A Conversation with the President | Thor Emblem, GSH Group
Friday, February 24, 2023
by: Thor Emblem, GSH Group & Rachel Willis, Pacific Rim Mechanical

Section: President's Message

We’re well into the first quarter of 2023 – so now is a good time to connect with our BOMA San Diego President, Thor Emblem! We are eager to hear his outlook for 2023, catch up on some 2022 successes, and see if he has any Oscar predictions.


BOMA San Diego: In 2022 our chapter launched some new committees. How are those going?

Thor: Yes, we launched our Life Science Committee; Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Subcommittee; and our Communications Committee increased its reach by providing video content.  


Life Science held its first seminar in Q4 last year and has an exciting series of three seminars planned for this year.  This committee will also be programing our August luncheon, which will include a discussion on the conversion of office space to lab space.  It is a very timely topic with what is happening in San Diego right now and you won’t want to miss it.  


DEI also held their first seminar late last year and has more in the works for 2023.  It is important for our chapter and our industry that we actively work to open opportunities to underrepresented communities. 


All of the feedback on the new video content has been very positive.  We have some very talented creators in BOMA SD and it shows.  It is essential that we publish information to our members in formats that are relevant to them.


BOMA San Diego: Rumor has it the chapter has a few more changes in the works for 2023! Can you share a bit more about that?

Thor: We are continuing to evolve as a chapter in order to better serve the needs of our membership and one of the biggest needs is finding new talent.  As such, we have revived our college outreach program and established a permanent subcommittee to ensure that our efforts are sustained.  We had our first committee meeting in February and are already scheduled to attend our first job fair at USD.  There are real estate programs at USD, SDSU and UCSD and we are engaging the program heads so that we can get in front of students to tell them more about the exciting career opportunities in commercial real estate.  In late 2022, the board voted to offer ten student member scholarships and we already have our first applicant.  We are hoping to award all of these scholarships this year and identify the next generation of property managers.  


We are also in the process of evaluating the development of a BOMA SD app.  Again, it is essential that we reach our membership in ways that are relevant.  


BOMA San Diego: Anything else in the works?

Thor: Yes, we are working with BOMA International and BOMI to set up our luncheon programs and seminars to count towards Continuing Education Credits.  This will help our members maintain their designations and make each program more valuable.

And we are looking to create a subcommittee that focuses on industrial properties. We know that the life science segment is strong but the outlook for the industrial segment is very strong too.


BOMA San Diego: How can our chapter members help to support these committees? 

Thor: Members can join one of these committees and attend the upcoming seminars.  We will be looking for some volunteers in the coming months to participate in the college outreach program and in 2023, we will be seeking mentors to pair with students that show interest in our industry.


BOMA San Diego: At the February luncheon, you made mention of the year of the rabbit and how that is considered lucky. Some economic indicators do not make it feel lucky. Do you have any good news to share?
Thor: There is a fair amount of consternation about the economy, but it is not all bad news.  The job market remains strong, and both the life science and industrial segments are projecting solid growth this year. I believe that despite some hurdles we face, we can make 2023 very lucky for us.  This is because luck favors those that work hard and prepare.  As chapter president, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know many of our members, and I know that our members are people that possess those traits.


BOMA San Diego: Anything else to add?

Thor: Yes, if you haven't already, please join a committee. It really is the best way to get the most out of your BOMA membership.


BOMA San Diego:  So, what are your Oscar predictions?

Thor: Oscar predictions are tough, and they (the Academy) never ask me what I think before they make their selection. Rather than give you all my predictions, I can tell you what I like in the best picture category and what I think will win, if that is ok.

BOMA San Diego:  That sounds fair.

Thor: For best picture, I thought that All Quiet on the Western Front was very well done and it was my second favorite movie in this category.  Top Gun: Maverick was my favorite movie.  It was thrilling, predictable, contrived, but I loved it and thought it was a lot of fun.  The movie I think will win is: The Banshees of Inisherin.  It is an interesting metaphor for the Irish civil war but it is slow and not what you would consider a fun movie. But it is shot beautifully and if you know the history of the Irish civil war, it will even make some sense to you.  This is the kind of artsy film the academy loves to choose.


Thank you for your insights on 2023, BOMA San Diego and the Best Picture category. But mostly, thank you for your leadership, Thor! 


Article by: Thor Emblem, GSH Group & Rachel Willis, Pacific Rim Mechanical