The Surplus Property Roundtable (SPR) was created to provide a small roundtable forum for senior corporate managers to exchange ideas and best practices in managing and disposing surplus industrial properties. Members can gain valuable insights and learn about new disposition strategies that are directly applicable to their efforts to improve this business function within their own companies.
MEMBERS (January 2019)
- Allegheny Technologies
- General Motors
- Imperial Oil
- Ingersoll Rand
- National Grid
- Norfolk Southern
- RACER TRUST
Three standing committees allow for deeper exploration of relevant topics, and provide significant benefit and value to member companies:
- Real Estate & Environmental – focused on the identification of best practices for the disposition and productive re-use of “environmentally-impacted” surplus real estate while optimizing three variables: liability elimination, cost minimization, and the maximum value.
- Education and Outreach – broadening the public’s understanding of challenges and efforts in brownfield dispositions
- Benchmarking – appropriate benchmarking with member companies on relevant topics relating to management and disposition of surplus properties.
SPR started in 2012 when four companies founded the Surplus Property Roundtable. The original founders were Arconic Inc. (formerly Alcoa Inc.), BASF, Exxon-Mobil, and Ford.
SPR has steadily grown from 4 companies in 2012 to over 25 presently. SPR plans to maintain membership at this general level to ensure that the original concept of the small roundtable remains intact.
Sponsors play a vital role in providing technical information, financial support, and case studies on business decision models. The sponsors include developers and environmental, real estate, and insurance firms. The developers are typically purchasers of industrial real estate and bring an important perspective to the roundtable dialogue about environmental risk and disposition strategies.
The Surplus Property Roundtable is a not for profit corporation organized in the State of Illinois. SPR’s Registered Agent is CT Corporation System.
The Internal Revenue Service has granted the SPR tax-exempt status and assigned EIN #46-1557447.
The corporation is organized exclusively for charitable purposes, within the meaning of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The purpose for which the corporation is formed includes, but is not limited to, providing educational opportunities and resources for the purpose of promoting the responsible ownership, management, remediation, re-purposing, and disposition of real estate with legacy environmental issues including the goal of re-establishing the properties’ productive use in cooperation with all stakeholders.
The Surplus Property Roundtable was founded by Alcoa Inc., BASF, Ford and Exxon Mobil to create a forum where information and experiences related to the challenges provided by surplus properties can be exchanged and discussed. SPR is a director run corporation with a representative of every member in good standing serving as a member of its Board of Directors. The Board of Directors nominates officers to manage the business of the Association and serve a 2 year term. The Officers hire an Executive Director to carry out the direction of the Officers and the organization.
The Officers and Executive Director of the Surplus Property Roundtable are as follows:
Bob Parker – President
Bob Parker is currently Global Commercial and Real Estate Manager for ExxonMobil’s Environment and Property Services. In this position, Bob is globally responsible for ExxonMobil’s corporate real estate requirements, surplus site dispositions, environmental risk management and environment law suits/ claims.
Bob began his career in the mid 1980’s as an Attorney for a large Washington, D.C. Law firm. He went on to join the Trammell Crow Company and built shopping centers in the Washington D.C. area.
Bob joined ExxonMobil in 1990 and held a number of positions within the Mobil Land Development Company in Reston, Virginia.
In 1993, he moved to London, England to work for ExxonMobil’s Global Real Estate organization on an increasingly expanding international portfolio. By 1996, Bob joined ExxonMobil’s London-based Upstream New Business Development Company to negotiate oil and gas Production Sharing Agreements in Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Algeria.
Following the ExxonMobil Merger in 2000, Bob moved to Doha, Qatar to join ExxonMobil’s Gas Marketing organization where he successfully negotiated three large gas contracts that launched the Al Khaleej Gas Project.
In 2003, Bob moved back to London and Global Real Estate where he headed up ExxonMobil’s Europe, Africa, and Middle East Team. Bob was in this position until May of 2009 when his current Houston-based position became available.
Bob is President and founding Board Member of Surplus Property Roundtable, the premier forum for senior corporate managers responsible for the management and disposition of surplus industrial properties. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the University of Houston Graduate School of Real Estate. Lastly, Bob is Chairman of the Advisory Board of Green Sense Farms, the largest vertical indoor farm company in North America.
Vernon C. Burrows PG, LEED AP (BD&C) – Vice President
Vern Burrows is currently employed by BASF Corporation (Florham Park, New Jersey) as a Remediation Project Manager. Vern supports site acquisition and divestiture related projects including plant idling, post acquisition manufacturing redundancy consolidation, asset identification and transfer, site demolition and property divestiture (redeployment). Specifically, Vern supports corporate surplus property divestiture objectives via pro forma analyses, applicable redevelopment and rezoning initiatives, and redeployment strategies aligned to minimize remediation expenditures and risk.
Vern began his career in the oil industry in Calgary after graduating in 1985 from the University of Alberta with a BS in Geology. Vern elected to pursue a MS in Geology from Kent State University, and upon graduating worked for an environmental engineering consultancy, where he progressed from a staff geologist to a group manager. In early 2000, AlliedSignal (now Honeywell International, Inc) approached Vern about supporting their industrial surplus property and Superfund property programs. Vern worked as a remediation project manager out of Honeywell’s corporate headquarters in Morristown NJ supporting projects throughout the United States and Europe. In early 2007, during the decommissioning of the former Honeywell defense plant in Teterboro, New Jersey, Vern was approached by ProLogis, the developer that had purchased the property.
Prior to joining BASF in January 2010, Vern worked as a Development Project Manager for Catellus, then the wholly owned mixed use subsidiary of the world’s largest industrial REIT, ProLogis. At Catellus, Vern managed redevelopment projects throughout the United States and had global responsibility for tracking, analyzing, interpreting and providing implementation guidance on environmental remediation and associated liability laws. Vern was a corporate resource regarding development related insurance projects (such as Cost Cap and PLL), Brownfield program redevelopment incentives (PILOTs, TIFs, sales tax reimbursement programs), and interpreting regulations or standards impacting redevelopment objectives or remedial obligations.
Jay Gardner – Executive Director
Jay Gardner presently is Executive Director, Surplus Property Roundtable, and was one of four founding members. He assumed this position in 2015 after retiring from CBRE and Ford.
Jay joined Ford with an MBA in Finance, University of Michigan and held numerous jobs at Ford in finance, product development, marketing, manufacturing, and planning before transferring to international operations. Jay was appointed Finance Director, Ford Japan and Strategy Director, Northern Asia Pacific headquartered in Hiroshima Japan. Ford Japan was a $2 billion subsidiary exporting parts to Ford operations throughout Asia Pacific.
Jay joined Ford Land as Vice President, Finance and Treasurer. At the time, Ford Land was the real estate development arm of Ford. Jay worked on a number of redevelopments including converting the shell of a former assembly plant into the Great Mall of the Bay Area in San Jose, CA. Jay helped transition Ford Land from a surplus land developer role to a full-service provider of all real estate, construction and facility services for Ford worldwide.
In 2000, Jay was appointed Director, Ford Land Europe, based in Cologne, Germany. Some of the major projects included converting an old submarine plant in St. Petersburg, Russia to a modern assembly plant and building a new diesel engine plant in Dagenham, England, largely powered by wind turbines.
As Director, Real Estate, Ford Land, Jay was responsible for Corporate, Dealership and Commercial real estate transactions. Dealership included a portfolio of Company-owned dealerships in the US; Commercial included 5 million square foot portfolio in SE Michigan. Corporate included Ford’s entire portfolio of owned and leased facilities (275 million square feet). Major activities included the decommissioning and disposition of large industrial facilities – 9 plants sold since 2006 representing about 22 million square feet.
In 2007, Ford Land consolidated outside services and transitioned many of its strategic and tactical jobs to CBRE. Jay joined CB in 2007 and held the same position at Ford Land as he did before the transition.
Jay received his BA from Brown University and lives in Ann Arbor, MI with his family.
Mike Goldstein – Vice President
Mike Goldstein is Ingersoll Rand’s Global Remediation and Environmental Risk Manager. In addition to managing the technical, financial, and legal aspects of a diverse portfolio of legacy remediation projects and Superfund sites, Mike is responsible for directing the company’s environmental risk management program which includes: performing due diligence for acquisitions and divestitures; providing strategic technical and project management support for restructuring projects, plant closures, and Brownfield sales; and supporting the Company’s Surplus Property Program.
Mike joined Ingersoll Rand in 2014. Prior to his current role he served as a Remediation and Transaction manager for General Electric for 9 years, Superfund Remedial Project Manager for the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Region 10 for 5 years, and a Policy Analyst at USEPA Headquarters for 7 years. He chairs the Real Estate and Environmental Committee for the Surplus Property Roundtable and serves on the Steering Committee for the Remediation Managers Roundtable.
Mike has a degree in Geology from Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA and Technology and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA.
John Morris – Treasurer
John Morris is Honeywell’s Global Remediation Director and manages a staff that implements the company’s cleanup and redevelopment of legacy sites where historical manufacturing resulted in soil, sediment, and groundwater impacts. John provides strategic planning, regulatory interpretation, and financial management across a broad portfolio of complex remediation sites. He has led many of Honeywell’s successful brownfield projects where sustainability and integrated land development have been used to achieve stakeholders’ visions for reuse.
John joined Honeywell in 2004 after 20 plus years of work in a combination of environmental consulting and corporate environmental management. At Honeywell, he manages the cleanup portfolio resulting from the merger of Allied Signal with Honeywell in 1999. It is one of the largest and most diverse portfolios of a Fortune 100 company.
John graduated from Temple University with a B.A. in English (1974) and a B.S. in Environmental Engineering (1976). He then obtained an M.S. in Environmental Engineering (1981) from Drexel University. He is a licensed chemical engineer with over 40 years of experience and honored to serve on SPR’s Board of Directors.