Congratulations to the NAIOP Chicago 2023-24 Future Leaders Scholarship Recipients!
NAIOP Chicago is excited to introduce our 2023-24 Future Leaders University Scholarship recipients. This year, NAIOP Chicago awarded scholarships to the most recipients to date. These seven students from DePaul, Marquette, Northwestern, Roosevelt, and The University of Chicago exemplify the commitment and innovation coming from the new generation of Chicago’s commercial real estate industry and we are honored to play a role in fostering their professional development.
Now in its 9th year, the University Scholarship Program has contributed more than $230,000 in tuition assistance and benefits to 30 scholars. We believe in making a difference in future leaders, and we believe that our scholarship program is helping pave the way for a stronger future in our industry.
In addition to tuition assistance, recipients of the Future Leaders Scholarship receive a one-year NAIOP membership, a mentor involved in a field related to their interests, as well as a variety of other local benefits. The NAIOP Chicago University Scholarship program is annual, with applications to the program accepted in Spring/early Summer of each year. Read more about our University Scholarship program.
Ashlee Bakunowicz | DePaul University
Ashlee Bakunowicz is a full-time MBA student at Depaul University, and she is currently studying real estate finance and investment. During the past two years, she has been connecting with real estate professionals to learn more about different sectors in the field in hopes to make a final decision post-grad on where she wants to be. Ashlee has found that all of these sectors are diverse and include very dynamic and challenging work. The networking opportunities are endless, the work versus reward is exceptional, and the social aspect is perfect for her. She is currently working with Winning Charity Services and multiple charities to host events in the Chicago area, while volunteering at local Catholic Churches as part of her social responsibilities. She has a keen interest in law and finds legal matters regarding real estate fascinating. Ashlee is also working closely with mentors in the finance and legal fields to see how they intertwine with real estate.
Even though she may not be set on a specific sector of this industry, Ashlee has faith that NAIOP will guide her and help her grow in her personal and professional lives, especially with the access provided to a supportive community and exclusive resources. She wants to gain exposure and experience with industry leaders while building strong relationships and one day dedicate her time and resources to future young professionals just as NAIOP is doing for her today.
Christopher Bertucci | Northwestern University
Chris Bertucci is a full-time MBA student and co-president of the Real Estate Club at Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, where he focuses on Finance, Real Estate, and Social Impact. After his first year of business school Chris worked as a Summer Development Associate at Related Midwest, gaining exposure to several high-impact projects.
Chris was born and raised on the Near West Side of Chicago before serving as a Marine Corps officer for 11 years. He is passionate about community development and improving opportunities for fellow Chicagoans, and he now serves on the board of Boxing Out Negativity, a non-profit based in North Lawndale.
As a NAIOP Chicago Future Leaders Scholar, Chris is excited to connect with and learn from industry leaders who are shaping the future of commercial real estate in Chicago communities and beyond.
Tyler Buck | University of Chicago
Tyler Buck is an MBA Candidate at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. He currently works as a Development Associate at DL3 Realty, a full-service real estate development firm dedicated to transforming communities through high-impact commercial and residential projects. Prior to Booth and DL3, Tyler worked in Acquisitions and Asset Management at Pine Tree, an owner/operator of necessity-based shopping centers throughout the U.S.
Tyler holds a Bachelor’s in Economics from the University of Illinois and a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from UC’s Harris School of Public Policy. He has a passion for development, adaptive reuse, and community-driven economic growth, particularly in the vibrant context of Chicago. Through the NAIOP Chicago University Scholarship, he is excited to grow his network and relationships while further exploring the intersection of social impact and real estate development.
Rosie Gonzalez | University of Chicago
Rosie Gonzalez is currently a rising second-year MBA Candidate at the Chicago Booth School of Business and spent her 2023 summer interning in Nuveen Real Estate’s Impact Transactions team as a Roger W. Ferguson, Jr. MBA Fellow. In addition to being an NAIC MBA Fellow and a Goldie Scholar, she currently serves as Co-Chair of Booth’s Private Equity Group and Real Estate Group. Rosie is from the Chicago area and attended the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she studied accountancy.
Prior to graduate school, Rosie worked as a Senior Portfolio Accountant at LaSalle Investment Management, a real estate private equity firm, within the Investor Accounting and Finance Group. Before working at LaSalle, Rosie worked at Pearlmark Real Estate as Senior Associate in the high-yield debt group. Rosie has seen housing from contrasting perspectives, which has fueled her passion to be a future leader within the Chicago real estate investment space.
Victoria Reznik | Northwestern University
Victoria Reznik is a JD/MBA student at Northwestern University. She has recently interned at Sidley Austin LLP, law firm, in NYC where she focused on corporate real estate transactions. This internship has validated Victoria’s desire to pursue commercial real estate as an attorney. Victoria started off on Team Canada as a rhythmic gymnast, winning the bronze medal at the first ever Youth Olympic Games and double bronze at the Toronto Pan Am Games. In between her academics and sports career, Victoria worked part-time as a property manager and got her Ontario Mortgage License.
Victoria has been involved on the director level with the Kellogg Real Estate Club and Pritzker’s Real Property, Trusts, and Estates Legal Society. She has a goal of becoming an expert in commercial real estate transactions and eventually making it as a partner in BigLaw. As a NAIOP Chicago Future Leaders Scholar, she aims to establish a strong network and learn to become a better leader.
Neeva Shrestha | Roosevelt University
Neeva Shrestha is a full-time student pursuing her Masters in Real Estate at Roosevelt University. She recently interned as a Real Estate Analyst at World Business Chicago, collaborating with prominent firms like DL3, Habitat, Related Midwest, and P3. With a strong background in financial analysis and strategic decision-making, Neeva aspires to join the asset and portfolio management division of real estate. She is the President of Women in Business, a leader at the Real Estate Club and Graduate Assistant for the Heller College of Business.
When asked by a friend what she’d do with her life if money was not an issue, Neeva responded, “I’d still be in real estate! I’d create the most beautiful buildings and maintain their integrity. That sounds like the life I want to lead!”. Neeva intends to fully harness the NAIOP Chicago Scholarships to create a meaningful and lasting impact on the field of real estate through the leadership program, training, mentorships, and networking. Fun fact about Neeva: Neeva is from Nepal, the country of Mount Everest. She speaks 6 languages and counting.
Connor Shrigley | Marquette University
Connor Shrigley is a full-time undergraduate student at Marquette University. He is currently studying Finance and Commercial Real Estate. Connor is entering his junior year and is eager to gain more exposure to the world of Real Estate. Outside of school, he keeps himself busy with leadership positions, one of which is being president of the fishing club. The leadership experience has been fruitful, he attributes much of the skills he has strengthened to being an Eagle Scout, and the path he took to get there.
Connor is excited for the opportunity to be part of the NAIOP Chicago Future Leaders’ Scholarship Program, and he is eager to get some hands-on experience and build connections. He looks forward to being a part of the mentor program and gaining all the wisdom he can from professionals in the field. His passion for Real Estate has just begun and he is eager to see where the journey takes him.