Twenty new students were recently announced for ACRE’s 26 week program designed to expand the representation of minorities in commercial real estate, property management, and construction management in Milwaukee. The program is administered by Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) in partnership with the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), Marquette University College of Business, and the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee School of Architecture & Urban Planning. ACRE is an innovative program, which provides students with the necessary tools and networks to be successful in the industry. This year, the program is being managed by LISC Executive Director, and inaugural ACRE program graduate, Donsia Strong Hill.
“The ACRE program directly addresses the problems that hinder minority representation the Commercial real estate industry. By developing the knowledge of the industry and establishing personal networks, ACRE students will leave the program prepared to participate in significant development projects across the city. The program is crafted to advance highly-motivated professionals into committed leaders with an abundance of ideas and talents necessary to reshape the future landscape of Milwaukee. Building resilient communities is the LISC mission and ACRE serves as a pipeline to assist in bringing that idea to fruition,” said Donsia Hill.
Twenty students were selected for the 2016-17 ACRE class after a rigorous application and interview process. Class members have varied professional experiences which include banking, architecture, economic development, low income housing, legal services, government, and private business. All were selected, in part, for their passion and vision for the future of Milwaukee.
The ACRE program curriculum has been further honed to reflect current market needs and trends, while also focusing on engaging the leadership potential of all. The program includes a collaborative framework which allows students to take a hands-on approach to development in the community, including experiential learning opportunities with the potential for actual development. Students are given the opportunity to meet and learn from top industry leaders and participate in related professional networks. At least one of their development project plans will be presented to a panel of industry experts at the end of the year.
“I’ve always wanted to lead development truly geared towards rehabilitating distressed communities for established residents through an artistic lens. I want to help redefine space, fuse new and existing resources and encourage diversity in Milwaukee’s longstanding communities,” said ACRE student Fatima Laster.
The 2016-17 ACRE class includes: Richard Badger, Rick Banks, Diane Beckley, Fatima Benhaddou, Francisco Bravo, Eferin Burns, Felix Castro, Deonna Chambers, Danita Graham, Bria Grant, Anthony Gray, Tameica Greene, Caleb Hutchins, Montavius Jones, Fatima Laster, Bobby Mcquay Jr., Abigail Ofori-Amoah, Luke Samalya, LaQuondra Shaw, and Joaquin Soto.
ACRE is provided vital support from the Mandel Group and The Opus Group. Cinnaire senior vice-president, Chris Laurent, is the lead instructor. Other industry leaders who support the program include: Continental Properties, Gorman Construction, GRAEF, Odgen and Company, WaterStone Bank, the Wisconsin Preservation Fund, and Compass Properties. Professional associations CARW, NAIOP, and IREM are also significant contributors.