A Day in Boston with CREW Leaders, Capital Markets and Lobsters

May 18, 2017
Written by: Wendy Mann, CAE, CREW Network CEO

Nitsch Engineering headquarters

CREW Network Past President Judy Nitsch is like the road runner. She's super fast and crazy smart! It's easy to see why she's so successful. She's a whirlwind of energy, thoughtful insight and vision. I believe her brain is always seeing connections! So it was my pleasure to spend time in her office yesterday and see the full scale of why she's so successful. Her company Nitsch Engineering was built on savvy business acumen and integrity. She hosted me, CREW Network President Alison Beddard, CREW Network Board Member Gayle Bourdeau and Harvard professor and negotiations expert Guhan Subramanian (2016 Leadership Certificate instructor) to discuss our Leadership Certificate program. We had a great conversation and shared terrific ideas that will influence our program and help advance women in commercial real estate.

Following the meeting, we headed over to the CREW Boston luncheon, which was a fantastic look at capital markets. Moderator Judy Ravech with Newmark Grubb Knight Frank provided an insightful overview of what's happening overall in capital markets, noting that while some slowdown has occurred, there seems to still be runway for the near term. Panelists Katy Gnapp of Bank of America noted that they are very cycle aware at this point and if there's a recession, it will be shallow rather than deep and likely short term. She noted that there is some concern with regard to overdevelopment in multifamily and that "retail is not overdeveloped, it's underdemolished."

"We don't think they're going down, but we're not sure their going up either. There are many unknowns," said panelist Pam Herbst of AEW in with regard to cap rates. She noted that their company is doing a fair amount of senior housing and continue to view that as an opportunity. She stated that the we need to track the people. Millennials will move to suburbs as they start families so suburban office needs to be amenitized. Panelist Lauren O'Neill of HFF stated that she feels that there's capital for every deal, it just depends on what it looks like. She stated that because HFF has been disciplined, they will be positioned well for the next downturn.

Judy Nitsch, Alison Beddard, myself, CREW Boston Immediate Past President Leslie Cohen and current CREW Boston President Cara Nelson at the CREW Boston luncheon.

Our evening finale was an authentic lobster bake hosted by Judy Nitsch at her home. Past CREW Network Board Members Kristin Blount, Marianne Ajemian, Janet Pirrello and Holly Nelson along with Alison, myself and CREW Boston board leadership Leslie Cohen, Cara Nelson and Lisa Serafin enjoyed a lovely dinner, lively conversation and CREW stories. For a newcomer like me, it was a wonderful way to experience the Network—up close and personal.

CREW Boston and CREW Network leadership, past and present, hosted by Judy Nitsch.


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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