This year has provided us with an opportunity to examine how we can use our platform – within YPG and across the chapter
At year-end, I want to thank everyone who has continued to support our YPG program. While this year brought new challenges, it has encouraged us to reengage in constructive conversations, allowing us to rethink how we can best serve our members, industry and our community.
Before we jump into our updates, I would like to sincerely thank Becky Ezell, Lexi Thompson, Jamie Kline, Steven Hillgren, Naomi Rizkowski, Andy Bratt, Shaena Cushman, Chris Yamashita, Ivan Kustic, Matt Larson and Tim Jemal. Your efforts helped support the YPG legacy that we hope to build on in the years to come and I can’t thank you all enough for volunteering your time throughout the year. Last but not least, I would like to sincerely thank (the recently retired) Cynthia Fusco for her support of not only me, but of the entire YPG program. She was the light that guided the way and it was truly a privilege to work with her.
I’m excited to announce that the 2021 YPG curriculum will include a new instructor, Dr. Kent Rhodes, EdD. He is a core faculty member with Pepperdine University's Doctoral Programs in Organizational Change and Organizational Leadership and MBA Programs where he teaches courses in leadership, applied behavioral sciences, organizational theory, and ethics. Kent has taught alongside one of our current faculty instructors Julie Chesley, PhD, who is an associate professor of organization theory and management at the Pepperdine Graziadio Business School.
From our conversations with Kent, I’m confident he’ll bring another level of critical leadership training – especially focused on the next generation. As Kent states, you can’t develop into a leader without first developing yourself. This philosophy is central to the success of the YPG program.
I think that when we are able to resume socially responsible gatherings, everyone will come back re-energized. More importantly, I think we’re all going to bring more meaning and purpose into our interactions. This year marked the 15th anniversary of YPG. Obviously we didn’t have an opportunity to celebrate the way we would have liked, but I believe that we are going to be better prepared for the next 15 years because of the changes we are making now.
This year has provided us with an opportunity to examine how we can use our platform – within YPG and across the chapter – to make a positive change and I am honored to be the new chair of the chapter’s Diversity Task Force.
Looking ahead, we’re going to ensure that our educational programming and social events continue to take diversity and inclusion into consideration. Then we can start to see the change we’ve been talking about. The task force has reached out to the Real Estate Executive Council (REEC), a non-profit trade association comprised of minority men and women in the commercial real estate industry in an effort to understand how our chapter can help bridge the gap and work to align NAIOP SoCal to better reflect the demographic realities of Southern California. We’re discovering that mentorship and early intervention are integral components in introducing commercial real estate as a career to young people. We hope to make a real difference by strengthening our relationship with real estate students, at universities such as CSU Fullerton, and local community colleges, who know they want to go into real estate, but have yet to make the right connections.
In closing, on behalf of the entire YPG Alumni Association, we wish you all a very safe and happy holiday season and a happy New Year!
YPG Alumni Chair