Thriving at FIVE

June 29, 2017
Written by: Wendy Mann, CAE, CREW Network CEO

It was a perfect day in Des Moines to celebrate the 5th anniversary of CREW Iowa. With a lovely waterside location, a lovely jazz trio and celebratory food and drinks, the crowd that gathered had everything to make this a wonderful celebration of five years of growth and development. What started as a twinkle in a few eyes has morphed into a group of 80 commercial real estate professionals connecting for business opportunities and shared experiences.

CREW Iowa president Michele Stevens

Chapter President, Michele Stevens, Vice President with Central Bank, welcomed everyone and thanked them for their commitment to and support of the chapter. She noted that it has taken many dedicated volunteers to bring the chapter to this point and that the chapter will blossom under the continued commitment from sponsors and new members.  

I had the opportunity to celebrate and share my thoughts with the chapter. I’m so proud of all that they have accomplish and how far they’ve come in a short time. The chapter works with the local community, students in the CRE programs at universities and they are striving to ensure their mentoring program continues to expand— they have 19 mentees already!  I truly loved being part of this warm and welcoming group. And if you have not visited Des Moines lately, I highly recommend it!  

Barbara Hokel, Wendy Mann and Tina Mowrey

The drawing for a registration to the CREW Network Convention and Marketplace in Houston, Texas on October 25-27, was the highlight of the evening. Barbara Hokel and Tina Mowrey were the lucky winners!  

Wendy Mann with Rick Tollakson and Ashley Aust

Chapter Secretary Ashley Aust, Associate Legal Counsel, Hubbell Realty gave me a terrific tour of the commercial real estate development that is happening around town. Like most cities, they are building a good deal of multifamily as people are moving back into town. The East Village is the hot spot with lots of great restaurants and boutiques. Little did I know I was in for a surprise when I met up with Ashley’s boss, Rick Tollakson, a NAIOP Foundation Governor, whom I knew from my last gig. It was terrific to see Rick and catch up with him. (It’s the Network!)

CREW Iowa event

The evening closed with a lovely board dinner overlooking the city skyline. Great food, dedicated women and a lively conversation concluded a perfect celebration of CREW Iowa.  

This chapter is small, but mighty! We look forward to seeing them make great things happen in the next five years.  


Wendy Mann is the chief executive officer of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network and president of the CREW Network Foundation.

Twitter: @crew_wendym

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