Well, it's official. And it's all been announced. And everybody has been so very kind and supportive. And I feel very emotional about it all (and, no, that is not a euphemism). I am leaving CB Richard Ellis at the end of this year.
I've got to put my money where my mouth is, and forego the warmth and safety afforded by the bosom of Adrian Bunnis ("The Bunnii") and his team (Bunnis & Black: that well-known seaside double act) and never forgetting the formidable organisational skills of Scary Ange (whom I will so so so miss) to sail choppy waters of uncharted uncertainty, as I become chief executive of UK Regeneration. Hurrah! (er ... steady now...).
So... my mission to resuscitate regeneration for the UK has come to this, roughly: it's put-up-or-shut-up Sadek, if you think you're hard enough?
Martin Samworth at CBRE was so very kind to me about my journey. We had such a warm and supportive final meeting this week. He went on record to say: "We are grateful to Jackie for her unique contribution to CBRE in establishing our credentials in regeneration in the UK". What a lovely man (some of my colleagues would indeed describe my contribution as "unique", but perhaps they would not intend it in such a complimentary way).
And I've been there nearly four years, which was certainly a lot more than various cynical commentators predicted when I joined. My appointment was a brave one for the firm, I think, as I do come to the sector from the stance of lifting folk out of poverty and, conversely, as a true people-person, going into a real estate consultancy for the first time, mid-career, was a tough call for me.
So we all took a bit of a leap there. But blimey - and here comes understatement of the year - I've certainly learnt a huge amount! Having worked at least half the time in the private sector before I joined CBRE, I sort of understood the commercial imperative, but I'd never been truly truly market-facing before. CBRE did that for me. It was invaluable. It was a true education. And CBRE has been kind, and they've treated me well (very well indeed, as when the market was still buoyant, I was richer than I've ever been!).
But sometimes, as my sister would say, you've got to stand for what you stand for. Serious moment now: I may be simply terrified, but I believe this is now the crucial time to devote all of my focus and energy in building UK Regeneration. We need new approaches and I'm determined that UKR will lead the way. As the regeneration sector undergoes its fundamental restructure, in response to the recession and the public spending cuts, UK Regeneration has been created to attempt to address these devastating impacts.
We intend to be a commercial organisation working as a major partner to the government in rebuilding the economy. We will seek to provide those working right across the sector and in all parts of the UK with the indispensable tools they will need to deliver regeneration in this new context. Specifically, UKR aims to influence emerging policy, acting as the true voice for regeneration; to support practitioners in all aspects of their roles; and to provide a place where they can share experience and what works and what doesn't.
Finally, UKR will become actively involved in delivering regeneration projects working with partners across all sectors and with local communities. Influence. Support. Deliver.
I'll be working with CBRE again in the new world. Of course I will. The point is, I'll be working with ALL OF YOU again in the new world. The economic challenges we face could create remarkable opportunities - we aim to harness the energy of the entire sector and to seize these opportunities in 2011. UKR has a lot of friends and we intend to hit the ground running from 1 January.
That is, once I've had a bit of a kip and a regroup, over Christmas. Because I am seriously just knackered thinking about it. ukregeneration.org.uk