Category Archives: Events Recap

Goucher College Construction Tour

Goucher College hosted a construction tour for CREWBaltimore members and guests on November 9, 2017. Founded over 125 years ago, the college was an all women’s college prior to becoming co-educational in 1986. While also striving for academic excellence, Goucher is focused on fostering a close-knit community with the new construction on campus. All of the projects discussed focus on bringing students together.

For example, extensive studies were done to find the perfect location for the Mary Fisher Dining Hall. In its new location, the dining hall is centrally located between all of the dorms – all students walk past it during the day. The hope is for the dining hall to become a hub of activity and interaction on campus.

Studies were also done prior to designing the new First Year Village. Using the results of behavioral science, architects Ayers Saint Gross designed the rooms to be smaller, and the lounges to have faster Wi-Fi, to encourage students to leave their rooms and mingle in the centrally located lounges on each floor. The laundry facilities are located on the first floor, with all glass walls, to encourage student interaction there as well.

Goucher College is also dedicated to sustainability. That’s why instead of building three new dormitories (Froelicher Hall) on a new quad across campus, they decided to move the 1,200-ton buildings over 500 feet to their new location. This was one of the largest and fastest building relocations to ever take place on a college campus. Goucher’s approach to preserve and re-use the existing student housing was recognized by Maryland’s The Daily Record and was again named “Innovator of the Year.”

In addition to these larger construction projects on campus, the equestrian facilities and field will be upgraded (new tennis center, turf field, and fitness/pilates center), the existing interfaith center will be relocated next to the existing chapel on campus to host a multi-faith prayer room, and a 35,000 sf addition will be added to the Hoffberger Science Building to create a lab and learning spaces.

To see more photos from the event, please visit our gallery here. To read more about the ongoing construction, you can follow Goucher’s blog:

Long Live the Port of Baltimore & Waterfront Neighborhoods!

Peter O’Malley, American Sugar Refining; Abby Glassberg, NAI KLNB; Jill Lemke, Maryland Port Authority; Laurie Schwartz, Baltimore Waterfront Partnership; Amy Lacock, JLL

That’s the message that panelists were trying to convey to an audience of 60+ CREWBaltimore members and guests at the September 14th luncheon event held at the Center Club.

The moderator for the event, Abby Glassberg, a broker for NAI KLNB and 27 year Maryland commercial real estate veteran, surveyed the room with the following questions:

Has anyone been to the Seagirt Marine terminal?

Does anyone remember when McCormick Spice was downtown?

Has anyone taken a cruise out of Baltimore?

The theme of the day was the current issues and future trends relating to Baltimore’s waterfront; those who answered “yes” to any of the above questions immediately realized the personal impact.

The Port

Jill Lemke

A heartfelt plea was made by Jill Lemke, Maryland Port Authority (MPA), reminding us that the Port of Baltimore is the “heart of the region’s economy” and must remain protected from surrounding development and supported in future endeavors to grow and maximize potential. The Port is a valuable asset which keeps Baltimore vibrant by bringing waterborne commerce for the benefit of the citizens of the State. Without the port everything we buy would be more expensive, we would have less access to the global economy and the region would lose about 13,000 jobs with over 126,000 related jobs being impacted drastically.

A Shiny New Waterfront

Laurie Schwartz

Laurie Schwartz, Baltimore Waterfront Partnership (BWP), discussed how many areas in downtown Baltimore have outlived their useful life and need updates. She described the efforts and initiatives of the BWP to rehab and revitalize the Inner Harbor and surrounding waterfront neighborhoods by investing in supplemental cleaning, landscaping, events, construction of parks and additional amenities. There is a “Healthy Harbor” initiative working towards restoring clean water by 2020 to protect our City’s most valuable asset.

Relating back to the Port, another area in desperate need of an update are the aging tunnels. In 1895, when the Howard Street tunnel was built, no one realized that an extra two feet of clearance height may one day become a huge impediment. Expansion of the Howard Street tunnel has been deemed imperative to allow double stack containers and taller modern freight cars through that currently don’t meet clearance levels, Lemke explained. This will allow cargo movement to the Midwest market therefore increasing the number of vessel calls and containers unloaded at the Port of Baltimore, many of which we are currently losing to Port of Norfolk. Our deep-water access is huge, which is why the port needs to stay where it is. There are other ports in other cities that are digging deeper to try to compete with us.

Jim Lemke and Peter O’Malley

The Domino Sugar Refinery has been a Baltimore landmark, housed along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor for 95 years, though some question if the plant is still in operation. Peter O’Malley, American Sugar Refining, assured the audience that the manufacturer, who employs approximately 485 people (and over 120 other drivers and tug boat captains who are employed because of them), is very much still running full steam. The Refinery is another part of our aging city that could use a facelift, and they actually have been doing some major recent renovations. It is also an operation that needs the deep-water access of our port to get product in and benefits from the railroad and highway access. The operation desires to stay where they are because of the population center workforce and proximity to East coast. Domino Sugar has invested back into the community by sponsoring local events in the neighborhood and sending welcome packages to those who buy homes on the peninsula. Retaining Domino’s is a major win for the city- there is a sense of pride that something is still made in Baltimore.

Planning & Development in Baltimore

In the 1970s when the master plan for the Inner Harbor was designed, the plan called for all of the land on the shoreline to be open and accessible to the public, not closed off or privatized at all. The City only awarded property to developers who agreed to adhere to the master plan. Over time, the City has lost control of much of the land and development planning efforts. Developers have been focused on projects that create a work-live-play future for many of the downtown waterfront areas. Although it is acknowledged that many areas are in need of revitalization, there is also a desire to preserve the historic character. Panelists warned that we need to be careful with zoning uses and infrastructure in terms of what impacts there may be on and from the port and industrial areas. A waterfront condo sounds like a dream until you are awakened by horns going off nearby to signal a shipment coming in. An addition of a median may allow a lighting system or landscaping to be installed, but in turn could impede trucks from using the road if they are too wide.

Members of the CRE industry have many opportunities to connect with the revitalization projects that are forthcoming. We also have a duty to remind our peers, developers, builders, and legislators to look around at the bigger picture before rezoning, starting new projects, or voting on issues.

We are all in this together.

For more photos of the event, visit our event gallery

Anthem House Construction Tour & Happy Hour

On July 19, 2017, CREWBaltimore, the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), and Professional Women in Building Council (PWB) of the Maryland Building Industry Association (MBIA) teamed up for a happy hour and construction tour of the Anthem House, a new apartment building located in the heart of Locust Point on the corner of East Fort Avenue and Lawrence Street.

Constructed by Bozzuto, the project is comprised of 292 apartments, 20,000 square feet of retail space and 9,000 square feet of office space. The project’s name was inspired by Baltimore’s history as the birthplace of the National Anthem and nearby Ft. McHenry and is intended to celebrate a spirit of energy and inspiration.

According to Tess Guinn with Bozzuto, the project was designed with fitness and creativity in mind and contains more than an acre of green space overlooking the harbor, a wellness-inspired fitness center, infinity pool, and more. Bernard Holnaider with RD Jones said that the development team really tried to create an energy that carries throughout the building.

The courtyards contain unparalleled views of the harbor and downtown Baltimore and numerous shared spaces were designed to inspire residents to come together. Local artists were even commissioned to create murals for display throughout the building. Inspired by community, wellness, and creative energy, Anthem House represents an innovative design unique to Baltimore and its history.

Senior Living Event Recap

On June 15, 2017, CREWBaltimore hosted 70 members and guests at the Center Club in Baltimore, MD for “The New Senior Housing” luncheon and panel discussion. The room was filled with architects, title processors, bankers and various other commercial real estate professionals and business owners. Moderated by Faith Nevins Hawks, Principal, Marks, Thomas Architects, our elite panel consisted of Chuck Harry, Chief of Research & Analytics, National Investment Center for Seniors Housing & Care, Andrea Ownesby, Senior Director of Design, Sunrise Senior Living and Nancy Tegethoff Baker, Vice President of Marketing Intelligence, Erickson Living. Panelists provided a basic understanding of the senior housing industry, changes in trends, evolving structural requirements, and desired locations of the properties, as well as how Maryland in particular is working to keep residents local rather than losing them to more “flashy” parts of the country for retirement.


A quick breakdown of the levels of care for Senior Housing:

  • Independent– full-size apartments, meal programs, activities, some residents still work and volunteer
  • Assisted Living– mostly independent who need help with driving, medication admin, and bathing
  • Memory care– Dementia & Alzheimer’s residents who require space changes and a sensory experience
  • Skilled Nursing– full care with most tasks, schedule, feeding, and medication

Many communities are being designed so that residents can move through the levels of care and stay on the same campus, which is particularly helpful for couples who are in different stages.
The energy was high as the audience was intrigued to hear how technology has affected the industry with vendors like BathFitter and Uber making it easier for seniors to adapt and live in their homes longer. Many communities are Wi-Fi equipped and have an increase in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), though it has been difficult for some older properties to retrofit. Virtual Concierge, VR for memory care patients, electronic door locks and even robot deliveries of household items (ex. toiletries) have been popping up at some senior living communities across the country.

Prospective residents, competitors in the immediate market, land use, and functionality of the land are the main factors which developers look for in planning a build of a new senior housing facility. Many have been looking into locations directly off highway exits, rather than the typical suburban/rural areas we have historically seen, as a convenience factor for the families who visit.

It’s no secret that senior housing is a major expense with costs projected to increase as facilities need to expand, remodel and include more technology and amenities to stay relevant for the next generation of residents. Panelists advised saving early for this imminent expense as long-term care insurance covers less these days. Additionally, the real estate downturn affected affordability as many were unable to sell their homes that they relied upon to pay for the new housing.

Investors are now paying attention to space in preparation for a construction wave in 2020 to be ready for the baby boomers expected to enter the space in about 8 years – the average age of residents has increased to the high 80’s for assisted/skilled nursing.

To learn more about the senior housing industry, visit any of the websites for our panelists’ companies by hovering over the name for a direct link to their sites. As always, our Programs Committee put on another impressive event that all in attendance were able to benefit from.

CREWBaltimore will take a break for the summer with our next major luncheon event two months away on September 5th covering Ports and Industrial properties. For other Chapter events in the meantime, like our Anthem House Construction Tour or annual Golf Tournament, check out our Events page here.

Little Patuxent Square Construction Tour & Happy Hour

“This Building is about friendships and passion.”
~ David Costello, President of Costello Construction

On May 4th, CREWBaltimore and CREW MarylandSuburban teamed up for a tour and happy hour in the shell space of Columbia’s newest office and apartment building, Little Patuxent Square. 

Though not quite complete, the nine-story LEED Gold mixed-use development will include 160,000 sf of Class A office space, 5 stories of underground parking and 160 luxury apartments on top of that branded “Lakehouse.” Every apartment will come with a balcony and views of the woods or lake. Move-ins are expected as early as this summer.

Mr. Costello spoke about his personal journey with the property, easement issues and finally a rendering that he simply did not like. It was at that point that he changed courses, and architects, to create the building he envisioned.

With the help of his team, and business partner, they set off to develop the building they wanted. The building features an all glass office façade, the first of its kind in Columbia. 

A Day of Service at My Sister’s Place

  Volunteer Week 2017—how did our Chapter celebrate?

The CREWBaltimore Outreach committee has identified My Sisters Place Women’s Center as our local philanthropy partner for 2017. My Sisters Place Women’s Center (MSPWC) provides three meals a day and access to services such as case management, education and job training for women in Baltimore City. They are a sponsored by Catholic Charities of Baltimore.

On April 27, 2017, twenty-one (21) members of CREWBaltimore volunteered their time, knowledge and experience to host a workshop for nine (9) ladies in the internship program at My Sisters Place Women’s Center, advising the interns how to market themselves to the workforce. The workshop started with a detailed discussion surrounding resume building, the importance of proper use of cover letters, along with what employers look for in candidates. Next, was an interactive session encompassing the topic of “Professionalism in the Workplace”.

At noon, a group of our volunteers stepped away from the workshops for a bit to help serve lunch to MySisters Place clients and got to see firsthand our travel size toiletry donations being put to use as staff handed out to those in need. The Outreach committee has called to action an ongoing collection of travel-sized toiletries at each of our events throughout the year, so please consider donating.

After lunch our ladies took the room again with a presentation about interviewing skills, proper follow-up time and methods of contact, inclusive of an impressive list of Do’s and Dont’s that we could all benefit from reviewing.

The final workshop of the day allowed our mentor volunteers to work one on one with the interns helping them tweak their resumes, perform mock interviews and create appropriate social media presence to connect with potential employers.

 Many of the ladies are looking for reception or data entry positions in an office setting. If you know of any prospective openings, please contact Outreach Chair, Polly Houck at or Case Worker at MSPWC, Liz Kraus at .

To see our full gallery of photos from our Day of Service, click here.

A huge thank you to all of the members listed below who participated in the success of this event! Feedback received from the organization was filled with gratitude and appreciation for how enthusiastic the mentors were. Lisa Kraus, Case Worker at MSPWC stated, “You really inspired them and showed them that they have the power to accomplish their goals and dreams.”

Women of Influence Luncheon

On April 20th, CREWBaltimore hosted the “Women of Influence” Luncheon at the Center Club.

The event featured panel members Chickie Grayson, President and CEO of Enterprise Homes, Marjorie Rodgers Cheshire, President and COO of A&R Development, and Jennifer Perkins, VP of Asset Management of Bentall Kennedy, moderated by Christine Espenshade, a Managing Director of JLL.

The panel discussed topics ranging from management philosophies to how to stay inspired in the face of adversity and outside obligations. When asked how she was able to gain credibility after taking over the family business, Marjorie Rodgers Cheshire responded that she established credibility by working harder than everyone else, managing up aggressively, and knowing when to back off or shift strategies. Chickie Grayson knew that she had found her place at Enterprise Homes years ago because it aligned with her passion for outreach. That said, Grayson warns, non-profit does not mean “do not make money.” The business has to be sustainable and cannot run on passion alone. As for how to get noticed in a large company, Jennifer Perkins relied on internal networking, getting exposure to key senior management and having a mentor that helped her through the beginnings of her career.

As leaders, the topic of how to manage was an intriguing one. Perkins believes in giving her team the opportunity to give a project a shot, even if they fail. Grayson always hires people smarter than she is that exercise good judgment, including a great assistant that she says makes her look good to clients. She also touted Enterprise’s new open workplace strategy as mixing things up and creating more energy in the team. Rodgers managing technique is to back off of her intensity by 20% during stressful times, and also works with a corporate coach to learn management strategies.

When asked how they manage adversity, Perkins says it is alright to say “this sucks” but then get up and move forward, hopefully with the help of a strong network. Similarly, Rodgers Cheshire relies on her coach and network during difficult times. Grayson had a more philosophical response by contemplating on what she would have been worried about a year ago, recognizing that she usually does not remember and that bad things have a way of working out. She said “change your attitude when you can’t change the situation.”

As business women, good and bad deals can make or break their day. For Grayson, she believes the best deals were the ones they didn’t invest in that would have turned out badly. For Rodgers Cheshire, the worst deals came when her company chose a bad partner. Perkins shared a story of her 11-month battle of buying out a JV partner that continuously overlapped with family vacations and holidays.

The crowd was eager for final words of wisdom from the panel. Perkins encouraged women to ask for what they want and be confident enough to hear “no.” Rodgers Cheshire wants women to be comfortable breaking glass earlier in their careers, stating that most women believe they need to be 100% prepared for a job, even though most of the world will accept 70%. Grayson told the crowd that her mother always told her to act like she belonged even when she didn’t feel like it, but also stay humble. In addition, final words from moderator Christine Espenshade reminded the crowd that these women all worked really hard to get where they were, no one handed success to them.

For more photos from the event, click here.

State of our State Luncheon Recap

More than 100 members of CREWBaltimore and guests listened to panelists speak about the State of Our State — and specifically downtown Baltimore — at CREWBaltimore’s first luncheon of the new year on Jan. 19

Panel Moderator Nancy Ferrell, NorthMarq Capital, Dept of Commerce’s Allison Mayer and Shannon Landwehr of the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore.

Panelists included Allison Mayer, Managing Director of Marketing & Communications for the  
Department of Commerce
, Shannon Landwehr, President of the Economic Alliance of Greater Baltimore, Kirby Fowler, President of the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore, and Jane Shaab, Senior Vice President, RPC, Assistant Vice President for Economic Development at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. The program was moderated by CREWBaltimore member Nancy Ferrell, Managing Director for the Baltimore Regional Office of NorthMarq Capital.

Downtown Partnership of Baltimore’s Kirby Fowler and Jane Shaab of University of Maryland – Baltimore

The panelists all had one very clear message: downtown Baltimore has an optimistic future. Baltimore is fifth in the country for innovation and also fourth in the country for the number of advanced degrees (with more than 30 colleges in the area). To help foster this innovation, Baltimore is proud to host a number of incubators, accelerators, and co-working spaces.

All of the panelists agreed that collaboration with the new mayor, Catherine Pugh, is key to promoting the successes of Baltimore. With many more projects slated for Baltimore, the future is very bright.

For more photos from this luncheon, visit our website.

CREWBaltimore Annual Meeting & Holiday Luncheon

2017 Board: Nikkia Fitch, Hertzbach & Co, P.A.; Carly Peters, L&H Business Consulting; Karyn Tasker, CohnReznick; Howard Sobkov, Cap Ex Management Group; Kristen Schrader, KBE Building; Amy Lacock, JLL; Kim Hogan, Cushman & Wakefield; Kristen Pleasants, Base Point Advisors; and Laurie Marino, JLL

CREWBaltimore hosted its festive Annual Meeting & Holiday Luncheon on December 14 at Hotel Monaco.

Members officially welcomed the new Board of Directors for 2017: President Amy Lacock, JLL; President Elect Karyn Tasker, CohnReznick; Past President Howard Sobkov, Cap Ex Management Group; Treasurer Carly Peters, L&H Business Consulting; Secretary Kristen Pleasants, Base Point Advisors; Board Director, Membership Nikkia Fitch, Hertzbach & Co, P.A.; Board Director, Sponsorship Laurie Marino, JLL; Board Director, Programs Kristen Schrader, KBE Building; Board Director, Outreach Kimberly Hogan, Cushman & Wakefield; Board Director, Director at Large Christine Espenshade, JLL and General Counsel Cynthia Berman, Kramon & Graham, P.A.

Laurie Marino, JLL; Dawn Rogers, Obrecht Commercial Real Estate; Beth Hardstock, Omega Fire & Life Safety and Polly Houck, Absolute Service Industries help put together 200 gift bags for My Sister’s Place.

Attendees also donated toiletries, coloring books, crayons, hand warmers, socks and candy to create 200 gift bags for My Sister’s Place, which provides women in Baltimore City with meals and access to services such as case management, education, and job training.

Check out more photos

Sheelagh Allston, Rosenberg | Martin | Greenberg, LLP; Glenda Sanders, Sanders Design Architects; Connie Wittich, Metropolitan Studio and Laura Penza, Penza Bailey Architects

2016 CREWBaltimore Beacon Awards

On Thursday, November 3, 2016, crew-beacon-headerCREWBaltimore hosted the CREW Beacon Awards Gala at
the Maryland Science Center in downtown Baltimore. Nearly 125 members, guests and top real estate professionals came out to recognize and celebrate the outstanding contributions and achievements of individuals in the Baltimore metropolitan commercial real estate industry.

Signature cocktails were served in chemistry beakers. Business cards were exchanged amongst associates of the most elite CRE companies in town. And a beautifully lit Inner Harbor horizon (on an unseasonably warm night) was enjoyed by all.

mlp_crewbeacon25612016_After our chapter President, Howard Sobkov, CapEx Management Group, welcomed the crowd, attendees were honored with opening remarks from Baltimore City Mayor-elect, Senator Catherine Pugh, who recognized ways in which the commercial real estate industry is helping to move our city forward. A keynote speech given by Bonnie Gottlieb, SVP of Industry & Member Affairs at NAREIT and also a former CREW Network President, had the audience toasting to keep focused and not lose ground as women and as professionals in our market, while also encouraging us to give back to the profession that has given so much to us.

mlp_crewbeacon25952016_Brenda Bodian of BJB Realty Advisors Inc., a 30-year CREWBaltimore member and recent inductee into the CREW Network “Women of Vision” program, moderated the event perfectly with thoughtful consideration given to each finalist.


Let’s give it up one more time for the Winners of the 2016 CREWBaltimore Beacon Awards!!

Chapter Champion Award:  Cushman & Wakefield

Member-to-Member Business Award: Joan Renner, Chief Financial Officer at The Brick Companies

Rookie Member of the Year – The Dive-Right-In Award: John Hutch, III, Principal, JP2 Architects

Circle of Excellence Award: Michele Levy Cohen, Principal at Miles & Stockbridge, P.C.

Community Impact Award: The Reinvestment Fund Development Partners for Preston Place

mlp_crewbeacon25202016_The amazing sponsors for the event, who made everything possible, included Admiral Security Services, Red Coats Inc, Datawatch Systems, Mechanical Systems Inc, Brightview Landscapes, ABM, Continental Realty Corporation, Arris Design Studio Inc, PCM Services, Whiting-Turner Contracting Co., and Choice Plantings Inc.

Lastly, a huge round of applause and great thanks to Theresa Tsamoutalis, President and Principal of Allsafe Elevator Inspections Inc and her committee who planned and executed a night we will not soon forget!

If you missed out on the event or want to see your “dressed to impress” photo from our Step & Repeat….Photos from the Beacon Awards Gala are located here. If you have any memories or photos to share please tag us on social media using #CREWBeacons and @CREWBaltimore.

Quite possibly the most photographed attendee of the night goes to the giant T-Rex fossil inmlp_crewbeacon27212016_ the middle of the room. Thank you to everyone who attended or supported this event. It is truly amazing what CREWBaltimore members and our colleagues have been able to accomplish. This event could spread out over a week and that still would not be enough to honor all of the inspiring individuals, companies and projects in our market. Keep doing big things Baltimore!!!

CREWBaltimore promotes the business interests and professional advancement of women in all disciplines of the commercial real estate industry by providing educational and networking opportunities and contributing resources to support the local community. For more information about CREWBaltimore visit,