As summer winds down and we head into fall, the impending change of seasons often brings change in other areas of our lives, and with IAMC it is no different. This is my last letter as chairman of our truly special organization.
Through the leadership of Aubrey Glazman, in his first year as executive director, and the fine IAMC staff, board and committee chairs I am proud that we have collectively done good work towards our strategic plan. Our Spring 2013 Forum in Charleston, South Carolina, had exceptional programming and speakers — as the record setting attendance proved. And our Fall 2013 Forum in Salt Lake City is shaping up to be just as impactful with its focus on manufacturing, talent and technology.
It has been a true delight as both chairman and a corporate end-user to be a part of such a fine organization, which skillfully brings together three critical parts of the industrial asset management process — corporate asset managers, economic developers and service providers.
When I meet with someone new about IAMC, I often describe it as a triangle of members with each part of our organization playing an important role for the other. Our service provider members are a critical part of the triangle, bridging the gap between economic developers and corporate asset managers, or by being a resource to both separately. These 165 service providers represent the industry’s best at providing real value to the asset management process through location assessments, project and facility management and legal expertise. The annual recognition of the Michael P. Hickey Award for Service Providers at our spring Professional Forums allows us to honor and highlight one of the many ethical, forward-looking and community minded colleagues in the industry. The company the awardees keep is noteworthy for their commitment to conduct business with integrity and to always do what is right.
Speaking of doing what is right in business, please join me in welcoming our incoming chairman, Roger Nesti, Director of International Real Estate at Kellogg Company. He is active in the IAMC community as well as the community surrounding Kellogg’s corporate headquarters in Battle Creek, Michigan. As a member of IAMC, Roger serves as vice chair of the board, co-chair of the nominating committee, co-chair of Research Roundtable and sits on the Education & Research Committee. I am excited to have Roger’s international perspective be a part of the ongoing exchange of ideas towards meeting our mission.
As I close out this letter and my year as chairman, I would again like to thank you for allowing me to be a part of an organization which promotes collegiality, an exchange of ideas and works to build life-long professional friendships. As your chairman and your friend, this time with you could not have meant more to me.
Many of you may know that I am of Greek descent, and being Greek means we share a lot, eat more and celebrate even more. And while the rules of tradition dictate that I cannot share with you my favorite lamb seasoning recipe, I can share with you my favorite tip for making an excellent Greek meal — surround yourself with the best product available, the finest of friends — both old and new, honor your traditions and use lemon liberally!
Please do take care and thank you for allowing me to be your chairman.
PS — If I see you in Salt Lake City, I may share my baklava recipe with you.George Manos
hree years ago, IAMC’s Future Sites Committee chose Salt Lake City for the 2013 IAMC Fall Professional Forum possibly not knowing that this mid-sized metro area was developing into an ideal destination for growing industrial businesses. Last month in Forbes, an article by Joel Kotkin entitled, “The Next Big Boom Towns in the U.S.,” listed Salt Lake City as one of the top 12. With a thriving economy, Salt Lake City is experiencing an influx of new companies. The energized business environment is the perfect locale for one of IAMC’s semi-annual meetings of industrial corporate real estate executives, service providers and economic developers.
Panoramic view of Salt Lake City with the distant Wasatch Range.
Photo by Doug Pulsipher
Salt Lake City’s growth is happening in several areas, including manufacturing, industrial technology and financial services. Sixty percent of new projects are in the manufacturing sector. A prime example can be seen in Research Park, which is 320 acres accommodating 42 companies and 69 university academic departments. As another example, biomedical manufacturing companies in the region reported profits of over $550 million last year.
What is driving this success? For one thing, the state and local governments have implemented tax incentives for businesses to promote economic growth. As mentioned in the July 2013 issue of Site Selection, the Utah legislature recently relaxed alcohol laws to encourage tourism and meet the needs of incoming businesses.
The people of Salt Lake City enjoy a lower cost of living than most large cities, yet have a quality of life that is unmatched by any other metro of similar size. The city has a full-time director responsible for leading the city to new heights through sustainability programs such as curb-side recycling, promoting a strong transit system, adding bike trails and encouraging green building practices. In addition, Salt Lake City has another ingredient to a booming economy … a happy work force.
Jeff Edwards, CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, said, “Something every member at IAMC’s Fall Forum will take away from Salt Lake City is the scenery of the Wasatch Mountains that are clearly visible anywhere around the city. There are not many places on earth that you can get off work in a bustling urban area and then drive a few miles down the road to ski in the rural countryside.”
As you attend the Salt Lake City Professional Forum this Sept. 28 – Oct. 2, take in the boutique, one-of-a-kind businesses, attractions and sites that only Salt Lake City has to offer!— Mandy Cash
t IAMC’s strategic planning and board meetings on July 15-17, the organization reviewed its strategic priorities and, among other important outcomes, issued a vote of confidence in the International Advisory Committee’s planning and organizing efforts. The leaders reiterated these principles that have governed IAMC’s growth since its inception: event intimacy, quality networking and an environment in which friendships can develop will remain at the core of this and all IAMC programs.
IAMC international operations that are well planned and integrated can benefit all members. Consider that over half of Active-member companies have international operations. The others buy inputs and sell their products in globally determined markets.
IAMC Service Provider members must understand the competitive context in which their Active-member clients operate. For the majority, the context is global.
Economic Developer members serve physical marketplaces where global business competition happens. Here too, there’s no escaping global influences. Today, global comparisons of localities are easier than ever.
As IAMC becomes globally relevant, this perspective will touch, if not change, every aspect of the organization. Professional Forum programs, for instance, will become less U.S.-centric and look at corporate real estate (CRE) issues from a global context. As an example, real estate lease accounting standards now reflect the business law in the region the property is located. But the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) is collaborating with the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) to create a global standard.
With regards to membership, a corporate end-user from outside the U.S. should be able to see the organization has professional members from other global regions. IAMC Local meetings in U.S. cities will continue to present programs on locally important issues, but should not lose sight of the potential for incorporating global views on some topics.
IAMC’s journey to achieve global relevance for corporate end-users, service providers and economic developers will start slowly and take years. Even beneficial change is difficult. Fast change is painful and can be destructive. We need to proceed with deliberation and care. We want to bring all current members, friends and supporters with us as the process plays out. We can do this.
I’ll close with this perspective by Spanish physicist and European Union official Javier Solana: “Globalization is good. And anyway [it’s] pretty much unstoppable. It spreads prosperity and makes us richer culturally.”
Vice President, Worldwide Real Estate, Hanesbrands Inc. and Treasurer, IAMC Board of Directors