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On Wednesday, Toronto-based commercial real estate services firm Avison Young named Jessica Toppazzini as the Managing Director of its Vancouver office, making her the firm’s first female Managing Director in Canada.

Toppazzini joined Avison Young in January 2022 to build the Valuation and Advisory team. She served as the Senior Vice President and Practice Leader in British Columbia, guiding business strategies and complex valuation services for the firm.

She will be taking over the helm from Michael Keenan, who assumed the Managing Director role at the firm’s Vancouver Office in 2011 and is now retiring.

In a press release, Avison Young said that Toppazzini will focus on business development, expanding the firm’s reach and brand in the marketplace, and increasing revenue, including through the firm’s global intelligence platform, AVANT.

“Toppazzini’s object is to continue to build upon Avison Young’s integrated, holistic offering for clients, helping her team partner with service lines and experts across the country and around the world,” the firm said.

Prior to joining Avison Young, Toppazini was a Commercial Real Estate Appraiser and Partner at Garnett Wilson Realty Advisors Ltd. for several years, was President of the BC Expropriation Association, and a member of the Appraisal Institute of Canada’s Vancouver chapter.

She has worked across British Columbia since 2009, including on large infrastructure projects such as the Evergreen Line SkyTrain and the Port Mann Highway One, as well as the valuation of proposed purpose-built rental developments required for CMHC financing purposes, and has since specialized in valuations for social housing purposes, proposed multi-family projects, and mixed-use developments, according to her Avison Young biography.

“Jessica represents a new wave of leadership at Avison Young, demonstrating an exceptional laser focus on exceeding goals, and thinking critically and strategically, which makes her a natural successor for Michael Keenan,” said Mark Fieder, Principal and President of Avison Young in Canada.

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Jessica Toppazzini becomes the firm’s first female nanaging director in Canada, although not the first in the company, as the firm has a total of 10 female managing directors spread out across the United States, United Kingdom, and Germany.

“I am proud to have become the first female Managing Director for Avison Young in Canada — it’s a great accomplishment,” Toppazzini said. “I am thrilled to embark on a new journey and use this opportunity to showcase my dedication to empowering women in their careers. I look forward to leading the team, and collaborating with them on new perspectives and opportunities.”

Howard is a Staff Writer at STOREYS. He is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, and has also written about media for One Zero and international politics for WhoWhatWhy. Before STOREYS, he was also the Deputy Editor of 604 Now.

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