Poole College Board Advisory Spotlight: Steve Stroud
From a humble upbringing in Rutherford County, N.C., to a leader in the Triangle’s highly competitive commercial real estate market, Steve Stroud, founder and executive vice president of NAI Tri Properties, has spent years not only watching the Raleigh area grow, but also providing valuable insight as a member of the Poole College of Management Advisory Board.
“I have been a member of the college’s board since its inception, and I guess they never decided to kick me off,” Stroud jokes. “I went to NC State until my junior year when I left to get married and start a family. I had talked to the college at times over the years about coming back and finishing my degree, but they convinced me at my age and experience, I had nothing I needed to prove.”
Yet his commitment to NC State and the Poole College of Management is one of an avid alumnus. “I’m incredibly committed to the university and proud of the tremendous growth I’ve seen out of the College of Management over the years,” he says.
I’m incredibly committed to the university and proud of the tremendous growth I’ve seen out of the College of Management over the years.
Since it’s early days, Stroud has seen the vision of the Advisory Board and college leadership align to tap into what the future of business education should look like.
“They really took an open-book attitude about what a modern-day business school should be – whether it’s entrepreneurship or sustainability – and created a program that catered to the needs of modern-day businesses,” Stroud says.
Stroud’s nearly 50-year career in real estate, which includes the development of properties such as Crossroads Carry, Brier Creek, Highwoods and more, has given him a deep understanding of how to adapt to market demands – and he’s enjoyed applying that insight into the “what’s next” discussions that take place amongst board members. He still continues to offer advice on potential directions for the college – such as one Stroud himself has pursued firsthand.
“I’ve encouraged the college to explore offering a real estate degree. It’s badly needed,” he says. “We live in a complex world and real estate professionals need to be educated more like lawyers. Poole would be the perfect college to offer a program like that.”
Regardless of the path the college takes, Stroud is pleased to see how the Poole College of Management has made a name for itself due to its innovative programs and understanding of the needs of the business community.
“Poole has grown in rankings amongst business schools worldwide at a phenomenal rate,” Stroud concludes. “Students recognize it offers what they need to successfully move into careers, which helps the college attract some of the top students from around the country. I hope to see that continue in the years to come.”