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Amy Vuong and Kerris Hougardy Join BOMA Canada’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council

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Colliers is very pleased to announce that Amy Vuong, Vice President, Strategy, Real Estate Management Services, and Kerris Hougardy, Vice President, People Services – North America, have joined BOMA Canada’s newly created Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Council. 

“I’m very excited to be part of this amazing group and initiative. Growing up, I never heard of commercial real estate, Colliers or the role I’m in. I hope we can work to create more access and opportunity for people from a variety of backgrounds, for those who are not yet in the industry and those who are trying to navigate their way through,” shares Vuong.

The Council is advisory in nature and aims to provide guidance, support and standardized resources to the commercial real estate sector. “We want to make equity, diversity and inclusion part of the DNA of the commercial real estate industry,” says Suhaila Cappuccino, BOMA BEST Program Administrator. 

“We are prepared to have open, honest and sometimes tough conversations to ensure that we will affect real change and the goals of the committee align well with our D&I strategy at Colliers,” says Hougardy.

Compared to the United States, Canada lacks data on the history and progress of equity, diversity and inclusion across the commercial real estate industry. The newly minted Council is in the process of educating themselves on where the industry currently stands, what the core issues are and what needs to change. “We are a new committee and our goals are not laid in stone. We are learning as we go but we have a vision for what we want it to be,” says Cappuccino.

The volunteer Council consists of people from various property management companies and government groups. BOMA Canada put out a call for volunteers at the end of June and held its first meeting in late July. BOMA Canada was moved to start the Council following the death of George Floyd and the growth of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

BOMA Canada was also inspired by how quickly organizations mobilized and responded to the COVID-19 pandemic. BOMA Canada itself promptly pivoted and became a resource hub for the industry when the COVID-19 crisis hit. “We realized similar resources could be used to help people make organizational change,” adds Cappuccino.

The Council hopes it can encourage the commercial real estate industry to start moving together as a whole. “We have a voice and we want to use it to start taking the right steps forward,” says Cappuccino.


For More Information, Please Contact:

Amy Vuong

Vice President, Strategy REMS Canada

Toronto Downtown

Amy is a thoughtful marketer with a focus on linking marketing strategies to business development, client retention, and corporate communications. With experience in both the brokerage and property management aspects of commercial real estate, Amy has developed an in-depth understanding of what is important to clients, internal partners, and external stakeholders. Over her past ten years with Colliers, she has combined this with her marketing expertise to result in numerous successes and new business wins.

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Kerris Hougardy

Vice President, People Services – North America

Vancouver

As VP People Services for North America, Kerris provides senior HR leadership to support all business units across the US and Canada, approximately 7000+ professionals. She is responsible for leading the North American People Services team of more than 80 professionals, overseeing all aspects of talent management.  Prior to this, Kerris was the Director of Talent Acquisition for North America leading all Talent Acquisition activity for the region.  She coached, mentored and managed a high performing team of 18 Talent Acquisition specialists with a focus on strategic business partnerships, candidate experience excellence, employment brand championship, diversity & inclusion and continuous process improvement. 

Before joining Colliers in 2017, Kerris worked at Catalyst Paper and was HR business partner to all corporate staff and the executive leadership team in Canada and the USA, including the Distribution Centres, Finance, Sales & Marketing, Customer Solutions, Sourcing & Technical Services, HR and Corporate Services which involved regular visits to mill and manufacturing operations and offices in BC, Maine, Wisconsin and Ohio.  In addition she was responsible for leading a team of 3 talent acquisition specialists in recruiting and enabling the selection of operations, trades, technical, professional, managerial and executive talent across the company in both the US and Canada – approximately 2,600 permanent staff (80% hourly & unionised).

Kerris' career has spanned two continents.  Prior to relocating to Canada from the UK 9 years ago, she had a successful career in recruitment, working for a range of small boutique, large international, and self-owned search firms specialising in senior level executive search.

 

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