SIOR Names New CEO

Association and industry veteran Jim Hirt comes to the Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS after more than five years as CEO of the American Society of Appraisers.

Jim photo3The Society of Industrial and Office REALTORS (SIOR) have tapped Jim Hirt, an association executive veteran with experience at appraisal and mortgage brokers’ organizations, to be its new CEO.

In an exclusive interview with Commercial Property Executive, Hirt cited his experience in growing association memberships, including on an international level, as well as developing educational programming and building relationships.

Hirt, who is a Certified Association Executive (CAE), is replacing Richard Hollander, who left to pursue other opportunities.

Referring to the Board of Directors, Hirt told CPE, “They wanted their next CEO to become the face of the organization to help lead growth, be successful and really build on what was already there, which was clearly a very strong foundation.”

SIOR is a global professional organization that certifies CRE service providers with the SIOR designation based on achievement, knowledge, accountability and ethical standards. The Washington, D.C.-based association has more than 3,200 members in 680 cities in 36 countries.

“For more than 75 years, SIOR has represented excellence in commercial real estate. As the organization continues to grow as an international thought leader and industry expert, we look forward to leveraging Jim’s ability to foster creativity and build successful relationships to promote the success of SIOR and its members,” Del Markward, SIOR Global President, said in a prepared statement. “Jim was chosen from a strong pool of candidates through a comprehensive selection process. Among his many noteworthy attributes, Jim’s extensive experience in training and developing volunteer leaders, strategic plans, building relationships, and educational programming, along with his proven ability to manage and inspire staff, makes him uniquely capable to build upon the status of SIOR and guide us to a bright future.”

Hirt comes to SIOR after more than five years as CEO of the American Society of Appraisers, where he increased member retention to 96 percent and supported the 52 U.S. chapters and four international chapters. Past positions include serving as general manager of the National Association of Mortgage Brokers and Education Foundation and executive director of several organizations such as the Public Risk Management Association and AmeriCorps, Washington, D.C., Chapter.

Hirt’s Goals for SIOR

Growing membership, increasing networking, offering more educational opportunities and elevating the brand of SIOR inside the United States and outside its borders are among Hirt’s goals.

Hirt said he has experience in growing organization memberships and chapters in other parts of the world, including China, Japan, Australia, Europe, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

“As a global organization, we want to have a presence and grow our brand around the world while at the same time continuing to serve our members here in the U.S.,” he said.

Plans include using webinars and other technology to offer more educational programming, including in on-demand formats. He said more online courses may be a way to attract younger members who are still in college or graduating soon. Hirt, who has a MBA from National University in San Diego and a bachelor’s degree in business administration from California State University – Fullerton, said he has worked with colleges and universities in the past to encourage young people to enter the commercial real estate field. Some of those schools include Florida State University, Texas Tech University, Texas A&M University, University of North Carolina and the California State University system, including his alma mater, where he is a member of the California State University – Fullerton DC Scholars Advisory Board. The advisory board brings Cal State students to Washington, D.C., for internships, Hirt said.

Hirt plans to hit the road soon to visit many of SIOR’s U.S. chapters.

“SIOR is known for its ability to facilitate deals and provide incomparable insight into the industry, but this success wouldn’t be possible without each of the members, chapters and stakeholders,” he said. “As we continue to look toward the future of this organization, my goal is to further solidify SIOR’s status not only as an industry leader, but also as an active global community by foster engagement and innovation through every level of our organization.”