Avison Young appoints new independent board member

by Duffie Osental on 05 Apr 2019

Commercial real estate servicer Avison Young has announced that France Desharnais has been appointed to its board of directors.

Desharnais will also be a member of the audit committee of the board. She becomes the board's second independent director, and her appointment expands the board to nine members.

Read more: Avison Young acquires Toronto realty group

Desharnais has held numerous leadership roles in the banking, insurance and wealth-management spheres. As a board member and senior corporate executive, she has applied an innovative approach to diverse sectors – including real estate, aerospace, retail and consumer products, entertainment, transportation and manufacturing in both Canada and France.

She currently serves as an independent board and audit committee member with Quebec's television and broadcasting society (Société de télédiffusion du Québec). She has also held board and committee member positions with the Quebec MBA Association, the Canadian Cancer Society, and the Desjardins Credit Union.

"We are thrilled to have France join Avison Young's board of directors," said Mark Rose, chair and CEO of Avison Young "France has a well-established track record of exceeding expectations wherever she has served. She is pragmatic and creative, and excels at simplifying complex situations to facilitate effective decision-making, strategy development and the successful execution of long-term business goals. She was innovating before the word became fashionable."

"Not only is France an experienced leader who is passionate about helping companies achieve their growth and profitability agendas, she thrives on collaboration, partnerships and making everyone in the organization accountable to clients through the proper mobilization of resources. She knows how to ask the right questions to drive results and manage risks. We look forward to benefiting from her diverse experience and strategic leadership."

"We welcome France to Avison Young's board of directors,” said Bob Slaughter, board member and chief legal officer at Avison Young. "She will bring another outside perspective to the board's deliberations. France's experience as an executive at companies in the services sector and managing relationships with complex, strategic clients, as well as her international experience, will enable her to make important contributions to our board's discussions as Avison Young continues to execute its growth strategy."

"I am privileged to join the board of Avison Young as an independent director," said Desharnais. "The firm's rapid expansion and success over the past 10 years are a testament to Avison Young's strong values, culture and unique approach to serving clients. Avison Young's strong leadership team and collaborative working environment have been recognized by numerous awards and accolades over the years, and I believe in the company's client-centric approach to building trusted, long-term relationships with clients and serving them wherever they choose to operate on the globe. I am eager to contribute to the continued success and growth of Avison Young. In this quickly changing environment, our clients, more than ever, need guidance to ensure that their workplace facilities have a positive impact on people's lives."

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