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  Pacific Premier Bank



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Leaders Program Aims to Forward Careers

Leaders Program Aims to Forward Careers


By Carrie Rossenfeld  | San Diego

June 4, 2015


SAN DIEGO—NAIOP San Diego’s Developing Leaders program is designed to help young executives “CareerForward” by offering the tools to propel them to the next level, co-chair Joanne Yaghdjian tells We spoke exclusively Yaghdjian about the program, what it has to offer and where it’s heading in the future. What has NAIOP’s Development Leaders been doing with regard to its mentorship program, lunch-and-learns, university relations and various charity programs?


Yaghdjian: The DLs have put in a lot of effort this year to look at each program we offer and refine it to ensure our members are getting the most of their membership. We’ve implemented a more-structured program within our mentorship committee to ensure each mentee and mentor is getting the best unique experience and that attendance and engagement increases. We’ve strived to develop Lunch and Learn programs that offer both new topics and others that build on past lessons but are relevant and reflect the interests of today’s group. Our university relations are at their peak with our involvement in the University Challenge (where teams from real estate programs at UCSD, SDSU and USD compete to propose a detailed development plan for a real development site in San Diego, outreach programs and scholarships. And lastly, our Giving Back Committee has done a fantastic job of creating opportunities for DLs to give back with monetary donations raised from our March Madness Mixer and annual NAIOPalooza events and hands-on opportunities with our beach clean-ups, food drives and volunteering at Challenged Athletes Foundation events.


We are also reaching out to the MARSOC division of the US Marines to work alongside the NAIOP board’s efforts to give back to our military. All of these aspects, along with our mixers and other committees, are intended to give DLs unique opportunities to network with other commercial real estate professionals in meaningful ways. What is the main philosophy behind the Developing Leaders program?


Yaghdjian: NAIOP San Diego’s award-winning Developing Leaders program is geared specifically for all professionals age 35 and under. Your membership entitles you to participate in our extensive network, gain instant access to the latest industry news and enjoy unparalleled networking opportunities. But most importantly, our program was designed to help you “CareerForward” by offering you the tools to propel you to the next level. So, for those ready to connect with their peers nationwide and gain instant access to leaders of the industry, participation in the DL program is a perfect opportunity.


All NAIOP members who are age 35 or under qualify to participate in the DL program, no matter if you joined through the DL membership category or as part of a corporate membership. As long as you meet the age requirements—and NAIOP has your date of birth on file to verify it—you are automatically considered a DL and have immediate access to all the benefits of the program. How has the program changed over the years, and where is it heading?


Yaghdjian: We are so fortunate to have Karen Burges and Courtney Moore from NAIOP at our helm to lead us each year. Thanks to their hard work and that of our amazing board, our membership and programs get bigger and better each year. My Developing Leaders co-chair Max Blumenthal and I are so proud of how hard everyone is working to make each year better than the last. The foundation of our program has always focused on creating value for our members through networking, education and charity. We will continue to evaluate and revamp each event to ensure it is of the most relevance and interest to our membership while also organizing innovative ways to foster their relationships with one another and the NAIOP membership at large. What else should our readers know about NAIOP San Diego’s Developing Leaders program?


Yaghdjian: If you are in the commercial real estate industry, you need to be part of NAIOP. We are so fortunate to have one of the best and strongest chapters in the country and one that also has programs that serve up-and-coming professionals through Developing Leaders. No matter your interests, you’ll find value in your DL membership. I encourage everyone to check out any of our events or contact me any time. Coming up, we have our second Lunch and Learn on July 8, a Day at the Races Mixer on August 21 and NAIOPalooza on October 16.

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