Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Building communities with purpose: Patti Glass on values-driven development

Grosvenor vice-president of corporate marketing and communications champions community engagement, sustainability and female leadership in real estate. She is one of BIV's 2024 Influential Women in Business Award winners
Patti Glass, vice-president of corporate marketing and communications for Grosvenor, flanked by Douglas Copland artwork

For Patti Glass, building community is at the centre of her work.

It is through this approach that Glass has built a brand for international property developer, manager and investor Grosvenor that mirrors the company’s core value of being a “thoughtful community steward” – a core value that Glass said she shares with the company.

“It’s considering the community – what’s missing, what do they need? Most importantly, what are they saying? They will tell you what is needed. It’s not for us to come in and implement something we think they need, it’s very much a two-way conversation,” said Glass.

“When you can mix generations, people, demographics, socio-economic situations, you get a more reflective worldview, perspective and a caring for one another. That is not to be discounted.”

Glass started career with Magnum Projects Ltd. and Polygon Homes Ltd. During the 2008 financial crisis, she pivoted to professional services with engineering firm Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd. (RJC Engineers).

During her time with the firm, Glass earned an executive master of business administration from the University of Toronto. This is addition to the arts degree she holds from the University of Victoria, and communications certificates from the British Columbia Institute of Technology and Harvard University.

After her graduate degree, Glass began her journey with Grosvenor, where she currently serves as vice-president of corporate marketing and communications.

Net-zero initiatives, the use of materials such as mass timber, and partnering with the GRESB Benchmark Report – which provides environmental, social and governance (ESG) assessments and benchmarks – are helping to keep the 347-year-old company “within the conversation,” Glass said.

“These are ambitions that are progressive, they’re bold … and for younger generations, if you’re looking at who is behind that or do their values align with mine, I very much think that Grosvenor has that to its core.”

Glass has been recognized as one of Vancouver’s Top 50 Women Leaders of 2022 by Women We Admire, and received the Outstanding Leader Award from the Urban Land Institute British Columbia’s Women’s Leadership Initiative in 2020.

She also established The Robert Glass Legacy Fund to support the stroke program at Vancouver General Hospital, where she sits on the brain cabinet committee.

Her father Robert Glass, who had a successful career in the development industry, passed away following a hemorrhagic stroke in 2016.

“For me, it was a way to channel grief but also affect change for future outcomes of people who are impacted by stroke and somehow from that, I emerged with a purpose. I can’t describe it any other way,” she said.

Glass’ community engagement extends further to board and chair positions with Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Vancouver and the Gordon and Marion Smith Foundation for Young Artists.

When it comes to female representation in real estate, Glass said that women such as Carla Guerrera, founder and CEO of Purpose Driven Real Estate, and Elva Kim, COO of Anthem Properties Group Ltd., are examples of how the industry is evolving.

“Companies that don’t see this or recognize the talent that is in their female representation, they’re missing out,” Glass said. “The more people you have at the table to come up with ideas on what it is you’re trying to do – why you’re doing it – the better.”

“By the very nature of that exercise, you’re including different ideas, opinions and lenses and through that, we progress every single day.”

In her personal life, Glass said that her “compass has shifted slightly” towards co-parenting her son with his father. She said she hopes to inspire anyone else who may be going through a difficult time to know “we can do hard things,” she said in reference to queer activist Glennon Doyle.

Glass said her happy place is when she is beside her twin sister, whom she meets every Saturday for a yoga session.

“There’s something about that female energy, and that uplifting of each other,” she said. 

BIV will recognize the achievements of six female leaders at the 25th Annual Influential Women in Business Awards on March 8. For details and tickets, visit