I am truly honoured to be President of Toronto CREW for 2017. Having been on the Board for the last three years, I have had the opportunity to work with and learn from amazing women and am looking forward to continuing that work with our new Board members in 2017.
This past year, we celebrated our 20th Anniversary. Not only were we recognized by CREW Network for this achievement but our 20th Anniversary Committee put on a spectacular event that allowed us to look back through time with the commemorative year book handed out at the event and to celebrate our current membership by having our first ever awards presentation. In 2017, we plan to continue to celebrate Toronto CREW and our members by recognizing their achievements at our second awards presentation. Our goal is to have an awards presentation to acknowledge the success of our members each and every year going forward.
We are also making some changes to our approach to nominating members for leadership positions within Toronto CREW. Keeping in line with CREW Network and the approach taken by many other chapters within the Network, the nominating committee will become an executive committee consisting of the President, President-Elect, Past-President and three members at large, all of whom will have a term of one year. From a governance perspective, we want to make sure we are accountable and transparent when it comes to decision making for our leadership positions. From a member perspective, our hope is that this change continues to empower our members to strive for a leadership position within the organization.
Development of our members’ leadership skills is an important part of our mission. Our Women’s Leadership Development Program recently held the graduation for our second group of women from the program. And, this committee is not done. They have been working hard to take our leadership program to the next level. In 2017, the committee expects to roll out a Board training program for our members.
2016 was an exciting year for our Programs Committee. After going through a strategic planning session and overhauling their approach to programming, the committee put together a combination of programs relevant to all of our members culminating with a speaker event in November last year where Manjit Minhas gave us a glimpse into how she and her family have built a successful micro-brewery. The insight and life lessons she spoke of were entertaining and inspiring, even if you don’t aspire to be a “Dragon” one day.
Our sponsorship committee concluded its 2017 campaign at the end of February. Thank you to all of our 2017 sponsors. With your support, we will continue to engage with the commercial real estate industry in a meaningful way to encourage and celebrate the success of women in this dynamic industry.
As many of you know, CREW Network holds two leadership meetings annually in addition to Convention. On June 22nd and 23rd, the CREW Network Spring Leadership meeting will be held in Toronto. We are excited to be the host city for this event and look forward to networking with the other CREW Network chapters right here in Toronto. There will be a number of opportunities to be involved in the meeting and we encourage all of you to come out and experience a CREW Network event. And, our very own Tara Piurko is President-Elect of the 2017 CREW Network Board. Tara was a director on the CREW Network Board in 2016 and is a past president of Toronto CREW. Tara’s dedication and commitment to advancing the achievements of women in commercial real estate is second to none. Congratulations, Tara. We are proud of you and look forward to building a stronger relationship with the CREW Network Board.
As you can see, we have an exciting and busy year planned for 2017. And, Toronto CREW continues to stay true to its mission of empowering women to excel, influence and lead in their commercial real estate careers by introducing young women to commercial real estate through our real jobs day, providing scholarships to women studying in a commercial real estate field and connecting women with mentors when they enter the workforce. That mission is continued once a women becomes a member of Toronto CREW by providing opportunities to network through our annual golf day and other programming along with access to leadership and professional skills development. To make all of this happen each year is a lot of work. With the efforts of our leadership and committee members, we provide women in commercial real estate opportunities that are unique, focused and unlike that of any other organization. I am proud to be a member of Toronto CREW and I look forward to working with all of you this year as your President.