President's Message

April 28, 2021

Dear Fellow CREW Greater Philadelphia Member,

Hard to believe that it has been over a year since the arrival of Covid-19. In those thirteen months so much of what normal represented has changed. But as we begin the fourteenth month of our new normal, let’s reflect and embrace the positive impact of our pivoting, adapting and being open to change.

Technology/Zoom: For CREW Greater Philadelphia, like most of our offices, we have readily adapted to new technologies. Our meeting attendance is up for all Committees as well as our programs. The flexibility and convenience of Zoom meetings has allowed many of you to attend meetings that otherwise would have been too challenging because of your schedule and travel. As we enter May, it is hopeful some of our Committees will resume meeting in person but with a twist, using Zoom too! Doing so will hopefully allow for continued engagement of all members regardless of their location or schedule.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Our Advocacy Group led by our 2022 President Elect, Kathy Fahy, Irwin & Leighton, is digging in to identify how our Chapter can be a catalyst for change to address the lack of diversity, equity and inclusion in Commercial Real Estate. The group has benchmarked our Chapter to see how we can change, encourage more diversity in our membership, be more intentional in our support of diverse businesses, and reflect on our programming to assure diverse voices, concerns and issues are reflected. We’re off to an excellent start. The Advocacy Group, comprised of members of all CREW GP Committees, is full of great ideas that will surely make us an even stronger Chapter.

Programming: Moving to Zoom has not diminished the quality of our programming. In fact, we have been able to reach large audiences with creative programming, that informs and addresses issues that impact commercial real estate while also using the tools to deliver programs that support our members personally and professionally. As this is published, we will have just had a session led by Gina Lavery, CREW GP member and Senior Vice President and Principal at EConsult Solutions and Robin Wilson-Tolbert, Principal, RWT Coaching, LLC, that further discussed the CREW Network study and focused on your personal development and ability to create change. If you missed it, check it out on our Chapter YouTube Channel, where we again embrace technology to allow our programming to remain accessible.

Resource Development for our Scholarship Program and Philanthropic Partner: Between our Golf and Fundraising Committees, CREW Greater Philadelphia has been very busy. On May 17th, CREW will host our 5th Annual Golf Outing. Led by Tonya Zatko, Bala Consulting Engineers and Shannon Lane Kufta, Newmark Knight Frank, the sold-out event, inclusive of 140 golfers and clinic attendees, is certain to be fabulous. Following this, our Fundraising Committee led by Autumn Harris, Rose Capital and Janet Nitka, C&N Bank, is executing the ultimate pivot for an additional year and in lieu of our signature luncheon, is hosting three key events. They include a Wine Tasting and Tour event at Karamoor Estates on June 24th, our annual silent auction in September that is now a virtual auction and a first for CREW GP, a Clay Shoot on October 25th. Register now to attend. Collectively, your sponsorship and support of these are what allow CREW Greater Philadelphia to award four scholarships each year and provide $20,000 to our philanthropic partner, West Philadelphia High School via the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia. 

Best wishes to you all for a wonderful Mother’s Day. Mom’s, biological, adopted or otherwise, all have helped to build us into who we are. Celebrate them on May 9th, with a reflection of your memories or a special day with the mom or mom type person in your life.

Carol Horne Penn
2021 CREW Greater Philadelphia President