“Our CoreNet chapter has grown into a unique and very active multi-generational community.”
THIS ARTICLE WAS PUBLISHED IN THE ‘Q’ – THE REGISTRY’S PRINT PUBLICATION – IN MAY 2015[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s the incoming president CoreNet Global Northern California Chapter Sandy Heistand brings eight years of involvement in the organization and experience that spans several industries. As the chapter has evolved, so too has her involvement in it. Today we sit down with Sandy to examine the road ahead for her as well as CoreNet in our region.
TR: As incoming President, what strategies will you implement to meet the challenges and capitalize on the opportunities that our market affords?
HEISTAND: You have to start with the baseline of our Chapter’s Mission Statement: To connect corporate real estate and workplace professionals, advance knowledge, to promote personal excellence and add value to individuals and their enterprises. From there we can facilitate deeper relationships among our members at all levels.
Our CoreNet chapter has grown into a unique and very active multi-generational community. We have strong engagement between those in the early stages of their careers, our CoreNet Apprenticeship Program students, and our most senior corporate real estate executives, some of whom have retired. We also have a thriving Young Leaders Group and a Women of CoreNet group. Each constituency is giving generously to the other, and the results are inspiring. I believe this is an important area of focus as it provides value for members at every stage along their career trajectory and will continuously provide an environment of growth and development.
Broadening our educational offering to include connection to other areas of business is also important to our organization. My goal is to support our members in becoming optimally effective within their companies given the changing landscape of our profession. We as corporate real estate executives have a much broader role than we did in the past with connecting real estate, facilities, human resources, technology and finance. I am committed to producing programs that address this shift and to providing general leadership and personal development opportunities for our members.
TR: Why are your peers interested in joining CoreNet, and what does the organization offer to them today that helps them in their daily work?
HEISTAND: Because of the strength of CoreNet globally, members have access to extremely deep and far-reaching resources. For example, when I first joined CoreNet I had responsibility for real estate at Advent Software domestically. As my career advanced I took on responsibility for the company’s global portfolio. When it came time to do my first international transaction I needed a bit of advice. Fortunately, I had already developed a network of contacts within CoreNet. I reached out to a few senior corporate real estate executives that I knew had global experience. Within 24 hours, all my questions were answered! My contacts helped me with a few key points and that gave me the confidence I needed. It is a great feeling to be a part of an organization that has so many high caliber people who are willing to help.
TR: You probably have a membership base that is more heavily represented in the tech industry than your sister organizations throughout the country. How is the Northern California Chapter leveraging the access to new technology that your membership allows?
HEISTAND: Yes, we do have a concentration of technology companies in Northern California. Our membership base is a mix of cultures that include entrepreneurship and innovation. This only deepens the knowledge base and resources for the chapter and its members. One of our initiatives this year is to assess the technology opportunities that will improve the service and engagement with our membership. We also have established a Technology Special Interest Group (SIG) within our chapter. The Tech SIG is a knowledge-sharing network for corporate real estate, facilities and workplace technology. The group’s mission is to share learning and understand future trends of real estate technology tools.
TR: What recommendation would you give to someone starting out in this industry today?
HEISTAND: The relationships and connections I have gained as a result of my involvement in CoreNet mean a great deal to me. I have developed friendships that go far beyond the business. The Northern California chapter is a close-knit group that is welcoming and goes the extra mile to support each other. The opportunity to share best practices and participate in educational opportunities is invaluable.