My BOMA experience started 30 years ago when I joined BOMA Atlanta (now BOMA Georgia). I began
with some committee work and then progressed to becoming an officer in the late 1980’s. I became
President of BOMA Atlanta in 1991. In more recent times (2006 & 2007), I was approached by a steering
committee of past presidents and asked to rejoin the Board. They wanted to add more seasoned advice
to the current Board in an effort to transition thegroup to become more strategic, rather than simply
operational. Our work resulted in a dramatic increase in membership, educational program attendance
and revenue, and an empowerment of committees.
In 2010, I was nominated for and won BOMA Atlanta’s Huey Award. (Huey Award Criteria: “Presented to
an individual only once in their lifetime, the award honors years of dedicated service to BOMA. In
essence, the award is presented to an individual who has tirelessly given their time in the service of
BOMA. The recipient goes on to represent the chapter in the Southern Region Member of the Year
competition”). Later that year, I won recognition as the Southern Region Member of the Year.
From 2005 through the present, I have been active with BOMA International’s National Advisory Council
(NAC). NAC is an exclusive network of senior commercial real estate professionals. The NAC is focused
on discussing the most pressing issues impacting companies with large regional, national, and
international portfolios, while acting as a leadership sounding board for BOMA International.
Jim Peck (BOMA International Chair in 2009) and Henry Chamberlain (President and COO) asked me
Chair the exclusive group and to take on the challenge of revitalizing the group and getting members
more involved. We decided to change the format. The real power of the meetings would come from the
experience exchange that took place with members themselves. It was a real strategic shift in how we
ran the meetings and has proven very successful. I Chaired NAC for 3 years.
Upon completing my time as Chair for NAC in 2012, BOMA International asked me to run for Vice Chair
of the overall organization. I won election to that position, followed by being elected Chair-Elect in 2013
and then Chair and Chief Elected Officer in 2014.
The best areas for John to give advice on the real estate ownership side would include the overall
management of portfolios of real estate, building/managing a team of real estate professionals,
delivering on financial results of the acquisition proformas, understanding and adjusting to market
conditions, tenant relationships at the most senior/decision-maker level andhiring/managing 3rd party
leasing and management firms (CBRE, Jones Lang LaSalle, Colliers, etc.).
He also has extensive experience on the 3 rd party leasing and management side of the business to
include attracting business, maintaining business, managing a bottom line of a real estate services
business, client/tenant relations, etc.
John’s 13 years with Wells Real Estate Funds provided many opportunities to increase value within the
portfolio by establishing and maintaining relations with the most senior real estate executives with
Wells’ tenant base. There are numerous stories to include such Fortune 500 tenants as Coca Cola, IBM,
Nike, AT&T, Toyota, CH2M Hill, etc. (details can be provided upon request).
But a prime example would be the ownership of 35 West Wacker (35WW) in Chicago, Illinois in the US.
35WW is a 50 story, 1.1 million square foot, trophy headquarters building in downtown Chicago. It’s
actually a twin headquarters building for Leo Burnett (Publicis), the large advertising firm and the 150
year old law firm, Winston & Strawn.
Business Need: Winston & Strawn needed additional space in an already fully occupied building, the firm
also needed room for future expansion. Winston and Strawn’s lease was expiring in about 4 years. Leo
Burnett had expressed a desire to maximize the use of their space (to get more efficiency).
Wells Solution: Wells extended Winston & Strawn’s lease for 15 yearsand negotiated a buy-back of
50,000 square feet from Leo Burnett. Wells also was able to negotiate3 future expansion options for up
to 75,000 square feet of additional space for Winston & Strawn. Wells provided the capital needed for
Leo Burnett to create a more efficient layout and extended their lease for 6 years.
The bottom line is that John led a time of professionals to find a win-win solution for both tenants’
requirements and generated an increase in value of over $100 million for Wells.