Member spotlights

Member spotlights

In 2009, Jo-Anne Mann was new to the property industry, charged with building a new centralised real estate function. Needing support, she joined CoreNet to increase industry knowledge, build a network, and to keep up with trends and market changes.

After more than a decade of membership Jo-Anne says, “Without a doubt, the best things have been the relationships and the information I have gathered. I now know so many people in the industry and they are all so generous with their time.” As her career has progressed, the international exposure through CoreNet has been invaluable, including attending international summits.

Four years ago, Jo-Anne transitioned from being an end-user to a service-provider, with the change being less daunting thanks to the support she could gather from CoreNet. “The doors did not shut, I did not have to start again, and I could call on my network with confidence,” says Jo-Anne.

She continues to encourage others to join CoreNet, saying “CoreNet will extend your network and boost industry knowledge. But more than that, you will build genuine relationships where people really care about you – especially in a crisis like this year’s pandemic. So many people have reached out to see if I am ok.”

With over 20 years membership, Angus Harvey Ross’s ties with CoreNet go deep. He first encountered the association in the late 1990s (when it was still IDRC), inviting them as speakers to an inaugural CRE conference.

“I was instantly enamoured with the information and ideas being shared on occupational property. I hadn’t seen anyone in Australia with the same understanding of how and why businesses occupy property, and a value proposition on how we can support business,” says Angus. “CoreNet’s research available online remains phenomenal.”

Connection with like-minded people and access to interesting thinkers within corporate real estate community is also a core benefit for Angus. “I’ve met wonderful people who have become good friends. Plus being faculty, I’ve been fortunate to work with people through Asia and Oceania,” he says.
Angus strongly encourages all members to attend as many CoreNet events as possible and take full advantage of the networking opportunities. “Everyone is prepared to share, but you have to be in the room to get that benefit. In addition, no two occupiers are the same, so attending events helps you to learn the full variety of what people are trying to achieve through their use of real estate.”

Julie Huynh joined CoreNet Global Australia in 2012 after being invited to join by a former committee member. With four years corporate real estate experience at that time, Julie was keen to share knowledge, learn from peers and take advantage of networking opportunities.

In the years since, Julie says that being part of CoreNet has given her a broader context of the corporate real estate industry. A highlight has been undertaking the MCR program with the support of her employers, finishing in 2019. During the program, Julie was able to undertake an elective unit on Enterprise Alignment in Paris saying, “It was a fantastic chance to share and learn from European counterparts. Ironically, members from each geography thought the other region was leading the industry, so there was strong mutual respect.”

Taking advantage of the professional development programs like the MCR, as well as attending as many events as possible are two of Julie’s recommendations for getting the most from your membership. “While events are currently virtual, that can make it even easier to attend,” she says, “but I am looking forward to returning to face-to-face events and connecting with members in person again, hopefully soon!”

Associate Professor Chris Heywood has been a CoreNet Global Australia member for over two decades, stretching back to the association’s beginnings in Australia. He had recently moved into an academic role and was looking to build connections in the industry.

CoreNet Global has certainly delivered on this goal with Chris saying the connections with the community is one of the best things about being a member. “I remember attending the CoreNet Summit in Singapore and looking around thinking ‘these are my people,’” he says. “The people I’ve met through CoreNet think about real estate in the same way, seeing the bigger picture.”

As one of Australia’s leading corporate real estate researchers, based at the University of Melbourne, Chris highly values the learning aspects of CoreNet and regularly directs his students to the association’s resources.

Of course, CoreNet’s events program also delivers, and making the effort to attend events is Chris’s biggest recommendation to other members or people who are considering joining. “There’s always something to learn from the events, even if you don’t think the topic is up your alley. You’ll come away with something valuable and the networking afterwards is always fantastic too.”

Cathy Sullivan has been a long-term CoreNet Global member, originally joining through her employer’s corporate membership. She was attracted to CoreNet for the networking opportunities and knowledge sharing with corporate real estate peers.

Over the years, Cathy has particularly enjoyed many events including RE Forums, finding the agenda to be on point and the sessions interactive;  jams/hackathons, which she describes as a fun and engaging event; and, site tours great for seeing what others are doing in their workspace.  She’s also enjoying the online events that CoreNet has run this year in response to COVID-19 restrictions, saying, “CoreNet has run great virtual sessions. They’ve been easy to attend and with smaller numbers, there is active participation. I particularly found the return to site planning session valuable, a great session with the exchange of ideas and sharing of information.”

It is embracing this potential for interaction and sharing information that is Cathy’s biggest recommendation for other members. “My best tip is to actively participate in sessions and engage with members outside of the formal activities to build further rapport. This helps to build a network of people you can call on for support and advice.”

Michael Saddington has been a CoreNet member for over a decade, after previously trialling various real estate and facilities management associations. But CoreNet stood apart for the integration of real estate and facilities management, as well as the quality of discussions on the nature and purpose of real estate as a business enabler.

Michael has since taken full advantage of the opportunities on offer. This includes attending CoreNet conferences both in APAC and Europe, as well as the MCR program. “The MCR in particular was a game-changer, providing skills to think about real estate in a strategic way.” Michael also did three additional modules to gain the Workplace designation, known as the MCR.w. This additional study into alternative ways of working and imagining the workplace has certainly paid dividends in 2020, with Michael seeing the ease of adjustment for businesses that had already embraced flexible work.

Michael strongly encourages members to take advantage of the CoreNet events program, whether that’s virtual or in person, as well as the professional development of the MCR. “If you can go to a global event, in particular, it’s a great way to learn about new and ever-changing technologies.”