Expanding our Global Footprint
Once just a germ of an idea initiated by CRE Howie Gelbtuch— and through the generosity of The CRE Foundation—the interna- tional reach of The Counselors of Real Estate to Africa became a reality this past May when a student exchange program brought three Kenyan real estate students to New York City. The exchange was completed later in June when CREs Tom Justin, Byron Koste and Sam Kuckley traveled to Nairobi to teach in the stu- dents’ classrooms, visit with high-level finance officials and par- ticipate in an important conference on real estate financing. The student educational exchange program, funded through The CRE Foundation in 2009, served two purposes: bringing U.S. and CRE counseling expertise to students in the one of the last global emerging economies; and establishing strong ties between the two countries within the commercial real estate profession. “I approached the Foundation with the idea of this exchange be- cause, having previously provided assistance to the Kenya School of Monetary Studies (KSMS) on evaluating and negotiating bids for its expansion, I realized there existed opportunities to provide real estate education to the school’s students, and to partner with two important government organizations—the Central Bank of Kenya and the Kenya Ministry of Finance,” said Gelbtuch. In May, the Foundation funded the travel of three Kenyan stu- dents to New York City, where they were hosted by CREs Howie Gelbtuch (also chair of the CRE Consulting Corps), Tom Justin, Byron Koste, Sam Kuckley, and Hugh Kelly, who
CRE Foundation Grant Enables
CREs to Take Expertise to Africa
took them to the Atlantic Yards project, New York University and “green” building construction sites, among other places. In June, Messrs Justin, Koste and Kuckley traveled to Nairobi to revisit the students, teach courses at KSMS on U.S. real estate practices and attend a high-level conference on real estate fi- nancing. The event drew publicity in several publications, in- cluding Smart Money and The Financial Post. “We believe that some of the students at KSMS will eventually be- come government officials and change the country’s real estate laws,” said Gelbtuch. For example, he said, the importance of homeowners insurance and the importance of truth in title com- panies. We wanted to show them how things are here in the U.S. and how they can improve things in their own country.
Left to right in New York City: Byron Koste, CRE, executive director emeritus, University of Colorado Leeds School of Business, Boulder, Colo.; Howard Gelbtuch, CRE, principal, Greenwich Realty Advisors, Incorporated, New York City; Jamie Gelbtuch, principal, Cultural Mixology; Nancy Atieno Jamal, Kenya student; Florence Apondi Amuok, Kenya student; Sylvia Wanjiru Kimani, Kenya student; Samuel Kuckley, CRE, director, TIAA, New York City; and Thomas Justin, CRE, principal, The Weitzman Group, Inc., New York City.