I had the pleasure of representing Project REAP at the largest industry event of the year, ICSC Las Vegas, in May. Yes, retail is alive and well! During the conference, Project REAP presented our inaugural Vanguard Award to ICSC president and CEO Tom McGee, who accepted it on behalf of the organization. In honor of REAP’s 25th anniversary, we commissioned the Vanguard Award that will be granted each year to institutions or individuals who champion diversifying the commercial real estate talent pipeline.
REAP’s partnership with ICSC goes back to REAP’s beginnings in 1998. ICSC was the first association to not only support REAP but to play a pivotal role in enabling its launch: It provided classroom space, funding, and, for many years, space for its headquarters. ICSC remains strong and unwavering in its commitment to REAP. Today, it is a Platinum-level sponsor.
Tom is the perfect standard bearer for ICSC and the organization’s ongoing dedication to the mission of REAP. Many times and through multiple sources, he has expressed his deep and personal commitment. In April of 2022, in an article he authored entitled “Breaking Down DEI Barriers,” he lamented the small percentage of diverse professionals in top positions in CRE and wrote: “ICSC is committed to continuing to pave the way for a more diverse workforce in our industry and one that better reflects the diverse communities in which our members operate and serve – and the world in which we live.”
Weeks prior to RECON, he wrote an article about the conference where he said, “Enhancing diversity and encouraging the next generation of talent is an industry imperative.” He pledged that ICSC and the ICSC Foundation are dedicated to changing the landscape to “a more equitable industry and workforce.”
Project REAP is excited to celebrate 25 years of impact and looks forward to honoring CRE industry leaders and institutions committed to diversifying the talent pipeline.