Avison Young wins esteemed Sonoco Supplier Diversity Award

Global consumer packaging leader recognizes real estate firm's diversity

TORONTO, June 4, 2014 /CNW/ - Avison Young, the world's fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm, announced today that the company is a 2014 recipient of Hartsville, SC-based Sonoco Products Company's esteemed global Supplier Diversity Award

Now in its 10th year, Sonoco's supplier diversity initiative recognizes Sonoco suppliers who demonstrate clear differentiation from their competitors with measurable, strategic and transparent diversity responsibility efforts.

"On behalf of all of the employees at Avison Young, we are deeply honoured to receive this award from Sonoco. We, at Avison Young, take great pride in the diversity of our clients, partners, brokers and staff members, who hail from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds," comments Mark E. Rose, chair and CEO of Avison Young. "Equally important, we value the diversity objectives of our clients. We leverage our open architecture to identify and partner with companies that can help achieve those goals. This distinguished award from Sonoco, for which we are extremely grateful and humbled, confirms that following through on our values and commitments is appreciated by our clients, and sets an example for others in the commercial real estate industry."

Each year, Sonoco performs an internal assessment of which suppliers best understand and support the supplier diversity initiative. Those suppliers that best demonstrate creativity and determination to support Sonoco are recognized.  

"This year's award recipients should be proud; they were chosen from a pool of very competitive entries," states Marc Ensign, Sonoco's Supply Management Director of Strategic Sourcing and Supplier Diversity. "We were extremely impressed with our suppliers' initiatives in the areas of sustainability, environmental responsibility and diversity."

"I am pleased Avison Young was chosen as a recipient this year. Avison Young saw diversity was important to Sonoco and demonstrated that understanding by following through to support our goals," adds Scott Cameron, Sonoco's Finance Manager, Corporate Supply Management.

Avison Young provides Sonoco with outsourced commercial real estate services, including transaction management, lease administration and portfolio strategy. The account is managed by Avison Young Principal Chip Watson and Avison Young's Director of Learning and Professional Development Char Fortune, who are both based in the firm's Atlanta office.

Avison Young collaborates with Chicago-based ProVantage Real Estate Services and Atlanta-based T. Dallas Smith and Company as part of the services that Avison Young delivers to Sonoco. Meredith Kern, a partner at ProVantage, provides lease database management and administration, along with Christine PisutT. Dallas Smith and Dexter Warrior provide strategic third-party transactional support and brokerage expertise in partnership with Avison Young to Sonoco.

"Sonoco made us aware of their diversity goals and challenged us to demonstrate that we could provide outstanding service while partnering with real estate-related businesses owned and operated by women, African-Americans and other minorities," says Watson. "We viewed this challenge quite seriously because, unfortunately, the industry lacks diversity in many areas. We have developed strong, mutually-beneficial relationships with ProVantage and T. Dallas Smith and Company."

"Avison Young's non-silo management style and open architecture allow us to develop seamless alliances with ProVantage and T. Dallas Smith and Company," adds Fortune, who accepted the award on behalf of Avison Young. "Avison Young sought meaningful ways to meet Sonoco's objectives, and this award confirms that we are making strides to assist its goals. We look forward to doing more business together in the future with outstanding firms as we serve Sonoco and other like-minded clients."

Other Avison Young employees who service the Sonoco account include Hartsville, SC-based transaction manager Fred Arnold; Atlanta-based Principal Brent Weitnauer, who specializes in industrial property transactions; and Chicago-based Principal Michael Fonda, who also specializes in industrial transactions.

Avison Young was presented with the award during the 10th annual Sonoco/JBE/MYCA Supplier Diversity conference on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 in Hartsville, SC.

As a footnote, in 2013, Avison Young engaged its sustainability professionals to come together across all business lines and from across North America to join the company's newly-formed sustainability affinity group. This diverse group of professionals is responsible for creating the company's road map to sustainability and the firm's annual corporate sustainability report. This group also acts as a resource to provide information, advice and support to all Avison Young professionals.

About Avison Young

Avison Young is the world's fastest-growing commercial real estate services firm. Headquartered in Toronto, Canada, Avison Young is a collaborative, global firm owned and operated by its principals. Founded in 1978, the company comprises 1,500 real estate professionals in 57 offices, providing value-added, client-centric investment sales, leasing, advisory, management, financing and mortgage placement services to owners and occupiers of office, retail, industrial and multi-family properties.

About Sonoco

Founded in 1899, Sonoco is a global provider of a variety of consumer packaging, industrial products, protective packaging and packaging supply chain services. With annualized net sales of approximately $4.9 billion, the Company has 19,900 employees working in over 335 operations in 33 countries, serving many of the world's best known brands in some 85 nations. Sonoco is a proud member of the 2013/2014 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index. www.sonoco.com

•Editors/Reporters: please click on link to view and download photo of award presentation


Left to right: Scott Cameron (Sonoco), Chip Watson (Avison Young), Char Fortune (Avison Young), Marc Ensign (Sonoco)

For further information/comment/photos:

Sherry Quan, Principal, National Director of Communications & Media Relations,   Avison Young: 604.647.5098; cell: 604.726.0959

Mark Rose, Chair and CEO, Avison Young: 416.673.4028

Chip Watson, Principal, Avison Young: 404.865.3668

Char Fortune, Director of Learning & Professional Development, Avison Young: 416.673.4028

Marc Ensign, Supply Management Director of Strategic Sourcing and Supplier Diversity,   Sonoco Products Company: 843.383.7000

Scott Cameron, Finance Manager, Corporate Supply Management, Sonoco Products    Company: 843.383.7000


Avison Young was a winner of Canada's Best Managed Companies program in 2011 and 2012 and requalified in 2013 to maintain its status as a Best Managed company.

Follow Avison Young on Twitter:

For industry news, press releases and market reports: www.twitter.com/avisonyoung

For Avison Young listings and deals: www.twitter.com/AYListingsDeals

Follow Avison Young Bloggers: http://blog.avisonyoung.com

Follow Avison Young on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/avison-young-commercial-real-estate

SOURCE: Avison Young Commercial Real Estate (BC)

For further information: Media Relations: Sherry Quan, 604.647.5098 or 604.726.0959, sherry.quan@avisonyoung.com


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