Kate Jordan, SIOR, Principal, Lee & Associates | Maryland, was elected President of NAIOP Maryland at the recent Holiday Luncheon.

Additional officers include Sean Doordan, Executive Vice President, Acquisitions & Growth, St. John Properties, Inc. as President-Elect; Scott Wimbrow, President and Principal, MacKenzie Commercial Real Estate Services, LLC as Vice President; and Christopher Nevin, Regional Manager Investment Real Estate, First National Bank as Treasurer. John Hermann, Vice President, Asset Management/Leasing, COPT Defense Properties is the Immediate Past President. Each will serve a two-year term beginning January 1, 2024.


The new professionals joining the Board of Directors are Matt Laraway, Executive Vice President, Partner, Chesapeake Real Estate Group, and Michael Trail, Chief Investment Officer, MCB Real Estate. The remaining board members include Elizabeth Allison, Leasing, Merritt Properties; William Barroll, Chief Business Officer, COPT Defense Properties; Karen Cherry, Vice President, Leasing Officer, Prologis; Jannine Hayes, Commercial Leasing Representative, Knott Realty Group; Scooter Monroe, Vice President Office Leasing, MAG Partners, Kate Nolan Bryden, Senior Vice President, MRP Industrial; Tom Pilon, Executive Vice President, Development, St. John Properties, Inc.; Michael Tait, Leasing Representative, St. John Properties, Inc.; and Nicole Wilhelm Smith, Director of Business Development, Plano-Coudon Construction.

Kate Jordan elected President of NAIOP Maryland

Danielle Schline, Senior Vice President, Market Officer, Prologis, Inc. and Paul Giulio, Vice President of Development, Hill Management Services, Inc. are retiring from the board at the end of this year.

In addition to the board election, the more than 300 luncheon attendees heard from keynote speaker U.S. Navy Commander Frank “Walleye” Weisser.

Weisser, a decorated U.S. Navy Fighter Pilot and two-time Blue Angels pilot who also served as a stunt pilot for Tom Cruise in Top Gun: Maverick, took attendees on a wild ride as he described behind-the-scenes and harrowing challenges encountered during Blue Angels performances and the filming of the movie. He also mixed in advice from his experiences as a commercial real estate professional in Georgia.

“When people watch the Blue Angels perform, they are only thinking about the six pilots in the air while, in reality, we have an entire, yet unseen, team behind us,” Weisser explained. “That is an important lesson in both real estate and business. To be successful, you cannot do it alone because it takes a team that solves problems and works together.”

Keynote speaker Frank “Walleye” Weisser, U.S. Navy Commander

Traveling at speeds upwards of 700 miles per hour and sometimes only a mere 18 inches separating the Blue Angels pack, Weisser explained that any slight distraction could spell disaster, which is why pilots have less than one second to look down at navigation equipment inside the cockpit. “Focusing on just one thing, in this case safely flying the jet, is what we are trained to do,” he said.

During Top Gun: Maverick, one dramatic scene required Weisser to travel several feet above the ground at high speeds while navigating to the perfect unmarked spot 12 miles away in the desert where the cameras were filming.

“The director and the camera crews didn’t always understand the capabilities of the jet and some of their asks were unreasonable, unsafe or extremely difficult, so it required subtle negotiations to achieve the desired result,” he said. “At one point the director told me he had never been told ‘no’ before.

“After talking things through, we arrived at an agreement that worked for everyone. Just like a successful real estate transaction, the best outcome is when both parties feel like they have won,” he concluded.