dear Alumni,


We are honored to continue and build upon the longstanding tradition of the Real Estate Club at UW-Madison. Rising enrollment for the undergraduate real estate program, as well as the resurrection of the MS degree, has pushed Club membership and event attendance to all-time highs. As Co-Presidents, we also serve as Teaching Assistants for RE306 (The Real Estate Process course) and use this platform to encourage the undergrad students to engage outside of the classroom.  Participation in real estate events gives students a more comprehensive education that prepares them for the “real-world.” None of this would be possible without the continued support of the Graaskamp Center and WREAA.


Fall Real Estate Career Fair

2019 saw the Real Estate Club host its inaugural Fall Career Fair for real estate companies. The Spring Career Fair is an annual hit, and the employers voiced their desire to recruit for internships and full-time jobs at UW earlier in the year in order to secure the best talent from one of the top programs in the nation. The Spring Career Fair typically brings in around 30-35 companies; this Fall we hosted 45 top employers at our first event! The feedback was very positive from both the employers and students, and the Fall Career Fair will continue long after we have graduated.   


Denver Trip

The REC Trip this semester took place over October 23-25 in Denver, Colorado. The diverse itinerary exposed the students to a variety of booming neighborhoods and companies in Denver. The Club was hosted by CBRE, Northwoods Investors, Ken Schroeppel (CU Denver) and BMC Investments. Site visits included office presentations, a tour of Hines’ new office tower, The Source Hotel, Union Station, and the Cherry Creek neighborhood. A shout out to Tom McCahill, Kevin Kelley, Mike Komppa, Bill Evans and Michael Feiner as well as the WREAA for generously sponsoring the club's fall trip, thank you very much!!!

Speaker Series


9/12 Meeting: The first meeting of the semester focused on preparation for the career fair with tips on professionalism and how to network. The discussion was led by Mark Eppli and Greg Reed, Director and Associate Director of the Graaskamp Center, who have a combined 50+ years of industry experience and are both Wisconsin Real Estate alums. Joining them was our guest speaker, Zach Pagel (BBA '16), who currently works as a National Real Estate Representative responsible for development and site selection at McDonald's. Zach successfully landed Department of State, and Coldwell Banker, giving him unique insights on the hiring process, which he shared with the REC.


10/10 Meeting:  Our second meeting of the semester featured alum Milo Pinkerton, CEO of MSP Real Estate and Heritage Senior Housing, who has developed more than 2,200 units. His background in architecture, real estate, and construction allows him to manage the entire development process in-house. Milo shared how his company came to be, challenges he faced along the way, and proudly displayed his top-notch senior housing facilities.


11/7 Meeting: Luke Petherbridge; President & CEO of Blackstone’s ShopCore and LiveCore, was our third guest speaker of the semester. Luke gave us an update on his expansive portfolio of both retail and apartment projects, which include 20 million sf of retail and 60,000 apartment units in aggregate. Luke was a fantastic presenter and incredibly candid about what is happening in the market.


12/5 Meeting: Our final meeting of the semester featured an all-female panel with complementary backgrounds and positions. The panelists (listed below) answered questions about a variety of topics and provided valuable advice from their past experiences.

Lorrie Heinemann- President & CEO of Madison Development Corporation

Mary Pat McKeown- Managing Director at CIBC Chicago

Anne Morrison- Shareholder at Urban Land Interests in Madison

Nicole Solheim- Director of Development for Gorman & Company


 Other Events

12/6 Fiserv Forum Tour: thanks to a connection with an alum, Ted Kellner of Fiduciary Real Estate, the Real Estate Club was fortunate enough to get a behind the scenes tour of Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee. The tour was led by John Steinmiller, Executive Vice President of Operations for the Bucks. John has worked for the Bucks for nearly 40 years and detailed the development process as well as the public/private financing that went into the project. After the tour, the students gathered with the Milwaukee WREAA chapter for a networking event at Glass & Griddle.


10/17 Edgewater Social: The REC gathered at the Rooftop Plaza Bar at the Edgewater Hotel for a social event. The club networked, enjoyed hors d’oeuvres, and heard from Stuart Zadra (MS 1985) of Landmark Development, who undertook the renovation of the Edgewater. Landmark Development is known for projects that create destinations including sports stadiums, health complexes, and waterparks. Stuart also detailed Landmark’s involvement in the renovation of Lambeau Field.


We are excited for the future of the REC and all the opportunities that it will provide to its members! We are extremely proud of all the events that took place this semester and believe that we have accomplished our mission to leave the REC in a better position than we found it. As a student-run organization, another shout-out is owed to our executive board members who helped make everything possible. Now that our reign is over, we pass the torch to Mike Crivello and David Clark who will take over as Co-Presidents, and we are confident they will keep the REC strong.


On Wisconsin!


Co-Presidents, Jared Schnoll (MBA 2020) and Andy Evan (MBA 2020)



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Final Real Estate Club of the 2019 Fall Semester Features an All-Female Panel

Posted By Paige Riemann, Tuesday, December 10, 2019




This week, the Real Estate Club had their final meeting of the semester which included elections for the spring semester Executive Board. Those running for different positions gave brief presentations to the Club about why they would be the ideal candidate for the position. Michael Crivello (MBA 2020) and David Clark (MBA 2020) were elected as the upcoming Real Estate Club Presidents. Carolyn Kane (MBA 2021) and Mark Schaer (MBA 2021) were elected as Vice Presidents.


Following the elections, students heard from an all-female panel with guest speakers Mary Pat McKeown, who studied Economics at UW and is the Managing Director in the Commercial Real Estate Group at CIBC Bank in Chicago, Anne Morrison, Shareholder at Urban Land Interests in Madison, and Nicole Solheim (BBA 2008), Director of Development for Gorman & Company. The panel was moderated by WREAA affiliate member and President and CEO of Madison Development Corporation, Lorrie Heineman. 


The panel discussed their careers, what they have learned along the way, and where they see the industry going. The panelists shared that they are passionate about the next development that their teams are working on, that they love the people they work with, and the power of mentorship. The group also discussed that they have all worked in affordable housing, and find it rewarding to work with communities and develop housing for people who need it.  


Overall, the speakers agree that they are optimistic about the future of the industry. They see a healthy market and positive trends regarding sustainability and locations. However, they agree that a rise in construction costs due to a shortage of labor and rising material costs will continue to be a problem for the industry.  


This all-female panel was an excellent opportunity for Real Estate Club members to hear from professionals in the industry and to ask questions. We thank the Club’s guest speakers for taking the time to share their knowledge and stories. 


We also thank the Fall 2019 Executive Board, and the Club’s Presidents, Jared Schnoll (MBA 2020) and Andy Evans (MBA 2020), for another great semester! We are looking forward to Spring 2020. 

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2019 MBA Class: Where Are They Now?

Posted By Paige Riemann, Tuesday, November 26, 2019



WREAA Social media intern, Paige Riemann, recently checked in with the MBA class of 2019. She spoke with them about where they’ve landed after graduation and what role the Wisconsin network played in their journey.  

 Charlotte Du


Charlotte has moved to Raleigh, North Carolina. She is an asset manager for New York City based Hudson Capital Properties. Hudson is invested in high growth markets in the Southeastern United States with $1 billion AUM. 

Charlotte credits the Wisconsin network for helping to secure her position with Hudson.  Her interview with the company came about through her participation as a team member in the UNC-Chapel Hill Case Competition in February of this year.  During Hudson’s tough case interview process, she applied what she learned in Professor Mark Eppli’s class and secured the position. Charlotte recognizes that the quality of the MBA program at UW-Madison not only played a huge role in her success with the interview process, but also allowed her to hit the ground running in her new position. She says that one of the most beneficial aspects of her MBA experience was how much she learned from her mentors, Joe Blackbourn (Affiliate Member), Pam Boneham (MBA 1981), and Chuck Rosien (BBA 2007). Charlotte is also grateful to Sharon McCabe (MS 1989), former Associate Director of the Graaskamp Center, who was an instrumental part of her growth journey at UW-Madison. In her free time, she enjoys exploring Raleigh and taking care of her golden retriever puppy.

Brian Cleary



Brian Cleary is working in Denver, Colorado as an associate for Northwood Investors. The Real Estate Club toured this company on their Fall Trip. Brian's path to Northwood began with the opportunity to travel to Cannes, France to attend MPIM, the largest real estate conference in the world.  While there, he networked with Wisconsin alumni and subsequently was recommended for his current position by an alumnus that he met at the conference.  Recently, Brian was appointed to a NAIOP Developing Leaders National Forum for the next two-year period. He will be presenting a case study on the change in Big-Box Retailers and how to capitalize on change.


Jared Shoemaker

Jared said that his education at Wisconsin helped him hit the ground running in his Senior Financial Analyst position at Senior Lifestyle, in Chicago, Illinois. Jared felt that the preparation he received while earning a UW-Madison MBA made him an immediate asset to his team. More importantly, his UW network helped him get a foot in the door. Jared secured a mentorship with Senior Lifestyle through the MBA program. He also routinely reaches out to past mentors and friends with questions and for guidance. Recently Jared and his wife traveled to South Korea for a few weeks. They were able to meet up with a past Global Real Estate Master student, Saeyoung Ha, who lives and works there.

Matthew Allard

Matthew is currently employed at Highgate Capital Group, where he works as an associate in core-plus and value-add Multifamily Acquisitions and Asset Management with a national focus. He says that his employer valued the preparedness of University of Wisconsin MBA graduates, and that the reputation of the program helped him secure his position. Matthew got married in August of 2019.

Bryan Johnson


Bryan said that he uses techniques and approaches to real estate investing that he learned at UW-Madison on a daily basis. He is an associate at The Dilweg Companies, a real estate investment firm focused on economic markets in the Southeast United States. He expressed his gratitude to alumni who generously donated their time to meet and help guide him on his career path. He found that alumni were always eager to help. Bryan married his fiancé in June of 2019.


Justin Kremers


Justin works for Agree Realty in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, right outside of Detroit. Agree Realty is a retail REIT, and Justin works on the acquisitions team to help grow the company portfolio. He says that his education set him apart from other candidates and gave him the real estate foundation that he needed to secure and succeed in his role. 


We celebrate our MBA Student’s successes and we are proud of what they have accomplished post-graduation. We wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors!

For more information on our MBA program, please visit here.


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Women in Real Estate visit Milwaukee for their Fall 2019 Trip

Posted By Paige Riemann, Thursday, November 21, 2019


Women in Real Estate (WIRE), a student organization established at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2018, traveled to Milwaukee last week to meet with real estate professionals, including UW-Madison Real Estate Alumni. “The trip was such a great experience for our group!” said Annie Trucco, senior at UW-Madison and President of Women in Real Estate. “Our hosts were so generous with their time and expertise. It was especially interesting to hear from professionals from many different sectors of the real estate industry and to see how they all work together on projects. The highlight of the trip was our visit to two of the newest additions in Milwaukee’s skyline, the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Irgens’ office at 833 E Michigan Street."


The group began the day at the recently completed Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons. On the top floor, they met with the Director of Northwestern Mutual Real Estate, Danny Flesch, and the Managing Director of Northwestern Mutual Investment Management Company, Christina Misiti-Eskritt. They gave the group an overview of the real estate department, where approximately 100 people work across production, asset management and real estate and portfolio services. Half of the department is in Milwaukee and half are in field offices. Danny and Christina highlighted the importance of having staff in the real estate department in the field offices to develop relationships with real estate professionals in each market area.


One fascinating aspect of the discussion focused on the evolution of different asset types throughout their 20+ year careers with Northwestern Mutual. Danny and Christina explained that now every asset type (except industrial) has more of an operating component due to the demand for amenities. One example of this is the new luxury high rise apartment building that WIRE toured after their discussion with Northwestern Mutual, 7Seventy7. Completed in 2018, the apartment building offers top amenities including indoor and outdoor common areas, a bar area, a fitness center with a yoga room, a dog run, and an outdoor pool. The apartment building demonstrates the cross-over in asset types, as the luxury apartment building feels more like a hotel with the amenities and friendly concierge service that greets residents the minute they enter the door.


Following the morning with Northwestern Mutual, Irgens hosted a luncheon with presentations organized by Jackie Walsh, President and Chief Operating Officer of Irgens. The group had lunch with Irgens executives; Development Director Andrea Mullins, and founder, president and chief executive officer Mark Irgens. Mr. Irgens is a board member of the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate and a strong believer in Graaskamp’s teaching. In fact, the Graaskamp quote “The successful real estate deal is nothing more than a series of crises tied together by a critical path.” is front and center in the Irgens lobby. The presentations were an incredible opportunity for students to see many different areas of the real estate business and how they all fit together.


During the luncheon presentations, Tammy Babisch, Senior Vice President of Management Services for Colliers International, spoke to WIRE about her career path, the property management division at Colliers and offered career advice to the group. She encouraged students to not be afraid if their career path changes. Ms. Babisch, who was a biology major, is now working in property management. She manages the Irgens office building, 833 East Michigan. When discussing property management, she stressed the importance of being flexible, analytical, and a strong problem solver. She advised the students to ask questions early on in their career, to have fun along the way and foster relationships. She highlighted the value of finding a mentor and encouraged the group to be sure to pay it forward by mentoring others.  


The group then heard from women with First American Title Insurance Company. Emily Ramacciotti, Vice President and Counsel-Division Area Manager and Colleen Boyle, Underwriting Counsel, spoke to the group. This was an excellent opportunity for WIRE to hear from a top title insurance company, an industry that the group has not had a lot of exposure to so far. Ms. Ramacciotti and Ms. Boyle discussed why First American Title was rated as one of the “Best Workplaces for Women” in 2018. 


Next Walker & Dunlop executives Deborah Storts, Vice President, and Lynn Pearson, Assistant Vice President of Capital Markets, spoke to WIRE about mortgage brokerage and women’s initiatives at Walker & Dunlop. Ms. Pearson is a double badger, earning a BBA in 2002 and her MBA in 2006. She mentioned that she came to her current position through a connection she met at a WREAA Biennial reunion. Lynn is on the board of Walker & Dunlop’s Women’s Initiative. The goal of the initiative is to empower women and the 2019 theme is confidence. Debra and Lynn, who both work in production, were inspired to create a subgroup of the Women’s Initiative, called Women in Production.


To end the day, Andrea Mullins (BBA 2004), Development Director from Irgens, spoke about the company and her own career path. Andrea started in debt lending in Chicago, Illinois and recently switched to the development side, moving to Milwaukee in the spring of 2019. The Irgens team also discussed their most recent Milwaukee development, the BMO Tower which is to be opened in 2020. The goal of the project is to create a landmark property which will shape Milwaukee’s skyline. The team from Irgens also conducted an Intriguing discussion of the role of technology in real estate and how it is now linking tenants and building operating staff. In the BMO project, guest will use a QR code to access the parking garage. The concierge will be notified when the QR code is used and by the time the guest arrives in the lobby, the concierge will be able to address the guest by name. While technology can be an incredible asset to new office buildings, the Irgens team cautioned that its use must make sense financially for the project.


Thank you to all who made the WIRE Fall 2019 Trip to Milwaukee possible, including trip organizer Sophie Stricker, a senior at UW-Madison and WIRE’s Vice President of Professional Events, “I’m happy to put together a trip that encompassed companies working in all aspects of the real estate industry and across many property types as well," said Sophie. "I am very appreciative of everyone’s excitement to participate in the event and host us in their workplaces.”


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CEO of ShopCore and LivCor visits Real Estate Club

Posted By Paige Riemann, Wednesday, November 13, 2019




On November 7, 2019, the Real Estate Club hosted Luke Petherbridge, Chief Executive Officer of ShopCore and LivCor.  Mr. Petherbridge spoke to the Club about his companies' extensive portfolios in retail and apartments.  He also shared career and personal life lessons he has learned along the way. 


Mr. Petherbridge began his career with ShopCore in May of 2016 as President and Chief Executive Officer. Currently, their portfolio includes 20 million square feet of retail, consisting of best-in-class open-air retailers concentrated in densely populated sub-markets. In addition to ShopCore, he became the President and Chief Executive Officer of LivCor in July of 2019.  LivCor has a portfolio of 68,000 apartment units. Both ShopCore and LivCor are affiliates of The Blackstone Group. 


Dmitry Lyamichev (BBA 2005) from ShopCore joined Mr. Petherbridge to moderate a fireside chat discussion which included professional and personal advice. Mr. Petherbridge discussed the importance of working for a strong but tough leader. He suggested that students look for leaders that will challenge them when considering job opportunities. Speaking from experience, he said that it might not be fun at the time, but in the end, it will push you to accomplish things you didn’t know you could do. Additionally, he discussed the importance of recognizing and seizing an opportunity. Mr. Petherbridge himself moved from Australia to Cleveland, Ohio and shared his firsthand knowledge of the difficulties and benefits of making big life changes to seize opportunities. 


As the Chief Executive Officer of two firms, Mr. Petherbridge brought a unique perspective to the students. When asked what challenged him the most in his career, he said that one of the toughest things about moving up to senior leadership positions is letting go of the tasks that you enjoy.  He said that it becomes much easier to delegate to others if you surround yourself with smart and hardworking people. Additionally, he discussed the importance of a work-life-balance and shared that it is something that he still finds difficult. One goal he pursues in this area is to be 100% present when he is at home to make his time there more meaningful. He also made small tweaks to his schedule to carve out more time at home. For example, when traveling for work, he flies back late at night, as opposed to flying back the next day, so he is at home and awake in the morning to spend time with his family.


Mr. Petherbridge spoke to the Real Estate Club last year. In fact, his presentation inspired Caitlin Tirakian, a current senior in the real estate program. She explained that “Luke’s presentation last year was what inspired me to pursue an internship at ShopCore Properties and I hope his presentation on Thursday encouraged other students to do the same. Luke is one of the most engaging, motivating and passionate people I have ever had the pleasure to know. We don’t always realize how lucky we are to have this exposure to leaders of the industry at the undergraduate level. Thanks to the alumni who have generously given their time and the Real Estate Club for providing the opportunities!”


Thank you to Mr. Petherbridge for speaking at the Real Estate Club and Mr. Lyamichev for leading the discussion. Students appreciated the opportunity to learn more about the retail and residential sectors and gained insight from the lessons shared.  The Club is looking forward to their next meeting on December 5 when it will determine the executive board for next semester. They will also tour the new Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on December 6.


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The Real Estate Club in the Mile High City

Posted By Paige Riemann, Monday, November 4, 2019



The Real Estate Club traveled to Denver, Colorado on October 23, for their fall field trip. The trip was an opportunity for students to experience the booming city, meet with Denver alumni, and get to know one another. Students were joined by Gregory Reed, Associate Director of the Graaskamp Center, and Joe Walsh, Faculty Associate of the Graaskamp Center. Sharon McCabe, former Associate Director of the Graaskamp Center, was also able to join the trip. 


After landing in Denver, the Real Estate Club took the RTD Rail System to Union Station, near the hotel. Later, while touring Union Station, students learned about the crucial role the light rail system, Union Station and the speed of transportation played in the development of the city of Denver. After arriving at the hotel on Wednesday night, the Real Estate Club discussed the upcoming trip and met alumni. It was exciting to learn more about the city of Denver from people who lived there, such as recent MBA graduates Brian Cleary, Joel Schneider, and Hans Helland who have relocated to Denver. 


Thursday morning, the Real Estate Club started the day at CBRE with a market overview by Tim Richey (MS 1988), who introduced the Denver market and shared information that gave context to the other tours and presentations planned for the students. Mr. Richey earned his MS under Jim  Graaskamp. He shared with the club that when he once spoke to Graaskamp about where to find a job after graduation, Graaskamp told him to figure out where he wanted to live, think about what is best for his family, and then find a job there. In his market overview, Tim shared that Denver’s industry is far more diverse than it used to be and is in the middle of a rapid growth phase. Mr. Richey took the time to give students an excellent visual overview of Denver, pointing out three micro markets; the lower downtown, midtown, and uptown, highlighting the upward growth of the development friendly River North (RiNo) area. He also pointed out the light rail system and how it connected the city.


Following the stop at CBRE, the group met with leasing agents Alex Durkee and Kelly Martines for a tour of the recently opened, 40-story Hines Tower at 1144 15th Street. The building is the first Class A office tower developed in Denver in more than 30 years. The leasing agents pointed out the level of detail that went into the building, from the facade imported from Italy to the scents infused into each room. The team is also proud that the Hines Tower is  a LEED-Gold-Certified building. Through innovative design, the  structure has a 10% higher energy efficiency rate than competing buildings. The Real Estate Club toured the lobby and visited the common space and gym on floor two. They also got to visit a vacant white box space that is yet to be leased, which was a unique opportunity for students to see an unfinished office space with a stunning view of the city and the mountains. 


1144 Fifteenth Street


After the Hines Tower tour, the Club met Denver alumni for lunch at Tamayo, a restaurant located in the Lodo district. The lunch was hosted by Kevin Kelley (MBA1980), Tom McCahill (MBA 1980) and Mike Komppa (MS 1975). Over Mexican cuisine, students updated alumni on what is happening at UW-Madison. Alumni shared stories of their student days, discussed the different economic cycles they’ve experienced, and shared the importance of perseverance in times of adversity. The alumni also discussed the lifelong friendships they have gained from the program and advised students to take advantage of the unique opportunities the UW-Madison Real Estate program offers. 


Next, the club met with CU Denver Professor, Ken Schroeppel, to talk about the development and urban planning behind Union Station and the surrounding area. Union Station is a pinnacle of downtown Denver and has had a recent makeover since it was built over 100 years ago. It is now regarded as Denver’s “living room” and walking in you can see why. The inside of the station has comfortable seating areas that are busy with people waiting for their train, catching up with a friend, or getting some work done. Union Station was developed to combine various operations and railways. In 2001, RTD purchased the site and there was a massive effort to redevelop the station and the surrounding area to create a main transportation hub. Mr. Schroeppel pointed out the renovation of the property relied on the fact that Denver is a progressive city that supports tax increases. He also talked about the development in the surrounding area, which included adding three new pedestrian bridges. The bridges were created as a powerful pedestrian walkway to connect parts of the city. Just the day before, the Real Estate Club used the bridges to go from their hotel to the Ale House. Mr. Schroeppel shared that many Denver citizens, himself included, use the bridges to walk to work every day. The area between Union Station and the pedestrian bridges has only been  developed within the last 11 years. 


After the tour of Union Station, the students went to The Source Hotel, which is in the River North (RiNo) district. The club met with Justin Croft of Zeppelin Places, the company that developed the property.  Justin gave the students a tour of the Market Hall, which began life as the Colorado Iron Works foundry in 1880.  The hall is now host to many independent food and artisan vendors and breweries. One of the vendors in the Market Hall is Isabel, a juice and cocktail bar named after Isabel Nesmith Even, the former president of the Iron Works. The Source Hotel honored her legacy as the first female industrialist in Denver by naming the bar in the center of the Market Hall after her.  After touring the Market Hall, the students went to the hotel on the property. The hotel is inspired by both Scandinavian and Japanese design and provides for a unique lodging experience the minute you check in with New Belgium beer on tap at the front desk. The hotel also has a rooftop bar and the pool with breathtaking views of the city and mountains. Mr. Croft discussed the importance of the River North neighborhood, which honored the historic legacy of Denver’s former manufacturing district in its redevelopment as a destination in Denver’s culinary, retail, and art scene.



The Source Hotel


To complete the day, the students enjoyed dinner with alumni at Liberati. The restaurant had delicious food and is home to Oenobeers. Oenobeers is a beer/wine hybrid, with beer using wine grapes in fermentation. Liberati is the only brewery in the world that is dedicated to Oenobeers.


Friday morning, the club went to Northwood Investors, where they met with former Real Estate Club President, Brian Cleary (MBA 2019), to talk to him about his new job and to hear about Northwoods recent projects. Northwood Investors was founded by John Z. Kukral, the former President and CEO of Blackstone Real Estate Advisors. The firm invests across a wide range of asset classes including hotel, office, retail, residential and industrial properties across the United States and Europe. Northwood Investors targets long-term value creation with longer holding periods than other real estate opportunity funds.    


Following Northwood Investors, the group met  with Matt Joblon from BMC Investments located in Denver’s upscale neighborhood of Cherry Creek. The office building, called the Financial House, is a  BMC Investments development. Mr. Joblon talked about moving from Los Angeles to Denver and the power of an entrepreneurial spirit. He told students that in order to create a business your idea must meet the “Three S’s”, it must be saleable, sustainable, and scalable. He also discussed the relationship in real estate between risk and reward, and the importance of protecting ourselves in downturns. He talked with the students about BMC’s development of Steele Creek, a high-rise luxury apartment building, where they were able to identify the pent-up demand in the Cherry Creek neighborhood. Mr. Joblon emphasized the importance of looking at past developments and asking for feedback to help improve future developments. He even asked students for feedback on the BMC Investment properties that they were touring that afternoon. After the development of Steele Creek, BMC Investments developed more ultra-luxury apartment buildings in Cherry Creek North called the St. Paul Collection. In this development, BMC utilized features from their success in Steele Creek while incorporating improvements from feedback received. The Real Estate Club got to tour the St. Paul Collection apartments, including their rooftop pool, community area on the second floor, and model unit. 


The St. Paul Collection


The trip concluded with a final lunch at Elway’s located in Cherry Creek. The lunch, hosted by alumni Bill Evans (MS 1984) from Madison Realty Investors, was an excellent way to wrap up another incredible Real Estate Club Trip.


Thank you to trip organizers, WREAA Market Representative Chad Messer (MBA 2015), Real Estate Club Presidents Andy Evans and Jared Schnoll. To the Denver alumni, thank you for your time and commitment in welcoming the Real Estate Club, talking about your time at UW, and introducing the students to the Denver market. The effort of all who were involved made this an amazing trip!


We look forward to the Spring Real Estate Club Trip!


For more photos from the trip, please view our video on Facebook.


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UW-Madison Student Team in Top Two at Debt Case Competition

Posted By Mandy Kaegy, Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association, Inc., Thursday, October 31, 2019


A team consisting of both MBA and BBA real estate students brought home second place from the 2019 CRE Financial Council Real Estate Debt Case Competition in New York, New York on Tuesday, October 29th. 

Evan Gorder (MBA 2021), Carolyn Kane (MBA 2021), William Han (BA 2020), and Michal Von Schledorn (BA 2020) excelled among a formidable field of 12 of the top real estate programs in the country, including UNC Chapel Hill (1st Place), Wharton, Yale, Columbia and Rutgers.


The team developed a refinancing proposal for their bank's underwriting committee for an office and industrial property in Chicago, IL.  Their proposal included underwriting of cash flows (lease by lease analysis), determining lender risks, mitigation strategy for risk with covenants and terms, balancing borrower desire for max cashout while generating appropriate risk-adjusted returns for the bank. 


“This is our first time participating in a debt competition, which makes this achievement truly extraordinary.” said team faculty advisor Arif Qureshi. “The team prepared methodically in the week prior to the case, worked tirelessly for 7 days, gave an outstanding presentation and were excellent ambassadors of the UW-real estate program.  They embodied the key components of a successful debt underwriting team, working well together under stressful conditions and demonstrating the ability to make decisions without ego.”


The team was able to add this competition to the roster thanks to a generous donation from David Kim of the Bascom Group.


Congratulations to Arif and the team!


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