Five industry leaders join Avison Young's new office in San Francisco
Apr 23, 2012, 11:00 ET
John Cashin, John Norton, Jonathan Allen become Principals
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, April 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Earl Webb, President, U.S. Operations, of Avison Young, Canada's largest independently-owned commercial real estate services company, announced today that five commercial real estate industry leaders have joined the firm's new office in San Francisco.
The new additions expand Avison Young's newly-opened 12th location outside of Canada, and the company's third California office.
Effective immediately, John Norton, Jonathan Allen and John Cashin join Avison Young as Principals. Melinda Miyagishima joins the firm as a sales and marketing specialist/office manager and Raquel Ledesma becomes sales and marketing specialist/market research co-ordinator. All five will be based in Avison Young's new downtown San Francisco office, which opened April 11, 2012.
Prior to joining Avison Young, all five worked in the San Francisco office of Cornish & Carey Commercial Newmark Knight Frank with Nick Slonek, who was appointed two weeks ago as Avison Young's new Managing Director for the Northern California region.
"In a dynamic market like San Francisco, it's vital that our new operations get off to a strong start. This talented new San Francisco team will help us achieve that goal and enable us to gain a solid foothold in San Francisco and Northern California from the outset," comments Webb. "All five team members are proven industry leaders who will help us continue to recruit top professionals from throughout the region, and further our expansion program in the Western U.S., which we view as an integral part of our future growth."
Allen will continue to focus on tenant representation on behalf of his public and private office clients, Norton will continue to specialize in agency leasing, and Cashin will continue to concentrate on servicing both landlords and tenants throughout the Bay Area. In addition, Cashin will play an active role in the recruitment of young brokers as Avison Young continues to expand in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area.
"I could not be more excited to embark on this exciting and challenging journey with this crew," notes Slonek. "Most of us have worked together for nearly a decade now, so we know what we need to do to be successful together. We are truly a team."
Webb adds that the appointments reconfirm Avison Young's strong desire to use its highly profitable platform and its pristine balance sheet to recruit more senior brokers, executives and administrators to fill the company's service-delivery needs in San Francisco and the Western region, and further the growth of the Avison Young brand nationally and internationally.
"Avison Young's commitment to quality service combined with its strategic plans to build its brand across North America and beyond, and expand in all facets of the commercial markets, is something I look forward to being a part of," says Norton. "Avison Young's holistic approach to providing best-in-class real estate solutions creates a compelling value proposition for our clients."
"Taking the next steps in our careers with Avison Young is quite an honor," notes Allen. "We look forward to reaching the next level of client service with our new platform and with our esteemed colleagues across the United States and Canada."
Adds Cashin: "The company's vision for growth and its focus on the client are completely parallel to my goals. Avison Young's pool of talent, resources and expertise gives us the ability to provide the most comprehensive real estate services to our clients."
Avison Young's new San Francisco office is located at 601 California Street, 5th floor, in downtown San Francisco.
Over the past three years, Avison Young has grown from 11 to 29 offices in 26 markets and from 300 to more than 900 real estate professionals across Canada and the U.S.
Avison Young opened its first California office in Los Angeles in August 2011, followed by a second Los Angeles office in December through the acquisition of Ramsey-Shilling Commercial Real Estate Services, Inc.
Jonathan Allen has 13 years of sales and leasing experience in the commercial real estate industry and joins Avison Young after spending the past five years with Cornish & Carey Commercial Newmark Knight Frank. Before that, he worked for six years in the Bay Area with Grubb & Ellis Company. Allen's move to Grubb coincided with his move to the Bay Area after he launched his real estate career in London, England. Allen's major clients have included Trulia, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Sierra Nevada Corporation, San Francisco County Transportation Authority, KeyBank, Lending Club, and the Consulate General of Canada. His community participation includes pending election to the Board of Directors for Wu Yee Children's Services. A native of England, Allen holds an honors undergraduate degree in urban land economics from Sheffield Hallam University in his home country.
Prior to joining Avison Young, John Cashin spent seven years with Cornish & Carey Commercial, negotiating on behalf of both tenants and landlords. He moved there in 2004 after three years as a tenant-advisory expert with Transwestern Commercial Services. Before joining Transwestern, he helped operate his family's residential firm, Cashin Company Realtors, a prominent real estate company in the Bay Area. Cashin's clients have included Wells Fargo Securities, Oak Hill Capital Management, GLL Real Estate Partners, Broadreach Capital Partners and Sears Corporation. Cashin is a member of the Olympic Club and Meals on Wheels. He holds a Bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Oregon.
John Norton launched his commercial real estate career in England in 1999 before moving to San Francisco to join Grubb & Ellis Company in 2001. Since then, he has specialized in both landlord and tenant representation in the downtown San Francisco office market, serving local and national clients. He joined Cornish & Carey Commercial's San Francisco location in 2007. Norton currently represents Langley Investments, Ashforth and GE Pension Fund at 405 Howard Street, and Kennedy Wilson at 300 California Street. Recent clients include Levi Strauss, Skyy Spirits, Blurb and New Resource Bank. Norton is a graduate of the urban land economics school at Sheffield Hallam University in England.
Prior to joining Avison Young, Melinda Miyagishima spent eight years as a sales and marketing assistant in the San Francisco office of Cornish & Carey Commercial, of which she was a founding member. A licensed California real estate sales agent, she supported the downtown office leasing team and was named Employee of the Year in 2009. Prior to joining Cornish & Carey, she served as an administrative assistant for three years at CB Richard Ellis in San Francisco, working with the project management group and brokerage services. Miyagishima has also held positions with two well-known architectural firms, Reel Grobman & Associates and Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum, and a small private real estate firm. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in health and physical education from Oregon State.
Raquel Ledesma has 12 years of experience assisting commercial real agents in San Francisco. Before joining Avison Young, she served as a sales and marketing assistant at Cornish & Carey Commercial for four years, supporting the downtown office leasing team. During her career, Ledesma has handled a variety of tasks, ranging from desktop publishing to database maintenance. Prior to moving to Cornish & Carey, she served as an administrative assistant with Grubb & Ellis Company and with Whitney Cressman Limited (now GVa Kidder Mathews). Ledesma was named Cornish & Carey Commercial's Employee of the Year in 2011, Grubb & Ellis' Employee of the Year in 2007, and Whitney Cressman Limited's Employee of the Year in 2000. She holds a Bachelor's degree in health education from San Francisco State University.
In February, Avison Young was named a winner of Canada's 50 Best Managed Companies program for 2011, sponsored by Deloitte, CIBC, National Post and Queen's School of Business.
Founded in 1978, Avison Young is Canada's largest independently-owned commercial real estate services company. Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Avison Young is also the largest Canadian-owned, principal-managed commercial real estate brokerage firm in North America. Comprising more than 900 real estate professionals in 29 offices across Canada and the U.S., the full-service commercial real estate company provides value-added, client-centric investment sales, leasing, advisory, management, financing and mortgage placement services to owners and occupiers of office, retail, industrial and multi-residential properties.
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SOURCE Avison Young (Canada) Inc.
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