CREW-St. Louis Members Experience a Great Convention in Houston

November 22, 2017
Written by: CREW-St. Louis

2017 CREW Network Convention & Marketplace

The 2017 CREW Network Convention & Marketplace took place this year from Oct. 25-27 in Houston, TX. The big event was held in the beautiful downtown Marriot Marquis.
CREW-St. Louis demonstrated a strong convention presence, with 22 people attending from our chapter, including seven members who received scholarship funds to help defray the cost of attending.
The three-day experience kicked off Wednesday, as St. Louis members networked in long security lines at the Southwest terminal since many were on the same flight to Houston.
On Wednesday evening, our members enjoyed the experience of the CREW Network Marketplace and Welcome reception, which included the opportunity to peruse multiple vendor exhibits, and enjoy networking with convention attendees from across the country. Many of the exhibitor booths had drawings for prizes, and our very own Lauren Berry won a Louis Vuitton handbag! All of us from St. Louis were so excited for Lauren; it was great to see a fellow member win such a coveted prize. 
After Marketplace, it was off to the Distinguished Leaders Roundtable. These highly successful women in the industry shared their thoughts on challenges they have faced and issues of concern in their current roles. Panelists provided interesting insights into their success factors, offering great guidance to all attendees.
How do you wrap up such an evening? CREW-St. Louis members did so by gathering for dinner at a fabulous Houston steakhouse, Pappa’s Steakhouse. CREW-St. Louis members enjoyed a nice dinner while getting to know one another better. And we didn’t mind the cheering Houston Astros fans rooting for their team in the World Series!
Thursday and Friday were packed with impactful sessions complementing the Convention’s theme, Disrupt. Session topics included Emotional Intelligence by Dr. Travis Bradbury; Curve Benders, factors that have the potential to bend the curve on the trajectory of our economy, by Spencer Levy and Collette English-Dixon; and a presentation about the Next Generation Real Estate powered by your voice, a look at how voice technology is being implemented in commercial real estate, presented by Ashwin Karuhatty, Jeremy McBride and Kristy Simonette. In addition to the main sessions, there was a wide variety of breakout sessions, allowing attendees to choose sessions that most apply to their various disciplines.
The Convention wrapped up with the Keynote Luncheon, in which the keynote speaker was Academy Award winner Geena Davis.  Her presentation focused on how the media portrays women and girls, and how changes in how women and girls are portrayed can greatly impact change around the world in empowering women and girls and promoting parity in opportunity.
First time Convention attendee Lauren Berry had this to say about her Convention experience:
“CREW Convention was a great experience. As a first-time attendee, I really enjoyed the opportunity to get to know fellow St. Louis attendees better, including my roommate, Julie Havens with Wells Fargo.”
Lauren adds, “I appreciated the wide variety of Breakout Session speakers throughout the convention. My favorite breakout session was focused on the changing trends in retail in which JP Suarez with Walmart Realty, along with a few others spoke. I also enjoyed Spencer Levy’s presentation and speech, which was one of the luncheon programs. Of course, I have to mention Geena Davis, who did a wonderful job and relayed a good amount of important information on women in the film industry.
“All in all, I left with a large amount of business cards, closer friendships with many St. Louis members and a lot of new knowledge!” Lauren exclaims
Overall, St. Louis Convention attendees had a great experience. We took in everything offered – camaraderie, networking and education. Left all of us looking forward to the 2018 CREW Network Convention.

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