Sample DL Chapter Programs

Sample Developing Leader Program

NAIOP chapters across North America have tremendously successful DL programs! Take a look at these ideas – and implement them at your chapter too.

NAIOP Washington State

According to Eric Featherstone, the Developing Leaders (DL) program at his chapter evolved naturally through a series of informal meetings that eventually led to more events. In the last couple of years, the group has managed to cultivate a core of approximately 100 professionals 35 and under. At first, the group met at local restaurants, but more recently members’ employer companies are hosting the gatherings at their offices. The agenda is simple get-togethers about every other month to talk business.

Though the DL program now involves golf outings, charity events and other activities, Eric says that NAIOP’s strength in the area is the main things helping his chapter’s efforts move forward. “There’s a lot of strength behind the NAIOP name here in the northwest,” he said. “Based on numbers and events, we’re the strongest commercial real estate association in the state.”

That powerful word of mouth attracts new members and real estate professionals who want to meet them. What started out as a series of simple get-togethers has grown into a thriving DL program with strong industry buzz and a bright future.

Contact: Eric Featherstone: 206-382-9121

NAIOP Georgia

Debbie Koenig has helped shape her chapter's NAIOP future leaders program on one central principle: listening. The Georgia program started with focus groups, where NAIOP gathered young professionals and turned an ear toward their objectives and needs.

The result is a program customized to new professionals' interests. Ten to 15 applicants are accepted into each year's program. Participants attend the monthly regular member meeting and are invited to meet panel speakers afterward. Additional activities include tours of municipal departments to learn more about the city of Atlanta and how it works. A robust mentoring program pairs future leaders with members of the advisory council (all of whom are former chapter presidents) for one-on-one coaching. The School Challenge event is the highlight of the year, and central to the Georgia chapter's mission to increase diversity and new membership.

Debbie sums up what she has learned so far: "Give the young professionals a chance to be on your committee. Ask them what they want and what they can use. You can't know until you talk to them. Let them own their own program."

Contact: Debbie Koenig: 404-751-2300

NAIOP Colorado

At NAIOP Colorado, the Developing Leaders program is a key priority of the chapter, local universities and the community at large, according to Kathie Barstnar. A beneficial combination of focused NAIOP leadership, school involvement and generous business sponsorship has provided rich experiences and affordable learning opportunities for new members and prospects.

In February of 2006, the chapter appointed a task force who identified a group of 20 potential Developing Leaders, and asked them what they wanted in an educational and networking program. With their input, the program has blossomed into a thriving network of professionals who meet for four educational events and four networking meetings annually. In addition, the Colorado NAIOP chapter provides a space on their chapter website for Developing Leaders to post resumes. A strong mentoring program runs concurrently with the school year, as does the chapter’s popular Rocky Mountain Real Estate Challenge, in which teams of graduate students from the University of Colorado and the University of Denver compete. Throughout the school year, the two teams work on a real-life development project that has been submitted by an area business and make their written and in-person presentations in the spring.

Kathie said, “Our program has really been wildly successful. We let the participants make the DL experience their own. They make their own choices and have their own sweat equity in its success.”

Contact Kathie Barstnar: 303-782-0155