In May, NAIOP announced the six recipients of the 2023 Diversity Student Scholarship. The scholarship program supports students who are seeking degrees in commercial real estate, and it reflects the association’s commitment to fostering diversity within the sector.
“NAIOP is committed to supporting the next generation of commercial real estate leaders and increasing diversity in the industry,” said Marc Selvitelli, CAE, NAIOP president and CEO. “This scholarship program provides not only a financial award but also opportunities for education and networking at our annual fall conference — valuable resources for this emerging talent.”
NAIOP will provide four graduate students with $5,000 scholarships and two undergraduate students with $2,500 scholarships. The awards are aimed at individuals from demographic groups typically underrepresented in the field of commercial real estate, and whose institutions participate in the NAIOP University Membership program.
Along with the financial aid, every scholarship winner will get a chance to broaden their professional network and refine their commercial real estate knowledge via a complimentary registration to the NAIOP’s CRE.Converge 2023, taking place October 18-20 in Seattle.
Priyanka Kakoti is a graduate student in the Master of Real Estate Development and Design program at the University of California, Berkeley and a member of NAIOP San Francisco Bay Area. She currently works as a development intern for SteelWave Inc., in San Francisco, where she focuses on sustainable development for life science projects in South San Francisco.
Previously, she worked as an architect for Feedback Infra (P) Ltd., in India, where she focused on feasibility and business cases for both private and public entities. The projects she worked on included India’s largest freight village and multimodal logistics park (she developed the master plan for the site’s redevelopment), and the monetization of India’s oldest five-star resort, the Ashok Hotel, which has a capitalization value of more than $1 billion.
Serena Lousich is a graduate student in the Master of Real Estate Development and Design program at the University of California, Berkeley and a member of NAIOP San Francisco Bay Area.
She previously received a master’s degree in landscape architecture and worked as a senior landscape designer for landscape architecture firm Surfacedesign Inc. In that role, her work touched on a wide range of commercial projects in the San Francisco Bay Area and Aotearoa (the Máori name for New Zealand). She hopes to leverage her design background in her new career in real estate development.
Lousich’s passion lies with Indigenous-led design and development. As a Máori woman, she has worked with tribes in both Aotearoa and California, leveraging her cultural heritage to develop innovative solutions for Indigenous agency in the design and development process.
Erick Martinez is an undergraduate student in the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University-Purdue University, where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in finance and real estate. He is also a member of NAIOP Indiana.
Martinez worked at Bondry Consulting as an economic development intern during his first year of college and worked on redevelopment projects financed through bonds and municipal funding. This past summer, he interned as a commercial real estate analyst at J.P. Morgan.
Martinez currently serves as an investment analyst intern at Buckingham Companies, a fully integrated real estate investment firm headquartered in Indianapolis.
He serves as president of the university’s Real Estate and Business Society; the group helps students bridge the gap between classroom learning and the professional world. Moore also works with real estate broker Dana Berggren in Las Vegas as an associate of sales and leasing.
Garrett Runck, AIA
Garrett Runck is a graduate student in the Master of Real Estate Development program at Portland State University, and a member of NAIOP Oregon.
A licensed architect with 10 years of experience in hospitality, tech workplace and critical facilities design, he recently made the transition into affordable housing development. He currently works as a development manager at Hacienda Community Development Corporation, a Latino-led nonprofit affordable-housing developer and resident-services provider.
His work includes managing new affordable housing development projects and rehabilitation of existing affordable housing properties in Portland Metro and greater Oregon.
A member of the LGBTQ community, Runck strives to foster an inclusive environment in the real estate profession.
Samantha (Hoyle) Willcock
Samantha (Hoyle) Willcock is a graduate student in the Master of Science in Real Estate program at the University of San Diego, and a member of NAIOP San Diego.
She currently works for Pacifica Companies as an asset manager in their retail and development department. Willcock began her commercial real estate career in property management with Cushman & Wakefield in San Francisco.
She quickly worked her way up to property manager for Columbia Property Trust, where she was responsible for managing the overall operations and resources of a building, working closely with the asset management team, and acting as the main point of communication for tenants.