CCIM 50th Anniversary CCIM Feature

Strength at the Grassroots

CCIM chapters train leaders, promote knowledge, and enhance members’ referrals.

An organization's success relies on its grassroots. CCIM Institute's chapters form its local touchstones in the U.S., Canada, and globally.

Throughout its first 50 years, CCIM chapters have served as boosters for CCIM training, sites for multiple CCIM courses, providers for scholarships for CCIM classes, and incubators for its future leaders. As the Institute constantly evolves and sets a higher standard for the commercial real estate industry, so have the 54 chapters. 

“Being involved with the Central Texas Chapter has opened many doors to other CCIMs and business opportunities,” says Travis Waldrop, CCIM, 2016 Central Texas Chapter president and vice president at Carr Development in Austin, Texas. “For designees in this area of Texas, our designation sets us apart as respected professionals in our community. CCIM chapters deliver up-to-date, germane content, and education that is critical to staying in front of trends in the industry.”

Lasting Impact

Starting with the Institute's formation by West Coast instructors, the first CCIM chapter chartered in 1971 appropriately was in Northern California. A long-time leader in the Northern California CCIM Chapter, John Shaw, CCIM, served as its Chapter President in 1994 and 2008. 

“CCIM training taught me what to do, and our Chapter members oriented me toward what not to do in investing,” says Shaw, a designee since the late 1970s and now serving as the co-chair of the Northern California Chapter's Book Club. “Being involved with our Chapter and CCIM Institute has provided me with a lifetime connection of business and personal relationships.”

CCIM Institute Regional Vice President Mark Hinkins, CCIM, got his start at the Northern California Chapter. “CCIM chapters provide an opportunity for motivated commercial real estate professionals to take on responsibility and to develop their personal leadership skills,” says Hinkins, owner of Trimark Commercial Real Estate in Walnut Creek, Calif. “These leadership skills are directly relevant to your business and your community.

“CCIM has transformed my career. Earning the pin gave me the confidence to establish my own boutique firm. CCIM Institute and the Northern California Chapter give me and other independent, small business owners the tools and knowledge to compete with larger, established firms.”

On the western reaches of the U.S., the Hawaii CCIM Chapter was chartered in 1975. A past Hawaii Chapter President, Albert “Al” S. Wong, CCIM, became the 13th CCIM designee in the state and No. 592 nationally. 

“The greatest thing I learned from CCIM training in the 1970s was about 1031 like-kind exchanges,” says Wong, owner of Palace Realty in Honolulu. “The concept of deferring taxes gave us a real head start with our clients.

“From those early days, CCIM designees in Hawaii have become well-known in our community. Bankers, appraisers, lawyers, and institutional investors have great respect for the CCIM designees.”

Strong Foundation

Another well-regarded CCIM chapter, the North Carolina Chapter is celebrating 35 years and has grown from a handful of CCIMs in the early 1980s to more than 600 members. Today this Chapter is striving to be more inclusive by attracting more women and minorities and encouraging them to serve in leadership positions.

Active since her pinning in 2010, Beverly Keith, CCIM, has been involved with the North Carolina Chapter and serves as a member of its Executive Committee. “We are working on how to be more relevant to millennials and doing more to bring value to our current members while keeping annual dues stable,” says Keith, senior vice president of retail services at Avison Young in Raleigh, N.C. 

For example, the North Carolina Chapter supports 12 scholarships for those earning the designation and offers its members free continuing education and STDB training. Every October, a Chapter Task Force reaches out to those pursuing the CCIM designation to give them an extra push through scholarships and encouragement, as well as sharing ideas of how to network with designees. 

Keith's designation and chapter involvement significantly enhanced her career. “Within the first few years of earning the designation, my business increased by 30 percent through referrals from other designees,” Keith says.

Like most chapters, the North Carolina Chapter hosts CCIM courses, but it has never canceled a CCIM training session. “I don't know of any other chapter that can make that claim,” says Robert “Bob” Carter, CCIM, first North Carolina chapter president and a designee for 40 years. “We have always recognized the importance of CCIM education, and our Chapter has always had great, unselfish leaders who understand the importance of CCIM Institute, our chapter, and the designation.”

In tandem with its strong chapters, CCIM Institute has successfully evolved during its first 50 years. For the next 50 years, CCIM Institute and its chapters will continue to rely on each other for the ideas and innovations that keep its members at the forefront of knowledge and technology.


Check out CIRE magazine's web exclusive articles celebrating CCIM Institute's 50th Anniversary. Archived pieces from the late 1980's discussing and dissecting the history of CCIM Institute.

“The First 20 Years of CCIM Institute”

“An In-Depth Look into the Origins of CCIM Institute”

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Sara S. Patterson

Sara S. Patterson is former executive editor of Commercial Investment Real Estate.

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