The Pinnacle Awards have become a benchmark for excellence in the commercial real estate industry.
Started in 2002, the awards honor the highest producing commercial brokers in Memphis for the previous year in a number of categories including broker and newcomer of the year. All commercial brokers who hold membership in the Memphis Area Association of Realtors Commercial Council are encouraged to submit an application.
“It’s been very well received for a number of years,” said Steve Guinn, vice president of Highwoods Properties Inc.’s Memphis office and co-chairman of the Pinnacle Awards. “I’ve looked back on some of the people that have won awards in the past – Ron Riley, president of the council, was our first newcomer of the year recipient, so it’s interesting to look back and see what various people have done.”
This year’s awards have been totally revamped with a new format that allows additional people to be recognized.
For the office and industrial sectors, the landlord and tenant representation categories will be split up, making a total of eight different awards. In addition, deals will no longer be double counted if a co-broker was involved.
“We think that it creates a fairer playing field,” said Scott Barton, senior vice president of retail services for CB Richard Ellis Memphis, and co-chairman of the awards. “Whether or not there’s a co-broker involved in a deal, the deal size remains the same.”
Each year, planners evaluate the event and aspects they’d like to alter. This year – approaching the 10th anniversary of the Pinnacle Awards – was the ideal time to consider format changes.
“We studied what Atlanta had been doing and liked some aspects of theirs, and it was interesting because they liked some aspects of what we were doing, so they took some of our ideas and we took some of theirs,” Guinn said. “We want to make the awards as current and fresh as we can and we’d been talking about making a couple of changes for a couple of years and this seemed like a good year to do it.”
Planners noticed a decrease in non-broker entries as in years past – a product of the recession.
“Developers weren’t as active and we wanted to try to re-energize the event as much as possible,” Barton said. “We wanted this to be an event for the entire commercial real estate community to really take pride in and to celebrate every year.”
In efforts to generate that excitement, a new honor called the Community Impact Award will be given to a company that has made a significant impact to the Memphis area’s economic development through commercial real estate.
“We’re just really excited about the opportunity to honor a company out there in the community – somebody who’s not a real estate company themselves, but who has really made a big difference in commercial real estate,” Barton said. “A company that is really committing the dollars and providing the jobs, most importantly.”
The 2011 awards will also be the inaugural year for The Daily News Publishing Co. Inc., parent company of The Daily News and The Memphis News, to sponsor the Pinnacle Awards.
“We’re also excited about the change in our media relationship this year, beginning a partnership with The Daily News,” Barton said.
Applications are available for download at www.maar.org/pinnacleawards. Questions can be directed to Guinn at 761-8183 or Barton at 528-1000.
The deadline for submission of applications is Feb. 28. No late applications will be accepted.
Winners will be announced in the April 8 issue of The Daily News and the April 9 issue of The Memphis News. Award recipients will be honored at an April 7 ceremony at the Holiday Inn University of Memphis. Guinn’s band, the Swing Time Explosion, will provide entertainment.