CREW Network Convention: there is no greater investment for a woman in commercial real estate

October 23, 2016
Written by: Kathy Hoffer

Dear CREW Inland Empire Board of Directors,   

I’d like to thank you for offering me a sponsorship to the 2016 CREW Network Convention & Marketplace in New York.  Being new to CREW and only attending a few local area events, I must admit I didn’t understand the magnitude of the gift being offered by CREW Inland Empire.  All I knew was that my work load kept me busy enough and attendance at the Convention would mean double duty when I returned from the convention.  I’m happy to report that having experienced the 2016 CREW Network Convention, there is no greater investment in time for a woman in real estate than attending this convention.  This is now an annual priority for my career and professional advancement.     

On a macro level, my greatest take away from the CREW Network Convention is that, as a member, I am connected to a vast and powerful web of expert support, in every imaginable arena of commercial real estate across the United States, and internationally.  Prior to the convention, my understanding of CREW was limited to those few connections within the local chapter.  I had NO IDEA of the scope and depth of CREW. Discovering this strong community of real estate professionals offering their expertise throughout the US and beyond, it opened my eyes to the many possibilities we all share for career and professional growth.   

The 2016 CREW Network Convention was a power-packed 2½ days of educational and inspirational Keynote speakers and Breakout Session panelists.  It is impossible to express just how impactful each of the four (yes, FOUR!) Keynote Speakers were!  I know I would have personally paid more than the registration fee simply to listen to the lessons and insights from these four speakers.  Conversely, I would have felt the financial investment was well worth simply attending the Breakout Session and listening to the impressive lineup of expert panelist speaking on issues such as “Doing Business in a Global Environment”, “Hot Trends in Industrial Development”, “Creating Value in Multifamily Assets”, “Perspectives on Public Private Partnerships”, and “How Sharing Economy, Technology, and Space Use are Transforming Commercial Real Estate”, just to name a few sessions.   

Aside from the Keynote Speakers and Breakout Session Panelist, there was a long afternoon of visiting the convention booths of all the leaders in commercial real estate services.  I was impressed to find that many of the booths were represented by their presidents, CEOs, and executive management teams. More networking opportunities existed with the morning networking walks/runs, evening festivities, and multiple industry-based excursions out in the Big Apple.  

One final lesson learned at the 2016 CREW Network Convention, and an important one, is that CREW is more than simply women supporting women in commercial real estate.  More globally, it’s about gender “inclusion”, not exclusion.  I was so impressed by the thought-provoking perspectives of the male panelists, most specifically by Joseph Stettinius, CEO NA for Cushman and Wakefield, and keynote speaker, Admiral William McRaven.   

Thank you, again, for this experience.  I’m glad to be a member and associated with CREW Inland Empire.

Kathy Hoffer