Throughout 2020, the BOMA/Chicago Foundation remained focused on our mission to advance the development of emerging talent in CRE through education, exposure and outreach. In fact, 2020 was our most successful year yet in regards to our mission – and that was possible because of YOU.
And we have kept that momentum going in the first four months of 2021. Please read through the below Foundation newsletter to learn about our 2021 Ollie and Full Designation Scholarship recipients, updates from previous scholars, our May 25 diversity panel, the Diversity Committee's 2021 career days and more.
Meet the Foundation's 2021 Reginald L. Ollie &
Full Designation Scholarship Recipients!
2021 Ollie Scholar
Assistant General Manager for JLL at 1 North Franklin
Congrats to Jose Bahena, JLL, who was named the BOMA/Chicago Foundation’s 2021 Ollie Scholarship recipient! Jose is currently enrolled in his fourth RPA class, Environmental Health and Safety Issues. Jose’s scholarship will cover all eight required RPA classes (worth $10,000).
Jose is the Assistant General Manager for JLL at 1 North Franklin. He has been in the CRE industry for over five years and he is currently responsible for managing tenant relationships along with capital and tenant improvement projects, preparing monthly and quarterly financial reports, overseeing building operations and more. Prior to joining JLL, Jose held an Operations Manager position at MB Real Estate.
Jose is an active volunteer at the Greater Chicago Food Depository and New Life Centers. New Life Centers is a non-profit organization that focuses on violence reduction and gang intervention on the westside of Chicago by addressing the community's needs. New Life Centers currently partners with the Greater Chicago Food Depository to provide meals to families most struggling as a result of the pandemic. Jose volunteers at their community events, food distribution and annual 5k fundraiser events.
Here are some inspiring words from Jose: “Diversity is not only about equality but about equity among groups of people. It's about celebrating the differences among one another and valuing the input of those around us. The differences in lifestyles, values, and experiences among the people I have interacted with have undoubtedly shaped who I am today. It is an honor to be the 2021 Ollie Scholar and I look forward to earning my RPA and working with our amazing members to further diversify the CRE industry.”
2021 Full Designation Scholar
Property Associate with JLL at the Central Standard Building
Congrats to Nikki Papazian, JLL, who was named the BOMA/Chicago Foundation’s 2021 Full Designation Scholarship recipient! Nikki is currently enrolled in her fourth RPA class, Environmental Health and Safety Issues. Her scholarship will cover all eight required RPA classes (worth $10,000).
Nikki, a Property Associate with JLL, is part of the Central Standard Building’s management team at 231 South LaSalle. She has been in the CRE industry for four years and is currently responsible for managing daily building operations, general accounting and tenant relations. Prior to joining JLL, Nikki held positions with Millbrook Properties and NAI Hiffman. In total, her property management experience amounts to an approximate 1.8 million square feet across six Class-A office buildings.
Updates from BOMA/Chicago Foundation
Ebony Andry, RPA
2016 Ollie Scholar
Assistant Property Manager for Hines at 300 North LaSalle
On March 13, 2021, I celebrated my fourth year with Hines! In November 2020, I completed Level I and II of the Hines Property Management Training Program (PMTP). I am also excited to report that I renewed both my Broker’s License and RPA designation in March 2020.
To this day, I am truly grateful for the Ollie Scholarship I received in April 2016. I am now a member of the BOMA/Chicago Foundation Scholarship Committee and I review applications for the Ollie Scholarship and help interview applicants. It is so rewarding and insightful to be on the other side of the table and I love taking part in a program that changes lives!
2020 Full Designation Scholar
Property Associate for JLL at 333 South Wabash
I am happy to announce that I have been recently selected by my company, JLL, to relocate to 333 South Wabash – AKA “Big Red” as the Property Associate. I am very excited for this opportunity to move to a premier Chicago office building and to join Noah Gens’ team, as he has a wealth of industry knowledge to share. I am currently enrolled in my seventh RPA class and am on track to complete my designation before the end of the year. In other exciting news, I have received the Moderna vaccine and am greatly looking forward to life in a vaccinated world. My four-year anniversary with JLL and in the industry is approaching at the beginning of the summer. Time flies!
Here is a photo with me and members of our local mutual aid group at a fundraising event. We effectively raised $2,000 here to redistribute to neighbors in need by partnering to sell donated bowls from local artists!
May 25 Virtual Diversity Panel
Historical Exclusion, Current Barriers & Becoming an Ally for an Equitable Future
If you are looking to become an ally for change starting today, then this panel event is for you!
In 2021, why is Chicago still such a racially divided city? How does Chicago’s history of racial segregation affect the commercial real estate industry? What are the professional experiences of your minority peers? How can we ensure that the minority leaders of CRE are given the support to become decision-makers? And how can we actively continue to recruit diverse professionals to our amazing industry?
These are some of the questions our Diversity Committee leaders and panelists will discuss at the BOMA/Chicago Foundation’s May 25 special webinar event – Historical Exclusion, Current Barriers & Becoming an Ally for an Equitable Future.
By attending this event, you will also learn about all of the current work and initiatives of the Foundation’s Diversity Committee and how you can get involved.
Do you want to sponsor this panel?
Sponsorships are available for $500 each and include two panel tickets, logo listed on emails and the website and verbal recognition at the event.
• Michelle Mills Clement, CEO at Chicago Association of REALTORS
• Maureen Ehrenberg, CEO of Blue Skyre
• Michael Emerson, Professor and Department Head at University of Illinois at Chicago
• Freddy Flores, Regional Sales Manager for the Midwest Region at Vantage Elevation
• Bridgette Battle, General Manager at L.J. Sheridan & Co.
• Liliana Leon, General Manager at JLL
Historical Exclusion, Current Barriers &
Becoming an Ally for an Equitable Future
May 25 from 1PM to 2:15PM CST
Virtual Zoom Program
$25 Tickets (open to BOMA/Chicago members and non-members)
Proceeds fund the BOMA/Chicago Foundation's efforts to promote diversity and scholarships
Diversity Committee Helps Member Companies Hire Summer Interns
Through our strong relationships with National Louis University (NLU) and other local non-profits, BOMA/Chicago has access to strong internship candidates. These candidates come from diverse backgrounds and are first-generation college students.
We are so proud to announce that the Diversity Committee has already assisted four college students secure CRE internships for the summer of 2021! Hines has hired two interns from NLU and DePaul University. Glenstar has hired two NLU summer interns. Thank you so much to Hines and Glenstar for supporting our diversity initiatives and opening their doors to underrepresented students.
Introducing the 2021 BOMA/Chicago Foundation Board of Directors!
The Foundation would like to introduce the 2021 Board of Directors and Officers! The Foundation Board looks forward to increasing awareness of the Foundation’s mission while continuing fundraising efforts and scholarship programs. The Board also plans to strengthen partnerships with Chicago colleges and local organizations to recruit, retain and promote diverse professionals.
• President: Lance Knez, Hines
• Vice President: Bridgette Battle, LJ Sheridan
• Treasurer: Joseph Sherman, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
• TJ Brookover, AmTrust Realty
• Graham Grady, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP
• Susan Hammer, JLL
• Derrick Johnson, Zeller
• Blanca Lopez, JLL
• Rebecca Miles, M&J Wilkow
• David Myles, MB Real Estate
• Paul Rades, CBRE
• Katie Scott
• Bob Six, Zeller
We would also like to thank and recognize our two former Foundation officers and directors who retired from the board – Bob Quast, Lincoln Property Company (Foundation President from 2016 to 2021) and Matthew Amato, JLL (Foundation Treasurer from 2016 to 2021). During their tenure, the Foundation raised $350,000, held 14 commercial real estate career days at local high schools and colleges that had 592 students in attendance, launched the Diversity Ambassador program, held a strategic planning session for the board and awarded 20 scholarships for the Real Property Administrator (RPA) designation.
The above picture was taken in February 2020 at the Foundation Board Strategic Planning Session. This picture is of the 2020 Foundation Board.
Become a Diversity Ambassador Today!
Meet your peers and volunteer at our diversity events!
By becoming a Diversity Ambassador, you will help the Diversity Committee and Foundation:
- Facilitate honest conversations about diversity and inclusion by encouraging others (and yourself) to share stories and experiences
- Educate and mentor underrepresented high school and college students about the CRE industry
- Recruit underrepresented professionals to the CRE industry and create professional advancement opportunities
- Host building tours, job shadow days and networking events
- Plan D&I education programs
BOMA/Chicago members and our community-at-large are encouraged to become Diversity Ambassadors. You will work hand-in-hand with our Diversity Committee in making measurable, positive steps in diversifying the CRE industry. Our future leaders are right here in our own community and YOU can make a difference by volunteering alongside us.
Learn More About the BOMA/Chicago Foundation
The Foundation offers scholarships, CRE career days & more!
The mission of the BOMA/Chicago Foundation is to advance the development of emerging talent in commercial real estate, inclusive of underrepresented groups, through education, exposure and outreach. Learn more by visiting our website and watch a video highlighting our mission and volunteers.