New Voices - What Does It Take to Lead a Chapter?
By: Leslie Silvey, senior communications manager, NAIOP
Two of NAIOP’s Developing Leaders will soon be adding more responsibilities to their already-full plates that include serving as key leaders in their respective firms and active involvement in their local NAIOP chapters. Kyle Nagy, director with CommCap Advisors, will step into the role of president of NAIOP Southern Nevada next year, while Brian Graham, CCIM, brokerage associate and director of research with Colliers International, will take the helm as president of NAIOP Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky.
NAIOP recently spoke with these dynamic presidents-elect to see how they were preparing for their 2012 terms. In addition to sharing their leadership platforms, Nagy and Graham discuss the challenges and opportunities they foresee as they lead their chapters through the slow economic recovery:
What prompted your decision to run for your chapter’s presidency?
Nagy: I started attending NAIOP meetings in 1999 and immediately recognized the value of the organization for commercial real estate professionals. After serving on the Education Committee, I served or chaired several committees and ran for the chapter board. After serving on the board and as treasurer, I thought it was time to make the ultimate contribution and run for chapter president.
Graham: I have been an active member of NAIOP Cincinnati/ Northern Kentucky since 2005. I joined the board shortly after, in an effort to become more involved with our local organization. I decided to run for our chapter’s presidency to take even more of a leadership role within our market.
Are you currently connecting with chapter leaders and/or mentors to prepare for your role as president?
Nagy: Absolutely, current and past chapter leaders are a great resource. I consider all of them my friends and know they will provide honest advice and feedback.
Graham: I am in contact with our board of directors to obtain advice and feedback on how I can continue the success of our group. I have also reached out and sat down with past presidents, listening to their ideas and seeing what “best practices” I can carry forward in this new position.
How do you plan to solicit feedback and ideas from chapter members?
Nagy: We are a busy chapter and there are committee meetings or activities almost every day. I plan on attending as many functions and meetings as possible and talking to members in groups and one on one. Current leadership is great to work with, and they are all willing to work toward the betterment of the chapter and are willing to put aside any self-serving motives. I know they will share their advice and feedback. Our chapter also utilizes LinkedIn and Facebook and is working on a Google discussion group. I have found that people are more honest on a Web site or when posting to a group. I like the instant feedback and candor and plan on using these social media sites regularly.
Graham: Reaching out to members on a quarterly basis is something I strive to do in my current position on the board. I will continue to do this as president in 2012. Member feedback is critical to understanding what we need to be focused on and which direction our group needs to be headed.
What is the platform you’d like to focus on next year and how do you plan on executing it?
Nagy: I know what I would like to accomplish, but the stability of the market will limit or dictate my platform. I have learned from the past three chapter presidents that fluidity and flexibility are crucial to the position. First and foremost, I will continue the work of past presidents and focus on membership growth and retention while providing value for our sponsors.
Graham: As the current Membership Chair, I want to continue my pursuit of attracting and retaining the best members possible as president.
What do you see to be the biggest challenges and biggest opportunities you may face?
Nagy: The biggest challenge for all Las Vegas real estate professionals is the market. Our NAIOP members are more willing to share ideas and thoughts than they were three years ago. We have grown together through a common need for survival. The internal challenge for the Southern Nevada chapter will be to balance services and activities with the limitations of our budget.
Brian: The biggest challenge I see is differentiating our group from our competitors. We have a large number of commercial real estate organizations in Cincinnati and it is critical that we set ourselves apart from the other alternatives a member has to choose from.
What kind of music is usually on your iPod?
Nagy: Everything from classical to rap. Right now my favorite band is Mumford and Sons. Their brand of English folk rock is refreshing. I also listen to a little Flogging Molly and a little Bob Dylan mixed.
Graham: I’m an avid cyclist and listen to my iPod while I ride, so anything that pumps me up and gets me up the hills faster will work.
What’s your pet peeve?
Nagy: People who talk, but do not “show up.”