Michael Ward

Forty Under 40 winner 2014:  Senior vice-president and general manager, Grosvenor Americas, Age: 34

Michael Ward has had an influential role in developing about $1.3 billion worth of assets for Grosvenor Americas since he joined the real estate developer in 2002.

In his current role, he is in charge of the company’s western Canadian projects as well as general manager of about 30 staff in the Vancouver office.

“I’ve been given a lot of opportunities in the past decade to be able to grow in the company,” Ward said. “I haven’t had to jump around for opportunities, so that’s been special to me.”

Grosvenor liked Ward’s performance during an internship he did in 2001, so it hired him as soon as he completed his University of British Columbia commerce degree.

First came a couple of years in Vancouver as a real estate analyst, then two more as an assistant development manager and another two as development manager.

One early success was his work stickhandling Grosvenor’s successful mixed-use project the Rise, at Cambie Street and West 7th Avenue.

When an opportunity arose to go to Washington, D.C., to be Grosvenor’s vice-president of development, Ward grabbed the promotion and stayed three years. He then moved to Calgary for another three years in the same role.

As one of, if not the youngest, senior vice-presidents in Grosvenor’s history, he was able to move back to Vancouver in March.

Several large projects that he is now overseeing include the $350 million Grosvenor Ambleside mixed-use project in Vancouver, the $150 million Avenue Condominiums project in Calgary and the $100 million Edgemont residential project in Vancouver.

“Being born and raised in Vancouver, at one point it was an ultimate desire of mine to be able to come back, so it has been a positive move,” he said.

Outside of work he has a passion for cars and he owns two European sports cars.

“I’d love to say I’ve done a lot outside work, but outside some speaking engagements there’s not that much,” he said. “My focus over the past few years has been growing and mentoring the teams internally.”