A Note from Your President: CREW News and Updates

Hello CREWBaltimore Members,

We had the pleasure of representing CREWBaltimore at the Spring Leadership Summit in Cleveland on June 21-22. We heard a lot of great ideas that we are excited to try in our Chapter. We also have some information from CREW Network that we would like to pass along to our Members.

1. Leadership Summits are not just for delegates or board members. Any member can attend. The leadership summits have time dedicated to leadership development as well as to talking about issues faced by chapters and learning what other chapters have tried with success or hardship. There were over 300 attendees in Cleveland. Convention is wonderful, but you get more in-depth leadership training and knowledge of the business side of chapter management and close contact with CREW Network Board of Directors at leadership summits. Upcoming leadership summits are:

2018 Fall Leadership Summit – San Diego, CA – October 17, 2018 (prior to Convention)
2019 Winter Leadership Summit – New Orleans, LA – February 14 & 15, 2019
2019 Spring Leadership Summit – Kansas City, MO – June 6 & 7, 2019

More information can be found at http://www.crewnetwork.org

2. Speaking of Convention – Who doesn’t want to go to San Diego in October? We hope to see many of you there October 17-19, 2018. As always, this Convention will have great networking opportunities, keynote speakers, and breakout sessions.

3. CREW Network dues will be increasing in 2019. This increase was approved by the Delegates in 2018. The increase is from $180/year to $210/year. Even with this dues increase, CREW Network remains one of the more affordable organizations for individuals in commercial real estate. The CREWBaltimore board of directors will discuss the increase and the impact on our annual dues as we begin budgeting later this year. We will let you know the impact on your cost of membership as soon as the information is available.

4. The topic for CREW Network’s 2018 whitepaper was announced. It will be on Achieving Gender Pay Equality in Commercial Real Estate. CREWBaltimore Member Karen Pecoraro is a chair of the industry research committee and CREWBaltimore Members Michele Cohen and Karen Sugar are on the committee. We look forward to release of the whitepaper in September!

5. Serving on a CREW Network committee is another way to learn more about the Network and gain leadership experience. Applications will open in late summer and are generally due in September. You can learn about committee experience here. Many CREWBaltimore members are currently serving on CREW Network Committees or have served in the past. You do not need experience as a CREWBaltimore board member to apply. We encourage you to consider applying for a CREW Network committee.

There is so much more we could share with you about our experiences at the Leadership Summits and as members of the CREWBaltimore Board. Please do not hesitate to contact us, or any of the board members, if you have questions or would like additional information.

Thank you,


Karyn Tasker
2018 President


Nikkia Fitch
2018 President-Elect

CREW Convention 2018

This year’s CREW Network Convention and Marketplace is being held at the Manchester Grand Hyatt In San Diego, CA. To many, the word “convention” sounds like long days filled with listening to lectures in a convention center; but the CREW Network Convention is so much more. Each day, attendees are provided with education, professional development, inspiration and insight from guest speakers, and are given the chance to take part in educational excursions.

The excursions offered are ones of a wide variety. They allow the convention attendees to explore the host city and explore the commercial real estate they may have never been to before. When looking back on last year’s events, Michele Bresnick Walsh of Gordon Feinblatt, LLC, reflected on one of the excursions she participated in at the NRG Stadium, home to the Houston Texans. Attendees were welcomed to a private tour of the facility and were able to get an inside look at future expansion plans for the entire park. Michele was also invited to join a dinner that was hosted by a law firm that included around 30 female attorneys from across the country. “I was the only attorney there that focused on the securities laws aspects investment in real estate deals, and I made some great connections with women in Hawaii, Arizona and Texas who I have maintained contact with over the last year,” Michele said of the dinner.

The excursions planned provide an opportunity for CREW members to meet other members from all over the country. When discussing her opportunities at the convention, Michele describes it as “a great opportunity for me to get to know my fellow CREWBaltimore members and have a better understanding of how we can help each other in our respective businesses.”

Continuing to offer variety, CREW has planned excursions that range from “From Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) to Beer,” to “When Architecture and Science Collide,” and also “Commercial Real Estate and the Business of Tourism.”

Excursions still available include a construction tour of the new One Paseo mixed use development. Located in Del Mar Heights, attendees will get a pre-construction look at the residential, office, and retail plans and the process that lead up to the approval of this project and the challenges met along the way.

Also still available, is the learning excursion “Conversation with Deal Makers.” An interactive session, attendees will be able to hear from the people that are behind some of the biggest projects in San Diego’s East Village. This Excursion will be in the Ultimate Skybox on the top of the DiamondView Tower, which holds the title as one of the highest-priced office rents in the area. Attendees will get to hear how a risky project like the DiamondView Tower was created and how something that started out as a gamble, turned out to be a great success.

The 2018 CREW Network Convention and Marketplace takes place October 17-19, 2018 in San Diego, CA. Additional information and registration can be found at CREWNetwork.org. You can also take a look at CREW Convention tips on this Open Forum.

Junior Achievement: Her Path to Promise Event

There is no doubt that Junior Achievement of Central Maryland is making an impact on the youth of Maryland, and the “JA Her Path to Promise” program was no exception. The three-day program was held at Towson University this past July, where young women ranging from Sophomores to Seniors in High School could learn and apply skills designed to help their futures in education and the working world. The program conducted mock interviews, touched on resume building, discussed the college admissions process and other relevant professional skills. The young women all participated in a mock interview where they met with successful women from local top companies, allowing the experience of what a job interview would be like. Informal one-on-one sessions with female mentors was also offered. The participants took what they had learned in those interviews and applied them on the final day of the program, the career fair.

CREW Baltimore was a proud participant at the career fair alongside employers from a variety of industries. Volunteers from CREW demonstrated how the professional organization was designed to support women in commercial real estate field and the importance of having a business network. The career fair was one that had a positive impact on both the volunteers and the young women that were in attendance. It was evident that each of them took away so many lessons learned in a short period of time. Each high schooler, in her own way, broke out of her comfort zone and showed an impressive amount of confidence and maturity. Many of them had big goals for their future and it was clear they were determined to reach them. After participating in this program, each is now better positioned to achieve those goals.

The “JA Her Path to Promise” event was an inspiring one for the volunteers as well. As members of CREW, we were there with the hopes of having a positive impact on the attendees, but in the end, they had just as much of a positive impact on the volunteers. The young women took steps that not many their age take and they each have bright futures ahead of them.

Junior Achievement of Central Maryland is doing a remarkable job with providing programs that help motivate and prepare young adults for the future and CREW Baltimore looks forward to continuing participation with the organization.

For more information on the organization, visit the Junior Achievement of Central Maryland site here.

Member Spotlight- Michele Bresnick Walsh

Michele Bresnick Walsh

Gordon Feinblatt, LLC; Member and Chair of Securities Practice Group

I am a trusted advisor to many businesses, including real estate developers and investors, keeping them out of trouble and in compliance with the securities laws when raising capital from passive investors to finance real estate acquisitions.  I also work with clients selling their business or buying other businesses.

How long have you been a CREW Member? 2 years

What was the experience or motivating factor that compelled you to join CREWBaltimore? Was there someone who influenced you to join?  I had attended a few events and really enjoyed both the events themselves and the women I met. Karen Pecoraro was instrumental in my decision to join—she pointed out that there really are not many other women in CREW that handle the securities side of real estate deals and convinced me it would be a great opportunity to make more people aware of what I do.  

List any CREWBaltimore positions held or committees you have been a part of. Membership Committee; General Counsel/Board Member with my partner, Maggie Witherup              

In your experience, what makes CREW unique from other organizations? I really like the emphasis on “CREW First”. This is an incredible organization of women who really are focused on helping each other excel in their business ventures. I also think the programs are excellent.

Have you done business with another CREW member, locally or nationally? Yes, I have done business with a few CREWBaltimore women. And I met a lot of great women at CREW Convention in Houston that I have stayed in touch with and hope to work within the future.

What is one trait you wish all female leaders could cultivate? Know your worth and show your worth.  Many women are not as comfortable as men in selling themselves, touting their accomplishments, and asking for what they want and deserve.

What is your dream vacation spot and why? The Amalfi Coast in Italy. I went there with 8 of my UVA sorority sisters to ring in our 40th birthdays and it is just breathtaking (not to mention the food and wine). I really want to go back with my husband so he can experience it.

What is your most significant accomplishment Beating leukemia 9 years ago after being given a 20% chance of survival, because it really showed me that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. My battle led to my involvement with There Goes My Hero, a 501(c)(3) organization that provides hope to blood cancer patients and their families by adding people to bone marrow registry and funding nutritious meals. It was founded by Erik Sauer, whom I met at Hopkins when we were both being treated for leukemia.  I was one of the founding directors and currently serve as President.

What do you do in your spare time? Provide a fun fact about yourself. I am a pop culture junkie, so I listen to a lot of music, watch a lot of tv and movies and read entertainment magazines.  A fun fact is in 2007, I went to NY to audition with 2 friends from law school to be on VH1’s World Series of Pop Culture.   We made it past the first round to the interview round, but unfortunately were not one of the 8 teams selected to compete on camera.

 

 

 

Member Spotlight- Theresa Stegman

Theresa Stegman
Director, Development, Cross Street Partners

How long have you been a CREW Member?  5 years

What was the experience or motivating factor that compelled you to join CREWBaltimore?  I had been a member of CREW DC when I worked down there, and had a wonderful experience. As soon as I was able to land a job in my hometown, I immediately transferred my membership.

List any CREWBaltimore positions held or committees you have been a part of. I am currently on the Board, serving as the Director for Membership. Previously I served on the Programs Committee.

How does CREWBaltimore support your career or leadership skills? In addition to the great programming, CREWBaltimore supports my career by surrounding me with women that continually inspire me to push myself higher.

Have you done business with another CREW member, locally or nationally? One of the many things I love about CREW is that it has put me in touch with professionals and small businesses that I may not have otherwise been in contact with, yielding value and savings to our projects and clients.

What advice do you have for women pursuing careers in CRE? Seize opportunities to work on projects that are new and challenging, even if they are outside of your comfort zone. You will learn by leaps and bounds, and be better positioned to go after that dream job title.

What is your most significant accomplishment?  Getting through 23 hours of labor (3 of those were pushing!). Professionally, my biggest accomplishment would be closing Lion Brothers and getting it 100% leased. When the project manager position for Lion Brothers became available, I had been at Cross Street Partners for two years, primarily working in New Markets Tax Credits. Fortunately, I work at a company that is very supportive of its employees’ career development, so when I asked to switch jobs, they made it happen. This was my first major closing from the project sponsor side, and I had to bring 8 different funding sources to the table, including New Markets Tax Credits and federal and state historic tax credits. “Trial by fire” has never been more aptly applied, but I had the support of a great team and the building is now fully leased and making a positive impact in the Hollins Market neighborhood.

What do you do in your spare time? Provide a fun fact about yourself.  Door knocking! I am running for Democratic Central Committee in District 40 in Baltimore City and have been spending my weekends talking to voters and gearing up for a big get-out-the-vote effort this June and November. As a mom, I want to make sure that all of our kids have the opportunity to succeed, and the job of the Central Committee is to help elect strong leaders that will be champions for our city and state.

What would be the first thing you would do if you won the lottery? The second?  Pay off student loans – what was I thinking marrying a law school graduate? Second, I would start my own company, with a focus on urban infill development and affordable housing.

*Theresa also recently was a recipient of the CREW Beacon – Community Impact Award for her role in the development of Lion Brothers Building

Guest Blog Post: Blockchain and What You Need to Know


by CREWBaltimore Member Katherine Pinkard

You probably heard of the digital currency Bitcoin because of its headline-making and extremely volatile valuation against the U.S. dollar in recent months. But what you may not know is how it works or why it’s so groundbreaking. In case you’re not yet a cryptocurrency-trading-millionaire, what makes Bitcoin possible is the revolutionary software technology upon which it is based, known as blockchain. In their book Blockchain Revolution, authors Don and Alex Tapscott summarize blockchain as “an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions, but virtually everything of value.”

The blockchain-based idea for Bitcoin was first released in 2008 via a whitepaper, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” by an author known as Satoshi Nakamoto. Since then, others have developed Nakamoto’s idea by creating blockchain, the electronic system that ensures the security and integrity of the electronic data that make up Bitcoin and other, similar digital currencies.

Blockchain is what’s known as a “distributed ledger technology” – essentially a big, shared database, constantly reconciled and updated so that every copy of that ledger is the same and is reconciled. These blocks of digital information are not stored in any one location, but rather on millions of computers all at once, which all agree on each block of transactions in the chain. Thus, no single, central location houses the data, and no governmental entity issues the currency, in theory making blockchain a safer way to transact anything of value and less vulnerable to both hacking, manipulation, and the myriad political factors that can influence the relative values of more traditional currencies.

Blockchain technology is consensus-based, so every computer on the blockchain network verifies that each block is valid and accurate before adding it to the chain. Once a transaction has been added, its electronic record becomes an incorruptible, unchangeable, and a public record of that transaction, which exists forever on that block of the chain. This technology also means that it’s transparent – every computer on the network maintains and can see the record of the transaction.

Why should we, as women in the commercial real estate industry, care about blockchain? Because blockchain is one of the next big technology advancements, it could have a big impact on commercial real estate, and women can play a role in that impact.

In traditional real estate deals, multiple intermediaries – brokers, government offices, title companies, escrow accounts, appraisers, etc. – create friction (and extract payments) that slow the settlement process and increase costs. Blockchain has substantial potential to speed up transactions when buying, selling, and leasing real estate. Moving transactions to the blockchain can create a more efficient and transparent peer-to-peer system that would allow title transfers to be completed quickly and safely, without the need for third-party involvement or verification. 

Does this mean doomsday is coming for many of us in commercial real estate? Almost certainly not. There will simply be more efficient systems to transact real estate business, and the various roles in a transaction will shift and adapt accordingly.

Blockchain allows for the creation and use of “smart contracts,” which execute according to a predetermined, mutually agreed-upon set of parameters and exchange of value. Transactions would be transparent and verifiable, drastically reducing fraud and non-performance. Common tasks like collecting and paying rent, returning security deposits, and managing contract terms would become more streamlined and transparent, which would be especially helpful across international borders.

While it’s currently possible to pay rent, send a security deposit, or buy a property with electronic funds transfers from your laptop via a bank transfer, or through PayPal or Venmo from your smartphone, the “smart contracts” that utilize blockchain and cryptocurrencies are more than just electronic payments. All of the transactional terms of the lease—from the initial security deposit, to maybe a few months of free rent or tenant improvement allowance payments, standard monthly rent payment, annual rent escalations, tenant billing obligations, and the lease termination or renewal and security deposit refunds—can be coded into the cryptocurrency token contract to automatically execute when each condition, be it lapse of time, receipt or payment of money, or other conditions, is met. This mechanism can help to prevent fraud on both sides of a transaction and transparently ensure the mutually agreed-upon conditions are fulfilled by both sides. Further, the parties to the transaction do not have to depend on a trusted third party (such as PayPal or a bank) to guarantee and verify the transactions and to provide any necessary proof of funds. While cryptocurrencies have their challenges due to still being very new and evolving, they offer many advantages over existing systems both from a technical standpoint and from a transparency and efficiency standpoint.

There are many more ways that blockchain will transform our industry. From transacting real estate using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, which allows us to cross borders and more freely transact across the globe, to issuing token-backed real estate funds, allowing fractional ownership in newer, more transparent and efficient ways, I believe that we will continue to see more growth and rapid development using blockchain in the coming years.

So who is actually working on applying blockchain technology to commercial real estate? The technology may still be in its nascent phase, but success stories abound and the future looks bright. Currently, the state of Vermont is working with tech startup Propy to be the first state to successfully pilot a program to record land and property transactions using blockchain. Other start-ups continue to pop up around the world like Ubitquity engineering a blockchain system to securely record and track property title and ownership; Rex MLS creating a new multiple-list service; Propify rethinking how real estate is marketed; Factom ensuring and validating digital assets; RealBlocks tokenizing real estate assets; and BuildCoin changing how public-private construction and infrastructure projects can come together more efficiently and with greater transparency.

So how would a blockchain system differ from other electronic systems that have existed, such as a Torrens? Blockchain would not be dependent on a trusted third-party (a government, municipality, etc.) to verify and guarantee title to a property. A blockchain-based system is different because of its trustless, distributed, and transparent nature. A blockchain system could make a U.S.-based title system more efficient and transparent, but also change the game in the developing world where there is much greater opportunity for government-sponsored fraud and deception related to private property rights and ownership.

It’s certainly still the Wild West when it comes to blockchain and the commercial real estate world. We’re some ways off from full enterprise-level development and adoption, and we don’t know exactly what that will look like when the time comes. But it is imperative that women play a significant role in shaping this next phase of the intersection of technology and commercial real estate. Seek to actively learn about this new technology so that you can participate in its development and application. New technology means opportunities to get in on the ground floor and have an impact on early development. 

2018 Beacon Award Winners!

Members of CREWBaltimore and guests gathered Thursday, May 3rd for the biennial Beacon Awards Gala. Taking place at The Belvedere, members of the Baltimore commercial real estate community came together to celebrate the accomplishments and hard work of fellow colleagues in the industry. This year’s Black-Eyed Susan theme was chosen to pay homage to the Fillies race held the day before Preakness, which is just around the corner. Not only is it a Maryland tradition but also one that honors the spirit and strength of women. After receiving dozens of nominations, finalists were chosen for each category: Chapter Champion, Community Impact, Member-to-Member Business, Rookie-of-the-Year and Circle of Excellence. The Chapter was privileged to secure CREW Network CEO, Wendy Mann, as their emcee, announcing one winner from each category the night of the event. Photos from the event can be viewed here.

JLL took home the Chapter Champion award, an award given to the company that has made and sustained significant commitment to CREWBaltimore through the dedication of monetary resources, employee time, and other support. With 13 local employees who are members of CREWBaltimore, they are active on committees and in leadership roles within the organization. Vice President of Property Management at JLL and Immediate Past President of CREWBaltimore, Amy Lacock, has ensured JLL provided Gold Level sponsorship for CREWBaltimore the past two years, including the top Premium sponsorship for the Beacons event.

The development team from Cross Street Partners brought home the Community Impact Award for their redevelopment of Lion Brothers Building. The Community Impact Award honors a commercial real estate professional or team that has played a key role in a real estate project. The newly redeveloped Lion Brothers Building was an effort that was directed by CREWBaltimore board member, Theresa Stegman, who is the Director of Development at Cross Street Partners. The once vacant factory building is now a social and employment hub. With a 100% occupancy rate, the building is filled with a variety of non-profit, education, and business tenants, in addition to several startup companies. There is also one retail tenant that will be joining the building, increasing the value of the Lion Brothers Building overall.

The Member-to-Member Business Award was awarded to Amy Lacock of JLL. A member since 2014, Amy demonstrates the important values of CREW. She believes that CREW members represent the best in Baltimore, which motivates her to reach out to the network to help problem solve and enhance JLL’s services. She has used networking throughout CREW to find vendors to work with and has recommended many of those vendors to other members of CREWBaltimore.

The Rookie-of-the-Year Award went to Lindsey Kiefer, Project Architect for Manns Woodward Studios. Lindsey has been a member of CREWBaltimore since 2016 and quickly took the reins of the PR Committee which helped earn her spot as Chair of the committee in 2017 and a place on the Board for 2018. Lindsey assists with many CREW events, is a part of the Programs committee, and was also the backbone for the re-invention and upgrade of CREWBaltimore’s website.

Finally, the Circle of Excellence Award was awarded to Kristen Schrader. The Circle of Excellence is awarded to a CREW member that truly embodies the core values and mission of CREWBaltimore. Kristen, a member since 2010, is a Business Development Manager for KBE Building Corporation. Kristen has been involved on the Membership, Social Media, and Programs Committees, and has worked her way to being part of the Board of Directors in 2018. One of her most notable accomplishments is the annual CREWBaltimore Golf Tournament that has raised nearly $30,000 throughout the years for the Outreach committee.

Congratulations to all of our winners and a special thank you to our sponsors, the planning committee and everyone else who helped make the night so memorable!

The Power of CREW Network – Making the Most of Your Membership

By Nikkia Fitch, CPA, CREWBaltimore President-Elect

Are you taking advantage of all that CREW Network offers its members? 

Most of you are aware that members receive discounted pricing for CREWBaltimore events and have access to some of the most influential professionals within the commercial real estate world at each CREWBaltimore event, but guess what?  There’s so much more value to being a member of CREW Network!

Two of the most valuable CREW membership benefits are:

  • Access to CREWBiz, CREW Network’s exclusive membership community of professionals in the commercial real estate industry from the U.S., Canada, and the UK; and
  • The ability to attend CREW Network Leadership Summits and its Annual Convention

Since CREW Network relaunched the organization’s website in 2017, some fantastic, new features have been added to the CREWBiz Community. Not only do CREW Network members have access to the exclusive member directory, but now every member can connect with other CREW Network members through the CREW Network Open Forum. 

What is the CREW Network Open Forum? The CREW Network Open Forum is a tool to participate in discussions with other CREW Network members globally about topics that are important to members. 

Some of the daily activity on the Open Forum includes:

  • Discussions about the advancement of women in the commercial real estate industry and the 2017 Whitepaper on Diversity and Inclusion
  • Job postings for open commercial real estate positions from other CREW Network members
  • Members seeking referrals for attorneys, accountants, title and escrow companies or others to assist with current commercial real estate transactions
  • Requests for suggestions and best practices for chapter level initiatives
  • Invitations for members to connect at upcoming conferences related to commercial real estate

New discussion topics are added each day and give members the opportunity to connect with each other using the Open Forum. CREW Network promotes this through the daily CREW Network Open Forum Digest emails. It is a resource for all members to start a dialogue about the topics that interest us the most, you can view the most recent posts here.  

Do you have the CREWBiz App on your mobile phone?  In relaunching the CREW Network website, the CREWBiz App was also relaunched. The CREWBiz App gives you mobile access to the CREW Network member directory, the CREW Network Open Forum and to documents in the CREWBiz Library, which is a resource for chapter playbooks, chapter tools, the speakers’ directory and much more. At a recent event, I used the CREWBiz app to electronically exchange contact information with another CREW member, no business cards needed! There are so many features to explore, I encourage you to give it a try!

CREW Network events are held regularly during the year and all members can take advantage of discounted pricing. All CREW Network events offer professional development and leadership training as well as ample opportunities to increase your network beyond your local market and to become involved in CREW at the Network level. For instance, at the 2018 Winter CREW Network Leadership Summit, there were invigorating leadership sessions with Marsha Petrie Sue and Bonnie Marcus, two leading professional development coaches, and networking receptions with members from all over the country and Canada. You do not need to be a Chapter leader to attend these events!

Members who attend these CREW Network events come back motivated to advance their careers and invigorated by the comradery exhibited at each event. Valuable relationships are built and deals are made from attending the CREW Network Leadership Summits and Annual Convention and Marketplace. Also, many members participate in CREW Network Committees and the CREW Network Board after making connections at these events, which can launch your career to a higher status. Please consider attending CREW Network’s 2018 Spring Leadership Summit in Cleveland, OH and the 2018 Annual Convention and Marketplace in San Diego, CA. For additional information about upcoming CREW Network events, please visit crewnetwork.org/events.  

These are just a few of the many benefits of being a member of CREWBaltimore. There’s much more to gain from being a member of the premier professional organization in the commercial real estate industry. So ask yourself what you can do to gain more value from your membership and take steps today!

 

 

 

 

 

Merriweather Post Pavilion Renovations

Merriweather Post Pavilion recently hosted CREWBaltimore members and guests for a construction tour of the newly renovated historic concert venue. Initially built in 1967 to be home to the National Symphony, Merriweather is celebrating over 50 years as a historic location for some of music’s biggest artists. 

With its rich history, there was a lot at stake with the new renovations, including risk to losing Merriweather’s original character. Designers at JP2 Architects were innovative with the renovation while keeping the same character Merriweather has created for itself.

Many factors were taken into consideration when redesigning the space. Being located in the heart of Symphony Woods Park, the venue was already one unlike any other. However, that wasn’t enough.

Merriweather’s biggest goal is creating accessibility for all concert goers. With that, they are going to great lengths to create a venue that is completely ADA accessible. A new crosswalk will be installed that will connect all parts of the venue for the handicapped and disabled. They are also creating an elevator that will allow people to be dropped off at the midway point of the site, something that is extremely unique for an outdoor concert space.

Another goal relates to the performance space and backstage space for artists and their entourages.  Designers hoped to keep the performance space similar to the original design, being that it was so unique. After several refurbishments, they were unable to salvage the original wood floors on the notoriously low performing stage; however, they were able to give it a bit of a facelift. The stage is set lower than most stages and is constructed of wood, with a turntable in the middle. This allows stage crews to set up two artists at once for events such as festivals.

Backstage, renovations to the dressing rooms and VIP space are finished. There were numerous things that needed to be changed specifically for artists and their entourages. For example, countless artists have been required to rely on tents to act as different amenities, such as the kitchen. The overall new feel of the backstage is pretty modern – everything from the floors, the light fixtures and furniture bring a modern vibe to the venue. Merriweather is also the only concert venue that has a pool for its artists. The backstage also boasts extremely large dressing rooms and VIP spaces fit to cater to the largest of entourages, whether they chose to be indoors or outdoors.

The office space is the most recent project for the renovation team. Doubling as an office space and an adult playground, you’ll find everything from desks and computers, to ski ball, basketball, and Pac-Man. A modern feel is brought to the offices as well, with each office door decorated with the historic artists and bands that have performed there.

Merriweather Post Pavilion is becoming an entertainment mecca in every sense of the word and the 2018 outdoor concert season is expected to be one of the most exciting yet! This was an amazing renovation project executed by JP2 Architects, Howard Hughes Corporation, I.M.P., and the Downtown Columbia Arts and Culture Commission, which will ensure the venue will be relevant for decades to come.

Beacon Awards Finalists Announced!

Congratulations to the following individuals and companies who have been selected as finalists for the 2018 CREWBaltimore Beacon Awards!! They were selected from multiple outstanding nominees for their contributions to the Baltimore commercial real estate market and CREWBaltimore. 

 Member-to-Member Business Award: This award will honor a CREWBaltimore member who consistently demonstrates an extraordinary commitment to marshal CREW talent, resulting in measurable business for other CREW members. This individual exemplifies the power and spirit of CREW, and the award recognizes the collective CREW business completed over the last 24 months as a result of this member’s efforts.

2018 Finalists:

Tammy Baczynskyj, VSC Fire & Security Inc

Polly Houck, Absolute Service Industries, LLC

Amy Lacock, JLL

 

Chapter Champion Award: This award is given to the company that has, over the last 24 months, made a significant and sustained commitment to CREWBaltimore through the devotion of monetary resources, employee time commitment, and other support.

2018 Finalists:

Cohn Reznick, LLP

JLL

 

Circle of Excellence Award: This award is given to a CREW member or any other person in the Baltimore-area commercial real estate community who consistently embodies CREWBaltimore’s mission and core values of leadership, excellence, influence, advancement, and community.

2018 Finalists:

Joan Renner, The Brick Companies 

Kristen Schrader, KBE Building Corporation

Rookie Member Award – The Dive Right in Award: This award will honor a member who, in the first 2.5 years of membership, has most embraced the CREWBaltimore mission and core values through chapter involvement, member-to-member business, mentoring, and/or career/professional development.

2018 Finalists:

Lindsey Kiefer, Manns Woodward Studios

Toni Prince, The Brick Companies

 

Community Impact Award: Real estate projects can transform the built environment and have the power to transform and revitalize a community, often beyond the boundaries of the project. The Community Impact Award honors a commercial real estate professional or team that played a pivotal role in a real estate project that was completed or achieved a significant measurable milestone in the last 24 months, and which had a significant and measurable positive impact on the community.

2018 Finalists:

Howard County Nonprofit Center Development Team: including CREW members Abby Glassberg, NAI KLNB; Amy Lacock, JLL; and Cynthia Newman-Lynch, Howard County Housing Commission

Lion Brothers Building Development Team: including CREW member Theresa Stegman, Development Director, Cross Street Partners

R. House Development Team: Seawall Development

 

Join us at our Preakness-themed Beacon Awards gala being held May 3, 2018 from 6-9pm at The Belvedere Hotel to celebrate with our finalists and find out who will be named as winners! Check out the Beacons page for the latest details surrounding the event.

A huge thanks to the event sponsors whose support makes it all possible!

   JLL: Triple Crown Premier Sponsor Mechanical Systems, Inc.: Black Eyed Susan Cocktail SponsorArris Design Studio: Paddock Networking Sponsor
  Howard Bank: Grandstand Venue Sponsor Altus Group: Actress Award Sponsor CK Commercial: Trifecta Sponsor

         O'Leary Asphalt "Fast Track" Sponsor Ruppert Landscape: Race Day Line Up Program Sponsor  floral sponsor Choice Plantings

All Star Commercial Contracting Services
PCM Services
The Brick Companies
The Stone Store

 

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