Veteran’s Guide to Registering for the CREW Convention

A VETERAN’S GUIDE TO REGISTERING FOR THE CONVENTION.  This year’s CREW convention is right in our back yard, so we want everyone to take advantage of this great opportunity to experience the best of what CREW Network has to offer.

Sara Todd, President of CREW- Maryland Suburban and a veteran of several CREW Network conventions offers the following insights and advice when registering for the convention:

Hotel. Even though you live here, try to stay at the hotel.  It’s a long drive to National Harbor, and a lot of the events really are designed for people to be on site.  Always reserve a hotel room first.  It doesn’t cost anything (although apparently the Gaylord will charge your credit card immediately for one night, which is unusual and annoying, but there’s nothing we can do about it).  I don’t think hotel rooms will be a problem at National Harbor, but sometimes the hotel block sells out and then you can end up in a different hotel which is not nearly as fun or convenient.  (It helps to take a look at the convention brochure first, to figure out whether you will need to arrive Tuesday night for Wednesday activities, or stay over Friday night for Saturday activities.)

Convention Registration. Once you know you have a hotel room, you can register for the convention.  Registration is a lot easier this year because you don’t have to decide in advance which sessions to attend.  The only things you have to choose are the things that cost money or have limited capacity.  The tricky part of this is that some things conflict with others, so you have to decide among them.  For example, there are great panels and professional development sessions on Thursday and Friday afternoons, but if you want to attend them, you can’t do the Learning Excursions.  And the Insider’s Tour (on Wednesday) conflicts with training and professional development sessions on Wednesday afternoon.  The Wednesday afternoon sessions are mostly for Delegates (although anyone is allowed to attend), so Delegates usually miss the Insider’s Tour.

Insider’s Tour.  The Insider’s Tour tends to focus on real estate development, so if that’s your thing, you definitely should do it.  It also is just fun networking, so it’s worth doing just to get to know attendees better.  You’ll ride around on a bus – especially this time, since the Gaylord is so far from DC – but you’ll also get off the bus sometimes to walk around, have lunch, etc.  I’m not a Delegate this year, so I’m doing the Insider’s Tour.  Even though I live here, I will get to see and do things I don’t usually do – such as lunch at the Swedish Embassy.  (I’m hoping they will serve something besides those meatballs they sell at Ikea.)

Excursions. Thursday and Friday offers Learning Excursions, which again are bus trips into DC (except for the one at National Harbor).  They cost money, so if you don’t want to spend money seeing things in your own city, stay at the Gaylord and do the professional development sessions.  They always are good.

Dine Around. Definitely sign up for a dinearound on Friday night.  They are the best way to get to know people that you otherwise might not talk to.  Even though you live here, I suspect that at least some of the choices are restaurants you’ve never tried.

Saturday Activities. There are some Saturday activities, too.  I signed up for the Library of Congress/Capitol Tour.   Again, the tours are more than just tours – they’re good networking opportunities.

Don’t Miss Events. Some things happen automatically once you register for the convention.  For example, Wednesday night is Marketplace (a vendor expo with food and wine), followed by a CREW Foundation auction and reception that should be fun.  Then there’s a big dinner/gala/awards ceremony on Thursday night that everyone goes to.  The event tends to require cocktail attire – people get pretty dressed up – but they don’t say that in the brochure, so you’ve been warned.  Pack accordingly.

Oh, one other thing.  If you sign up for something (even if you pay for it) and you change your mind, there’s usually a brisk secondary market where people trade/sell tickets, so you aren’t necessarily committing to anything this far in advance.

If you have any specific questions, email Sara at, or either of our Delegates: Ann Marie Mehlert, or Julie Fishbein,  Otherwise, just sign up and have fun!


June Monthly Lunch – June 8th Impact of new Chesapeake Bay Legislation

The newly enacted Chesapeake Bay legislation will impact the commercial real estate industry.  Experts in the field will help us understand the impact of the new laws and how they perceive the real estate industry will respond.

Be ahead of the curve and in the “know”

Registration Coming Soon.

Crew Member honored at NAIOP Awards Dinner

CREW member Tracy Quick, of DVA Architects was honored at the Maryland/DC NAIOP awards dinner at the Willard Hotel on May 5, 2011, as the Chapter Member of the Year.

April 20th Lunch Program – Communications 21st Century Style

CREW Maryland Suburban has gathered a dynamic panel to discuss their communication expectations in 2011.  Learn how those expectations have changed over the past ten years and how they have stayed the same.  Social media play a huge role in communication, but some people still communicate very effectively without them.  Learn new styles of communication and plan for a refresher on the basic components of messaging.  The bulk of the program is devoted to Q&A. CREW Maryland Suburban member Erica Leatham will moderate this interactive event. Our Panelists:

Cary Scott – Shout Brigade

Cindy Cotte Griffiths- Rockville Central

Jeanine Clingenpeel- SmartCEO

Moderator – Erica Leatham, Esq., Ballard Spahr, LLP

Wednesday April 20

11:30-1:00 pm

Mon Ami Gabi

7239 Woodmont Ave, Bethesda, MD 20814

$45 CREW Members/$55 Non Members


2011 CREW National Capital Women’s 9-Hole Golf Outing

CREW National Capital Women’s 9-hole Golf Outing –


May 18, 2011 – Reston National Golf  Club


 CNCC Golf Outing- Register Here


May Program – Wine Tasting – Linganore Vineyards- May 11th

Join us after work for a delicious Wine Tasting and Tour of Linganore Winecellars in Mt. Airy, Maryland.  Head north on I-270 for a lovely evening of wine intermingled with networking .   Join us on Wednesday May 11th from 6-7:30 p.m.  Linganore is a family operated vineyard and winery situated on 230 acres of land.  Don’t miss this opportunity for socializing and learning about the wines of Montgomery County.

Register Online

Erica Leatham Named to Washington Business Journal’s 40 Under 40

Erica Leatham, of counsel, Ballard Spahr LLP

After starting out in a large law firm, Leatham left to found Meyers, Eisler & Leatham, where she established a successful land use practice before joining Ballard Spahr in its Bethesda office.

  • Age: 35
  • Family: Lives in Rockville with spouse Greg, two children and a dog
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree, art history and international affairs, Florida State University; J.D., The George Washington University School of Law

What’s your trick to navigating the “good old boys network that still pervades the real estate community,” as described by your nominator, Roger Winston? I work harder to show clients and consultants that I am as connected, as knowledgeable and as capable as anyone else, but, ultimately, it comes down to your relationships with the individuals.

Why did you decide to leave the national law firm to create your own firm? I wanted to take charge of my career and be responsible for my own successes and failures. It was very difficult to leave that firm and return to a large law firm, but I have the same opportunities here and a much bigger platform on which to showcase my skills.

How do you make sure you have time left for life outside work? It is a constant struggle. I make a point to have dinner with my family at least five times a week and I never work on Saturday mornings.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I wanted to be an astronaut. Riding in the Space Shuttle was the coolest thing I could imagine.
Read more: 40 Under 40: Erica Leatham | Washington Business Journal

Read more from the  Washington Business Journal

2010 CREW Network 20 Under 40 Winners

Erica Leatham was named one of the 2010 CREW Network 20 Under 40 Winners.  The complete list is included below.

Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network today announced the winners of its second annual 20 Under 40 program, highlighting emerging women leaders in the field of commercial real estate. The announcement was made at the 2010 CREW Network Convention and Marketplace in San Francisco.

Launched in association with the 20th anniversary of CREW Network in 2009, the program recognizes the contributions to the field and professional accomplishments of women under the age of 40.

“These women are the future of our field and we are proud to recognize them as such,” said Gail Ayers, CEO of CREW Network. “We believe we have identified young leaders, who will continue to shape the world of commercial real estate and make it increasingly more diverse.”

The 2010 Top 20 Under 40 Women in commercial real estate:

  • Karyl Argamasilla, Attorney, Bilzin Sumberg, Miami, FL, CREW Miami
  • Lindsey K. Ballas, CEcD, Business Development Chief, Jacksonville Economic Development Commission, Jacksonville, FL, CREW Jacksonville
    • Allyson Bowen, Managing Director, Studley, New York, NY, NYCREW Network
  • Meghan Cocci, Partner, SNR Denton LLP, Phoenix, AZ (Non-Member)
  • Tonya Creekmore, Vice President, Anchor Leasing, General Growth Properties, Atlanta, GA, CREW Atlanta
  • Stacie Beasley Jacobs, Vice President & Director of Business Development, The Title Company of North Carolina, Charlotte, NC, CREW Charlotte
  • Leigh Kellett Fletcher, Shareholder, Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A,, Tampa, FL, CREW Tampa Bay
  • Cydney M. Gurgens, Senior Vice President and Office Manager, Wells Fargo Bank N.A., Overland Park, KS, Kansas City CREW
  • Catherine E. House, CCIM, FRICS, Director, Investment Brokerage, Sperry Van Ness MCRE Inc , San Francisco, CA, CREW San Francisco
  • Kristina Daniel Lawson, Attorney/Shareholder, Miller Star Regalia, Walnut Creek, CA, East Bay CREW
  • Erica A. Leatham, LEED AP, of Counsel, Ballard Spahr, Bethesda, MD, CREW Maryland Suburban
  • Kimberly Phipps-Nichol, LEED AP, President and Designer, Blue Water Studio, Reno, NV, CREW Northern Nevada
  • Jennifer E. Raymond, Vice President – Brokerage Services, Indermuehle & Co., Sugar Land, TX, CREW Houston
  • Keri Lynn Redford, Senior Analyst, Integra Realty Resources DFW, LLP, Fort Worth, TX, Fort Worth CREW
  • Erika Lea Rymsha, Project Manager, Pusey Electric, Media, PA, CREW Philadelphia
  • Amy Reilly Sallusti, Attorney/Shareholder, Geary Porter & Donovan, P.C., Dallas, TX, CREW Dallas
  • Julia Anne Taylor, Attorney, SNR Denton LLP, Kansas City, MO, Kansas City, CREW
  • Barbara A. Trachtenberg, Partner, DLA Piper, LLP, Boston, MA, NEWiRE Boston
  • Elysia Tse, Vice President, BlackRock, Inc, Jersey City, NJ (Non-Member)
  • Fon S. Wang, AIA, LEED AP, President, UCI Architects Inc., Philadelphia, PA, CREW Philadelphia

The Great Seneca Science Corridor Bus Tour

Write up of the See the Great Seneca Science Corridor Bus Tour that took place September 24, 2010 (pdfwebsite)

Maryland Trifecta

Real Estate Bisnow highlights a recent CREW Maryland Suburban’s September Program – MARYLAND TRIFECTA (pdfwebsite)