Cushman & Wakefield joined forces with Project REAP (The Real Estate Associate Program), the nation’s largest talent resource for minority commercial real estate (CRE) professionals, to pilot a first-of-its-kind mentorship program with the firm’s professionals.
Through the program, 14 Cushman & Wakefield mentees from the U.S. and Canada have gained access to ULI (Urban Land Institute)/REAP’s Academy, an eight-week CRE education program; 10 months of 1:1 sessions with a Senior REAP Alumni Mentor in their area of interest; enhanced visibility to industry opportunities and access to CRE networks; and a ULI membership. Three of the mentors are from Cushman & Wakefield’s Atlanta office: Janelle Beasley, Re'Nauta Bell and Brandon LaBord. See the full list of Cushman & Wakefield participants and REAP alumni serving as mentors below.
The mentorship program is one of the first outcomes from Cushman & Wakefield’s Black Equity Advisory Board (BEAB), a group of employees and executives working towards companywide initiatives supporting the recruitment, retention and development of Black colleagues. Sabine Apollon-Lopez, who serves on the BEAB Uptake Team and the leadership team of the firm’s BUILD (Blacks United in Leadership and Development) employee resource group (ERG), jumpstarted the program with REAP.
“Cushman & Wakefield’s BEAB and BUILD groups are committed to investing in our Black talent and being at the crest of providing important growth and development opportunities to our employees,” said Apollon-Lopez. “REAP is known as the No. 1 CRE minority resource across country – if not internationally – and we wanted to implement this program for rising stars at our firm in different markets so they can connect with a mentor who can give them depth of exposure and understanding of CRE.”
Apollon-Lopez was also involved in helping launch another pilot mentorship program earlier this year, a partnership between Georgia CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) Chapter and REAP Atlanta with Cushman & Wakefield serving as corporate sponsor.
Osayamen Bartholomew, Chief Program Officer of Project REAP, said, “For the past 22 years, REAP has had a long-standing commitment to connecting talented minority professionals to pathways and careers in CRE. The Platinum-level support of Cushman & Wakefield has enabled us to expand our programming and events with the successful execution of several career development initiatives, including townhall discussions hosted by BUILD, professional training through the ULI/REAP Virtual Academy, and the inaugural Cushman & Wakefield/REAP Mentorship program. Through our ongoing relationship, we are committed to expanding the pipeline of talent to the CRE industry and changing the competitive landscape for talent.”
Quinn Green, Co-Planning Director of REAP Atlanta, added, “The timing of this partnership could not have been better, as there is a heightened awareness more than ever before that this type of professional collaboration is truly needed to assist with moving the needle to address underrepresentation in the CRE community. We welcome others to join us by thinking and acting boldly in a similar fashion as we continue the work to provide more career changing experiences and opportunities one qualified minority professional at a time."
In addition to the mentorship program with REAP, Cushman & Wakefield’s BUILD ERG recently hosted its first Shadow Week program with students from historically black colleges and universities, and has plans to kick off an internal mentorship program in 2021 that will pair high performing employees with senior leaders and executive sponsors within the company.