Chicago Initiatives

Our Local Initiatives

NAIOP Chicago is committed to building a stronger and more inclusive commercial real estate industry.  We believe that by encouraging and supporting the next generation of real estate professionals we can build a better tomorrow.  Our Board has taken action – making commitments with our finances, time and resources to these Initiatives.  NAIOP Chicago is committed to securing diverse panels at NAIOP Chicago programs, building future leaders through our University Initiative, and exposing high school students to the commercial real estate industry through the Summer Immersion Program.

As industry experts we ask you to partner with us!

NAIOP Chicago Foundation

The NAIOP Chicago Foundation (501c3) was created to expand our charitable work. The focus of the Foundation is to further the work of our University Scholarship, support diversity, equity and inclusivity initiatives, as well as advocate for policies that benefit the industry. This work cannot be done without your support, so please consider joining in and supporting the NAIOP Chicago Foundation!

Make a contribution to the NAIOP Chicago Foundation

University Initiative

The NAIOP Chicago University Initiative was created to provide students unique opportunities to engage with commercial real estate professionals in the Chicago region.  An integral piece of the Initiative is our University Scholarship Program.

The NAIOP Chicago University Scholarship Program provides tuition assistance each year to university students, as well as other professional benefits including NAIOP membership and mentoring opportunities, to qualifying students interested in real estate who are enrolled at: DePaul, Lewis, Loyola, Marquette, Northeastern Illinois, Northwestern, Roosevelt and The University of Chicago.

The Scholarship offers access to, and interaction with, real estate professionals not only in the Chicago area, but also nationwide through national and local meetings.

Qualifying applicants must be an undergraduate (fulltime) or graduate student (must be enrolled in a minimum of 4 classes within a year from application date) maintaining a minimum 3.0 GPA.  The application process includes a personal interview with the Selection Committee comprised of NAIOP Chicago University Scholarship Jury.  Applications are accepted in the Spring of each year.

High School Immersion Program

NAIOP Chicago has previously partnered with NAIOP Corporate, the Real Estate Executive Council (REEC) and Roosevelt University to offer a summer Immersion Program to Chicago Public High School juniors and seniors.  The program, which took place in Chicago in summer 2019 & virtually in 2021, introduced top students of diverse backgrounds to commercial real estate, including both classroom and field trip experiences.

During the program, students explored the future of the built environment, including:

  • Careers in design, planning, engineering and management.
  • Technology, innovation and creating cool places to work, shop and have fun.
  • Tours of local projects.
  • Learning from industry leaders.

2024 University Scholarship Committee


University Liaison Co-Chairs

Craig Dannegger, Clarius Partners, LLC

Randal Dawson, CBRE, Inc.


Committee Members

Katherine Bernstein, Logistics Property Company, LLC

Caitlin Sullivan, Link Logistics Real Estate

Brett Tomfohrde, Opus Development Company, L.L.C.

Cory Welper, Bridge Industrial

Make a Donation

This work cannot be done without your support, so please consider joining today and supporting the NAIOP Chicago Foundation.

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