NAIOPWA Member Profile: Ann Bishop, Wallace Properties

Ann Bishop has been with Wallace Properties for nearly 25 years and a NAIOP member for just as long. Her impressive tenure in commercial real estate makes her an expert voice on industry topics and trends, and her passion for NAIOP is clear from her continued involvement at all levels of our organization. Bishop serves on our chapter’s Board of Directors as Secretary, works with the Government Affairs committee on numerous legislative and policy efforts, and regularly volunteers with the Developing Leaders’ Mentorship Program each year.

When she joined over 20 years ago, she felt that NAIOP was an inclusive space for her, but with few contacts in the organization it was important to lean in early to carve out a place for herself. “If I [had] sat back and waited to be invited… I wouldn’t [have been] there. So you just pick up and go… You join in.”

She fondly remembers the tenure of former Executive Director Lynn Melby and the many perspective-forming international trips NAIOP members would take to learn more about development in major world cities. These international trips, as well as domestic NAIOP retreats, Ann sees as a means to forge lasting partnerships with colleagues. “When you travel with people in your industry, you get closer in mutual respect, understanding. You know that person better, and it just makes work more enjoyable.”

The landscape of commercial real estate is changing rapidly in this region. Ann knows this well from her work with our Government Affairs committee. “The work on the committee has to do with the balance between public policy and private enterprise. We really should be aligned – theoretically, conceptually – but unfortunately today we are not aligned in many areas. We need to get back to the basics of what we agree on.”

Ann is a champion for finding common-sense solutions to the area housing crisis. “Enterprise understands that everyone needs to have housing, not just people at the higher income levels… and we need to have the choice to live where we need to live. We should have choice in housing.” She sees building connections between the public and private sector as the primary vehicle for meeting that goal. “If we can come together in common cause and work out the details [to] get to the common goals, we’ll be a lot better off.”

Beyond the exciting future of the industry, Ann believes NAIOP is uniquely poised to bring people together, even during this time of social distancing, and she sees association membership as a way to connect with fellow professionals on a deeper level. For her, it's self-evident why someone would join an organization like ours, especially today:

“Any time you have disruption in society such as we have right now – like we’ve never had before – [it] is an excellent time to join an association that represents your industry… we [have to] reinvent ourselves. I would encourage anyone to join NAIOP right now because of the innovation that is going to come out of this chaos. It’s going to be positive – it’s going to be better than it was before.”

As for advice to newcomers, Ann says “[not to] judge the external, but rather seek the internal… a person’s heart, a person’s spirit, a person’s intellect, a person’s ideas… that’s what excites me about NAIOP.”

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