And the REAL Award Winners Are...

And the Winners Are...


Corporate Real Estate Executive of the Year

Congratulations to Paul Jaskowiak, Global Director of Real Estate at Kantar, LLC as the winner of the 2020 Corporate Real Estate Executive of the Year.

Overseeing 3.3 million square feet of real estate across 100 countries, Paul led Kantar’s transformation into an Agile (Activity) Based Workplace while creating forward thinking, exciting workplaces that identify with the Kantar branding, and reflect the local culture in each market. He assembled an entirely new Global Real Estate team after Kantar went private at the end of Q4 2019 and currently is leading a study of the Future of Work in a post-Covid environment while overseeing the global return to work. Paul has been an active member of CoreNet, participating as a speaker at roundtable discussions and mentoring Young Leaders.

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Service Provider of the Year

Congratulations to Carrie Ehrlich, Managing Director of Client Solutions at CBRE as the winner of the 2020 Service Provider of the Year Award.

Carrie Ehrlich is a seasoned commercial real estate professional with 20 years of experience in strategy development, transactions, projects, facilities management, and industrial engineering, both in End User and Service Provider roles. Carrie works with cross functional teams to develop and deliver full service real estate and facilities management solutions for clients and has been a champion for working alongside her clients throughout the pandemic. She has also been an incredible mentor and has been heavily involved in the CoreNet Chicago Chapter throughout the past several years.

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Young Leader of the Year

Congratulations to Jillian Brown, Senior Advisor with the Flexible Office Solutions Practice at Avison Young as the winner of the 2020 Young Leader of the Year Award.

Through her relationship building and demonstrated success, she leads the Avison Young Flexible Office Solutions Occupier business to assist enterprise occupiers leveraging flexible solutions within their overall portfolio management strategies. Avison Young’s Flexible Office Solutions is a vertically integrated team supporting enterprise occupiers, institutional owners, and flexible operators via advisory and transactional services by taking an agnostic approach to leverage the entire flexible ecosystem, layering in PropTech and Space as a Service support partners available in the market today to deliver customized, bespoke solutions.

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Innovation – Community Outreach

Congratulations to SmithGroup and Uptown United as the winner of the 2020 Innovation Real Award in Community Outreach.

The pandemic brought unimaginable hardships to businesses everywhere, including local restaurants, shops and entertainment. SmithGroup’s volunteer team collaborated with the Uptown Chamber of Commerce to develop a new and innovative permitting program, allowing local businesses to continue operating in a more adaptive and flexible way, specifically customizable to their needs. The streets were transformed into a mix of additional outdoor dining and retail space, curbside pick-up zones, and parking, restoring the vitality and prosperity of the neighborhood.

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Innovation – Construction

Congratulations to ACCEND Construction as the winner of the 2020 Innovation Real Award in Construction.

A proactive and assertive approach to addressing the construction issues of infection control, schedule implications caused by supply chain disruptions and physical distancing constraints on jobsites distinguish ACCEND in the construction innovation category. After just two short months of dedicated research and testing ACCEND was the first in the industry to introduce both a Disinfection Fogger and a Protective Shield solution for jobsite safety. Their proprietary SIPP meeting process evolved into a digital software platform for real-time supply chain updates. The final challenge which ACCEND overcame was to maintain high visibility for clients of active jobsites without in-person visits through a collaboration with OpenSpace for virtual job walks.

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Innovation – Diversity and Inclusion

Congratulations to Kimberly Dowdell, Principal at HOK, as the winner of the 2020 Innovation Real Award for Diversity & Inclusion.

Kimberly Dowdell has been a champion for diversity in architecture since entering the profession. While still an undergraduate at Cornell, Kim co-founded the Social Economic Environmental Design Network (SEED), a global movement that standardized social, economic, and environmental justice as metrics for design projects around the world. Presently, she is the global co-chair of HOK’s Diversity Advisory Council, assisting in fostering a sense of belonging for all 1600+ colleagues. In her tenure as president of the National Organization of Minority Architects she has more than doubled the membership, from 900 members in January 2019 to over 2,000 at the end of 2020.

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Innovation – Healthcare

Congratulations to Stantec Architecture as the winner of the 2020 Innovation Real Award in Healthcare.

Transforming McCormick Place Convention Center into an Alternate Care Facility for 3,000 patients is a feat in itself, but to do so within 25 days is astonishing. Innovative design concepts were completed within a few days of project initiation. Prefabricated products and processes were selected to create separation based on patient type and in creative ways to support the required duct work, piping and conduits for infrastructure and medical gas. This design-build partnership with USACE with support from MPEA and the City of Chicago resulted in a game-changing facility for Illinois.

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Innovation – Industrial Design

Congratulations to Monaco & Company as the winner of the 2020 Innovation Real Award in Industrial Design.

How do you define space within an open office for an industrial design team within a tech firm, balancing the concerns for privacy, CDC compliant separation and functionality? A custom designed solution from Monaco & Company solved for all issues. The concave and convex curved whiteboards on wheels created boundaries and provided brainstorming space. No other products on the market served to solve for all the concerns listed, and has expanded in popularity as a way for employees to create organic mobile dividers.

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Innovation – Property Management

Congratulations to ESD as the winner of the 2020 Innovation Award for Property Management.

Looking to create a healthier and safer space that inspires confidence, trust and transparency during the pandemic, Riverside Investment and Development turned to ESD to deploy a state-of-the-art indoor air quality program. The combination of optimized ventilation air, superior mechanical filtration and the bipolar ionization air purification system provide high indoor air quality. Distributed air quality sensors measure and verify performance of eight separate air quality components including carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, VOC’s, airborne particulates, ozone, radon, formaldehyde and outdoor fresh air supply rates. The data is connected through cohesion’s Intelligent Building Platform to the Building Automation System so that the HVAC system can proactively respond and optimize ventilation rates and air quality throughout the building. Tenants also have access to the data and can seamlessly monitor the indoor air quality through an intuitive app on their mobile phone or computer to verify the current indoor air quality conditions.

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Innovation – Workplace

Congratulations to HOK as the winner of the 2020 Innovation Real Award in Workplace.

1 in 8 people are considered neurodiverse, but fewer than 50% know it. We are living in a time of increased diagnosis and awareness of neurodivergent conditions including Autism, Tourette’s, ADHD, Dyslexia and Parkinson’s. To add to this, the workforce is becoming increasingly stressed and burnt out. People can’t find the right spaces for the task at hand and many are struggling to think or have a mindful moment. HOK has made it a priority to ensure design spaces are inclusive for all, addressing mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. Their latest report, “The New Inclusivity – Neurodiversity and Workplace Inclusion” provides thought leadership and planning approaches that are shaping the future of the workplace.

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