John C. Cushman, III Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Cushman & Wakefield

John Cushman
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Firm honors the storied career of a legacy

Cushman & Wakefield today announced its Co-Chairman, John C. Cushman, III, will celebrate his 50th anniversary with the company on September 1, 2013. Mr. Cushman, a leading figure in the global commercial real estate community, began his career with Cushman & Wakefield in New York City in 1963. He has been recognized over the years by a variety of media sources as the top office leasing broker in the United States.

“John’s leadership, experience and passion for real estate are monumental and widely acknowledged throughout the entire global real estate industry,” said Carlo Sant’Albano, executive chairman of Cushman & Wakefield. “Through his tireless work over the decades in both the business and non-profit arenas, John has left an indelible mark on the industry and his country. He embodies Cushman & Wakefield’s entrepreneurial culture.” 

Among his many notable achievements, Mr. Cushman negotiated the largest office lease in the world – the world headquarters of Merrill Lynch & Company involving 4 million square feet (initial occupancy) at the World Financial Center in New York City. He also completed headquarters relocations for many of America’s largest corporations and institutions, including Burlington Northern, Inc. (Seattle), UBS PaineWebber, Inc. (New York City), Atlantic Richfield Company (Los Angeles), Unocal Corporation (Los Angeles), and The Boeing Company (Chicago). 

In 1967, Mr. Cushman moved to Los Angeles to open Cushman & Wakefield’s office in Southern California. He and his twin brother, Louis B. Cushman, started their own firm in 1978, Cushman Realty Corporation, which they grew from 2 offices to operations in 11 US cities. In 2001 Cushman Realty Corporation merged with Cushman & Wakefield.

Cushman & Wakefield was founded in 1917 by John Cushman’s grandfather, J. Clydesdale Cushman, and Bernard Wakefield (John Cushman’s great uncle). Mr. Cushman points out that the heritage of his family in real estate dates back to Don Alonzo Cushman who was born in 1792 and was the primary developer of Chelsea in Lower Manhattan. Seven generations of Cushmans have worked in real estate in Manhattan without a break. 

“Needless to say, real estate was in my blood and the topic of much dinner time conversation while growing up,” he said. “I learned in college that the harder you work, the luckier you get. This age old principle inspired me to climb a lot of stairs while canvassing Manhattan skyscrapers in the 1960s… and it has inspired me ever since in helping to build Cushman & Wakefield’s globally recognized brand which in my opinion is second to none,” Mr. Cushman stated.

Since its founding, Cushman & Wakefield has become the world’s largest privately-held commercial real estate services firm with 253 offices in 60 countries and employing nearly 15,000 professionals. 

In addition to his Board of Directors responsibilities, Mr. Cushman continues to remain personally engaged in significant transactions in major markets worldwide. Throughout his career, he has shown an equal enthusiasm for non-profit leadership through his ongoing dedication and commitment. 

“I’ve always believed that the cornerstone of any business career is about giving back to the community. At Cushman & Wakefield, I’ve been very fortunate to find passion on both the business and volunteer side of life and this has been the ultimate reward for me,” Mr. Cushman added. 

In recent years, Mr. Cushman completed a two-year term as National President of the Boy Scouts of America and President of the Boy Scouts of America Foundation. He currently serves as a member of the Boy Scout’s National Executive Board. In 2004, he was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to the California Commission on Jobs and Economic Growth, and later was appointed to Mayor Villaraigosa’s Los Angeles Economy and Jobs Committee. 

Mr. Cushman was a director of the National Park Foundation for six years. He also served as a director of the The Real Estate Roundtable, and he presently serves as a Trustee of the Urban Land Institute, all headquartered in Washington, DC. He also serves as Trustee Emeritus of Colgate University, as an honorary member of the Board of Fellows of Claremont University Center, and was formerly a director of the Claremont Graduate School, a member of the Colorado University Boulder College of Business Advisory Board, and a member of the Advisory Council of the University of Southern California LUSK Center for Real Estate. In May 2008 he received an honorary doctorate degree from Colgate University and in November 2008 he received the 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award from Commercial Property News.

Mr. Cushman’s directorships include: Cushman & Wakefield, Inc. (Chairman of the Board), Callaway Golf Company, iCRETE LLC (Co-Chairman). He also serves as Chairman and Director of Zaca Mesa Winery in Santa Barbara County, California. Over the years, Mr. Cushman has served on the boards of 14 public corporations.