President's Message

June 23, 2021

Why CREW? Like me, I’m sure there have been times since you became a member of CREW, that well-meaning friends and colleagues asked, “Why are you a member of CREW?” Not sure about each of you, I am a member of CREW because of each of you and the international members in CREW Network. This was further confirmed at the CREW Network Summit earlier this month. There, 250+ CREW members descended on St. Louis, Mo to connect, network and learn with a cadre of women and men all focused on pushing women forward in Commercial Real Estate.  

A highlight at the Summit, a discussion on “Building Inclusive Leadership”, by Janese Murray, Founder and CEO of Inclusion Impact Consulting, LLC, was inspiring, thought provoking and timely. Ms. Murray led us in an interactive presentation that provided us, as CREW leaders, an opportunity to be vulnerable and recognize that we have more in common than we have different. She helped us see our differences and at times made us uncomfortable but drove home the importance of building inclusive organizations where all belong and feel a part of something. The lessons she shared are the basis of why CREW.

On my last day in St. Louis, I took this picture of the Arch, designed by Eero Saarinen. It is known as a spiritual monument that is reflective of the frontier and the accomplishment of western expansion. For me, at this angle, it also captures my belief that CREW is also there to assure that there are or should be endless opportunities available to all of us. In our various positions, we can implement Ms. Murray’s message to us this past week, “A system being challenged, does not give us easily.” In CREW, we can bond together to challenge the commercial real estate community to be inclusive of women and all people that are reflective of the diversity we all desire.

Carol Horne Penn
2021 President, CREW Greater Philadelphia