And speaking of NAIOP and the “Best of the Best,” among the more than 50 groups that sponsored the event on Jan. 31, one stood out: The Ray Sandelli Fan Club.
To commemorate Sandelli’s induction into NAIOP’s Hall of Fame for 2018, seems a group of the former CBRE Inc. managing director in Tampa and Florida market leader’s old colleagues got together and decided to buy a sponsorship, and the “fan club” was born.
Sandelli came to CBRE in Tampa to head the firm’s office there in 1995, and six years later was elevated to lead the commercial real estate brokerage company’s sizeable efforts throughout Florida.
In 2012, Sandelli had decided to retire, only to be lured back into the business in Fort Myers by CRE Consultants, a brokerage outfit created by former CBRE agents in Southwest Florida. Sandelli currently works as the company’s managing partner.
The fan club’s NAIOP Silver Sponsorship — along with the likes of Redstone Commercial, Metwest International, Harrod Properties, Colliers International and The Dilweg Cos., to name a few — was more than a token gesture. Participants pooled together $1,500 to have the Sandelli booster group name placed among more traditional sponsors.
CBRE Senior Vice President Bill Obregon, one of the fan club’s organizers, declined to comment on the group’s formation. A company spokeswoman says the creation and a subsequent advertisement in a NAIOP event brochure was “only meant as a fun ad, and not that the fan club actually exists.”
The ad shows a picture of Sandelli in uniform from his days as a U.S. Navy Blue Angel fighter pilot, while another contains a more current photo of Sandelli together with the words “Real Advantage, Recognized.”
Sandelli says that while he knew about the Hall of Fame induction in advance, he was completely taken by surprise by the “fan club” and was unaware of it under contacted by a reporter.
“My family is enjoying immensely,” Sandelli wrote in an email.
From our point of view, if no Sandelli fan club exists, it should. He’s truly a credit to the profession.