Member Spotlight: Kat Sabo


Kat Sabo, President at Budova Engineering

Name, Job Title, and Company: Kat Sabo, President, Budova Engineering

Describe your job. My job is to develop relationships with members of the A/E/C and CRE communities and learn how Budova can best serve them and their clients.  My job is also to find projects that are a good fit for us, write proposals, pay bills, attend every industry event within a three-state radius, return emails in the middle of the night when I am trying to catch up, sponsor events, and a whole hoopla of other things.  When you own a small business, you wear many hats and are constantly trying to keep them all from tipping off your head. This is especially difficult on windy days.

How long have you been a CREW Member?  Two glorious years

What was the experience or motivating factor that compelled you to join CREWBaltimore? Was there someone who influenced you to join?  I knew from the moment I attended my first CREW event that it was an organization with which I wanted to be involved.  I met Lindsey Kiefer before I joined, and she went out of her way to follow up on a conversation we had.  She’s a good egg. 

List any CREWBaltimore positions held or committees you have been a part of. I was the Programs Committee Co-Chair in 2018, and currently I am honored to serve on the Board as the Programs Director.

In your experience, what makes CREW unique from other organizations? Our members are genuine and truly want to help one another professionally and personally.  Also, there are no cliques.  It’s an easy room to walk into. Please note, these comments are not meant to be disparaging in any way toward other organizations.

Have you done business with another CREW member, locally or nationally? Yes.  As soon as I joined CREW, Theresa Stegman of Ancora Partners [she was at its parent company, Cross Street Partners, at the time] invited me to come in to discuss an upcoming project.  While there, she asked a colleague, Adam, to join the meeting.  Adam’s project also needed LEED services, and Budova was hired for the Hoen Lithograph Building project.  We’re also doing the IgCC commissioning on a job for Manns Woodward Studios, thanks to Lindsey Kiefer introducing us after she started working there.  Last but certainly not least, I hired Michele Cohen of Miles and Stockbridge who has done a fantastic job helping us with contract negotiations.  I look forward to working with many other CREW members in the future.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in business and how did you overcome it? This is the elephant that is continuously in my room, regardless of whether or not anyone else can see it.  Usually it feels like it is sitting on my lap.  Although I am the majority owner of an engineering firm, I am not an engineer, so MDOT denied us woman-owned certification.  I was shocked.  We had just relocated here from Atlanta, didn’t know a soul, and had been told 573 times in the first week that I absolutely needed that certification to break into this market.  Once I could get out of my own head about it, I made the decision that we were going to move forward and make it work without it.  I’m a big believer in everything happening for a reason and what is meant to be will be.  I’ve worked hard to build relationships with people here and have found that to be more valuable than a piece of paper from MDOT.  Please note:  In case you are reading, MDOT, don’t get me wrong.  I’d be happy to accept that piece of paper should you change your mind.

What do you do in your spare time? Provide a fun fact about yourself. Spare time?  Now that’s funny.  Seriously, though, I used to run.  Fun fact?  I’ve run ten marathons.  No-so-fun fact?  Last year I found out I have a herniated disc, a bulging disc, as well as a tear in one of them.  I think I need to find a new hobby.  Like back surgery.  I love reading and watching football, too.  I can’t disclose my team or there will be booing in the background; however, if you really want to know, keep reading.

What is your guilty pleasure (TV show, sweet treat, etc.)? Ice cream.  Preferably with chocolate jimmies and the most delectable taste in the entire universe, Nutella.  I would eat it every day if I could.  For every meal.  I’m trying not to categorize it as its own food group in 2019, so please excuse my personality this year as a result.  It could get ugly.

What would be the first thing you would do if you won the lottery? The second?

  • Buy Superbowl LIII tickets for my family [me, my husband, & our two sons], my dad, and our good friends in New England.
  • Put away enough to pay for our sons’ college education and our retirement.  Then tell my husband he can go fishing.  Every day.
  • Donate to charities, including CREW Network Foundation of course.  
  • Take my husband and sons on a trip around the world, which would include swimming with dolphins. 
  • Hire a personal chef, trainer, and massage therapist. 


Five Practices for Construction Firms to Build Sustainability

Green building is here to stay, and construction firms are getting on board by developing green business models that may include company-wide environmental policies and greenhouse gas reduction goals (80% of the emissions associated with the built environment are from buildings in use). LEED and green building projects are gaining market share. The Engineering News-Record releases its Top Green Building Contractors in August each year and you can bet those on the list not only build green buildings but have green business models as well. There were five contractors with Maryland headquarters on that list in 2018. See the list here: https://www.enr.com/toplists/2018-Top-100-Green-Building-Contractors

The great thing about sustainability is that you can choose what is important for your company. Then, what you do is reflected in your corporate sustainability mission, which will include your construction sites, equipment storage yards, maintenance garages, and your office! Here is a look at five practices for construction contractors to help improve sustainability and resilience for the long term. Why worry about it? These five actions will help drive your green business model and provide efficiencies in processes that lead to reduced costs.

1. Walk the Talk (do what your say you ARE doing)

Conduct a basic inventory of how much energy and water you use at your offices, how much waste you generate, and where it goes. Decide why you want to save resources and set your goals accordingly. You are going to find that savings resources will save you $$$.

  • Define Best Management Practices (BMPs) for every project
    • Recycle in your on-site project trailer – a tangible way to impress the project owner!
    • Create a sustainable procurement policy – recycled paper, and limit or eliminate plastic water bottles
    • Implement an Indoor Air Quality During Construction policy to demonstrate occupant health protection during construction.
  • You can only improve what you measure. Do you know how much energy, water, waste, or carbon emissions your company generates?
  • Support green building in your local community – the Maryland Green Registry is a good place to start and it is super easy. You can find our more here: https://bit.ly/2AqAiAn
  • It is important not to greenwash, so be prepared to have the data to support whatever you choose to do for sustainability.

2. Build a Sustainable Supply Chain

How can a company be truly sustainable if your suppliers – the raw materials producers, transport and logistic services, component providers, and others along the way are not? By working with your suppliers to let them know about your company goals for environmental sustainability, leading companies are starting to turn supply chain sustainability into a driver of competitive advantage.

  • Adopting a ‘sustainability by design’ approach to materials sourcing can reduce the impact of materials used in construction – for example, by using alternative recycled/secondary materials, and considering the lifecycle impacts of materials from extraction through to disposal.
  • A large part of construction energy consumption comes from the manufacturing of materials used in the building process. To offset and reduce this usage, look to low-impact building materials including recycled and repurposed materials.
  • By using locally sourced lumber, construction firms strengthen the local economy and help decrease transportation costs.

Tell your suppliers you want to source sustainably and that you expect them to contribute toward your goals. By working with suppliers to develop a more sustainable supply chain, companies can cut costs, manage risk better, and add value to your brand.

3. Reduce Waste

A quieter part of the sustainability story is the evolution in construction techniques and materials acquisition that can reduce waste, energy and inefficiencies at building sites. On one of our recent very large projects, the drywall subcontractor utilized drywall prefabrication to reduce waste material and labor costs by approximately 10%. One sustainable material trend in the construction industry is the use of modular buildings. They decrease construction times and minimize waste. The components of these systems are also durable and built to last, so they can be continually re-used and recycled.

  • REUSE FIRST. When possible – ask your subcontractors if they can take extra stock back to their shop. Some construction firms have storage for extra supplies that can be reused on other projects. 
    • For renovation projects, include a list of local organizations who can take reclaimed materials. They may pick up for free or even pay you for them!
  • RECYCLE NEXT. In today’s construction projects, it is common to divert 75% or more construction waste. If you have a project renovation, used acoustical ceiling tiles and carpet can be recycled if there’s proof of no hazardous materials. For example, one ceiling tile manufacturer will deliver a tractor trailer to your project site during the demolition for used ceiling tiles and take the load away for no cost. 
    • Make it easy for your subcontractors to recycle by clearly labeling containers and putting them in the right place. Have an agenda item about construction waste for your weekly job site meetings.
Recycle on your job sites to keep reusable materials out of the landfill and save on haul costs (Photo used with permission Craig Williams, Owner, Bargain Dumpsters, Ilmo, SC)

4. Use Energy Efficient Equipment & Vehicles

While much of the pollution emitted from construction sites comes from the building process itself, efficient energy management of on-site offices and equipment is an important consideration.

  • Use temporary site buildings with an energy performance certificate (EPC) rating of A, B, or C to reduce energy usage.
  • Considering an on-site combined heat and power (CHP) system to transition towards more energy efficient or renewable alternatives to traditional site power.
  • Use electric vehicles or hybrid trucks
  •  LED battery floodlights
  • Procure super-low noise construction equipment that complies with Tier I emissions regulations

5. Stand Out with a Green Building-Certified Staff

Training is what sets a competent contractor apart from the rest. Show your clients that your staff has gone the extra mile with LEED Green Associate, a Green Globes Professional, or a LEED AP with designation (LEED AP BD+C). Find out more here: https://bit.ly/2uS7yuW

2019 Women of Influence Luncheon Recap

Over 85 CREW members and guests attended the 2019 Women of Influence Luncheon at the renovated Center Club on January 8th. Following a warm welcome and 2019 preview by CREWBaltimore President Nikkia Fitch of RS&F, moderator Karen Pecoraro (ATC Group Services) facilitated a panel-format discussion around pay inequality and other barriers to female advancement in the CRE industry. This central theme was inspired by the 2018 CREW Network White Paper titled Achieving Pay Parity in Commercial Real Estate (read here).

Panelists Christine Espenshade (JLL), Michele Cohen (Miles & Stockbridge), Laura Penza (Penza Bailey Architects) and Ruth Hoang (Howard Hughes Development) shared tips, challenges and anecdotes about their careers and successes in commercial real estate. Two points of advice repeatedly emerged throughout the discussion.

First, speak up for yourself. “No one will be a better advocate for you than you” said Ruth Hoang. Michele Cohen added that coworkers and supervisors are not “mind readers” and should not be expected to just make things happen on your behalf. Instead, women need to make their case when asking for a raise or promotion. “Track, catalogue, capture your accomplishments” Karen Pecoraro advised. That makes it much easier to recount your contributions when annual review time rolls around, since trying to recall a year’s worth of deals or sales can be difficult. The panel also recommended staying current on reports and publications that provide compensation data for your profession, noting that location can play a big role.

When asked how to avoid the pay gap over the course of a career, advice from the panel varied. “Stay flexible and leave yourself some latitude to do new things” offered Ruth Hoang, referring to the ways in which her willingness to work in new markets and with new clients spurred her progress at Howard Hughes. “Be willing to reinvent yourself” said Christine Espenshade, “especially if you’ve left the workforce for a period of time.” The panel agreed on the importance of staying relevant and connected through networking events and organizations such as CREW.

As a regular participant in annual compensation reviews at Miles and Stockbridge, Michele Cohen noted “our male counterparts self-advocate better more often.” Hoang then stressed the importance of asking for a raise each year and to not settle for a 2-3% cost of living increase, which accentuates the gap. “Be mindful of the math” she added.

The second word of advice from the panel: create your own work/life “harmony”. From choosing your life partner to third-party help, the group emphasized the importance of a support network and agreed that the term “work/life balance” can be misleading. “As women, we think we are the only ones who can handle the pediatrician appointment or stay home with a sick child” Christine Espenshade joked, then added “we are inclined to take on the lion’s share of the duties at home.” In reality, we can all use a little help from the outside to make our home life and career as fulfilling as possible. “Find your thing, find your power, and make it work,” said Laura Penza.

2018 CREW Network White Paper: Achieving Pay Parity in Commercial Real Estate

CREW Network has maintained its title as the leading producer of research on women in commercial real estate with the newest white paper, focusing on barriers that continue to affect women’s advancement in the industry.

The 2017 White Paper titled Diversity, The Business Advantage: Best Practices for Gender Equity and Inclusion in Commercial Real Estate looked at 10 commercial real estate companies that have benefited from greater gender equity and a more diverse workforce. The 2018 White Paper titled Achieving Pay Parity in Commercial Real Estate builds off the findings of the 2017 White Paper and presents data, expert insight, and action items for companies and women professionals to close the gender pay gap.

The White Paper explains that “pay parity is when employers can show there is no pay gap across the entire workforce between individuals when it comes to gender, race or ethnicity.” The dictionary definition of parity as the “quality or state of being equal or equivalent.” Commercial Real Estate is under more pressure to address equality issues as companies are striving to meet the goals of quality and diversity inclusion.
Below, are the highlights and key takeaways from this year’s white paper:

Facts and Findings
• The gender pay gap in commercial real estate has decreased since the 2005 study, however, it still exists and is strongest for respondents earning less than $100,000 and above $250,000.
• Studies show that women in commercial real estate are 54% less likely to have a sponsor that can provide career advice or help compared to their male counterparts.
• The pay gap widens as years of experience increases.
• The software company specializing in pay data, PayScale, believes women are less likely to ask for raises compared to men, having a cumulative effect on women as they progress in their careers.

Benefits for Women and Companies
• Companies where women account for most of top management show superior sales growth and higher cash flow return on investment.
• The McKinsey Global Institute stated, “if women—who account for half the world’s population—do not achieve their full economic potential, the global economy will suffer.”
• The Institute of Women’s Policy Research noted that the poverty rate for all working women would be cut in half from 8% to 3.8%.
• 25.8 million children would also feel the benefits of equal pay, decreasing the number living in poverty from 5.6 million to 3.1 million.

Achieving Pay Parity
• Each year, Wells Fargo conducts a pay equity analysis of its US employees, which is 93% of its total workforce.
• The analysis is conducted in the fourth quarter, syncing with the annual pay review cycle, and compares the compensation of employees performing the same work to ensure employees are being paid fairly.
• In February 2018, Wells Fargo’s results showed that their female US employees make more than 99 cents on the dollar than their male counterparts.
• The head of compensation at Wells Fargo, Michael Branca, noted the five lessons learned from the process.

1. Equity starts at the top; leadership must have a commitment to reaching this goal.
2. Cultivate and nurture a diverse workforce. It’s important to pay attention to equality with current employees, but it’s important to keep diversity in mind when hiring and training employees to maintain a diverse workforce.
3. Pay equity is an ongoing process; it’s not a onetime event, it is something that must be a long-term commitment and goal.
4. Engage an expert. It’s important to have someone there to advise the work along the way.
5. You must be competitive. Wells Fargo has created three separate programs for employees to use to help balance work and family life that include options for paid parental leave or caregiving leave.

• Adobe reached equal pay in 2017 after reviewing the job structure of their US employees and analyzing the compensation practices and made the appropriate changes.
• Starbucks has reached 100% of pay equity after 10 years of efforts.

Actions Going Forward

Korn Ferry released an article titled “Equal Pay for Equal Work: The Status Quo is Not an Option” and created a five-step process called “EQUAL” that helps identify possible pay gaps and how to address the root cause.
1. Establish Parameters by scoping the work, developing a plan, identifying data, and assessing perceptions
2. Quantify Gaps by analyzing the data, building pay models, and identifying gaps
3. Understand Drivers by reviewing the root cause and analyzing rewards programs, talent acquisition and management, and governance
4. Action Planning by introducing pay remediation and strategy, design, and culture changes
5. Lead Change by aligning leaders, communications, changing road-map, equipping leaders, and keeping a sustained effort. 

You can read the full 2018 White Paper: Achieving Pay Parity in Commercial Real Estate here.

 

The CREW Network website received a whole new look last fall! Below are some tips and tricks for using the new site to YOUR ADVANTAGE.

 Keeping your CREWbiz profile current can open doors and connections

CREWbiz is a business networking tool designed exclusively for CREW members and the primary way to access your benefits. Your personal profile on CREWbiz can be used to promote your unique skills and expertise to our member base of more than 9,000 members. Upload your photograph; edit your biography; promote yourself! Feel free to use your profile to tell members about your recent business deals or speaking engagements and articles you’ve written.

You can manage all of your membership functions directly from your CREWbiz profile: search for members, manage your contact information, register for a CREW Network event, purchase from the online store, print receipts for any CREW Network transaction and much, much more!

To log into CREWbiz:
1. Go to the CREW Network website, http://crewnetwork.org
2. Log into your account via the “Account Login” link in the top right corner (if you do not already have an account, you will need to create one by clicking on “Create a new account”)
3. Select “CREWbiz Community” at the top of the page.

Your personal profile can be managed from the icon in the top right corner of the CREWbiz page.
(Note: changes to your name or organization must be made by CREW Network staff ensure database integrity. After logging into your account and selecting the “About Me” tab, you will see two links: Request Name Change and Request Organization Change).

CREW Network is an excellent resource for identifying employment opportunities

Use the Career Center to post or browse open positions, manage multiple resumes, and apply for positions quickly and easily. Postings are automatically listed on job sites of more than a dozen other industry organizations for maximum exposure. The CREW Network website also hosts several special interest group forums that connect you with other like-minded members looking to exchange information, share experiences, discuss opportunities or challenges, and provide business support. To access the Career Center, hover over the “About” link and select Career Center.

CREW Network is a resource for industry news and trends

CREW Network publishes White Papers and Industry Research Reports, cultivated to assist you. Access these valuable resources in the “About” link under “Research” and “Newsroom” on the CREW Network website.

Check it out, there’s so much to discover. Let CREW work for YOU!

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.

 

 

 

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