AZCREW may be celebrating its 30th anniversary as a CREW Network chapter, but its sister chapter to the south has only been around since 2003. Barbi Reuter, a charter member of CREW Tucson, has held numerous roles in CREW Tucson, including two stints as director of the board and is currently serving a two-year term on the national CREW Network Board of Directors. Through this affiliation, CREW Tucson is helping put Arizona real estate on the national stage of an organization with 9,500 members in the U.S.
Why did you join CREW Network and what keeps you a member?
Besides being a joiner and serial networker, I joined CREW Tucson to be part of a senior network of commercial real estate professionals intent on driving business in a supportive environment. The idea of being part of a start-up chapter was energizing.
How do the local chapters’ relationship with the national network affect Arizona and local industry members?
Local chapter members, whether from Tucson, Phoenix or any of our other 70 chapters, tap a powerful network available at a moment’s notice. CREW Network members represent every discipline needed to complete a transaction or a ground-up development. I’ve received inbound referrals from members of Pittsburgh and Denver CREW chapters and have referred business out to members of CREW New Mexico, CREW Los Angeles and many others. Because CREW has experience requirements, the membership base is very senior – skilled, professional and diligent. Nearly half have more than 15 years of experience, while more than a third of our members have 20+ years in the business. Nothing beats face time and networking “in real life” in this electronic world, so attending CREW Network’s annual convention in the fall is always a power-packed, energizing event, as are the two leadership summits held each year.
What are some of the topics or advocacy efforts CREW Network works on that Arizona could benefit from?
CREW Network is known as the industry’s thought leader when it comes to women in CRE. We lead from facts and conduct benchmarking studies every five years, including 2015. Results highlight compensation, career satisfaction, work-life balance, career advancement, and other issues, differentiated by gender, within the CRE industry. We are also publishing a white paper on working with executive recruiters, developing a leadership certificate program, and, through our foundation, funding scholarships for women in the industry. From an advocacy standpoint, CREW Network has a seat at the real estate roundtable – an exclusive group of industry and association leaders guiding policy with a cohesive industry voice.
Are there any issues that you think should see more of a dialogue in the next 12 months?
Improved financial results for firms with diverse leadership from the board room to other senior ranks receives well-deserved attention now. Expanding this message and the systems to ensure paths of opportunity are a high priority, in my mind. This ties well with the timing of the white paper.
Has CREW Network had a direct influence on your professional growth?
CREW Network has done so very much for me. Not long after participating in CREW’s C-Suite Mentoring Program, I was promoted to COO of my firm. Leadership opportunities at the local and national level hone my skills, expand my learning and connections and open doors. In turn, I am thrilled when I can open doors for others.