Editor’s Note: Students in the Master of Real Estate Development program are traveling around the world – literally! Seven graduate students have the opportunity to travel west as part of an immersive study abroad class in summer 2016. Read their bios below and then check back for recaps of their travels!

Real Estate Around the World is a participatory learning experience where students help conceive, research and execute a trip around the world visiting notable real estate projects and meeting with real estate professionals. The organization of the class is modeled on a real estate partnership where the instructor serves as Managing Partner and the students are Junior Partners. The students work as a team as they research and network to find candidate projects and professionals to visit on the trip.

Here are the accounts of their travel in 2016: SeoulShanghaiIndiaDubaiDubai Day 2 and London.

Students

Chris Barker is currently a student at the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business, where he is a student in the Master of Real Estate Development program. Chris’s undergraduate degree was in Criminal Justice, and he worked as a Law Enforcement Officer before coming to the world of Real Estate. Chris is planning on using his education to help end the problem of homelessness among veterans of the United States Military.

Chris works as a Property Manager for Woodbury Corporation, one of the oldest and most respected full-service real estate development companies in the Intermountain West. Chris currently manages a portfolio of class A office and retail located in Salt Lake City, Utah, and he hopes to move into acquisitions and development in the future. Chris also owns and manages his own portfolio of residential properties in Salt Lake City, and he hopes to move into commercial properties soon.

Elena Barlow was born in Russia and has lived in Utah for the past six years, earning a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Utah in 2013. After graduation, she began work at Goldman Sachs as a Senior Analyst in their Financial Crime Compliance Department. She also actively participates in the Utah real estate market as a licensed real estate agent for Realtypath.

This past January, Elena joined the Master of Real Estate Development program at the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business hoping to hone her research skills, gain knowledge to improve cities locally and internationally, and advance her expertise in developing quality and cost-effective housing projects that meet the needs of the developing world. One of Elena’s dreams is to develop housing and the associated support services that will effectively house those displaced by natural disasters and global conflicts. Elena is the founder of a small nonprofit organization that ships containers of humanitarian aid to orphanages in Eastern Europe.

Michelle Doong is a retail broker at Mountain West Commercial in Salt Lake City, Utah. She has been part of this brokerage team for four years, focusing on all aspects of commercial real estate while specializing in leasing and selling of retail and investment properties.

She is an expert in gathering competition analysis, demographic profiles and market information that is vital in today’s ever-changing real estate environment. She also speaks fluent Mandarin Chinese, which caters to a handful of clients in this market.

She received a dual degree in Economics and Political Science and is currently pursuing a mas­ter’s degree in Real Estate Development at the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business. Michelle currently serves as the ICSC Mountain States Chair (International Council of Shopping Centers), is the CREW Utah Ambassador, and is an active board member of NAIOP (Commercial Real Estate Development Association) and CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member).

Morgan Green is the C.E.O. & V.P. of Sales of Green Construction Inc. He has been with GCI from its creation in 2005. From that time it has grown from $4 million to more than $30 million in yearly revenue, performing on some of the most high-profile development projects in the state. Some of GCI customer’s include Boyer Companies, The Gardner Companies, Centercal Properties, Perry Homes, Intermountain Healthcare, UTA, UDOT, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and many others. Green Construction also performs much of its work as a subcontractor to the state’s largest general contractors, currently performing on projects with Big-D Const., Jacobsen Const., Layton Const., Oakland Const., R&O Const., Wadman Const., among others.

Morgan received his bachelor’s degree from Weber State University in Construction Management and is currently in the Masters of Real Estate Development program at the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business. He sits on the Industry Advisory Board for the Construction Management Program at Weber State and stays involved with the construction industry participating in many other associations. In 2013, Morgan was named one of Utah Construction and Design 40 and under “Young Guns.”

Brendan Lee is part of Marcus and Millichap’s National Retail Group (NRG), which is comprised of nearly 450 retail investment specialists located within the firm’s offices across the United States and Canada. Brendan specializes exclusively in the sale and acquisition of single-tenant and multi-tenant retail investment assets. The NRG provides investment, advisory and transaction services for all types of retail real estate, including single-tenant net leased properties, ground-leased properties, sale-leaseback structured finance and open-air shopping centers of all sizes.

Since joining the firm in 2013, Brendan has successfully brokered deals in 12 different states, closing 18 transactions. These properties include well-known national tenants such as: KFC, Circle K, Little Caesars, Mattress Firm, Tesoro, Family Dollar and Shell.

Brendan grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and later studied at Brigham Young University. At BYU, he majored in business management with an emphasis in finance. Brendan also just completed his last semester for a Master of Real Estate Development degree from the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business.

Nache Nielson is currently a student at the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business. He is in the Master of Real Estate Development program hoping to pursue a career in international commercial real estate development. He discovered his fascination with commercial real estate while working as an intern in 2013 with a small self-storage developer from Bountiful, Utah. The idea of creating value through cash flows coming from stabilized properties was extremely appealing to him, so he decided this is what he wanted to do for a career.

Nache is currently working part-time as an Assistant Leasing Manager at The Boyer Company located in Salt Lake City, Utah. He works in the medical office building department, assisting four project managers in leasing vacant space in the multiple buildings they manage across the Wasatch Front. He started the MRED program in August of 2015, and he expects to graduate either the end of 2016 or early 2017, depending on employment opportunities.

Nache is very entrepreneurial but is currently focused on gaining as much experience and knowledge as possible to be a more successful entrepreneur in the future. He is interested and open to all commercial real estate property types. Nache is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and is hoping to find opportunities in his career to use Mandarin in the commercial real estate industry. With Chinese individuals and businesses being heavily interested in investing in international real estate in all property types, he is confident that he will find a fit for him in the future.

Bradon Welker is currently a student in the MRED program at the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business and continues to work as a Realtor for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Real Estate (BHHS). Prior to the MRED program, he went to work for his brother’s successful marketing company, CrushOffers. While working there, he was responsible for growing sales, managing website projects, and even hiring/outsourcing. He was able to help the company reach significant sales goals and eventually relocate to San Diego.

Bradon earned his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Utah. During his undergrad, he became a Realtor for BHHS and has since been able to participate in closing a handful of transactions. Before attaining his real estate license, Bradon worked in the hospitality industry as the Sales Coordinator for two SpringHill Suites Marriott properties. He was responsible for assisting the sales manager of each hotel in finding, attaining, and retaining more corporate travel accounts. This position fueled his interest in hotels, real estate, and currently the MRED program. In his spare time, he enjoys music and the outdoors.

Faculty/Staff

Greg Bisping Prior to joining the University of Utah, Greg spent eight years in the finance industry working with institutional and individual clients, primarily in wealth management. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from the University of Utah and his MBA from Westminster College. In his current role as Program Career Manager, he utilizes his finance, project management and client management knowledge to guide Master of Real Estate Development and MS Finance students with their career choices. While at the U, Greg has been instrumental in garnering national recognition for the MS Finance program (#25 – The Financial Engineering Times, 2016).

A native of Utah, Greg lives in Salt Lake with his wife and twin daughters. For the past five years, he has fueled another passion by participating in charitable road racing events to raise money for multiple sclerosis and breast cancer research.

Flyn Dawson is a Senior Vice President/Sr. Relationship Manager in the Core Real Estate Bank­ing Group at Zions Bank. As a Relationship Manager in the Core Real Estate Banking Group, Flyn is responsible for originating, underwriting, structuring and closing commercial real estate loans for some of the region’s largest real estate developers and owner/operators within the Zions Bank footprint.

Prior to joining Zions Bancorporation, Flyn spent 11 years with JP Morgan Real Estate in Southern California and Salt Lake City and five years with Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi in Los Angeles. Flyn re­ceived a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and an MBA from University of Califor­nia – Irvine Paul Mirage School of Business.

Flyn is an Adjunct Professor at The University of Utah and an active Big Brother with the Big Broth­ers Big Sisters organization of Utah.

Jim Hill is Principal of RTW Ventures, LLC, focusing on investments and real estate based in Park City, Utah. Jim is Adjunct Faculty at the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business Master of Real Estate Development program where he leads the Real Estate Around the World program and teaches a class on Resort Development. He is active as an angel investor as a member of the Executive Committee of Park City Angels, and serves as a mentor for BoomStartup business accelerator in Salt Lake City. He is an advisor to East West Partners on real estate acquisitions in Utah.

Jim has enjoyed a 30-year career in real estate development. He was Managing Partner-Utah for East West Partners from 2003 to 2011, developing and selling 150 ski homes at Deer Valley Resort in Park City. He led East West’s team in Denver on the early development of Riverfront Park, a downtown redevelopment of 10 city blocks which won the Urban Land Institute Global Award for Excellence. Jim was with the Walt Disney Company for nine years, focusing on real estate and resort projects in Europe, Latin America and North America. Based in Paris, France, he opened the first hotel at Euro Disney as project manager of the 1,000 room Hotel Cheyenne. He started his career in 1984 in Washington DC in development and leasing of office and commercial properties. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute.

He served as a Board member of the Park City Community Foundation, and is on the Advisory Board of the Peace House domestic violence shelter, assisting in development of a new community campus. Jim holds an MBA from the University of Chicago and a BS in Economics from Brigham Young University. He lives in Park City with his wife, Cathy. Jim enjoys travel, having visited more than 80 countries, and he is fluent in French.