SPECIAL REPORT: 2012 CREW Network Convention and Marketplace

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The Commercial Real Estate Women Network awarded its Impact and Circle of Excellence awards yesterday evening during the 2012 CREW Network Convention and Marketplace held in Chicago.

By Keat Foong, Executive Editor

Chicago—The Commercial Real Estate Women Network awarded its Impact and Circle of Excellence awards yesterday evening during the 2012 CREW Network Convention and Marketplace held in Chicago.

CREW President Diane Butler presented the awards. She noted that women are achieving “incredible” accomplishments in the commercial real estate field.

The top award, the CREW Network Circle of Excellence Award, went to Elizabeth Solender, president of Solender/Hall Inc. and a former president of CREW Dallas, and the national CREW Network, and to CBRE Global Inc.

Solender founded a 21-year-old company that represents corporations and non-profit organizations seeking to buy, sell, lease, manage or finance real estate, advocating for them with landlords and define their needs. Non-profits are in need of an advocate, being greatly underserved and often presenting challenging situations such as tough working conditions and rough neighborhoods. She was cited by CREW for being “a change agent” and “instrumental in the founding of the CREW Foundation,” in addition to advancing diversity.

CBRE was lauded for its long-term support of the CREW Network organization and its commitment to diversity in the workplace and CRE Network’s industry research initiative. “CBRE has been the premier lead partner of CREW Network’s research initiative since it began in 2004,” stated CREW.

Butler also presented the CREW Network Impact Awards, which honor one or more individuals, groups, chapters or companies within each recognized category whose achievements are considered exceptional.

The Network Impact Awards winners, who also received their prizes during the dinner gala, were as follows:

– Goldie B. Wolfe Miller, president of Millbrook Corporate Real Estate Services. The longtime industry icon and advocate for women in real estate was awarded the Career Advancement for Women award. In addition to encouraging their advancement at her own companies, she formed the Goldie B. Wolfe Miller Women Leaders in Real Estate Initiative in affiliation with Roosevelt University in Chicago.

– Heather Begneaud McGowan, attorney at law with Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann LLC; Rikki Lober Bagatell, partner with Shutts & Bowen LLP; and Megan Riess, attorney with Fishman Haygood. McGowan, Bagatell and Megan Riess received the Economic Improvement award for their efforts to renovate the Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, a historic property that was badly damaged during Hurricane Katrina. The project required complex financing and changes to the surrounding area (the theater was expanded, among other things, into the street behind it) and was one of only two known projects to obtain HUD approval for “lump sum” Community Development Block Grant financing, among other achievements.

– Helena Hauk, president of 5th Gear Consulting. Hauk was awarded for Entrepreneurial Spirit. She has actively worked within the industry as a resource on Small Business Association loans.

– Allison E. Beall, director of business development for Pacific Building Group, and Irene L. Hosform, partner with Brown McCarroll LLP Beall and Hosform were the recipients of the Member to Member Business award. Both have networked actively to help their own companies as well as fellow CREW members, building longtime relationships and making new partnerships possible.

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