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Meet The Valley's Trendsetting Man

San Jose Office

Morgan Stanley VP Brian Franklin is gearing up to be CREW's first-ever male Bay Area president. (Did you know: George Washington was our country's first male president?)

We found the financial planning specialist crunching numbers at his San Jose desk. He first joined Silicon Valley CREW five years ago for the networking. It brought a steady stream of referrals and is part of the reason he manages wealth for some of CRE's heavy hitters in the Valley (developers, owners, architects, interior designers, PMs, brokers). A sizable chunk of his client base happens to be women, he says. Two of his goals are member engagement and member recognition. Another CREW chapter welcomed its first male president a couple years ago, so the trend is new.

Brian previously served as as board secretary and communication director. He tells us his own world already revolves around females: two daughters, ages 11 and 13, which means lots of birthday parties and sports. He also loves the beach--his fave spot is Seabright between the yacht harbor and boardwalk in Santa Cruz. He's a San Jose native (seriously), having been born at San Jose Hospital.

Iron Construction COO Claudia Folzman is CREW Silicon Valley president for less than 50 more days and notes that her chapter has a strong male membership, at 20%. She thinks the real estate world continues to be male dominated because men can be more inclined to take risk. Take the brokerage world, which is commission based and attracts men who go after the reward of being paid only when a deal closes, she says.