Real Estate Center Annual Dinner honors personal connections in joyous return
Center awards scholarships and recognizes Rusty Myers as Distinguished Real Estate Service honoree
The University of Cincinnati Real Estate Center marked the joyous return of its annual awards dinner on June 1, attracting 550 commercial real estate professionals to the Hyatt Regency Cincinnati to celebrate the accomplishments of the center, program, faculty, staff and distinguished students and alumni.
In the program’s opening remarks, Real Estate Center Executive Director Carl Goertemoeller summarized the personal and operational changes many in the industry experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that “the stakes were too high” in real estate to rely on virtual visits alone.
“Networking is the lifeblood of our industry, and it is great to have everyone back in the fold,” he said. “While Teams, Zoom and Skype have all created efficiencies in how we conduct business, as I tell our students every day, you cannot be effective in this business without making personal connections. It’s what makes our business special and rewarding.”
Lindner Dean Marianne Lewis, PhD, spoke about how the Real Estate Center is a “treasured hub” and leading example at the university for bringing employers and rising talent together — emphasizing the cooperative in cooperative education.
“As a leading co-op business school, we take our business and community partnerships very seriously,” she said. “It’s not a transaction, it’s cooperation, and this center is exceptional at fueling the next generation of talent.”
The center also surprised guests with a special appearance by UC football Head Coach Luke Fickell, “who controls arguably the 120 most valuable yards — that’s 1.3 acres — of real estate in all of Clifton,” said Goertemoeller. From the podium, Fickell congratulated the center on its many successes and thanked everyone for the hospitality.
“Congratulations to everybody that's getting an award tonight, and thank you for all you do,” he said. “I appreciate being a part of this community and this big family. Events like this are an opportunity for me and my wife to get to know people a little bit more.”
Program speakers and highlights
Additional speakers included Kay Geiger, president for the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region of PNC Bank, 2022 dinner chair Jessica Odenweller, who serves as vice president of assets and acquisitions at Equity, and Board of Executive Advisors in Real Estate (BEARE) Board Chair Mario San Marco. All shared in the celebration of the center and program continually achieving its core objectives.
In the awards portion of the evening, Goertemoeller supplied a rundown of program highlights — 38% program growth, the return of experiential learning through travel to Chicago complete with four company visits, UC Real Estate Association-coordinated site visits to Newport on the Levee with North American Properties and the Atlas Building being redeveloped by Urban Sites, and a successful mentorship pairing with 40 students matched with BEARE board members or other real estate professionals. He also gave kudos to the teaching leadership demonstrated by West Shell Associate Professor of Real Estate Mike Eriksen, PhD, and Assistant Professor Eunjee Kwon, PhD.
“Dr. Kwon recently finished her first year on staff at UC. In addition to her teaching duties, she was actively involved with a variety of research topics,” said Goertemoeller. “We are certainly grateful for Dr. K's leadership and, even more importantly, her role as a global ambassador for the UC real estate program, as she travels to the London School of Economics, MIT Center for Real Estate in Boston, and her alma mater in Seoul, South Korea.”
In 2022, 18 students have been selected to receive a combined total of $40,000 in UC scholarship awards. Additionally, four of these students received additional external scholarships from Ohio Realtors and Society of Industrial and Office Realtors valued at another $7,000, bringing the total dollars awarded to a record $47,000. Those scholarship winners are listed below.
BEARE recognized two scholars, Carly Perrmann, BBA ’23, and Nash St. Clair, BBA ’24. This distinction was initiated in 2016 to celebrate the best of the best in the program — not only in academics, but in taking advantage of the experiential opportunities and co-op.
“Both students exemplify every aspect of the spirit of what the BEARE board wanted to inspire and recognize,” said BEARE member and PNC Senior Vice President Pam Weber in her introduction of Perrmann and St. Clair. “Most of us who have been in the field have said, ‘I would not be hired in my job if I had to compete against students like this.’”
Perrmann thanked the center staff and BEARE members, as well as her coworkers at Viking Partners for their unwavering support through her academics and co-op.
“Each of you made an investment in me. My academic achievements and growth within the real estate industry would not have been possible otherwise,” she said. “I encourage you to continue investing in any way you can in the UC Real Estate Center, program and students. Your investment is how I discovered a career in real estate, landed a co-op with an amazing company and gained the confidence to achieve what I have.”
In his remarks, St. Clair referenced that what he learned as a Boy Scout, “be prepared,” has come to fruition thanks to the many experiences afforded to him through the center and program.
“For those who have helped me through the program, as well as in my personal life, I have gained from your experience and mentorship,” St. Clair said. “The assistance and support I’ve been shown is something I’ll never forget and something that I’m truly grateful for.”
Closing out the student recognition was a video celebrating 2022 Student of the Year Nolan Merten, BBA ’22. Merten graduated in spring 2022 majoring in real estate with a minor in finance. He was a four-year member of the UC Real Estate Association (UCREA) and served as president during his senior year. Merten worked at numerous firms and, upon graduation, accepted a full-time position at the Paul Hemmer Company as a development analyst. He was absent for the event due to a family obligation, but shared his remarks through video:
Distinguished Award Winner Rusty Myers, BBA ’82
The finale of the evening was recognizing 2022 Distinguished Service Award Recipient Rusty Myers, managing director at JLL. Myers is a longtime volunteer and servant leader for UC. The fourth-generation Bearcat serves as a UC Foundation trustee and is a past president of the UC Alumni Association, Real Estate Advisory Counsel and Real Estate Roundtable. In 2018, he was awarded the Robert E. Dobbs Distinguished Service Award.
“I look around the room and see some of the people who have known Rusty forever, and think Rusty is their best friend. There’s no bigger compliment than that Rusty is a best friend to many, many people. He's certainly been that to me,” said Jerry Atkins, BA ’81, senior vice president at Bellwether Enterprise and 2019 Distinguished Real Estate Service Award winner during his introduction of Myers.
A video played that showcased what some of those many best friends thought of Myers:
“He knows construction. He knows finance. He knows leasing. He knows marketing,” Atkins continued. “You give Rusty a task, he will put his head down, and he will go from beginning to end and get the job done at a level of excellence that is second to none.”
Considering Myers’ recognition was originally scheduled for 2020, but was deferred due to event cancellations and COVID-19, he was welcomed to the stage with a standing ovation and cheers fit for the two-year postponement. In his remarks, he wove in the life experiences of his grandfather and father. First, he quoted a 1918 journal entry written by his grandfather about the orders that were put in place for the influenza pandemic at the time. Second was a speech Myers’ father gave from the same room 38 years ago when he was honored for his contributions to the Cincinnati community:
“’As I sat here tonight and I looked out at this wonderful group of people, I realized how many of you have done so much more than I for our community, and that really you, not I, should be the one being honored. Therefore, I would like to share this honor with all of you, who work so hard in so many ways for the betterment of our community,’” Myers paused. “Well, I feel exactly the same way tonight.”
Bringing his perspective to the present, Myers expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to work on the many iconic development projects that have shaped the Cincinnati region over the years, the “most important and transformative” being the Digital Futures building in the Cincinnati Innovation District.
“The Digital Futures complex is a shining example of how you see industry partners in our community come together to move our region forward for future generations,” said Myers. “This is clearly the capstone of my career.”
The UC Real Estate Center congratulates all who earned honors and distinction, and thanks event sponsors and annual partners for their continued support.
Join us in congratulating this year’s honorees and scholarship recipients:
Greater Cincinnati NAIOP Scholarship
A UC Real Estate Center scholarship established in 2022 by the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of NAIOP, this scholarship is awarded to one student per year for five years who is focusing on the commercial, office and industrial sector of real estate. Supported by current NAIOP Board Chair Bill Keefer and past Board Chairs Jeff Dietz and Patrick Gates.
- Jacob Murphy, BBA ’23
This UC Real Estate Center scholarship was established in 2015 through a gift made by Jeffrey Anderson and Associates to the ICSC Foundation, and will run through 2029.
- Nicholas Bartholomew, BBA ’22
Carl E. Segal Scholarship
Established in 2000, this scholarship supports students seeking a career in the real estate business.
- Mariangel Bentancourt, BBA ’23
- Chris Dames, BBA ’23
- Kyle Ebert, BBA ’23
- Ben Booker, BBA ’24
James B. Selonick Scholarship
Established in 1988 by associates of Jim Selonick, former head of real estate and development at Federated Department Stores, the legacy company to Macy’s, this scholarship is a lasting tribute to his impact on the industry.
- Conrad Echemann, BBA ’24
- Matthew Grueninger, BBA ’22
- Keelan Jones, BBA ‘24
- Ben Newman, BBA ’23
- Katie Walsh, BBA ’23
Neyer Properties Scholarship
Funded annually through the generosity of Dan Neyer of Neyer Properties, this scholarship has been awarded to four top real estate students each academic year since 2017.
- Christian Jenkins, BBA ’24
- Deep Patel, BBA ’23
- Kalynne Schuermann, BBA ’23
- Benjamin Wessels, BBA ’24
Ohio Realtors Scholarship (external to the university)
- Carly Perrmann, BBA ’23
- Jacob Murphy, BBA ’23
Society of Industrial and Office Realtors Scholarship (external to the university)
- Conrad Eichman, BBA ’24
- Max Murphy, BBA ’23
Thanks to program partners and event sponsors:
- PNC Bank
- Eagle Realty Group
- Hills Properties
- Neyer Properties, Inc.
- North American Properties, Inc.
- Procter & Gamble
- Truist Bank
- Mario San Marco, Board Chairman
- Scott Arinson, Towne Properties
- Doug Armbruster, Core 5 Industrial Partners
- Brian Banke, Procter & Gamble
- Traci Boeing, Wesbanco
- Michael Brandy, Brandicorp
- Chad Burke, GBBN
- Mark Caesar, Truist Bank
- Mark Cinquina, PNC Financial Services
- Craig Coffman, Uptown Rental Properties
- Scott Csendes, KZF Design
- Michael Dooley, Bayer Becker
- Karl Dostal, MCM CPA’s and Advisors
- Brian Doyle, Messer Construction Co.
- Jeff Eichhorn, Schueler Group
- Jessica Fitzwilson, Turner Construction
- Eric Gardner, Gardner Street Commercial Real Estate Group
- Stash Geleszinski, Capstone Companies
- Jason Gibson, Anchor Associates
- Louis Guttman, Hills Properties
- Michael Heekin, Hunt Builders Corporation
- Adam Hemmer, Paul Hemmer Company
- Paul Richard Herndon, Griffin Fletcher & Herndon LLP
- Donald Huffner, James Campbell Company
- Noah Juran, NorthMarq Capital, LLC
- Chip Kupferberg, BlueMark Capital, LLC
- Daniel Lessing, BHDP Architecture
- Joe Lockett, Cincinnati Bell
- Bob Luebbe, Fifth Third Bank
- Sean McGrory, Clark Schaefer Hackett
- Ryan Moore, Last Mile Investments
- Chad Munitz, FC Cincinnati
- Shenan Murphy, Colliers International
- Abigail Murray, Viking Partners
- Rusty Myers, JLL
- Kyle Neumann, Bellwether Enterprise
- Dan Neyer, Neyer Properties
- Greg Olson, Urban Sites
- Ken Oswald, Oswald Company
- Kelly Postlewaite, Forvis
- Tom Powers, Cushman & Wakefield
- Ryan Reardon, Al. Neyer
- Lee Robinson, Robinson Sotheby’s International Realty
- Jeffrey Sackenheim, SHP Architects
- Jeanne Schroer, Catalytic Development Funding Corp. of Northern Kentucky
- Kevin Schutte, CBRE
- Paul Silva, Eagle Realty Group
- Christina Sprecher, Frost Brown Todd LLC
- Mike Spurlock, Ameritas Investment Partners
- Richard Sterling, First Financial Bank
- Dan Sutton, Kemba Credit Union
- Adam Stypula, Park National Bank
- Daniel Utt, KMK Law
- Roger Wade, Cintech Construction
- Pamela Weber, PNC Real Estate Banking
- Mark Wilhoite, ComptonAddy
- Kristin Woeste, Seymour and Pease LLP
Cocktail Reception Sponsor
- Eagle Realty Group LLC
Dessert Reception Sponsor
- CIG Communities
Corporate Dinner Sponsors
- Al. Neyer Properties, Inc.
- Taft Law
- Tipton Interests, Inc.
Bearcat Dinner Sponsors
- Essential Growth Acquisition Properties
- First Financial Bank
- Huseman Group
- Katz Teller
- KMK Law
- Last Mile Investments / North American Properties
- Myers Y. Cooper Company
- Oswald Company
- STNL Development
- Viking Partners
Individual Dinner Sponsors
- Ackermann Group
- Fath Properties
- Matrix Holdings
- Republic Bank
- Thompson Hine, LLP
Featured image: UC Real Estate Center Executive Director Carl Goertemoeller, left, with 10 students who either earned scholarships, distinctions or volunteered at the 31st annual Real Estate Awards dinner. All photos by Joe Fuqua.
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