CREW Memphis Hosts National Leadership Summit

By Sarah Baker

The 2013 Commercial Real Estate Women Network National Winter Leadership Summit and Council Meeting will take place this week at The Peabody hotel, as women in the industry network, learn more about Memphis and help the local chapter build its brand within the Memphis-area market.

CREW Network board members and delegates from across the country will be in Memphis on Thursday, Jan. 31, and Friday, Feb. 1, for delegate workshops and leadership training. CREW Memphis, as the host chapter, is organizing and assisting with this national event, which is in its 24th year.

“This is our first meeting of the year,” said Susan Hill, CREW Network’s 2013 president. “Each chapter elects two delegates to the network, and those individuals are charged with bringing back communication and really connecting their local chapter with everything that’s going on at the network level.”

CREW Network has 76 chapters across the U.S. and Canada. Its 8,000 members include brokers, lawyers, engineers, insurance agents, appraisers and other professionals involved in commercial real estate transactions.

Founded in 2007, the CREW Memphis chapter is currently the only one in Tennessee that’s affiliated with national CREW. Its goal is for members to help members with a commercial real estate transactional need.

Hill said Memphis was selected as the host city this year because of its central location. About 200 members and guests are expected to attend.

“We go back and look historically where we’ve had our meetings in the past because we like to be geographically diverse and make sure that we cover all of the coasts, the Midwest, etc.,” Hill said. “When we were looking at Memphis, we thought that our members would enjoy coming to the city, because obviously there’s a lot of cultural value in Memphis with the history, the tourism that it offers our members.”

CREW National also considers the size of the local chapter. CREW Memphis currently has 20 members.

“CREW Memphis is excited to have the opportunity to network with CREW members from across the country and learn from the best practices of their local organizations.”

–Mary Sharp, CREW Memphis president

“Obviously, we want all of our chapters to be strong chapters within their local market,” Hill said. “When we are able to choose a city for these meetings, it does help the local chapter build their brand within their local market, as well as typically it allows them to grow some membership.”

Increasing membership and recognition of CREW Memphis in the local real estate community are the main goals of 2013 president Mary Sharp.

“CREW Memphis is excited to have the opportunity to network with CREW members from across the country and learn from the best practices of their local organizations,” said Sharp, chief financial officer of CB Richard Ellis Memphis. “CREW Memphis is focused on growing our membership in 2013.”

When the summit’s guests aren’t in delegate training, council meetings and leadership exercises, CREW Memphis has some unique events planned to add to the Memphis experience.

On Thursday night, attendees will have their choice of 10 restaurant locations within walking and trolley distance of The Peabody, like Itta Bena, Bangkok Alley, Flight, McEwen’s, Local Gastropub and Majestic Grille.

“The ‘dine-arounds’ are an opportunity to experience the various venues in the city and network with CREW members from around the country,” Sharp said. “CREW members do business with CREW members through the network.”

And on Friday morning, conference attendees will be treated to a 2-mile run or 1-mile walk around Downtown Memphis, led by CREW Memphis members. Hill said the exercise is a tradition and a favorite among guests.

“It’s nice to at least start your day outside, given that you’re going to be in the room all day,” Hill said. “But it also gets them out in the city to enjoy the city.”