by Rachel L. Richardson

A New Chapter for the Future Leaders Alliance

In a post last spring (Developing Leaders: An Interview with the FLA President) we shared about the nature and founding of the Future Leaders Alliance (FLA) within Valbridge Property Advisors, from the perspective of its first president: Jason Roos, MAI and Senior Managing Director with Valbridge Property Advisors | Kansas City.

Designed to foster leadership within the company, and encourage leaders in every stage of their development, the FLA is entering a new chapter under the direction of three of its members:

  • President: Ryan Nunley, MAI and Managing Director with Valbridge Property Advisors | South-Central Mississippi
  • Vice President: Laura Hulberg, Business Development and Technology Manager with Valbridge Property Advisors | Northern California and Marketing Director with Valbridge Property Advisors
  • Director: Jonathan Austin, Appraiser with Valbridge Property Advisors | Atlanta


  • The Valbridge Future Leaders Alliance is entering a new season under the committee leadership of three of its members: R. Ryan Nunley, Jonathan Austin, and Laura Hulberg.
  • Members of the FLA and its leadership committee reflect on the hallmarks of leadership, the way the FLA has helped to develop leaders in Team Blue, and what they are looking forward to in this next chapter.

Roos will be supporting the committee as the immediate past president.

Nunley, who will be acting as president of the new leadership committee, says, “My experience with the FLA has been nothing but positive.” In this new chapter, he is excited to provide the opportunity for its members to continue to grow and develop as leaders since, he notes, “leaders are built from within.”

Reflecting on Leadership

Reflecting on leadership, Nunley and Hulberg say it comes down to a self-disciplined and mentorship-oriented mindset, and that true leaders are known by what they do.

“Leadership is not something you can do on your own,” Austin adds. “It takes a network—and this is what Future Leaders Alliance provides.”

The group’s quarterly meetings, says Nunley, provide the opportunity to “brainstorm different ideas of how to become better leaders and mentors to the next generation.”

Nunley says “many have the capability to be a leader,” adding that while we often look up to and learn from leaders in the generation before us, leadership is not about age but rather about a “solid, personal foundation.”

“A sound leader,” Nunley explains, “has taken time to understand themselves, is dedicated to improvement and positivity, and is immensely disciplined… We will build on these attributes in the FLA by understanding what it takes to form good routines, make better decisions, think more clearly, and treat each other with honor and respect.”

Hulberg echoes this, saying, “anybody in the company can be a leader,” and that true leadership is tied to actions, not job titles.

She appreciates Roos’s example of leadership as the former Future Leaders Alliance president, and said, “he’s instilled a lot of confidence in me in what I’m doing and the direction I’m trying to go with my own leadership and my own role in the company. From the very beginning, he has really helped me out, given me a lot of advice, a lot of insight that I found very valuable.”

A member of the FLA who signed up as soon as the program launched, Michele Wood is the Vice President of Professional Development with the offices operating in Kansas City, Indianapolis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Fargo, and St. Louis. Wood now works with the same offices as Roos and shares how they both have “a particularly collaborative relationship” that “has been fostered by working together in ways like the Future Leaders Alliance.”

“I find that he and I, our leadership values and style are very closely aligned,” Wood says. “I’d like to think it’s helped each of us build on our skillsets and to reinforce for each other how we want to always improve at leadership and serving the people that look to us for that.”

Similarly, as their offices’ Chief Operating Officer and an FLA member, Joanne Montgomery is “another leadership mentor of mine,” Wood says. “I learned so much—I still do learn so much—from watching her.”

Encouraging Growth and Connections

The Future Leaders Alliance fosters leadership development through quarterly meetings that include presentations by professionals and industry leaders and an opportunity for Q&A. They also foster conversation on leadership, in relation to articles and videos shared on the company’s intranet each month.

Hulberg calls these Intranet posts “brain food” for the group and encourages everyone in Team Blue to engage with the material and the discussion.

Austin appreciates the “leadership environment” in the FLA, saying it allows for great leaders to “come together to share their wins and areas for opportunity.” Because of this, he says he has been able to learn something from everyone in the group and apply their lessons to his own leadership journey.

“The great thing about a community like this,” Austin adds, “is there is most likely someone who is going through, or has been through, a similar leadership situation and who can provide insight on how to have successful outcomes.”

Wood agrees, saying one of the most valuable aspects of the program is the “self-identification of people who are interested in leadership and leadership concepts.”

This, she says, allows the participants to “seek each other out for collaboration or advice.”

Nunley adds that this connection among leaders leads not only to great discussions, but also to great relationships.

“We’re on the same team,” he says. Through the Future Leaders Alliance, “no matter where we are in the country, we can be united.”

As an FLA participant, Matthew (Matt) C. Ball Jr., a Director of Valbridge Property Advisors | Virginia, says: “I just think it’s great to see so many throughout Valbridge taking some time to invest in their own leadership development. Not only that, but also being willing to share their experiences and knowledge—totally unselfishly—to the benefit of their colleagues.”

From his experience of the meetings, Ball says he has the sense that “we are all working toward the same goals of making and keeping Valbridge a great place to work—both now and in the future.”

Looking Ahead

The new FLA leadership seeks to build on the foundation Roos laid, encouraging new participants to join in and continuing to foster a positive and collaborative environment in which leaders can connect and hone their skills.

Austin says he is looking forward to the continued growth of leaders within the group and the opportunity to bring fresh insights.

“I will be looking forward to hearing from more guest speakers,” Ball says. “I think we’ve heard some really good presentations thus far, and it will be interesting to see who else they are able to bring in to share with us.”

“I’m excited,” Wood says, “for the new generation of leadership in the group, and I look forward to seeing what new ideas and energy the team brings.”

“We hope to capture the interest of those already involved and many more from offices around the country,” says Nunley. “Come join us!”

If you are a member of Team Blue who is interested in joining the Future Leaders Alliance, contact Nunley today.