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The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) will be adding a specialty leasing program of study this year at their popular event: the John T. Riordan School for Retail Real Estate Professionals in Scottsdale, Ariz., April 12 – April 16.

The Riordan School is offered 8-10 times a year worldwide, but just once a year in Scottsdale, Arizona. The event is for fast rising executives and ambitious newcomers to the shopping center industry who want to enhance their skills at one of several discipline-specific institutes, one of which is specialty leasing.  This year, eight specialty leasing courses are being offered.

The specialty leasing seminars are all part of ICSC’s Specialty Leasing Designation (SLD).  Participants will earn credits that can be applied towards earning their SLD. The goal of the SLD is to provide recognition for specialty leasing managers by offering training, practical new ideas, best practices, and problem solving skills that grow sales and increase the bottom line.

The program includes a wide variety of classes, including “Sponsorship, Advertising, & Ancillary Income,” which explains how to develop a sponsorship strategy, “Retail Site Analysis” which explores new techniques to overcome unique operational challenges, and “Visual Merchandising & RMU Design,” which educates attendees on how to produce creative, professional merchandising and the importance of good visuals.

In addition to the nearly 15 hours of classroom training required for the specialty leasing course of study, the John T. Riordan School provides networking events, as well as an on-site retail analysis of the shopping center Kierland Commons.

“The benefits of having industry experts teaching the classes allows the students to learn from real life examples,” says Dave Stone, CSM and general manager of Portage Place Shopping Centre. “The intense course load and ability to speak with people who have been in your business for years allows you to leave at the end of the course with both the knowledge and the confidence to excel in your chosen field.”

For more information or to enroll, visit the John T. Riordan School for Retail Real Estate Professionals page on the ICSC website.

Founded in 1957, ICSC is the premier global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 67,000 members in over 100 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, retailers and brokers, as well as academics and public officials. For more information, visit

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