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DCS honours 'quiet' game-changers across the global Surveying profession

The presence of Black History Month ‘BHM’, in a post_George-Floyd environ has presented many challenges for the global population to contend with, not least of which includes some difficult conversations about the 'uncomfortable truths' that continue to co-exist. However, we want to park that soul-destroying conversation for now and pivot onto issues and individuals that actually make people smile and feel valued, through their work.

Historically, and rightly so since its inception in the UK, BHM has focussed on the sterling / game-changing 'historic' achievements of individuals from black origin and the feats, successes and sacrifices that have often been achieved, often in the face of adversity. Whilst there is immense value in this approach, to teach and educate the wider populace, there is less of a focus on ‘current day’ icons. However, this year, in recognition of ‘ordinary, yet amazing’ individuals, DCS have elected to have a weekly promotion via our website / and also on our new DiverseCity Surveyors page on LinkedIn, which launches today [1st October 2020]. We will update this page on a daily basis and continue to further engage with our wider global membership and emerging readership via LinkedIn and other Social Media platforms, including that proffered by our colleagues at RICS.

The format during BHM, will be as follows:

  • Week 1: Black Female Surveyors

  • Week 2: Black Male Surveyors

  • Week 3: Rising Stars of Black Origin

  • Week 4: Young Black Surveyors

Our Founder and Chair, Bola Abisogun OBE who is also a Member of the RICS London Regional Board, even during these turbulent and uncertain times, continues to work closely with the SMT and extensively with the RICS ED&I Team and will ensure that we leverage the above promotion across the ‘global’ RICS Social Media footprint.

In summary we want to focus on those within our talentpool, specifically from the BAME community, who we know and see as ‘actively supporting positive change within AND across the Surveying profession’. This ‘self-promotion’ has grown to become a significant part of our modus-operandi, simply because many within and from the BAME community, remain voiceless. There are many reasons for this profound and often stark inability [recently captured by colleagues over at EG], but in any event, it is the sole reason why we have changed tack this year. There are so many talented, charismatic and insanely articulate BAME individuals, that whilst this is our first attempt to ‘showcase our own’ we hope that the wider community will recognise their individual contribution to this wonderful profession. It is also hoped by all of us at DCS, that the industry / profession, continue to co-create genuine opportunities for BAME surveyors, that permit them to progress in their careers and achieve the successes that they are capable of delivering and so rightly deserve.

During the month of October 2020, we sincerely hope that you enjoy reading about their ‘individual potential’ and multi-faceted contribution to the world of Surveying.

[Day 1] we start with a piece by Dr Diane Dumashie FRICS, CEDR, APM, BSC

Diane currently serves as Vice President of the International Federation of Surveyors (FIG), and is a Trustee of Lionheart, the RICS benevolent Fund. Her previous board experience includes founder and chair of the FIG, Africa Regional Capacity Development Network, Property Director Scott’s Hotels, UN Habitat Advisory Group on Gender Initiatives (AGGI), RICS Governing Council. And over many years a member of a number of RICS regional, faculty and local boards as well as international expert group panel meetings.

She holds a Doctorate in Land Policy Planning & Integrated Coastal Area Management and a BSc degree in Land & Property Management. She is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and an accredited member of the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR).

Starting her career in managing and developing commercial property portfolios, she moved into the retail and hospitality sector. After gaining a doctorate she joined the development consultancy division at Grimly JR Eve before founding her own independent practice supporting UK public sector and donor aid client organisations.

Diane now works across the UK, Africa and the Caribbean, supporting public sector client organisations. Her consultancy practice, Dumashie Ltd, was established in order to utilise her depth of experience in trouble-shooting, path-smoothing and adding value to complex land projects involving spatial planning and economic development. Helping clients to frame those difficult conversations, Diane coordinates and delivers clients strategic projects that have a clear social, economic livelihood agenda linked to land

In the UK this relates to managing and delivering complex land, property and infrastructure regeneration projects with an economic and social development bias in the Health, Housing and local/ regional development sectors.

Internationally Diane helps public sector and multilateral agencies to benefit local communities through land administration, land management and economic development. Often seeking innovative approaches in land governance she specialises in the interrelationship of land, people and power in situations associated with African land governance institutions and gaining societal benefits arising from building sustainable economic livelihood opportunities

Working across Africa, Diane has earned an international reputation for her collaborative and communicative leadership style, and is widely acknowledged as an independent, experienced and innovative Africa country project leader. Diane’s focus is increasingly oriented to institutional building, and has undertaken consultancies for UN Habitat, World Bank, the Commonwealth Secretariat, and partnered with FAO, also supported by numerous publications. A well-known delivery expert in the areas of African land issues her work in institutional development & training has seen her involved with Ministries in Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania/Zanzibar and Kenya and through to establishing and operating a pan- African FIG Regional Capacity Development Network, working with land professionals across fourteen African countries.

In addition , holding a Doctorate focussed on business strategy in coastal areas, enables her to specialise in coastal land & marine interface (ICZM); bringing together the needs of coastal communities, economic and industry users and physical dimensions in marine environments and imputing into economic & coastal environmental planning and policy processes in the UK and overseas.

A passionate ambassador of societal equitable access to land and resources, in 2012 Diane established ‘Leadership 4 Change’ dedicated to designing and facilitating participatory knowledge transfer programs to assist African professionals. Regularly asked to deliver key note conference papers, she also chairs and facilitates high level panel discussions.

Director Dumashie, Ltd Director Dumashie, Ltd

Trustee Lionheart Benevolent charity,

Former Board member, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)

(, Former Board Member, UN Habitat, Advisory Group on Gender Issues (AGGI)

[Day 2] _ today we celebrate Veleta Brown MRICS

Veleta, recently qualified as a Chartered Project Management Surveyor and has worked internationally as a project manager in both the public and private sectors. She founded Elevate The Youth CIC in 2017 to allow her to combine her passion for #technology, #construction and the #builtenvironment with her passion for inspiring and elevating the lives of #youngpeople.

Let's celebrate Veleta Brown 🌟- you can also see her profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here

[Day 3] _ today we celebrate Deidre Toussaint MRICS

Deidre is an experienced and well qualified Chartered Quantity Surveyor, a proud STEM ambassador and Career Ready counsellor, working with secondary schools to assist the Career Lead to deliver the government’s career strategy as part of the London Enterprise Adviser Network (LEAN). A particular area of expertise is the advancement of diversity enticing more females into Surveying and other STEM professions with the help of the “Girls Like Me” initiative.

Let’s celebrate Deidre Toussaint 🌟 – you can also see her profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here

[Day 4] _ today we celebrate Ally Reid MRICS MCIArb

Ally is an extremely talented and well respect member of the Landsec Property Team. Trained and qualified as a Quantity Surveyor, and Arbitrator, she is responsible for a number workflows and support the firms ethnic minority working group, where she remains ad co-Chair.

Let’s celebrate Ally Reid 🌟 – you can also see her profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here

[Day 5] _ today we celebrate Michaela Bygrave MSc MRICS

Michaela is a Registered Valuer and specialist in affordable housing advice and valuation. In fact her key specialty is in trying to 'humanise the development process' for her clients.

With extensive exposure to and knowledge of the Continent, she has travelled across Africa talking to and working with those involved in building affordable housing in an attempt to better understand and meet the needs of local people.

Let’s celebrate Michaela Bygrave 🌟– you can also see her profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here

[Day 6] _ today we celebrate Melissa Madjitey MRICS CIHM

With a wide and varied professional journey focused on #socialhousing Melissa is a specialist in the sale and acquisition of large swathes of affordable housing, offering strategic #assetmanagement advice to many of the country's largest residential landlords in the UK.

Outside of work Melissa is a board member of Ekaya Housing Association, a specialist south London based BME landlord catering for predominantly black women in need of support and their children.

Melissa is also a huge supporter of #diversityandinclusion and key member of the Savills Ethnicity Group

Let’s celebrate Melissa Madjitey 🌟– you can also see her profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here

[Day 7] _ today we celebrate Sheila Kaijuka MRICS

With an international flavour and evolving skillset with periods [and experiences] spent in the USA and on the Continent [East Africa] Sheila has embarked on a personal journey of 'trial and tribulation' that has simply allowed her to be a better #professional.

Currently in London and focused on delivering #socialhousing with G15 landlord Peabody Sheila remains committed to addressing many of the social ills, current in the UK, including solving the social housing deficit.

Let’s celebrate Sheila Kaijuka 🌟– you can also see her profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here

Week 2

[Day 8] we start our recognition of Black Men in Surveying by showcasing Bernard Osei MRICS MCIOB, one of very few Black partners in the country.

Bernard recently joined Rider Levett Bucknall as a Partner, just last year in 2019, and heads up the firms Thames Valley commercial activities in the health sector.

Let’s celebrate Bernard Osei 🌟– you can also see his profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here

[Day 9] today we celebrate Learie Gonsalves MRICS one of very few Black independent practitioners in the East Midlands.

Learie is a STEM Ambassador and has in excess of 25 years experience within the building profession, along with extensive knowledge in both professional surveying and project-based disciplines. He is well versed in various aspects of building pathology and has clients in both the private and public sectors; locally, nationally and across Europe.

Let’s celebrate Learie Gonsalves 🌟– you can also see his profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here

[Day 10] today we celebrate Uche Obi FRICS a key member of the RICS Governing Council and senior level valuation expert.

Uche absolutely loves assisting candidates in their efforts to gain the RICS qualification.

"It's the opportunity to give back and help grow the organisation that greatly appeals to me," he explains. "At an RICS conference, a candidate mentioned I had assisted him with gaining the his RICS designation. That's something they don't forget and truly appreciate, even if you've seen many candidates for assessments,"

Let’s celebrate Uche Obi 🌟– you can also see his profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here

[Day 11] today we celebrate Nii Klotey Quaye MRICS an aspiring, independent PQS and Director of Quaye Services Limited.

Raised as a Garveyite, Nii Klotey Quaye has always had a sense of commitment to collaborating with his peers for collective development. From mentoring students in secondary school, organising African history talks in college, and being the 2006-07 University of Manchester’s African Caribbean Society President, Nii has consistently made room in his life for this unwavering sense of responsibility to his community.

Let’s celebrate Nii Klotey Quaye 🌟– you can also see his profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here

[Day 12] the last of our Black Men in Surveying, today we celebrate Ayodele Faleye MNIQS, RQS, PMP an (aspiring MRICS), independent PQS and Principal of Samprec Consultants Ltd.

Current Chairman of the Young QS Forum of Nigeria, and a Corporate Member of The Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors [NIQS], Ayodele is also a Professional Member of the Project Management Institute, U.S.A. He maintains the globally recognised certification in Project Management and has completed professional engagements and worked with Units Environmental Sciences Limited, a multi-disciplined consortium of Professional Architects, Engineers and Quantity Surveyors in Nigeria. Through his growing consultancy, he presently offers traditional PQS, PM and other digitally biased services [including BIM Consultancy].

Let’s celebrate Ayodele Faleye 🌟– you can also see his profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here

[Special Entry #1] today we celebrate Christopher Browne MRICS, Operations Director, MACE Cost Consultancy.

There aren't many in the UK construction industry that don't know Chris. An admirable character of immense charm, good character and professional cost management expertise. DCS Founder & Chair Bola Abisogun OBE, has known Chris for much of their respective careers as they both graduated in the mid 90's in Quantity Surveying, Bola at Wolverhampton and Chris at Birmingham City. The two have shared many ideas and executed well on their passion since that time, which has been and remains the development of people.

Let’s celebrate Christopher Browne 🌟– you can also see his profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here

[Day 13] today we commence with a showcase of Rising Stars in Surveying .... and today we feature Annette Oke MNIQS RQS MRICS SCIPM MInstLM, an experienced PQS and Partner at CEP Ltd [Lagos].

Annette always had a desire to be closer affiliated to her father and mother land and wishing to engage in more challenging roles, in 2010, relocated to Nigeria, with such exuberance to make a difference. So strong was her commitment, that within two months of her arrival, she signed up to do her NYSC and started her youth service under Batch B 2010. As a Senior Corper over 43 years old, she did not shirk on her duties and was made the Platoon Leader at camp, during her three weeks camp experience. During her year in service, she was the President of her charity group and the Corper Liaison Officer for the local government area.

Annette has a passion to serve and uplift the profession and works towards encouraging not just the younger upcoming members to work towards RICS chartered status, but also in promoting RICS to more senior colleagues.

Let’s celebrate Annette Oke 🌟– you can also see her profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here

[Day 14] another day and another amazing individual; today we continue with our showcase of Rising Stars in Surveying .... with a feature on Sunny-Thomas Obasuyi AssocRICS - Assistant Project Manager at G15 Landlord, L&Q

"...Giving back to the community is something I am passionate about, specifically tackling homelessness in the UK. This is why I became an ambassador for LandAid, a housing charity that provides housing for homeless youth. My role is to help promote the charity within the building industry and participate in fundraising activities - one of which involved sleeping on the streets of Shoreditch for a night. This was an incredible experience and gave some insight into the struggles that young people face on the street. I was able to raise about £2,000.

I am aiming to get involved in more charitable work, including volunteering (hoping to do some in West Africa) and sharing my knowledge and experience to encourage the next generation to consider a career in Real Estate.

A favourite quote of mine that has helped me in my career is by Richard Branson: "Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again". Like Mr Branson, I have dyslexia, so I find his life story empowering and awe-inspiring. It motivates me to continue to work hard despite my learning disability..."

Let’s celebrate Sunny-Thomas 🌟– you can also see his profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here

[Day 15] and another amazing individual; a true Rising Star in Surveying .... we feature Tatenda Metzger MRICS - Retail Estate [General Practice] Surveyor / Valuer, for EE [part of BT Property]

Given that Tatenda did not have much support to navigate through her early career, she decided to mentor and support others in the same position, particularly those from ethnic minority backgrounds. With her love for the profession and advocating for the future talent, Tatenda is currently serving on the non - exec RICS London Regional Board, with a view to positively helping to support others on their journey towards becoming chartered surveyors. She also conducts mentoring sessions & supports APC candidates.

Let’s celebrate Tatenda Metzger 🌟– you can also see her profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here

[Special Entry #2] today we celebrate Anthony Oloyede FRICS FCABE, Head of Building Control at the London Borough of Hillingdon.

For those that do not know, w/c 19 October 2020 [yes, during Black History Month] marks the one year anniversary of this historic achievement, achieved by dint of the sterling professional record of Mr Oloyede, who as Head of Building Control at the London Borough of Hillingdon, is and remains the first President of Black origin to hold the prestigious [one year tenured] position at the helm of the ever important Local Authority Building Control [LABC].

During his presidential year, Anthony has also been running a campaign of direct support to the Construction Youth Trust ‘CYT’ [a longstanding preferred partner of DiverseCity Surveyors ‘DCS’]. The aim of his campaign was to raise funds for the great work that CYT have done and continue to do, in light of their target market being young people from underprivileged backgrounds. The COVID pandemic has directly, affected Anthony’s plans, but nonetheless and in typical DCS fashion, he has pressed on and delivered his key objectives.

Let’s celebrate Anthony Oloyede 🌟– you can also see his profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here

[Day 16] and, as we begin the final furlough, we begin the last week with a focus on our amazing 'Young Talent', here, with an amazing individual; an inquisitive and hugely articulate young man .... we feature Jonah Speaks, Assistant QS at BAM Nuttall Ltd, based in the North West.

What are my future aims and ambitions?

My immediate goals concern completing the final year of my degree and hopefully completing my APC in the autumn following graduation. I then hope to help to play a part in expediting the impending ‘digital and cultural revolutions’ and start to make the ‘future’ the new normal. Improving my skills and competence in the uses of BIM and doing my part to improve equity, diversity and inclusion in construction are personal priorities.

The causes and prevalence of disputes in construction are also areas of interest. Even in a relatively short time, I’ve witnessed the same issues arise to become the sources of protracted disputes. I would like to gain further expertise in construction law with the aim of advising on methods for resolution and critically, avoiding disputes in the first place.

Let’s celebrate Jonah Speaks 🌟– you can also see his profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here

[Day 17] and, as we continue our final furlough, with a focus on our amazing 'Young Talent', here is another amazing individual; another fin example of determination and perseverance, with a genuine desire to "give back" both to his peers and those coming behind him .... we feature Ola Alade, Graduate Surveyor at PHP Health Properties.

Ola is driven by the belief that many working-class kids who grew up like he did in a poor neighbourhood and council estate are capable of a lot and are hampered by issues like lack of self-belief, lack of contacts and negative environment which he also suffered from.

He wants to be someone that imparts confidence, support and good advice to the next generation of surveyors, which he fulfils by dedicating his time to programs such as Regeneration Brainery, Property Needs You and Changing the face of property. Currently shortlisted for the Young Surveyor of the Year Awards 20202, Ola understands the value that networks such as DCS contribute in helping young surveyors make their way in the property field and is a very strong advocate.

“The ability to find and create value is the underpinning of what a surveyor is and I am glad I found this career.”

Let’s celebrate Ola Alade 🌟– you can also see his profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here

[Day 18] as we continue our BHM2020 week 4, we've a focus on an emerging and amazing 'Young Talent' himself, a promising futureleader presented in the form of Joshua Jackson, QS at Breyer Group

His apprenticeship journey started with a hands-on approach of all commercial aspects involved in construction working alongside his mentors. Roles included assisting with cost reporting, valuations, procurements, tendering and site measurements.

Amongst his ambitions, self - drive and motivation he was able to secure a full sponsorship from his Employer, Breyer. The challenge was to complete a Level 4 HNC in Quantity Surveying and the Built Environment which culminated in a promotion to a Trainee Quantity Surveyor. The duration of his HNC course was two years attended on a day release basis, covering subject areas including Building Law, Contract Administration, Construction Technology, Risk Management and Quantity Surveying Practice and Management.

Joshua has plans and acute focus on innovation and sustainability.

Let’s celebrate Joshua Jackson 🌟– you can also see his profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here

[Day 19] and we conclude our BHM2020 week 4, our focus on emerging and amazing 'Young Talent' presents us with an opportunity to platform a futureleader in the form of Shaynesia Byfield, PM at Homes for Haringey

Shaynesia has remained active in campaigns such as GoConstruct, and has been shortlisted as a UK Construction Week Role Model for 2 consecutive years. She is also a recent finalist of Design & Build UK Women in Construction Awards hosted by BBC / The Apprentice Finalist, Michaela Wain.

"From being on site to campaigns that I’ve been involved in, I choose to make myself visible so that others can see that a construction career is for them also. You cannot be what you cannot see. Surveying kick started my career".

Shaynesia has also created a podcast - @Conclusion_Hub. Recognising the need to amplify an array of voices, the platform aims to emphasise inclusion in Construction and the wider Built Environment.

Let’s celebrate Shaynesia Byfield 🌟– you can also see her profile on our DCS LinkedIn page; here


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