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Meet a Member

Terry Rees
Terry Rees

Title & Organization:
Real estate portfolio manager for real estate services operation (RESO), General Electric Co., Albany, N.Y. RESO provides corporate real estate services (strategic and transactional) for the Infrastructure business at G.E., which consists of Energy (formerly Power Systems); Aviation (formerly Aircraft Engines); Transportation (formerly Rail); Oil & Gas; Water & Process Technologies; and Energy and Aviation Financial Services.

G.E. does business in more than 7,000 locations and has operations in 184 countries. The company's portfolio is 80-percent leased and 20-percent owned.

What does your company manufacture?
G.E. provides Financial Services, Aircraft Parts & Services, Wind and Energy Systems, Water Purification and Processing, Locomotives and Rail Parts and Services, Trucks, Appliances, NBC Universal, and Healthcare products.

To whom do you report?
Stephanie Henning, Director of Real Estate Operations.

How many years have you worked in the profession?
I began working in corporate real estate in the mid-1970s at Union 76 in Atlanta, Ga., where I was involved in real estate decisions for the first car washes and self-serve stations in the Atlanta Division. During my 32 years in corporate real estate I've also worked for Abbott Labs, United Technologies, Landauer Associates, Colliers International, The Staubach Co. and DTZ Staubach prior to working at G.E. I've personally transacted projects in more than 55 countries.

Where and what did you study?
My undergraduate studies were political science, German, and English (I have a dual major Liberal Arts degree and Pre-Law from Utah State University). I received a Title IV fellowship from Rice University that was interrupted in 1969 by Uncle Sam, who thought I should have a personal, close-up tour of Vietnam.
City of Houghton powerhouse
   In the U.P, a Powerhouse is a Powerhouse: Thanks to a state grant-funded renovation and one of the state's 12 SmartZones, in late November GE Aviation signed a five-year lease for the 14,000-sq.-ft. (1,300-sq.-m.) City of Houghton powerhouse (above), where it will create 50 jobs. The University Development Center will draw from emerging engineering talent at Michigan Technological University.
Photo: brockit.com, courtesy GE Aviation
My postgraduate work was at Georgia State University, where I studied business, business law and real estate.

Describe the most important transaction or project for which you were responsible.
My current projects rank as the most important project for which I am currently responsible. There have been so many interesting and challenging projects over the course of my career. Perhaps one of the most challenging was working on a 475,000-sq.-ft. [44,128-sq.-m.] Similac Plant in Casa Grande, Ariz., where I had to purchase approximately 50 acres [20 hectares] of land, get it re-zoned and annexed, and work with the Abbott Laboratories design/construction team and project management to finalize the construction of this large and important project in the mid-1980s while I was the manager of corporate real estate at Abbott Laboratories in North Chicago.

What is the biggest professional challenge you face on a regular basis?
Keeping up with the pace of change and delivering real estate expertise and strategy where and when it is needed. EHS issues are a huge challenge for CREs and operational management. Shifting from transactional to strategic services with greater value add.

How is the role of manager of real estate evolving?
It has always been relationship-based, and good communications are a key ingredient. Financial and strategic impacts are increasingly more important, as is working as a team member to accomplish business objectives and key drivers.

Which technology do you consider to be essential in your professional life?
A reliable corporate database linked with good computer systems and professional real estate vendors.

What is the value of IAMC membership to you?
It provides the opportunity to share pertinent issues with my peers and other experts as I continue to learn and improve my real estate skills. The unique venues, the leadership courses and training, the opportunity to talk in small groups, and to personally get to know economic development, design, construction, A&E, brokerage and other real estate experts personally invaluably contributes to my individual growth and development while benefiting the corporation and real estate department at G.E., too.
Learning What Counts

s the R&D tax credit continued to be debated and delayed in Congress in late 2007, incoming data clarified R&D's role in the economy worldwide.
   The 2007 R&D Scoreboard published by the U.K. government in November announced that the globe's top 1,250 companies invested US$510 billion in R&D in 2006, a 10-percent jump over 2005. U.S. companies led the way with 40 percent of the world total, followed by Japan, Germany, France and the U.K. Pharmaceutical R&D, led by IAMC firm Pfizer, grew by 16 percent, overtaking technology hardware to become the leading sector with a whopping one-fifth of the world's total R&D investment.
   The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced Oct. 1 that "Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would be nearly 3 percent higher each year between
Zebra-fish research at Novartis in Cambridge, Mass. Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases in Singapore
Drug discovery using zebra-fish models at the Novartis Institute for BioMedical Research in Cambridge, Mass., will be complemented by the company's new $35-million investment in the Novartis-MIT Center for Continuous Manufacturing nearby. The firm's investment in pharmaceutical research at the Novartis Institute for Tropical Diseases in Singapore (right) is being supplemented by two successive production plants totaling $980 million in investment.
1959 and 2004 – $284 billion higher in 2004 alone – if research and development (R&D) spending was treated as investment in the U.S. national income and product accounts."
   Recognizing R&D not only boosts the value added of multinationals, but also the level of state GDP, showing the strongest influence in New Mexico (8.2 percent) and in Maryland (6.2 percent) between 1998 and 2002. Next in line: Massachusetts (5.8), Rhode Island (5.7), District of Columbia (5.6) and Michigan (5.2).
   Those findings can be juxtaposed with new federal data (below) showing the top universities and colleges for R&D expenditures, both federal and privately financed, in FY 2006.

Scientific Discovery Breeds Corporate Discovery
   The project outgrowth of that type of R&D became apparent in late September when IAMC member firm Novartis announced a 10-year partnership with MIT aimed at nothing less than "transforming pharmaceutical manufacturing."
   With a $65-million Novartis injection, the Novartis-MIT Center for Continuous Manufacturing "will work to develop new technologies that could replace the conventional batch-based system in the pharmaceuticals industry – which often includes many interruptions and work at separate sites – with continuous manufacturing processes from start to finish."
   Initial research of the Novartis-MIT Center for Continuous Manufacturing will be conducted primarily through Ph.D. programs at MIT laboratories, then transferred to Novartis for development to industrial-scale projects.
   Those industrial-scale projects were unfolding nearly simultaneously in Singapore, where Novartis celebrated the opening of a $180-million pharmaceutical plant with the announcement that it would invest $700 million more in a biotech plant to manufacturer monoclonal antibodies.
   Arizona State University and W.P. Carey School management Prof. Robert Hoskisson and doctoral candidate Heechun Kim recently have completed a study with Korea University Business School Prof. Hicheon Kim that looked at the R&D and manufacturing location choices of 136 South Korean firms over a six-year period in the 1990s.
   Their findings overturned the conventional wisdom that end markets and financial incentives steer location decisions. Instead, say the researchers, multinationals "tended to open their manufacturing and R&D facilities in places where they had ready access to advanced technological knowledge," as well as intellectual property protection, according to a report in Knowledge@W.P. Carey, an online journal.
   "These companies go into the developed countries both to exploit the markets and to learn, especially if these countries have a strong base of R&D intensity," Hoskisson said.
Adam Bruns

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