On May 2nd, Goizueta Business School welcomed more than 650 attendees to the 3rd Annual Emory Goizueta Real Estate Conference. Out-of-towners and locals alike gathered at the St. Regis Hotel in Atlanta to foster connections among alumni and other professionals. The conference brought together developers, investors, and other professionals to hear perspectives from some of the most influential minds in commercial real estate. This year once again established the event as a must-attend for those eager to learn, connect, and grow in the trade and the focus was to provide clarity as to how to invest in a complicated world while exploring different asset types and across the capital stack.

A fireside chat with Chris Lee 00C and Matthew Borstein 94C

This year’s conference, led by Conference Co-Chairs Bernard Clevens 22MBA, Russell Hardin 21EvMBA, John Hillman 21EvMBA, and John Schellhase 23EvMBA, boasted 38 sponsors and over 650 people in attendance, about 400 of which were alumni according to Schellhase. “It’s a chance for these people to get together in a way they normally don’t,” he says.

Goizueta Cements Leadership in the Real Estate Space

To Schellhase, Goizueta is a natural choice for a gathering of industry professionals. “It has one of the most prominent real estate programs in the country,” he says. The conference has solidified Emory’s spot on the map in the commercial real estate industry.

Dean Gareth James addresses the audience

Gareth James, John H. Harland Dean of Goizueta Business School, weighed in on the conference ahead of the event. “Through the Emory Goizueta Real Estate Conference, we are able to engage thought leaders, exchange ideas, and gain valuable perspectives on navigating the complexities of the real estate market,” he said. “This not only helps our students but also the industry as a whole to be better prepared to address key challenges and capitalize on opportunities for sustained success in the dynamic Atlanta market.”

Elite Speakers Gather at Goizueta

A large part of the staying power of the conference is the talent it brings to Goizueta. Accomplished alumni and professionals from all over the nation make the pilgrimage to participate and share their knowledge.

Atlanta does not normally get this caliber of speaker coming in. Over 50% of the speakers flew in from across the country to be a part of this. That’s pretty special.

-John Schellhase 23EvMBA
Chris Lee 00C gives the keynote address

Emory alumnus Chris Lee 00C, Partner and Co-President of KKR Real Estate, gave the keynote address via a fireside chat with Matthew Borstein 94C, portfolio manager & partner at Oak Hill Advisors. Despite a tumultuous market, Lee spoke with optimism about the future of commercial real estate. Following Lee, other leaders of national and global firms spoke through panel discussions including a session on Navigating Choppy Capital Markets Across Asset Classes, Pivots and Priorities Amidst Broader Capital Market Volatility featuring speakers Andrea Drasites, senior managing director at Blackstone; Greg Friedman, managing principal and chief executive officer at Peachtree Group; Kennedy Hicks, chief investment officer at Cousins Properties; and Porter McDonald, managing director at Landmark Properties. The panel was moderated by Matt Rendle 01MBA, chief investment officer for Selig Enterprises.

The second panel discussion From College to Cap Rates: Navigating Capital in the Residential and Industrial Sectors featured speakers Ashish Karamchandani, executive vice president at Heitman; Aaron Rosdal 05BBA, senior vice president at Prologis; Ryan Shear 05BBA, managing partner at PMG; and was moderated by Jason LaBonte 01MBA, chief investment officers, Crescent Communities.

Networking Opportunities Abound

As a cornerstone of the community, the Emory Goizueta Real Estate Conference looks to grow and continue to connect industry professionals and hopefuls. While the event has become a nationally renowned meeting of the minds for more than just Goizueta grads, recent alumni and students shouldn’t shy away from attending.

If you’re an alumni in commercial real estate, you’re missing out by not going.

John Schellhase

 “The room is filled with hundreds of decision-makers: people who have hiring authority. So, if you’re a student, raise your hand, get involved, and that’s the best way to potentially find a job.”

The Goizueta Real Estate Conference would not have been possible without contributions from more than three dozen sponsors, including: Bisnow, Cousins Properties, Eastdil Secured, The Graham Group, Oak Hill Advisors, Rockefeller Group, Summit Contracting Group, and Walker & Dunlop.

Learn more about the Goizueta Real Estate Group which offers a robust calendar of annual events and experiential opportunities within real estate. Contact Sergio Garate, Director of Goizueta’s Real Estate program.