BOMA Horizons Spring 2023

Page 1

A Great Start to 2023

BOMA kicked off our year with two well-attended luncheons and a celebration for our award winners.

(See page 6.)

Major News from BOMA

BOMA International recently debuted several new programs that will benefit you and your teams. (See page 8.)

Member Profiles

Learn more about Principal Member Michelle Lane, CBRE, and Associate Member Victoria Jackson, EMCOR Mesa Energy. (See pages 10 and 11.)

March Madness Fun

Our March Madness Mixer offered plenty of networking and fun.

(See page 15.)

Learn about networking and educational events. (Back page.)

, General Manager.
TOBY Winning Team 1111 Broadway, Swift Partners*
Liz Despins, Newmark Principal Member of the Year
Congratulations Award Winners!
coverage on pages 4 and 5.)
Chris Nyberg, American Asphalt Associate Member of the Year

It’s hard to believe that it has been three years since the pandemic began. The CRE industry remains in a state of unknown. While 2022 brought back the return of most businesses to the office in some capacity, the pandemic seems to have changed the way we work. We are still seeing that employees are working remotely more than they are coming into the office. While we know that employers are encouraging in-person work, employees are still remaining home.

For our industry, this means that employers are looking to building owners and managers to enhance our buildings’ amenities and assist them in finding unique ways to encourage their employees to come into the building to work. The Bay Area is still struggling with this change to our office sector, and it’s up to us to stay ahead of the curve so that we can start to see leasing activity pick up.

While the office sector is still having an identity crisis, we continue to see a strong demand in life science, medical and industrial space. BOMA OEB has identified that we need to assist our members in these sectors of the industry.

In January, I attended the BOMA Winter Business Meeting in Scottsdale, AZ. The WBM is always a great opportunity to meet other BOMA officers and to learn more about the committees that make up BOMA International. I attended the committee meeting for the Floor Measurement Committee where I learned that BOMA has joined the coalition of the International Property Management Standard (IPMS), which was published on January 16, 2023. The IPMS is the international standard for all buildings across the world. It is more detailed and descriptive and measures everything

inside a building, including the areas between walls. In some countries, this standard is government dictated. Providing consistency in measurement of the building environment is crucial as we become a more global industry. To learn more about IPMS, please visit

Another WBM favorite is always the Town Hall, where we hear about and discuss the most pressing issues that the CRE industry is facing each year. BOMA International discussed resources we can use to enhance our workforce development and to improve on our emergency preparedness. There are state workforce resource toolkits available on the BOMA International website which provides an outline of the workforce developments programs, grants, education, training and certificate courses available. Be sure to also check out the Emergency Preparedness Guidebook that is available to all of us.

The big announcement at this year’s Winter Business Meeting was that the BOMA BEST (Building Environmental Standards) program is coming to the U.S. by June 2023. This certification is currently Canada’s largest environmental assessment and certification program for existing buildings. By bringing BOMA BEST to the U.S., our buildings will now have the opportunity to work complementary to the BOMA 360 Performance Program. While BOMA 360 sets a global standard for operational efficiency, BOMA BEST will allow buildings to also showcase their efficiency through these realistic standards for energy and environmental performance. This is an exciting new opportunity for our local associations. Read more about BOMA BEST and other exciting news out of the Winter Business Meeting in Julie’s column.

On a local level, our Board of Directors, Workgroup Leaders and Workgroup Members have been hard at work planning events, networking and educational opportunities. We have a full schedule ahead of us, and I look forward to connecting with all of you at one of these events soon!

Liz Despins, RPA®, is BOMA OEB President and Portfolio Manager at Newmark.
“Employers are looking to building owners and managers to enhance our buildings’ amenities and assist them in finding unique ways to encourage their employees to come into the building to work.”

With Appreciation to Our 2023 Partners

Platinum Partners

Gidel & Kocal Construction Company

Kastle Systems

Gold Partners


Allied Universal

Century Commercial Services

Metcon TI

Legacy Mechanical & Energy Services

ProGuard Security Services

Silver Partners

BSM Facility Services


Gachina Landscape Management




Bronze Partners Metro Services Group


Northern California NECA

Paramount Properties


PJMB Commercial, Inc.

Restoration Management Company

RiverRock Real Estate Group Security 101

For Partnership opportunities, contact Julie Taylor at

In addition to Partnerships, there are also opportunities to sponsor events.

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About BOMA Horizons

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TOBY Victory for 1111 Broadway

Congratulations to the victorious team at 1111 Broadway for winning BOMA Oakland/East Bay’s 2022-2023 The Outstanding Building of the Year (TOBY) Award in the 500,000–1 million square feet category. The prestigious 25-story building in Oakland’s central business district is managed by Swift Real Estate Partners and owned by SF111 1111 Broadway, LLC.

In positioning itself for the TOBY competition, “Swift addressed all aspects of the asset; building improvements, systems, aesthetics, and property management services to ensure that each area really showcased the property as a premier Class A asset,” says Kristin Lee, General Manager at the property. “The building’s newly renovated lobby and Zen garden are show stoppers, and we wanted to be sure to highlight them. These spaces were developed to be an engaging atmosphere for tenants and visitors to socialize, collaborate and take a break from their offices. 1111 Broadway also has a stronger ESG focus since Swift purchased the asset in 2021. Our building participates in Swift’s Honey Project (a honey bee program), and our team focuses on building energy reductions and continuously provides training and development plans for our team.”

Participating in the TOBY submittal was a valuable team-building activity. The team held weekly meetings to work through the submission requirements which allowed each member to express their strengths and knowledge of the building.

Since COVID, “Swift understands that there is a ‘new normal’ for working environments, and we need to be creative and collaborative with our tenants to incentivize employees to work in the office again,” Lee says. “Our focus has been to create a community with our tenants and service partners to achieve and maintain operational efficiencies. We also partnered with two local groups, Highwire Coffee Roasters and Bocanova, a Pan-American restaurant. These additions to the building really give access to everything our tenants need. Bringing back in-person tenant events, access to amenities and our 1111 Broadway App, frequent visits and check-ins with tenants and going above and beyond to provide excellent service have proven to be extremely important to building trust and a connection with our tenants, vendors, and staff.” As a local TOBY winner, 1111 Broadway proceeds to compete for a BOMA Pacific Southwest Regional TOBY. Best of luck!

“1111 Broadway is not only a beautiful building, but it is also extremely clear that the building is managed by a great property management team,” says one of the TOBY judges, Kelly Lynch, Vice President – Northern California Operations, Overton Moore Properties. Stepping into the lobby, you could tell immediately that this project is a TOBY contender. Improvement projects, including the lobby, elevators, and both the front plaza and back Zen garden are just the beginning of the upgrades completed at this property. It was impressive to see not only the physical improvements, but also the updates to their policies and procedures as well as the tenant engagement programs and amenities in place. Add to that an amazing engineering team that keeps all the systems running efficiently.” Thank you to TOBY judges: Kelly Lynch, Overton Moore Properties; Albert Cedillo, Metro Services @ Center 21, Oakland; Karissa Obeso, Cushman & Wakefield; Amber Levine, Paramount Property Company; Jeremy Powell, Metro Services @ Center 21, Oakland; and Kate Edstrom, Overton Moore Properties.

The lobby offers ample space for tenants to meet and relax. The stunning building exterior.

Outstanding Members of the Year

BOMA annually recognizes members whose extraordinary contributions help our organization succeed. Please join us in congratulating our 2022 Outstanding Members of the Year: Liz Despins, Principal Member of the Year, and Chris Nyberg, Associate Member of the Year. Their leadership, vision and commitment inspire us all!

for this organization and its members,” she said. “To be awarded this recognition surrounded by my Newmark team and my BOMA family was a truly special moment in my life.”

A transplant from New York state, Liz is now firmly entrenched in the Bay Area lifestyle. She stays active traveling and hiking with her family and taking on challenging Peloton rides.

Chris Nyberg, American Asphalt, Associate Member of the Year

A Great Start for BOMA in 2023

We’re off to a great start! 2023 began with cautious optimism about staying on the course to hold all our events.

While COVID hasn’t stopped us, Mother Nature has made everyone’s jobs a bit harder and a lot busier. As a BOMA OEB member, you have access to service providers who can help you solve challenges that may be impacting you. Our Associate Members were there for the industry during COVID, and they are there for you now.

We’ve held two luncheons: the soldout 2023 State of the CRE Market in January and February’s BID BOMA luncheon. February also included the first session of our Backpack to Briefcase series on Professional Development and the kick-off of the 2023 Leadership Academy.

At our BID BOMA luncheon, robust discussions with building and associate members included bidding, RFPs and the importance of building relationships. Our online learning center has a summary of tips and ideas that were shared during the event. Be sure to check out and search the online member directory to find members.

Both of these resources are available 24/7/365. (See and some takeaways on the next page.)

Congratulations to our 2023 TOBY Winner 1111 Broadway, managed by Swift Partners, and our Outstanding Member of the Year winners for 2022. These awards were given out at the March Madness Mixer. We’re highlighting more about our winners in this issue. (See the front page and pages 4-5.)

Get your clubs ready for our annual Walter Finch Spring Golf Tournament. We’re excited to host it on May 1 at Monarch Bay Golf Club located on the San Francisco Bay in San Leandro. This year’s theme — Decades — will give you a fun way to connect with our sponsors. Be sure to sign up, as this event sells out fast!

It’s been fun to see everyone at our events so far. We’ve had a lot of new faces, too! Our workgroups have a number of great events coming your way. Please reach out if you would like to join a workgroup. It’s a great way to network while learning more about our industry. We can help you identify a workgroup that fits your interests.

Watch your email and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn for the latest news and event updates. I look forward to seeing you at an event soon!

Top: the Backpack to Briefcase program drew a large crowd. Lower photo: Tanicia Jackson of District Works spoke about interpersonal skills.

BID BOMA Key Nuggets


BOMA members participated in peer-to-peer discussion on bidding and relationships at the February luncheon. Mixed tables of Principal and Associate members shared tips, observations, goals and objectives. Takeaways below.

w Check references with other colleagues

How do you decide who to bid? What resources do you use?

w “Keep it Simple, Stupid” model with strong scope; compare apples to apples

w Choosing prospective vendors: online BOMA directory is great, relationships across other BOMA locals and BOMA International

w Get referrals from current vendors

Developing RFPs

What are the essential pieces? What’s typically missing?

w More is always better; give as much information as possible

w Clear and detailed components: budget, strong scope, challenges, relationships, and flexibility

w Include sample contract

Reviewing and Comparing Bids

What process do you use? How do you ask for clarifications?

w Are they a BOMA member?

w What is the DEI culture?

w Level fairly, ask questions

w History with a vendor and the quality of work are often more important than price

Awarding Contracts

How do you decide? Notifying the winning bid. Providing feedback to non-winners.

w Award via email. Offer to meet with team to give feedback

w Provide feedback to non-winners to improve future bids

w Build relationships through the process

Contract Administration

How do you ensure the relationship stays strong? What do you do if issues arise?

w Communications and transparency: single point of contact, offer suggestions to rectify issues, over-communicate

w Set expectations and be clear from the beginning

w Monthly or quarterly walks

w No change orders: people don’t want to be nickled and dimed

(More at


New Initiatives from BOMA International Will Enhance Our Association and Industry

Major new developments have been announced by BOMA International this year. These resources will bring increased opportunities and knowledge for you, your team and company.

BOMA and BOMI Reunite to Create a New Future in Education and Training

After operating independent of each other for many years, BOMA and BOMI announced in January that they now share a vision to be the partner that CRE professionals choose to maximize value for their careers, organizations, and building assets.

Leaders of the two international organizations said that with intense focus on workforce development, coordinating their efforts to provide education and training, while enhancing the close working relationship that has existed for over 50 years, will enhance quality, expand offerings, and make them even more responsive to marketplace needs.

“This is a unique opportunity to bring the two organizations together as one synergistic business to capitalize on our

respective strengths, leverage staff competencies, better serve our shared customers, and enhance product offerings,” said BOMA International Chair Randal L. Froebelius, a BOMA Fellow and P.Eng. “By coming together, we elevate our effectiveness at being the preferred provider of career-long education and training.”

The two organizations signed a letter of intent to achieve shared management and governance structures, pending a due diligence period. Under the plan, BOMI International will become BOMA International’s nonprofit 501(c)(3) arm, combining with the BOMA Foundation.

BOMA International President and Chief Operating Officer Henry Chamberlain, APR, FASAE, CAE, will take on the added duty of BOMI’s volunteer president. BOMI’s retiring Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Horn will assist with the transition.

“During the last several years we have come together to create some valuable joint programs, and BOMI’s designations have set the standard in the industry for many years,” Chamberlain said. “It is incredibly exciting to be coming together now in this powerful way that will both enhance the quality of our offerings and expand our capacity and speed to market as we produce new education and training to meet workforce needs.”

BOMA BEST Building Certification Program

BOMA International and BOMA Canada signed a letter of intent early this year to create a new building certification program in the U.S. The BOMA BEST program began operating in Canada in 2005. The organizations are collaborating to finalize an agreement by the end of May.

“I’m so happy that this is happening and we’re all together,” BOMA International Chair Randal L. Froebelius, BOMA Fellow, P.Eng., said during the BOMA Winter Business Meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz. “It’s going to be a big change for all of us and will have a huge impact on sustainability, frankly, around the world. We should all be proud of this. Congratulations!”

Myron Keehn, chair of BOMA Canada’s board of directors, echoed Froebelius. “Our partnership with BOMA International to drive BOMA BEST into the United States is a milestone achievement for our sister organizations,”

(Continued on the next page)

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he said. “Together, we are building a stronger, better and greener BOMA for members on both sides of our shared border.”

BOMA BEST supporters said it is complementary to the current BOMA 360 Performance Program. BOMA BEST is an environmental assessment and certification program for existing buildings. Program supporters said it addresses an industry need for realistic standards for energy and environmental performance of existing buildings based on accurate, independently verified information. The most efficient buildings achieve BOMA BEST Platinum certification.

In contrast, BOMA 360 sets a global standard for operational best practices in commercial real estate. Earning the BOMA 360 designation demonstrates that a building is outperforming the competition across all areas of operations and management.

The BOMA International–BOMA Canada partnership will not just make BOMA buildings greener, smarter and healthier, but will also help BOMA members succeed in their jobs, build their careers and deepen their impact.

BOMA International leaders also said the joint initiative would create a substantial new revenue stream for the BOMA local associations in the U.S., enabling them to create new member benefits and services.

Don Fairgrieve-Park, BOMA Fellow, RPA® and a member of BOMA International’s executive committee, agreed. “BOMA BEST provides a manager/owner with continuous access to a tool to monitor and measure performance, demonstrate improvement, benchmark and aggregate reporting across all property types,” he said. “Independent financial studies have demonstrated BOMA BEST buildings command higher rents, have lower vacancy rates and higher asset value.” BOMA BEST proponents also have said this program is more cost-effective than some other industry certifications.

BOMA leaders are expected to finalize the new partnership shortly before BOMA International’s Conference & Expo in June of this year.

Income/Expense IQ Report Partnership

BOMA International announced its partnership with IREM, NAA, and Lobby CRE to bring the Income/ Expense IQ report to a wider audience. This partnership

enables BOMA to produce a high-level, comprehensive report full of data that will be incredibly useful to real estate professionals. Using the link shown below, members can take the survey and receive a complimentary copy of the report upon release.

Visit this link to submit your building data: https://app. This link is specific to BOMA members, in an effort to track how many responses we bring to the report. The deadline to respond is May 1.

There is a provision for enabling multiple submissions from one company. If you have multiple users representing the same company, please submit under 1 company-level account. Whoever created/signed-up first is able to invite other users. The invited user(s) will receive an email with the sign-up instructions.

Submit your building data today to strengthen the industry of the future!

New Initiatives (Continued from the previous page)
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Principal Profile

Director Michelle Lane’s position at CBRE involves providing mentorship, guidance and support to employees while helping them develop a solid career path. “Building strong relationships with my teams and clients is crucial to me, and I strive to earn their trust through my dedication and hard work,” she says. “My extensive knowledge and experience in property management allow me to work collaboratively with clients and provide superior service by utilizing my local expertise in the East Bay.”

Lane’s commercial real estate career began just after college, first as an office manager at a brokerage firm in San Francisco. She soon transitioned to property management, seeing its potential for excellent job prospects and growth opportunities. “I realized that my personal abilities and strengths were well suited for a career in commercial property management,” she added. “I found that my communication, organizational, problem-solving, and attention-todetail skills were critical and aligned with the demands of this field.”

Lane, who serves as a board liaison on the Education & Careers Workgroup at BOMA OEB, has also spoken at leadership classes. “My career development has been greatly influenced by BOMA, which has played a vital role in improving my leadership abilities and cultivating professional relationships with vendors and property managers,” she says.

For the past 13 years, Lane has also been engaged with the Community Benefit Districts for both Downtown and Uptown Oakland, and she was Board President for the Downtown Association for six years. “These districts are deeply dedicated to the revitalization of Downtown Oakland and have shown remarkable progress through their collaborative efforts with the city and all the stakeholders in the districts,” she notes. “The board and district managers are committed to preserving and enhancing the city’s unique diversity and charm.”

During her leisure time, Lane says she “enjoys spending quality moments with my husband and 17-year-old son. My family and I have recently become commercial drone pilots, and we delight in visiting various stunning locations to capture aerial photographs. This newfound hobby has enabled us to travel more frequently and explore different areas.”

Michelle Lane


Associate Profile

EMCOR Services Mesa Energy Business Development Specialist Victoria Jackson says of her role: “I love that Mesa focuses on improving the quality of the environment inside buildings while simultaneously values the impacts of the external environment through energy efficiency. This ties back to my passion for environmental sustainability and makes me feel proud to work for a company that holds that same value.”

With a degree in sustainable hospitality management from Cal State Monterey Bay, Jackson pivoted to roles in people operations after graduation and now business development. She was attracted to the people behind the business at Mesa Energy. “I feel extremely lucky to have great mentors to learn from and grow with the business.”

In addition to being a full-service HVAC, automation and retrofit contractor, Mesa Energy is the largest non-OEM applied services company. “We have a reputation for combining high-quality consulting services with efficient, cost-effective customized energy solutions for the built environment,” says Jackson. “Mesa Energy is a large regional company backed by EMCOR ($11B+), but each Mesa office is locally led. Nimble operations allow us to operate effectively in the unique business environment of the Bay Area. Our clients range large to small, and we serve virtually all vertical markets.”

Since her company joined BOMA OEB last year, Jackson quickly became involved in two workgroups. She is the coordinator for the Education & Careers Workgroup, as well as a member of the Stakeholder Engagement Workgroup. “I am generally pretty new to this industry, so I am absorbing as much knowledge as I can. I am always open to connecting over coffee or lunch with other industry professionals,” she adds.

Off hours, Jackson enjoys long walks with friends, park hopping, attending Giants games, and going to museums and shows.

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BOMA’s Decarbonization Symposium Explored Key Issues

International thought leaders across commercial real estate gathered in Washington D.C. on March 14. BOMA International’s Public Policy Symposium on Decarbonization was the impetus for this gathering. From advice on hiring sustainability consultants to code compliance, some of the most pertinent industry issues were brought to the table.

“BOMA International has always been a leader in decarbonization issues, it is something we have talked about behind the scenes, now we’re bringing it out to the public,” said Manny Moreno, Vice Chair of BOMA International. “I think that’s important for us to publicize it, to let our members and other people know what we’re working on, how important it is to us and to our industry.”

The Symposium did just that. Bringing in a variety of collaborators to help make these issues public was clearly top of mind. Members of the GSA (General Services Administration) discussed their agency’s efforts in the built environment and how collaboration can increase the effectiveness of decarbonization efforts. Additionally, Energy Star was represented by Mike Zatz, whose panel was centered on explaining new tools Energy Star is providing to aid decarbonization of buildings.

A large topic of discussion was the fast-approaching goal of net zero cities, and in turn, net zero buildings. For some

property owners and managers, regulations are stricter than they can manage. Many cities across North America are aiming for net zero by 2050. Buildings are no small part of the push for net zero. According to a JLL report, on average, buildings account for 60% of a city’s emissions. This means those that own and operate in the built environment must understand effective methods of making new construction net zero and moving existing buildings in the right direction.

A massive part of hitting these lofty net zero goals is finding the right benchmarking tools and portfolio managers, and speakers at the event understood this. One such example would be the Energy Star Portfolio Manager which enables owners and managers to input building data and visualize where they stand in relation to sustainability benchmarks. Another hub for resources on decarbonization is BOMA International’s Carbon Reduction Challenge. This site synthesizes industry resources into a one-stop shop for all things decarbonization.

Visit Decarbonization_Resource_Center.aspx.

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Emerging Professionals Gain Knowledge Through Programs

If you or your team members are new to commercial real estate, be sure to take advantage of the Backpack to Briefcase programs that BOMA OEB has developed. This series of programs is designed to provide industry information for professionals in the early stages of their careers. Each interactive session features experts in the field, time with fellow members and plenty of time for networking and fun!

The February program focused on professional development and interpersonal skills. There is a full line-up of programs for this year.

Upcoming topics and dates include: RFPs (April 20), CAMs (June 15), Landscape & Water Conservation Tour (August 16), Certificates of Insurance (October 18), and Vacant Building Management (December 7). Watch for more information and registration details in the weekly communications from BOMA.

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March Madness 2023 Spring Mixer Scenes

There was plenty of excitement in the air as the first March Madness teams took to the court on March 16. BOMA members got in the spirit at the Spring Member Mixer at The Athletic Club Oakland. Attendees enjoyed networking and honoring our Outstanding Members of the Year and


Diana Morales, Forensic Analytical; Alicia Mercer, Allied Universal; Amber Levine, Paramount Properties; Sue Rinetti, ABM; and Nancy Le, Transwestern. BOMA OEB TOBY Shapher Williams, Transwestern; and Sherri Weber, A Plus Tree. Above right: Sierra Fenn, Kaylynn Lum, Michelle Nash, Kristoffer Perez, and Matt Millado (rear), all with RiverRock Real Estate Group. Lower left: Ed Gesley, Allied Universal; Anthony Morrell, Allied Universal; Chuck Booth, Harvest Properties; Connor Chavarria, Kastle Systems; and Carina Sanchez, Kastle Systems. Above left: Jeff Ong, J.O. Commercial Real Estate; Erik Carlson, Metro Services Group; and Eric Brown, BSM Facility Services Group.

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510.893.8780 Visit

April 20 – Backpack to Briefcase: RFPs

May 1 – Walter Finch Memorial Golf Tournament

May 11 – Luncheon: Understanding, Identifying, & Addressing Implicit Bias

June 15 – New Member Reverse Tradeshow

June 15 – Backpack to Briefcase: CAMs 2.0

June 24–27 – BOMA Int’l. Conference (in Kansas City)

July 12 – BOMA OEB Gives Back Community Event

July 13 – Luncheon: Decarbonization and ESG

August 16 – Backpack to Briefcase: Landscape & Water Conservation Tour

August 28 or 29 – BOMA OEB Showcase

September 14 – Luncheon: Building Engineer


October 4– OAKtoberfest Tour & Toast

October 12 – Luncheon: Government Affairs

October 18 – Backpack to Briefcase: COI

November 2 – Wine Tour & Member Mixer

November 9 – Annual Meeting Celebration Luncheon

December 7 – Backpack to Briefcase:

Vacant Building Management

December 14 – Holiday Party for the latest information and watch for details in BOMA’s weekly emails.