Global Director, Learning and Development
Meet Char Fortune
What is your role at Avison Young?
Global Director, Learning and Development.
I lead our talent development efforts delivered through AYLearn, which include both onsite workshops and eLearning courses. I also lead our Emerging Leaders affinity group.
How did you get into commercial real estate?
By accident. I got a job as a secretary for a contractor/developer in Raleigh, NC. My boss knew I wanted to do more and gave me the opportunity to learn the leasing business. I cut my teeth on a 30,000 SF office building and a 75,000 SF retail center.
Who has been the biggest influence in your life and why?
My mother. She was from the Greatest Generation, was college educated, and served as a registered nurse in the Navy in WWll. Her mission in life was to educate my sister and me and get us out of West Virginia where we grew up. Her standards were very high, accepting nothing but straight As in school. Otherwise we were grounded for the next six weeks. We were taught to finish whatever we started and not stop until it was the very best we could do. She was quite the task master.
What is the best advice you've ever received?
Two things; If you don't have anything smart to say, don't say anything at all. And, look people in the eye and listen intently, you just might learn something.
How has Avison Young supported you as a woman in business?
They are quick to recognize my contributions to the organization and give me lots of runway to help raise the next generation of commercial real estate professionals.
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
I was a serious tomboy as a kid.