Winners all Round at The College of Estate Management’s 28th Property Awards on LandAid Day

Posted on: 6 November, 2015

Well, what a day for LandAid, The College of Estate Management (CEM), and the property sector! Last month, we celebrated pioneers in the Built Environment at our 28th Property Awards – while LandAid, the property industry charity, and its supporters spent the day fundraising for disadvantaged young people in the UK. But these weren’t separate events – the two met in the middle with an appearance from Michael Slade, LandAid founder, at the awards, and £545 raised for LandAid Day by CEM.

We were delighted to welcome so many of our staff, students, alumni, fellows, and other leading industry figures at Haberdashers Hall, one of London’s 12 Livery companies. The sun might not have been shining but the views over the courtyard and its sculptures – including a gem by Henry Moore – were stunning. We kicked off the celebrations with champagne and canapés in the picturesque gallery, which was soon brimming with esteemed guests from the Built Environment.


Once seated John Gellatly, CEM Chairman, and David Larkin, CEM Trustee, proceeded to keep up the momentum of the day with a welcome address, toasts and grace. After a truly delicious and lively lunch Ashley Wheaton, CEM Principal, started his address to the room with “I’m delighted to be attending my second such event as Principal of CEM.”


Ashley delivered an entertaining and inspiring speech, talking about how the college has made significant progress towards its vision of becoming the leading, online, vocational university. He said “We’ve seen year-on-year growth of 37 per cent in our new student numbers – and are 3700 strong in total – which means CEM is responsible for educating more and more of the future talent of our industry.” He reiterated how vital this is as “The need for highly qualified graduates in our industry has never been more apparent”. And added “It’s our job at CEM to make sure we support everyone in furthering or starting their career within the Built Environment”.

Ashley then went onto introduce the jewel in the crown of the day, the all-important awards! We’ve presented our ‘Property Award’ to a person or organisation that has made an outstanding contribution to the property sector every year since 1987. But this year we added two new awards: one for a CEM alumni recognising their outstanding contribution to a better Built Environment and one for a current CEM student celebrating their academic excellence.

The winner of the ‘Alumni of the Year’ award was Julie Christie M. de la Cruz, Chair and Founder of the Philippine Institute of Certified Quantity Surveyors (PICQS), the QS National Association of the Philippines, and the Philippine Institute of the Built Environment (PIBE) – the first Quantity Surveying School to be opened in the Philippines. Julie has a Post Graduate Diploma in Quantity Surveying from CEM, an MBA and a BS Degree in Civil Engineering and is a Licensed Civil Engineer. In fact, there are too many accolades for Julie to name but she won our award for her continuing and excellent contribution to the Built Environment, and her work in promoting the industry both amongst women and in the Philippines.


Our winner of the “Academic Excellence’ award was Alex Flanders, Assistant Cost Consultant with EC Harris; where he carries out various quantity surveying services for a number of capital works schemes. Alex’s research dissertation, for his Masters in Surveying with CEM, investigated whether the New Rules of Measurement 3 (NRM3) alone can have a sufficient impact on reducing life cycle costs. He assessed the financial incentives and drivers encouraging the widespread uptake of the NRM3 based benchmark cost data within the UK construction and facilities management industries. It was an outstanding and responsive original piece of research that demonstrated a comprehensive understanding of latest developments in surveying. Alex commented, “I was absolutely delighted to receive the award. I would like to offer my sincerest gratitude to the College of Estate Management for the honour.”

And, finally, the winner of the overall ‘Property Award’ was industry stalwart, Michael Slade, President and Founder of LandAid and CEO of Helical Bar – UK property development and investment company. He’s also a Honorary Fellow of CEM, Chairman of the Wellington College Campaign, Trustee of Purley Park and Sherborne School Foundation and Vice Admiral of the Marie Rose Trust. Michael has been highly instrumental in developing and growing the LandAid partner network and he always gets stuck into the thick of the fundraising. In 2013, he joined fellow senior industry figures to cycle from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise a staggering £310,000 for LandAid, and other charities. And, for the 2014 LandAid Day Michael and his Helical Bar team dressed up in Fame outfits to visit other companies on a pedi-bus, raising an incredible £9,800.

This year, Michael took a short time off from LandAid Day to make a quick stop at our event to collect his award, complete in full Buzz Lightyear regalia. Upon accepting his trophy Michael commented, “I remember ‘Oswald the Owl’ (CEM’s mascot and the guise of the award) from when I buried him in the college car park in 1968!” His amusing and uplifting speech was certainly one of the highlights of the day – especially inspiring was hearing him talk about all the work he’s being doing for LandAid since 1986. Unfortunately, he couldn’t stay long as he had to carry on with his most important mission of the day, campaigning!


John closed the day’s proceedings with more positive and encouraging remarks about CEM and the future of the Built Environment – urging everyone in the room to “Go forth as ambassadors”.

To infinity and beyond indeed!