Tuesday, June 26th, the Minnesota Shopping Center Association (MSCA) will be hosting a panel and interviewing their most recent Hall of Fame inductee, Westwood senior project manager Bruce Carlson. MSCA members and non-members are invited to the event, “Bruce Carlson: Uncensored and Unplugged” in Bloomington, MN at the MSCA Headquarters, at 8 am. Before the event, we’ve asked Bruce a few questions about his MCSA involvement, the value he sees his insights will provide to attendees of the event, and his dedication to the industry.

What value does your involvement provide to MSCA? What have you gotten out of your involvement?

I’ve been a member of MSCA since 1994 and have held a number of positions, great and small from general member to president, throughout those years. Perhaps the biggest tangible change I’ve provided is starting the “Learning Sessions” program while I was president. Outside of the association’s monthly meetings, the learning sessions dig deeper into industry topics and provide another resource for members to expand their knowledge.

My involvement with MSCA has always been rewarding and I love being a part of it! I think the greatest value I’ve gotten out of my involvement is the long lasting and fulfilling relationships I’ve been able to build. I’ve met a lot of awesome people across the commercial real estate industry through MSCA, and the regular events help me maintain and grow those relationships and create trust.

What value will your insights provide to attendees?

I hope they’ll be able to learn from my mistakes! I’ll share some of my personal experiences over the years and how I’ve wound up where I am now. Working across and with a variety of development projects and disciplines has given me a broad knowledge base and helps me find unique insights that someone who’s stayed in one discipline might not see.

I also hope attendees come away with a better understanding of how important relationships are in the industry and how they can better build their own relationships. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but the value of relationship building can sometimes get forgotten amongst all the project work. Throughout my career, I’ve worked hard to build strong relationships with my clients, and I’m constantly thinking about what aspects – honesty, trust-worthiness, friendliness – are needed to create and maintain successful relationships.

Where does your dedication to your industry spring from?

As a kid I was interested in the land and how it’s used and how it changes. Traveling north when I was 10-12 years old, from the Twin Cities, I wondered at what point specifically did Minneapolis end? At what point did I enter the North Woods? When I learned that Highway 35W/35 ran all the way to Texas, I felt like by driving on it in Minnesota, I was in a way, connected to Texas. These distinctions and relationships in the land have always fascinated me, and through a weird twist of fate early in my career (come to my interview to learn more!), I ended up in the commercial real estate industry and I’ve loved it ever since!