Building Today for a Stronger Tomorrow: CBRE Cares New England Year in Review

cbre-cares-ne-logoAs New England’s largest commercial real estate services company, CBRE/New England (CBRE/NE)—led by its dedicated professionals—has a significant impact on the industry and the communities in which its employees live and work. Each professional represents CBRE/NE in their neighborhoods, and the company fully appreciates the importance of that responsibility. The motto, “Building on Compassion,” is a regional and national call-to-action that will challenge our employees to expand their leadership positions in their communities by supporting charities and rebuilding lives.

CBRE/NE manages approximately 36 million square feet of properties across New England and the CBRE Cares New England program is designed to harness the aggregate potential of CBRE/NE tenants and employees. In 2016, participants contributed towards several causes that included days of service paired with similarly themed collection drives.

Food Drive: Over 2,500+ Pounds of Food Collected

In conjunction with a variety of local food pantries affiliated with Feeding America, CBRE Cares facilitated its seventh annual Food Drive in March to collect and distribute non-perishable goods to families in need across New England. Over the course of just two weeks, CBRE Cares collected a total of over 2,500 pounds of food donations. Our Connecticut team also bagged two tons of apples for Foodshare, a local initiative founded on the mission of ending hunger in the state.March 2016 312.JPG
A capping-off event took place on March 3 at the Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) where CBRE/NE volunteers united with directors to help achieve GBFB’s mission of ending hunger in eastern Massachusetts. Over the course of the day, we had 60 volunteers who contributed to sorting 13,754 pounds of food, making it possible for the GBFB to supply 10,798 meals to those in need.

Put Your Clothes to Work Drive: Over 3,000 + lbs Collected
cbreIn June, CBRE Cares partnered with the Goodwill Clothing Collaborative and participated in its “Put Your Clothes to Work Drive.” Gently used and clean professional and business attire were collected at buildings across our portfolio. CBRE/NE collected and distributed over 3,000 pounds of clothing for aspiring professionals. Over 500 individuals who are enrolled in job training programs now have access to these donations, free of charge, to help establish their interview and professional wardrobe.

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On June 9, CBRE/NE teamed up with Cradles to Crayons for a day of service at their Brighton Giving Factory. Volunteers enjoyed a day of fun as they created “KidPacks” to help Cradles to Crayons work towards their mission of providing basic necessities for children in need. At a separate event in August, several employees helped 188 people pick out wonderful new outfits to give them the confidence to make a great impression and ace any upcoming job interviews.

Book Drive: Over 2,700 Books Collected

BookDriveRecap_2016.jpgBy providing kids with the tools so many take for granted, our August book drive allowed kids to focus on what’s really important—enjoying a good book and expanding their imagination.
CBRE Cares partnered with the United Way to collect and distribute over 2,700 books to children across the region.

Bed Build: 30 Beds Built

On October 21, CBRE/NE volunteers worked together to build furniture for toddlers to fulfill a basic need that most of us take for granted—a bed. Beds were distributed through agency partners to families with children transitioning out of homelessness and foster care. Our partner, Boston Cares, has worked with skilled furniture makers to develop a simple bed design and assembly process that allows volunteers with minimal training or experience to produce beds that are attractive, sturdy and easy to assemble.img_3589

Toys For Tots/Gift Giving Drive

During the holiday season, CBRE Cares organized a Toys for Tots Drive to allow local underprivileged children and families to experience a happy holiday. The drive recently wrapped up, but donations are still being made to the properties throughout our portfolio. ‘tis the season of giving after all!

Our employees and tenants always find time to give back to our local organizations throughout the year and some individuals make the extra effort to volunteer on their own time. Read more about their efforts here.

CBRE/NE at the 2016 MA Conference for Women

By Rachel Goldberg, Assistant Vice President, Client Services | Valuation & Advisory

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Rachel Goldberg

Last week I was afforded the opportunity to attend the 2016 MA Conference for Women with about 20 of my CBRE/New England colleagues. Overall, the experience was empowering and energizing, but most of all, reassuring. Being a woman in a male-dominated industry isn’t always easy. One of the break-out sessions that stuck with me the most was called How to Lead…When You’re Not in Charge. We learned about two different mindsets: Fixed and Growth. Leaders maintain a growth mindset. The qualities of a growth mindset are as follows:

  • Has a passion for learning.
  • More willing to take risks/confront challenges and work through them.
  • Failure doesn’t define them.
  • Open to accurate information about their current abilities.
  • Resilient in the face of setbacks.
  • Thrives on challenge.
  • Values where they are going regardless of outcome.
  • Believes success is earned.

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Leaders also demonstrate credible performance by meeting and exceeding standards, communicating intent and expectations, holding others accountable for their performance; seeking responsibility before beginning to place blame; and valuing everyone and serving people in ways that matter.

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Another lesson learned in this session was to lead with confidence. Confidence is built by:

  • Experiencing success and recognizing and internalizing one’s own achievements.
  • Surrounding yourself with positive role models who have your best interest at heart.
  • Creating positive self-appraisals/positive self-narrative.
  • Managing other key emotions: the more dramatic you are, the less you’ll be able to access confidence.

Millennials have an impactful contribution to the leadership at our company. We may not have leadership designations, but we bond emotionally with one another and empower one another. We demonstrate the growth mindset every day, and we learn from one another.

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Over 10,000+ in attendance at this year’s conference!

The next session I attended was Gender Partnership: Engaging Men As Advocates to Pioneer Pay Equity. I was shocked to learn from the thought leader (Catherine Corley, Senior Vice President, Global Operations, Catalyst) and speaker (Beth Carlson, Vice President, Global Talent Development & Organizational Effectiveness, Raytheon Company) that less than half of men believe that gender-stereotyping is an issue, while 76% of women believe it to be. One of the speakers began with a brilliant point: women are over-mentored and under-sponsored. We do not have enough male (or female) sponsors who speak highly of us and our achievements to others. Part of the reason is because women are afraid to request it. It is harder for women to talk about their aspirations than it is for men; therefore, women’s careers plateau while men continue ascending.

The group learned that progress is halted by a lack of male allies. If we are able to engage with men so that they understand and believe that gender-stereotyping exists (and that nobody wins from it), progress would occur more rapidly. According to the session leader, change has plateaued, which is unfortunate, because if it slows, women are not projected to reach pay equity until 2152. Men are afraid to help women for a variety of reasons, which include fear of making mistakes and fear of other men’s disapproval. Women can help to engage men by discussing our experiences of being outside of male privilege in a non-accusatory way. The pace of societal change is dependent on male allies, and alienation slows the pace.

 

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Andrea DeSimone with keynote speaker Kevin O’Leary

 

When we broke for lunch and regrouped with our peers my heart swelled with love from the energy in that room. Hearing about the other sessions my colleagues attended was inspiring. The keynote speaker at lunch was Sara Blakely, founder of SPANX, Inc. Her personal story of achievement exhibited so much strength of character, resolve and self-actualization. I was absolutely beaming listening to her, hoping that the other women in the room knew that they are all capable of the same capacity for self-love and conviction.

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Part of the CBRE/NE crew wrapped up for the day.