Board Member Spotlight: Suzanne Clarke
Friday, Dec 11, 2020
Suzanne Clarke, is the current Secretary of the CREW Calgary chapter and Regional Manager, Payment in Lieu of Taxes, Western Region at Public Services and Procurement Canada. Suzanne began her commercial real estate career fifteen years ago when she joined a fee appraisal firm serving the Greater Vancouver area. In 2010 she was awarded her accredited appraiser designation (AACI, P.App). During her time in the private sector, Suzanne provided a wide range of valuation consulting services, including appraisal of single and multiple occupant retail, office and industrial properties, multi-family residential properties, public institutional properties and land under a variety of use contexts. Clients included all levels of government, pension funds and institutional investors, developers, financial institutions, legal professionals and private investors. In 2017, Suzanne joined the public sector working for the federal government as a Senior Appraisal Advisor valuing all manner of federal real estate assets. In her current role, Suzanne oversees the management and administration of the federal Payment in Lieu of Taxes program for the three Prairie Provinces as well as Northwest Territories and Nunavut.
In addition to her day job and work with CREW Calgary, Suzanne also volunteers with the Appraisal Institute of Canada, Calgary Chapter.
1. What do you enjoy most about working in the Commercial Real Estate Industry?
I love learning. For me the fact that there are so many different avenues available is what is really exciting about the Commercial Real Estate industry. If you can develop a strong foundation of real estate knowledge, you can move from one area to another, building on what you have learned, or you can become expert in one particular niche. There are options!
2. How has CREW brought value to your career?
Because CREW membership is so diverse, my network includes people from all different industry segments. As an appraiser, you need to have knowledge of a number of different fields, so having access to individuals in each area that you can call on with questions is like having your own personal team of experts at your disposal. And as a fellow CREW member, they will call you back!
3. What are three reasons you would encourage a colleague to join CREW?
I think one of the main reasons to join is to gain access to a network of professionals to expand your business. But it is so much more than just a business network. CREW has provided me with a community of like-minded individuals who really want to see me succeed and grow and I feel the same about them. It is rare that a professional organization feels more supportive than competitive. It is a great way to support the advancement of women and give back to the industry. Plus, we have great events!
4. How are you positively adapting to the work-from-home and work/life challenges presented by COVID-19 measures?
I have told many people that I feel like I have been preparing for this pandemic my whole career. I have been lucky to have the ability to work remotely and was already fully set up so it wasn’t a big shift in that regard. There are, of course, the challenges with creating boundaries between work and home, but I am lucky that I have an equal partner in my husband and very supportive colleagues. As time goes on, I am trying to be very intentional about keeping up connections. This is a challenge for an introvert like me!
5. Share an interesting or little-known fact about yourself?
I have had the privilege of travelling to five of the seven continents. The last two are on my bucket list and I hope to check them off soon!