NAI/Merin Hunter Codman Takes Social Responsibility Lead
“Real Leaders” Program Goes Beyond Real Estate & Into Communities

West Palm Beach, Fla. – NAI/Merin Hunter Codman, the largest commercial real estate brokerage firm in Palm Beach County, has announced the formation of its new “Real Leaders” program, part of a plan to launch the firm into becoming a leader in corporate social responsibility in both South Florida and within the real estate industry. The firm’s goal is to empower its employees to give back to their communities, setting the stage for leadership in both business and community. NAI/Merin Hunter Codman strongly believes that integrating such social responsibility into corporate business is the way of the future and follows on the heels of a surge in socially responsible investing by corporate America amid growing attention to social and environmental issues. NAI/Merin Hunter Codman’s Real Leaders program, first launched with a company-wide weekend of building for Habitat for Humanity in Palm Beach County, will include offering employees work-week time off to allocate to charitable causes, company drives for non-profit causes, and “greening” the many buildings the company manages, among a broad spectrum of other socially responsible activities.

“Our corporate goal is to lead by example,” said Neil E. Merin, Chairman of NAI/Merin Hunter Codman. “We want leadership in the workplace to carry over to community life. To that end, we’ll encourage everyday leadership as much as possible.” Merin was inspired by reading “Saving the World at Work”, by Tim Saunders, which urges businesses to “make a difference as you make a dollar”, outlining how from the mailroom to the boardroom, people can innovate to help their communities and planet.

Adds Jay Grossman, President of NAI/Merin Hunter Codman, “We believe social responsibility will come full circle, boosting employee morale and team-building and making for a more desirable workplace, thereby attracting the highest caliber employees and productivity.”

Awareness about social responsibility in business has been increasing in recent years. A Wall Street Journal article stated, “Companies that think creatively about how these issues [environmental, social governance issues, etc.] affect the bottom line are likely to have an edge over rivals that don’t.” And in a pension fund survey, more than 60% of respondents showed a willingness to accept lower returns if their investments could “do some good in this world”, clearly illustrating the increasing importance of social good in the business community.

NAI/Merin Hunter Codman, for one, already has a plethora of plans on the firm’s agenda to do some good. A firm-wide policy will permit each employee one day off per quarter to dedicate to a company-sponsored socially responsibility activity, or an employee may dedicate such time to a charitable cause of their own choosing. Planned activities will be offered on multiple occasions during each quarter and may include: beach/community clean-ups; assisting soup kitchens/homeless shelters; walks/runs that raise awareness for diseases; volunteering time for children’s causes; and collection drives and volunteering with pet/wildlife shelters, among other activities. In addition, NAI/Merin Hunter Codman hopes to assist individual employees in promoting their own, local charitable causes throughout the firm.

Already, some employees that were originally reticent to join in NAI/Merin Hunter Codman’s planned Real Leaders activities have had changes of heart. At the weekend of building for Habitat for Humanity, for example, nearly one-half of all firm employees dedicated time, with enthusiastic responses from all.

Clive Rainey, Director, Community Relations for Habitat for Humanity International, explains the dynamics of contributing “sweat equity”. “As we work beside them [soon-to-be homeowners] in our role as volunteers we also invest our own sweat equity into the building of a better and healthier community as we build a more equitable and just society.” Clive was Habitat’s first volunteer more than 30 years ago, so he is keenly aware of how commitments on both the personal and business level can help create and sustain communities.

Though NAI/Merin Hunter Codman does make donations to charitable causes, its Real Leaders program is aimed at donations of such “sweat equity” to maximize employee involvement in their communities. Non- and not-for-profit organizations interested in proposing NAI/Merin Hunter Codman’s involvement in their activities may contact Pam Rente at NAI/Merin Hunter Codman at 561-471-8000; prente@mhcreal.com to offer suggestions.

NAI/Merin Hunter Codman, www.mhcreal.com, is the largest commercial real estate brokerage firm in Palm Beach County, Florida with over two decades’ experience advising on strategic acquisitions, dispositions, tenant representation, leasing and comprehensive property management. The firm advises on all commercial property sectors from office and industrial to retail, multifamily and land. NAI/Merin Hunter Codman has among its client base some of the nation’s most prestigious institutional and private investors and through the NAI global network, can facilitate property transactions around the nation and the world, serving as a single point of contact for counsel and execution. NAI/Merin Hunter Codman is headquartered in West Palm Beach with regional offices in Boca Raton, Palm Beach and Palm Beach Gardens.

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