Student Housing & University Real Estate Initiative

The mission of The SHURE Initiative is to improve student lives and enhance the built environment in university neighbourhoods.


March 26-27, 2024
Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC

Featured Speakers & Advisors

Emmanuel Adegboyega
President Executive Board, Residence Hall Association (RHA), SFU Residences
David Agosti
Director – Parking & Sustainable Mobility Services, Simon Fraser University
Vasily Bigildeev
Energy and Emissions Officer, Planning, Design and Construction, The University of Saskatchewan
Denise Brown
Director - Capital Planning, Capital Planning & Strategic Project Development, UBC
David Claus
Director of Facilities Management and Capital Planning, University of Northern British Columbia
Toby Chu
Chairman and CEO, GEC
Clare Cullen
Clare Cullen Operations Director, Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at UBC Farm Faculty of Land and Food Systems, The University of British Columbia
Aly Damji
Managing Partner, Real Estate, Forum Asset Management
Dave Davis
District Manager – BC, Dana Hospitality (Dexterra Group)
Danica Djurkovic
Vice President - Campus Planning & Facilities, British Columbia Institute of Technology
Greg Dewling
President and Chief Executive Officer, University of Alberta Properties Trust
Donna Drover
Director of Facilities & Business Services, Selkirk College, West Kootenay & Boundary Region
Doramy Ehling
CEO, Rick Hansen Foundation
Jared Everett
Managing Director, University Partnerships, Greystar
Jason Fawcett
President, Kelson Group
Michael Gabert
Director, Cost Management Services, BTY Group
Michael Geller
Adjunct Professor SFU Centre for Sustainable Development, School of Resource & Environmental Management, Principal, The Geller Group
Dayna Gilbert
Managing Director, Real Estate Development, Forum Asset Management
Veronica Green
Vice President, Slate Asset Management
Lauren Henderson
Senior Development Associate, Maclab Development Group
Adam Jacobs
Senior National Director, Research - Canada, Colliers
Kieran Janes
Real Estate Manager, Loblaw Companies Limited
Ian Kerr
Senior Vice President, Western Market Development , EllisDon Corporation
Rylan Kinnon
CEO, SpacesShared
Maximilian Kniewasser
Climate Action Planner, The University of British Columbia
Marion Larue
Partner & Architect, DIALOG
Meeta Lele
Architect, DIALOG
Patrick Lougheed
Chief Solutions Officer, Plaid Analytics
Mike Lynch
Regional Vice President - Real Estate Finance, BMO Canadian Commercial Banking
Didi MacDonald
Senior Director - Real Estate , Canadian Division, Greystar
Dr. Tracey Mason-Innes
Executive Director, Student Affairs, Simon Fraser University
Mark McLaughlin
Chief Commercial Services Officer - Ancillary Services, Simon Fraser University
Ryan McLaughlin
Senior Economist, BC Real Estate Association
Jim McLean
Advisor, Cedar Pacific/ UniLodge Australia
Jim Meschino
Director - Campus Planning & Development, SFU
Principal , PM Strategies Inc.
W. Colin Moore
Director, Food Services, The University of British Columbia | Vancouver Campus | Musqueam Traditional Territory
Gary Morrison
Chief Executive Officer, UFV Properties Development Corporation
Linda Mueller
Director of Ancillary Services, Northern Lights College
Edi Nisenbaum
Head of Partnerships, Harrington Housing
Ben Nishi
Senior Manager, Commercial Energy Solutions, FortisBC
Andrew Parr
Associate Vice-President, Student Housing and Community Services, The University of British Columbia | Musqueam & Syilx Okanagan Nation Traditional Territories
Ajay Patel
President & CEO, Vancouver Community College
Mike Porritt
Vice President – International, Advisory Services, The Scion Group
Jennifer Sanguinetti
AVP Facilities and Campus Planning, Simon Fraser University
Lyle Scott
Principal, Footprint
Steven Sinclair
Leader, Public Investment and Government Relations, City of Calgary
Matt Slobodian
Senior Director - Mortgage Origination, Canada ICI
Nathan Speedie
Director of Strategic Partnerships, 4stay
Alex Stoiko
Development Manager , Creative Energy
Andrew Tong
Managing Principal & Founder, Integral Strategic Real Estate Ltd.
Cayley Van Hemmen
Interiors & Special Projects Division Manager, Turner Construction Company
Stephen Vermette
Managing Director & Regional Vice President | Western Canada Business Properties Finance | Canadian Commercial Banking, BMO Financial Group
Tayber Yastremski
President, Sustainable Projects Group
Christina Waters
Institutional Market Specialist, BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food
Warren Yee
Managing Partner, Altmaven Capital
Donald Yen
My name is Emmanuel Adegboyega. I am a Political Science major with an International Studies and Criminology minor. I am the current Residence Hall Association (RHA) President at SFU and a councillor on the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS). My passion is to advocate for students and to be a voice for the voiceless. I am currently in my third year of my degree and I aspire to go to law school after my undergraduate studies.
The University of Saskatchewan’s Energy and Emissions Officer, Vasily, holds a Master’s in Sustainability Energy Security. His work involves implementing strategies for energy monitoring, promoting conservation, and optimizing energy use. In previous roles, Vasily implemented energy efficiency initiatives in commercial buildings, including energy audits, building commissioning, retrofits, and utility management. He was honoured as the 2019 Alberta Energy Manager of the Year. His expertise contributes to operational cost reduction, improved work and study environments, and corporate sustainability efforts. His professional designations include CEM, CBCP, and CMVP. Additionally, Vasily serves as a Director at Large at the AEE Alberta Chapter.
Denise is responsible for overseeing the capital planning and development related to major building development projects as well as ensuring efficient and effective allocation of resources for deferred capital across all UBC campuses and sites: UBC Vancouver, Okanagan and all other UBC-owned and leased properties. Denise has over 15 years’ diverse experience in capital and operations projects. Denise’s background includes working with organizations such as TD Bank, Cadillac Fairview Corporation Ltd, and with the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV), where she contributed to strategic project planning and delivery. Denise’s qualifications include an MBA, PMP, LEED AP and Evidence-based Design.
Mr. Toby Chu is the Chairman and CEO of CIBT Group, headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. He founded CIBT in 1994 and developed the company into an international corporation with nearly 700 employees providing education and housing services to over 10,000 students annually, ranging from language training, college diploma, healthcare-related programs and student-housing services. CIBT’s corporate holdings include Sprott Shaw College (established in 1903), Sprott Shaw Language College, VIC Vancouver International College, Global Education Alliance, and Global Education City Holdings Inc.
Clare Cullen took the helm as Operations Director at the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems in March, 2015. She plays a key leadership role in the Centre’s daily operations, business development, and financial and human resources management. Clare holds a B.A. honours in Film and Communication from Queens University and an M.Ed in Art and Environment from Simon Fraser University. Prior to joining CSFS, Clare worked with UBC’s Beaty Biodiversity Museum as the Administrative Manager. With a rich background in arts, environmental education, finance, entrepreneurship and non-profit organizations, Clare brings a diversity of skills and a wealth of experience.
Aly leads the Real Estate business at Forum. Aly is focused on originations and overseeing real estate investments. He leverages his exposure to a broad range of asset classes as an urban developer, institutional asset manager, and operator of value add/opportunistic investments, to drive growth for Forum and its partners. Prior to joining Forum, Aly was EVP, Investments & Asset Management for Hullmark. Aly co-led direct acquisitions and led the firm’s asset management and operations functions. In his 7 years at Hullmark, Aly drove significant growth for the company, helping to increase AUM 15x to just under $1B, and co-led the development of partnerships with large-scale institutional partners including a REIT and a Toronto university.
I am currently a district manager and culinary support with Dana Hospitality .I have more than 30 years of culinary experience at multiple universities, hotels, restaurants, and various food service operations from Toronto to Vancouver. My career includes being lead chef at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, regional chef and owning/operating my own restaurant in the heart of Vancouver. I have attained keen knowledge of our industry while I continue to grow and learn - to apply and share my knowledge and passion for cooking from scratch with local, sustainable foods to develop new creative and diverse menus and culinary offerings with my team for our client and guests.
Danica is passionate, visionary strategic leader with over 30 years of practice in the real estate, development and architecture - in the private, non-profit and public sector. She led many leading practice organizations, policies, projects and programs, that have been widely recognized. Danica brings strong strategic leadership and business skills, financial and legal competency and is well acknowledged for collaboration and strong partnership building, including public engagement. As a Vice President of Campus Planning and Facilities at BCIT, Danica is leading the BCIT campus planning and development at five BCIT campus locations.
As CEO, Doramy Ehling leads the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) in its’ vision to create an inclusive world where people with disabilities are living to their full potential. Prior to her appointment as CEO in December, 2018, Doramy held the position of Chief Operating Officer of the Foundation for 11 years and supported the development of several innovations including the Rick Hansen Institute and the RHF Accessibility Certification™ program. Previous to joining the Rick Hansen Foundation, Doramy held several positions within the Government of Canada at Canadian Heritage, which included portfolios within Sport Canada, and the 2010 Federal Secretariat for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Jason oversees all operations within Kelson Group, a successful, family-owned property management business, including corporate and individual building operations in communities throughout B.C. and Alberta. He earned his Bachelor of Commerce from the University of British Columbia and worked in the commercial real estate industry in the Lower Mainland for several years prior to joining the family business. He became President of Kelson Group in 2020 after being Vice President of Operations for over 20 years and his solid management style, team approach, and strong understanding of the industry has helped guide and grow Kelson Group to one that owns and manages more than 70 residential and commercial properties in Western Canada.
Michael joined BTY in 2011 and has more than 18 years of industry experience. Based in Calgary, he leads the firm’s Cost Management Services, and led BTY’s expansion across the Canadian Prairies in all services while supporting key mandates in the United States. A former President of CIQS Prairies & NWT. Michael was also awarded a Fellowship (PQS(F)) by the CIQS in 2019.
Michael Geller is a Vancouver based planner, real estate consultant, property developer, and retired architect, with five decades’ experience in the public, private and institutional sectors. He is also an adjunct professor in SFU’s Centre for Sustainable Development and School of Resource and Environmental Management. He is president of The Geller Group which specializes in planning, real estate consulting, and development management for planned communities and complex residential and mixed-use projects.
Dayna is focused on leading teams that execute on complex development initiatives that create value through acquisition, design, entitlement, and construction of a variety of asset classes. Prior to joining Forum, Dayna was the Director of Development at Canadian Apartment Properties REIT (CAPREIT), Canada, Ireland and the Netherlands largest residential rental asset manager. Dayna led and managed all new development, along with building the department, where she established a short and long-term pipeline for future asset growth on existing land in all portfolios. Prior to CAPREIT, Dayna was the Director of Development at Fieldgate Urban, a new arm of the real estate developer, focused on mid to high rise development.
Veronica joined Slate in 2020 and is responsible for the overall project execution of several of Slate’s mixed-use developments in Toronto, Mississauga, and Hamilton. Veronica is involved in all aspects of redevelopment – her expertise pertains to policy and project feasibility including site specific planning and investment strategy. Prior to Slate, Veronica worked in research and consulting and held senior roles in the Ontario Premier’s Office and the Office of the Official Opposition in Ottawa.
Lauren is the Senior Development Associate at Maclab Development Group. Her 8-year career in real estate includes project management, brokerage and leasing, financial audit and analysis, property management and real estate development. Lauren collaborates with the development team to ensure that projects are aligned with their respective business plans and that key milestones are achieved in a timely manner. Her role includes creating development plans, assessing financial feasibility, and ensuring that operational goals of our assets are achieved. In addition, Lauren evaluates the financial performance of existing properties and reviews potential acquisition opportunities. 
Adam Jacobs is the national head of research for Colliers Canada. He has appeared in numerous publications and media outlets including BNN, the Globe and Mail and the Financial Post. He was previously in leadership positions at Cushman and Wakefield and Oxford Properties. He holds a PhD from the University of Wisconsin. His interests are the fundamentals underpinning real estate including demographics, the labour market, and the investment environment.
Ian brings over 18 years of experience to EllisDon's Western Canadian operations. He is responsible for leading the business development groups in western Canada, supporting EllisDon's continued growth, as well as leading teams through the procurement of key alternative delivery projects. His leadership has supported significant growth in the Western Canada Area for EllisDon, playing a key role on the procurement of projects across all market sectors, including commercial, aviation, post secondary, multi-family residential, transportation, and healthcare.
Rylan is CEO and co-founder of SpacesShared. Rylan has spent a decade working in postsecondary advocacy, policy, program administration, and technology in the public and private sectors. As a partnership and consensus builder, Rylan believes in engaging as broad a base of stakeholders as possible when developing solutions to complex problems. Rylan has experience managing large teams and scaling technology companies.
Marion is an Architectural Partner at DIALOG with 38 years of experience gained across Canada and the US. Her portfolio consists of design experience in primarily post-secondary education, focused on Student Housing, Student Services, Student Unions and Campus Recreation Facilities including the University of Fraser Valley’s new Student Housing Building and SFU’s Student Residence and Dining Commons Project. Marion is passionate about creating interactive environments that empower communities to come together and take ownership of their wellbeing. By taking a technical approach to social and environmental issues, Marion combines visions of happier lifestyles with quantifiable solutions to create spaces that improve public health.
Meeta is an experienced, design-oriented architect with a solid background in leading institutional and commercial projects from concept to commissioning. She has designed diverse project types across North America and has led projects across a broad range of sectors, including corporate and workspaces, science & technology, educational, industrial, retail, transit, and mixed-use developments. Meeta brings a progressive attitude to her
role as an architect, whether in energy efficiency or using technology in building design.
Pat has over 20 years of experience in higher education spent primarily in information technology and student services leadership roles requiring the creation and execution of strategic plans, improvement of policies and processes, and leadership in services to students, faculty, and staff. His approach includes using data and information to improve decision-making and a systematic approach. His focus has been on the improvement of the student, faculty, and staff experience.
Didi is a native of Canada, born and raised in Ontario. She is a U.S. permanent resident based in San Francisco currently relocating to the Greater Vancouver, British Columbia area. Didi is currently responsible for the global expansion of property management services and strategic leadership of administrative support departments that include marketing, maintenance, capital projects, training, and special projects including business development, due diligence projects, and property transitions.
Tracey is the Executive Director, Student Affairs at Simon Fraser University, located on the traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), q̓íc̓əy̓ (Katzie), kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem), Qayqayt, Kwantlen, Semiahmoo and Tsawwassen peoples.The Student Affairs portfolio at SFU includes Health and Counselling Services, Office of Student Support, Rights and Responsibilities, Indigenous Student Centre, Multifaith Centre, Centre for Accessible Learning and Residence and Housing. In 2014, Tracey joined SFU as the Director of Residence and Housing.
Ryan is a Senior Economist at the BC Real Estate Association. At BCREA, Ryan contributes to all economics content in collaboration with Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson, including mortgage rate forecasts, monthly updates, and market intelligence reports, among others. Prior to BCREA, Ryan held economics roles within the federal government, academia, and in private sector consulting. He completed an undergraduate degree in finance from Simon Fraser University and a master’s degree in economics from the University of Toronto.
Creating university partnerships for over 20 years with over 42,000 beds under management. The McCall MacBain Foundation is one of the largest donors of scholarships and research grants in Canada. Canadian-owned Pamoja Capital funds the Foundation and owns UniLodge, the largest student accommodation manager in Australia and New Zealand. The group buys, develops, finances, and operates Purpose Built Student Accommodation (PBSA) for the benefit of students and universities, and is in the process of launching in Canada.
Over twenty five years of experience in design, development, municipal planning approvals, public policy, community engagement, media relations, and housing. Positions including:
* Ontario Minister of Housing
* Toronto City Councillor
Chair, Planning & Growth Management
Vice-Chair, Toronto Transit Commission
* Etobicoke City Councillor
* Executive Director, Tatry Non-Profit Housing Corp.
* PZM DESIGN, Principal
Graduate Architect
Institutional Food Service & Retail Operations Leader with a proven track record creating, growing and optimizing results of proprietary and global franchise brands including; Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Yum Restaurants and Walt Disney. Values driven leader focused on sustainable business growth and continuity. Significant sales, profit, customer satisfaction and employee growth in all positions. Dedicated to developing talent and a passion for service that exceeds customer satisfaction and employee engagement. Excels at team leadership of multi-unit managers exceeding balanced score card key performance indicator results. Established ability articulating with all departments as a strategic partner.
Linda has spent most of her career in community social services, assessing and responding to various social needs including poverty, homelessness, family relationships, food security, and mental health by developing and facilitating preventive programing. After moving to northern British Columbia in 2020, Linda entered the post secondary world and is the Director of Ancillary Services at Northern Lights College. As the Director of Ancillary Services Linda supports student housing, cafeterias and bookstores on the Fort St John and Dawson Creek Campus, striving to meet student needs and support a successful learning journey for all.
Harrington is the leading Canadian co-living provider, operating across Canada, the US, and the UK. The Harrington team is dedicated to transforming the outdated residential leasing sector to make the rental process simple, affordable, and flexible for students and young professionals. Harrington is an asset-light business, helping landlords achieve 100% occupancy through its tech-enabled leasing platform and assisting students and young professionals to have access to flexible and affodable housing. Today, Harrington offers a unique and upscale co-living experience in the hub of major cities around the world to over 2800 tenants.
Ajay Patel was confirmed as president of Vancouver Community College (VCC) on January 24, 2020. He first joined VCC in May 2019 as Vice-President, Enterprise and International Development, and entered the role of interim president in September 2019.Ajay also serves as the Board Chair, for the Canadian Bureau for International Education and was honoured with the BC Council for International Education Distinguished Leadership Award in 2019. He serves on the College and Institutes of Canada’s International Advisory Committee and the Creative Technology Education Committee for DigiBC. Ajay has also received numerous other awards including the City of Vancouver Parks and Recreation’s Volunteer of the Year and the Sport BC President’s Award.
Mike Porritt has 15 years of Executive Director or Director level experience in student housing at institutions in the United States and Canada as well as purpose-built off campus student housing in Waterloo and London, Ontario. His work includes the development of academic integration programs now in place today within residential programs at McGill University (Quebec), Trent University (Ontario), Winona State University (Minnesota) and Appalachian State University (North Carolina). Combined with his experience in market analysis, planning for new construction and major renovations, he contributes a wealth of knowledge both in the Canadian higher education and residential landscape and the US student housing sector.
With more than 25 years of experience in sustainable design, development, and operations, Lyle has a broad (and trusted) perspective on the best sustainability strategy for his clients. A trained mechanical engineer specializing in energy efficiency, facilities management, and sustainable development, Lyle is the founding and managing Principal of Footprint. Providing leadership to the growing Footprint team, Lyle’s greatest strength is collaborating with architects, engineers, and developers to create the most appropriate sustainability solution. Having worked as both a facilities manager at the Hospital for Sick Children and as a developer and contractor, Lyle’s well-rounded experience is very valuable for clients.
Nathan has worked in various fields in international education since 2005, with a focus on student housing for the past 15 years. He has developed and run programs managing accommodations for colleges, universities, and school districts across Canada, overseeing the placement of tens of thousands of international students.
As Director of Strategic Partnerships at 4stay, Nathan works with academic institutions across Canada to understand their housing challenges and apply the best 4stay solution. Products and services include housing management software, self-serve booking portals, and sourcing & managing exclusive housing inventory to partners' specs.

Alex is a Development Manager at Creative Energy where he originates bespoke, turnkey low-carbon district energy solutions for institutional partners to significantly reduce GHG emissions. Prior to Creative Energy, Alex spent 7-years in infrastructure consulting widely in the Public-Private-Partnership market where he has led technical due diligence for lenders, investors and developers throughout North America on numerous asset classes, with a focus on District Energy for higher education institutions.
Stephen Vermette is Managing Director and Regional Vice President covering Western Canada, Business Properties Group, Canadian Commercial Banking at BMO. Business Properties Group includes Hospitality, Seniors Housing, Student Housing, Parking and Storage. Stephen is responsible for managing teams covering the British Columbia and Prairie regions and is responsible for providing holistic financial solutions to clients. Stephen brings extensive experience in commercial banking having worked in financial services industry for over 35 years.
Tayber Yastremski was born into the world of energy and sustainability growing up in a household of entrepreneurs and clean energy innovators. Calling Tayber a highly motivated individual is an understatement, he earned his Masters of Engineering in Clean Energy Engineering, holds a CEM and EP designation, is the president of the Association of Energy Engineers (AEE) Metro Vancouver chapter, the past president of the AEE Alberta Chapter, was awarded the Directors Inspirational Award by the Provincial government, and was awarded as one of Canada's Clean50 for 2023.
Christina has over 20 years of experience in supervising and leading teams through business development, analysis and portfolio management. After serving as a regional manager in the private sector, Christina joined the Ministry of Agriculture and Food in 2019, where she gained extensive experience in Institutional Partnerships and Strategies, working closing on the Feed BC initiative to increase awareness and demand for B.C. foods into public institutions. Christina has a strong knowledge on how to grow value chain innovation and supply chain solutions to connect B.C. demand with B.C. foods and supports economic development in all regions of the province.

About: SHURE is a unique platform that brings all types of real estate impacted by the university environment into focus, including the myriad of on-campus buildings (academic, athletic, retail, self-storage, cold storage, housing, mixed-use, office) and off-campus buildings (conventional multifamily for-rent, residential, private student housing, purpose-built student accommodation, faculty housing and mixed-used).

Indeed, Canada’s population is rapidly growing, driven by general immigration and a surge in international student enrollment. Canada has become a popular destination for students in global regions due to its high quality of life, stable government, and world-renowned post-secondary institutions. Many students seek to live on-campus or near the university for these reasons. In addition, due to the above-average quality of life in many university neighbourhoods, members of the public and commercial entities are seeking out properties in the proximity of the academic institutions. For these reasons, there is a significant lack of available real estate in university environments. SHURE is the premier platform that brings together all the stakeholders in the university environment in this engaging and productive business development exchange.

With the mission to improve student lives and enhance the built environment in university neighbourhoods, SHURE Vancouver & Western Canada will convene on March 26-27, 2024, at Simon Fraser University. Attendees and participants will represent the most active university real estate executives  (including property trusts and boards of trustees), commercial real estate developers, institutional investors, capital sources, and other owners in the market. 

In addition, SHURE will bring together the most innovative firms working in property technology and campus technology. 

“SHURE is a not-to-be-missed event for professionals and executives who work in or support university real estate and student accommodation,” Andrew Parr, Associate Vice-President – Student Housing and Community Services, The University of British Columbia.

“SHURE is an absolutely amazing event.”

– David Agosti, Director – Parking & Sustainable Mobility Services, Simon Fraser University


“I wanted to personally thank you for this amazing  event.”

– Jonas Emre, Founder & CEO, Harrington Housing


“Thanks for putting together a great conference.”

– Neil Murray, Development & Asset Manager, Podium Developments


“My thanks for such a wonderful event.”

– Valerie Bruce, Interim Director – Student Housing and Community Care, Toronto Metropolitan University



The following is a list of topics that will be covered in each of three separate tracks. For an in-depth look at topic breakdowns, speakers and additional learning opportunities, please request our full agendas here. Agendas are subject to change.

March 26: University Real Estate Revenue Generation

Thesis: Universities are often the most impactful municipal landlords, boasting a robust portfolio of academic, athletic facilities, retail and housing assets. Learn from property trust executives, university leadership and other stakeholders about master plans and campus visions.


March 27: Accommodation for Students in the Housing Crisis

Thesis: Multifamily developers and purpose-built student housing executives are approaching the housing crisis and lack of supply as unique opportunities in today’s investment environment. Learn from institutional investors, pension funds, and private developers about their plans to support new housing supply in university environments.


Request Full Agenda

Please note only corporate email addresses will be accepted. We will use your email address to verify that you are a real estate and/or university professional.


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