President's Message - August 2020

August 6, 2020
Written by: CREW East Bay
Dear CREW East Bay members and friends,

Happy August! 2020 has been a whirlwind full of incredible highs as well as insightful
lows. I am blessed to be alive, to be healthy and to live and feel loved. I pray you all can
attest to these same truths each and every day.

As I sit here and pen this quarter’s President’s Message, I found myself trying to focus
and draw attention to only the highs, but it seemed painstakingly inauthentic. These past
few months have been extremely difficult. We as a nation have been struck by not one,
but two pandemics that have greatly affected our communities, sense of well-being and
livelihood.

We have been struck by the disease known as COVID-19 and all that comes with a
mandated shelter in place. Inside of this pandemic, we have simultaneously experienced
worldwide protests against racism and injustice. We are living in a pandemic inside of a
pandemic. Like COVID-19, racism is present in every nook and corner of this planet.

As I reflect on these past seven months, it has been difficult. I have wanted to give up
more than once. As a Black woman, both pandemics have affected me personally,
emotionally and mentally. I have struggled. But I have also realized my power and
experienced a deep sense of gratitude.

2020 has served as a true testament of our Chapter’s strength, unity and commitment
to our members. Over the past three months, we have more than doubled our monthly
program offerings. As a Board, we unanimously agreed to underwrite all member virtual
event fees to provide additional value and benefit during this difficult time. In addition to
educational webinars, we have placed an increased importance on social programs and
wellness events. We have implemented a new virtual sponsorship benefit by spotlighting
each of our sponsors in our weekly News and Updates email. When faced with a
challenge, we have pivoted and successfully stayed true to our mission and goals as an
organization.

I would like to give special recognition to our Board of Directors for their leadership,
voice and courage. I am extremely proud of our Board’s statement against racism
and injustice and am honored to serve alongside this strong group of women. Our
statement was powerful and clear: CREW East Bay condemns racism of all kinds and
believes in diversity and equality. Our Board is hosting an organization-wide forum
this month to increase our awareness of racism, and promote diversity and inclusion.
This will be complimentary for all members and I hope you can join us; registration
will open soon. Our Board is also soon rolling out a new initiative to help our members
impacted professionally due to COVID-19 to provide an added support of CREW East Bay
connection. Please stay tuned as we share more.

In the midst of all that has been going on, our leadership team has been hard at work on
two recent initiatives. The first being our new and improved chapter logo! In September
2019, CREW Network introduced the new Network logo and invited each chapter to
partake in a similar brand refresh. Joining other chapters, CREW East Bay eagerly
undertook the branding refresh process and we are thrilled to introduce our new look.

In line with Network’s logo, this fresh and new visual identity represents the bold
organization we are. It’s modern, polished and sophisticated. This logo will stand out
as a statement of our intentional commitment to transform the commercial real estate
industry—to lift girls and women to the highest levels of leadership.

Last and most certainly not least, I would like to congratulate our chapter on reaching an
impressive milestone: our 15th Year Chapter Anniversary! CREW East Bay was founded
in May 2005 and this past May marked 15 years of CREW East Bay. For 15 years we
have been committed to advancing women as influential leaders in the commercial real
estate industry by providing educational resources, recognition, and opportunities to
build professional relationships. I am honored to serve as president in our 15th year of
existence and look forward to celebrating this important milestone.

As we roll into August, we are already gearing up for 2021. Our Governance Committee
has been hard at work and nominations are now being accepted for the 2021 Board
of Directors, now through August 20th. If you have an interest in serving on the 2021
leadership team, please reach out to me, our President-Elect, Marilyn Hansen and/
or our Governance Committee Chair, Brenda Meckenstock. Instructions regarding the
nomination process and the nomination form are included on our website.

In closing, I wish continued health and safety for you and your loved ones. Please wear
a mask, stay safe and wash your hands as much as possible. We are all in this together
and I can’t wait until we can safely meet in person again.

Best,

Lauren Jennings
2020 CREW East Bay President

Presiden't Message PDF