August 2018

Chapter Newsletter

August 2018 

President's Message

John Lucas, Chapter President

John Lucas
VP, Global Real Estate and Workplace Services
Juniper Networks

Dear Northern California Chapter Members,

I am proud to say we started the first quarter of our 2018-19 fiscal year with a bang! It was perhaps the most action-packed time of the year, and as your new president, I enjoyed every minute of it. However, I must say that the most exciting moment for me was announcing this year’s CRE Award honorees!

In case you missed the eblast or our social media posts (follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter!), it gives me great pleasure to announce our distinguished honorees again:

  • Corporate Real Estate Executive of the Year - Jay Bechtel, Real Estate Project Executive, Google, Inc.
  • Service Provider of the Year - Bob McIntire, Founder, Nova Partners, Inc.
  • Northern California Chapter Young Leader of the Year - Michelle Lagos, Director, Client Solutions, CBRE

Please join me in congratulating them now, and make plans to attend our 21st Annual CRE Awards Gala on November 15th at the legendary St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. I can’t wait!

I am also extremely proud of our programs committee’s success throughout the first quarter. With their hard work and leadership, we produced three exceptional chapter meetings in Q1. We explored the important topic of emergency preparedness and completed an extremely well-received three-part series on technology in corporate real estate.

In April, we ventured to Oakland to the headquarters of SPUR for a valuable program focused on how to respond to natural disasters. I was personally moved by the stories we heard from three corporate real estate professionals who were on the front lines during some of the most challenging fires, hurricanes, floods and mudslides in recent history, including the North Bay fires as well as Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

Our May program, at Palo Alto Networks in Santa Clara, was the first installment of the technology series. It featured a block-chain evangelist who shared how this emerging technology can be applied to corporate real estate. In June, we continued the discussion at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View with an in-depth discussion of how artificial intelligence and robotics are disrupting corporate real estate. Then, we started Q2 on a high note with the final session of the series, a panel discussion held at PG&E’s headquarters in San Francisco on the impact of IoT, sensors and privacy on commercial real estate.

Other Highlights I am excited about include:

  • Our Young Leaders Celebrated growing by 20 new members with their summer party at the San Jose Giants game. Beer, BBQ, and Baseball - what could be better than that?
  • Women of CoreNet welcomed renowned keynote speaker Alexis McGill Johnson on the topic of implicit bias, the mind science of discrimination, for a transformative discussion. 
  • Gathering input from our members to support Global's Future Forward 2025 initiative on how we will belong, convene, learn, and use technology in 2025
  • Submitting three nominations to CoreNet Global for Chapter of the Year, Young Leader of the Year, and their Distinguished Leaders Circle. (Results to the announced at the Boston Global Summit. Be there!)
  • Placing three CoreNet Apprentice Program (CAP) students with CoreNet member sponsors for summer internships

It is essential to note that none of our accomplishments would be possible without the efforts of all our wonderful, active and engaged volunteers who make up our ten working committees that include our Executive Committee, CAP, Communications, Membership, Programs, Special Events, Sponsorship, Technology & Special Interest Group (SIG), Women of CoreNet, and our Young Leaders Group. It takes a small army of people to produce the quantity and high quality of programs and events that our members have come to expect. So what does this amazing group have up their sleeves next? Visit our newly revamped website for all the details!

  • August Chapter Meeting: “Transportation Nightmares: What’s Being Done?” on August 16
  • September Chapter Meeting: “What the Health is Happening?” Applying Well, Fitwel & RESET Building Standards on September 20
  • Day on The Bay on October 5
  • The 21st Annual CRE Awards Gala on November 15

In closing, I must ask you to join me in a big round of applause for all our Platinum, Gold, and Silver chapter sponsors. These extraordinary individuals and companies contribute time, talent, resources, and financial commitment in support of our vision and mission: to connect corporate real estate leaders, advance knowledge and promote professional growth. I gives me great pride to say I believe that is exactly what we are doing. The number and caliber of the activities, engagements, educational and networking opportunities we delivered so far this year have been off the hook!

The fun, learning, connections and growth abound, and it is exciting to be a part of such a vibrant and engaged organization. Come learn, connect, grow, and lead our chapter with us. I can’t wait to see you at the next event!

-  John

Chapter Meeting Recaps

May Chapter Meeting // Thursday, May 17th // Santa Clara 

Blockchain 101 What is it? What does it mean to me? How will it impact CRE?

CoreNet Global Northern California Chapter members and guest explored the forward thinking topic of crypto currencies at the May Chapter meeting on Thursday, May 17th at Palo Alto Networks in Santa Clara. Addressing this much discussed and often controversial subject was guest speaker Ragnar Lifthrasir, Founder of velox.RE, a startup that uses the Bitcoin block chain as a vertical platform for fundamental real estate applications. Lifthrasier, an entrepreneur and block chain advocate shared his belief that block chains could prove advantageous for the commercial real estate industry because they can record transactions between two parties in a verifiable and permanent way. He educated the crowd of 150 about how a block chain ledger could provide added transparency and simplicity for title, sales and certification of commercial real estate. Lifthrasier shared an overview of the Cook County Blockchain Deed Pilot Program which his company is involved which is currently the only one in the world.

Key take-aways included:

1. Bitcoin is limited

  • Less will be produced each year
  • Only 423 million will ever be created

2. It is an open source consortium

  • No one and everyone is controlling
  • The developer of bitcoin created the rules
  • Transactions are sent in a network by miners who produce it
  • Secured by the fact that its distributed

3. Advantages for real estate

  • Multi signature smart contracts
  • Allows escrows without an escrow agent
  • Works peer to peer with money in situation where trust is issue
  • Time locked
  • Would enhance security of deposits
  • It’s a ledger
  • Tracks of ownership of assets

4. Lifthrasier’s Recommendations

  • Get skin in the game – buy some
  • Be prepared for volatility
  • Start small – accept rent
  • Download a wallet and give tenants the address
  • Employ a third party services such as Bit pay
  • Recommends bitcoin above other crypto currencies

June Chapter Meeting // Thursday, June 21st // Mountain View
How Will Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotics Affect You in the Near Term and the Future?

Over 130 CoreNet members and guest got a glimpse into the future and met some interesting new “friends” at the June Chapter meeting. Held at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View on June 21st, the fascinating program explored how robotics are being used in corporate real estate. Stuart Appley, Managing Director, Global Workplace Solutions at CBRE moderated a panel of experts currently deploying robots as embedded members of their clients’ teams including: 

At the conclusion of the program, attendees interacted with robots during networking reception. References to Westworld were made!

Key take aways included:


1. Unstructured data is exploding

  • 700% increase in volume stored in databases from 2012-2016
  • 93% of data will be unstructured by 2022
  • 90% of worlds unstructured date created in past 2 years

2. AI usage today is dominated by machine learning

  • Machine learning (ML) 22%
  • Natural language process (NLP) / Natural language generating (NLG): 14%
  • Voice recognition – 14%
  • Virtual personal assistant (VPA) / Chatbots: 11%
  • Diagnostic / Recommendation Engines: 11%

3. Democratization of AI

  • Data explosion
  • Machine learning as a service (MLaaS)
  • $$$ Flooding to AI start ups (including CRE)
  • Cost of sensors plummeting
  • Accelerated graphics processing unit (GPU) Development & Usage
  • Every decreasing cost to compute
  • Advancement of AI graphical interfaces
  • Growing open source machine learning libraries

4. Where AI stands in commercial real estate today

  • Deep Learning
  • Robotic Process Automation
  • Robotics
  • Machine Learning

Divider_Line.jpgYoung Leaders Update

Summer Happy Hour
The June Summer Happy Hour for Young Leaders was hosted by Steelcase in their SF Showroom. A casual, entertaining evening fostered great networking in a classic SOMA brick and timber building.

Summer Party
The CoreNet Young Leaders held their Summer Party on July 24 at the San Jose Giants game. 36 young leaders, including 8 new members, enjoyed baseball, beer and BBQ as they mingled in their own private deck. Save the date for the next Young Leader event, held on August 20. More information will be available soon.

CNYL_Summer_Party_1.jpg CNYL_Summer_Party_2.jpg

Mentorship Kick-off

On June 19th, the mentorship program kicked off its annual program by hosting an event at the Genentech offices in South San Francisco. Mentees were able to tell the group their career aspirations and what they are hoping to learn from their mentors, while the mentors shared their journeys in the corporate real estate industry. There was also a speed networking component at the end of the event, which gave mentors and mentees the chance to get better acquainted with each other on an individual basis. After the event, the mentorship committee helped pair mentees with their mentors based on their preferences, connections, and how they can learn from each other.

Women of CoreNet Update - Save the Dates!

Women of CoreNet Day of Service // Saturday,  August 18th // San Carlos

Join WOC for a Day of Service at Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore in San Carlos. As their saying goes the ReStore is “a good deal for you, your community and the environment.” Let’s spend a few hours together volunteering in Habitat for Humanity’s home improvement store and donation center that sells new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials and more to the public at a fraction of the retail price. For more details click here. 
Women of CoreNet August Happy Hour // Wednesday, August 22nd // Oakland
More details coming soon!

of CoreNet September Program // Wednesday, September 26th // Redwood City
Design Tech High School – An interview with the Project Team that delivered the school on Oracle’s headquarters campus

2018 CRE Honorees Announced

2018 CRE.png
The Northern California Chapter is proud to recognize the 2018 CRE Award Honorees – Jay Bechtel of Google as Corporate Real Estate Executive of the Year and Bob McIntire of Nova Partners, as Service Provider of the Year. Save the date and plan to celebrate Jay and Bob on November 15th at the CRE Awards Gala at the iconic Westin St. Francis in San Francisco.

2018 Northern California Chapter Young leader of the Year

The Chapter is proud to recognize Michelle Lagos, Director, Client Solutions at CBRE, as the 2018 Northern California Chapter Young Leader of the Year! The Northern California Young Leader of the Year award celebrates and recognizes actively engaged young professionals who are implementing best practices and quantifiable achievements in the field and are pursing professional development opportunities. Learn more about Michelle’s contributions to corporate real estate and CoreNet.

Request for New Committee Members

Are you looking for a way to get more involved with CoreNet?  Want to take charge of the first “Chapter Volunteer Recruitment Tool” in the country?  We are looking for a volunteer to take on the responsibility of updating volunteer opportunities on this new website tool on a monthly basis.  Responsibilities will be reaching out to committees to find out volunteer needs and adding or deleting the items from the website tool. Training included.  If you’re interested, please contact Kris McFarland-Werner at

Scholarship Deadline Approaching on August 10th!

The Chapter launched a scholarship program to allow members to pursue their professional development goals. The 2018/19 Scholarship Program is open to all NorCal members who would benefit from attending the 2018 Boston Summit, or earning the MCR/SLCR or QPCR designation. Applications due August 10.

Click Here to Apply! 
Upcoming Events

August Chapter Meeting// Thursday, August 16th // Redwood City
Transportation Nightmares - What is Being Done?

According to the Bay Area Council, bad traffic ranks as the region’s second largest problem behind high housing costs. In 2014, only 24% of us complained about traffic, as of June of this year this number has jumped to 64%. Public transportation projects take years if not decades to fund and build, yet the problem is NOW. What is being proposed by both the public and private sectors in the short term to mitigate the frustration of commuters? What would the easing of this frustration accomplish in terms of the threatened exodus of essential human resources? Our panel of experts will tackle these questions and offer concrete solutions.

Venue: Electronic Arts: 209 Redwood Shores Pkwy, Redwood City, CA 94065
Schedule: 3:30p: Registration // 4:00p: Program // 5:30p: Reception
Cost: Member: $35.00 // Non-Member End User: $60.00 // Non-Member Service Provider: $85.00


New Member Happy Hour // Thursday, August 23rd // San Francisco

Join the CoreNet Global Northern California Chapter Board and Membership Committee for drinks and discussion on how to make the most of your new membership!

CONNECT - with CoreNet Members
GROW - get the most out of your membership
LEARN - about the NorCal Chapter
BELONG - become part of our community 

 CBRE @ Salesforce Tower: 415 Mission St, Suite 4600, San Francisco, CA 94105

Schedule: Registration: 5:30pm // Program: 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Cost: Free to new members. Registration is required.

Committee Contact: Pierce Neinken (

Parking is available in the garage below the building. Public transit is encouraged.


September Chapter Meeting // Thursday, September 20th // San Francisco

What the HEALTH is Happening?: Applying the WELL, Fitwel & RESET Building Standards

Over the last two decades, forward-thinking design, construction and operations practices have transformed the commercial real estate industry across the globe. Yet strategies to enhance human health and wellbeing have played a relatively small role in the evolution of the built environment. As the industry looks to what’s next, firms are elevating human health and comfort to the forefront of commercial real estate while reinventing buildings that are not only better for the planet, but also for the people that inhabit them.

Come join our diverse group of experts for an interactive discussion exploring leading wellness frameworks and how they may be applied to both individual projects as well as real estate portfolios. 

Venue: Twitter, 1355 Market St #900, San Francisco, CA 94103
Schedule: 3:30p: Registration // 4:00p: Program // 5:30p: Reception
Cost: Member: $35.00 // Non-Member End User: $60.00 // Non-Member Service Provider: $85.00


Day on the Bay // Friday, October 5th // San Francisco

More than 400 colleagues embark on a Hornblower Yacht to spend the afternoon on the San Francisco Bay to watch the aerial magic of the U.S. Navy’s best pilots, the Blue Angels. Members have described the Day on the Bay as the single chapter event that provides a broad spectrum of peers and a relaxing, enjoyable environment to connect with old friends and make new ones. A buffet lunch, host bar, and ample supply of sunscreen round out keep guests fueled and protected for our four-hour tour and military spectacle. View highlights from last year's event!

Venue: Pier 3, The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94111
Schedule: 11:00a: Registration // 11:45a: Boarding // 12:00p: Departure

Individual tickets and reserved tables are on sale now!

Featured Platinum Sponsors


April Chapter Meeting

2018_April Mtg.jpg


May Chapter Meeting 

2018_May_Chapter Meeting


Annual Golf Tournament



June Chapter Meeting 



Day on the Bay - October 5th!