ACREcom20: Building the Future

The Alabama Center for Real Estate (ACRE) is pleased to announce that the 20th annual commercial real estate conference and expo, ACREcom, will be held on Friday, February 7, 2020, at The Club in Birmingham. The 2020 conference theme is “Building the Future.” 1999 brought Y2K concerns. 2009 ushered in the Great Recession.  And 2019 reintroduced us to the impact from tariffs and a trade war not seen since the 1920s.  What followed in 2000 was the biggest housing boom in our history that burst and resulted in a Financial Crisis unlike any since the Great Depression that influenced the next decade.

What is ahead in the third decade of the 21st Century? Are tariffs and a trade war with China behind us?  Can the longest recovery on record run another year and surpass 135 months in 2020? Will Impeachment influence the 2020 elections resulting in a rollback of the benefits to our industry from the 2017 Tax Act?  Will Opportunity Zones survive and thrive? And what is the outlook for the cost and availability of capital to commercial real estate? After all, capital is the fuel for commercial real estate transaction activity.

ACREcom20 will dissect these topics so industry participants from lenders and brokers to developers and investors will be ready for a new decade influenced by the Gig-economy, ESG, Zebras, Adaptive Reuse, Retail e-Volution, and Logistics. Come get prepared for the next decade of disruption and understand which influencers are likely to determine both the direction and performance of commercial real estate.

A distinguished list of seasoned industry speakers is confirmed to present at ACREcom20, including Nick Sellers, CEO of the World Games 2021. Prior to joining The World Games, Sellers was vice president of the Mobile Division of Alabama Power and as the Director of Operations for the Alabama Sports Foundation. The World Games is an Olympic-style sports event featuring 3,600 athletes from more the 100 countries. Athletes will compete in 34 unique, multi-disciplinary sports in 20 unique venues around the Birmingham great metropolitan area from July 15-25, 2021. This event will generate an estimated $256 million in economic impact for the city.

ACRE’s Director of Research and Corporate Engagement KC Conway will present the 20120 CRE and Economic Outlook which will provide attendees with market knowledge to better understand the latest Alabama and national CRE and economic outlooks and market indicators that will impact the CRE industry in the coming year. Conway is a nationally recognized subject matter expert on commercial real estate matters with specialized expertise in valuation, ports & logistics, housing economics, AG land, aging services housing, bank regulation, and real estate finance with a history of accurately forecasting real estate trends and changing market conditions across the U.S.

Conway will also moderate two panels at ACREcom20. The Capital Market Panel is comprised of Alabama real estate capital experts skilled in construction, mini-perm, and permanent real estate finance, including Chad Hagwood of Hunt Real Estate Capital specializing in multifamily finance and access to the GSEs (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac), Steve Clikas of Protective Life who invests for the long term with permanent capital, and Cynthia Stanford from Regions Bank who engages in construction and mini-perm finance.  The Industry CEO Panel will feature the following leaders from distinguished commercial real estate organizations: Greg Fine, CCIM; Tom McCormick, SIOR; Jim Amorin, Appraisal Institute; and, Denise Froemming, IREM.

An exciting addition to the conference this year is the ULI Emerging Trends Panel. Scott McLain of Coldwell Banker Commercial McLain Real Estate will moderate the panel featuring the head of the ULI Emerging Trends project Anita Kramer and the Alabama ULI Chapter Chair Cathy Sloss Jones. The panel will share the latest ULI 2020 Emerging Trends report which utilized a new survey methodology that enables a deeper dive into evolving trends at the state and MSA levels. They will review how Alabama and key metros like Birmingham stack up in this latest report.

Russ Ward will address cybersecurity in commercial real estate. Ward is the Chief Information Security Officer at The University of Alabama in Huntsville and has been engaged in cybersecurity for the last 18 years, including academic, government, corporate and legal domains. He focuses on a holistic security approach including architecture, design, implementation, incident handling/response, forensics, code analysis, web applications testing, auditing and training. Throughout his career Russ has trained college students, law enforcement and DoD personnel, while conducting security operations and research. Russ is currently 1 of 232 people that hold GIAC’s most prestigious certifications, GIAC Security Expert (GSE). In addition, he also holds 12 other profession certifications. He will discuss current cyber threats along with ways to mitigate the risks and protect data.

ACRE’s Director of Education, Marketing and Communications Cherie Moman will discuss how to break through the noise and leverage LinkedIn for your business and career by building a compelling organic presence on the world’s most trusted social media platform. Moman is a self-professed tech geek with a master’s in interactive technology as well as a master’s in marketing with a specialization in digital and social media. She has presented on emerging social media at NAR Tech Edge and regularly instructs technology and marketing classes for the real estate industry.

There will also be an ACREcom networking reception held on Thursday, February 6, 2020 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.

Early bird registration is now open for ACREcom20 on the website at For information about conference sponsorships or registration, contact Cherie Moman at 205.348.3324 or

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