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Press Releases

Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Charlotte Established Endowment for Johnson C. Smith University

Charlotte, North Carolina (April 9, 2024) – CREW Charlotte, one of the most transformative commercial real estate professional organizations in the Charlotte region, announced Tuesday its establishment of a $25,000 endowment benefitting Johnson C. Smith University. The endowment will offset educational expenses for select top performing female students seeking degrees that could lead to careers in commercial real estate. CREW Charlotte funded the endowment through donations raised at various events hosted annually by the organization and chose Johnson C. Smith to receive the generous gift in an effort to further its commitment to diversity and supporting activities that positively impact the Charlotte community.


CREW Charlotte President Katie Barker with Morningstar Properties, presents check to Dr. Evelyn Leathers, Dr. Alphonso Ogbuehi, and Jennifer Joyner with Johnson C. Smith University


Johnson C. Smith is a private, independent historically black university located in Charlotte, North Carolina that was founded in 1867 as a freedmen’s college to educate formerly enslaved black men. JCSU is one of 11 HBCUs in North Carolina recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. The school offers 22 degree programs through its three colleges to nearly 1,100 students annually.


Founded in 1990, CREW Charlotte is a chapter of CREW Network, the commercial real estate industry’s premier business networking organization with over 14,000 members globally. CREW Charlotte boasts over 400 commercial real estate professionals in the Greater Charlotte region. To learn more, visit

CREW Charlotte Announces 2023 Impact Award Winners

On the evening of November 1st, CREW Charlotte celebrated their annual Impact Awards celebration at Myers Park Country Club.  The awards honor members and projects that have had a meaningful impact on the Charlotte area community and CREW Charlotte.


Nikki Thornton, Controller at MECA Commercial Real Estate, received the Emerging Leader Award.  The Emerging Leader Award honors those CREW Charlotte individuals that embody excellence, spirit and energy in the field of Commercial Real Estate and the CREW Charlotte Chapter.

Nikki has been extremely active during her time with CREW by serving in multiple capacities including as a Board Member, and has served on numerous committees. She is an outstanding CREW CLT emerging leader!

Elsa Simaan of Stewart Title National Commercial Services was awarded The Carrie Sharp Power Connector Award. This award honors a CREW Charlotte member that goes above and beyond networking to actively establish or strengthen relationships with fellow CREW members and sponsors by intentionally connecting members and sponsors to other members and sponsors through business and referral generation.

This individual also demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to marshal CREW talent, resulting in measurable business for other CREW members or sponsors. This individual exemplifies the power and spirit of CREW and their efforts result in measurable CREW business.

Elsa is the embodiment of this award as she is continually driven and genuinely motivated to invest in the successful networking of her fellow CREW members.

Tonya Brandon of Cushman & Wakefield was the 2023 recipient of The Career Advancement for Women Award. This award honors a CREW Charlotte member who consistently exemplifies CREW Charlotte’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 as a result of actions of this individual that had a significant impact on one or more women, giving them the skills or confidence to pursue and succeed in new opportunities.

Tonya is a passionate advocate for the advancement of women in commercial real estate.  For more than a decade, she has championed for elevated roles and compensation for women within her company.

Monika Nessbach, founder and Chief Interior Designer of DESIGNBAR is this year’s winner of The Entrepreneurial Spirit Award.  This award honors a CREW Charlotte member who achieved a unique career success or milestone as the result of an exceptional entrepreneurial spirit. This individual is often a risk taker and is willing to step outside the box to create something new or different – providing services, creating products or improving practices by innovatively organizing, developing or deploying resources either within their own company, as part of a larger organization their industry or community.

Fourteen years ago, she embarked on a journey to start DESIGNBAR. Four years later she left her successful corporate career to put her heart and soul behind her dream. Along the way, she didn’t just build a company; she built a workplace that encourages authenticity, and creativity, an environment that embodies EPIC fun and where collaboration thrives.


The recipient of this year’s DEI Impact Award was Diana Palecek of Fox Rothschild. This award honors a CREW Charlotte member who tirelessly helps to advance the organization’s goals to increase diversity, equity and inclusion in membership and leadership.

Diana was nominated because she is helping to change the culture of CREW Charlotte by expanding our community cohort program to include a cohort centered on professionals with disabilities.

Camp North End was the unanimous winner of The Community Project Impact Award -for Profit. This award honors a building or project that positively affects not only its inhabitants, but the surrounding community. The winner of this award exemplifies meaningful change in our city in the physical space, whether it is a development with great green space or a building that services those in need in our community.

CREW Charlotte Silver Sponsor, Trinity Partners, provides leasing and property management services for the site. Other CREW Charlotte members participating with goods and services at Camp North End include: Barringer, Choate, Swinerton, Scotties, and O’Leary Waste.


Amy’s House, the new shelter for Lincoln County Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCCADV) that was designed by SGA|NW in partnership with IMEG is the 2023 CREW Charlotte Community Project Impact Award – non-profit.  This award honors a building or project that positively affects, not only its inhabitants, but the community surrounding it. The winner of this award exemplifies meaningful change in our community in the physical space on the non-profit side.

This project relied on multiple CREW Charlotte members who contributed to its success.  Architects Kelly Steele and Krista Karlson of SGA|NW a GF design company, led the design.  They partnered with Scott Campagna and Marissa Date of IMEG for the MEP and Structural Engineering.  Carrie Sharp with Indoff Commercial Interiors assisted with providing comfortable and long-lasting furniture, and Lacey Johnson provided artistic and interior design direction to help the space feel welcoming.


The Creative Design Award winner for 2023 is the Gresham Smith Building.  Creative design of a building comes in many forms, including exterior architecture, interior design, art, branding and furnishings. How a space is designed immediately impacts people and their experience. This award goes to the project that inspires the world around it and moves the needle in creativity.

Marie McLucas, CFO of Primax Properties is the winner of The Circle of Excellence Award. This award recognizes a CREW Charlotte member or sponsor who consistently delivers excellence and whose efforts advance the commercial real estate industry and support our mission. This individual sets and achieves the highest standards of performance, accomplishing superior execution and results. The award winner is trusted and respected by others, and is seen as a thought leader, change agent, and champion of diversity.

Marie has served in several leadership roles within CREW Charlotte and CREW Network which culminated in her serving as president in 2017 and on the 2024 Board of Directors for CREW Network. She helped to create the inaugural CREW Charlotte’s Authentic Leadership Program in partnership with CREW Charlotte and Athena International and is a 2023 recipient of the Athena Leadership – Corporate Award.

CREW Charlotte Creates Fund to Honor Anne Vulcano’s Legacy through CREW Network Foundation Scholarships

Anne Vulcano, a past president of CREW Charlotte, passed away unexpectedly on July 23rd, 2023. CREW Charlotte has set up a memorial fund to honor Anne’s legacy through the CREW Network Foundation scholarship endowment. Contributions made in her honor will support future generations of female leaders and advance women in the industry.

Anne began working in the commercial real estate field in 1984. Anne spent just over a year working for The Bissell Companies where she was responsible for the development of the commercial brokerage unit.

She began working at CBRE in 1997, where she spent the majority of her career and was the top leasing broker for decades.  In 2020, Anne moved over to Cushman & Wakefield as a brokerage specialist. Cushman & Wakefield Managing Principal, Brett Gray, says Anne “is best remembered as a friend, mentor to many and one tough woman.”

Anne was considered a trailblazer in the office leasing space and the commercial real estate industry as a whole. She forged a path for other women to follow. She worked hard and had very high standards for herself and her team.

Anne served on the board of CREW Charlotte for several years and as President in 2000. During this time, CREW Charlotte became affiliated with CREW Network. She played a large role in making CREW Charlotte what it is today.

In 2021, she was awarded the CREW Charlotte award for Career Advancement for Women, which honors a member who consistently exemplifies CREW Charlotte’s commitment to elevating the status of women in commercial real estate by working to advance the careers of other women. Anne always wanted to have other smart, professional women on her team, so she made the decision to hire and mentor them.  As she said …. “I’d like to say that I went out of my way to find them, but there are so many awesome women out there that I didn’t have to look hard.”  

Personally, Anne loved to spend time traveling or with family. Anne’s LinkedIn tagline says, “My passion is foreign and active travel and I have made many real estate deals via cellphone from remote locations.”

Here are a few quotes from CREW Charlotte members who were deeply impacted by Anne both personally and professionally.

“When Anne came to one of her 1st CREW meetings, I was on the board. Her enthusiasm about the group was infectious. She was instrumental in taking CREW to the next level. What a remarkable woman!” –Carol Fortenberry

“I recall being so inspired by her tenacity and unwillingness to not be heard, to not have a seat at the table   – she gave me the confidence to push for the same.” – Mary Wilken, 2022 CREW Charlotte President

“Anne was one of my absolute favorite people in the world. I am so so sad, it’s truly a tragedy to lose her friendship and guidance.” – Stephanie Moore


Click here to donate in Anne’s memory.





How to Use CREWbiz & CREW Network




CREW Network’s Career Center provides access to careers and employers across all sectors and levels of commercial real estate. Create a job seeker account to post your résumé, receive job alerts and tap into valuable career resources at Career Center.



You can also post that you are looking for a new position in Open Forum Discussion on CREWbiz.


CREWbiz is the premier resource and referral tool for commercial real estate professionals. It provides a platform to interact and communicate online and via email to facilitate business networking, job sourcing/searching and deal making among CREW Network’s multidisciplinary membership.

Members can search the membership directory across locations, commercial real estate specialties, certifications and more; and join discussion groups to exchange ideas, experience, knowledge and wisdom with fellow professionals around the globe.


Below are some direct links that may be helpful in navigating through CREWbiz and increasing your visibility to fellow CREW members.


Career Center – FIND A JOB


Follow Discussions

Start a Discussion

Job Seekers – OVERVIEW

Job Seekers – JOBS

Your Profile

Increase Your Profile’s Visibility

Upload Your Resume

Career Center Resources – Coaching, Resume Writing

CREWBiz App – Download Today


CREWBiz FAQs – General information

Q: What is my username/password?

A: Your CREWbiz login credentials are the same username and password that you use to log in to this site. If you have forgotten your login credentials or need assistance with your login information, contact CREW Network headquarters at +1 (785) 832-1808 or

Q: How do I update my contact information?

A: While on your CREWbiz profile page, select the pencil icon next to “Contact Details” in the left column. This will take you to your My Account page on the CREW Network public website. Changes will appear on your CREWbiz profile within 30 minutes of saving.

Q: Can I control the frequency of emails I receive?

A: While on your CREWbiz profile page click on the “My Account” tab. Choose “Community Notifications” from the drop-down menu. On that page, there are subscription options for each discussion. Your options are:

Real Time: sends an email every time a message is posted.
Daily Digest: sends one email to you each day, consolidating all of the posts from the previous day.
No Email: allows you to be part of the group without having emails sent to you. You can still post and read others’ messages by logging into the community site.

Q: How do I find other members?

A: While on the CREWbiz Community, click the “Directories” dropdown found in the main navigation bar. Then click on “Member Directory”. The member directory lets you search for other members based on name/company/specialty/location, etc…

Q: Why should I add contacts to my contact list?

A: Creating this virtual address book makes it easy to send your contacts messages through the community site to stay in touch, ask questions or even build a referral network. Additionally, when you view another member’s profile, you’ll be able to see any contacts you have in common. You can also choose to let your contacts view certain demographics in your profile that others can’t.

Q: How do I respond to others’ posts?

A: To respond to a discussion post, navigate to the discussion post and click “Reply to Discussion” to send your message to the entire community. To send a message toa the only author of the post, please send them an email.  We recommend emaling the sender directly for simple comments like “thanks” or “me, too” that add little value to the overall discussion; and replying to the entire community when you are sharing knowledge, experience or resources that others could benefit from.

Q: How do I start a new discussion thread?

A: While on the CREWbiz Community, click the “Participate” dropdown found in the main navagaion bar. Then click “Post a Message.” You can also use the “Post Message” link located at the top of every community notification email.

Q: Can I see a list of all posts to the Open Forum?

A: While on the CREWbiz Community, click the “Participate” dropdown found in the main navagaion bar. Then click “Browse Discussion Posts.” If you see a post you’re interested in, click the subject line which will take you to the entire thread.



For CREW Charlotte, Philanthropy Is Part Of The Mission


For CREW Charlotte, Philanthropy Is Part Of The Mission
26 local college students have benefitted from scholarships; application deadline is April 30

CHARLOTTE — In an era when women are using their voices to impact everything from pay structure to politics, CREW Charlotte is well-positioned to be part of the dialogue. The local chapter of the global networking organization that supports women in commercial real estate has always been about women helping women. The group does that, in part, through fundraising efforts that benefit real estate education for women.  

CREW Charlotte’s long-time partnerships with two local universities have resulted in more than $65,000 being donated to UNC Charlotte since 2006 and more than $30,000 going to Queens University of Charlotte since 2014. In addition, the chapter has donated over $65,000 to CREW Network Foundation, the philanthropic arm of CREW Network that has given 760,000 in scholarships to 106 recipients since its inception.

To read the full press release, please click here.


CREW Charlotte Ups The Ante For 12th Annual Casino and Gaming Night


CREW Charlotte Ups The Ante For 12th Annual Casino and Gaming Night
All funds raised at March 21 event go toward scholarships in commercial real estate

CHARLOTTE — CREW Charlotte – the local chapter of the global networking organization that
supports women in commercial real estate – is preparing for its 12th Annual Casino and Gaming Night.
The fun happens on Wednesday, March 21 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. at LaCa Projects. As always, the
event raises funds for scholarships for students interested in pursuing a career in commercial real
estate. All the casino games (think: Blackjack) people love will return. But new this year are interactive
games such as skeeball, Pop-A-Shot, air hockey, Jenga® Giant™ and more.

To read the full press release, please click here.

CREW Charlotte Turns the Queen City Pink


CREW Charlotte Turns the Queen City Pink
Everywhere you look, commercial real estate is the color of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

CHARLOTTE — Women helping women – in business, in the community and in matters of health
and wellness – is at the heart of CREW Charlotte. The local chapter of the national networking
organization dedicated to advancing women in commercial real estate partners with the business
community every October to turn the city pink. Queen City in Pink is CREW’s contribution to Breast
Cancer Awareness Month.

To read the full press release, please click here.

CREW Charlotte Raises Funds, Builds Community


CREW Charlotte Raises Funds, Builds Community
Providing scholarships to women in commercial real estate is one of the group’s top priorities

CHARLOTTE — CREW Charlotte, the local chapter of the national networking organization dedicated
to advancing women in commercial real estate (CRE), is a community of women supporting women. Its
300 members (about 30 of whom are men) share advice, contacts and support – and all are committed
to seeing more women make careers in their male-dominated industry. Offering scholarship dollars is
one of the most important ways CREW impacts the community and their industry.

This year, CREW members have raised $20,000 for scholarships – $12,000 from the seventh annual
ABC Networking on Sept. 6 and another $8,000 from Casino Night held earlier in the year. Since 2004,
CREW Charlotte has donated more than $140,000 to CREW Network Foundation, UNC Charlotte and
Queens University.

To read the full press release, please click here.

CREW Charlotte Knows The ABCs Of Networking


CREW Charlotte Knows The ABCs Of Networking
Seventh annual ABC networking event, the biggest of the year, set for Sept. 6

CHARLOTTE — It’s not what you know, the saying goes, it’s who you know.
And one local non-profit has organized an event aimed at making sure attendees know more
people in commercial real estate. CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) Charlotte’s annual
networking bash, The ABC Networking Event, features 12 partner organizations in one place for a
night of philanthropy and fun.

To read the full press release, please click here.

CREW Charlotte Relaunches Mentor Program


CREW Charlotte Relaunches Mentor Program
For Women In Commercial Real Estate

12-Month Program Focuses On Shared Benefits, Career Gains, Network Building
CHARLOTTE — Madeleine Albright, the first female U.S. Secretary of State, famously said “There is
a special place in hell for women who don't help other women."

She wasn’t talking about CREW Charlotte, but she could have been. Women helping women — in
commercial real estate — is the reason the chapter exists.

The local chapter, founded in 1990, is taking that sentiment to heart with extra vigor by reframing
and relaunching its successful mentor program. The new 12-month program will debut in 2018; applications
for mentors and mentees will be accepted starting Aug. 1.

To read the full press release, please click here.