10 Things You Didn’t Know About Jay Hennick

Jay Hennick, the founder and chairman of Colliers International, has been a dynamic force in the global real estate industry for more than three decades. Despite his prominence in the business and entrepreneurial world, there are facts about his life and career that many people aren’t aware of. Let’s explore some unknown facets of this real estate mogul and philanthropist’s life.

1. He was a Doorman!

Before Jay Hennick reached his current height of success, he worked as a doorman to make ends meet during his university days. This experience grounded him and provided him with a close-up look at the intricacies of real estate and property management. It was here that he found his interest piqued towards real estate, which would become a stepping stone for building a global real estate services company.

Despite his humble beginnings, Hennick has always been known for his hustle and hard work. His job as a doorman not only taught him the value of each penny but also made him familiar with the struggles faced by the working class, which has been pivotal in shaping his business practices and values.

2. He established FirstService Corporation at 26

Much to the astonishment of many, Jay Hennick founded FirstService Corporation at the tender age of 26. His vision and entrepreneurial skills led him to establish this company, which has since been transformed into a leading global real estate services provider, Colliers International.

His leadership and strategic vision have played an instrumental role in advancing the company that started as a Canadian property services operation into a leading global player in the property services realm. His entrepreneurial accomplishments at such an early age are nothing short of inspiring.

3. His Philanthropic Activities

Hennick’s contributions are not limited to the world of real estate; he is equally committed to philanthropy. He has donated a considerable amount of his personal wealth to various charities. Under his leadership, Colliers International has also made significant contributions to various charitable initiatives.

In 2014, Jay and his wife, Barbara, donated $15 million to the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law. This donation was recognized by renaming the faculty, the Hennick Centre for Business and Law. Through such contributions, Hennick is actively involved in shaping a better world and positively impacting the lives of many.

4. He is an Avid Art Lover

Jay Hennick is a known philanthropist and business magnate. Few, however, know that he possesses a love for art. He appreciates and collects various forms of contemporary and classical art. This passion extends into promoting the arts and supporting artists, reinforcing his multifaceted personality.

This love for art isn’t just for personal satisfaction. Hennick believes that it is essential to support and nurture creativity to impact society positively. This love for art portrays Hennick’s interest beyond business and philanthropy, painting a fuller picture of his personality.

5. His Contribution to Entrepreneurship Development

Hennick’s entrepreneurial journey has been an inspiring one. He is committed to fostering entrepreneurship and has played a crucial role in nurturing young entrepreneurs. His active involvement includes contributing to various entrepreneur development initiatives and providing mentorship.

He regularly gives guest lectures, shares his insights into entrepreneurship with budding entrepreneurs, and is actively involved in several incubator programs. He believes in the power of entrepreneurship to drive economic growth and create jobs and is committed to contributing to their success.

6. He holds an honorary doctorate

In recognition of his significant contributions to entrepreneurship and philanthropy, Hennick was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from York University in 2015. This honor reflects his merit and commitment to making a difference in the world.

Receiving an honorary doctorate is one of the highest accolades that a person can receive. It is a recognition of personal achievement and contribution that goes beyond academia. For Hennick, this acknowledgment stands as a testament to his dedication and impact in the realm of business and community service.

7. He is a Prominent Figure in Corporate Governance

Hennick serves as an example of efficient and ethical corporate governance. He has been a member of various advisory boards and steering committees, guiding businesses towards growth and sustainability.

His insightful leadership has seen him serve on various corporate boards, including Royal Group Technologies, the World President’s Organization, and Mount Sinai Hospital. His influence is a testament to his abilities as a leader and strategic thinker and his commitment to corporate governance.

8. He Received the Ivey Business Leader Award

In 2014, in recognition of his contributions to the business world, Hennick was awarded the esteemed Ivey Business Leader Award. This annual recognition by the Ivey Business School celebrates individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of business in Canada, and who demonstrate leadership in terms of organizations and communities.

Receiving the Ivey Business Leader Award places Hennick amongst the likes of notable business leaders such as Victor Dodig, Chief Executive Officer of the CIBC, and Katie Taylor, Chair of Royal Bank of Canada, further exemplifying his impact on the business world.

9. His Leadership Philosophy

Hennick’s leadership philosophy is based on a long-term vision, passion, and evolution. He believes in constant evolution to stay competitive in the business landscape. Being a lifelong learner, he emphasizes the importance of learning from others and from one’s own experiences.

His leadership approach is based on collective growth. He nurtures a healthy work culture that values the contribution of every team member. His leadership style has fostered innovation, growth, and collaboration at Colliers International.

10. His Deep Love for Family

Despite his busy schedule and commitments, Jay Hennick always makes time for his family. He shares a profound love and bond with his wife, Barbara, and two sons, Benjamin and Adam. He acknowledges that his family is his biggest support and strength.

Hennick believes in providing the best for his family while maintaining a strong work-life balance. His family plays a vital role in his life, enhancing his personal well-being and professional success.

In conclusion, Jay Hennick is not just a successful businessman, but a man of many facets. His passion for business, philanthropy, art, and family paints a portrait of a person whose influence extends beyond his entrepreneurial success.

Useful Links:
Colliers International,
Hennick Centre for Business and Law,
FirstService Corporation.