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Diversity, Veterans Scholarships Open Doors, Recipients Pay it Forward

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The CCIM Institute Foundation

The CCIM Institute Foundation is instrumental in providing scholarships to deserving professionals to elevate their commercial real estate careers.

The CCIM Institute Foundation Diversity Scholarship and The CCIM Institute Foundation Veterans Scholarship are dedicated to promoting diversity and inclusivity within the commercial real estate industry by providing financial support to individuals from underrepresented groups and assisting military veterans in their pursuit of the CCIM Designation.

As testimony to the significance of these scholarships, here are stories of three outstanding recipients who have either used the scholarship to earn the esteemed CCIM Designation or are in the process of obtaining their Pin. They’re giving back to their local chapters and making meaningful contributions to the industry.

Njeri Warfield

The CCIM Institute Foundation Diversity Scholarship Recipient, 2022

Njeri Warfield’s first exposure to commercial real estate was her mother, Jan Warfield, who was a real estate agent in the 1970s and 1980s in Austin, TX.

However, it wasn’t Warfield’s initial career path. She started as a disc jockey at just 13, working at her family’s community radio station KAZI-FM, which was committed to addressing issues important to Austin’s minority communities and introducing jazz, hip hop, and R&B to the city’s airwaves. 

During her 25-plus-year media career, Warfield began flipping houses. In 2017, however, she left media and made the leap to commercial real estate by launching Atlanta-based SkyRise Property Management Group LLC, focusing on investment and development.

Warfield was introduced to Project REAP, which works to attract and train professionals of color in the industry, by Quinn Green, who was REAP’s Co-Local Planning Director.

“I wanted to know more. I wanted to be a part of it,” she says.

The Georgia CCIM Chapter partners with REAP to offer a Mentorship Program, which was Warfield’s introduction to The CCIM Institute.
She applied to the mentorship program and was accepted; her mentor was Richard Slaton, CCIM. Warfield went on to serve as Project REAP’s Regional Director of the Southeast Region I, doing programming for Atlanta.

Additionally, one of her instructors with REAP was Atlanta-based developer Integral Group focused on revitalizing and enhancing urban communities, which Warfield works for in addition to SkyRise.

“I was just floored by the diverse group of people I got to meet who were already in the business,” she says.

Warfield took the opportunity to apply for The CCIM Institute Foundation’s Diversity Scholarship, and she says her career steamrolled from there. “I was attending the Georgia CCIM Chapter's monthly meetings and networking. I met some of the most amazing people and it inspired me to continue to want to expand upon what I already knew about commercial real estate.” 

The scholarship helped fast-track her career. “It was an opportunity to get the education, experience, and exposure in a shorter period than it would have taken had I paid for it on my own,” says Warfield.

Now she gives back by serving on the Scholarship Committee for the Georgia CCIM Chapter. 

If the chapter calls, “I say, ‘What do you need? OK. I'm there,’” she notes. “I understand the opportunity that I've been given. For racial or ethnic minorities in commercial real estate, it hasn’t necessarily been a closed door but a very obscured door. Had I listened to my mother, I would have been in the industry probably 30 years ago, but she knew that I didn't have a relationship with it other than through her. And to a 20-year-old who's in media, real estate lacks allure."

“But that's the thing,” she continues. “What I have understood for some time is that the exposure and opportunity need to be expanded and heightened so that more young people of color understand real estate is an avenue for wealth, influence, entrepreneurship, and opportunities for independence and just a different perspective on life.”

Warfield uses her platform and voice to encourage future entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds looking to enter the industry. She’s hoping to change the environment for women and diverse-led companies while providing more opportunities in real estate. 

Brian Perry, CCIM 

The CCIM Institute Foundation Veterans Scholarship Recipient, 2021

Brian Perry, CCIM, is a U.S. Army officer veteran who served from 2003 to 2010. His military career included deployments to Guantanamo Bay and Iraq. 

After serving, Perry says, “I really wanted to figure out the civilian side of things.” Education has always been integral to Perry, so he earned a master’s degree in business administration from Boston College and went on to work as a financial analyst in New York City.

“That was my idea of transitioning out of the military,” he explains.

However, one day, a military recruiter got in touch with Perry. “I was just scrolling, and the communication from the recruiter mentioned  something about commercial real estate,” he explains. He was intrigued.

“I really didn't know what direction I was going to go in,” Perry states. But in 2020, he went to a brokerage in Washington, D.C., which was specifically recruiting veterans. It was a great mentoring opportunity, and he became a Commercial Real Estate Specialist.

That was the beginning of Perry’s real estate career. He joined Commercial in February 2023, specializing in medical office space in the DMV (D.C., Maryland and Virginia).

Meanwhile, Perry built relationships and networked through the Mid-Atlantic CCIM Chapter. A CCIM Designation had always been important to Perry, but early on, he was busy building his business.

“Early in your career, you think, what can I do to separate myself?” Perry notes. “I feel like it's the stable marker to have The CCIM Institute as part of your experience because it shows you're committed to educating yourself and being among the few that go through the education and receive the Designation.”

Then Perry discovered The CCIM Institute Foundation's Veterans Scholarship.

“A CCIM member messaged me, ‘Hey, Brian, you should apply for The CCIM Institute Foundation's Veterans Scholarship,’” he says.

“I was thrilled. There was no way early in my career that I could have prioritized that. That was a big deal because I felt as though people knew I existed,” he explains.

Perry applied, received the scholarship through The CCIM Institute Foundation, and completed the CCIM Designation in 2022. 

He’s now giving back by serving on the Board of the Mid-Atlantic CCIM Chapter. His focus is on CCIM promotion. 

Jeremy Glore

The CCIM Institute Foundation Veterans Scholarship Recipient, 2023

Born and raised in Atlanta, Jeremy Glore played base-ball before playing professionally for the Monterey Amberjacks in Monterey, CA.

Following his baseball career, he joined the U.S. Army National Guard in 2019 as an Information Technology Specialist and is still serving. In fact, the 28-year-old just signed another three-year contract, saying it’s an honor to serve the country. 

After going through his military training, Glore earned his real estate license in Georgia with eXp Realty. Soon after, he relocated across the country for a career opportunity.

“A friend who I played college baseball with had been doing commercial real estate for five or six years and his aunt for 30-plus years,” explains Glore. “He said, ‘Come out to Las Vegas and learn from us.’ I took them up on that, and I've been in Vegas ever since.”

Today, Glore is a Commercial Associate with The Junge Group, eXp Commercial where he specializes in tenant/landlord representation and investment sales of industrial assets.

Glore joined the Southern Nevada CCIM Chapter in 2023, and the scholarship chair mentioned The CCIM Institute Foundation’s Veterans Scholarship to him. Glore applied and received the award. He says he’s grateful as the scholarship will cover the cost of his courses as he pursues his CCIM Designation. “Every class I've taken so far, I make sure I stand up and mention that I received the scholarship,” Glore says. 

Glore recognizes some similarities between the Army Reserves and commercial real estate. “Discipline is huge, mainly because, as a commercial real estate agent, you work your own schedule,” he explains. “Time management is another big one. It’s being able to prospect and handle your clients simultaneously because, as most agents know, time kills deals.”

Glore also encourages others to pursue the CCIM Designation. “I believe that if you're in the commercial industry, and you’re taking this career seriously, you should definitely begin obtaining the CCIM Designation,” he explains. "Achieving the Designation grants you credibility and expertise. It enhances your knowledge, offers practical experience, and provides opportunities to network with successful professionals across the industry." ■


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