Lutfiyah Kusy: A Versatile Professional Who Aspires To Be The Catalyst Of Positive Change

Lutfiyah Kusy: A Versatile Professional Who Aspires To Be The Catalyst Of Positive Change

Lutfiyah Kusy , Director - Operations

Lutfiyah Kusy

Director - Operations

The commercial real estate market in the United States is a booming industry with a market size of an estimated $1.2 trillion. Operating out of the state of Arizona, NAIOP Arizona is a pioneering commercial real estate development membership association that has been able to stand apart from the rest in the market owing to its unique client-centric operations.

It is also the leading organisation for developers, owners, investors and related professionals in office, industrial, retail, and mixed-use real estate. Over the years, it developed into one of the premier commercial real estate associations in the state of Arizona. Lutfiyah Kusy is the Director of Operations at NAIOP Arizona and her passion for consistent improvement has helped the association reach greater heights in the commercial real estate industry. In an exclusive interview with CEO Insights Asia, Lutfiyah talks about her professional journey and her role at the organization. .

Give a brief account of your professional journey.

Throughout my career, I have worked in different countries and have acquired immense experiences working in different industries. My career started in education as a teacher in Brunei Darussalam where I taught English as a second language, Music and Commercial Studies at the primary and secondary school levels. After that, I moved to Singapore and worked with a quasi-government security agency specializing in aviation security as a Security officer at first and later on as a civilian in HR & Finance.

Having left the security industry after a few years, I joined the real estate sector and worked at a mortgage brokerage as a sales & marketing coordinator. Later on, I pursued an undergraduate degree in Science with Honours in Business Studies specializing in Human Resource Management while juggling my career and young family. While studying, I left the real estate world and joined a statutory body regulating newly qualified lawyers on their continuing professional development requirements. In addition to working full-time in Singapore, I was actively involved in Grassroots organizations in my constituency as a volunteer grassroots leader, being a bridge between the residents in my precinct and the various government agencies.

I took some time off from work to care for my young children and moved overseas for my husband’s work in Shanghai, China. The break allowed me to reset and focus on what I wanted to do with my life, personally and professionally. While on sabbatical, I stayed in touch with mentors & peers, and kept up to date with industry news to stay relevant. We decided to move to Arizona to be closer to my husband’s family and to give our children an opportunity to experience life overseas like I did when I was a child.

I believe that opportunities are endless if you have the right attitude. Intrinsic curiosity, emotional intelligence, problem solving, and inclusive leadership traits allow me to be successful and overcome challenges

When they had settled in their new environment about a year after migrating, I started volunteering as a court appointed special advocate for abused and neglected foster children, which I am still doing. I then joined the education sector as an office manager for a public elementary school. There was an initial culture shock stepping into the American workforce, but being socially and culturally savvy helped me overcome that. Two years later, I joined NAIOP Arizona, another familiar territory but with different elements. In summary, my professional journey has been an adventure where it has taught me resilience, perseverance, and appreciation for the relationships made and the experience gained which have made me into who I am now.

How would you describe the learning experience from PSB Academy? What are the most important lessons you have inoculated from the institute and carry in your journey so far?

My learning journey with PSB Academy is one of my best academic experiences. During my studies there, the institute provided quality resources and a support system for its students studying at various levels and subject matters. The help and guidance I received from my peers & lecturers were valuable as managing a full-time job, my studies, and my children who were in primary school at the time was not an easy task. Because of that, I pay forward by doing the same for those in need whether it is personal or professional.

Can you talk more about your roles and responsibilities at NAIOP Arizona, and how have you been helping the company to gain a competitive edge in the market?

My responsibilities predominantly deal with taking care of the internal operations of NAIOP Arizona. My job scope includes ensuring that proper financial controls are in place and that financial transactions support the overall organisational strategy, conforming to federal and state laws in relation to human resources, finance and technology, providing quality customer service to the membership & managing those relationships so that they stay with us in the long run, giving operational support to senior leadership & board of directors of the association, and overseeing the daily operation of the office with an administrative assistant. I am also the lead staff liaison for a sub-group of the association called the Developing Leaders Steering Committee that plans and organizes events and programs for members who are 35 and younger.

What is your success mantra?

I believe that opportunities are endless if you have the right attitude. Intrinsic curiosity, emotional intelligence, problem solving, and inclusive leadership traits allow me to be successful and overcome challenges.

Lutfiyah Kusy, Director-Operations, NAIOP Arizona

Lutfiyah is a pioneering, all-round professional who has developed a diverse skillset working in a myriad of roles in different industries. She is a passionate learner and her people-centric strategies not only focus on the personal development of those around her, but it also helps the organization to reach its objectives efficiently.

Current Issue