Power of CREW

October 24, 2022

CREW National Convention Delivers The WOW Factor 

WOW! A simple yet powerful word that I keep using to describe the 2022 CREW Network Convention in Chicago. The number of attendees. The attention to detail, from the speakers to the breakout sessions to the décor. The content. Everything was so meticulously thought out. As a first-time attendee, it left me feeling empowered, thankful and ready to take on my world. In short, WOW!

I knew from the second I joined CREW-St. Louis that it would be a positive shift in my professional life. I was thrilled to give my time and energy to the organization, but I did not realize all the things I would get back professionally and personally. The Convention rates way up there. I am so grateful that CREW-St. Louis selected me as one of its scholarship recipients to the convention. 

As Jenna Knatt with CI Select so eloquently notes, “I am so thankful to CREW-St. Louis for the scholarship so I could attend the National Convention for the first time! The experience was life-changing and just what I needed to give me an extra pep in my step during these trying times. The speakers were inspiring and the small group discussions eye-opening!” I wholeheartedly second Jenna’s sentiments.

The speakers made us laugh, ponder life, on the verge of tears. The breakout sessions enlightened and educated. Brave women shared their stories, whether planned or spur of the moment, and inspired and excited their colleagues.

Of course, I attended the first-time attendee orientation session. When I walked into that room, I thought, ‘Wow.' Not just because there were so many people but also because I was itching to meet everyone. Granted, I knew two and a half days just wouldn’t cut it, but I guess I’ll have to attend again!

My biggest takeaway from this session was when so many chose to stand up and pronounce their “Why.” Women from all walks of life shared such personal highs and lows, in their professions and in life, and what got them to where they are today. It was incredible!

Entering the main ballroom sparked another ‘Wow’ moment. It was energetic. It was intoxicating. It was loud, bright, huge, full of new introductions and hugs with old friends. I will never forget that feeling. Jill Donovan, Founder of Rustic Cuff, a true #BossBabe, and a Kourtney-proclaimed comedian, spoke in that room and left a lasting impression with her words: “There are no shortages of ideas, just a shortage of people who actually execute those ideas.” In a room full of powerful women (and a few men) this served as a refreshing reminder. We all have ideas, but sometimes we may feel unheard in a crowded room. Jill reminded us that all ideas are worthy of a shot, and we just have to take those shots. 

Certainly not my final ‘Wow’ moment of the Convention, but I’ll mention a Learning Excursion: From Meat Market to Money Market. While networking, we walked Fulton Market District, full of history and the bustle of life. Chicago invigorates me. It was fascinating and cool to walk the streets, learn about recent and new developments, and watch its residents enjoy these spaces. We ended the excursion by touring the McDonald’s Headquarters and enjoying a cocktail on the building’s rooftop. I was like a kid on Christmas morning, excited, asking far too many questions, wanting to know every detail. If you ever find yourself in Fulton Market District, just ask for a tour at McDonalds; you won’t regret it.

It is difficult to pinpoint my favorite part of the Convention. All of it deserves honorable mention. But if I had to pick one thing, I would simply say hearing the personal stories of my fellow CREW Network ladies and creating deeper relationships with my colleagues from the St. Louis and Kansas City chapters. We promote one another. We support women in the commercial real estate industry.