Because of the growing number of CCIMs (certified commercial investment members) in the state, they will have their own chapter again beginning Jan. 1.
“Five or six years ago, we had a hard time finding enough members to fill up a coffee booth, but over the last few years, we’ve grown to about 35 or 40 because of the advantages of being a CCIM,” said Terry Lavery, CCIM, of Jackson, who will preside over the new chapter in 2003.
Walter Becker, CCIM, owner of Commercial Real Estate Services in Jackson, who will be the Mississippi chapter’s leader for 2002 and has held the CCIM designation longer than anyone else in the state, said the original Mississippi chapter had only 10 or 15 members.
“We were just too few in number to do anything,” he said. “We were scattered throughout the state. We decided we’d be better off merging with a larger group for the benefit of having better speakers and networking and educational opportunities.”
In 2001, Mississippi had 39 CCIMs and 32 CCIM candidates, bringing the number of potential chapter members to 71. Only eight CCIMs and CCIM candidates were members of the Louisiana/Mississippi chapter, Becker said.
“It was a no brainer,” he said. “Louisiana and national both couldn’t deny that it wasn’t working. There was no animosity. The Louisiana chapter gave us unselfish cooperation, and because we were only eight of 150 members, it didn’t hurt them.”
A CCIM designation is considered the “Ph.D. of commercial real estate.” Only 6% of the nation’s estimated 125,000 commercial real estate practitioners hold the CCIM designation. Based in Chicago, the CCIM Institute began conferring the CCIM designation in 1969. Currently, 7,000 CCIMs are located in 12 regions in North America representing 1,000 cities. CCIM recently awarded the 10,000th designation ever in Chicago.
“Nationwide and now worldwide, the CCIM designation grows in stature and prestige within the commercial real estate industry,” said CCIM Institute President Darbin T. Skeans, CCIM. “We’re proud to announce this membership milestone, and we applaud all who have earned the right to call themselves a CCIM.”
To earn the CCIM designation, a candidate must complete an extensive 200-hour-plus classroom curriculum equivalent to graduate-level work, produce a r