at the NAIOP Georgia January Breakfast
NAIOP GA President, Mike Wells, Highwoods Properties, kicked off the meeting by firing up the crowd. After showing the now-famous, Samuel L. Jackson Falcons RISE UP video, Mike bounded on stage in his Falcons jersey. Mike was at the conference championship and said of his experience, “It was the loudest I have ever heard the dome…John Grimsley even said it was louder than the Taylor Swift concert!” Mike went on to say:
- One thing that struck me as I enjoyed the crowd both inside and outside the dome – Just how Diverse the crowd was and what great representation of our city it was – All cheering for a common goal!
- As we close this chapter on a challenging election season, I hope we can rise up and embrace the unity as we move forward together. And, as we move forward together, we are going to embrace what we do…
- Educate – We want to reinforce why Atlanta is one of the best business destinations in the world and how technology is going to continue to improve us.
- Support Government Affairs – on both the local & national level – look to solutions to challenges that impact and challenge our industry.
- Continue our Philanthropic Endeavors – directly impacting lives in our community.
- Diversity – Recognize the continued need for increased diversity in our CRE community and continue to strive for solutions.
Mike spoke to the success of the NAIOP Xtreme Room Makeover Challenge in December. He thanked everyone for their participation (over 60 NAIOP members directly participated) in this life changing endeavor. He went on to specifically thank Brian Kennedy and Occupied Renovations, Brad Kinzey and Kinzey Construction, Shaw Carpets, Rupert Landscaping and Travis Vickers and BoggsVickers Architects for their amazing contribution.
Mike then brought up NAIOP Future Leaders director, Stephen Clifton, PMRG, who introduced the 2017 group: Rupam Banerjee, Ryan; Gregory Boler, Ridge Development Company; Laura Friddell, Patterson Real Estate Advisory Group; Maximillian Gutierrez, Urbana Realty Advisors; Reeves Henritze, Colliers International; Tyler Jones, Rockefeller Group; Andrew Myers, Brasfield & Gorrie; Kaity Noone, The Brookdale Group; Keenan O’Brien, Eastdil Secured; Joshua Stephens, Georgia Dept. of Econ. Dev.; Heidi Swygert, KDC Real Estate Development & Investments; Will Weston, CBRE; Ryan Woods, Beck Group.
Next, NAIOP VP Governmental Affairs, Charlie Fiveash, Lavista Associates, introduced our keynote speaker Thomas J. Cunningham, Ph.D., Chief Economist, Metro Atlanta Chamber. Some key points that Tom made were:
- The 29 county Atlanta MSA is similar to Ireland in terms of economic size.
- Low interest rates have helped improve “Debt to Income” ratios, so Atlanta is in a better economic position today than the pre-recession era.
- 70% of US GDP is tied to personal consumption/consumer spending.
- Georgia’s GDP is 2% of the US GDP and Atlanta’s job creation is on track to create the same number of jobs in 2017 as last year.
- Infrastructure improvements, a bi-partisan effort in Washington, will help improve the US economy in 2018 – with less impact in 2017.