President's Message 2023

January 10, 2023


Dear CREW East Bay members,

Welcome to 2023. I hope you all enjoyed your Holidays and were able to spend some quality time with your family and friends.

As your 2023 President, I am very humbled and thankful to you for giving me the opportunity to serve this wonderful chapter. I am excited at the same time to work with this esteemed group of colleagues. 

As I write this message, my memory takes me back to 2003 when I was first introduced to CREW by Neal a friend of mine from a Title company. He asked me to join him at a CREW Event in San Francisco. Neal then connected me with Tillie Ross who asked me to join CREW East Bay in 2010. I felt in order for me to make it worth my time I had to get engaged. So I joined the Program Committee. And then ended up being a Co-Chair and then Chair of Program Committee. Fast forward to 2018, Kristen Thall Peters asked me to apply for a Board position. Once on the Board, Theresa Fluegel kept asking me if I was ready to apply for the Chapter President position and I kept saying to her that I wasn’t ready. Four years later I think back and feel perhaps I wouldn’t have been here if these ladies didn’t have the confidence in me and hadn’t asked me to take a leadership role. I am sure you all have taken some bold steps in your careers because someone asked you too and later on you thanked them for bringing out your hidden talent. This is exactly what we will accomplish this year. Together we will - ignite engagement across membership with future CRE leaders, with past leaders and in our community. I encourage you to ignite engagement in your committees, and  in our chapter. Ask every committee member to take on a micro task and feel included and engaged. And ask your fellow members to join a committee because an engaged member is a member forever.  

CREW Network and our Foundation are committed to bringing more women into commercial real estate by creating programs that educate women and girls about the career opportunities available to them, supporting college-level commercial real estate education through scholarships, and providing mentorships to those new to the industry. Aligned with this commitment we will expand on our UCREW and CREW Careers programs and engage our community as well. 

CREW East Bay has been known for being the “most friendly” chapter in the Bay Area and we take pride in it. We will continue to make everyone feel welcomed and heard. We have a diverse Board and will continue to make intentional efforts to recruit diverse women as panelists as well as in our membership. We firmly believe in our statement against racism and injustice and promote diversity and inclusion. For those of you interested in promoting DEI issues, we are looking for a DEI Chair in both our Programs and Membership Committees. If interested, please reach out to our DEI Director – Jenna Williams. CREW Network also has several DEI workshops and webinars planned for the year which will be announced shortly. Through its most recent White Paper on Building the CRE Work Force of the Future, Network has found that younger workers especially, want to work for the companies that espouse their values which include having a diverse and inclusive workforce. Female employees at organizations fostering genuine diversity, equity, and inclusion, report higher levels of engagement, trust and satisfaction with their careers. To continue with our efforts, we have our first event planned on Feb. 19th : DEI and the Fusion of an Inclusive Environment – talking about what are unconscious biases. Check out our website for more details.

On Feb. 8th we will be watching a Webinar presented by CREW Network on 2023 CRE Global Economic Forecast, presented by Spencer Levy, Global Strategist with CBRE. Check out CREW East Bay website for more details and sign up.

Despite the challenges caused by the Pandemic, CREW East Bay has made some very long strides in the past couple years. We will continue to build on the path already laid by my predecessors. Staying with our mission of “Advancing Women in CRE”, we provide educational resources, recognition, and opportunities to build professional relationships, providing an opportunity to network with not only CREW chapters but also with other CRE affiliated organizations.  

As we plan for 2023, I ask each and every one of you to continue to stay engaged and ASK your PASSIVE friends from CREW East Bay to get involved. Maybe they are waiting to be tapped to become future Leaders? Active engagement builds confidence and brings out your leadership qualities that help you in your professional growth as well. 

In closing, I would like to thank each and every one of you for your leadership and look forward to meeting/talking with you one on one. Together we can IGNITE ENGAGEMENT.

Malinder K Bhan
2023 CREW East Bay President