COSTA MESA, CA—NAIOP SoCal, the region’s leading commercial real estate organization, and the Center for Real Estate (CRE) at UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business have selected Kristen N. Kelly, CPA, and an MBA Real Estate student at UC Irvine, as the 2012-13 recipient of the CRE-NAIOP SoCal Fellowship. The NAIOP SoCal Fellowship is designed to develop and prepare future real estate industry leaders through both a learning experience and a financial award.

Kelly has received a $7,500 scholarship award to support her academic endeavors. Kelly will also serve as a liaison to the NAIOP SoCal Board of Directors where she will have the opportunity to be mentored by some of the nation’s top real estate executives.  She is currently an assistant controller at MBK Real Estate, LLC.

“Kristen is a Miami University graduate, CPA and has gained solid real estate experience with KPMG, LLP and MBK Real Estate, LLC. Her work to date and commitment to building upon that foundation is a benefit to the Center for Real Estate and the future of our local real estate community,” said Lang Cottrell, president of NAIOP SoCal and regional director of Goodman Birtcher. Cottrell added that this program is another example of the chapter’s commitment to education and fostering the next generation of real estate leaders.

The Merage School is ranked among the top 5% of accredited programs and is also ranked 5th in the U.S. for students employed within 90 days of graduation, according to Financial Times’ 2013 Global MBA ranking. The Fully Employed MBA (FEMBA) program is ranked in the top 25 nationally among part-time MBA programs, and the Executive MBA (EMBA) program is ranked 23rd according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2011 annual ranking of America’s Best Graduate Schools.

“I am honored to have received this fellowship award from NAIOP SoCal and UCI’s Center for Real Estate.  In addition to furthering my education at UCI, this fellowship provides me with greater opportunities to advance my career path. Even further, I’ll have the support and mentoring of the region’s top executives thanks to NAIOP’s shared commitment to my goals,” said Kelly.

Education is a core tenet of NAIOP SoCal’s offerings to the real estate industry. In addition to the Fellowship, the chapter created a Young Professionals Group (YPG), a nationally recognized education program implemented by the chapter. YPG is a 12-month, 70-hour education and leadership training program designed to include access to/training from some of Southern California’s top real estate executives, classroom sessions on various segments of the real estate industry (development, financing, entitlements, leasing, etc), plus leadership and communication skill development with a noted university professor.

About NAIOP SoCal – NAIOP SoCal is a chapter of NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association, and it comprises more than 900 members serving the counties of Los Angeles and Orange.  NAIOP is the leading organization for developers, owners and related professionals in office, industrial and mixed use real estate, with almost 15,000 members in North America. 

About the Center for Real Estate at UC Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business – The Center for Real Estate is one of seven Centers of Excellence at The Paul Merage School of Business and is an integral and indispensable component of the program in Real Estate and Urban Development at the University of California, Irvine.  The mission of the Center for Real Estate is three-fold: to advance real estate education, conduct relevant research, and engage in meaningful industry outreach.