By guest contributor, Deena Baikowitz, Chief Networking Officer, Fireball Network
Women in commercial real estate are experienced, accomplished, connected and in charge. This fact was seen in the full-capacity crowd at Real Estate Weekly and EisnerAmper’s annual Women’s Forum. (It was standing room only in all sessions, but we were careful not to infringe on the fire code).
Housed in the landmark New York City Bar Association building at 42 West 44th Street, the Forum was overflowing with real estate and construction experts, legal minds, and government officials.
Fittingly, the moderators and panelists faced the elegant portrait of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – also known as “The Notorious RBG”. Justice Bader Ginsburg is respected as a staunch and sassy advocate for the advancement of women’s rights as a constitutional principle. At 83, she inspires women of all ages with her words and actions. One of her most popular quotes is, “My mother told me two things constantly. One was to be a lady, and the other was to be independent.”
The independent ladies in our industry were equally inspired by the illustrious keynote, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, and by three insightful educational panels. The Forum also provided exceptional networking opportunities for the attendees, who are experts in the building industry and experts at building relationships. The networking at the Forum was dynamic, constant and productive.
Lisa Knee, a tax partner at EisnerAmper, led the team that developed the strategic partnership between Real Estate Weekly and EisnerAmper. Lisa shared her motivation for helping women in the industry connect.
“It’s difficult to be the only woman in a room full of men”, she said. “Joining women’s organizations, such as CREW New York, is invaluable. Now when I go to industry events with my posse of women, I have more confidence and security. The women I do business with have become close personal friends as well.”
Christine Chipurnoi, SVP at Wells Fargo Insurance Services and immediate past president of CREW New York, also talked about the power of CREW Network, the premier organization dedicated to advancing the achievements of women in commercial real estate.
“With over 10,000 members in 70 chapters across North America, CREW provides a forum for women to network, grow their businesses, participate in educational opportunities and develop leadership skills,” she explained. “We provide a foundation for young leaders, emerging leaders, and established leaders to connect and succeed.”
Lindsay Ornstein, a partner and leader of Transwestern’s New York office, wrapped up the day moderating a panel on trends in office leasing. She also shared trends in networking, and offered fresh ideas for conducting business to integrate work-life balance.
“Think beyond the walls of your office when planning meetings to make them more meaningful and to accomplish more with your time than just the business interaction,” she recommended.
“Invite a client to take a fitness class with you; invite an industry associate for coffee in the MOMA sculpture gardens or for a manicure; or take a walk through Central Park with a colleague. You will add more variety to your day and have more memorable and impactful meetings.”
The 2016 Real Estate Weekly Women’s Forum delivered a powerful, inspiring and productive program. And this success does not end at the close of the event. Let’s all stay connected, keep the conversations going and the deals flowing.