• Arizona Contractor & Community

NAIOP Arizona Developing Leaders Young Professional Group caps year with 2021 team competition

A record 25 protégés were honored as the Arizona Chapter of NAIOP’s Developing Leaders Young Professionals Group (YPG) mentorship program hosted graduation for the 2021 class. Mentors and protégés gathered on December 7 at The Gladly for a reception, presentations, and dinner.

The 25 protégés, grouped into six teams, each pitched a development proposal to a potential equity partner. As part of their equity partner’s review of the development proposals, judges were looking for the project that meets the highest and best use of the site as well as provides the most optimal economic returns (projected investment returns).

This year’s site was a roughly 2-acre parcel located within the Paradise Valley Mall redevelopment. Team 1’s Amara concept took home top honors. Team members included Gary Cornish, CBRE; Ryan Hankins, Clayco; Braden Blake, Ware Malcomb; and Zach Maki, Seefried Industrial Properties, Inc. Jim Wentworth of Wentworth Property Company was mentor of the winning team.

Additional mentors for this year’s class were John DiVall, Exeter Property Group; Sean Cummings, The Opus Group; Jenna Borcherding, VanTrust Real Estate, LLC; Derek Flottum, Irgens; Alex Boles, ViaWest Group.

“We had an incredible group of participants in this year’s YPG program. The YPG teams were faced with a complex development case study, and each team rose to the occasion delivering thoughtful development ideas for the site,” said mentor Jenna Borcherding. “Having been involved with the program for many years, I’m consistently impressed with the level of creativity, enthusiasm, and collaboration the proteges bring to this program and this year was no exception. I was honored to serve as a mentor for this great program and can’t wait to see what the future holds for this bright group of young professionals.”

Program chairs were Josh Tracy, Ryan Companies US, Inc.; and Chris Beall, JLL.

“The YPG program gives Developing Leaders across all trades the ability to experience what goes into getting a development out of the ground while networking with peers and industry leaders,” Beall said.

The rest of the protégés include:


Team 2: Nik Vallens, Transwestern; Tanner Tremaine, Majestic Realty; Steven Callahan, Alliance Bank of Arizona; Chris Reese, Colliers International.


Team 3: Ryan Hingst, Lee & Associates Arizona; Ryan Coleman, Hines; Eric Sterner, LAST Architects; Josh Schifferer, GO Industrial.

Team 4: Kelly Royle, JLL; Mike Diamond, Gilbane Building Company; Jarett Brock, Cousins Properties; Jonathan Teeter, CBRE.


Team 5: Hagen Hyatt, JLL; Aaron Velasco, Prologis; Kristina Cutillo, Cushman & Wakefield; Braxton Smith, ASU University Realty LLC; Jim MacWilliam, Willmeng.


Team 6: Luke Krison, CBRE; Samantha Spadaro, SmithGroup; Tino Hernandez, Willmeng; Charl Potgieter, Trammell Crow Company.