Allied Properties CEO and Cumbrae’s founder named Canada’s DesignThinkers of the Year

The Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD), hub for the graphic design community in Canada, has announced that Michael Emory, president and CEO of Allied Properties REIT and Stephen Alexander, founder of Cumbrae’s, have been named Canada’s DesignThinkers of the Year. The awards will be presented by RGD and Rotman School of Management at the 2015 DesignThinkers Conference for visual communicators in Toronto.

In its third year, the DesignThinker of the Year Award recognizes Canadian corporate leaders who use design and innovation to solve business problems and drive growth. Past recipients are Larry Rosen, CEO of Harry Rosen, and David Labistour, president and CEO of MEC, Canada’s leading retailer for outdoor clothing, gear and services.   “It was important for us to recognize a small business and large corporation who have invested significantly in the design of their brand,” says Bob Hambly, vice president of communications, RGD. “Cumbrae’s online presence to in-store experience and Allied’s state of the art office and award-winning magazine are examples of meticulously constructed experiences that have been carefully shaped by true design thinkers.”

Cumbrae’s, a specialty butcher shop based in Toronto, represents the true love of food and the relentless pursuit of raising, producing and delivering the finest meats. Based on the philosophy of forging partnerships with traditional family farms that raise livestock to their exacting standards, Cumbrae’s is the result of an unparalleled network of farmers, butchers and cooks committed to its evolution and ingenuity.

“We’ve worked hard to integrate design throughout the expansion and evolution of the customer experience,” says Stephen Alexander, founder, Cumbrae’s. “This honour would not be possible if it were not for our collaboration with expert designers in marketing, brand and shop design. This award is for the whole team.”

Allied Properties REIT is a leading owner, manager and developer of urban office environments that enrich experience and enhance profitability for business tenants operating in Canada’s major cities. Their objectives are to provide stable and growing cash distributions to unit holders and to maximize unit holder value through effective management and accretive portfolio growth.

“When commissioning new builds, we utilize design-driven problem solving to find ways to maintain heritage while increasing density in the downtown core of Toronto,” says Michael Emory, president and CEO, Allied Properties REIT. “Our goal – to create inspiring, sustainable and creative work spaces for the future – has design thinking at its very core. I could not more proud to accept this award.”

Stephen Alexander and Michael Emory will be honoured during the 2015 RGD DesignThinkers Conference, taking place this year on Thursday, November 12 and Friday, November 13, followed by a final keynote from world-renowned interior and industrial designer, Karim Rashid. Other speakers include Coralie Bickford-Smith, book jacket designer for The OdysseyLittle Women, the Sherlock Holmes series; Cap Watkins, BuzzFeed‘s first-ever VP of Design; Annie Atkins, lead graphic designer for Oscar-winning The Grand Budapest Hotel; Sree Sreenivasan, Chief Digital Officer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Chris Dixon, Design Director, Vanity Fair and more.

ALLIED PROPERTIES REIT_Mr. Michael R. Emory, President and Chief Executive Officer