On Saturday, May 14, 2011, CREW Charlotte presented its sixth annual CREW Careers™: Building Opportunities® program. Due to the overwhelming success of our chapter’s program over the past five years, it is no surprise that over 35 young women participated this year!
CREW CareersTM: Building Opportunities® is an exciting, interactive one-day educational program designed to introduce high school girls to career opportunities in commercial real estate. Once again, CREW Charlotte partnered with Girl Scouts, Hornets’ Nest Council. The roster of girls was extremely diverse; with girls from:
Hornet’s Nest Outreach
Carolina Peaks to Piedmont
Our 2011 program used a modified version of the “This Old Building” format that CREW Charlotte pioneered in 2006, and was held in the VUE Charlotte Building. “This Old Building” challenges participants to work in teams to create a plan for an old building/property in the uptown Charlotte area that is in need of redevelopment. The twist in this year’s event, Project Girls for Green, is that the girls were challenged to “think green” and figure out sustainable ways to redevelop one of two (2) challenged buildings/properties just south of uptown Charlotte.
Like in prior years, the girls heard presentations by six CREW Charlotte members, each of whom are LEED certified and relayed their professional concerns for each of the two sites. The girls assimilated the information and, with the help of their CREW Charlotte team leaders, devised their own redevelopment plan. This year, in addition to just using their minds and imagination, we made available aerial and other photographs of the sites, models (provided by Gantt Huberman Architects), sustainable fabrics (provided by Mohawk Commercial), and more to help get the girls’ creative juices flowing.
In addition to coming up with (and advocating for) a redevelopment plan for one of two (2) challenged buildings/properties, the girls participated in a walking tour in the Gateway area of Uptown of Charlotte. During this tour, CREW members discussed and highlighted different types of development located in this district, and discuss the focus of the day – how to incorporate “green” or “sustainable” ideas in redevelopment.
The presentations were judged by civic leaders and other prominent members of our local community. The judges’ panel for 2011 included Cheryl D. Steele (Partner, Horack Talley Pharr & Lowndes P.A.); W. Keith Powell (CPCC, Professor; Center for Sustainability); Melanie Allen Connellee (CPA, President, The MLC Group); Carol Lomax Fortenberry (MAI, Fortenberry Lambert, Inc.) and Holly Alexander (Director of Business Development, Concorde Construction and the 2011 CREW Charlotte President). Another fantastic part of this year’s event is that, in addition to having a distinguished panel to judge the competition, we are very excited to announce that Ronnie Bryant, President and CEO of the Charlotte Regional Partnership was the featured keynote speaker! Each of the four teams won a prize; however, the members of the winning team each received a grand prize ($50 Visa gift card).
In 2011, CREW Network chapters in approximately 23 major markets across the country will be presenting a CREW CareersTM program. The majority of these chapters will be using the original (or modified) “This Old Building” format as the model for their CREW CareersTM program! This format was created by Cindy Wolfe (Bank of the Ozarks) and Nancy Olah (Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP) as co-chairs for Charlotte’s program in 2006.
About CREW Foundation: CREW Foundation was incorporated in 1998 as the 501(c)(3), philanthropic arm of CREW Network and continues to stand as the sole foundation dedicating its resources towards building opportunities for women and girls in commercial real estate. In collaboration with CREW Network, CREW Foundation implements and supports a Career Outreach Agenda which cultivates our future Network leaders through participation in a continuum of educational outreach, scholarship and mentoring programs. These programs were built to introduce the commercial real estate industry to female high school students while also connecting female college students and entry-level career women to the resources, support and network they need to gain financial independence and economic self-sufficiency through a successful career in the commercial real estate industry. CREW Foundation is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)(3) organization. Contributions are deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes. Furthermore, CREW Foundation is classified as a public charity under section 509(a)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code.