President's Message

January 26, 2020
Written by: Tracy Howren - 2020 President

Greetings fellow CREW-St. Louis members,

Welcome to the Year 2020! As the year kicks off, I am excited about all that the future holds for CREW-St. Louis!

2020 may be heralded as the year of vision but I would suggest 1982 as a better mark for clarity and sharpness. That’s the year when six forward-thinking women leaders started our chapter, recognizing the power and value of a strong professional network. Over the years, our Chapter has thrived, growing to more than 200 members in diverse fields of commercial real estate and with diverse experience levels, aiding in the leadership development and success of many women in our community. These founders started our journey that continues to advance, educate and support women to influence the commercial real estate industry.

To carry on this important mission, we’ve adopted Engage as this year’s theme. This captures our focus on ensuring that we offer meaningful engagement opportunities to all members, especially as we grow in numbers and influence. We want our members to engage in networking with each other and through CREW Network, with our committees, our programs and events, and our Mentorship program and educational opportunities. This theme further involves engaging in outreach and involvement with the greater St. Louis commercial real estate industry, our CREW sponsors, CREW Network and CREW Foundation. If we can meaningfully engage on all of these fronts, then we can do a great job of advancing CREW-St. Louis’ mission.

And 2020 is already off to a great start!

Our Advisory and Executive Board members convened for a Board Retreat on Jan. 10. We learned more about care and accountability in leadership from Susan Conrad, a former CREW-St. Louis member now with Chapman & Co. We established goals and big ideas for the year. And, of course, we enjoyed networking, finishing the half-day retreat with a Happy Hour.

Your CREW-St. Louis leadership team shows great energy and shares their passion for our mission. I am confident that together we will have great success this year in advancing our mission.

We also hosted our first program of the year on Tuesday, Jan. 14, on Cannabis and CRE at the Donald Danforth Plant & Science Center. The event was a resounding success, as an engaging panel shared with our sold-out crowd how deals are getting done in this space.

I also had the opportunity to thank our 2019 President, Michelle Yates, as well as our 2019 Executive and Advisory Boards, and committee members for their tremendous leadership and contributions to our organization. Just as those six pioneers in 1982, last year’s leaders built a strong foundation and showed great vision to launch us into the next chapter of our history.

As a final note, I thank all members for their continued commitment to CREW. I look forward to connecting with you this year at our many programs, events and networking opportunities.

Tracy Howren
2020 CREW-St. Louis President
SVP, Commercial Real Estate
UMB Bank
Networking is not about just connecting people. It's about connecting people with people, people with ideas, and people with opportunities.
Michele Jennae