2023 CREW Vancouver Leadership Awards Winners
Thursday, Oct 26, 2023
Congratulations from CREW Vancouver!
We are so excited to announce the recipients of the 2023 CREW Vancouver Leadership Awards! We had a great time recognizing and celebrating them along with the rest of our distinguished nominees at our SOLD OUT Leadership Awards Gala on October 25th, 2023 at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia.
Conceived in 2021, the awards program recognizes and celebrates extraordinary leadership and success in the Vancouver commercial real estate community. Award recipients demonstrate excellence, integrity, innovation and dedication to acceleration of diversity in our industry.
- Rising Star presented by Avison Young
- Woman of Influence presented by Beedie
- Catalyst presented by Grosvenor
- Tribute presented by QuadReal Property Group
- Excellence in Service presented by Prospera Credit Union
Rising Star presented by Avison Young
This award is given to a CREW Vancouver member who has worked in the commercial real estate industry for less than ten years and who has distinguished themself amongst their peers by making meaningful professional contributions that are outstanding and unique.
Recipient: Britainny Hari | Principal & CEO, Dual Agency Inc.
Our 2023 Rising Star Award recipient has left a lasting impact on her peers and the industry as a whole. Her commitment to creating positive change is truly inspiring. Within CREW, she is actively engaged in the Education Outreach Committee, where she advocates for representation, equality, and diversity. Her dedication extends even further as she serves as the co-lead of the UCREW chapter, leading student-led initiatives that shape the future of young women leaders in the industry. Her commitment to personal growth is equally remarkable. She actively seeks opportunities to develop her leadership skills, and her innovative NAIOP x CREW event partnership reflects her creative thinking. Recently, she received well-deserved recognition as one of the Top 50 Women Leaders in Vancouver 2023 by Women We Admire. Her list of achievements includes the establishment of the inaugural locally centralized marketing department for a leading brokerage firm and the remarkable results she achieved in their Vancouver market’s Engagement Survey. These accomplishments highlight her ability to excel as well as lead teams at an extraordinary level.
It is with great delight and excitement that we congratulate our 2023 Rising Star Award winner, Britainny Hari.
Woman of Influence presented by Beedie
The Woman of Influence award recognizes an experienced CREW Vancouver member who has distinguished themself by their leadership qualities and demonstrates a high commitment to their career, industry, and community.
Recipient: Cindy MacMillan | Vice President, Investment at Grosvenor
This year, we celebrate a woman of remarkable influence. Not only admired within the CREW network, but this individual is also extremely respected within the industry and community at large. Her leadership has and continues to inspire those around her. This individual's leadership, authenticity, and strong commitment to empowering women in our industry are truly outstanding. She champions inclusivity and addresses workplace inequities, setting an example for us all.
Her illustrious career spans two decades in commercial real estate. Currently, she is the Investment team lead for Grosvenor’s transit-oriented development sites, delivering 5 million square feet of urban master-planned communities in Metro Vancouver. She collaborates with team members to help shape the strategic build-to-core approach for multifamily rental, retail, and office spaces, projected to add a staggering $2 billion in value to Grosvenor’s investment holdings in North America.
She is an active contributor to our community. She currently sits on the boards for CREW Global Network, and APMI which is a women supporting women society wholly owned by Atira Women’s Resource Society. She served as the Past President of CREW Vancouver, and was a previous board member of Hastings Crossing BIA.
Please join us in congratulating the recipient of the 2023 Woman of Influence Award, Cindy MacMillan.
Catalyst presented by Grosvenor
The Catalyst award recognizes a senior-level executive and champion who has consistently demonstrated a commitment to advancing women in commercial real estate, serving as a catalyst for change in their company and throughout the industry.
Recipient: Susan L. MacLaurin | Chief Communications Officer | QuadReal Property Group
This year, we celebrate an extraordinary woman whose commitment to positive change has left an incredible mark on Vancouver's commercial real estate industry. She is known and distinguished by her profound belief in the power of positivity and her dedication to equality and inclusion.
This leader is the driving force and founding member of the Vancouver Chapter of CREW nearly two decades ago - the organization we all know and love that has empowered numerous women within the industry.
She played a pivotal role in shaping her current company's core values and vision, effectively communicating them to employees and the industry. Her leadership has been intrinsic to the company's global growth and its transformation fostering a positive culture of diversity and inclusion that spans offices worldwide. Her success is evident in the high employee satisfaction and retention rates throughout the organization as it grew from a handful employees in 2016 to over 1200 team members today, and becoming a top 20 global real estate investor with $74 billion assets under management.
Beyond her corporate role spanning over 40 years in real estate, she devotes her time to humanitarian causes, supporting numerous charitable organizations and giving back to the community.
We are pleased to honor a trailblazer, a corporate director, and a true catalyst for positive change. Ladies and gentlemen, let us applaud Susan L. MacLaurin, a leader whose actions embody the essence of the Catalyst award.
Tribute presented by QuadReal Property Group
The Tribute award is presented to a member of the Vancouver Real Estate community who has been instrumental in supporting the growth of women in the industry.
Recipient: Hendrik Zessel | Vice Chairman, Cushman & Wakefield Equity, Debt & Structured Finance Canada
Our honoree is an esteemed and well-respected industry specialist with over 40 years of experience, formerly serving as the Executive Managing Director & Western Canada Leader overseeing Cushman & Wakefield's operations in Western Canada, which includes Vancouver, Victoria, Edmonton, and Calgary. Under their guidance, the Vancouver operations of Cushman & Wakefield consistently stood out as one of the firm's top-producing offices in Canada and North America. Today, this individual serves in an advisory capacity as Vice Chair with Cushman's National Capital Markets Group.
But it's not just their professional accomplishments that make this person deserving of tonight's recognition. This individual has been heavily involved with CREW since the Vancouver chapter's formation in 2005, with Cushman and Wakefield as the original founding sponsor. Throughout the years, they have been a mainstay and a supporting visionary in promoting the achievements of women in our industry. Their unwavering commitment to advancing the role of women in real estate and their continuous efforts to bolster CREW's presence and influence in our city have left an indelible mark.
Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in congratulating this outstanding individual for their remarkable achievements and for their commitment to the growth and empowerment of women in the real estate community. Hendrik Zessel congratulations on receiving the 2023 Tribute award for being a true leader and visionary.
Excellence in Service presented by Prospera Credit Union
The Excellence in Service award is presented to a CREW Vancouver member who has shown intense dedication to at least one committee for a minimum of one year and who, through such commitment, was able to promote the advancement of women in commercial real estate.
Recipient: Jenna Macdonald | Marketing and Sales Manager, Strand
We gathered to celebrate the Excellence in Service Award at the CREW Vancouver Gala 2023. Our winner for tonight is an outstanding individual who has been a volunteer with CREW Vancouver for four years. As the co-chair of the MarComm committee, she has been the driving force behind the scenes, overseeing marketing strategies and deliverables related to email communication, social media, and graphic design. Notably, she played a pivotal role in producing many of the marketing assets required for CREW Vancouver's first-ever Leadership Awards Gala.
In her professional role, she is the Marketing & Sales Manager at Strand, a Vancouver-based finance, development, and investment company active across North America. In this capacity, she manages a diverse portfolio of projects, including condo, rental, office, and industrial properties, all while actively contributing to corporate branding initiatives.
This individual's dedication and willingness to go the extra mile in everything she does, paired with her efforts to support and elevate our CREW community is the reason we are celebrating this individual tonight. Ladies and gentlemen, please join us in congratulating this exceptional individual for receiving the Excellence in Service Award. Her commitment to our community is truly inspiring, and her name is Jenna Macdonald. Thank you for your outstanding service and dedication, Jenna.
The industry nominated CREW Vancouver's Leadership Award recipients were determined by the below independent selection committee.
- Executive Vice President, Floorspace
- 2022 CREW Vancouver Leadership Awards Selection Committee member
- Former Senior Vice President of Asset Management, Nicola Wealth (retired)
- 2022 Recipient of CREW Vancouver Tribute Award
- Excluded from Catalyst selection given conflict
- Senior Vice President, Corporate Reporting, Grosvenor – Property Americas
- Excluded from Woman of Influence selection given conflict
- Managing Director, Avison Young
- 2023 AIC National Conference Chair
- Woman of Influence only given conflict
Where there was any conflict of interest, the relevant parties left the room and were replaced by the below alternates:
- Director of Asset Management, Manulife Investment Management
- 2023 CREW Vancouver Director of Education and Outreach
- 2023 CREW Network Scholarship Selection Committee Member
- Replacement seat for Woman of Influence and Catalyst
- Vice President of Real Estate Finance, Edgar Development
- CREW Vancouver Past President
- Replacement seat for Catalyst only
- 2023 CREW Vancouver Director of Finance & Governance
- Excluded from Woman of Influence selection given conflict
- Development Manager, Headwater Projects
- 2023 CREW Vancouver Sponsorship Co-Chair
- Excluded from Catalyst selection given conflict
As you may know, one of the ways CREW Network and all chapters ensure that the future of CRE is female is through scholarship programs.
This year alone, CREW Vancouver awarded 3 different scholarships to a total of 5 recipients. Please help us congratulate the following recipients of the scholarships awarded through CREW Vancouver in 2023:
CREW Vancouver & SFU Beedie School of Business Advancing Women Real Estate Award
- Christina Cao
CREW Vancouver & Conwest Award for Women in Real Estate
- Fiona Chen
- Ao Shen
The 2023 Gala featured keynote speaker Cheryl Cran, a #1 future of work expert and author of 10 books including her most recent, “Super.Critical.Human.” Cheryl shared her inspiring insights on celebrating the future of leadership.
Click below for a welcome message from keynote speaker, Cheryl Cran.
This year's recipients follow in the footsteps of past year's Leadership Award recipients.
We are honoured to share with you the 2022 recipients:
- Rising Star: Joanna Holliday
- Woman of Influence: Chrystal Burns
- Catalyst: Shenoor Jadavji
- Tribute Award: Mary Aubrey
- Excellence in Service: Barbara Dancshazi
We are honoured to share with you the 2021 recipients:
- Rising Star: Diana Lam
- Woman of Influence: Regina Marklund
- Tribute Award: Gayle Hunter
It's never to early to start thinking about nominating your favourite industry leader. The next Awards Gala program is scheduled for fall 2025.
Stay tuned for opportunities to nominate a leader.
Thank you to the 2023 Awards Gala Planning Committee
Front Row: Arunima Gupta, Elaine Chong, Tina Lu (Gala Chair), Jaime Douglas-Blake
Second Row: Diana Lam, Chelsea Tisdelle, Shabnam Ghadirnejad, Stacy Bozyk, Madeline Clement, Margo Smith, Tanya Cheung, Joanne Zoleta, Nancy Jia, Victoria Cortes, Veronique Turner