Claire Cormier Thielke, the managing director at global real estate investment, development and management firm Hines, is joining Zillow Group’s board of directors. Thielke is the first Black professional to serve on the board of directors for the publicly traded real estate technology company.
“[Thielke’s] board appointment will be instrumental in guiding and propelling the company through its evolution to Zillow 2.0,” Lloyd Frink, Zillow co-founder, executive chairman and president, said in a statement. “Thielke brings an incredible background in operations, innovation and real estate financing that will be extremely valuable to the board as we continue to oversee transformational growth at Zillow.”
Thielke is currently a managing director at Hines, where she’s responsible for acquisitions, development and new business generation in the company’s Asia Pacific region. She previously served as the company’s chief operating officer of investment management.
In addition to her work as an executive at Hines, Thielke is a member of Stanford University’s adjunct faculty, where she lectures on the intersection of technology, institutional investment and real estate assets.
Outside of her professional duties, Thielke serves as a board director for Memorial City Bank and board chair of Legacy Community Health. She’s also a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors and the Aspen Institute Society of Fellows.
“I’ve followed Zillow’s success for many years — witnessing their evolution from a data-driven start-up to the most visited real estate website in the U.S., to the dynamic end-to-end service platform it is today for millions of customers,” Thielke said in a statement.
“Zillow has revolutionized the industry by giving people the information and tools to find a home,” Thielke added. “In doing so, they are empowering communities and transforming neighborhoods.”
Thielke is the first Black professional appointed to Zillow’s board of directors, at a time when corporate boards are looking to diversify their ranks. In September, both Zillow and Redfin joined with a handful of other major companies to launch a new effort aimed at increasing diversity on corporate boards.
The effort is called the Board Challenge and debuted with 17 “founding pledge partners.” Those partners have promised to add a black director to their boards within one year. More broadly, the initiative also “seeks to accelerate action to improve the diversity of corporate boards,” according to a statement.
Kerry Chandler became Redfin’s first black board member in August, prior to the launch of the initiative, but a Redfin spokesperson told Inman that Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman was a “founding member” in the initiative, meaning he has committed to enlisting one other company for the Board Challenge.