Property Biz Canada

Rare Canuck on BOMA International Executive Committee

There is some Canadian content at the top of the Building Owners and Managers Association – International (BOMA International) following the election of Bentall Kennedy’s Keith Major to the executive committee of the Washington-based organization, a move that could see closer integration between the U.S. group and BOMA’s chapters in Canada.

Major, a property director with Bentall Kennedy in Toronto, was one of two Canadians considered for a spot on the six-member committee and is the first committee member hailing from north of the border since Bill Garland, President at Daniels Associates Inc., stepped down as a member of BOMA International a number of years ago.

In fact, it was Garland who urged Major to put his name forward for consideration. After a number of conversations with BOMA officials in the U.S. and Canada, he decided to seek the position.

Major expects to play a role in more closely knitting the organization together. “From BOMA International’s perspective they are looking for helping me to liaise with BOMA chapters in Canada, whether it be BOMA Canada or local chapters like BOMA Toronto or BOMA Ottawa,” said Major. “They are looking for that interface to help identify synergies between the organizations and leverage off those synergies where we can.”

The new BOMA International executive committee member has identified a few opportunities right off the bat. The first is in the area of education and training where local and national organizations are all aiming to development education programs.

“BOMA International does a number of education/training programs and a lot of the local chapters are also developing their own education programs,” he said. “My thought is there is really no reason for everybody to try to do this on their own. If we can, what we really should be trying to do, is have ideas from the local chapter go up to the international organization, where hopefully we can frame up and develop this a little bit quicker, and disseminate it back to a wider audience” as a finished program.

BOMA’s U.S. structure also features closer integration of its regional organizations with the international group, a feature that Major hopes can be emulated in Canada.

Opportunity to create cross-border synergy

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The Bentall Kennedy executive also sees an opportunity to create some synergy or cross-border scale by perhaps bringing together the best of two similar sustainability and environmental awareness programs, BOMA BESt in Canada and BOMA 360 in the U.S. “From a branding perspective does it make sense to use one brand or can it or should it be two and can we leverage some synergies,” he said.

“A property owner in Vancouver who also manages buildings in Seattle should go through the same process to be certified.”

Major attributes his selection to “my general knowledge of the markets in Canada was certainly one and hopefully being able to bring more Canadians to the table as being another” factor in his selection.

At Bentall Kennedy, Major is responsible for the Property Management, Operations and Development activities for Bentall Kennedy in Ontario and has played a key role in the growth of the company from six million square feet to 31 million square feet since 2000.

In recent years, he has been active in BOMA’s Toronto and Ottawa chapters but has not served at the board level of either. “My first choice in the past has been to support my staff to get heavily involved” with BOMA. He has served at the committee level, as chair of the Energy and Environment Committee for BOMA/Toronto and represents BOMA as the consumer representative on the Smart Grid Forum for Ontario.

Major is joined on BOMA International’s Executive Committee for a two-year term by Robert M. Brierley, Vice-President of operations for the Boston Region with Brookfield Properties (BOMA/Boston); Brian D. Cappelli, a Vice-President of Forest City Commercial Management (BOMA/Cleveland); J. Michael Coleman, Vice-President of Marketing – Commercial Real Estate wit AlliedBarton Security Services (BOMA/Philadelphia); Brian M. Harnetiaux, Vice-President, Transwestern (BOMA/Orange County); and Wade W. Lange, Vice-President of Property management, Langley Investment Properties (BOMA Oregon).

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