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Announcements & News

Carolina Architecture Firms NarmourWright Architecture and SGA Architecture Announce Merger

New firm is named SGA | NarmourWright Design

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Jan. 16, 2019) – Two legacy architecture firms in the Carolinas, NarmourWright Architecture (NarmourWright) and SGA Architecture (SGA) are pleased to announce their merger into SGA | NarmourWright Design. Led by seasoned principals who are dedicated to the company’s growth, the newly combined firm fully integrates the expertise, capabilities, services and locations of both companies.

To read the full press release, please click here.

Achieving Pay Parity in Commercial Real Estate

CREW Network’s 2015 Benchmark Study Report: Women in Commercial Real Estate found a 23.3% gender pay gap among industry professionals. The gap begins to widen at mid-career and increases to nearly 30% in the C-suite.

Recent social movements have heightened society-wide awareness about negative treatment and pay disparities that women are facing in the workplace. Like other industries, commercial real estate is now under greater pressure to address these issues as companies strive to meet equality and diversity and inclusion goals.

CREW Network’s 2018 white paper, Achieving Pay Parity in Commercial Real Estate, presents expert insight, data, best practices and action items for company leadership, human resources, and women professionals to close the gender pay gap. The publication also explores why the pay gap exists and what’s on the horizon for equal-pay-for-equal-work legislation globally.

CREW Network’s 2017 white paper, Diversity: The Business Advantage, found that gender equity and diversity and inclusion efforts result in clear business advantages and measurable growth in the commercial real estate industry. Along with gender equity and greater diversity and inclusion, pay parity can benefit your business by:

  • Enhancing your company’s reputation among community, clients and employees

  • Improving employee engagement, which could lead to greater productivity and profit

  • Attracting a wider pool of talent

  • Increasing business activity and overall performance

  • Fostering workplace diversity

  • Increasing employee trust in leadership, which could lead to greater retention and productivity

  • Decreasing employee turnover

Achieving Pay Parity in Commercial Real Estate

More than 80 countries have some form of equal-pay-for-equal-work legislation in effect, while approximately 24 have some sort of mandatory reporting requirement. The white paper provides a snapshot of the U.S., Canada and the U.K.—the countries where CREW Network chapters and affiliate groups are located.

The white paper also takes a look at best practices of companies that have achieved—or nearly achieved pay parity, including Wells Fargo, Adobe, Salesforce and Starbucks, plus insight from leading experts and researchers on pay parity and hiring trends.

Key findings


•	Women and men on the executive level appear to be negotiating their salaries equally.

Women and men on the executive level appear to be negotiating their salaries equally. Most candidates have outside guidance on the offer process from an employment lawyer, mentor, or HR professional.

•	Closing the pay gap could be determined by unconscious bias and how employers react to women’s increased and improved compensation negotiations

Closing the pay gap could be determined by unconscious bias and how employers react to women’s increased and improved compensation negotiations. Harvard research found that for women, sometimes it does hurt to ask for more. In a series of experiments, evaluators penalized women more than men for initiating negotiations. The white paper provides tips and action items for employers to overcome this bias and for women to navigate negotiation.

Women are open to sharing their compensation information with other women

Pay data is more accessible than ever through technology. Women are open to sharing their compensation information with other women, especially when they’re in similar positions or markets.

Achieving Pay Parity in Commercial Real Estate 

Companies that have achieved pay parity agree that it’s not a one-off event and must be evaluated annually and reviewed on an ongoing basis.

CREW Network is the premier business network dedicated to transforming the commercial real estate industry by advancing women globally. CREW Network members comprise of nearly 12,000 professionals in 75+ markets worldwide and represent nearly all disciplines of commercial real estate—every type of expert required to "do the deal." CREW Network is also the leading producer of research on women in commercial real estate. It develops white papers annually and publishes a benchmark study every five years to provide valuable industry data and insights.

For a full version of the white paper, please click here.

Trinity Partners to expand to Columbia, SC, bringing firm’s leasing, management and investment services to fourth location

Columbia, SC—Full-service commercial real estate firm Trinity Partners has opened an office in Columbia, SC, bringing its extensive service line to a fourth location. The firm also has offices in Charlotte, Raleigh and Greenville (SC), and leases or manages more than 20 million square feet of space across the Carolinas.

The Columbia office located downtown at 1556 Main Street, Suite 200, will be led by four partners: Bruce Harper, Roger Winn, Nick Stomski and Macon Lovelace. 

To read the full press release, please click here.

Effective Nov. 1, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP will merge with Fox Rothschild LLP

GREENSBORO, N.C.  Effective Nov. 1, Smith Moore Leatherwood LLP will merge with Fox Rothschild LLP. This move, which adds 130 attorneys to Fox, signals the firm’s first foray into the Southeast. The addition of six offices in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina propels the combined firm to 27 locations nationwide with a headcount of more than 900 attorneys.

“Expanding our footprint in the Southeast through this merger is an important milestone for the firm,” said Mark L. Silow, Chair of Fox Rothschild. “We have explored opportunities in this region for many years and are delighted to have found in Smith Moore Leatherwood a firm with a superb roster of talented attorneys who share our values, our approach to client service and our entrepreneurial focus.” Silow said that the six added office locations “provide a base in some of the most rapidly developing markets in the country.”

To read the full press release, please click here.

Bank of the Ozarks Announces Proposed Rebranding and Name Change to Bank OZK

Bank of the Ozarks Announces Proposed Rebranding and Name Change to Bank OZK

Company Release – 3/15/2018 4:30 PM ET

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Bank of the Ozarks (the “Bank”) (NASDAQ: OZRK) announced today that it intends to change its name to Bank OZK as part of a strategic rebranding. The Bank proposed the name change in its proxy materials for the 2018 annual meeting of shareholders to be held on May 7, 2018. The Bank’s shareholders will vote on the proposal at the annual meeting.

The Bank’s presence and brand have evolved in recent decades from an Arkansas community bank into a much larger regional bank with nationwide lending businesses. The Bank believes the new name will be beneficial in achieving its long-term objectives, including continued growth and expansion in new markets.

To read the full press release, please click here.

Park National Bank announces plan to welcome NewDominion Bank into organization in 2018

Park National Bank announces plan to welcome NewDominion Bank into organization in 2018
Charlotte-based bank to expand services through new partnership

NEWARK, Ohio and CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Park National Corporation (Park) (NYSE AMERICAN: PRK) and NewDominion Bank (NewDominion) (OTC PINK:NDMN) have signed a definitive agreement and plan of merger, in which NewDominion will become a community bank division of Park’s subsidiary The Park National Bank. The merger will allow NewDominion to strengthen its community banking success, achieve new growth goals as a company and broaden its services, such as larger and more specialized loans and wealth management capabilities. NewDominion will keep its name, local leadership and board, and maintain local decision-making and community support. NewDominion’s mission, vision and core values will continue to be at the center of every client interaction and their executive team will remain headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Click here to read the full press release.

ai Design Group Finalizes Merger with Progressive AE; Officially Adopts Name

ai Design Group Finalizes Merger with Progressive AE;

Officially Adopts Name

 Addition of Full-Service Engineering to Charlotte Office

Delivers Immediate Impact 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (November 1, 2017) — Architecture and interiors firm ai Design Group has finalized its merger with Grand Rapids, Michigan-based Progressive AE and will officially adopt their name, effective today. Their office on the top floor of the Chamber Building and local leadership team of Principals Wes Jones, Kim Marks and Ryan Doherty will remain the same. Jones now serves as managing principal of the Charlotte office and Marks is the firm-wide workplace practice leader.

“This merger comes at a time when both firms are in a position of strength, allowing us to accelerate our momentum together,” said Brad Thomas, president and CEO of Progressive AE. “By joining forces with a firm that shares our vision, both culturally and strategically, we‘re able to accelerate our 10-year growth plan by adding services, market sectors and staff.”

The combined organization has active work in all 48 contiguous states, a team of more than 200 professionals (50 in Charlotte) and over 65 years combined history as leaders in architecture and design. The firm now offers expertise in 10 market sectors: community, healthcare, housing, industrial, learning, retail, senior living, sports, workplace and worship. One of the most significant outcomes of the merger, with immediate impact to the Charlotte office, is the addition of full-service engineering capabilities that includes civil, landscape architecture, mechanical, electrical, transportation and structural competencies. 

Locally, ai Design Group is best known for its work on the headquarters for MetLife’s U.S. retail division, Sonic Automotive and Barings; landmark mixed-use retail developments Ballantyne Village and RedStone; and motorsports facilities across the country including Charlotte Motor Speedway’s Z-Max Dragway.

High-profile Progressive AE clients include: Steelcase, Advance Publications, Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Michigan State University, Kawasaki Motors, Arby’s and Smithfield Foods. 

“While the ai Design Group brand is now part of our company history, we are a stronger, more diverse, full-service-firm and we look forward to working with clients under our new name, Progressive AE,” said Wes Jones, managing principal of the Progressive AE Charlotte office.  

About Progressive AE
Progressive AE has provided innovative and sustainable architectural and engineering services for more than 55 years. Our work is guided by a fundamental and forward-thinking philosophy that spaces and environments should serve as strategic contributors that drive organizational change. The firm’s success has been achieved through a workforce that is a unique blend of creative people who think strategically, and strategic people who work creatively. Progressive AE has offices in Grand Rapids, MI, and Charlotte, NC. For more information, visit       


CREW Network Recognizes Industry Leaders with Impact and Circle of Excellence Awards

Houston, Texas, USA (Oct. 27, 2017) – CREW Network honored excellence and outstanding
achievement in commercial real estate with the 2017 Impact and Circle of Excellence awards, presented
October 26 and 27 at the annual CREW Network Convention and Marketplace.

2017 Career Advancement for Women Impact Award -­ Marie McLucas
The Career Advancement for Women Impact Award honors a CREW Network member who consistently
exemplifies the organization’s commitment to elevating the status of women in commercial real estate by
working to advance the careers of other women. This award is presented to a member whose actions had
a significant impact on one or more women, giving them the skills or confidence to pursue and succeed in
new opportunities.

Marie McLucas has made it her mission to transform careers by mentoring and investing in women of
CREW Network and beyond. McLucas’ involvement with UCREW and support of the CREW Network
Foundation embodies her dedication to seeing the next generation succeed. She was instrumental in
CREW Charlotte meeting the CREW Network Foundation Chapter Challenge for the first time. During her
tenure as CREW Charlotte Chapter President, she spearheaded the chapter’s Leadership Program,
partnering with area companies to support the program and ensure its continued success, and initiated
the Emerging Leader program for young professionals as well.

To read the full press release, please click here.