Past Events

 

 


 

  June 22: Summer Social Provides Mix of Elegance, Competition and Fun

By Kelley Douglass, Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope

The late afternoon sun was lowering in the sky as the caterers finished setting up the royal banquet worthy food stations. The terrace area hosted picnic fair and BBQ and inside stations had everything from steamed mussels to antipasto. The members arrived and gathered near the bar and in smaller familiar clusters, and as expected the volume and laughter continued to rise. As a relative newcomer to the chapter it was nice to be welcomed and meet new people and also to recognize a few “industry” faces from many events passed. The New Jersey Summer Social was just that, a delightful group of sociable colleagues celebrating the season and each other. As the images suggest, the corn hole set up on the elegant terrace initiated both strong competition and comedy, and was the perfect summer evening fun.

Special thank you to our event sponsors: The Cadence Group and Posen

    May 30: CoreNet NJ Negotiation Workshop

By Annemarie Fleming. MovePlan

On Tuesday, May 30th members of CoreNet NJ gathered at the Merck Education Center on the Rahway campus to learn the fine art of Real Estate negotiation from Philip Neuer, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Safer Textiles and Real Estate Development. Most attendees received a pre-course self assessment to determine their personality type based loosely on the Myers-Briggs Personality Inventory. Those who did not receive it before the workshop completed it in the classroom. Then a discussion ensued on how to analyse a person’s negotiating style based on their personality type.

Next Mr. Neuer started to outline the principles of “Getting to Yes” by Roger Fisher and William Ury for the continuation of the course. The interactive learning will continue for the second portion of this workshop in December. It is not necessary to have attended the 1st seminar in order to join the second seminar. More information will be available soon.

    May 18: NJ Chapter Kicks Off the Golf Season at Chip & Sip Event

By Andrew Findlay, Mohawk Group

The Mohawk Group & WithumSmith & Brown proudly sponsored the Sold-Out Chip & Sip event at Shackamaxon Country Club on May 18th. CoreNet members and guests attending the event enjoyed a beautiful spring night on the links. Shackamaxon’s professional instructors conducted a three-part tutorial program, teaching three enthusiastic groups the finer points on driving, chipping, and putting.

A cocktail hour with passed hors d’oeuvres followed the lessons inside the clubhouse. Conversations easily shifted from work to play, as many laughs were shared discussing the time on the course. All in attendance thank the Special Events Committee for their hard work planning and organizing the event.

 

 

 

May 10: Young Leaders Speed Mentoring Event
By Tatiana Duarte, Gensler

Guests at the Young Leaders Speed Mentoring Event enjoyed breakfast and networking while taking in dramatic views of the Boonton Reservoir from the fifth floor of Waterview Plaza in Parsippany. The event, organized my MariaGrace Iantosca of Cushman Wakefield and Banafsheh Soltani of Gensler, offered young professionals a casual yet structured setting where they connected with successful leaders in CRE and supporting industries.

Mentors included Steve Bitterman (Gensler), Ray Blau (CFI), Bill Brown (Cushman & Wakefield), Patricia Farrell (Turner), Dawn Foerst (Merck), and Drew Holder (The Holder Group). 

Each of the six mentors sat at an assigned table while small groups of young professionals joined them for ten minute sessions before rotating to the next table. The meetings were filled with questions, advice, and anecdotes.

Patricia Farrell of Turner Construction initiated a thoughtful dialogue among mentees about the importance of making connections beyond formal networking. She discussed the impact of treating everyone with the same amount of respect and the strength it communicates about an individual’s character.

Steve Bitterman, Studio Director and Principal at Gensler, spoke to his group about recognizing and seizing great opportunities as they come. He described his transition from architect to project manager and ultimately to director.

From a mentee's perspective, the event was motivating and insightful. Justin Brzostowski of The Holder Group said, "It was great to see the different viewpoints of successful professionals in the industry. It's a fantastic event."

Past mentoring events have facilitated lasting connections between mentors and mentees, and the 2017 event is no different. The event has proven to be valuable to both verdant and veteran professionals, making Speed Networking a Young Leaders staple event we can look forward to in years to come.

 

  May 4: Learning to Manage Your Mind

On Thursday, May 4, 2017, the Women’s SIG hosted a very successful workshop on “Mind Management,” featuring Gail Kreitzer, founder of The Little Big Things, LLC. About 30 women came together at Structure Tone’s Woodbridge office for the event, which started with breakfast and some lively networking. It ended about two hours later with more enthusiastic discussion about mind management, among other topics, plus the exchange of many business cards.

Gail’s presentation outlined the strategies and tools she has developed to create “mental space,” thus allowing for greater focus on what matters most. Her highly visual approach utilizes extensive lists, or as she put it, “the unpacking of your mind.” These lists contain anything and everything from minor errands to major concerns, items that require attention today to ones that may sit for many months. With some categorization and prioritization, the lists ultimately become a set of dashboards. This is something many of us employ at a professional capacity, but might not think to use in other areas of our lives – as well as a daily “Hit List,” essentially a brief to-do list that is aligned with short-term objectives. 

Gail talked at length about personal organization as one of the pillars of health and wellness, and shared some examples of how Mind Management has allowed her to “manage modern overload” and become more centered. Her comments appeared to resonate with the attendees, and several chimed in with questions and observations of their own. For more information about Gail Kreitzer and Mind Management, visit www.mydashboardplanner.com.

 

   

March 29: Are Your Ready for the New FASB Lease Accounting Standards?

On March 29th CoreNet NJ facilitated a morning program that took a closer look the new FASB Lease Accounting Standards. Attendees heard from Alfred Erdmann, a Partner with WithumSmith+Brown and Sean Moynihan, Principal at Avison Young. During the presentation Alfred and Sean discussed the fine points of the rule change and the major impact it will have on how firms analyze and structure their real estate leases. Those in attendance felt the topic was very timely and important to those in real estate. One attendee commented, “I gained a better understanding of how the accounting changes can influence an organization’s real estate strategy and the relationship between leases and financial statements. “Both presenters offered great insight from different perspectives. Special thank you to CBRE Global Investors for sponsoring the breakfast.

 

   

February 16: CoreNet NJ Members Enjoy Cheering on Monmouth University Men’s Basketball

By Andy Findlay, The Mohawk Group

A social and energetic group filled a Monmouth University MAC Center private suite on February 16th

to cheer on the University’s Men’s Basketball team. The Monmouth Hawks jumped out to a commanding 54-36 halftime lead over rival Niagra, and never relinquished the lead, ultimately beating Niagara 93-75.

The cocktails and food were enjoyed by all, and the pulled pork sandwiches were a definite crowd favorite. New relationships were formed, and old ones strengthened. Steelcase and dancker proudly sponsored the event, and all in attendance thank the Special Events committee for their hard work planning and organizing the event.

    January 26: Johnson & Johnson Program

By Annemarie Fleming, MovePlan

The West Tower at Ethicon was abuzz on the morning of January 26th for those who gathered to hear the story of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Transformation. Doug Beers and Paul Gioioso presented the journey taken by the J&J global real estate team to change their fundamental way of doing business. Here are the highlights of their story.

Paul Gioioso opened by sharing the J&J Credo. This credo is the foundation for how the company has operated its businesses since 1943 and is so important to J&J’s culture that it is etched in stone at their global headquarters in New Brunswick, NJ. The real estate team used the J&J Credo as the basis for their framework to develop their strategic principals and growth drivers needed to implement its real estate transformation.

The Strategic Principals are:

  • Broadly Based in Human Health Care
  • Managed for the Long Term
  • Decentralized Management Approach
  • Our People and Values

The Growth Drivers are:

  • Creating Value Through Innovation
  • Excellence in Execution
  • Global Reach/Local Focus
  • Leading with Purpose

The Real Estate team is responsible for managing the company’s 67MM SF portfolio in over 950 global locations at an annual cost of $1.6B. They wanted to find more efficient ways to leverage their existing properties and leases, increase office utilization and reduce underutilized office space. Based on their corporate culture and autonomous business operating principals, they understood that people are more accepting of change when they are authors of it and not victims of it. Thereby, the Real Estate team undertook a process to transform how they support their business clients.

The first step was to develop a Central Funding Mechanism that created a fund for completing projects and giving control to a central real estate team. Next the Real Estate team changed the process by requiring the team to approve any real estate transaction to better coordinate how many properties they are adding to their portfolio, while seeking efficiencies across J&J businesses, and engaging local leaders to drive the process. Lastly, to maintain a lean real estate organization, they depended on strategic partners and deployed a global team to work with local leaders for real estate projects. They shared how the J&J Shanghai project represented how this new approach worked. This project took two years to complete and opened in November, 2016. It is the largest office in J&J’s portfolio and houses over 2,500 employees.

The program concluded with Paul and Doug sharing the financial results and benefits of the transformation to J&J’s business and the lessons learned:

  • Taking calculated risks can yield successful results
  • Stamina is a requirement for a transformation of this scale
  • Lead with a “SEAL team” followed by a mature operating team
  • Execution is everything

Thanks to our CoreNet NJ Education Committee for another outstanding, educational and engaging program.

   

November 17: Fall Harvest Cocktail Reception

On Thursday, November 17th a diverse group of nearly 100 CoreNet New Jersey members and guests attended the Fall Harvest Cocktail Reception at McLoone’s Boathouse in West Orange. Attendees enjoyed a chance to catch-up with colleagues and reflect on the past year over cocktails before entering the holiday season. 

Conversations continued as the night came to an end, making it clear that the evening was filled with enjoyable company from New Jersey’s real estate, design and construction industry.

 

   

November 9: Design Implications in a Multi-Generational Workplace

By Annemarie Fleming, MovePlan

On the morning of November 9th, there was a banner turnover for the Multi-generational panel that was planned and organized by the Young Leaders Committee. The cold and soggy weather did not keep the engaged audience away as large numbers gathered to hear from a wide spectrum of industry experts at Wyndham Worldwide’s company headquarters in Parsippany. 

The panel discussion was moderated by Phillip Infelise of Cresa and was comprised of:

Michael Blau, President, Commercial Furniture Interiors, Inc

Len Carella, VP Infrastructure & Shared Services, iCIMS

Katrina Eyer, Project Manager, Turner Construction Company

Susan Feldman, Executive Director/HR Operations, Daiichi Sankyo

David Midthassel, Associate AIA, Project Manager, Gensler

“This event helped create a dialogue on how best to balance out design and infrastructure with the diverse needs of multi-generational employees. It’s important for organizations to have a sense of awareness to create an optimal workplace environment for their employees.”
-Len Carella, VP, Infrastructure and Shared Services, iCIMS 

Sue Feldman shared how Daiichi Sankyo’s senior leadership embraced a new workplace strategy. A big challenge remains how to plan the company’ s technology and work environment for the next 15-20 years to meet their future needs without knowing what will change in technology and their business.

Len Carella gave examples of his company’s culture and how iCIMS employees are passionate and engaged in their work and their workplace cultivates a sense of home. They have worked very hard to address the culture in designing their new office space.

Michael Blau explained how his firm helped a client who moved into unassigned seating to address the culture shock with positive results on their business. 

David Midthassel emphasized that millennials cannot be pigeon-holed and that the evolution of the open plan office has sacrificed privacy. The next trend is moving to rebalance the workplace to provide openness and views, while including elements for all to access spaces for privacy.

Katrina Eyer shared how the changes she has seen over the course of her career in construction especially as she is now mentoring new colleagues.

The audience was very engaged in questions and answers with the panel and many lingered to speak to the panelists and each other. Thanks to the Young Leaders for organizing this excellent event and to Wyndham Worldwide for hosting.   

 

 

October 25: WSIG: Leadership Conversations

The Leader Conversations panel discussion, hosted by the Women’s SIG committee on Tuesday, October 25th drew new and familiar members of the chapter with over 40 women from New Jersey’s real estate, design, and construction industry. Attendees enjoyed conversations with the panelists over cocktails during networking and an interactive panel discussion.

Dana Nalbantian, CoreNet New Jersey Chapter President, moderated the panel discussion with five highly successful women who shared their experiences on navigating the workplace, taking non-linear career paths, balancing career with personal life, and advocating for career growth and development.

Panelists included:

-Michele Blackwood, M.D., Director of Breast Health and Disease Management, Saint Barnabas Medical Center

-Tiffany Elliot, Principal and Founder, E5 Executive Coaching

-Laura Valenti Studwell, Partner, The Killian Firm, P.C.

-Gayle Shand, Experienced, collaborative and results-oriented media professional

-Miriam Tucker, Partner, Rago Arts and Auction Center

The event was held at Seasons 52 in Bridgewater. The diverse backgrounds of the panelists created an inspiring dialogue.

 

   

September 27: How to Find the Real Estate Value and Risk in M&A Projects

Peter Barnett of PwC, Kevin Frankenberger of Marsh & McLennan, and Jess Johnson of Savills Studley led attendees through an engaging discussion on finding the hidden value and risks in M&A integrations. They covered a number of topics, including:

  • How CRE can get a seat at the decision-making table
  • Understanding the whole context of the deal
  • Assembling an M&A team
  • Developing an M&A framework, and
  • Approaches, strategies, and best practices for due diligence, integration planning, implementation and beyond
   

July 28: Summer Social

The early evening weather was slightly threatening with just a rain drop or two, but this did not deter our attendees from coming out to the CoreNet NJ Annual Summer Social on July 28th at the Oyster Point Hotel in Red Bank. As the crowd gathered, the venue provided the essential summer feel with great views, delicious food and cool drinks.


 

 

 

 

July 20: CoreNet NJ Tours CoreSite

By Cassandra Charles, Northstar Project and Real Estate Services

Ever wonder how a company's network data and sensitive cloud-based information is really kept secure? How one entity actually physically protects another's virtual property? During an exclusive site tour held on July 20th of CoreSite's NY2 Data Center in Secaucus, NJ, led by CoreSite's own Matt Gleason, Brian Walsh and Brenda van der Steen, CoreNet NJ chapter exposed us to a rare opportunity that fed some curiosities.

CoreSite, one of the industry leaders in interconnection solutions, supplies consumers with secure, reliable, and high performance data center options that can be customized to meet specific customer needs.  We were able to witness this first hand.  Client confidentiality and security is amongst CoreSite's core objectives.  Although photos and exposing client names were not permitted, for obvious reasons, we were able to come away with a great sense of the depth and investment of this facility.  Being one of 17 data centers across the country within eight major internet connected markets, the Secaucus location is able to conveniently leverage fiber connectivity back to the major metro area of NYC at a cost competitive rate over the city.

The toured portion of the 280K sq ft space was very neat and clean with at least five points of entry before even entering the data center, equipped with biometrics and surrounded by CCTV monitoring throughout. The three foot raised floor design allows cold air to be pushed underneath the equipment, left me in awe of the designers of the space.  As the center is located in a hurricane zone, with no damage from Sandy, the data center itself sits above the flood plain and is equipped with massive generators, consistently tested and fuel polished, to ensure no loss of power to its client base.

We were very pleased and to have been invited to tour the NY2 Data Center…what appeared to look like a scene from USA Network’s Mr. Robot series. If one is looking to save on kilowatt per hour dollars, green energy savings resulting in quality solutions for less, drop Matt Gleason a note at Matt.Gleason@coresite.com.

    June 7: Speed Mentoring Breakfast

On June 7th, the Education Committee teamed up with the Young Leaders Committee to host a Speed Mentoring Breakfast for young leaders. This event allowed our young leaders to meet with experienced corporate real estate professionals and related industries to receive fundamental advice and guidance as they progress within their careers. Our mentors included: Ellen Cook, Director of Real Estate and Facilities, BASF Corporation; Nancy Gloor, Principal and Executive Coach, Chesilton Leadership Development; Dan Loughlin, International Director, JLL; Dana Nalbantian, Principal, Studio Director, Gensler; Ed Walsh, Principal and Managing Director of Project Management, Avison Young; and Marianne Zeller, Senior Director, Corporate Real Estate, Wyndham Worldwide. Mentees were able to create meaningful connections in a small group setting with each of our mentors throughout the session. Those who attended received great guidance to take back with them as they continue on with their careers.


 

April 26: Overcoming Obstacles to Leading CRE in the 21st Century

Julie Benezet, Co-Founder of The Journey of Not Knowing® joined CoreNet NJ to speak on the challenges of leadership and leading company growth in The Digital Age.  Julie is a former Amazon.com executive, lawyer, and entrepreneur.  She spent 30 years building businesses, buildings, and careers. She works as consultant, coach, and teacher to senior executives around the country.  

The characteristics of the 21st century business have raised the bar for leadership success.  Julie’s informative and interactive session focused on tapping into your core to push into unchartered territory to find the best you.   21st Century leadership requires a frame of mind that propels you to build something better.   To be successful, a leader must learn to navigate through the unknown to reach the bigger possibilities that lie beyond. That ability is at the root of the leadership mindset. Julie uncovered how to deal with the hooks and drivers (i.e.: micromanaging and conflict avoidance) that hold us back as leaders.  Creating a new cycle where you pause and reflect at the decision point versus the old hook based reaction is critical.  In short, be comfortable with the discomfort of not knowing.  

If you would like to read more about the Journey programs and their content, or to take the Journey quiz visit: http://journeyofnotknowing.com/journey-quiz/   It will NOT place you on their mailing list for the newsletter unless you opt in.

Event Sponsor:

 

April 7: Women's SIG Event "Body Language: What Are You REALLY Saying?" 

On April 7, 2016, the CoreNet NJ Women’s SIG gathered at Structure Tone in Woodbridge, NJ for a morning event entitled, “Body Language: What Are You REALLY Saying?” The program was presented by Blake Eastman, Founder of the Nonverbal Group. The morning was filled with networking, laughs and education.  Blake enlightened us by challenging the traditional views on body language and emphasizing people’s individuality. Through funny personal stories backed by countless hours of research, Blake was able to give practical, easy to remember take-aways that can be used in every day communication.

Special thank you to our event sponsors: Gunlocke and Knoll.

   

March 2: CoreNet NJ Webinar: Social Media in 20 Minutes a Day

On March 2nd, CoreNet NJ hosted the continuation of the Social Media webinar series. The session focused on how to effectively manage and monitor your LinkedIn and Twitter profiles in 20 minutes a day or less. Social media expert, LisaMarie Dias of LisaMarie Dias Designs, led the online course explaining the steps to take to make the most of your time, every time you log in. Whether you are new to the platforms or have an established presence, you must first define your goals for success. The next step is to establish your expertise by creating a social media posting plan. This can be done by researching your connections and your competition, following relevant industry news, sharing articles and posting your portfolio work. No matter what your goals are, it is important that you take time to build and nurture your community to ensure your success.

The webinar series continues on May 4th with a session focused on Twitter: The “Why” and “How” for Business Success. LisaMarie takes the reins once again to explore how Twitter works and she will help you determine if it is a good fit for YOU and YOUR business goals! Click here for more information and to register.

     

 

   

January 28: Craft Meadery Tour & Tasting

On January 28th CoreNet NJ members and guests joined together at Melovino Meadery for a night of mead drinking, chocolate and cheese pairing, and networking. The mead maker was very engaging and extremely informative as most people attending had no idea what mead was or the history behind it. For people who truly enjoy to home brew and learn about the mixology behind how to make mead, the facility tour was informative and everyone was able to ask the mead maker as many questions as possible. After the tour, the group tasted six bottles of mead made from different types of honey, which were paired with a variety of organic cheeses, European cheeses, and a mixture of milk and dark chocolates with sea salt and caramel blends. The meadery location proved to be a bit of a challenge to find, but once everyone arrived the tour began and the evening turned into a very pleasant success.

 

 

January 20: How to Maximize Your Outsourcing Strategy

CoreNet NJ kicked off the new year on January 20th with the organization’s first educational program of 2016. More than 65 guests gathered at Bayer’s Headquarters to hear more about outsourcing strategies. The session was moderated by Roger Humphrey, International Director/Life Sciences Practice Leader with JLL. Roger led a panel of industry experts that included: Timothy Bender with TD Bank, Matt Redd with Metlife, John Wilkinson with Global Real Estate and Steve Wojdyla with Merck’s Global HQ in Kenilworth and former Governance Lead for their FM Outsourcing ProgramDuring the presentation, the panelists covered many aspects of outsourcing such as: creating a vision of the outsourcing initiative; gaining stakeholder buy-in and management; integration of service providers; change management; and more. Those in attendance appreciated the great insights, various views and diversity of the panelists.

 

  November 12: Newark 360: An Inside Look at Development & Investment in NJ’s Largest City

On November 11th a sold-out audience came to Panasonic in Newark to hear future plans for the city. The panel of experts was moderated by Ronald Shapiro, Assistant Professor, Professional Practice, Finance and Economics Dept., Rutgers Business School. The panel explored the real estate community’s unique position to make Newark the vibrant regional hub that it is geographically destined to be. 

Panelists:
Marc Berson, Chairman & Founder, The Fidelco Group
Francis J. Giantomasi, Member, Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi
Marc Oshima, Chief Marketing Officer & Co-Founder, AeroFarms
Antonio Valla, Director of Development, RBH Group
     

 

October 14: Women's SIG Leadership Conversations

On October 14th, Beth O’Brien (NJ) facilitated the CoreNet New Jersey Women’s Special Interest Group fall event, “Leadership Conversations.” It was a fun and interactive evening that harnessed four leaders from NJ’s top female real estate and business professionals. Our industry experts included: Heather Shirley, VP Global Integration Project Management Office, Bayer; Ellen Cook, Director of Real Estate and Facilities, BASF; Brenda Nyce-Taylor, Principal / Design Director, Gensler; and Rebecca Machinga, Partner, WithumSmith+Brown. The event attracted over 50 female professionals coming from all different areas of NJ. Guests were engaged in small group conversations with each of the four leaders who shared their successes, failures and setbacks. Females who attended the event walked away with great advice, motivation and insight to assist in their individual growth as a leader within their industry.


     
    September 29: Strategies & Opportunities for Driving CRE's Seat at the Enterprise Table

On September 29th CoreNet NJ real estate professionals and guests came together at Merck to learn more about driving greater engagement with the C-Suite. Attendees heard from several CRE leaders who have been successful in harnessing the benefits of shifts in enterprise focus to increase the synergy between CRE and the C-Suite. The event was moderated by Carrie Thompson, CBRE Senior Managing Director, Strategy and Consulting Group, who was joined by Ted Bielicky, Senior Director of Facilities, Novo Nordisk, Kathy Winkler, Head of US REFS/Real Estate Management, Novartis Pharmaceuticals. 
Special thanks to our event host:Merck
     

  July 29: CoreNet NJ Webinar: Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile

On July 29th CoreNet NJ hosted its first-ever webinar, which was a great success! Social media expert, LisaMarie Dias of LisaMarie Dias Designs, taught on online course on how to make the most of your LinkedIn profile. She explained how to optimize each area of your profile, including where to use keywords, how to make the most of the limited character count fields and what to include in each area. Those who participated found the course to be highly beneficial and enjoyed the online format. Be on the lookout for future webinars coming to your computer soon!

Learn more about the speaker at: http://lisamariediasdesigns.com/ 
     
    June 17: Annual Summer Social

It was a perfect June evening - warm night, beautiful views overlooking the Hudson River and cold drinks in hand at the Annual CoreNet New Jersey Summer Social. The event was held on June 17th at beautiful Maritime Parc in Jersey City. Guests were treated to award winning cuisine by Chef Siversen, a 360-degree wraparound terrace, a vaulted wood ceiling and amazing views of the Hudson River and lower Manhattan. The chapter would like to thank our event sponsor, Steelcase. 


     
    June 4: Demystifying Social Media

CoreNet members and leaders in the Corporate Real Estate industry gathered to learn more about optimizing their social media presence to promote their brand and grow their business. LisaMarie Dias walked attendees through several of the more popular social media platforms to better understand what is available and how to use them most efficiently and effectively. Which platform is right for you? Do you have a social media plan?  The fact is that today users are mobile so we need to adapt our communication and networking strategy. If you have only ONE professional profile, set it up on LinkedIn. From there you can build and nurture your network, do research, find jobs and candidates, find leads, share your message, promote events, and more. Remember, who you follow + who follows you = your social media experience. Make it a good one!  Presentation Slides

Click here if you have questions or need assistance with your social media plan. LinkedIn Profile Optimization Suggestions

Thank you Eastman Companies and Garibaldi for hosting and sponsoring this event at the Eisenhower Corporate Campus in Livingston, NJ.
     
  May 7: CoreNet New Jersey Women's SIG

On May 7, 2015, the CoreNet Women’s SIG hosted Team Dynamics & Leadership Challenges: A Lesson in Collaboration, Innovation and Creativity at the Morris Museum. The program was facilitated by Nina Chmura, Senior Manager at WithumSmith+Brown.

In addition to high-energy networking, the attendees participated in a hands-on interactive challenge from the popular TED talk, The Marshmallow Challenge. This exercise revealed the true nature of collaboration by forcing people to come together quickly. The Marshmallow Challenge helps identify the hidden assumptions lurking within real projects. The shared experience of this exercise highlighted the importance of communication, cross pollinating ideas and the value of prototyping to build real projects successfully.


     
    March 25: End User Roundtable

Corporate End Users gathered at the Park Avenue Club in Florham Park, NJ on March 25th to discuss their current CRE challenges and pain points. Clay Hayden, Merck Global Real Estate Services, moderated the discussion. The audience represented a good cross-section of the industry, and the conversation was robust.  The discussions were focused on the CRE organization and demographics; and, Portfolio Data, Confidence and Analytics. Current state and future state were discussed and the group collectively conferred on solutions to the challenges presented. Additional topics were briefly touched upon and the Education Committee will be scheduling a future End User Round Table.   
     
    Nov. 13: Women's SIG Event - Leadership Conversations and Wine Tasting

On November 13th, Dana Nalbantian with Gensler facilitated the chapter's WSIG fall event, held at the Pluckemin Inn in Bedminster, NJ. 

It was a fun and interactive evening that harnessed four leaders from NJ’s top female real estate and business professionals, which included: Linda Aronson, Managing Director, Jones Lang LaSalle, Sabine Bartzke, Founder of Sabine Bartzke LLC, Leadership Coach, Kathy Jo Usher, Head of Managed Markets, Bayer HealthCare Dermatology; and Patti Manoogian, Owner, Leadership Launch Consulting, LLC. 

The event attracted over 40 female professionals coming from all different areas of NJ. Engaged in small group conversations with each of the four leader’s story telling their successes, failures and setbacks. Women who attended the event walked away with great advice, motivation and insight to assist in their individual growth as a leader within their industry. Be on the lookout for more WSIG events coming in 2015! 
     
        July 24: Jets Training Center Tour

​CoreNet New Jersey's Young Leadership all access tour of the NY Jets Atlantic Health Training Center in Florham Park, NJ was a huge success. It was led by the director of facilities, Mike Lebet. He covered everything from the history of the facility to the design of the space, requests of the executive directors, and he even shared stories of the players and their shenanigans. The evening continued with food, open bar, and a relaxing evening outside on the patio at Vanderbilt in the Wyndham Hotel.
 
Special thanks to Stephen Blau of CFI for the connection to the host of the tour and Shannon Murray of Mohawk Group for sponsoring the post tour happy hour.


     
    June 26: Annual Summer Social

Members and guests enjoyed a beautiful summer evening at Trump National Golf Club as the chapter kicked off the start of the summer season on June 26th. The garden party theme featured delicious food, signature cocktails, and live jazz music. As an added bonus, guests were encouraged to wear their favorite summer hat to compete for prizes. The Summer Social always proves to be one of the best events of the year, and this year's event did not disappoint!



June 11: How Companies Meet the Needs of the Changing Workplace
 
    On June 11th CoreNet New Jersey hosted an educational program titled “How Companies Meet the Needs of the Changing Workplace.” The event was held at Structure Tone’s offices in Woodbridge, NJ with approximately 40 attendees.


The evening began with a networking cocktail reception followed by a presentation by Jeffrey Hipschman, Sr. Managing Director for CBRE-NJ, David Biondolillo, VP Alternative Workplace Strategies for TD Bank and Keith Perske, Global Lead for Workplace Innovation for Johnson & Johnson.

Summary

Workplace strategies for companies in different industries and implemented at different scales were presented and the similarities were remarkable. These similarities include:

  • Today’s workforce is highly mobile, resulting in underutilized office space. Surveys conducted by all three companies indicated utilization rates of 45-50%.
  • Mobility is not the result of “work from home programs.” The companies do not have formal work from home programs.
  • Technology allows employees to work untethered from their desks.
  • Effective change management is critical to the success of the program.
  • It’s important to provide occupants with a variety of work settings.
  • To sustain the transformation of the workplace, an occupant council should be created to review and respond to issues, making adjustments to the workplace as needed.

CBRE-NJ

Jeff presented information about the implementation of CBRE’s Workplace 360 program at the firm’s 114-person Saddlebrook, NJ office. He outlined the three-step process followed for the project:

  1. Self-examination: Using CBRE’s internal workplace strategy team, the current office was studied in terms of business processes and workflow. Survey findings indicated that the average utilization of the office space was 46%.
  2. Participative planning & design process: The team spent 18 months on change management and getting occupant buy-in through participation in the process.
  3. Construction: Renovation of the existing office space while the occupants were accommodated in swing space.

Jeff pointed out that it is important to provide all occupants with the proper technology, enabling them to be productive in a variety of work settings. The savings generated by the project was invested in technology upgrades.

Lessons learned included:

  • The importance of effective change management.
  • The vision for the future state should be a “stretch” – you don’t want to miss the opportunity to make a significant advancement through the renovation/move project.

TD Bank

David described TD Bank’s Flex Workplace program. This program is being rolled out across North America and is not mandatory – a business unit can choose to opt-in based on the specific line of business and market. The program involves aligning and integrating people, place and technology. He explained that the company’s culture emphasizes delivering legendary service, not just to external customers but also to internal customers and this is reflected in the workplace program. David’s group provides education about the program and guidance on the process; the business unit then takes responsibility for leading the implementation while David’s group serves a consulting role.

The program targets 70% of the employees to be mobile (unassigned seats) and 30% resident (assigned seats). Surveys indicate that the average office space utilization is 45%.

The team is cross-functional with representatives from:

  • Design
  • Information technology
  • Human resources
  • Program management
  • Change & communication management

David emphasized the power of choice for occupants. A diverse range of work settings need to be provided. He also pointed out that employee mobility – the ability to work anytime, anywhere - is a significant contributor to business continuity.

Johnson & Johnson

Keith shared information about J&J’s FlexPlace program, being rolled out globally to an organization of 125,000 employees with approximately 60 million square feet of space and a variety of cultures. All new facility projects must incorporate the program. The average utilization rate for office space is 50%.

Drivers for the program are:

  • Generational: today’s workplace accommodates four generations of workers with differing needs.
  • Technology: advances have allowed workers to be much more mobile.
  • Speed: facilities need to be flexible and agile to respond to frequent change.
  • Global: with team members throughout the world, workers need to be able to work anytime, anywhere.

Keith stressed the importance of occupants having access to a choice of space types. At J&J all private space is shared; no enclosed offices are assigned or reservable. The program starts with a people-to-seats ratio of 1.2:1, moving to 1.5:1 over time – accommodating growth without adding space.

The following keys to success were offered:

  • Have an active & visible leader – the initiative must be driven by the business, not real estate.
  • Make the business case – the money saved can be invested elsewhere to benefit the business.
  • Effective change management is critical.
  • Give people tangible references – utilize pilot projects and testimonials for past customers.
  • Anticipate & tolerate the noise – there will be pushback and nay-sayers.
     
May 7: The Art of Metrics – Using BIG Data and Benchmarking to Drive Performance 
     
   

On May 7th, CoreNet NJ hosted an educational program titled “The Art of Metrics: Using Big Data and Benchmarking to Drive Performance” held at Celgene’s corporate HQ in Summit, NJ. CRE participants were engaged and the session was interactive and informative. Guest speakers included Ron Zappile, Director of Benchmarking Operations for CoreNet Global and Chris Zlocki, Executive Managing Director, Strategy & Innovation Practice for Colliers Corporate Solutions.

Ron presented benefits, risks and best practices of benchmarking and the importance of using the data to identify and quantify opportunities to improve performance. 

Ron also presented a Live demo of Bench CoRE, CoreNet Global’s dynamic benchmarking system. He demonstrated how the unique, state-of-the-art, on-line benchmarking service is structure, the process of data validation, standardization, and flexibility of reporting. Chris focused on the state of CRE technology and big data, and how to cut through the complexities to create KPI’s that are aligned with business and real estate. With these KPI’s you can create valuable reports and dashboards driven to satisfy all levels of business operations, including the C-Suite. Metrics that measure Business and CRE Performance Improvement, CRE Performance Measurement, and Real Estate Transaction Effectiveness tell the story of how effectively and efficiently CRE is managing the portfolio, the value you offer to the business, and how CRE executives can deliver extraordinary results for portfolio improvement.

     
March 12: Women's SIG Event:  The Human Connection – Bring Your Presentations to Life!
 
     On March 12, 2014, the CoreNet NJ Women’s SIG gathered at the Olde Mill Inn in Basking Ridge, NJ for a morning workshop, “The Human Connection – Bring Your Presentations to Life!” Conducted by Jen Hebblethwaite of Graceworks, this hands-on workshop was an energizing training session that provided valuable tips on how to relax, be yourself and communicate your message with clarity and confidence. Founded by Carol Doscher in 1995, Graceworks facilitates corporate presentation and communication training. Staying true to the company’s philosophy of bringing sincerity and life to business interactions, Jen’s teaching style was big and bold. Through teaching, discussion, participation in theater exercises and individual coaching, attendees were encouraged to tap into their passions and authenticity. The workshop explored topics such as learning to identify and drop nervous habits, prepare and practice material, and using graphics and props wisely. It was a very worthwhile and uplifting morning, giving all more confidence and some good laughs too!  
 
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Feb. 19 Young Leader Happy Hour 
     

 
 

On February 19th CoreNet New Jersey emerging real estate professionals came together at Fox and Hound in Edison, NJ for drinks, appetizers, and bar games. This event was a first for the Young Leaders that included a nice small group with many new faces which led to some great new connections. Naturally the men were drawn to the pool table, making a nice ice breaker for an event like this. The group is planning more social events in the coming months so be sure to check the chapter calendar for details coming soon. 

Click here to view pictures from the event.

     
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Feb. 4: Sanofi Case Study - The Disposal & Repurposing of a Large R&D Site

   

On February 4th CoreNet New Jersey hosted an educational program titled, “The Disposition & Repurposing of a Large R&D Site” held at the New Jersey Center of Excellence at Bridgewater in Bridgewater, NJ. The evening began with a networking cocktail reception followed by a presentation by Joel Orton, Director of Real Estate for Sanofi, Dan Loughlin, International Director & Broker Lead for Jones Lang LaSalle and Kurt Padavano, COO for Advance Realty.

Joel described the 50-year evolution of the 110-acre site at 1041 US 202-206, developed from farmland to become an R&D campus with 1.2 million square feet for Sanofi and, ultimately, identified for disposition as the result of a change in business strategy. Dan discussed the challenges faced in selling a 19-building campus with centralized utilities and restrictive zoning in a slumping economy, while other pharma companies were also consolidating and selling sites.  

He reviewed the dual path marketing strategy JLL pursued, leading to leases with two anchor tenants for 30% of the space followed by an investment sale of the site to Advance Realty/Cross Harbor. Kurt shared his firm’s vision for the future of the site: creating a mixed-use campus with an urban, town center feel in a suburban location. He discussed the fast-track acquisition process completed in just 90 days including an amazingly short 30 day due diligence period.

The importance of cooperation and teamwork between the buyer, seller and broker along with support from the local community were key factors in the success of this project. 

     
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Nov. 6: Integrated Real Estate Planning: Building Credibility with the C-Suite
  
 
   

On November 6th CoreNet NJ hosted an educational program focused on Integrated Real Estate Planning, held at The Olde Mill Inn and Grain House Restaurant in Basking Ridge, NJ. The evening began with a networking cocktail reception, then attendees gathered for a presentation from Michael Davidson, Managing Director and Head of the New York Region & Global Corporate & Investment Bank Real Estate Portfolio for JP Morgan Chase and Co. He delivered an engaging and thought provoking presentation focused on how to build credibility with the C-Suite as a result of implementing effective real estate strategies through vital integration. He based his message on his real life experiences in the industry. He explained that real estate is older than we are, and is fundamental and tangible. In order to implement effective strategies, you need to be a student of your company. It is essential to truly understand the business and where you’re going. If you don’t know where you’re headed, you will surely miss your target. This is why it is so important to foster relationships with HR and IT, and become a leader among your peers.

To be a valuable partner, you must know your business metrics and data. Organizational challenges may create silos, however it is up to the real estate experts to establish proactive partnerships with all facets of the business in order to truly deliver results and bottom-line benefits. This will enable the establishment of a proactive partnership with the C-Suite, delivering more than what is simply requested. This interaction will develop lasting credibility, not based on a project, but long-term integrated planning that separates the good from the great organizations.

     
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Oct. 15: End User Roundtable
 
 
    On October 15th an intimate group of CoreNet NJ End User Members gathered at Fiddler's Elbow Country Club in Bedminster, NJ to discuss CRE Cost Cutting Initiatives. The event began at 5:30pm with cocktails and was followed by dinner and a thought-provoking discussion. The event brought together Corporate End Users to share best practices with each other. Those in attendance agreed that it was a great opportunity for professional development and networking. Plan to join us at our next roundtable discussion, coming in 2014. 
     
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Oct. 8: CoreNet NJ Special Presentation: Attracting Business to the Garden State
     

On October 8th CoreNet NJ hosted the Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey, Kim Guadagno, for a special program focused on Government Tax Incentives to attract and retain businesses in the Garden State. In addition to the Lt. Governor, attendees heard from the following business leaders who discussed new legislation in the state. Click here to view the presentation slides.

-Mike Winter, Chief Administrative Officer, ChooseNJ
-Tim Lizura, President/COO, NJ EDA
-Carl Nerlich, Tax Senior Manager, Ernst & Young
-Michael J. Van Wagner, Executive Director, New Jersey Business Action Center

At the conclusion of the program, attendees had the opportunity to network during the cocktail reception. Special thanks to our event host: The Hampshire Companies.


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Sept. 19: Planning an Office for the Next Generation

   

 

 

On September 19th more than 70 chapter members and guests came to Horizon Blue Cross/Blue Shield in Newark to learn about the next generation office. Those in attendance heard first hand from those who are building facilities for the next generation, redeveloping existing workspaces and leading the charge on change management. We would like to thank our moderator and panel of professionals who shared their time and experience. Special thanks to Education Sponsor General Office Interiors for sponsoring this event!

Moderator:
Peter DeBease, President, General Office Interiors

                       
Panelists:
-Joseph Flock, AIA, Director, Real Estate Development & Facilities, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey
-Mike Perrette, Vice President Corporate Real Estate Facilities, Prudential
-Kay Sargent, Vice President Architecture, Design and Workplace Strategies, Teknion
 
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July 15: CoreNet NJ / IFMA NJ Annual Golf Outing


On July 15th Close to 150 Members and guests came out to the Hackensack Golf Club in Oradell, NJ to enjoy a day on the links. The event kicked off with registration and putting contest at 11:00am, followed by golf and the awards banquet and reception. Thank you to all of the sponsors and guests for making the outing such a great success!




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July 10: Summer Social


On a beautiful summer evening, New Jersey Chapter members and guests gathered at the Liberty House Restaurant in Jersey City
for a fun networking event and cocktail reception. Guests enjoyed the magnificent views of the Manhattan skyline, while catching up with colleagues and dining on award winning cuisine. This annual event is a chapter favorite. Thank you to all of the event sponsors and attendees.  

Click here to view event pictures

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June 6: Program - Making Workplace Flexibility Business as Usual



On June 6 CoreNet members and guests came together at Structure Tone in Woodbridge, NJ to hear leading practices from Burt Rea, Human Capital Director and Omosede Idehen, Human Capital Manager, both with Deloitte Consulting. They discussed the “psychology of the workplace,” and offered specific insights on workplace culture and changing the workplace mindset. The presentation concluded with lessons learned and tactical tips for successfully integrating virtual and in-person teams and making workplace flexibility and transformation programs business as usual. Click here to view the presentation slides. In addition, there were handouts provided during the event. Use the following links to access: Deloitte Workplace Redesign and Deloitte Making Virtual Work Business as Usual.