CREW Convention 2015

Thursday, Nov 19, 2015

Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the CREW Network 2015 Convention in beautiful Bellevue,Washington with Tara Steell and Gillian Lawrence. Mere minutes from downtown Seattle, the convention location offered the unique opportunity to tour the headquarters of large conglomerates such as Microsoft and Starbucks. As a representative of not only CREW but also the commercial real estate department of Miller Thomson LLP, the convention offered unparalleled learning and networking opportunities.

I was able to meet personally with other lawyers, developers, engineers, architects, and a wide array of those involved in several phases of real estate development and transactions North-America wide. On the whole, those attending the convention were receptive, friendly and willing to discuss their respective positions and real estate markets.

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The convention also provided the unique opportunity that attending events otherwise cannot, I was provided the chance to learn about Tara and Gillian in depth and get to know them on a more personal level. I also met with CREW members from various other Canadian chapters. Toronto and Edmonton both had over fifteen attendees, providing opportunity to network with women in real estate in other Canadian cities. On a larger scale, the convention offered perhaps the most engaging and distinguished speakers I have ever had the opportunity to hear. Opening the convention was Carla Harris, a modern day renaissance woman, who not only is Chairman of Morgan Stanley but also an extremely accomplished gospel singer. She was able to gain the attention of all the conference attendees within seconds of opening her speech and kept all the attendees on the edge of their seats throughout with 'Carla's pearls of advice'. Ending the conference was Madeline Albright, former Secretary of State in the USA. She too was an engaging speaker, with an astounding amount of sass and humour in her delivery. Perhaps most surprising to me was the focus of the speakers on general career advice for women, including how to advance one's career and general tips for success. I was pleasantly surprised and privileged to be able to receive career advice from such accomplished women. I hope to attend the conference in future years and would encourage any Calgary members who are able to attend in future years to do so.