A record number of applicants applied for the 2021 NAIOP Arizona Developing Leaders Mentor Program, known as the Young Professionals Group (YPG).

PHOENIX, ARIZONA (August 16, 2021) – A record number of applicants applied for the 2021 NAIOP Arizona Developing Leaders Mentor Program, known as the Young Professionals Group (YPG). The YPG program deepens young leaders’ knowledge of the industry and helps develop invaluable relationships with some of the industry’s most successful professionals.

Twenty-five protégés, or young professionals, who come from all corners of the Valley’s commercial real estate industry, were selected to participate. Each protégé in the six-month program will attend educational seminars and complete a development case study by the end of the program.

Participants in the 2021 class are Braden Blake, Ware Malcomb; Jarett Brock, Cousins Properties; Steven Callahan, Alliance Bank of Arizona; Ryan Coleman, Hines; Gary Cornish, CBRE; Kristina Cutillo, Cushman & Wakefield; Mike Diamond; Gilbane Building Company; Ryan Hankins, CLAYCO; Tino Hernandez, Willmeng; Ryan Hingst, Lee & Associates Arizona; Hagen Hyatt, JLL; Luke Krison, CBRE; Jim MacWilliam, Willmeng; Zach Maki, Seefried Industrial Properties, Inc.; Charl Potgieter, Trammell Crow Company; Chris Reese, Colliers International; Kelly Royle, JLL; Josh Schifferer, Sun State Builders; Braxton Smith, ASU University Realty LLC; Samantha Spadaro, SmithGroup; Eric Sterner, LAST Architects; Jonathan Teeter, CBRE; Tanner Tremaine, Majestic Realty; Nik Vallens, Transwestern; and Aaron Velasco, Prologis.

The 2021 Co-Chairs are Chris Beall, JLL; and Josh Tracy, Ryan Companies US, Inc. This year’s mentors are Alex Boles, ViaWest Group; Jenna Borcherding, VanTrust Real Estate, LLC; Sean Cummings, Opus Group; John DiVall, Exeter Property Group; Derek Flottum, Irgens Development; and Jim Wentworth, Wentworth Property Group.

“The YPG program provides participants with a glimpse into the many pieces of a commercial development but most importantly an opportunity to work with peers in a variety of different trades and receive guidance from our industry leaders as their mentors.,” said Chris Beall and Josh Tracy, chairmen of the YPG program. “YPG has served as a great stepping stone for the careers of all those who participated in years past, and we look forward to continuing that momentum this year,”

Projects present market analysis statistics, architectural site plans, market studies and marketing plans, construction budgets and exit strategies to the judges for the final presentation by five teams.

All NAIOP members age 35 or under are eligible to apply for the YPG program.



NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Association, is a 20,000+ member organization in North America that promotes responsible commercial real estate development and advocates for effective public policy. It is the leading organization for developers, owners and related professionals in office, industrial, retail and mixed-use real estate.