New board members with a focus on the Next Generation of LGBTQ+ professionals in real estate
Freehold, the leading networking forum for LGBTQ+ real-estate professionals, is appointing four new board members to expand their leadership and continue to promote diversity and inclusion within the property industry. Freehold welcomes Warren Stapley and Anyi Hobson as Board Directors and Sarah Chapman and Eric Chou as new Next Gen board members. All four make an exciting addition to an already experienced board.
A key focus of the board expansion is Freehold’s aim to reach out to and support the next generation of LGBTQ+ professionals who begin their careers in real estate. To this end, they have created the two Next Gen board positions with the ambition to provide a safe space and community for those just starting out in the industry to find advice and mentorship.
New Next Gen board member Sarah Chapman says, “I am passionate about supporting LGBTQ+ people and allies in the workplace and will endeavour to work to help create a safe and open environment. I am very proud to be representing Next Gen on the Freehold Board, alongside Eric Chou, and hope to pave the way for future generations in the real estate industry, ensuring that under-represented groups in the community are fully included and supported.”
All the newly appointed Directors bring with them an intersectional perspective to Freehold’s work, and support the aim of widening the network. Freehold provides a safe space for LGBTQ+ real estate professionals, whatever their background, and continues to be at the forefront of positive change for the real estate community.
“It’s an honour to be joining the Freehold board as a Director and to play my part in progressing LGBTQ+ inclusion throughout the real estate sector. With anti-LGBTQ+ sentiment rising in many areas of our politics and society, it is more important than ever to advocate for our richly diverse community.” Warren Stapley, Board Director says. “I’m looking forward to using my skills and lived experience alongside a talented and diverse group representing both the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. Together, Freehold will go forward with pride.” he concludes.
In addition, Freehold Co-Chair, Kelly Canterford comments “We are delighted to welcome four brilliant new board members to Freehold. They all have skills and experience that will help us achieve our short and long term goals as well as supporting our members, at all stages of their careers, in the best possible way. Anyi, Eric, Sarah and Warren will bring fresh energy and ideas with them making us well placed to achieve our goal of improving all diversity across the real estate industry in 2023 and beyond.”
Freehold is looking ahead to continue to strengthen its organisation and the support it gives to the LGBTQ+ real estate community. This new membership holds the organisation in good stead to continue delivering incredible events and networking opportunities to those around them.
Executive Search Firm, Granger Reis, supported Freehold by providing a pro bono search for candidates. Jodi Beauchamp, Associate at Granger Reis said: “The influence Freehold has within real estate cannot be underestimated and we were honoured to support the board in its mission to increase diversity of thought and experience in the trustee team.
“It was especially rewarding to find four individuals of such quality and range of backgrounds that perfectly complement the existing board. We wish them and the organisation all the very best in this exciting next stage of development and impact for our community and beyond.” She continued.
Meet the new board members:
Warren Stapley (he/they)
DE&I Responsible Business Manager, Montagu Evans
Warren Stapley is the DE&I and Responsible Business Manager for Montagu Evans. Warren joined Montagu Evans after deciding to pursue his passion of ED&I after two decades in corporate finance. As a member of Freehold, Changing the Face of Property, and a Trustee of Disability Action in Islington Warren is very active in his trustee role. Warren brings a diverse perspective to the Board through his insight to the disabled and bisexual community – two sections of the LGBT community that are often overlooked.
Anyi Hobson (she/her)
Director, SEAM Advisory
Anyi Hobson is currently a Director at SEAM advisory, her own consultancy business working at the intersection of DEI and ESG. Anyi received a scholarship from Yale to study History and started her career in banking. Following careers in the fashion industry and strategic consulting, Anyi worked in Real Estate where she held various Consultancy and Advisory roles for 24 years before setting up SEAM Advisory. She holds and has held various philanthropy, fundraising and mentoring roles in the UK, US and Europe.
Eric Chou (he/him)
Senior Consultant, CBRE
Pojuei (Eric) Chou is a Senior Consultant focused on luxury Real Estate and International Markets at CBRE. Eric has a marketing background and governance experience. Eric is a Member of Freehold, CBRE’s Proud Network, and a Trustee of Kakilang – a performing arts charity that pioneers multi-disciplinary artforms from a wide spectrum of Southeast and East Asian artists based in the UK.
Sarah Chapman (she/her)
Associate Director, Savills
Sarah Chapman is the Head of Public Sector Bids at Savills and one of the most senior LGBT women in the business. Sarah is a Member of Freehold and sits on multiple Steering Committees in Savills, including LGBT and Socio Mobility. She also led Savills LGBT History Month, has been awarded the 2020 APMP Global 40 under 40 Award and is the Business Development D&I Representative for Savills at the D&I Board.