Jeffrey Lenn, CCIM

In Memoriam for D. Jeffrey Lenn, Ph.D.

A long-time academic consultant to CCIM Institute for instructors, strategic planning, and leadership development, D. Jeffrey Lenn, Ph.D., passed away on May 4 in Alexandria, Va., due to complications after heart surgery. He was 76 years old.

A professor at George Washington University, Dr. Lenn became involved with CCIM Institute in the early 1980s through his teaching associate, Stephen Messner, Ph.D., from the University of Connecticut. For three decades, he was engaged in faculty management and development of CCIM Institute faculty and often assisted with the Institute’s strategic planning process. From 2003 to 2013, Dr. Lenn helped to develop and facilitate the Jay W. Levine Leadership Development Academy.

“For those Jeff touched over the years in anything related to CCIM, he will be remembered for his kindness, compassion, great sense of humor, and thoughtful advice,” says Susan J. Groeneveld, CCIM, executive vice president emeritus of CCIM Institute. “He had the ability to make the individual that he spoke to feel like the most important person in the world.”

In recognition of his contributions, CCIM Institute granted Dr. Lenn an honorary CCIM designation in 2008.

Most recently, he had been assisting with the planning and execution of CCIM Institute’s 50th Anniversary Celebration. Dr. Lenn attended the Midyear Governance Meetings, April 1–5, in Chicago and interviewed several attendees on videotape to commemorate the celebration, including many of the past CCIM Institute presidents.

At George Washington University School of Business, he was a professor emeritus of Strategic Management and Public Policy. In 2015, Dr. Lenn was honored as the Instructor of the Year by the George Washington University Executive MBA Program.

He was born on Nov. 14, 1940, in Kansas City, Kan. Dr. Lenn earned his bachelor’s degree in science at the University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree at Yale University, and a doctorate degree at Boston College. After completing college, he also earned a master’s degree in divinity from the Andover Newton Theological School.

Preceding Dr. Lenn in death, his wife, Marjorie Pearce Lenn, passed away on Oct. 16, 2010, after a lengthy battle with cancer. He is survived by his daughter, Rebecca Pearce Lenn.

The Lenn and Peace families invite you to attend a service to celebrate the life of Dr. D. Jeffrey Lenn

to be held Saturday, June 17 at 11:00 AM

at Old Presbyterian Meeting House, 323 S Fairfax St., Alexandria, VA

*A reception follows.*

Sign the Guestbook


Please feel free to leave a message for Jeffrey's family.

As I got to know Jeff better through his work with new and seasoned CCIM instructors, I realized what a great and compassionate man he was. He advised without lecturing, cared about people without condescending, and made his famous "now how can you make it better" query with sincerity and humor. I enjoyed  having dinner with him, Susan and my husband last January in Chicago. It felt like like another dinner with family. We will miss you, Jeff. Rest in peace.

- Aida Wahmann

Jun 16, 2017, 5:31AM

Dr. Lenn was a great educator, a devoted family man, an active community member.  He was at the core a GOOD man.  He brought out the best in others.  He encouraged and enabled others to succeed.  He was generous with his time and his counsel.  He was kind.  I am grateful for his light and his life.  He made a difference and will continue to in spirit.   

- Alex Dietrich

Jun 08, 2017, 11:32AM

A wonderful and irreverently humorous man who will be greatly missed.  I cared for Jeff's garden for the past few years and loved his devotion to honoring both his wife, and his daughter, by incorporating plants and artifacts that reminded him of them as he spent time in his back yard paradise.  His own point of pride in the garden was the herb pot full of "Chef Jeff" varieties of thyme, mint and basil.

- Eleni Silverman

Jun 04, 2017, 6:48AM

I was privileged to work with Jeff in several CCIM instructor settings.  To me, Jeff was one of the most accepting human beings I've ever known - slow to judge, always valuing the opinions of everyone - looking for the positive in every situation. 

A few years ago, the two of us were part of a larger CCIM contingent that attended a national presentations conference in New Orleans. A speaker asked us to think of three things we loved, and then to share them with the person sitting next to us. In addition to his wife and his daughter, the third thing Jeff told me he loved was freedom. That has always stuck with me.  

A wonderful, warm, friendly man, and a blessing in my life.  I'll miss you, my friend. 

- Steve Cannariato, CCIM

May 31, 2017, 1:15PM

I am honored to have known Dr. Jeff Lenn.  His contributions to the CCIM Institute and to the Jay W. Levine Academy are many.  More importantly, his contributions and impact upon the individuals who make up our organizations are too many to count.  I am sure that the same may be said for countless other individuals Jeff reached through his roles as an educator, church member, family man and member of the community as a whole.  We are all richer for having known, worked with and loved Jeff Lenn.  While we are sad to have had our last conversation with him on this earth, we welcome the chance to learn from him further when we meet again.  I'm certain he'll be waiting for us with that ever present smile and twinkle in his eye.  B

- Barbara Crane

May 30, 2017, 3:21PM

My first encounter with Jeff was in 1980 when he politely suggested I had much to learn about how the CCIM education program could be signficantly improved. By the following year, he accepted the notion that I had taken to heart his words of wisdom. That was the deft and impactful way in which Jeff taught us all. He was a remarkable force for the betterment of the CCIM Institute, for which we all have benefited.

- Larry Smith (President-1981)

May 30, 2017, 11:15AM

I am priviledged to have known and learned so much from Jeff. We hope we leave this world the better for having been here.
Jeff made us all better for having known him.

- Tom Bothen

May 20, 2017, 7:22PM

A remarkable person who made each interaction very personal and special. It is rare that you find someone with a such a deft influential touch that generates a meaningful impact in your life. I am forever grateful for the introspection he elicited about integrity, ethics and giving. His legacy lives on in each or us that had the opportunity to share his friendship.

- Ralph Duarte

May 08, 2017, 11:37AM

I first met Jeff in 1980 when we asked him to participate in an instructor seminar being held in Sun Valley. He was so well received that he became a regular member of the instructor program, as well as a valued participant in other areas of the Institute.  When he and Susan began the planning for CCIM's 50th Anniversary celebration, they spent two afternoons with me to reminisce about the early days and the people who were so instrumental in the development of our program.  Those two days are now among the best memories I have of Jeff because we re-lived our entire history together. To say that I will miss him is a huge understatement.  RIP my friend.


Ruth Ellis

- Ruth Ellis

May 07, 2017, 2:25PM

A truly remarkable man who had such a positive impact on the lives of so many people. We were very fortunate to be able to learn and be mentored by a gifted man of passion who gave selflessly for the benefit of others.

"Average leaders raise the bar on themselves; good leaders raise the bar for others; great leaders inspire others to raise their own bar." - Orrin Woodward

- Mark Macek

May 07, 2017, 10:22AM

Dr. Jeff:
You were apart of so many of our lives. You became an extended family member.
Our memories are dear and we will cherish each one. I know the angels gently carried you to heaven.

- Patricia Tesluk

May 07, 2017, 6:28AM

Because of Jeff Lenn's reputation I asked Susan last year for his contact information. In a phone call he asked me questions and agreed to help me become better at speaking. Totally the professor, after having me buy two books, with assignments, we had weekly phone calls for 40 minutes until books, assignments and written speeches, listening to my tlast two speeches.  Over those months, you all know how impacting he is.  The first time I met Jeff was when he invited me to have lunch in Shelton on his way to his home in Cape Cod where his daughter was going to join him for vacation.  I had become very acquainted with the professor but now watched as he spent time with the waitress and the exchanged few common get  acquainted questions.  Then listened to the theologian, father and discovering some of the many hats he wore that many of you know.  Also so blessed for the times at Institute meetings, events & shared meals with him & CCIMs. My heart goes out to you like Susan who have had fellowship with him for decades. To the degree we will miss him can't fully be expressed.   What I do know is where he is now. Rebecca will need and have prayers and support from us and the many innumerable people in their lives.  Jeff - I look forward to visiting with you once again.  With all the Christian love possible that comes from God- thank you for sharing your life with us.  Shirl


- Shirley Harpool

May 06, 2017, 6:47AM

What can I say that has not been said and won't be said in the days to come.  i first met jeff shortly after i recerived my CCIM pin some 20 years ago.  Being the Dean of the Business School at George Washington provided me quick access to his sage advise and counsel.  He invited me to lunch and I took quick advantage of that opportunity.  We always talked at every opportunity, i.e. CCIM meetings.  His questions werre always direct and thought provoking. i learned something at each meeting.  He was in a class by himself.  I shall forever remember our last meeting and conversation a few weeks ago in Chicago.  Those current and future CCIM's that did not have the pleasure and opportunity to meet Dr. Jeffrey Linn will miss a real learning opportunity.  RIP dear friend.

- Harold H. Huggins, CCIM, CPM, CRB, CRS, GAA, GRI, MCRS

May 05, 2017, 2:09PM

Dr Jeff was like a "grandfather" to me when I was in JWL.  His sage wisdom and guidance was extremely appreciated and came at a time in my life when it was needed most.  I am blessed to have had the opportunity to share life with him.

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family.

- Nick Miner, CCIM

May 05, 2017, 11:11AM

A tremendous loss of a great person and personal mentor. Jeff was a guiding light at The CCIM institue and espcially to our instructor cadre. Jeff will be greatly missed, but his positive influence personally and professionally will  continue to inspire many of us!

- Stanley Gniazdowski

May 05, 2017, 11:10AM

A shock to hear the news of Jeff's passing.  I am so greatful I attended the recent Mid-Year meetings in Chicago, especially because I saw Jeff.  He and I picked up where we left off years ago.  Jeff had that ability to continue that last conversation, even if it had been several years.  Since I was one of Jeffs students from JWL, he offered me some unsolicited constructive advice.  It was well offered and greatly appreciated.  Thank you again, Jeff! Your contributions are life long and unmeasurable.  Fred

- Fred MNiehe CCIM

May 05, 2017, 10:52AM

Where do I even begin?  Jefff was a man of integrity, a soft-spoken leader who encouraged you to pursue your dreams. When he did speak, you listened, because what he had to say was meaningful and thought-provoking.  He was a friend and a mentor of mine through JWL and the 11 years since.  He encouraged me to step outside my comfort zone and be a better leader, and for that I am extremely grateful.  I am so thankful that I was able to have some great conversations with him last month in Chicago.  CCIM is a better organization because of Dr. Jeff and my heart aches right now because of his passing.  There is a huge hole right now at the CCIM Institute, and it'll never be the same without him.  I am just honored to have known him and to have been able to call him a dear friend. 

- Dave Wilson, CCIM

May 05, 2017, 6:52AM

Jeff has worked tirelessly and with his usual passion on the 50th Anniversary project, alongside Susan Groeneveld, in order to bring the half century of CCIM to life for us all.  We will be eternally grateful for his many years of contributions to the Institute.  He affected my life dramatically by pursuading me that I could and should be a CCIM Instructor.  Jeff will certainly be missed by many, especially me!

- Robin Webb, CCIM

May 05, 2017, 6:22AM

My husband and I will miss "Dr. Jeff" - after the Jay Levine training, we would visit him in DC every few years.  His honesty, humor, and kindness will remain with all of us.  Sympathies to Rebecca whom he spoke of often and with great love!!  His legacy lives on.

Deb Stevens

- Debra Lee Stevens

May 05, 2017, 6:01AM

Jeff was always tuned in to you when you spoke wih him, it helped him answer any questions you had. We will miss his compassionate ways.

- Allen Feltman, CCIM

May 05, 2017, 10:10PM

I am deeply saddened with our loss of Jeff - a mentor, giver, great professor, fellow coach,and most of all our friend.  Our positive thoughts, prayers and condolences for Rebecca and Family.  I know my fellow CCIM's will continue to always remember Jeff's kind words and genuine smile. 

- Dewey Struble

May 05, 2017, 7:30PM

Jeff was a wonderful and compassionate teacher whom we were all blessed to know.  He always strived to find the positive and optimistic side of all discussions, and urged all of us to do the same.  I am grateful to has worked with him.  And really happy that we got to spend a few moments together at the 50th anniversary just a few weeks ago.  He surely will be missed, and my thoughts and prayers go out to his daughter Rebecca, and his entire family.  

Carl Russell


May 04, 2017, 6:44PM

Everyone who knew Jeff Lynn is saddened by his passing from this life.  He was a gentle person who took pleasure and pride in improving the lives of others.  In reviewing his accompolishments, he also was a modest individual who worked to improve others rather than to burnish his own reputation, because his reputation was good enough to stand the test of time.  We shall all miss him greatly and our prayers are offered for his daughter, Rebecca, in this time of her loss and bereavement.  God blessed us all by sharing Jeff Lynn's life with us.

- John M. Stone, CCIM, CPM, CIPS

May 04, 2017, 5:21PM

My heart is hurting.  Talk about a "salt of the Earth" guy. So mild-mannered for what he had accomplished.  I know my JWL Leadership Class was a way better experience because of his involvement.  I can easily say that our Institute has, and will have, some of its best leaders because of him. I know he is in a better place, but I know we will miss him here.

- Lou Nimkoff

May 04, 2017, 4:09PM

Dr. Lenn, Thank you for your kind words in April 2017.  You shared your wisdom on leadership.  Blessings on your next journey.

- James Robertson

May 04, 2017, 4:04PM