Shane Spencer ’09 Named To Forbes “30 Under 30”

By Chris Stathopoulos – In December 2011, Forbes released its “30 Under 30” list, profiling the 30 brightest stars under the age of 30 in twelve different industries.  Of these 360 intelligent and driven young professionals, one in particular stands out from the rest.  Jewell graduate Shane Spencer ‘09 was recognized for his work in the field of real estate.  This honor comes just after the Institute of Entrepreneurship and the Kauffman Foundation recognized him as 2011 Student Entrepreneur of the Year.  Currently a graduate student studying entrepreneurial real estate at the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Henry W. Bloch School of Management, Shane is the founder and CEO of Green REIT, a real estate investment trust focused on green and renewable energies.  (For those unfamiliar with the concept of a REIT, it essentially operates like a mutual fund: investors’ capital is pooled together in order to purchase real estate assets and investors benefit from cash flow of those assets.)

Dr. Gregg Whittaker, professor of economics, was one of Shane’s professors during his four years at William Jewell.  Whittaker recalls Shane being a bright student whose passion frequently stood out from that of his classmates.  When asked for his thoughts on Green REIT, Dr. Whittaker commented, “I think Shane did a remarkable job understanding market trends. [The green movement] hits on financial chords as well as emotional chords with regards to good stewardship.”

Shane himself describes the past year as “crazy” and “a blur,” and looking at his workload, it is not hard to see why.  In addition to his studies at UMKC and his role at Green REIT, Shane also works as an associate for commercial real estate firm Heise-Meyer, LLC out of their Lee’s Summit, Missouri offices.  In juggling his many responsibilities, Shane explains, “It’s all about time management and setting priorities for things.  You [also] have to find time to wind down and recharge your batteries so you can keep up the fast pace.”

In the next five years, Shane is sure to stay busy.  During that time, he plans to finish his MBA, have Green REIT fully up and running as one of the largest specialty REITs on the market with $5 billion in assets under management, and continue to work on other projects—he started yet another new venture earlier this year.  When asked what advice he would give to current students at Jewell, Shane simply replied, “Find what you love to do and become the best in the world at it.”

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