Diversity, Data and Good Programming at 2020 AGM

March 8, 2020
Greeting over 60 members in attendance, President Alison Tortorice reflected on Toronto CREW’s strategic focus for 2019 on March 5 at Toronto CREW’s Annual General Meeting, hosted by Diamond Sponsor Bennett Jones LLP
 
Alison opened the evening by highlighting the chapter’s strategic initiatives over the past year – diversifying membership and leadership, elevating Toronto CREW’s brand, partnering with other commercial real estate industry organizations, highlighting CREW Network research, gathering data and analytics, and delivering outstanding programs and events.
 
As part of the chapter’s branding efforts, Allison introduced the new logo.  This new logo provides a strong alliance with CREW Network’s global brand and unites the efforts of all chapters in advancing women in commercial real estate.
 
With Alison moving to the Past President role, she thanked outgoing Directors, Anna Kennedy, Past President and Alysha Valenti, Secretary, for their hard work and dedication to Toronto CREW throughout their terms; and welcomed incoming Directors, Kim Train, President-Elect, Melissa Nowak, Secretary, and Mya Rahimian, Director, Education and Professional Develop, to the Board and leadership group.  All other Directors will continue in their current roles for the next year.
 
Alison acknowledged long-time chapter administrator Brian Cardie, who is retiring on March 31.  On behalf of the chapter, Alison presented Brian with a special award for his services to Toronto CREW.  Over his 16 years with Toronto CREW, Brian has been an integral part of managing the growth by implementing and maintaining administrative processes to ensure smooth-running chapter operations. His contributions will benefit Toronto CREW for years to come. We will miss Brian as our behind-the-scenes “voice” of Toronto CREW, his excellent service, and his humour. Happy retirement Brian!
 
Incoming President, Farrah Khimji explained that the change in administration gave the Board a strategic opportunity to consider how best to support membership growth, leadership and member needs, and elevate Toronto CREW’s position in advancing women in commercial real estate.
 
As a result, two former Toronto CREW members have been engaged each to fulfill an area of administration – Kim Lanthier, Finance Administrator and Sharon Cardie, Communications Advisor.  
 
Kim retired from commercial real estate in 2017 as Vice President, Property Accounting at Oxford Properties. She was a Toronto CREW member from 2011 to 2017, serving on the Board for five of these years, first as Treasurer and then as President in 2014. In her role as Finance Administrator, Kim is responsible for working with the Governance & Audit Committee including managing the chapter’s financial operations and supporting the finance and reporting needs of our committees.
 
Sharon worked in commercial real estate for 14 years in shopping centre marketing, tenant services and corporate communications, and for the past 13 years in the non-profit sector in project management, communications and marketing. She was a Toronto CREW member from 2002 to 2006 serving as Communications Director, Public Relations Co-Chair for the Toronto Convention, CREW delegate, and participated in the Communications, Golf and Mentoring committees.  In her role as Communications Advisor, Sharon is responsible for working with the Board and Communications Committee on branding and communications operations and supporting the chapter’s communications and event needs. 
 
In the coming year, the chapter’s leadership will build on the previous year’s accomplishments.  Branding consistency, gathering and analyzing data and programming that engages existing and invites new and diverse members to join will again be priorities in fulfilling Toronto CREW’s mission.
 
In reflection of the professional and personal growth Farrah has experienced through Toronto CREW, she ended the formal part of the AGM with these closing words.
 
“Through continued visibility, dialogue and engagement, together we can ensure a future that is more balanced. A future that attracts the best and brightest to join and become leaders and a future that sets women up to succeed and thrive. I could not be prouder to be a part of an organization whose aim is to deliver on that very mission.”