Canada CRE News In Your Inbox.

Sign up for Connect emails to stay informed with CRE stories that are 150 words or less.

Sub Markets

Property Sectors


Canada  + Cross Border News + Ontario  + Multi-residential Housing  | 
Starlight Investments COO Glen Hirsh talks about leadership.

Starlight Seeks Impactful Leaders

(This is the second of a two-part interview with Glen Hirsh, COO for Toronto-based Starlight Investments, which operates globally and focuses on multi-residential properties. In Part I, he looked back at 2023 and explained how he and his company are approaching leadership in 2024. Here in Part II, he discusses how Starlight identifies and develops its leaders.)

What key leadership traits to do you expect and encourage in department heads?

Starlight investments’ leadership team are expected to embody and promote our core values and those core values are impact, we talked about that [in Part I of the interview]; inclusivity, a focus on on all our differences and welcoming, and having an inclusion and inclusivity approach, integrity and ingenuity. So it’s impact, inclusivity integrity and ingenuity. And, our culture is about people who care and look to make a difference. So we want to see that in our leaders. Our executive leadership team brings together disciplined visionaries with diverse backgrounds and one common goal, and that is investing with impact. That is our key purpose, Monte, investing with impact. And this is the financial and human difference we make for our investors, our partners and our communities. So our leadership team possesses a unique ability to identify strong opportunities for our investors, while also creating a more sustainable future by contributing to the development of complete communities. So, we look at our department heads and our leaders to foster a culture of collaboration that we hold as one of our key values. And, finally, diversity. I talked about diversity inclusion. That’s fundamental to our work environment, and it creates a greater impact for all and, therefore, it must be a key priority for our leaders as well.

How do you identify the next generation of leaders in your organization?

So. one of the roles of senior leadership, and I’m on the senior leadership team as chief operating officer, is to be able to identify future leaders among our exceptional employee group. So, to start, where do we see employees firstly, embodying our core values? I keep talking about that, Monte, that these core values have to be thread through everything we do at Starlight. Impact, inclusivity, integrity and ingenuity. That’s the starting point. Once we see how they deal with internal and external relationships, and we talked about that their fellow employees being internally, their colleagues, and then externally our stakeholders, our residents and our communities, our partners, we can then get a sense of who the future leaders will be. From that group of talented people, we look for leaders that strive for high performance. They champion collaboration, they keep their word and they find solutions to do better things. Another tool in our toolkit comes from our coveted summer student program. [In 2023], Starlight Investments was the recipient of the University of Waterloo award for next generation employment innovation. This award recognizes the HR team, our people and culture team, that has applied the most innovative approach to providing employment opportunities to young professionals and graduates over the last 12 months. When I when I look at that program, seeing students excelling so early on in their careers is promising, and it’s one way of identifying future leaders.

What advice do you give to your organization’s rising stars?

No. 1, we encourage our people to seek out opportunities that drive performance and create positive results that exceed the expectation of others. No.,2, and this will come as no surprise to you because I keep mentioning this in our discussion: Make an impact. Make an impact. How do you plan to make your mark in a way that is both meaningful and measurable to the communities that we serve and that we continue to serve? And No. 3, whether at Starlight or beyond, wherever you go in your life and your career, always strive to create a positive impact in your community. And I think those three pieces of advice will serve people well and and have them be valuable contributors in communities and in their environments and in their work environments.


Inside The Story

Glen HirshStarlight Investments

About Monte Stewart

Monte Stewart serves as Content Director - Canada for Connect Commercial Real Estate. Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Monte provides daily news coverage of major Canadian commercial real estate markets, including Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. He has written about the real estate sector for various media outlets and Avison Young since the early 2000s. In addition, he has covered sports, general news and business for several leading wire services and publications, including The Canadian Press, The Associated Press, The Calgary Herald, The Globe and Mail, Research Money, The Daily Oil Bulletin, Natural Gas World and The Toronto Star. Monte is active in his community as a youth basketball coach and raises funds for such charitable causes as Movember.

New call-to-action
New call-to-action