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NAI manager left D.C. to reunite wife's family

May 18, 2016

Q:How did you become interested in your field?

A: “I always wanted to be an architect when I was high school. My first job in real estate was working for a company that owned office buildings and multifamily apartments in suburban Maryland. I worked as a property manager for the office portfolio and interacted with the real estate agents responsible for leasing the vacant suites in my buildings. Through that experience, I found that I preferred helping clients with their space needs, touring new properties and negotiating leases rather than reacting to tenant complaints or problems and dealing with building repairs.”

Q:What do you enjoy most about your work?

A: “Since relocating here and recently joining NAI Sioux Falls in a leadership role, I have enjoyed learning a whole new real estate market, meeting new people and working alongside the top real estate agents in the various product types of industrial, office, retail and land. The fun part of commercial real estate brokerage is that it is always changing and no two deals are ever alike. This keeps things interesting. You are always learning, sharpening your skills and refining your approach to better serve your clients. The best part of the job is helping provide solutions to a company’s real estate needs, whether it be financial, physical or both, since it has a direct impact on their bottom line. It’s also a real thrill to see the positive effect of what newly renovated office space has on a client’s employees and knowing that you were a key part of the process.”

Q:Do you have a charity or organization that’s especially close to heart?

A: “The first time I ever visited the Black Hills, years ago while on vacation visiting my wife’s family, we went to the Crazy Horse Memorial. It happened to be during Thanksgiving, so there weren’t any crowds. It was cold, and there might have been only a handful of visitors that day. As luck would have it, My wife had a good friend that worked for the memorial and she gave us a trip to the top of Crazy Horse. The scale and beauty of the memorial up close was incredibly moving. Ever since then, we have financially supported the Crazy Horse Memorial and strongly believe in its mission to preserve and protect the heritage of the North American Indians. Locally, I am active in my church’s Faith In Action program, which helps serve those in our community who are in need, whether it be the elder, homeless, low income or simple acts of random kindness. I also recently joined the Rotary Sioux Falls West club and am excited to being an active member helping serve the needs of the community.”

Q:What has been your most rewarding experience in the past year?

A: “First would be relocating to Sioux Falls from Washington, D.C. It was a family decision that we made while visiting my in-laws during Christmas break. The whole family went to Great Bear to ski the day after Christmas, and while on the chairlift we decided that we should go for it and move here. We flew back to D.C. and told all of our friends at a New Year’s Day party. Some were jealous that we were leaving the hectic lifestyle of D.C., and some thought we were crazy to move to a small town with colder weather. Second would be hosting all of the family and friends that came out to see us during our first full summer here in Sioux Falls. We not only became the western outpost for our friends traveling to the national parks but also tour guides showing off our new city.”

Q:What do you think are the best and worst things about living in the Sioux Falls area?

A: “The best things in Sioux Falls are the people and how accessible and reasonable they are, the lack of traffic compared to Washington, D.C., the abundance of wide-open spaces and big blue skies, pheasant hunting in the fall and the lack of humidity during the summer. I also love where we live and the public schools. We purchased a small acreage between Brandon and Sioux Falls. We moved from a traditional suburban setting in D.C. to a rural one on a dirt road. It’s peaceful and refreshing to not wake up to traffic and city noises. The worst thing about living here is probably the length of winter. I can deal with the cold temperature and the snow, but I am used to seeing the D.C. cherry blossoms, azaleas and tulips blooming by March or early April.”

The Brown File

Name: Gregg Brown

Title: Senior vice president and managing director at NAI Sioux Falls

Hometown: Born in Clinton, Iowa; grew up in St. Louis and Chicago suburbs

Age: 46

Background: Graduated from College of Wooster with a bachelor’s degree in history and American University in Washington, D.C., with an MBA; has worked in commercial real estate for 20 years, most recently with a national firm in Washington, specializing in representing office tenants and landlords

Family: Wife, Stephanie Peterson; and two sons, Nick and Cooper

Interests and hobbies: Family, horses, trap shooting at Crooks Gun Club, skiing, cycling, pheasant hunting and following the Washington Nationals baseball team

Courtesy of Jodi Schwan, Sioux Falls Business Journal