ULI OCIE Announces New Chair: Aram Chahbazian of TCA Architects
Learn more about Aram Chahbazian our new 2023-2024 District Council Chair!
May 18, 2023
Attendees of the ULI YLG/NEXT Council joint program “Building Success: Inspiring Stories of Entrepreneurs in the Building Industry” affirmed it as a complete success. The two panels were comprised of entrepreneurs from varied backgrounds which provided the audience with an enjoyable range of perspectives and stories.
The Emerging Businesses Panel comprised of Taylor Ashton of ASHTON 3 and Puneet Comar of X Engineering, and was moderated by Danielle Foley of PDB Collaborative. Taylor and Puneet conveyed the excitement and apprehension of taking the leap from a stable job and paycheck into the unknown of living their dreams as business owners. The two panelists shared stories, often sprinkled with jokes and jests towards one another, of how they grappled with making their first payroll, the perseverance needed to find opportunities and turn a potential deal from a “no” to a “yes”, and how surrounding themselves with competent partners can make the difference between failure and success. Taylor highlighted how a tightknit family business’s nimbleness allows him to make deals that larger, formulaic companies don’t even think to seek out. Looking towards the future Puneet expressed that he is guarded against growth at a pace that will erode the culture of exceptional client service that sets him apart from competitors.
Oscar Uranga of IMG Construction Management moderated the Established Businesses Panel of Toni Alexander of InterCommunications, and Jerry Fink of Bascom Group. The audience was given a peak behind the curtain on how Toni’s and Jerry’s companies were established, and are being managed today, and their visions of their companies when they’ve moved on. They packed their time with the microphones with stories of how they started out small and built on the lessons learned, the power of a network like ULI, and how to adapt to the market and their clients. Toni shared her perspective and struggles as the industry, and ULI evolved from a group of old, white, males to a more diverse composition of people and the benefits that have brought. Jerry disclosed the details of his first deal, where he financed the renovation of a single-family home in Santa Ana, that was redlined from bank financing, with money from college friends and credit cards, and how that molded this company’s entrepreneurial philosophy today.
All in attendance expressed how valuable it was to hear from both perspectives, as emerging businesses face different challenges than established ones. The candidness with which all the panelists and moderators spoke about their businesses and life experiences made this unique program a memorable evening.
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