Nina J. Gruen
Nina J. Gruen, known to readers
of GlobeSt.com as Ms. Real
Estate and to the wider community as a pioneer in studying the
behavior of real estate users,
owners and developers, passed
away Sept. 15 at age 83 in San
“Store Location and Customer Behavior,” written jointly by
Nina and her husband Claude and published by the Urban
Land Institute in 1966, was the first of more than 80 articles she
wrote or co-wrote applying behavioral analysis to real estate. It
also came at the beginning of a half-century affiliation with ULI,
to which she was elected in 1982 as the first woman to serve on
the institute’s board of trustees.
As EVP of Gruen Gruen + Associates, which she founded
with Claude Gruen in 1970, Gruen specialized in the application of sociological, demographic and other social research
techniques to marketing, planning and public policy problems. She designed and directed a broad variety of studies utilizing these techniques to probe into the attitudes, motivations, preferences and behavior of important groups for both
public and private sector clients.
Gruen used these techniques to help define product and geographic markets for antitrust and land use litigation cases. She
also analyzed the way in which alternative policies are likely to
influence the economic well-being and land use of a community
and region. Her work led municipal clients to adopt public policies and infrastructure programs that revitalized areas in
California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, New Mexico,
Florida, Illinois and Ohio.
Designated an honorary member of ULI in 1997, Gruen was
also past president of the International Women’s Forum–
Northern California affiliate and an active member of the global
organization. In 1984, she was the first woman to be elected
president of the Western Regional Science Association.
Gruen was also a member of Lambda Alpha International, an
honorary land economics society, and Commercial Real Estate
Women/CREW SF. She was a frequent speaker on behalf of
various real estate groups and was cited in the January 1993
cover story of Real Estate Forum as one of the country’s 30
leading women in commercial real estate. Author of the “Ms.
Real Estate” column since 2014, Gruen also served on the REM
editorial advisory board.
Wayne D’Amico, a veteran commercial broker who helped
shape the long-term direction of
the CCIM Institute, died Nov. 4
at his home in Ivoryton, CT at
age 50 after battling cancer.
A past president of the CCIM
Institute, D’Amico began his
career as a commercial broker in
1989 and became a CCIM designate in 1996. He was elected to
the organization’s board of directors in 2002, and became its
president in 2013.
In that capacity, he was an integral part of the CCIM’s Institute’s
negotiations to partner with Xceligent and ESRI. The agreement
announced in the spring of 2014 integrated Xceligent’s
CommercialSearch product into Site To Do Business, the institute’s online mapping and demographics platform. It also
included ESRI’s Business Analyst Online 4.0, a web-based site
evaluation and market analysis system.
“When you have a local CCIM organization, it’s an instant way to
identify people in the industry that you’re not competing com-
pany-to-company with,” D’Amico told Forum in 2013. “You’re able
to get involved with an organization that has education and compe-
tence as a key part of it, not just doing deals. When you can find
people that are like-minded, that’s the incubation of relationship
building. The careers of the people evolve, and then that relation-
ship can pose a new opportunity that you never expected.”
With more than 25 years’ experience providing diversified ser-
vices diversified services in strategic and valuation consulting,
transactional brokerage and creative financing to a national clien-
tele, D’Amico joined Xceligent in May 2016 as EVP of corporate
development and strategic relations. With that position, he fulfilled
a personal dream to work in New York City and, as with the CCIM
Institute, his Xceligent coworkers became like family to him.
A natural-born conversationalist whose sharp mind and quick
wit were evident in his numerous stints as a moderator for the
RealShare Conference Series, Forum’s sister organization,
D’Amico was also a lifelong musician. He collected guitars and
amplifiers, and was always up for a jam session—an after-hours
pursuit that was familiar to D’Amico’s many industry friends.
Robin Webb, the 2017 president of the CCIM Institute, calls
D’Amico “an industry icon” and “great friend” and observes that
“Wayne’s contributions and presence will live on at the Institute
The world of commercial real estate, and Real Estate Media in particular,
lost two key influencers in as many months.