Contact Us

Meet The People Behind JLL's Young Guns


Last week, we profiled three emerging leader programs that are grooming the next generation of real estate pros and working to make the commercial real estate industry more diverse. Today we want to feature another program that's encouraging newbies to reach for the stars: JLL's Young Guns.

The program—its motto is “Excellence Through Education”—began 10 years ago when JLL Midwest brokerage COO JD Cimo (right, with Young Guns' newly elected president, industrial senior associate Michael Connor) decided to take the reins as a way to identify, develop and retain the best real estate pros. Since then, the Midwest chapter has grown from 10 members to 139 real estate professionals from across all of JLL’s business units and all its offices across the country. JD says the program helps members better understand JLL’s corporate structure and its myriad departments. It allows young employees to get to know each other and better serve the firm’s clients.


Michael says members are split into 10 groups of 13 members; each group is responsible for coming up with a catchy name, selecting chairs for specific committees and developing its own programs at monthly meetings. Michael says members of Second City were invited to one meeting to help Young Guns develop their presentation skills and elevator pitches. The Young Guns also give back to the community through charity events and volunteer work like partnering with the Alliance for the Great Lakes last year to clean beaches along the lakefront (pictured).

Michael says he was first drawn to the Young Guns program as the youngest member of JLL’s industrial team in Rosemont. Young Guns offers the opportunity to regularly socialize with co-workers in his age group and swap career stories. Now he has a ton of workmates he can grab lunch or chat with. The program also allows Michael to feel more comfortable with senior execs.