The Success And Power Of Building Female Relationships In CRE
Each fall, the Washington, D.C., chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women hosts an annual gala to commemorate the individuals and projects that exemplify the work that women in the local commercial real estate industry have been doing. This year’s gala, which will be held Sept. 28, is an opportunity for the organization to recognize and further its members’ continuous work toward equality in a historically male-dominated industry.
The event is a yearly autumnal attraction for D.C.’s CRE professionals, pulling in hundreds of industry leaders, male and female, to celebrate outstanding examples of leadership, transactions and developments from the past year from CREW members.
Earlier this spring, CREW DC President Phyllis Liebman Brill of MRP Realty spoke extensively on CREW’s dedicated mission to recognize and celebrate the importance of building relationships between women at all points of their CRE careers. The D.C. chapter’s five-year plan includes the retention of more advanced and senior-level women on boards and mentorship programs.
With more than 30 years of professional experience, former CREW DC President and Executive Vice President at Complete Building Services Kathy Allgier could be the poster child for this effort. Not only does she never turn down a request to get involved, she recruits more women to participate as well.
Allgier is also a recent mentor for the CREW Connecting Future Leaders program. This year, she is receiving the Outstanding Impact Award, CREW DC’s top honor recognizing the lifetime achievements of a woman in local real estate.
Long-term council member of Baker Tilly’s own Growth and Retention of Women (GROW) program and senior manager Liisa Warden’s dedication to nurturing success for women in CRE can be traced back to her heading up the committee’s 2015 Leadership Discussion Series.
The series fostered group discussions for area women in CRE on professional advancement and adaptation at early, middle and senior stages of their careers. In recognition of these achievements — and their parallel to CREW DC’s own mission — Warden has won CREW DC’s Rising Star award.
On the legal side of real estate, Janis Schiff of Holland & Knight will receive the Corporate Leadership award. Schiff has inspired up-and-coming attorneys through her 2001 founding of Holland & Knight’s Rising Stars mentoring, training and leadership program. Schiff is involved in the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity program and continues to mentor others outside the firm. Her pro bono efforts also include working with homeless women at the National Center for Children and Families.
HYL Architecture managing principal and workplace consulting studio Heath Design Strategy Lab CEO Catherine Heath left her successful practice at HOK in 2014 to start Heath Design Strategy Lab. Several major clients requested that she continue working with them, and three months later she started HYL Architecture to provide full-service interior design.
The company is 100% woman-owned, with a 71% female- and 29% minority-populated staff. This year, CREW DC will honor Heath with the Annual Achievement Award, recognizing a member who has accomplished a significant achievement or challenge in their individual career goals in the past year.
CREW DC’s Esprit de Corps award recognizes a member who has demonstrated a strong commitment to furthering CREW’s goals and mission and this year will be presented to longtime active member Ruth Jansson of Leo A. Daly. Jansson embodies the spirit of CREW with her enthusiasm for promoting and supporting the organization, and she has held numerous positions on the board and various committee since joining in 1989.
“With this year’s winners, we continue to highlight the extraordinary efforts that are being made by and for women in CRE,” Liebman Brill said. “CREW members are doing deals together and helping one another because of the relationships being cultivated and the shared desire to see women succeed in the CRE industry.”
CREW DC’s individual award winners will be officially recognized at the event Sept. 28. Industry award finalists have been announced and the winners of those categories will be presented with their awards live at the gala.
You can register to attend the gala here.
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