Member Spotlight

Member Spotlight

Member_Spotlight.jpgPhil Starks

Tell me how you first got involved in with CoreNet

Before I was apart of CoreNet or in commercial real estate as a whole, I worked for a nonprofit organization called Our Piece of the pie where I contributed to the success of underserved youth in Hartford, CT. Assisted with employment and job skills, along with managed projects and residential properties the youth worked on. An amazing buddy of mine Michael Byrne who worked for Travelers at the time, referred me to CoreNet and believed this could be an beneficial organization for development and outstanding people. In which he was absolutely correct!


What's your first memory related to CoreNet?

My first memory of CoreNet that comes to mind is walking into the first event and being completely terrified because I did not know anyone. I was welcomed with open arms by the chapter members and I just couldn’t believe how incredible everyone was and it indefinity made me want to be a part of something this special. 


What has surprised you most being a member and in your various roles?

As a member what has surprised me the most is how far CoreNet connections and networks can take you, especially as a young professional in the space who is eager to learn and development. CRE is global industry but at the same time is small and everyone knows one another… weirdly I know haha


What do you find most challenging about CoreNet?

The biggest challenge I find with CoreNet and specifically The Connecticut/Westchester chapter would be retaining and strengthening end user engaged within the organization. In which the chapter continues to produce astonishing programs, so hopeful this will change. 


What do you wish other people knew about CoreNet?

Being someone who was not originally in corporate real estate and learning through CoreNet what CRE actually is and how it differs from residential real estate. The fact that myself and many others had and have no idea that the corporate real estate space exist. I wish more professionals will know and learn about the CRE space because it is very much broad and provides an unlimited amount of opportunities. CoreNet WestChester Chapter has done an phenomenal job with connecting with universities to continue to increase the awareness of the organization and the space. 


Tell me about some of the people you've met while working on CoreNet.

Overall there are many spectacular and brilliant individuals that I have met through CoreNet and continue to meet while being a member of CoreNet so it is really hard to pinpoint just one or two! BUT, with that said two individuals I ALWAYS mention when I discuss my journey through CoreNet are Jordan Haynes and Scott Tibbo. Jordan has completely inspired me to one day be where he is today. I have the opportunity to not only bombard him with questions on a daily basis as he is my boss but also have numerous amounts of sit downs to chat about his experiences and knowledge of the CRE space! Scott Tibbo not only helped me with numerous job opportunities in the past but he also provided me with amazing mentorship and overall friendship. I would not be where I am today without these two individuals!


Tell me about someone who has influenced your decision to work with CoreNet.

I would have to refer to one of my previous answers on this and Michael Bryne would be the person who influenced my decision to be apart of CoreNet. Before joining the chapter or attending events it was Michael who spoke extremely highly of the organization and the members apart of it. Attending events just made it that much easier because he was absolutely correct. 


What might someone be surprised to know about you?

What might someone be surprised about me would be before I started my professional career in the CRE space I was the ranked the 3rd best basketball player in the country and after I graduated college I became a professional basketball player overseas where I played for 2 years in Vilnius, Lithuania.


What would you tell someone who is thinking about joining a local CoreNet chapter?



What do you think will change about our chapter over the next five years?

In the next 5 years I believe our chapters membership, sponsors and engage from end users will exceed expectations and goals set. I strongly believe this because of all of the great committees that are in place and more importantly all of the individuals who are apart of these communities which makes it special. 


What sorts of trends do you see with CoreNet and in the industry?

Sorts of trends that I am starting to see within our industry which I’m sure others are seeing and have seen is that the CRE space is in an uncertain time and companies are optimizing space because of not needing as much space as before. With that said there has been a push for employees to come back into the office and has also been vocalized by the mayor of Hartford, CT Luke Bronin on the importance of the office culture (I.e.,. collaboration and mentorship for younger talent). So we will continue to monitor the industry as the hybrid work space is still here to stay but also what are somethings companies are achieving to enhance the “want” for employees to come back into the office. 


What do you do when you aren't working or volunteering with CoreNet?

When I am not working or volunteering with CoreNet I am studying and completing homework assignments (fun stuff, haha). I am currently completing my Masters in Real Estate Finance from Georgetown University where I graduate next spring. Things I do like to do for fun (when I have the time) are playing golf, basketball and traveling. 


What else can you tell me about your experience with CoreNet?

My experience with CoreNet has been a complete life changing experience and I am truly honored to be a part of such an organization that has individuals that care about your well being and your overall success.