Where's Your CREW

June 29, 2022

2022 Winners of the the 17th Annual CREW-St. Louis Networking Awards

  • Career Advancement for Women – Erin Valentine, Vice President of Business Development, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. 
  • CREW Impact Award- Nancy Petersen, Senior Vice President –  Director of Commercial Real Estate- St. Louis, Regions Enterprise Bank & Trust 
  • Economic Impact -– Delmar DivINe 
    • Jen Nevil -– Principal, Lamar Johnson Collaborative 
    • Jenna Knatt -– Business Development Manager, CI Select 
    • Maxine K. Clark- CEO, Clark-Fox Family Foundation, INspirator, The Delmar DivINe 
    • Addie Bunting -– Wies Drywall 
    • Monica Conners -– Solar Consultant, Ameren UE 
    • Becky Vehmeyer -– MillerKnoll
  • Leadership in Diversity, Equity & Inclusion with the Industry -– Cindy Bambini, Vice President, Business Development Leader, CannonDesign 
  • New Member of the Year -– Fallon Chambers, Office Broker/Associate Vice President, Gershman Commercial Real Estate 
  • Woman of Influence -– Anna Leavey, Owner Anna Leavey LLV/Program Manager- Brickline Greenway Great Rivers Greenway 
  • CREW-St. Louis President’s Award -– Nanci Napoli, (retired) St. Louis Title LLC 

Memorable Moments from the Awards Ceremony

“In typical CREW-St. Louis fashion, the Award Ceremony provided an evening full of laughter and a ton of camaraderie! The amount of support and sisterhood was felt throughout the entire evening. Thank you to our Awards Committee for the outstanding planning and to all the award winners. I was proud to be standing among so many strong women.”

- Jenna Knatt, Business Development Manager, CI Select

“It was such an honor to be selected as the Leadership in DEI Award recipient and to attend with all my fellow winners (Jenna, Jen, Erin, Fallon, Nancy, Addie, Maxine, Becky, Nanci and Anna), my CREW sisters, my CannonDesign coworkers and my family. It’s no surprise that my working, adult children commented on the energy in the room and the kindness of all. Thank you, CREW-St. Louis for showing them what a bunch of successful women can create, together.”

- Cindy Bambini, Vice President, Business Development Leader, CannonDesign

“It’s so great to see the caliber of influential women honored at the CREW-St. Louis awards ceremony. What a fun evening of celebration and networking!”

- Michelle Yates, Business Development Director, LANDCO Construction

CREW-St. Louis Networking Awards Ceremony Recap

Read more on the Networking Awards ceremony. Thank you to Ruth E. Thaler-Carter and MetroWire Media for a great recap on the 2022 Awards event! 

Commercial real estate in St. Louis is in good hands judging by the impressive award recipients at the 2022 Networking Awards Event of the St. Louis Chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) at a May 11 dinner celebration at Oak + Olive in Webster Groves, Mo. 

More than 150 members, sponsors and colleagues cheered award recipients, who represented one to 40 years of contributions to the CRE industry, CREW-STL, and national and local community service at many levels. 

“When I started thinking about my remarks, I kept coming back to the word ‘connection,’” said CREW-STL president Stacey Kamps, CEO of Koch Development. “I started at Koch as CFO 11 years ago with no experience in commercial real estate at all. My previous jobs were with national and global companies, which also meant that I did not have the local relationships needed for my new job. I had to get up to speed fast and connecting with CREW was one of the most important and transformative things that I did.”

Kamps emphasized the importance of finding mentors and sponsors through CREW and how benefiting from the support of such colleagues gave her a foundational principle for her career. 

“I was inspired to make elevating women central to my work. Together, we can overcome hurdles.” She also encouraged colleagues to “claim your victories, share your good news and ask the other women you meet about their own.”

Kamps noted that the chapter received a record number of nominations for this year’s awards, which “shows that no matter the turmoil we’re facing in the world, in our jobs, in our lives, we’re still finding time to accomplish big things.”

Keynote speaker Marian Nunn, president of Women of Achievement and an adjunct professor at St. Louis University where she teaches advanced business planning in the entrepreneurship program, drew on both her 25 years in CRE and her previous experience in accounting and the early cellphone industry to applaud and encourage award recipients and other women in the industry. 

Among the valuable lessons she said she learned are that “Cash is king — or queen, I should say here; trust your instincts; ask sellers what they aren’t revealing about a property or project, or the weakest part of a deal; to build integrity and respect with clients; be leery of recruitment for a position created “just for you;” the harder you work, the more you get noticed; it’s OK to ask for help — identify someone in CREW; the concept of ‘paying it forward’ is very true; do business with each other and look out for each other. 

Nunn also said she especially admired and appreciated the range of volunteerism among recipients, in both CREW-STL and many other community service commitments. She invited attendees to contact her to find volunteer opportunities. “Nonprofits need women with the technical skills that you possess,” she said.

There is good news, Nunn said, “Despite CRE still being a heavily male-dominated industry, women are valued more than ever in the workplace. Society does realize the value of what makes women different. I am optimistic — you have the power!” 

The 2022 CREW-STL awards and recipients were announced.

Napoli recalled that there were only 10 or 12 CRE women when she joined about 38 years ago and “to see how CREW-STL has grown and the number of women in the room is truly amazing. The networking is fantastic. Get with it, girls!”

As Valentine said, “CREW is our tribe and we lift each other up.”