President’s Message

March 1, 2023
Written by: Miriam Brodie – 2023 CREW DC President

Celebrating and Supporting Women

March is Women’s History Month—a celebration of women as a vital part of shaping our world, as well as an opportunity to reflect on the often-overlooked contributions women have made to history, business, culture, and society. We are mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends.  We are entrepreneurs, teachers, doctors, lawyers, philanthropists, and leaders in business and government. We are you.

CREW DC makes it a point to acknowledge and raise the visibility of women all year long. Check out our social media where we’ve recently featured some truly accomplished women: LaGuardia Myers, Senior Director of Real Estate with Gannett; Antoinette ‘Toni’ Beverly, Vice President of Property Management with BXP; Catherine Heath, CEO at HYL Architecture; Byrdy Kelley, CEO & Founder of Melan Property Management; Victoria Abbasi, Assistant Vice President with Colliers; and Christina Lewis, Associate at Langan Engineering & Environmental Services.

We also equip members and stakeholders with tools and opportunities to grow personally and professionally. We help them build their relationships and network to ensure their contributions are impactful for the next generation of women too. For example, our upcoming Facilitation Training for Meetings and Discussion, is clear cut professional development. The CNCC Annual Golf Outing and associated lessons, are designed to accelerate networking opportunities and build a level-playing field for women in the commercial real estate (CRE) industry. Many deals are still done on the golf course. Our series is designed to help women feel comfortable playing—and accessing those business opportunities they would otherwise miss. 

Opportunity is the key to success. That’s why we are laser focused on Think CREW First for Business. We want our members to grab these opportunities generated by CREW to be successful in their professional positions and build even more opportunities to compete and win.

Everything we do as a chapter is guided by our mission to “transform the commercial real estate industry by advancing the achievements of ALL women.” The upcoming program at WMATA HQ highlights five extraordinary women who have tackled sustainability implementation with creativity and resolve while we feature an amazing building transformation, which just happens to be our 2022 Project Excellence Award Winner. This is professional excellence on display. Join us to hear their insights, network with your peers, and tour the building on March 23. 

Rachel Schiftan

Rachel Schiftan
Managing Director Energy and Sustainability
Cushman & Wakefield

Nia Francis

Nia Francis
Director of Real Estate

Katie Mesia

Katie Mesia
Design Resilience Leader, Principal

Theresa Backhus

Theresa Backhus
Director, Building Innovation Hub
Institute for Market Transformation

Giuliana Kunkel

Giuliana Kunkel
Associate, ESG
MetLife Investment Management

If you’re looking for more ways to celebrate women, check out CREW Network’s complimentary International Women’s Day Event with Dr. Anne-Marie Imafidon. She will share her story, discussing innovation, artificial intelligence (AI), the future of work, resiliency, as well as facing and overcoming bias. 

To make sure the pipeline of women in CRE continues growing, CREW Network Foundation has built a program to support girls and women in pursuing careers and finding success in CRE. The foundation has provided more than 225 scholarships to help women fund their education and ultimately enter the CRE industry. That’s why CREW Network Foundation and the Dream Big, Be Bold Campaign is so important.

This campaign aims to raise $125,000 and all donors who give $100 or more by the end of March are eligible to receive a special DREAM BIG bracelet. Join with me and all of our CREW DC Board members and donate today! I wear my bracelet with pride. 

And speaking of scholarships - NOW is the time for potential scholars to apply. The CREW Network Foundation scholarship application deadline is April 15, 2023. Share this scholarship/internship opportunity with your friends and family who may know a woman studying in a qualified field of real estate. Encourage them to apply. Or reach out to your alma mater and ask them to share it with their students. 

I’m glad Women’s History Month brings focus to the successes of women, but CREW makes EVERY DAY a day to celebrate women in CRE. Send us your news, and let us help you make connections that will build your business. I look forward to hearing from you.

Miriam Brodie – 2023 CREW DC President
Vice President, Kimley-Horn