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New REME Award categories recognize achievement in DEI

REME Awards celebrate the work and achievements of real estate management professionals and firms who are advancing the profession through leadership, education, and innovation – all while making a difference in the lives of their tenants and community. As we continue to build engagement and elevate our colleagues, this year’s Awards will include three new categories for diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). These new categories will help inspire others as we lead the way for a more inclusive industry. And it all started with one woman’s idea.

From idea to action

Kimberly Parker, CPM®, ARM®, and 2021 Diversity Advisory Board Chair is a member of IREM’s Boston chapter and a longtime volunteer and advocate for DEI initiatives. Kimberly was involved in the first IREM chapter DEI award to be recognized locally. “The idea for us was to ensure DEI initiatives weren’t just a short-lived topic, and companies that are innovative in DEI programs and policies have a platform to showcase and teach the rest of us IREM leaders in a global way.” Through the power of storytelling, Parker says this recognition was a way “to help provide actionable and attainable DEI efforts to companies and IREM members looking for ideas and opportunities to begin or improve their DEI programs.”

With local success and excitement, this idea was presented to the 2021 Diversity Advisory Board with the goal of launching IREM DEI awards at the national level. Kim says, “it’s important that individual members or groups, regardless of their title or stature in this industry, are recognized for their DEI efforts for what may seem like a small gesture, but most times has a big impact.” In the spirit of the IREM tag line “For those who manage to make a difference,” that’s exactly what she set out to do.

Even though Kimberly’s position as Board chair only lasted one year, the idea to create a DEI award was supported by the 2022 DEI Advisory Board, chaired by Kaci Hancock, CPM®, ACoM®. Hancock agreed these awards would add significant value to the industry and help achieve IREM’s DEI goals by raising awareness of the value of embracing DEI. Kaci adds, “it will also bring international recognition of IREM’s commitment to DEI, highlighting the importance of DEI across the organization.” With Hancock’s leadership, and Parker as an  IREM volunteer, a work group was formed to design a DEI award in April 2022.

The DEI Award work group consisted of nine volunteers of the DEI Advisory Board who submitted a proposal to develop DEI awards in August 2022. This proposal included three new DEI award categories that were soon approved by the IREM Board of Directors and are now included as 2023 REME Award categories.

What’s new?

Three new DEI categories have been added to the REME Awards – two for businesses and one for individuals:

The IREM DEI Innovator Award recognizes a real estate management company making an impact on real estate management with a new, original, creative, and/or advanced program or initiative.

The IREM DEI Excellence Award, offered at both the company and individual level, recognizes demonstrated commitment to DEI in real estate management, extraordinary achievements in the DEI scope, and/or positive impact on the communities they serve.

Using the platform to inspire

IREM defines inclusion as follows:

We know our success depends on diversity. We're committed to understanding the perspectives of underrepresented groups and doing the work that's needed to include all voices.

Parker talks about the importance of storytelling and how it can help change perspective and challenge consciousness. “To me, it’s more about the story than the actual award. We just need a reason to have the platform to inspire.” Using this platform and sharing these stories helps move forward IREM’s mission to advance the profession of real estate management.”

Nominate a company or individual now.


Great article! Happy to play a role in bringing your vision to life. Keep up the good work!


Erica great job and Kaci thank you because you definitely did a great job.


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