NAIOP Research Foundation Announces Appointment of 84th Governor

Mike Riopel, assistant general counsel with Northwestern Mutual, accepts lifetime distinction

March 9, 2023 – The NAIOP Research Foundation has announced the appointment of Mike Riopel, assistant general counsel with Northwestern Mutual, to join the Foundation’s Governors. Individuals who demonstrate their commitment to the Foundation’s mission by making a substantial contribution to its endowment fund are invited to accept this lifetime distinction.

As assistant general counsel for Northwestern Mutual, Riopel represents the company (including Northwestern Mutual Real Estate Investments and its subsidiaries) in all aspects of managing its $60+ billion real estate investment portfolio, including permanent and construction financing transactions, equity and joint venture development projects, acquisition and disposition of real estate assets, asset management, and leasing transactions.

He serves as an active voice on the Advisory Board for the Marquette University Center for Real Estate, the board of directors for Real Estate Alumni of Marquette (REALM) network and the board of directors for the Marquette University Business Administration Alumni Association (MUBAA).

Riopel, a member of NAIOP Wisconsin and passionate supporter of education and creating opportunities in commercial real estate, has been actively involved with the organization for over 15 years. He led the launch of the NAIOP Wisconsin/Marquette University Center for Real Estate’s MKE CRE High School Real Estate Immersion Summer Program, a weeklong CRE immersive experience on Marquette's campus designed for high school students from underrepresented populations. Riopel was recognized as NAIOP Wisconsin’s 2021 Principal Member of the Year and serves on the NAIOP Development magazine editorial board. He is a former Research Foundation Visionary and was named a recipient of the NAIOP Developing Leaders Award in 2016.

“Mike’s dedication and commitment to NAIOP continues with his appointment to the Governors program,” said Jennifer LeFurgy, Ph.D., executive director of the NAIOP Research Foundation. “We’re grateful for his generosity and welcome his valuable insights and support. I thank Mike and all the individuals who support the Foundation in its mission of building better communities through practical research and education.”

The NAIOP Research Foundation was established in 2000 as a 501(c)(3) organization that accepts tax-deductible contributions. Its mission is to provide practical research and education that allows commercial real estate owners and developers to successfully capitalize on new trends and address challenges in the industry. Recent reports include Economic Impacts of Commercial Real Estate, 2023 U.S. Edition; The Role of Data Analytics in Commercial Real Estate Siting, Design and Valuation Decisions; and Sustainable Brownfield Redevelopment.

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About the NAIOP Research Foundation
The NAIOP Research Foundation was established in 2000 as a 501(c)(3) organization to support the work of individuals and organizations engaged in real estate development, investment and operations. The Foundation’s core purpose is to provide information about how real properties impact and benefit communities throughout North America. For more information, visit

NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association is the leading organization for developers, owners, investors and related professionals in office, industrial, retail, and mixed-use real estate. NAIOP provides unparalleled industry networking and education and advocates for effective legislation on behalf of our members. NAIOP advances responsible, sustainable development that creates jobs and benefits the communities in which our members work and live. For more information, visit

NAIOP Contact:
Kathryn Hamilton, NAIOP vice president for marketing and communications
703-904-7100, ext. 165