The Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate

Producing Real Estate Leaders Since 1958

As the first program of its kind in the California State University System, San Diego State University has a rich history and legacy of excellence in real estate education. The Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate offers a comprehensive academic experience, preparing students to become future leaders in the real estate industry. Committed to fostering critical and innovative research for the real estate community, the center provides students with valuable opportunities to engage with industry professionals and participate in supplemental education sessions such as Excel modeling, CoStar, and Argus training. By choosing San Diego State University's real estate program, students are investing in their future and seizing the opportunity to become part of a legacy of excellence.

Our Mission

  • ENHANCE the academic experience of students interested in real estate.
  • DEVELOP critical and innovative research for the real estate community.
  • PRODUCE Day 1 ready graduates and real estate leaders.

The vision of the founders is to make SDSU a center of real estate excellence.

Preparing Students to be Ready on Day 1

The Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate, in collaboration with The Real Estate Society of SDSU and working real estate professionals in San Diego County, has created an exceptional opportunity for our students: the Day 1 program. Featuring a series of workshops, seminars, and boot camps, the program is designed to equip students with the essential skills and knowledge needed to launch a successful career in real estate from their very first day.



Abbie Hawkins, '15, Business Administration and Real Estate

Alumni Testimonials

"I am truly grateful for the opportunities and mentorship I received in the Fowler College of Business at San Diego State University through The Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate. It was an exceptional experience. This was largely due to the outstanding professors who not only imparted invaluable knowledge, but also actively facilitated connections with real estate industry professionals. Their support and guidance were instrumental in helping me forge a path towards career success in real estate development."

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About Us

  • The Corky McMillin Companies
  • H.G. Fenton Company
  • Cornerstone Communities
  • Cushman & Wakefield
 
Mark McMillin

Mark McMillin

The Corky McMillin Companies

President and CEO of The Corky McMillin Companies, Mark McMillin joined the McMillin organization in 1979. The Corky McMillin Companies was founded by his late father Corky McMillin in 1960 and is now headed by Mark and his brother Scott McMillin, Chairman of the Board. Mark is one of five people on McMillin’s Executive Committee, which guides the strategic planning for all entities within the McMillin organization. Mark specifically oversees land acquisition and development, home building, sales and marketing, and customer service.

Scott Brusseau
Board Chair

Scott Brusseau

Newport National Corporation

You don't think of Orange County, California as being a rural area, but it was in July of 1964 when F.M. "Bruce" Brusseau moved his family of five children from Fargo, North Dakota to Newport Beach. At the time, he was the top sales rep for IBM when he accepted an offer to be the new sales manager at the newly opened Anaheim and Long Beach office. "My dad dreamed of living near the beach in California and away from the extremely hard farm life he grew up with," said Scott Brusseau ('82, finance/real estate).

Within the decade, Bruce Brusseau left IBM to embark on another passion that would eventually become the family business – commercial real estate. He founded Newport National in 1973 and incorporated the business in 1975.

Since his father has always been a mentor to him, Scott decided to follow him into the commercial real estate business. He chose to pursue a degree in real estate from San Diego State because "SDSU had a great real estate program within the finance department at the business school," said Scott. "Graduating from SDSU was important to me since I wanted to live and work in San Diego so I wanted to start building relationships with other future leaders at SDSU."

Scott joined Newport National Corporation in 1984 and he became president of the company in 1990 when his father stepped down from actively managing the company due to health issues.

In 1986, Scott moved the company to Carlsbad, California. After restructuring itself through an Umbrella Partnership Real Estate Investment Trust transaction with Prentiss Properties Trust in 1998, the principles were able to reignite Newport National to focus exclusively on the local market once again.

Today, Scott still heads Newport National Corporation with his brother, Jeff Brusseau, who serves as the company's senior vice president. The company specializes in the acquisition, development and management of commercial property in Southern California. At this writing, they have developed more than five million square feet of property and retain approximately 700,000 feet in their portfolio.

Scott's advice to today's SDSU real estate students is get involved in the industry early and learn as much about the industry as possible. "Wise is the man who learns from his experiences," he said, "but wiser yet is the man that learns from the experiences of others." However, the most important thing to being successful, said Scott, is "just being nice. It is nice to be important, but it is more important to be nice."

Aldon Cole

Aldon Cole

JLL Capital Markets

Aldon is a Senior Managing Director and Head of the San Diego office of JLL Capital Markets, Americas. Aldon is also part of the National Leadership Team. He joined JLL as part of the HFF acquisition and has more than 20 years of experience in commercial finance. He is primarily responsible for originating debt and equity transactions throughout the Western United States and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the firm’s San Diego office. Aldon has originated more than $10.9 billion in transactions over the course of his career.

Prior to HFF, Aldon was a principal at Shoreline Capital, where he was responsible for overseeing deal origination, credit and lender relationships. He began his career in finance with First Sierra Financial, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Express [NYSE: AMEX], where he held positions as a Senior Account Executive and Team Leader.

Eric Bergstrom

Eric Bergstrom

Bergstrom Capital Advisors, Inc.

Chief Executive Officer/President of Bergstrom Capital Advisors, Inc. ("BCA") and Chief Investment Officer of Dakota Investments, LLC ("Dakota"), located in Newport Coast, California.

Eric formed BCA and Dakota in 2001, after 13 years as a CPA and a founder of Ernst & Young-Kenneth Leventhal & Co.’s Real Estate Capital Markets Group (“EYKL”), where he led all real estate capital market assignments in the western United States, including the largest private institutional equity placement in the firm’s history.

BCA is a discrete real estate capital markets and strategic advisory firm that provides
professional and highly responsive capital market execution for real estate owners, high net worth individuals/families, and developers in all commercial (e.g., office, industrial, retail, multifamily, self-storage, and hospitality), single family residential, and resort land uses.

In addition to the United States, BCA has executed assignments in Canada (British Columbia and Alberta), Mexico (Baja California Sur and Sinaloa), and Costa Rica, since 2005.

BCA’s unique combination of 36 consecutive years of dedicated real estate experience and technical skills are what differentiates us from brokerage firms, specifically:

1) Established track record of delivering technical expertise in real estate capital markets, strategy, and financial/accounting to the exacting standards of clients and partners of Ernst & Young-Kenneth Leventhal & Co. for 13 years has allowed BCA to independently exceed our clients' expectations for the past 23 years.

2) Thirty-six consecutive years of dedicated real estate experience throughout multiple economic cycles allows us to provide our clients with unmatched perspective and insights.

3) Capital market and strategic advisory assignments executed for all real estate product types.

4) Experience with numerous complex, confidential, and time sensitive assignments (e.g., acquisitions, developments, recapitalizations, dispositions, etc.).

5) Direct and long standing relationships with capital sources and real estate professionals throughout North America, allows us immediate access to decision-makers.

6) A single point of contact providing this experience to our valued clients.

Dakota is a wholly-owned private equity investment entity that makes direct real estate acquisitions, joint venture and preferred equity investments, and provides credit enhancements on its own account and in conjunction with other high net worth individuals/family offices.

Fred Pierce

Fred Pierce

Pierce Education Properties, LP

Jumping off a figurative cliff without a safety net is not easy. While there is huge risk, there may be huge rewards.

Certainly, this was true of the Pilgrims when they boarded the Mayflower for the new world. And it was also true of one of the descendants of those early settlers, Frederick W. Pierce IV ('84, finance, '88 M.B.A.), over three centuries later when he made the decision to quit his job and start a new company with only the promise of a 90-day consulting job and not much more.

In the end, the Pilgrims risky decision to settle in the New World brought freedom and prosperity to many in the generations that followed, including Pierce. He took a chance and began his company, Pierce Education Properties (PEP) based solely on the short-term contract offered by the San Diego State University Foundation to prepare a redevelopment implementation plan for land around the university.

It all started when Pierce met with the Foundation in 1995 after two large local developers had failed to initiate the project. They told him that if, after the 90 days, his plan was approved, they would consider hiring him to implement it. "I knew since college that I wanted to be a principal in the real estate business and this seemed like my big break," said Pierce. "Despite the fact that the contract was for a rate at one-third my salary, there were no guarantees of a follow-on assignment, and I only had about $10,000 in savings, I decided the opportunity was too good to pass up."

The gamble paid off, Pierce was awarded the development contract, thus launching PEP, now a $275 million company with properties owned and managed at universities throughout the U.S. including Arizona State University, University of Oklahoma and Michigan State University. PEP is known at SDSU for the development of the student apartment complex, Piedra del Sol and Fraternity Row.

Pierce says he has SDSU to thank for helping him to make good business decisions. "SDSU taught me sound business fundamentals in many key disciplines and I have used that practical knowledge continuously throughout my career," he said.

While the business skills Pierce learned at SDSU have served him well in his career, he has also served the university where, for the past 25 years, he volunteers for many of SDSU's foundations and boards. He was also a member of the California State University (CSU) Board of Trustees for six years and serves as the vice chairman for the College of Business' Board of Directors. "Volunteer service to SDSU and the CSU has been a passion of mine for a very long time," he said. "Volunteer leaders can make a tremendous difference in assisting the university with its educational mission and the university needs and welcomes our help." Pierce was rewarded for his service when he was recognized in 1999 with the Monty Award, which is SDSU's highest alumni honor.

Pierce has also been recognized for his work in the community and his outstanding business skills having been recently named as San Diego's 2012 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in th Real Estate and Construction category. As a savvy businessman and active alumnus, Pierce encourages today's SDSU students to stay connected after they graduate. "I have developed a tremendous network of friends and business colleagues through my support for SDSU and I would recommend that current students should stay connected to the university and to classmates after graduation," he advised. "SDSU will keep on adding value to your life if you stay connected and let it!"

Jason Moyal

Jason Moyal

Max Benjamin Partners

Jason is a Managing Director at Max Benjamin Partners (MBP), where he is responsible for client and partner management and origination. Specializing in bridge and construction lending, Jason has originated more than $500mm in real estate loans in 6 years.  Before arriving at MBP, Jason spent time at an accelerator, where he was consulting, implementing, and executing go-to-market strategies for foreign companies looking to enter the US market.

Previously, Jason was a top performing Private Banker in wealth management and lending, working with High-Net-Worth Individuals and businesses and receiving numerous performance awards. Integrity is of utmost importance to Jason as he takes complete ownership of all tasks undertaken and is always looking to do the right thing for his clients.

Jason received a Bachelor of Science from San Diego State University in International Business/Finance/French, and a Minor in Political Science; as well as ESSEC Business School. During his free time, Jason is an avid beach volleyball player, traveler, and family man.

Jeff Morris

Jeff Morris

Morris Development

Jeff has over 30 years of real estate investment and development experience including both commercial and residential. As our Managing Partner, Jeff evaluates all new real estate investment opportunities, approves the underwriting of all acquisitions and heads our commercial real estate division. He ensures our company stays current with market trends.

MDI West is a privately owned real estate investment, development and asset management company specializing in distressed commercial & residential properties.


We form strategic partnerships with real estate brokers, agents and investors. Our unique profit-sharing model allows our partners to participate in high-yield property investment opportunities.

Mark McDonald

Mark McDonald

First American Title National Commercial Services

Mark McDonald, Assistant Vice President for First American Title Company, has been a part of the Southwest Region National Commercial Services Division since 2002. He has been based out of the San Diego Region for the majority of his career. Mark’s background in the commercial real estate industry encompasses several different roles. Beginning with First American Title in 1996 as a, customer service representative, promoting to various positions over the span of his career into his current role. He has been involved in a broad spectrum of commercial transactions including, retail, industrial, medical, education, land assemblage, multifamily projects, and large portfolio transactions. Mark’s extensive experience in commercial real estate brings value to his clients by being able to be more than a title person, but a true advocate for his customers. Because of his title, mapping and sales background he has the opportunity to help clients from a unique perspective and provide tremendous customer service value to their transactions. He supports both regional and national business across the United States.

Mark earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics at San Diego State University in 1996. Mark is a proud member of CCIM, NAIOP, SDCAR, ULI, ICSC and SDCRE. He supports numerous community and charitable events in the San Diego region, East County Rec Counsel, Operation Hope, SDSU Foundation, Monarch Schools and AYSO.

Mark Selman

Mark Selman

Brixton Capital

As Senior Vice President of Portfolio Management at VEREIT, Inc. I am responsible for portfolio planning and re-positioning as well as yield maintenance for a $25 billion national real estate portfolio of more than 5,000 properties. Key accomplishments for the portfolio include overseeing lease extensions and lease restructures for more than 3 million square feet of space as well as leading the teams for the marketing and sales of a $3.5 billion retail REIT, a $2.0 billion portfolio of shopping centers and a $3.0 billion office and industrial REIT.

Pasha Johnson

Pasha Johnson

Pacific Southwest Realty Services

Pasha Johnson is a Principal & Co-Founder at Steel Peak, a Southern California based real estate investment firm that specializes in unlocking value in industrial outdoor storage (IOS) properties.

Pasha Johnson draws on his experience as a Principal in the PSRS San Diego office where he was involved with the capitalization of commercial real estate acquisitions, construction, and refinances. Pasha's lender relationships span insurance companies, CMBS, agencies, regional and national banks, debt funds, and other specialty lenders.

To supplement his bachelor’s in International Business, Finance from San Diego State University, Mr. Johnson earned his certificate in Real Estate Finance, Investments, and Development from the University of San Diego. Pasha currently sits on the ULI San Diego Board, the San Diego State University Corky McMillan Center for Real Estate Advisory Board, the University of San Diego’s Burnham Moore’s Center Real Estate Alumni Committee and is a current advocate of the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA). Mr. Johnson is a 2018 graduate of the Chamber of Commerce’s LEAD IMPACT program as well as a licensed real estate broker through the California Department of Real Estate. 

Pat Geary

Pat Geary

CEG Capital Partners

Pat is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of CEG Capital Partners, and also serves as President and CEO of CEG Advisors and CEG Management. CEG is a commercial real estate investment, operating and service company focused on the private capital/middle market space in San Diego, sourcing and operating commercial real estate opportunities in the retail, industrial and office sectors.

Pat focuses on sourcing, operating and managing investment opportunities, oversees asset management, construction management and brokerage services for the company.

Pat received his Bachelor of Science in Finance with an Emphasis in Real Estate from San Diego State University. As Co-Founder of The Real Estate Society of SDSU, Pat continues his involvement as an Advisory Board Member of The Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate. Additionally, Pat is an active member and sponsor of the San Diego Chapter of NAIOP and serves on the Business Development Committee for The College Area Business District.

Paul Kerr

Paul Kerr

Davlyn Investments

All acquisition, underwriting and capital market functions for Davlyn Investments are headed by Paul Kerr. Since his association with the firm in January 1998, Mr. Kerr has identified, underwritten, secured lending and placed equity for the acquisition of over 8,600 apartment units at a total consideration of $1.9 billion.

Prior to joining Davlyn, Mr. Kerr was an Acquisitions Officer with Fairfield Residential, one of the nation’s largest developers of multifamily communities. During his tenure with the firm, Mr. Kerr was responsible for identifying, underwriting and closing on the acquisition of over 1,200 units. 

Prior to joining Fairfield, Mr. Kerr was engaged for over seven years as a commercial real estate appraiser with the Andrew A. Smith Company. Mr. Kerr was responsible for the generation of narrative appraisal reports and valuations for a wide variety of multifamily, office, industrial, retail and single-family subdivision projects.

Mr. Kerr holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics with a Minor in Real Estate from San Diego State University. He is a licensed California Real Estate Broker and was formerly a licensed California General Commercial Appraiser. In addition, Mr. Kerr serves on the Board of Directors for the National Multi Housing Council in Washington, D.C.

Robert Grant

Robert Grant

DJM Capital

Rob is a Senior Vice President of Investments at DJM Capital Partners. Rob is responsible for all investment, capital markets and asset management functions across DJM’s $2 Billion portfolio of retail and mixed use assets in California.

Prior to DJM, Rob served as a Vice President of Finance at Brookfield Properties. In this role, Rob was responsible for strategy and execution of asset-level financing and joint venture equity transactions across Brookfield’s mixed use development business in North America. Over his time at Brookfield, Rob completed approximately $3 Billion of capital markets transactions.

Prior to joining Brookfield Properties in 2018, Rob was Director of Capital Markets for OliverMcMillan, a San Diego based Mixed Use development firm, where he was a member of the firm’s executive team and led the efforts to sell OliverMcMillan to Brookfield.

Rob received a Bachelor of Business Administration from San Diego State University. He lives in San Diego with his wife and three children, Jude (8), Lila (7) and Ellis (4) and their Vizsla Westley. In his free time Rob enjoys surfing, road biking, golf and music.

Ryan Kennedy

Ryan Kennedy

KPMG LLP

Ryan is an audit partner at KPMG LLP where he is responsible for providing professional audit services to numerous real estate companies. Ryan joined KPMG in 2004 in the San Diego Office and was admitted to the partnership in 2016.  His experience ranges from SEC filings and registration statements, to private real estate companies and stand-alone financial statements. Ryan has a thorough understanding of U.S. GAAP and fair value reporting requirements and has been involved in numerous real estate portfolio acquisition and disposition transactions, real estate joint ventures, and debt and equity offerings.

KPMG's Real Estate practice is one of the largest and the strongest, full-service practices among the top professional service providers. KPMG’s real estate professionals help real estate companies meet challenges throughout the investment life cycle, bringing global experience to help identify opportunities, assess value, and navigate tax laws and regulations in jurisdictions around the world. In addition, KPMG serves as a trusted service provider in structuring and auditing, advising on portfolio issues, performing due diligence and risk management, adapting to regulatory change, and offering the skill sets needed to leverage future opportunities and lead in today’s marketplace.

Ryan received his bachelors of science in business administration, emphasis in accounting from San Diego State University in 2004.  As student at SDSU, Ryan was heavily involved on campus including roles as President of the Student Accounting Society, member of Beta Alpha Psi, and representative on the Associated Student Business Council.  Since graduating from SDSU, Ryan has continued his involvement with the university through his role as the partner in charge of campus recruiting for KPMG San Diego, and as an SDSU Alumni Association – Lifetime Member.

Scott McClave

Scott McClave

The Bascom Group, LLC

Mr. McClave serves in the transactions division of the Bascom Group, LLC, a private equity firm focused on multifamily investment.  His responsibilities include sourcing potential acquisitions, underwriting, due diligence, debt and equity financing, loan restructures, broker selection, and property disposition. He has personally managed the acquisition, financing, restructure, and disposition of over 13,000 units of apartments totaling in excess of $1.25 billion.

Prior to joining Bascom, Mr. McClave served as Development Manager for Chenco Holding Company where he was involved in land development and the planning, pre-development, or development of over 500,000 square feet of flex office and industrial product.  Mr. McClave holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Design from San Diego State University and a Master of Business Administration in Real Estate and Finance from the National University. He is a licensed California real estate broker and a Certified Commercial Investment Member.  Mr. McClave currently serves on the California Apartment Association’s Legislative Policy Subcommittee, as well as the Advisory Board for the Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate at San Diego State and has appeared as a frequent speaker, panelist, and lecturer at various industry and university functions.

Vincent Punzi

Vincent Punzi

Berkadia

As Senior Director of Mortgage Banking based out of Irvine, CA, Vincent Punzi focuses on debt financing for the acquisition and refinance of commercial properties nationwide. During his 12-plus years in commercial real estate, he has held a number of decision-making roles in the industry, ranging from real estate and distressed debt acquisition to origination of Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, FHA, balance sheet, bridge and life company loans. Throughout his career, he has acquired and financed more than $2 billion in commercial real estate.

Prior to joining Berkadia, Mr. Punzi was Senior Director at Capital One where he originated Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, FHA, and bridge and balance sheet loans. Prior to joining Capital One, he held an acquisition role at Sabal Financial and successfully assisted in the execution of $1 billion of distressed real estate, secured loans and OREOs. He also was involved in launching the Freddie Mac SBL and balance sheet program in 2014 and originating loans nationwide.

 

Abbie Hawkins
The Michaels Organization

Anthony Andaya
Coldwell Banker

Bharat Madan
JLL Capital Markets

Byron Fisher
Pierce Education Properties, LP

Cody Zindroski
Irvine Company

David Smith
El Dorado Properties, Inc.

Ian Bradley
Newmark

Jeffrey Crocker
Kidder Mathews

Karla Rosillo
Xpert Home Lending Inc.

Nick Zalkow
Square One Development Corporation

Sean Bascom
South Coast Commercial, Inc.

Shayan Rajabi
Avant Development

Spencer Kerrigan
Voit Commercial

Contact Information

The Corky McMillin Center for Real Estate

San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182
Campus Location: SSE 3356

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