Category Archives: Professional Development

Sponsor Spotlight: My Cleaning Service

 

Why did you join CREWBaltimore? What makes CREWBaltimore different?

I joined CREW to learn about the Commercial Real Estate Industry, make new contacts and cultivate my professional development.

How long have you been a CREWBaltimore member / member company?

My mother, Lisa Bands, had been a member of CREWBaltimore for many years before I joined My Cleaning Service, and for a while we were both members. I personally have been a member since 2011, and I am looking forward to celebrating 10 years with the chapter next year!

What do you want CREWBaltimore members to know about your company?

My Cleaning Service provides contract janitorial, post-construction cleaning and now COVID-19 disinfection services. We are working hard to be the premier resource to our clients, and the community as a whole by regularly communicating relevant information and rapidly responding to anyone’s disinfection needs.

Which CREWBaltimore event have you most enjoyed in the past year and why?

I have to say that even though this Stay-At-Home situation was unexpected, I feel that the weekly programming of the Conversations Over Coffee and Happy Hours have been a fantastic way to stay connected to the Chapter. Not only do I learn something on every call, but it is a great way to maintain a presence without being physically around others in the CRE Industry.

Best weekend activity in Baltimore?

Everyone knows I love to travel, so it’s rare that I am home on the weekends. When I am in Charm City, it is so amazing to see the vibrancy of the city on the weekends with festivals and a beautiful promenade around the water to walk during the day.  

What are the benefits of women supporting women in the CRE industry?

I think we have come a long way from the days of women stepping on each other to get ahead, but there is still more work to do. As a united front, we earn respect and gain strength within the entire CRE Industry to close the wage gap and land senior positions. I personally have made some friendships through CREW that will last a lifetime. There is some common bond we all have, understanding similar social, career, and family pressures that enables us to empathize with one another.

Best book or article you’ve read that had you fired up to take on the day/week/year at work?

I am an Audible junkie! I love listening to business books while I travel, workout, or even drive. Most recently I really enjoyed the OZ Principle, which discusses accountability. When you start applying the practices suggested in the book, it is amazing how your productivity and work performance skyrocket! My team does a weekly exercise based on this book, which only takes about 10 minutes, and it is producing phenomenal results! I highly recommend it.

Which CREWBaltimore event are you most excited about this year?

Hopefully the Beacon Awards! I am on the committee, and we have worked very hard to plan an incredible event this year. I am obsessed with the 1920’s theme, and it is always a fun night! 

Tell us about a project, program or initiative that your company will be working on in 2020.

In any company the key to success is effective communication. This year we are focusing on training and continuing education for our team, as well as, streamlining technological advances for communicating. Whether it is through video or face-to face, it is important to continue meeting with each other through weekly meetings, attending courses, events, and expanding upon our client-communication software. What makes us unique is our family-style company that offers 50 years of personal relationships and expertise, now coupled with the leveraging of modern technology. With so many decades of experience, and different generations working together, learning and communication is of the utmost importance.

Sponsor Spotlight: Absolute Services Industries

 

Why did you join CREWBaltimore? What makes CREWBaltimore different ?

 I was looking to establish an expansion network to my contacts.

I attended a couple of luncheons and was pleasantly greeted by board members each time.  It was also good that I only knew about 25% of the room attendees each luncheon.  The diversity of the group, the friendliness of the board and the opportunity to network with professionals I hadn’t met is why I joined.

 

How long have you been a CREWBaltimore member / member company?

I have been a member and sponsor for about 8 years now.

 

In 2-3 sentences, what do you want CREWBaltimore members to know about your company?

Absolute (MDOT (MBE/WBE) #13-222 & Baltimore City (MBE/WBE) #17-374062), provides commercial janitorial service throughout the tri-state area. We are happy to “earn your trust” with project services such as stone honing, floor restoration, carpet maintenance as well as construction/vacancy cleans. 

 

Which CREWBaltimore event have you most enjoyed in the past year and why?

National Federation for the Blind construction tour. It was nice to see a great company grow its message.

 

Best weekend activity in Baltimore?

Live music at Mecu.

 

What the benefits of women supporting women in the CRE industry?

There are more female property managers in our market. Female service providers can be quite the resourceful teammate.  We get each other.

 

Best book or article you’ve read that had you fired up to take on the day/week/year at work?

Becoming, Michelle Obama.

 

Which CREWBaltimore event are you most excited about this year?

The holiday party, it is always nice to take a moment to show thanks and appreciation.

 

Tell us about a project, program or initiative that your company will be working on in 2020.

During COVID-19, we have hired teachers, food industry servers as well as other furloughed employees to support our disinfection projects.

 

 

Sponsor Spotlight: Allsafe Elevator Inspections

 

How long have you been a CREWBaltimore member or member company?

Theresa Tsamoutalis and Allsafe Elevator Inspections joined in 2011.

In 2-3 sentences, what do you want CREWBaltimore members to know about your company?

I am very proud of Allsafe. In 2009 when I was 27, I started the company in the very small basement of a home in Canton that I rented with 3 other roommates. Now in 2020 along with a much larger management team, we have 5 offices and we perform inspections and consulting work across the country.  

What the benefits of women supporting women in the CRE industry?

The benefits are momentous. If we help each other along the way, the journey is easier for us together and then easier for those also along the path. Breaking through the “glass” ceiling alone does not have the long-term impact if you are not leading others behind you. Ultimately, it also makes work more fun and rewarding.

Best book or article you’ve read that had you fired up to take on the day/week/year at work?

A Daily Devotional by Father Barnabas Powell:

(https://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/faithencourageddaily)- and you do not need to be a Greek Orthodox Christian to enjoy it!

Every morning, I read this reflection and it helps set the tone for my day or helps me reset nervous energy or anxiousness.

Which CREWBaltimore event are you most excited about this year?

CREWMates!!!! I think this program will be a game changer. It is so many things, yet so simple. It’s a mastermind alliance, a small group network, a think tank, and professional & personal support group within CREWBaltimore. What will come of these small groups is professional development no matter where you are in your career. Per the White Paper, those later in their career need this support the most. We will do this while having fun too because ultimately life is too short not to have fun and have a few laughs.

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 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!

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Leadership Summit 2018

CREW Network posted a recent article featuring the latest CREW Leadership Summit in Tucson, Arizona. Leadership Summits are not just for delegates—outside of chapter leader development, the panelists spoke about leadership and development training that can be useful for each member. In addition to informative seminars, CREW Network also informs members of organization updates. At this summit, attendees were notified that Network will soon be releasing an updated Strategic Plan and that the Gold Standard Playbook is being re-worked. Please enjoy the article below, with one of the photos featuring our President-Elect, Nikkia Fitch of RS&F

CREWBaltimore President-Elect Nikkia Fitch

Read CREW Network’s post here

2018 President’s Letter

FROM THE PRESIDENT’S DESK                                                                     January 2, 2018
Karyn Tasker
Audit Manager
CohnReznick, LLP

2018 CREWBaltimore – The Year Ahead

Welcome to 2018! I am excited to be your CREW Baltimore President for 2018.

CREWBaltimore is making some changes this year that we hope will provide a better experience for our members.
     • We realize schedules are hectic and last year many of our luncheons conflicted with other events. This year we are moving many of our luncheons and programs to Tuesday or Wednesday in an attempt to reduce conflicts. You can find our full calendar of events in 2018 here.
     • We’ve also changed up the order of some of our program topics. We know you are accustomed to seeing our State of the State luncheon in January. We have moved this topic to the April luncheon in order to invite speakers who are unavailable in January.
While change is good, there are some old habits we want to keep going in 2018.
     • CREWBaltimore has met the CREW Foundation Chapter Challenge for the last two years! This means the Chapter donated at least $1,000 to Foundation, 100% of our board members donated and at least 50% of our members donated. A giant Thank You to all of our members who donated and made this a reality. I ask you to consider helping CREWBaltimore make it a three-peat in 2018. CREW Foundation provides scholarships to real estate students each year. There are several ways to donate. You can add a donation to the Greatest Needs Fund when you register for one of our chapter events, you can use the envelopes provided at each event, or you can go to CREW Network’s Foundation webpage to donate. No amount is too small. It all adds up to make a big difference. Thank you.
     • CREW Baltimore retained 83% of our members last year. The Membership Committee hopes to increase our retention percentage for 2018 and meet CREW Network’s Gold Standard of 85%. We value the knowledge of the various fields of commercial real estate each of our members brings to the Chapter and want to provide great networking opportunities for all.

One way to get the most out of your CREW Baltimore membership is to become involved in a committee. Each month you will have the opportunity to meet with other committee members to build relationships and volunteer for tasks that will help you grow your leadership skills. If you are interested in joining a committee or want to find out more about what is involved, please feel free to contact me at Karyn.Tasker@CohnReznick.com or President-Elect Nikkia Fitch at NFitch@rsandf.com. You may also reach out to our 2018 committee chairs or co-chairs, you can find a list of them here.

Lastly, I want to encourage everyone to attend our Beacon Awards on May 3, 2018 where we will recognize and celebrate the amazing contributions and achievements our members and companies in the local market have made during the last two years.

Please feel free to reach out to me directly with any questions, comments, concerns.

Best Wishes,

Karyn Tasker
Audit Manager
CohnReznick, LLP
410-783-6590
karyn.tasker@cohnreznick.com

“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.” —John Maxwell

As anyone who has worked for someone knows, there are many different leadership styles. These styles vary from highly autocratic to extremely participative, and they can each be effective in different scenarios. Understanding your leadership style can help you become a more effective leader as well as enable the people you are leading. Taken from Forbes.com, there are four main leadership styles: Pragmatist, Idealist, Steward, and Diplomat.

Pragmatists are driven, competitive, and value hitting their goals above all else. There are many learning opportunities for those who work under Pragmatists. It is the least common of all the leadership styles (8-12%), but top executives have a higher percentage of Pragmatists than other levels. Idealists want to learn and grow, and are open-minded. There is less structure to this style and it is highly creative. About 15-20% of American leaders have this style. Stewards value rules, process, and cooperation. There may not be as many opportunities to shine individually, but Stewards value team successes. Like Idealists, about 15-20% of leaders have this style. Diplomats value their employees, seeking to put them in positions that showcase their strengths rather than their weaknesses. They are known for being able to resolve conflicts peacefully. This leadership style accounts for 50-60% of American leaders and is the most common.

Members of CREW can employ each of the above styles, both within the organization and their own companies. In CREW specifically, we can be Diplomats by mentoring young women who are starting their careers in the CRE industry, both as part of CREW Network’s foundation and to our younger CREW members. We can be Stewards by working within our committees to fulfill their functions. We can be Pragmatists by working towards and completing the goals outlined by our Chapter President, including Chapter Challenge, and using the well-researched White Papers and Playbooks released by Network for our Chapter’s benefit. And we can be Idealists by thinking outside of the box to plan events for the coming year and generate forward thinking content for our blog.

Being a leader is not just about having a title. Your actions can speak volumes, and those in specific leadership roles look to those in the membership who exhibit these traits to help the Chapter grow and outperform year after year. And as they said at the CREW Leadership Summit, “leadership is a team sport, so let’s get in the game!”