Luncheon Speaker Series: Repurposing the Big Box

    March 19, 2019
    11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
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    City Club
    850 Euclid Avenue
    Cleveland, OH 44114
    Venue website

    Over the past few years, some of the most storied national and global brands have succumbed to the ever changing retail, commercial and industrial landscape.  We have seen the demise of Toys R Us; closing of several Sam’s Club, Sears and Kmart stores; abandonment of automotive manufacturing facilities and even entire shopping malls.  While it is sad to see some of these icons fading away, the real estate that they leave behind often provides great opportunities for growing companies to repurpose these properties.  Our program will explore some of the recent trends in repurposing Big Box and large vacant sites to bring new life into otherwise abandoned properties.


    David Browning, Managing Director  |  CBRE

    As Managing Director of CBRE, Inc. in Cleveland, Mr. Browning is responsible for client services throughout Northeastern Ohio. It is his privilege to be able to focus the full resources of the company in response to customer need and opportunity.  Mr. Browning has been actively involved in the real estate industry for almost 30 years. During his career, he has had involvement in all aspects of brokerage, property management, investments as well as development.  Mr. Browning joined CBRE, Inc. in 1978. He was a successful office building specialist in Chicago prior to directing the Cleveland operation in 1987.

    Mr. Browning is an industry leader. His efforts have been recognized with the following appointments:

    Two-time President of the Rotary Club of Cleveland; Centennial President and Past President in 2006

    President, Cleveland Area Board of Realtors 1996

    Chairman, Ohio Association of Realtors Commercial Council 1998

    President, Northern Ohio Chapter of NAIOP 1999

    In addition to his leadership in numerous industry and civic organizations, he is a member of the Real Estate Advisory Board of the Downtown Cleveland Alliance, and a member of Leadership Cleveland. He has also been a recipient of Crain's Cleveland Business "40 under 40". 


    Tom Flynn, Senior Vice President of Retail Services  |  CBRE

    Tom Flynn is a Senior Vice President of Retail Services for CBRE. With 20 years of commercial real estate experience, Tom’s vast real estate knowledge has positioned him to be a respected leader in the industry. His primary emphasis is representing big-box retail tenants in which Tom provides extensive trade area analysis, site selection, contract negotiations, and manages the entitlement process for his clients. Tom also represents land owners with the disposition of land sites. His geographic scope includes Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Western Pennsylvania.

    Tom’s commercial real estate career began with CBRE in 1994 when he joined the research department in Cleveland. In 1997 he moved into retail brokerage focusing on tenant representation and site acquisition. Mr. Flynn left CBRE and founded Redstone Real Estate Advisors (Redstone) in 2002. Redstone quickly became the foremost big-box tenant representation and land experts in the eastern Midwest. Tom returned to CBRE in 2008 after CBRE acquired Redstone. Since then, Tom oversees the Northeast Ohio retail team in terms of business development and insight.

    Tim Elam, Development Executive  |  Scannell Properties

    As a managing director, Tim Elam is responsible for the management and administration of Scannell Properties' Corporate Service accounts throughout the United States. His involvement includes the entire development process including land acquisition, due diligence, entitlements, lease negotiations, construction, and client services. He has completed over 40 build-to-suits in Industrial, Office and Retail totaling over 5 million square feet. His primary accounts are FedEx, American Tire Distributors, DuPont-Pioneer, and others. Tim has been with Scannell for 10 years. Tim leverages his experience and education in finance, engineering and construction management to continually provide outstanding service to Scannell's clients. In 2011, Tim opened Scannell's Minneapolis office. The office currently has four employees and focuses on local and national development opportunities. Tim is a graduate of Purdue University's Krannert School of Management where he obtained a master's in business administration. He has also obtained his master's in construction engineering and management from Purdue University and a bachelor's in civil engineering from Michigan Technological University.

    Samuel DeShazior, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development  |  City of Akron

    Samuel DeShazior was Senior Director of Business Development with the Greater Akron Chamber and managed an economic development team working on projects ranging from industrial business expansions to international joint venture.

    During his years with the Chamber, DeShazior was instrumental in coordinating economic development and urban planning initiatives throughout the region.

    For many years now, the City of Akron has taken part in trade shows in Germany to help attract business from Europe to Northeastern Ohio. Sam DeShazior served as chair of the Kunstoff Fair in Düsseldorf in 2004 and developed marketing strategies for the Hanover Trade Show in 2005.

    DeShazior chaired the State of Ohio's marketing effort at the National Plastics Exposition in Chicago and the Society of Automotive Engineering's World Congress in Detroit. He served as vice president and chairman of the statewide marketing committee for the Ohio Economic Development Council (now Team Ohio); Ohio's privately funded economic development marketing organization.

    Sam earned a BA in public relations/marketing from Clark College (now Clark Atlanta University) and an MA in urban planning/urban economics from the University of Akron. He is also a graduate of the Economic Development Institute of the University of Oklahoma.

    Sam DeShazior lives in Akron with his wife. They have two children, a daughter in-law and one grandchild.

    Peter Volas, Senior Director, Real Estate Department  |  Cleveland Clinic

    Mr. Volas currently serves as a Senior Director at Cleveland Clinic.  In this capacity, his department spearheads the efforts of a diverse real estate portfolio that is approximately 37.0 million sq. ft. in three states, Abu Dhabi, Toronto and London.  The health system has tripled in size during his 18-year tenure.  His primary responsibilities include transaction management, portfolio information systems, and advisory services.  Other professional experience includes various leadership positions with Jones Lang LaSalle, Deloitte, Cleveland Real Estate Partners, and a Pittsburgh-based architecture firm.  Mr. Volas remains involved with a number of civic, professional organizations and ventures including the past Co-Chairman for BOMA International’s Medical Office Buildings and Healthcare Facilities Conference, Vice Chair for Urban Land Institute’s Healthcare and Life Sciences Council, Editorial Advisory Board for Healthcare Real Estate Insights, and City of North Canton’s Planning Commission and Community Improvement Corporation.  He holds a Master of Business Administration from Duquesne University and is a graduate of the School of Architecture from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

    David Frank, CEO / Co-Founder  |  DealPoint Merrill

    David Frank, CEO and co-founder of DealPoint Merrill started his career in real estate development after attending law school. Over the last 30 years Mr. Frank co-founded The Merrill Companies, and subsequently NewMark Merrill Companies, both privately held development, management, and leasing firms in Southern California. NewMark Merrill Companies acquired over 5 million square feet of retail shopping centers and development projects. The Company was ranked “Top 10 Property and development Firms” in the Los Angeles area by the LA Business Journal. Mr. Frank began to handle bankruptcy matters since 1982 and business reorganization as a Court Appointed Receiver; worked with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation with over 75 public or institutional clients, and appointed to over 400 cases. By working with banks and lending institutions nationwide on their default loan portfolios, Mr. Frank’s expertise had enabled the Company to diversify its management portfolio. Mr. Frank’s background in real estate development, law, brokerage, construction, asset and property management, positioned his Company to become one of the largest Federal and State Court Appointed Receivers in the nation for receivership and property management distressed portfolios. Continuing his retail, commercial, and multifamily development in program, DealPoint Merrill is a national sponsor of real estate development, asset and property management of commercial, retail, and multifamily units. Mr. Frank has been a member of ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) since 1985 and continues to support philanthropic organizations.

    Akron Cleveland Association of REALTORS is providing CE credits for brokers through this event.







    $40.00 Member Ticket
    $30.00 Earlybird rate before March 14

    $55.00 Non-Member Ticket
    $45.00 Earlybird rate before March 14

    $300.00 Sponsor Ticket (2 Seats)