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A Transformational Time

ACRE looks to a global future at annual conference in January.

Governor Robert Bentley addresses the 2011 ACRE conference.

Governor Robert Bentley addresses the 2011 ACRE conference.

Don’t think of interconnected global business as new and trendy, think of it as the new normal. That’s the basic premise for the annual conference of the Alabama Center for Real Estate, set for Friday, Jan. 27 at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center in Birmingham.

“Alabama Commercial Real Estate enters The Shift Age” is the title of the 12th annual statewide commercial real estate conference, known as ACREcon. This year’s event features a day of intense networking and professional development for 400 business and real estate industry leaders.

Jim Wilson, global director of client accounts for international commercial real estate leader CBRE, will be the keynote speaker. Wilson is responsible for client services, account team recruitment, employee relations, client development, portfolio growth and profitability. Prior to joining CBRE, Wilson worked in various senior level capacities for Trammel Crow Co.

Other conference highlights include a presentation by CoStar, the world leader in commercial real estate intelligence (costar.com), plus a panel of industry experts sharing their insights into the future of Alabama’s commercial real estate industry.

Several sessions that won praise from participants at previous conferences are back again this year. For example, Sam Addy, director and research economist for the Center for Business and Economic Research, will discuss the 2012 Alabama Economic Outlook and Alabama in the Global Economy. The conference also will feature a session on technology and social media.

Jim Wilson of CBRE

ACRE Executive Director Grayson Glaze selected the theme for this year’s conference after hearing David Houle, author of The Shift Age and of ShiftED, speak earlier this year at the IREM Legislative & Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. Houle, a renowned futurist and strategist with featured commentary on his website, www.evolutionshift.com, describes three forces of change impacting the world:

-The acceleration of electronic connectedness—change as the only constant

-The flow to global—a reorganization of everything global

-The flow to individual-innovative intellectual property as the highest valuation of wealth

Houle’s thesis is that we are now in the Transformational Decade, 2010–2020, where change will be greatest.  Preceded by the Industrial Age and the Information Age, The Shift Age is seen as a pivotal point in human evolution to be marked by upheaval, division and accelerated change. 

Glaze supports that thesis, saying, Alabama and the U.S. “simply cannot avoid the globalization of our economy in the world in which we now live. Industry professionals must begin to comprehend the true, bigger picture of globalization and its profound impact on our future.” His statement ties in with the results of the Alabama Business Confidence Index—summarized in the 4th Quarter Executive Survey Summary—which shows that confidence of industry experts and business leaders is at 45.5 percent, down 5.9 percent from the third quarter and primarily attributed to uncertainty and economic weakness both locally and abroad.

Houle further discusses the concept of transformation pertaining to professional development and education, characterized by a discussion of 5 C’s, which include creativity (the dominant trait of a 21st Century leader), collaboration, critical thinking, content (required to be dynamic) and context.

ACRE “integrates these characteristics by leveraging the collaborative resource of a statewide network of professionals appointed as ACRE’s Leadership Council,” says Glaze. Council members use exhaustive and accurate research plus a partnership enabled by al.com, allowing for timely and dynamic dissemination of information. That, in turn, helps professionals formulate “informed real estate decisions.”

Daniel Corp. will host ACREcon with support from more than 50 event partners and exhibitors. The conference day begins with registration and continental breakfast at 7:30 a.m. and concludes at 3:30 p.m.

Participants licensed by the Alabama Real Estate Commission may register to earn six hours of continuing education credit.

For registration and sponsorship information, visit the conference website at acreconference.ua.edu or contact Rachel Jennings, ACRE outreach coordinator, at 205-348-0188 or rtjennings@cba.ua.edu.

Tracy Gatewood is a senior member of the ACRE Leadership Council and practices public relations and marketing in Tuscaloosa.


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