By Rebecca Liddell, MAI, Kidder Mathews
The 2014 CREW Network Convention started off with a bang! The Network Marketplace and Welcome Reception held nearly 50 booths, showcasing commercial real estate-related products and services from local, regional and national companies. Wine, hors d’oeuvres and some high-ticket raffles kept things lubricated as the sea of professionals in fantastic shoes shimmied through the aisles, delicately placing free yo-yos, compact mirrors, mouse pads and brochures in the roomy Perspective bags provided.
That was the theme of this year’s convention. Perspective. It was so apt given everything that we, as a country, as a profession, have gone through these past years. Over the course of the next two days we heard many different perspectives: Barbara Corcoran, with her in-your-face story of strife, struggle, humor and success; by the end of breakfast Thursday morning I felt like I had known her for years, and that I, like her, could achieve anything.
Tom Friedman, best-selling author and New York Times columnist, enlightened us with a forward perspective on the way the world is changing and how we must be fluid in our lives and careers to adapt to the economic landscape. Charlotte Jones Anderson, owner and Dallas Cowboys Chief Brand Officer, gave a fantastic speech at the CREW Network Awards dinner on Thursday evening. Without a single hitch Ms. Jones delivered a drama of risk and daring rarely undertaken. To top it off, CREW Portland was very proud to witness our own Coni Rathbone accept the national Entrepreneurial Spirit award.
An optional event on Friday evening took a busload of ladies to the personal home of renowned chef Kent Rathbun for an evening of food, drinks and high-quality networking.
I walk away from Convention this year with a slightly different way of thinking. I reconnected with some old friends and I made some new ones. I have business opportunities that were real and tangible, and I learned a few important lessons: as a group of professionals striving to advance women in commercial real estate, we achieve success with every small change we make working toward that goal. I walk away from Convention 2013 with a heightened awareness and a new perspective.