After 2020’s virtual award ceremony, the energy in the room was electric as this year’s winners took the stage in recognition of their achievements. These additional awards were given out at the Global Summit to recognize the outstanding contributions of our chapters and members who managed to make a difference in 2021.
Diversity & Inclusion Succession Initiative (DISI) Leaders Program
The DISI Leaders Program, funded by the IREM Foundation, recognizes IREM members from underrepresented groups in the real estate management profession. These dynamic professionals demonstrate exemplary leadership skills at the chapter level and have shown interest in advancing their careers using IREM’s network and resources.
Student of the Year
This award is given to an outstanding college or university student enrolled during the 2020–2021 academic year who demonstrates a record of academic achievement and interest in pursuing a career in real estate management.
Anna Gronholm is a student member with IREM and is currently in her senior year at the University of Georgia. She is pursuing a double major in housing management and policy and business management, and a certificate in legal studies. While maintaining a 4.0 GPA at Georgia, Anna is active in many extracurricular activities. She holds leadership positions, such as vice president of H.O.U.S.E., an organization for students interested in residential property management, and secretary for Food2Kids, a student-run nonprofit in partnership with the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia. Anna has worked as a property management intern at Vickery Creek Investments and Lincoln Property Company. “It’s clear Anna’s going to have a successful career as a property manager, and we can’t wait to join her on that journey!” says Denise LeDuc-Froemming, 2021 IREM CEO and Executive Vice President. After graduation in Spring 2022, Anna plans to pursue a real estate license and attain IREM certifications as soon as possible.
IREM Foundation Awards
Lloyd D. Hanford Sr. Distinguished Instructor Award
The IREM Foundation presents this award to an IREM Instructor for exceptional commitment to advancing professional real estate management education. This year, we are excited to present this award to two deserving individuals who have demonstrated exceptional commitment and dedication to their students, their area of focus, and the educational process.
Thomas Elmer, CPM, has been an IREM instructor since 1990 and has taught the ASM Track throughout the U.S. and China. Recently, he was certified to teach the MPSA preparation course and has used IREM’s live online course model to lead students through their final stages of preparation before taking their CPM and MPSA exams. By lending his expertise to students as they prepare for the CPM Capstone, he demonstrates his commitment to advancing the next generation of real estate leaders. In 2020, he received the IREM Minneapolis Chapter’s CPM of the Year award to recognize his contribution as an educator and mentor.
Hao Sun, CPM, is dedicated to expanding IREM education in China, where he served as the president of IREM China Shanghai from 2017–2019. His instruction has made significant contributions to the cultivation of China’s asset management sector. He has been instrumental in expanding the development of professionalism within China’s real estate industry, and he has positioned IREM as a leader in this endeavor.
J. Wallace Paletou Award
This award is presented to a CPM who has made significant contributions to the betterment of society through their role as a real estate manager.
Glenn French, CPM Emeritus, has been blazing trails for diversity and inclusion within IREM and the real estate industry for decades. He is celebrating his 46th year as a CPM, after 41 years ago becoming the first African American to join the IREM faculty. In 2009, in partnership with IREM, French became the first person in the nation to establish a real estate degree program at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) when he launched the real estate major at St. Augustine University, an HBCU in Raleigh, North Carolina. French served as co-chair of IREM’s HBCU task force, and his efforts laid the groundwork for much of the progress happening today. As a consultant to Harvard’s Public Housing Operating Cost Study, French has contributed greatly to public housing.
Academy of Authors
IREM’s Academy of Authors is a program to honor our members who contribute to IREM’s publishing initiatives. Criteria for induction are based on a point system, and inductees must earn 20 points through various contributions to IREM’s publishing program, including writing feature articles or columns for JPM, serving as a contributing book reviewer for an IREM publication, or authoring a book.
Cindy Clare, CPM, in addition to her teaching responsibilities as an IREM instructor and conducting the Instructor Training program multiple times, has also found time to contribute to several IREM publications. She was a book reviewer for Business Strategies for Real Estate Management Companies, and she served as the editor for the most recent edition of Practical Apartment Management. Her contributions have played a significant role in supporting IREM’s position as a knowledge leader in the field of real estate management.
Dr. Deborah Phillips, CPM, an IREM instructor, has been very giving of her time in contributing to IREM publications. She has written multiple articles for JPM and was a book reviewer for Field Guide for Practical Apartment Management. In addition, Deborah has authored Multifamily Housing, a joint venture with the National Apartment Association and the National Multifamily Housing Council, and she wrote the “Leadership Development—Networking” white paper. Dr. Phillips’ reputation for encouraging others to reach their highest potential can be seen in her writings, and her influence on the IREM community is a valuable source of inspiration.
Nancye Kirk recently retired after an impactful 44-year career with IREM, where she was an incredible asset to the organization and its publications. During her tenure, she often brought her journalism background to the table to the great benefit of IREM. Kirk frequently participated in production oversight, as she did for the latest edition of Shopping Center Management and Leasing. She also cultivated long-term relationships with influential contributors, authored several articles and columns for JPM, and produced numerous blogs and exclusive content.
Chapter Innovation Award
These awards recognize IREM chapters for the development and delivery of innovative chapter programs.
Region 7 Chapter
In response to our country’s social justice challenges throughout 2021 and its members’ desire to effect change within the real estate industry, the Region 7 Chapter developed a webinar series and 21-day DE&I habit-building challenge to encourage awareness and growth. IREM chapters from Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and Tulsa collaborated on a two-part webinar program addressing the key issues of cultural fit and transforming the DE&I status quo through new habits. The result was a resounding success, reaching both IREM members and nonmembers across the entire U.S.