Kate Camenzuli

Spirit Award Winner

Kate Camenzuli always knew she wanted to be in commercial real estate. She didn’t necessarily know that her path would lead her to retail brokerage, but thankfully, for her clients and CBRE, it did. Now, not only is she one of CBRE’s top retail brokers, she helps others break into the industry as well.

For her industry success and service to others Camenzuli has been named CBRE’s 2022 Krista Haverly “Spirit” Award winner. Named in honor of Krista Haverly, this recognition goes to a retail professional who, like Haverly, exudes energy, creativity, enthusiasm, and an unwavering passion. That passion can extend to the retail business and/or a philanthropic organization.

Her first experience in the industry was at CBRE, as a 16-year-old summer intern in the Toronto office. She worked with the land appraisal team.

“I was really blown away by the experience. We get to change the landscape of cities.”

After school she started working with a large real estate investment fund, targeting value-add properties. From there, she went to a large Canadian pension fund, where she got her first introduction to retail.

“I’d never done retail development leasing before. I thought it was great that I got to be a part of choosing everything from the merchandising mix, down to the tiles on the wall.”

She was soon brought into the outlet development team with a country wide role out. From there, she was approached by the boutique brokerage with whom she did most of her business with. She hasn’t looked back from there.

The development leasing role gave her a knowledge base that has benefited her for the rest of her career, mainly, she learned how retailers approached their business, the nuances of each sub sector of retail, and the inner working on what’s needed for success.

“That position taught me so much about merchandising and how retailers do their business. If you are leasing high street retail, you don’t necessarily get into the nitty-gritty of the tenant’s business. In the outlet concept, you had to learn about the retailer and how they made their money. It was an incredible foundation.”

Camenzuli took this foundation and then returned to CBRE, the place she interned in summers past, to join the retail brokerage team in the Toronto office. Now, she works with a variety of large retailers on role outs across North America.

“I’m very fortunate that I am not limited by geography in my work. I get to help my clients enter markets across all asset types with great on the ground partners at CB. The great part about retail is the better job you do in site selection, the more doors they usually open.”

Just as she has helped her clients enter new markets, Camenzuli now focuses a lot of her efforts on helping professionals enter new markets. Specifically, she works with several industry organizations in mentorship programs for young people trying to break into the business. Many of her mentees come from at-risk backgrounds.

Camenzuli believes it is a great way to give back and pay forward all the wonderful advice and guidance she has been given throughout her career.

“I’ve been able to meet and learn from so many amazing people across the Americas and globally at CBRE. There are so many passionate people here who want to excel and help others excel. We are stronger when we work as a team and I want to be sure to continue to cultivate this environment.”

Camenzuli attributes success to four traits that she always tries to instill in those she works with – “integrity, trust, tenacity, and accountability.”

Not surprisingly, these qualities are recognized in her by others.

“Kate is very spirited and highly tenacious,” said Jon Ramscar, executive vice president and managing director for CBRE in Canada. “She thinks big with her ideas and possesses an inner power that unlocks opportunities in the marketplace like no other. Kate has used her experience and passion for retail to drive positive change for all in the platform. This is a very well-earned reward for a true changemaker.”

When not working, Camenzuli spends time with her two-year-old son and husband in the Toronto area. Her family likes to travel as much as possible and learn about other cities and cultures. It can give her a new perspective and new ideas for her own business.