The Foundation's Future
When hurricanes devastated the Gulf Coast in August 2005, CCIM Institute’sleadership rallied to identify the support and resources they could marshal to help real estate professionals get back into business. A key initiative allowed local CCIM chapters to host the institute’s core courses at a reduced tuition rate. These efforts were funded in part through the Education Foundation of the CCIM Institute. But the goodwill didn’t stop there — the foundation also provided scholarships for students in hurricane-affected areas to offset the costs of earning the CCIM designation. To date, 23 professionals from Gulf Coast communities affected by the storms have earned CCIM pins.
I was fortunate to be part of the Gulf Coast relief team, which gave me the opportunity to see many of the foundation’s initiatives firsthand. While there are many scholarships and programs available, perhaps the most illustrative examples of the foundation’s influence are the people who’ve used these resources to improve their careers. One of those individuals is Joan M. Harris, CCIM, broker/owner of Joan Harris Realty in Prairieville, La. Harris earned the designation through the Gulf Coast scholarship program and continues to successfully do business in the New Orleans commercial real estate market. Read more about her in the July/August Commercial Investment Real Estate CCIM Spotlight column.
The foundation also has undergone a series of changes in recent months that will further improve the level of service and programs offered to the CCIM community. One of the most notable changes is that the foundation has relocated to the CCIM headquarters in Chicago to be managed by two highly skilled staff members — Susan J. Groeneveld, CCIM, executive vice president emeritus, who has more than 20 years of experience at the institute, and Kristin Harrelson O’Connor, who has served in various institute staff roles during the past 12 years. Under the leadership of President Doug Sawyer, CCIM, Vice President W. Duncan Patterson, CCIM, and the staff, the foundation will build stronger relationships with scholarship recipients, communicate more effectively with the CCIM community and the public, and maximize relationships within the institute, including acting as a liaison with the university alliance and cultural diversity programs.
Since 1988, the foundation has granted scholarships to deserving students and real estate professionals. The scholarship programs are designed to encourage and assist professionals pursuing the CCIM designation and promote high educational standards. Programs include CCIM designation, chapter 101, university, and named endowed scholarships. In addition, one CCIM annually receives the Susan J. Groeneveld, CCIM, scholarship to the Jay W. Levine Leadership Development Academy. For more information about the foundation’s scholarship programs, visit www.ccimef.org.
While many exciting changes are underway, the foundation remains fully committed to advancing its mission, which is in part “…to act as a catalyst by advancing and supporting educational and research initiatives that enhance the value and prestige of the CCIM designation and other career-building programs of the CCIM Institute.”
Finally, the foundation would cease to exist without the generous support of its many benefactors. Your contributions have made the foundation the thriving organization it is today. Please join me in watching for more good things to come from the foundation in the future.