Loyola to honor COPT's Rand Griffin as 2011 Business Leader of the Year

June 17, 2011

Randall (Rand) M. Griffin, CEO of Corporate Office Properties Trust (COPT), a real estate investment trust headquartered in Columbia, Md., will be honored with the 2011 Business Leader of the Year Award by Loyola University Maryland's Sellinger School of Business and Management.

Griffin will receive the award at a dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 16, at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel in Baltimore. A cocktail reception will begin at 5:45 p.m., followed by dinner at 6:30 p.m.

"Mr. Griffin’s strategic leadership, financial acumen, and commitment to his company’s values and vision formed a solid foundation for COPT’s extraordinary success in one of the industries most profoundly affected by the recent financial crisis," said Loyola’s president, Rev. Brian F. Linnane, S.J. "Like Loyola, COPT pursues its mission guided by a focus on service, integrity, and dedication to the community. We are delighted to recognize a leader of Rand Griffin’s caliber this year.” 

COPT’s focus on sustainability distinguishes it from many of the company’s peers. Under Griffin’s leadership, COPT has, since 2003, committed to designing and constructing each of its new buildings to meet or exceed Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification standards, an internationally-recognized green building certification system and currently has 63 LEED office buildings.  COPT focuses on strategic customer relationships and specialized tenant requirements in the U.S. Government and Defense Information Technology sectors, as well as the data centers serving these sectors. Most of COPT’s properties are in the Baltimore/Washington, D.C., markets, with some expansion into Colorado, Texas, and Alabama. 

The company has continued to thrive despite the ongoing challenges in the economic climate, with 89 percent of its 20.2 million-square-foot wholly-owned portfolio of properties leased as of March 31. COPT has also launched approximately $290 million worth of construction projects in the year ending March 31.
COPT won the CEL & Associates, Inc. “Best In The Industry” ranking for 2010 companies owning more than 100 properties, recognizing its commitment to the highest level of quality and service to its tenants. This is the seventh year in a row that the company has received this honor.  CEL & Associates Inc. is the nation’s largest surveyor of tenant satisfaction within the real estate industry.

For the 10 years ending Dec. 31, 2010, COPT’s cumulative total shareholder return of 456 percent ranked No. 1 among office REITs and No. 14 among equity REITs.  COPT has increased its dividend consecutively each year, for a cumulative 222 percent for its 13 years as a publicly-traded office REIT.

“True business leaders like Rand Griffin embrace innovation and set the benchmarks for success that ensure the growth and evolution of industry as a whole,” said Karyl B. Leggio, Ph.D., dean of the Sellinger School of Business and Management. “After decades of distinguished achievements in real estate, it’s clear Mr. Griffin has an unprecedented drive to lead by example and never settle for ‘good enough’.”

Griffin's extensive experience in commercial real estate dates back nearly 40 years and includes direct responsibilities in management, development, acquisitions, marketing, and finance. He was elected a trustee of COPT in February 2005.  He served as president and CEO from April 2005 until September 2010 and served as president and COO at COPT from September 1998 to March 2005. From 1993 to 1998, he was president of Constellation Real Estate Group until its merger with COPT. From 1990 to 1993, Griffin was vice president of development for EuroDisney Development in Paris, France, where he managed and directed all non-theme park development for the 5,000-acre project. He is also a former executive vice president and COO of the Linclay Corporation, a Midwest-based real estate firm active in urban and suburban commercial office, retail and industrial development, asset management, and investment.

Griffin is on the Board of Directors of The National Aquarium in Baltimore and serves on its Executive Committee, the National Aquarium Society Board in Washington, D.C., the Center for Aquatic Life and Conservation Board, and the National Aquarium Conservation Center Board. He also serves on the Board of Directors of KEYW Holding Corporation, a public company, numerous other civic and educational boards, and holds multiple professional affiliations.

Griffin earned a B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He served as a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Army and served in Vietnam as an advisor to a Special Forces Vietnamese Unit.

The Sellinger School has honored a Business Leader of the Year since 1983, recognizing those whose vision, dedicated effort, and singular commitment to the highest ideals of business have distinguished them and their organizations as among the very best in the nation. Previous honorees include Eddie C. Brown, founder and president of Brown Capital Management, who was honored in 2010, and Ellen Kullman, CEO and board chair of DuPont, who was honored in 2009.

For more information on this year's Business Leader of the Year, visit www.loyola.edu/businessleader or call 410-617-2973.