NAI Global’s Scholarship Program is Another Hit at ICSC

The biggest CRE trade show in North America, ICSC Las Vegas, took place during its usual third week of May and this year’s convention gained on the momentum of the past two years as we move further along from the pandemic era.

Attendance for NAI Global matched the increased size of the show, with more than 100 NAI Global Professionals registered for the conference, while the company’s booth hosted well over 200 meetings.

Among the first-timers visiting the NAI Global booth in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center this year were the 2024 NAI Global ICSC scholarship winners: Chad Boggs with NAI Ohio Equities in Columbus, and Melody Torres with NAI SunVista in Albuquerque.

Unfortunately, the NAI Global ICSC Veterans scholarship winner, Eric Gonzalez-Tablada, NAI Chase Commercial Realty in Huntsville was unable to attend.   

Like many in the CRE industry, Boggs, Torres and Gonzalez took unique paths to entering the commercial real estate business, and each of them is a rookie in their respective markets. NAI Global has long-supported Next Gen initiatives and its scholarship program is just one of the ways the company supports and remains an advocate for young people to take on commercial real estate careers.

For 15 years Chad Boggs was a corporate manager in the IT department yet his entrepreneurial orientation got the better of him. He and his wife own and operate a franchise in Columbus – Cookie Cutters Haircuts for Kids, and they also invest, own and manage a few small residential properties. He is a ‘generalist’ in his Ohio market, meaning he works with property owners and occupiers with all property types. Chad’s education and introduction to CRE and Best Practices is brought to him via an NAI Ohio Equities Fast Track program that is administered and managed by Matt Gregory, CCIM, SIOR and Managing Director of the firm.

Melody Torres first started working in retail when she was 15. At 21 she and a partner opened a store, Tobacco & Accessories (while concurrently bartending) and supported the store until she had her first child at 30. Melody turned to CRE for the independence, the nature of the industry (people, relationships) and because it offers ample opportunities to earn a nice living with hard work in an interesting and wide-ranging field of business services. She is a Retail Advisor in New Mexico’s largest city. After ICSC, she emailed to tell us that her key takeaway from the conference was to talk to as many people as possible, because you never know where the conversation may lead and the potential for referrals and client acquisition is nearly limitless. Spoken like an ICSC veteran! Her mentor is Randall Parish, who has helped Melody from day one, and she says that she wouldn’t be thriving so soon without his guidance and generosity of time.

Eric Gonzalez-Tablada is Director of Retail Real Estate, serving owners, investors and tenants in the Huntsville regional markets, which is one of the fastest-growing communities in the Southeast. He served in the United State Marine Corps for six years. After graduating from The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa with an accounting degree, he worked in a service and support position with an educational company as a project manager. His primary duties included finding school sites, marketing and contributing to organization the non-profit board in order to open new charter schools across the country. Eric received his Alabama Real Estate License in 2020 and joined NAI Chase Commercial RE Services shortly thereafter. His mentors at NAI Chase Commercial are and have been Executive Vice President/brokerage Doug McCullough, CCIM, and Mark Elrod, VP of Retail Services.