Company: NAI Highland Commercial Group, LLC

Position: Co-Founder/ One of the Founding Partners

Years in business: 33 – 26 of them in Colorado Springs

First Client: Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association

Best deal to date: Provided the interim lease for Focus on the Family, a 250,000-square-foot building. This deal happened during a bad market and it is what has kept him in business ever since.

Sound Byte: “Conduct business with people, the same way as you conduct your own business.”

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Personal Passions: On the board with Goodwill Industries of Colorado Springs, family, golf and traveling.

Graduating from the United States Air Force Academy and serving as a fighter pilot in Vietnam, accumulating 314 combat missions, certainly did not hinder James Spittler Jr.’s career in the commercial real estate industry of the Pikes Peak Region.

“After retiring from the Air Force, I wanted to do something where I could be my own boss,” Spittler said. “The commercial real estate business seemed to be a good fit.” A good fit indeed. Spittler was named Colorado Springs Commercial Realtor of the Year for 1985 and 1991 by the Realtors Commercial Industrial Society (RCIS), becoming the second two-time winner of the award.

“My success is associating with the other partners in the firm and the people I work with,” Spittler said. “It’s a high quality group of people. We started with two partners and now have seven.”

Spittler is very involved in the real estate community. He is a past chairman, vice chairman, treasurer and secretary of RCIS and is chairman of the Commercial Arbitration Committee of the Pikes Peak Region Board of Realtors.

His advice to other people looking for a career in the commercial real estate business is simple. “Be an ethical person and be patient,” Spittler said. “It takes awhile to get established in this business.”

That advice seemed to have helped him along in his career. His major clients include Times Mirror Corp., McGraw-Hill, Focus on the Family, Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association (TIAA), Krogers, First National Bank (now Bank One), United Banks (now Wells Fargo), General Motors Investment Management Corp., El Paso Companies (CIG), and Young Life.

Spittler likes being involved in the real estate business. “I’m not really a specialist, per say, more of a generalist,” he said. “The company is very strong in corporate dealings, office space and retail space. We cover the whole spectrum of properties that deal with being a commercial real estate brokerage firm.”

Along with his involvement in the real estate community, Spittler is very involved with the Colorado Springs community, giving back a little of what he has achieved. He is past secretary, vice-chairman and chairman of the Board of Goodwill Industries of Colorado Springs and is a board member of the Goodwill foundation. Spittler also is past chairman of the Business Climate Initiatives Group of the Greater Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce. He doesn’t stop there. Nationally, Spittler is past president and chairman of the Board of the United States Air Force Academy Association of Graduates (AOG) and is a member of the Falcon Foundation Board of Trustees.

“I can’t say it enough,” Spittler said. “Live your life with the same ethics and patience that you expect others to treat you with. You can’t go wrong.”

As for any future plans, Spittler intends to keep working. “I enjoy what I’m doing. I’ll stay involved in the brokerage business. It’s great to still be having fun coming to work everyday.”

– Catherine Sportsman