August 2012

David Petersen: Reaching the heights of his profession

As seen in RE journals
David Petersen
Chief Executive Officer
NAI Hiffman

It didn’t take Dave Petersen long to earn the position of chief executive officer at Chicago’s NAI Hiffman; Petersen took over this spot before he reached his five-year anniversary at the brokerage.

And that is the sign of someone who has earned plenty of respect in the commercial real estate industry.

Hiffman took over his new position from Dennis Hiffman, who had served as both chairman and chief executive officer of NAI Hiffman since founding the company in 2000. It’s not easy to follow the company’s founder. But Hiffman himself has said that Petersen is the right person to tackle this challenge.

“David was a natural choice because of his strong execution skills, proven ability to lead and the trust level he has achieved with all our stakeholders,” Hiffman said in a written statement when Petersen’s promotion was announced. “It became apparent to both the operations leadership and our shareholders that we already had the person aboard who understood our culture and long-term goals.”

Petersen had already earned the trust of senior leadership at Hiffman. The more-than-28-year industry veteran had held the role of chief executive officer of NAI Hiffman’s successful asset management gropu since 2006. In 2008, he assumed the additional role of chief operating officer of NAI Hiffman. It was while holding these roles, that Petersen showcased his leadership skills and his ability to craft innovative solutions to challenges.

Thanks in large part to Petersen’s skills, NAI Hiffman has grown dramatically in recent years. Crain’s Chicago Business ranks the brokerage as the largest property management company in the Chicago market.

Before coming to NAI Hiffman, Petersen held positions with such big industry names as the Trammell Crow Company, Insignia/ESG and the Vantage Companies.

outside of the industry, he doesn’t hesitate to volunteer his time. He serves on the boards for Covenant Harbor Foundation, North Park University School of Business Advisory and the Martin Avenue Retirement Village.

“Dave’s open-door style of leadership has won the respect of our employees, customers, shareholders and the real estate community at large,” said Michael Flynn, managing director of the office division of NAI Hiffman, in a written statement when Petersen was hired to his new position. “NAI Hiffman operates daily with complete recognition that without the clients’ best interests being served, we would not exist. Dave fully understands and fosters this attitude among our employees.”

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