William P.J. McCarthy, CRE Receives James Felt Creative Counseling Award from The Counselors of Real Estate

(Chicago)—December 13, 2016—A 13-year pro-bono project to redevelop and rebuild a state-of-the-art co-educational Catholic high school in Vancouver, B.C. has earned William P.J. McCarthy, CRE® the coveted James Felt Creative Counseling Award from The Counselors of Real Estate® professional association. The award celebrates outstanding achievement and ingenuity in real estate counseling by a member of the CRE organization. The fact that he gave his personal time and professional expertise voluntarily throughout this initiative is being noted as a stellar accomplishment.

Mr. McCarthy, a real estate advisor and president of W.P.J. McCarthy and Company Ltd., Burnaby, B.C., accepted the award at The Counselors’ annual convention in Washington, D.C. McCarthy holds six university degrees (including a Bachelor of Theology, (which he completed during this project) and ten professional designations, including that of Counselor of Real Estate which he earned in 1995. He has completed almost 4,000 pro bono reviews and assignments worldwide.

The Notre Dame Regional Secondary School Alumni Foundation nominated Mr. McCarthy for the award. Their submission detailed the long history of his dedicated service–from inception to completion of the building–which represented the largest, most complex and expensive capital project in the 105-year history of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vancouver. Mr. McCarthy led the project from 2002-2015. As a result of the initiative, an obsolete 60-year old building built for an enrollment of 200—which was in peril of closure—was revived into the thriving 800-student modern campus it is today.

The project involved coordination and leadership of multiple stakeholder groups, including the Archdiocese, the city of Vancouver, and representatives of the 10 individual parishes from which student enrollment is drawn. Mr. McCarthy is credited with saving the entities millions of dollars during the project. In addition to leading fundraising efforts and personally underwriting many costs, he developed feasibility studies, overcame non-conforming land zoning obstacles, created business and financing plans, oversaw drafting of construction blueprints, and created multiple budgets and business processes. His financing models provide positive cash flow for the school, and help provide tuition assistance to students of families in need.

In addition to Mr. McCarthy’s visioning, planning and oversight throughout the project, the nominating submission referenced his overall personal commitment noting McCarthy’s office logged 1,800 meetings, 250 site visits during construction, 100 major presentations, 3,500 sign offs on construction budget and design decisions and more than one million pages of documentation drafted and/or reviewed. His hands-on approach to leadership by example was further demonstrated when he also personally designed and installed all new Notre Dame landscaping, grotto and gardens.

Pat Waslen (Notre Dame Class of ‘83), who has served alongside McCarthy as a Vice Chairman of the Notre Dame Building Committee, notes that “Notre Dame was to be expanded and totally rebuilt within twenty years of its opening. Despite the best intentions of many, over fifty years passed before Bill was appointed to take control and lead this project. Within two weeks we were in the ground building, using his original pro forma. He led by example, start to finish.”

Submissions to the committee are judged on the scope of the assignment, the Counselor’s role, the creativity and innovation applied in addressing the initiative and the public or social benefits achieved.


The Counselors of Real Estate®, established in 1953, is an international group of high profile professionals including members of prominent real estate, financial, legal and accounting firms as well as leaders of government and academia who provide expert, objective advice on complex real property situations and land-related matters. Membership is selective, extended by invitation only. The organization’s CRE (Counselor of Real Estate) credential is granted to all members in recognition of superior problem solving ability in various areas of real estate counseling. Only 1,100 people in the world hold the CRE credential. For more information, contact The Counselors of Real Estate, 430 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611; +1 312/329.8427; https://cre.org.