NAI Hiffman COO and director of asset management Dave Petersen is the third in our Top 100 leaders series. (We're moving quickly through these because the other 97 are getting restless in the cage in our office.) Growing up in Iowa, Dave never planned on a big city real estate career.
He took the long way, starting at his father's store, then at his own construction company. Along the way, he's sold two of his own firms and worked for Trammell Crow, Insignia, Podolsky, and Frain,Camin and Swartchild. He joined NAI Hiffman three years ago after Insignia merged with CBRE, saying he liked the company's quick decision-making processes and customer service values.
Dave with Hiffman's Chad Firsel and Julia Sutherland in the firm's downtown office. Hiffman employs 220 people in several third-party service lines, from management to brokerage to investment. Though profits are down about 20% this year (we believe the technical term for that is "impressive, considering"), Dave tells us, over the last 60 days, he feels the company is bouncing along the bottom of the curve. More importantly, he takes pride in the fact that NAI Hiffman hasn't laid anyone off because he says everyone is there for a reason. (Our photographer tried to capture all of those reasons at once, thus explaining the overexposure.