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Sponsor Spotlight: Kramon & Graham

KG RGB Logo_Print10-25-18

1. Why did you join CREWBaltimore? What makes CREWBaltimore different?
CAB:  I joined to meet and work with women in commercial real estate. It is different from other real estate associations because of the focus on multidisciplinary membership and its support of women in the industry.

ERG:  CREWBaltimore gives me the opportunity to work with other industry professionals with different viewpoints. I enjoy the exchange of new ideas and different outlooks.

CJT:  I joined CREWBaltimore to network with other women in the industry. CREW empowers women to connect and utilize resources, including other members, to accomplish goals and to be better in our respective  professions.

JJB:  I joined CREWBaltimore at the recommendation of my colleagues in order to meet and network with other women in commercial real estate. While establishing relationships with other attorneys is important, I find it to be extremely beneficial to foster relationships with other professionals in the commercial real estate industry.

2. How long have you been a CREWBaltimore member / member company?
CAB:  I joined CREWBaltimore in 1986. Kramon & Graham has been a sponsor since 2000 when I joined the firm.

ERG:  I officially joined CREWBaltimore in 2017, but have been going to various events as a guest since 2008.

CJT:  I joined CREWBaltimore in 2017. I transferred my membership from CREW St. Louis, where I had previously been a member for several years.

JJB:  I joined CREWBaltimore this year. While it has been a difficult and unprecedented year, I appreciate CREWBaltimore’s outreach to its members to keep us all engaged.

3. In 2-3 sentences, what do you want CREWBaltimore members to know about your company?
Kramon & Graham is committed to learning about its clients, understanding their needs, and tailoring our representation of them accordingly. We have a wealth of experience in both transactions and litigation. We have worked on behalf of small businesses, institutions, and individuals representing all of the disciplines of the real estate industry that comprise CREW’s membership. 

4. Which CREWBaltimore event have you most enjoyed in the past year and why?
CAB:  I always enjoy project tours. They are a great way to see creative developments and to network with CREW members.

ERG:  I appreciate CREW making so many virtual events available this past year. I found the virtual conversation and other information on rent abatement and other issues related to COVID-19 to be insightful and timely.

CJT:  I appreciate the holiday luncheon. It is great to see the large group, to reconnect with old acquaintances, and to make new connections. 

JJB:  I am looking forward to taking part in upcoming virtual events and webinars.

5. Best weekend activity in Baltimore?
CAB:  Dog walking on the local hike and bike trails and Raven’s football.

ERG:  I have two young boys. We love Fleet Week and any other opportunities to see boats and planes!

CJT:  A farmer’s market trip and dinner at (or carried out from) a local restaurant.

JJB:  Trip to the zoo!

6. What are the benefits of women supporting women in the CRE industry?
CAB:  Women are practical thinkers, responsive, smart, reliable; in short women bring every talent and skill necessary to have a successful, on time, under budget project. Women should be 50% (at least) of every project team.

ERG:  While any and all support is important, there is a special understanding that women share in the industry. CREW makes it easy for us to connect with and advocate for each other.

CJT:  More support is always better! I appreciate feeling like I can reach out to my CREW colleagues and be confident that they are ready to help, knowing that I would reciprocate.

JJB:  I think it is important for women to lift each other up professionally and personally. It should not be surprising that women face different challenges professionally and also approach professional matters in different ways than our male counterparts. I appreciate the opportunity to network with other women in this highly competitive industry.

7. Best book or article you’ve read that had you fired up to take on the day/week/year at work?
CAB:  I recently read The Journey of Not Knowing; How 21st Century Leaders Can Chart a Course Where There is None by Julie Benezet, a long time CREW member and friend. She describes her adventures as Amazon’s first head of global real estate and provides leadership training for challenging times in an accessible, useful, and motivating way. I highly recommend it.

ERG:  With two young boys at home and a full practice, it’s hard to find a good chunk of time to read. Generally I unwind with a good Netflix movie or series. I have a long list of books that I am looking forward to reading when I get the time though!

CJT:  Becoming, by Michelle Obama. Her passion and drive are inspirational.

JJB:  I recently started Thrive, by Arianna Huffington, and am enjoying her perspective on how to find balance in your life in order to have continued personal and professional success.

8. Which CREWBaltimore event are you most excited about this year?
CAB:   I joined the Foundation Zoom cooking event from the CREW Network Convention. It was really fun and resulted in an excellent dinner. I’m looking forward to being able to have in person events again in 2021.

ERG:  I’m looking forward to Return of the Economist: COVID-19 and Post-Election Economic Update with Anirban Basu in November.

CJT:  I am looking forward to the November Post-Election Economic Update.

JJB:  I’m looking forward to smaller, virtual meetings during which I may be able to introduce myself to this group.

9. Tell us about a project, program or initiative that your company will be working on in 2021.
CAB:  We made a smooth transition to remote working in March or, as our IT folks describe it, “converting to 60 remote offices.” Going forward we will be thinking strategically about how to manage more remote work while retaining and building our firm culture in a post-Covid world.

ERG:  Kramon & Graham has dramatically increased its range of acquisitions and dispositions, leasing, and financing into a national market. We are working on a number of deals for our clients outside of the Maryland market. It’s an exciting time for them and for us. It has also been enlightening to spread out to more remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I think this will present a lot of opportunities especially for woman to stay involved with their companies, networking events, and projects while balancing family obligations now and in the future.

CJT:   Kramon & Graham values diversity and inclusion. The firm implemented new policies in 2020 to that effect, and it is affirmatively looking for ways to strengthen our commitment to excellence in this area. 

JJB:  2020 has presented a lot of challenges, but our firm has worked tirelessly to keep our practice moving forward in a time of so much uncertainty. We have been able to remain client-focused and we continue to produce outstanding results for our clients.

Cynthia Berman (CAB), Principal
Erin Guiffre (ERG), Principal
Callie Tucker (CJT), Associate Attorney
Jillian Bokey (JJB), Associate Attorney
Kramon and Graham

Sponsor Spotlight: Jones Lang LaSalle

1. Why did you join CREWBaltimore? What makes CREWBaltimore different?

JLL joined CREWBaltimore because our missions were aligned – promoting equality and inclusion in the workplace.

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

10+ years

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

JLL is a world-class leader in commercial real estate services. We are large enough to be able to employ global business strategies while also being able to cater to a client’s localized need.

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

Women of Influence is always a favored event. In 2020, the focus was on women-owned businesses and it was truly inspiring to hear how the business owners overcame obstacles and flourished.

5. Best weekend activity in Baltimore?

Getting together with friends and enjoying some of the amazing food options Baltimore has to offer. Each Baltimore neighborhood is home to great restaurants and food halls – you won’t be disappointed!

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

In a male-dominated industry such as commercial real estate, it is vital that women surround themselves with other women to feel supported, heard, and to ultimately band together to invoke change.

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

The Ideal Team Leader – this is a book that JLL often prescribes to people managers as part of their Leading Others leadership training series. It’s a pivotal book in a manager’s career.

8. Which CREWBaltimore event are you most excited about this year?

The CREWBaltimore Holiday Party! (Spoiler Alert: it’s going to be the best time you’ve had on Zoom all year!)

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

Every year our firm has a huge training opportunity, due to the pandemic this was postponed, however in November 2020 we will be holding our own version of this training series for our Mid-Atlantic Employees in a two-day virtual forum. This will allow every employee to attend to receive best in class training and support on various topics in the CRE industry. Also, JLL recently announced its commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2030. A huge global commitment as part of our Building a Better Tomorrow Campaign!

Stephanie Andrews
Senior General Manager, Property Manger

Sponsor Spotlight: Omega Fire & Life Safety





Why did you join CREWBaltimore? What makes CREWBaltimore different?

Upon starting our company, we researched local networking groups that would give us access to our desired customer base and allow for professional skill development. From the first event when I was welcomed by Karen Pelton and Brenda Bodian, I knew CREWBaltimore equaled professional networking with a personal touch.

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

7.5 years

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

Omega Fire & Life Safety designs, inspects, monitors, and services scalable fire alarm, IP camera, card access, area of refuge (AOR), and security systems. Our company provides solutions during the design and install stages that encompass the long-term goal of simplifying the daily lives of building owners, property managers, facilities teams, and their tenants.

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

The luncheon panels are always a favorite of mine. The sincerity and knowledge of the panelists and the moderators comes through every time and I always leave with new insight that helps  in both my professional and personal development.

Best weekend activity in Baltimore?

I use my weekends to get outdoors – I head to area ski slopes in the winter with my snowboard and hiking spots the rest of the year. And, of course, eating steamed crabs when possible!

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

To me, the benefit is that we are learning to focus on and support the development of the attributes which individuals actually have direct control over. Being aware of inequities makes me look at how a person approaches his or her education, career choices, and professional networking.  Attributes such as drive, planning, sincerity, and ethics speak volumes about a person.

I often say you can be purple with green polka dots and a tail; it does not matter as long as you approach each interaction purposefully and ethically – that is an opportunity every single person has at his or her fingertips each day.

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

The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss.

Which CREWBaltimore event are you most excited about this year?

The Beacon Awards on November 13th at the Lord Baltimore Hotel.

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

Omega Fire & Life Safety is overhauling both its internal systems and the website to give customers multiple methods to connect with us to request a service call or inspection, share fire alarm and security system monitoring updates, access inspection reports and service tickets, pay invoices, and see the progress of fire alarm, security, IP camera, and card access system installs and renovation projects. We have a variety of customers with a mix of preferences from old-school phone calls to mobile alerts; our continued goal is to simplify interactions and get to the solutions more quickly. This is a benefit for anyone involved in the interaction.

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,
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 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.”

Member Spotlight: Kristen Schrader

Kristen Schrader
Business Development Manager, KBE Building Corporation

KBE Building Corporation is a Top ENR 400 Contractor headquartered in Farmington CT with regional offices in Norwalk, CT, Columbia, Maryland and we recently opened KBENY.  KBE provides preconstruction, construction management, design-build and general contracting services with a current annual volume of $300 million.  KBE has delivered more than $4billon in construction volume over the last two decades alone. 

 As Business Development Manager for the mid-atlantic region of KBE Building corporation Kristen is responsible for developing new client relationships and maintaining existing client relationships.  Through those relationships she is responsible for Construction Management, Design/Build and General Contracting leads in retail, industrial, federal, higher education, student housing, senior living and corporate office. 

How long have you been a CREW Member?
CREW Member since 2010 – 7 years

What was the experience or motivating factor that compelled you to join CREW Baltimore? 
I was new to business development and was looking for a solid network of people and friends in the industry, I looked to CREW for that network.  So many of the women I met at CREW also attended other industry events and I felt I would always have a friend and a warm introduction to any event I attended. 

List any CREWBaltimore positions held or committees you have been a part of.
Membership Committee 2011/2012
Social Media Committee Co-Chair 2013
Programs Committee Co-Chair 2014/2015
Programs Committee Chair 2015/2016
Board of Director – Programs Director 2017

How does CREW Baltimore support your career?
CREW has been an excellent network for professional development.  I have met so many wonderful people in CREW that have gone out of their way to help me track down a project lead, get an introduction or just get general industry and life advice from. 

Has CREW Baltimore contributed to your leadership skills and experience?CREWBaltimore has directly contributed to my leadership skills and experience.  Being the programs co-chair and chair for many years I have worked with a committee of professionals from every aspect of commercial real estate.  Every professional on the committee is looking to make a connection and learn something from our panel speakers.  Managing expectation, panel speakers, committee members and personalities as well as respecting everybody’s time has absolutely helped my headship skills and experiences. 

What do you do in your spare time? 
I snowboard as much as I possibly can both on the East Coast and trips out West. I vacation with my family in the OBX during the summer months, read books and enjoy cooking. 

What is your guilty pleasure?
I make homemade pasta and enjoy every noodle

What are you passionate about?
Life!  I enjoy traveling, experiencing new things, meeting new people and learning what makes us tick. 

What is your dream vacation spot?
Spend a week in Aspen, followed by a week on a tropical island. 

CREW Network Social Media Playbook

CrewBaltimore is excited to announce the CREW Network Social Media Playbook! This brand new guide was created to help chapters implement best practices in their social media strategies, and help members understand the basics of modern communication. As a leader within the  CREW Network Community, CREWBaltimore is proud to have contributed our Public Relations Committee’s efforts on the chapter’s use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and of course, our incredible content-rich blog! We encourage you follow us on social media and use this guide to enhance your own knowledge of social media and take pride that you are a member of one of the most advanced chapters in communications throughout       CREW Network!

Find the Social Media Playbook Here!

(Please note, you must be a member and signed into CREW Network to view)

CREWBaltimore Announces 2016 Beacon Award Winners!

crew-beacon-headerCongratulations 2016 Beacon Award Winners!!

CREWBaltimore’s Beacon Awards recognize and celebrate the outstanding contributions and achievements of individuals in the Baltimore metropolitan commercial real estate industry.

And the winners are…

The Chapter Champion Award honors a company that has, over the last 24 months, made a significant and sustained commitment to CREW Baltimore through the devotion of monetary resources, employee time commitment, and other support.

WINNER: Cushman & Wakefield

The Member-to-Member Business Award honors 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.

WINNER: Joan Renner, Chief Financial Officer at The Brick Companies

The Rookie Member of the Year – The Dive-Right-In Award honors a CREW Baltimore member who, in the first two years of membership, has most embraced the CREW Baltimore mission and core values through chapter involvement, member to member business, mentoring, and/or career and professional development.

WINNER: John Hutch, III, Principal, JP2 Architects

The Circle of Excellence Award will honor a person in the Baltimore commercial real estate community who consistently embody CREW Baltimore’s mission and core values related to Leadership, Excellence, Influence, Advancement, and Community.

WINNER: Michele Levy Cohen, Principal at Miles & Stockbridge, P.C.

The Community Impact Award will honor one or more commercial real estate professionals who played a pivotal role in a real estate project that was completed or that achieved a significant measurable milestone in the last 24 months, and that had a significant and measurable positive impact on the community.

WINNER: The Reinvestment Fund Development Partners for Preston Place

Thank you to our 2016 Beacon Award Sponsors



How Low Will the Cap Rate Go?

DTZ, an international brokerage with offices in Baltimore among other places has just listed 100 Light Street for sale on January 28, 2015.  That building is commonly known now as the Transamerica building.  For a long time,it was known as the Legg Mason building. How low will the cap rate go?

The building is 549,000 square feet and 35 stories.  Having signed up Transamerica, Ober Kaler and Miles and Stockbridge to backfill the departure of Legg Mason, it is expected that significant international interest that will drive the price up and the cap rates lower.

100lightstreet trans1

The teaser from DTZ states the following about the property:

Offering Materials are now available for the Transamerica Tower, a 35-story, 549,273-square-foot, 92% leased, Class-A trophy office tower in Baltimore’s central business district (CBD). The building is themost preeminent and recognizable building in the Baltimore City skyline; it boasts a premier “Main & Main” location at Pratt and Light Streets; it is just steps from the gateway to the Inner Harbor, the number one tourist attraction in the state of Maryland and the most amenity-rich area in the city; and the property is the tallest building in the state of Maryland at 35 stories. Originally constructed in 1973, current ownership has invested more than $46 million in capital improvements over the last five years, yielding a property with its own separate 550-space parking garage as well as ground level retail, a pre-eminent location and tremendous on-site amenities that include a new plaza with water views, a two-story glass lobby, a private restaurant, meeting space, an employee dining room, and fitness center.

The Transamerica Tower boasts a rent roll of tremendous credit and term that includes Transamerica Life Insurance Company (a subsidiary of Aegon (NYSE: AEG) – public market value of $18 billion), as well as national law firms Miles & Stockbridge and Ober | Kaler. The property serves as the headquarters for each of these three tenants, with the three combining to represent nearly 70% of the rentable square feet in the building. The Tower has the best vehicular access of any building in the city to points north, south, east and west, and allows for parking both under the building as well as across Lombard Street in the 30 Light Street parking garage that will convey with the building.

This offering represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to acquire the most recognized, trophy office building in Baltimore, with durable credit and lease term at a price per square foot basis below replacement cost on the coveted Pratt Street corridor.

Rare Opportunity to Acquire Dominant Regional Property

  • Once-in-a-lifetime opportunity – the property has never been sold on the open market
  • Most iconic building in Baltimore and the tallest structure in the state of Maryland

Strong In-Place Tenancy with Tremendous Term & Credit

  • Weighted average lease term of nearly 8.5 years
  • Portfolio of 30 & 100 Light Street is more than 91% leased
  • Three largest tenants account for 70% of the building with average term of nearly 11 years

Prime Location within Steps of Baltimore Inner Harbor

  • Located at the core of Baltimore’s Pratt Street Corridor (Intersection of Pratt & Light Streets)
  • “Main & Main” location and immediate proximity to the Inner Harbor
  • Wealth of amenities both on-site and within steps of the property

Tremendous Capital Investment Has Created Dominant, Amenity-Rich Property

  • $46 million in capital investment over the last five years
  • New plaza with water views, a two-story enlarged glass lobby and atria
  • Private restaurant and meeting space, employee dining room, fitness center and barber shop

Prominent Space on Baltimore Skyline Provides 360-Degree Views of the City

  • 35-story building is the tallest building in the state of Maryland
  • Panoramic views of the city and the host of amenities surrounding the building, including Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Ravens Stadium, and most notably the Inner Harbor

Convenient Access to Major Commuter Arteries

  • Transit-oriented location with tremendous access to public transportation (Amtrak, MARC, Light Rail, Metro, bus & water taxi)
  • Located just minutes from the region’s principal thoroughfares, I-95, I-295, I-83 and I-695

Explosive Growth in Downtown Residential Investment

  • Surging residential development (8,400 new residential units completed in Baltimore since 2010, 3,200 currently under construction)
  • Boom in millennial residents is driving enormous expansion of amenity base
  • 100 Light is surrounded on all sides by current and near term multi-family development projects

Parking Garage in Adjacent 30 Light Street Provides Diversity of Income

  • Adjacent 30 Light Street includes both 11,678 SF of ground-floor retail space and a 550-space parking garage
  • Contributes significant income & adds to 100 Light Street’s dominant position

To keep up on details please visit and follow @crewbaltimore on twitter.  Watch for more details as articles are bound to appear in the coming months on what may be one of the top local deals in the Baltimore Commercial Real Estate investment world and see how low cap rates will go.

Howard Sobkov