Message from CREW Chicago’s President
Partner, GoodSmith Gregg & Unruh LLP
As President of CREW Chicago, I’m happy once again to express our gratitude to the Illinois Real Estate Journal for highlighting in this special issue the important roles women play in the commercial real estate industry. As you read the profiles of these amazing women, many of whom are members of CREW Chicago, you realize just how much they contribute to the vibrancy and success of our industry.
The mission of CREW Chicago is to positively impact the commercial real estate industry by advancing the power and success of women. As of the end of 2020, CREW Chicago had more than 300 members, and we’ve added members during each month of this past year.
CREW Chicago is a chapter of CREW Network, a global organization with more than 12,000 members in over 75 markets. Through CREW Chicago, you can access CREW Network’s leadership development programs, attend industry presentations on a wide range of subjects, and take advantage of business networking, career tools and volunteer opportunities. CREW Network is the leading provider of research on gender and diversity in commercial real estate. Go to their website at www.CREWNetwork.org, and you will find annual research papers as well as benchmark studies CREW Network has produced every five years since 2005 covering gender bias, the economic benefits of diversity and the continuing concern of pay parity.
For over 30 years, CREW Chicago has offered unmatched opportunities to network, learn more about issues affecting commercial real estate, and develop and hone skills to advance and thrive in our industry. Our Programs committee offers programs on various industry topics. In February we heard about the new ALTA survey standards, and in March we will offer an in-depth review of CREW Network’s latest benchmark study. Upcoming programs include presentations on The New Plan for Chicago, the state of the retail market and an overview of real estate taxes, valuations and appraisals. And I’m only covering the first half of the year!
Our Leadership and Professional Development committee sponsors interactive seminars, professional development workshops and facilitated round table discussions. Each year, the committee develops programs focused on important leadership themes in order to support the growth and development of our members at all levels of commercial real estate. This year’s theme for LP&D programming is “The Inclusive Leader”.
Last year, CREW Chicago sponsored several programs focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion issues, including a two-part program on the history and continuing effects of redlining. Recognizing the importance of these issues, CREW Chicago created an E&I Committee to focus on overcoming institutional biases and racism in the commercial real estate industry, and named our first DEI Officer.
At CREW Chicago, we are mindful that we need to develop a pipeline for up and coming real estate professionals and we start early; in March, our CREW Careers committee will partner with the Off The Street Club to help educate a group of underprivileged girls about the possibilities of careers in real estate. This year, we announced the award of 4 scholarships of $5,000 each to undergraduate and graduate students seeking to pursue careers in real estate. We couldn’t hold our Annual Industry Awards Dinner in person this year, so we asked our prior Annual Industry Award recipients to identify rising stars, and we are looking forward to welcoming these talented women to the CREW Chicago community.
In anticipation of our annual golf outing that we expect to hold in August, golf clinics are scheduled in May, June and July. Our Member Services committee is working on a variety of events to allow our members to interact in smaller groups, including wine tastings, yoga and juice bars and mini-dine arounds. In the fall, we will sponsor a team of CREW Chicago members to work on the Women Build event for Habitat for Humanity.
As a reminder, while some of our events are open to the public, you will miss out on other programs unless you are a member. So, become a member! Visit our website at www.CREWChicago.org and you will find prospective member events that are held each month to enable you to learn about membership. I think there has never been a more important time for the support, networking opportunities, programing and community that CREW Chicago provides.
Jeanne Tubman, President, CREW Chicago
Link to the full issue