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VOL. 129 | NO. 30 | Thursday, February 13, 2014

13th Annual Pinnacle Awards On the Horizon

By Amos Maki

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Planning is well underway for the Memphis Area Association of Realtors Commercial Council’s 13th annual Pinnacle Awards ceremony, an evening dedicated to bringing commercial real estate industry professionals together and honoring them for their accomplishments in the previous year.

The deadline for Commercial Council members to enter the Pinnacle Awards is Feb. 21 at 5 p.m. Winners will be honored at an April 3 ceremony at Memphis Botanic Garden.

Started in 2002, the Pinnacle Awards honor the highest-producing commercial real estate brokers in Memphis for the previous year in a number of divisions, including Brokers of the Year in 13 categories, as well as the Commercial Broker of the Year and the Commercial Hall of Fame inductee.

A supplement announcing the winners will be given out after the ceremony and be featured in the April 4 issues of The Daily News and The Memphis News. The Daily News Publishing Co. Inc., parent company of The Daily News and The Memphis News, is a Pinnacle Awards sponsor.

“It’s a great opportunity to shine a spotlight on members of the commercial real estate community who had an exceptional year in 2013,” said Tony Argiro, leasing representative at Highwoods Properties Inc. and co-chairman of the Pinnacle Awards. “It also gives everyone an opportunity, whether you’re a broker or involved in finance, architecture and design, general contracting, a lot of the industries we touch on, to network.”

The program includes a brief, 20-minute presentation ceremony and has been streamlined to give guests more time to mingle.

“People should see a marked difference in the overall environment and feel of the night,” Argiro said. “It’s less Oscars this year and more Golden Globes.”

The MAAR Commercial Council will again be celebrating the Pinnacle Producers Club, as well as the Pinnacle Producers Club Life Members – those who have been elected to the Top 25 Pinnacle Awards List for any five years.

The top producers will be recognized as Brokers of the Year for their area of production (retail, office, industrial, land and investment).

Five new categories have been added, including “The Grit Grind Broker of the Year” award, which recognizes the brokers with the most sales and leasing transactions, regardless of size or category type. This year’s event also marks the return of the Top 25 honors, which recognizes the overall top 25 producers.

All commercial brokers who hold Commercial Council membership are encouraged to submit an application by the Feb. 21 deadline. Details on the event, including rules and application form, are available at www.maar.org/pinnacleawards.

Applicants must have produced new real estate brokerage business of $2 million or more during 2013. It’s based off of the actual lease value created per broker or the cumulative total of larger sales. For instance, a five-year lease for 10,000 square feet and $20 per foot would yield a lease value of $200,000.

Argiro said at this stage most applicants are busy getting organized and reviewing all of their 2013 transactions, which can number in the dozens.

“It is a lot of work, going back to every single deal and looking at the value of that deal and submitting the information,” he said.

An application fee of $40, which is down from $75, must be submitted with each application. This fee covers the cost of the Pinnacle Awards reception ticket.

Co-chairmen Wyatt Aiken of Cushman & Wakefield/Commercial Advisors (366-6070) and Argiro (683-2444) are available to answer questions related to the application process.

Applications, which must be signed by the principal broker, are confidentially submitted to Buddy Dearman of Dixon Hughes PLLC, 999 S. Shady Grove Road, suite 400, Memphis, TN 38120. A signed PDF may also be emailed to Dearman at buddy.dearman@dhgllp.com.

Argiro said the anonymity involved in the process is a major reason participants feel comfortable submitting detailed production information.

“It’s not information that gets passed around,” said Argiro. “It’s all handled confidentially.”

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