Shining a Light

May 01, 2018
Written by: Wendy Mann, CAE, CREW Network CEO

CREW Network CEO Wendy Mann speaks at April 2018 CREW Jacksonville event

The last stop on my whirlwind tour of Florida was a visit with CREW Jacksonville. Each chapter has its own personality and vibe. CREW Jacksonville is no exception. I think of them as the little engine that could. Remember that children’s story? They started the chapter 15 years ago and have kept chugging along. They have long-term, committed “engineers” and some fresh new leaders as well. It’s a dynamic group with a great deal of enthusiasm and commitment.

The Partner Appreciation event was held at an OE&S showroom, where OE&S staffer and CREW Jacksonville board member Mel Schock welcomed members and sponsors. With Mama Blue crooning in the background, the participants enjoyed great networking throughout the evening. OE&S staff explained the history of the newly renovated showroom… the whole neighborhood had been flooded during the hurricane last season. It was wonderful to celebrate their revitalized space and the resilience of the community. 

CREW Jacksonville president Cindy Kaneer and CREW Network CEO Wendy Mann
CREW Jacksonville President Cindy Kaneer and myself.

Thanks to CREW Jacksonville President Cindy Kaneer, I was grateful to have the opportunity to speak at the luncheon the following day about the value and importance of UCREW. If not us, then who? Who will help build that pipeline of women to continue our legacy of leadership in commercial real estate? CREW Network chapters continue to be at the forefront of educating girls and engaging young women to consider CRE careers.

It was serendipity that the program featured three universities that are innovating education by going to where the students are. They each are occupying space downtown to meet the needs of working students. It was amazing to hear some of the interesting programs and initiatives they are bringing into the city.

CREW Jacksonville member Tony Terrell with CREW Network CEO Wendy Mann
CREW Jacksonville member Tony Terrell and myself.

My favorite part of the visit is always the stories. It was a pleasure to meet Caroline who recently moved to Jacksonville from Atlanta. She didn’t know anyone in the city, but joined the chapter and now has many relationships. I met Tony who knew he wanted to be in CRE brokerage, but needed an “in,” so he connected with Wanda Riley of Cushman & Wakefield. She introduced him to CREW Jacksonville and he raved about the business relationships he’s built through the chapter. I spoke to Mary who runs her own construction company... yes, that’s right—a woman. She’s been in business for 20 years. All with CREW Jacksonville by her side.

WOW! This is who we are: a connector of people, a business deal-making community and a builder of leaders. The little engine that could is growing bigger and shining a huge light on what it means to be part of CREW Network.


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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