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AREAA Conference Aims to Inspire Big Thinking

Photo of Julie Kang AREAA chapter president Julie Kang will interview investment sales icon Robert Knakal during the conference.

NEW YORK CITY—Attendees of “2017 East Meets West,” this year’s edition of the signature event for the New York Manhattan chapter of the Asian Real Estate Association of America, will have quite a buffet of content served up along with breakfast and luncheon. There will be keynote addresses from two of the most recognizable names in the city’s commercial real estate sector, along with simultaneous panel discussions for commercial or residential practitioners. It’s scheduled for Oct. 25 at the Westin New York Grand Central.

“We look at it twofold: to inspire our members to think bigger, and also to educate them,” says Julie Kang, senior managing director with MHP Real Estate Services and president of AREAA’s Manhattan chapter. “Our keynote for breakfast will be the principal of my company, Norman Sturner, who’s done tremendous work on the office building sector in New York City. He’ll be providing a lot of stories about his journey to success.”

On the more educational side, and focusing on the residential sector, the conference will include a panel discussion with Jonathan Miller of Miller Samuel Inc. and Noah Rosenblatt of Urbandigs. “These guys are all about numbers: what’s going on in the market, data-driven,” Kang explains. “You could read about it, of course, but being there and soaking in all that information is key to our members.”

The all-day conference’s luncheon keynote will be a hybrid of presentation and interview, straddling the education and inspiration side. Robert Knakal, chairman of New York investment sales at Cushman & Wakefield and prior to that co-founder of Massey Knakal Realty Services, will spend about 15 minutes “telling us what’s going on in the market, focusing on key points—again, data-driven,” says Kang. “Then after that, I will be interviewing him, because our members want to know how they can be like Robert Knakal.”

With a focus on “empowering Asian real estate professionals,” the panel discussions “integrate notable people in the market with successful Asian practitioners,” Kang says. For example, an afternoon panel on the state of the investment sales market includes Andrew Chung of Innovo Property Group and Helen Hwang of Meridian Capital. And veteran developer John Lam of the Lam Group will receive a lifetime achievement award.

This being a real estate conference, there will be ample networking opportunities, including networking breaks during the day and a post-conference cocktail reception at Docks Oyster Bar and Grill. “We really do want that to be a big focus of our events,” says Kang. For more information on the East Meets West conference, click here.

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