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RICS Americas hosts seminar on Diversity & Inclusion in Atlanta, GA

Bruce Kellogg delivering his opening statement

On the 7 November 2017 and after several months of planning, the first seminar by DiverseCity Surveyors was conducted jointly with Mr Bruce Kellogg, FRICS - Chair of the South East Chapter of RICS Americas.

The theme of the seminar was strategically deployed in seeking to 'normalise' the conversation around all strands associated with diversity & inclusion [D&I]. The current state of D&I across the US market was depicted and presented by several well informed industry professionals, including:

  • Cherelle Cortez, Snr Diversity Manager, JE Dunn Construction

  • Christine Gorham, Business Development, CREW Atlanta / Eastwood Real Estate

  • Marlon Day, Snr Director, Quest Valuation & Advisors

  • Professor Daniel Castro PhD, Georgia Tech

  • Emily Fu, AREAA / Capital Investments International

My own presentation encapsulated the salient points provided by the aforementioned speakers and was an informed attempt to proffer an alternative career option to members within the audience in the field of Construction Cost Management [or Quantity Surveying, as referred to in the UK]. Reference was also made to 5DBIM and the potential for real estate clients to mitigate traditional construction risk(s). An emerging joint initiative established with the School of Building Construction, Georgia Tech is seeking to establish and promote this viable career option to both industry professionals and incoming undergraduates.

Unsure of the overall impact of the seminar, it was humbling to observe a comment from a female attendee, who affirmed that in her seventeen [17] year existence in the US construction industry, she had never been invited to or attended a forum where the conversation about diversity had been addressed head on. Such an endorsement was testimony to the administrative team led by Ms Silvana Curlo and Mr Allen Williams of the RICS, New York office along with Bruce Kellogg.

On the strength of the positive feedforward received from an array of attendees, drawn from the City of Atlanta, Faithful & Gould, JLL and Gleeds, the team at DiverseCity Surveyors are looking forward to future events on this critical, topic of interest.

An extra special thank you was placed squarely at the feet of Mr Phillip Thomas and Ms Sherry Watkins, both of Newmark Knight Frank, who provided the venue and the working lunch.

Further gratitude is also extended to RICS / Appraisal Institute, CREW, Project REAP, CCIM, AREAA, CoreNet Global, NAIOP, AIA, IFMA, ASA and ULI, all of whom supported the event, with many offering CE credits for their members who attended on the day.

Bola Abisogun [left] with representatives from the City of Atlanta, Larry Scott [middle] and Karl Walbrook [right]

Representation from the City of Atlanta [above]

Speaker; Christine Gorham [middle] Past President, CREW Atlanta

Representation from CREW Atlanta [Christine Gorham, middle, above]

Speaker; Professor Daniel Castro, PhD, Georgia Tech

Representation from Georgia Institute of Technology [Professor D Castro, PhD, middle, above] with Bola Abisogun FRICS [left] and Bruce Kellogg MAI, FRICS [right]

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