Name: Cory E. Grusecki
Company: Northern Builders, Inc.
Position: Director of Real Estate
Age: 34
Education: Purdue University, BA
Years in Real Estate: 11

What led you to work in the Real Estate industry? Describe your current responsibilities:
From a very young age, I would join my father for weekend property visits, job site inspections, and office visits. My enthusiasm and interest in real estate continued to grow over the years, so I was thrilled to join the Northern team upon graduating. Currently, I am the Director of Real Estate at Northern Builders and responsible for the oversight of Northern’s real estate portfolio, including leasing, management, and tenant relations.

Who has been the biggest influence in your career?
My father, Tom Grusecki, has been the biggest influence in my career. Tom is hardworking, dedicated, and passionate about the business and everything he does. In addition, my boss, Tom Kenrich has been an invaluable mentor for me. I appreciate the knowledge and experience Tom has shared with me over the years to help my career development.

Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?
I expect to continue to challenge myself on a professional and personal level daily and continue to be an active mentor to young professionals in the early stages of their careers.

How long have you been involved with NAIOP and what do you view as the benefits of your NAIOP Developing Leader membership?
I have been involved in NAIOP for many years. The biggest benefits for me are the educational forums and networking. I have made countless connections through my involvement in NAIOP Developing Leaders. This year I was fortunate to participate in the mentorship program, which is a great opportunity.

What are the three most important qualities you think a real estate young professional should possess?
I would say three important qualities a young real estate professional should possess are:

  • Patience
  • Motivation mixed with a strong work ethic
  • Willingness to learn

What is the best piece of professional advice you have been given?
Before you respond, think. Before you speak, listen. You need to listen to learn.

What networking advice can you offer young professionals to help advance their careers?
Get out there! Before I was involved in NAIOP, I met Christine Choi-Moore and she convinced (more so pressured!) me to attend an IWIRE (Industrial Woman in Real Estate) event. I sure am glad she did, as years later I am now the president of the IWIRE organization and am pleased to call many of the members very close friends. Also, do not be afraid to invite someone to grab a cup of coffee. I guarantee you will both leave learning something new.

Outside of work, how do you enjoy spending your time?
Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my friends and family. You can find me working out (preferably at 5am), reading, traveling, and trying new restaurants.

What’s your favorite building in Chicago?
My favorite building in Chicago is the Civic Opera House. I love the architectural details – no matter which direction you approach the building – as well as the grand interior.