President's Desk

Celebrating Diversity

A message from the global president of CCIM Institute.

Les Callahan

Fresh off Black History Month and Women’s History Month and heading into Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month, I want to share a message of diversity and inclusion. CCIM Institute is proud to help mold the future of commercial real estate to ensure it reflects society as a whole, and our hope is that everyone who would like to pursue a career in this wonderful industry can readily do so — all while empowered with the knowledge and expertise offered by our premier core designation curriculum and other educational programs.

The institute has a rich history of DE&I programs and initiatives, focused on sharing the message of how a career in CRE can be fulfilling and broadening the access to our education to make dreams become a reality. For some, it is their first job out of college; for others, it is their second or even third career. That is the beauty of this industry — it can and should be for everyone who desires it.

The Cultural Diversity Education Program is one initiative offering deeply discounted pricing on the core designation curriculum to qualified diverse real estate professionals. Another opportunity is the CCIM Foundation Veterans Scholarship, launched last year, that provides qualifying U.S. military veterans up to $20,000 to use for non-degree-based commercial real estate education, including the CCIM designation program. 

To help usher in the next generation of commercial real estate professionals, the institute continues to build its partnerships with universities across the country, offering these students institute course material and/or a Fast Track program to earn the CCIM designation upon graduation from a partner university. Participating universities include MIT, University of California, Los Angeles, Emory University, and 50 other colleges and universities.

This year marks the official formation of the institute’s DE&I committee to help guide the strategy and move us forward toward this long-term goal. One of the first initiatives is to build on our University Partner program by targeting historically black colleges and universities to offer CCIM Institute courses, which exposes students to both our industry and our real-world-based instruction.

And in each issue of Commercial Investment Real Estate magazine, we celebrate the diversity of our industry and our members, who cover the entire CRE ecosystem and span the globe. The institute’s dedication to DE&I is unwavering, and I hope you join us in supporting all our initiatives to further this goal.

Leslie G. Callahan, III      
2022 CCIM Institute President
Contact him at

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