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FRANKFORT, IL-Michael Pollack, partner with Philadelphia-based law firm Blank Rome LLP, has been elected chairman of the International Association of Attorneys and Executives in Corporate Real Estate (AECRE). AECRE, an international nonprofit with 225 members from 32 states, is dedicated to educating its members, through real estate conferences and forums, about issues that impact the commercial real estate and legal sectors.

In his one-year role, Pollack is tasked to enhance the organization’s educational conferences by providing vital information relating to corporate executives in the real estate and legal professions. He replaces Bruce Cohen, partner with Atlanta-based Gambrell & Stolz, LLP.

Pollack joined the organization in 1994, was elected to the board of directors in 2002 and served the last year as vice chairman of the association. In addition to his many contributions to AECRE, he was a contributing author to the AECRE/ALI-ABA Lease Negotiation Handbook.

Pollack brings a broad range of experience from both his time with the organization and from his broader career. Originally trained as an engineer, Pollack received a bachelor’s degree from Cooper Union and a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. After working in the engineering industry for a few years, he ventured into law, enrolling in Pennsylvania’s Temple University Law School. He has been practicing law ever since.

Pollack currently serves as a senior member of the real estate department of Blank Rome, concentrating his practice on development, leasing, joint ventures and construction. He serves as counselor to the office, industrial, retail, healthcare, financial, hospitality, government and education industries while representing institutional and private real estate investors, lenders and REITs. Most recently, his firm represented PL Retail LLC in its $1-billion merger with Price Legacy Corp., a shopping center REIT.

“Because of my broad experience with setting up educational programs,” he says, “I think I can help to refine and enhance ways in which we deliver information to our membership.” Pollack says he is focused on extending the educational programs to include practical aspects of corporate life and real estate. By tapping into his reservoir of professional contacts, he says hopes to engage the organization’s members with valuable information.

“We thrive on networking in the sense of putting people in touch with others,” Pollack says. “When we talk about networking, we are talking about getting the right people to the conferences. These are sophisticated people–vice presidents, facilities managers, top-tiered executives–who are looking to get that extra one percentile of additional knowledge. We’re not here to teach them the ABCs.”

In addition to his duties with AECRE, Pollack is also a member of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) and the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT).

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