Keith Earnest, a 35-year veteran of the commercial real estate industry and Executive Vice President for VanTrust Real Estate, LLC (VanTrust), has been named recipient of NAIOP Arizona’s 2022 Award of Excellence.
The award will be presented to Earnest at the Best of NAIOP awards ceremony on April 27 at the Arizona Biltmore.
The NAIOP Arizona Award of Excellence recognizes an individual who has made a significant and positive impact on the commercial real estate industry in Arizona over a period of at least 15 years, along with direct volunteer contributions to the chapter.
As Executive Vice President of VanTrust, Earnest has overseen the completion of 2.3 million square feet of development in Arizona, including office, industrial and multifamily projects. Since entering the Arizona market in 2014, VanTrust has been investing in communities across the state with a commitment to creating lasting value through thoughtful development projects.
Under Earnest’s direction, VanTrust received the NAIOP Arizona 2021 Industrial Owner/Developer of the Year Award, having developed 1.8 million square feet of industrial space in Glendale, Peoria, Phoenix, Tucson, and Marana in 2021.
“My sincere congratulations to Keith for being recognized as NAIOP’s Award of Excellence recipient for 2022. I had the pleasure of working with Keith early in his career and can attest to his commitment to integrity and respect that have been hallmarks of his success,” said NAIOP Arizona Board Chair Cathy Thuringer, Trammell Crow Company.
“Over his more than three decades in the industry, his dedication, leadership and mentorship have positively impacted many of us in the Arizona real estate community. NAIOP is extremely grateful for Keith’s contributions to the organization both locally and nationally and very proud to present him with this prestigious award,” Thuringer said.
Earnest is well-known in the commercial real estate industry, having led VanTrust’s Southwest regional office for the past eight years, where he is responsible for Southern Nevada, Arizona, California, and Colorado. Earnest led the completion of 5.7 million square feet of product in Southern Nevada, including Northgate Distribution Center, which won the 2022 NAIOP Southern Nevada Spotlight Award for Industrial Park of the Year and was featured in the national publication, Development magazine.
Earnest led the VanTrust team that worked to land major national tenants Reckitt Benckiser, Fanatics, The Honest Company and Amazon to Northgate. VanTrust also developed the Tropical Distribution Center, which has attracted major tenants in Amazon, Sephora and Novva Data Centers.
VanTrust’s latest Nevada project, Vantage North, is a 4.6 million square foot, six-building development along the southern boundary of the Apex Industrial Park in North Las Vegas.
Earnest’s unparalleled leadership in the commercial real estate industry demonstrates his passion and commitment to the industry. Early in his career, in 1998, Earnest joined NAIOP and in 2002 he was elected Chairman of NAIOP Arizona. He was asked to rejoin the board in 2015 and served until January 2021. He is currently a member of NAIOP’s National Board of Directors.
“Development is a team game, and I’ve had the good fortune to work with some of the most talented people in the industry. NAIOP has given me the opportunity to form professional relationships that often turn into life-long friendships. NAIOP appeals to both young professionals and seasoned veterans, and I’ve enjoyed watching the organization’s evolution and the people who make it interesting and a lot of fun. I am truly humbled by this honor and grateful to be a part of such an outstanding organization,” Earnest said.
Earnest has been involved with several local charitable organizations, including the Phoenix Thunderbirds Charity Board, All Saints’ Episcopal Day School Board, Arcadia Little League Past President, and Southwest Human Development.