Cushman & Wakefield has raised $25,000 from its successful Annual Softball Tournament and Career Day benefitting Youth Business Alliance (YBA).
YBA is a non-profit organization in Los Angeles that focuses on bringing critical business skills and perspectives into the classroom by leveraging business partnerships and resources from the community. It currently serves more than 600 students across 20 Title 1 high schools and programs in underserved communities throughout Los Angeles, many who are considered “at-risk.”
Marques L. Williams, a Director in Cushman & Wakefield’s Media & Technology Practice Group serves on the Board of Directors for the YBA organization. Mr. Williams also serves as the Southern California Chapter Lead for Blacks United in Leadership & Development (BUILD) and is a member of Cushman & Wakefield Future Leaders (CWFL) program.
The 4th Annual Softball Tournament and Career Day took place on November 15 at Penmar Park in Venice. More than 150 YBA students attended, as well as 200 corporate participants from companies including Cushman & Wakefield, Wheels, Boohoo, The Black Tux, GoFundMe, GoDaddy, Steelhouse, Jack Nadel International, Create Music Group, and Vroozi.
Ten companies competed in the Softball Tournament to earn the 2019 “Catayst for Change” trophy. Each team was encouraged to highlight their company’s diversity by highlighting equal representation across race, gender, sexuality, creed, etc. Michael Gooch, Peter Griffin, Paul Sims, Brad Gross, Hayden Clegg, George Qiao, Marques Williams, Adam Dembowitz, Jon Gorcyzca, and James Lonergan represented Team Cushman & Wakefield.
The Career Day portion provided YBA students with exposure to industry leaders and skills such as professional etiquette, networking, public speaking, professionalism, time management, and career readiness training, and financial literacy. Students participated in panel discussions led by several LA natives who have made significant impact on their communities, including Deputy Mayor Barbara Romero, YBA CEO and founder Mark Stagen, video director Calmatic, author Alicia Dunams, and in college application workshops hosted by the University of California, Los Angeles, a financial literacy workshop by Royal Business Bank, and a book drive sponsored by Cushman & Wakefield.
“We set out to curate a fun and educational experience for current and future thought leaders from all socioeconomic backgrounds, but the impact has expanded beyond networking and collaboration. We’ve built a community of forward-thinking individuals who acknowledge, respect and celebrate the value of diversity and inclusion in business. We’re thrilled to have raised $25,000 for YBA and are honored to partner with them in our mission to be catalysts for change,” said Mr. Williams.
Cushman & Wakefield was named to Forbes’ The Best Employers for Diversity list for 2019. In addition to BUILD, employee resource groups at the firm include Asians and Pacific Islanders in Real Estate (ASPIRE), Cushman & Wakefield Future Leaders (CWFL), Hispanic and Latino Advancement (HOLA), LGBTQ+ Integrated Network (UNITY), Veterans Initiative Program (VIP), and Women’s Integrated Network (WIN).