Donahoe Named VP at Avison Young

By Kate Simone

Michael Donahoe has joined commercial real estate firm Avison Young as vice president of its Memphis branch. Donahoe’s main focus will be overseeing all of the firm’s landlord leasing projects in Memphis and the surrounding areas. Toronto-based Avison Young opened the Memphis office in December, marking its third location in Tennessee and its 50th nationally. 


Hometown: Memphis

Experience: I’ve spent the last 11 years with Sperry Van Ness | Investec Realty Services as a senior advisor.

Family: My wife, Jane, and I have three children: Thomas, 8; Gwyn, 5; and John Henry, 3.

Favorite quote: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” – Virginia Wolfe 

Favorite movie: “Hot Dog… The Movie”

The sports team(s) you root for: Grizzlies, Vols and New Orleans Saints

What’s playing on your stereo right now? I usually can’t decide on what to listen to so I put it on a Pandora Quick Mix – I think right now it’s Wilco, Radiohead, Hall & Oates, Dinosaur Jr., New Order and Built to Spill – but that changes on a pretty regular basis.

Activities you enjoy outside of work: Cooking, tennis, daily fantasy sports (until they get banned) and of course spending time with my family.

What talent do you wish you had? Being able to play a musical instrument. My wife and son play the piano, and I’m amazed by what they can do.

Who has had the greatest influence on you and why? Anthony Lopes, my former boss and mentor. He taught me a lot about this industry but also how to treat people fairly, which is something you have to do if you are going to be successful in this business.

What attracted you to Avison Young? The Avison Young platform, which I think is going to open a lot of doors and, of course, the people – I clicked with them the first time we met.

What are your goals in your new position? To grow the AY brand in Memphis. AY is already one of the largest commercial real estate firms in both Nashville and Knoxville, and I’m hopeful we can reach that success here.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? My family. I couldn’t even think of what would be a distant second.

What do you most enjoy about your work? The people. I enjoy working with companies in every different industry you can think of – I’ve learned so much over the years and am always interested in what people do and how we can help them make their business more successful. 

If you could give one piece of advice to young people, what would it be? Be patient. Most clients are going to operate on their schedule, not yours, and they will all be different.


Anne Jones has joined the Medical Education and Research Institute as marketing specialist. Jones has more than 25 years’ experience in marketing and event planning, and most recently served as the director of alumni relations at Lausanne Collegiate School.


Lori Humber has been promoted to volunteer director at Agape Child and Family Services. Humber has more than 20 years of professional leadership experience. She previously served Agape for six years as volunteer coordinator in the development department.

Taylor McCormick has joined Obsidian Public Relations as an account assistant. McCormick graduated from Auburn University and brings experience in various sectors within the communications field.

Levy Dermatology has added Katie Daugherty as medical assistant and Amanda Caudle and Whitney Schlesinger as receptionists. Daugherty previously was a medical assistant and clinical floor manager for Mid-South Internal Medicine for 10 years. Caudle worked for General Motors in Memphis and St. Louis as a receptionist and then transitioned into a business development role. Schlesinger previously worked as a veterinarian technician and receptionist at a veterinarian clinic.

Stevie O. Wilbanks has joined Ledford Engineering, Planning and Architecture to further develop their growing portfolio of clients and manage architectural projects. Wilbanks has extensive experience within the industry, having spent the last few years at local firms developing her wide range of architectural skills.

Melissa Farrar has joined the Family Safety Center of Memphis and Shelby County as director of program operations.

Cary Rotter and Wendy Rotter, owners of the Greater Memphis and Northwest Mississippi Comfort Keepers offices, have received the Quest for Excellence Award from CK Franchising Inc. The award recognizes Comfort Keepers franchisees who are the top sales performers with revenue growth or who deliver the greatest percentage year-over-year revenue growth within a category.

The Memphis & Shelby County Film and Television Commission has elected its 2016 commission board officers: Gale Jones Carson, chairman; Sherman Greer, vice chairman; Ken Nelson, treasurer; Dr. Linda White, secretary; and Dr. O’Farrell Shoemaker, budget and finance chairman.