John Whitney entered Kitchener
after attending Wilfrid Lauier
University, and joined the family
business, getting his license
in 1975. Under his father’s
leadership, George Whitney
Ltd. merged with another
company to serve both the
commercial and residential
sectors, becoming full-service
for another decade.
"SIOR is part of my family’s legacy, and I wanted
to continue the tradition as the fourth generation. We’re more of a boutique brokerage, so it’s
important to have an international connection."
his father’s leadership, George Whitney
Ltd. merged with another company to
serve both the commercial and residential sectors, becoming full-service for
In the 1980s, the company split into
separate divisions again, and John took
the commercial portion, renaming it
WHITNEY & Company. One of the biggest
clients he took on was Waterloo-based
Research in Motion Ltd., the telecommunications company that later became
As a student at Wilfrid Laurier University,
Ginger worked in BlackBerry’s facilities
department through a co-op program.
The group managed 3 million square
feet of BlackBerry’s portfolio; and John,
having worked on BlackBerry’s real es-
tate for more than 20 years, would often
come in for meetings. She recalled sit-
ting in on those meetings with her team,
finding it remarkable how her father
approached different properties and
his strategic planning, which piqued her
interest in real estate.
This exposure inspired Ginger to follow
her family’s legacy after graduation.
Today, she serves as both vice president
and broker in the office division, handling
landlord and portfolio management for
clients. She also serves on the Board
of Directors for the Kitchener-Waterloo
Real Estate Board.
The SIOR Advantage
Becoming an SIOR last year was a
natural choice for Ginger.
“SIOR is part of my family’s legacy, and
I wanted to continue the tradition as
the fourth generation,” she said. “We’re
more of a boutique brokerage, so it’s
important to have an international
For instance, one of WHITNEY &
Company’s local corporate clients
owned a property in Texas it wanted
to divest and then find a new, larger
facility for its operations. The firm
reached out to Lee & Associates
Commercial Real Estate Services
president Mike Spears, SIOR, CCIM, in
Houston to help facilitate.
The Whitney’s experience might even
encourage further SIORs among their
staff. John says that while his son-in-law, Michael, hasn’t received the
designation yet, he plans to, and firm
president Jane Klugman may also consider membership in the future.
They also frequently work with SIOR
members in the Greater Toronto Area,
including Avison Young principal and
senior vice president Kevin Beaudry,
SIOR; Colliers International senior vice
president Sydney Hamber, SIOR; and
Colliers International vice president of
business development Peter Garrigan,
“Being in a family business and watching my grandfather and father, I saw
the expertise they got through being in
SIOR,” said John, explaining that as an
SIOR he has seen his business increase
and has gained a lot from an educational and networking standpoint.
Ginger Whitney earned her
SIOR designation in 2016 and
works alongside her father at
WHITNEY & Company, whose 17
employees serve the southwestern Ontario commercial
and industrial markets.