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June 2016 | Newsletter

President's Letter

CREW CT members have enjoyed some great programs this spring, with nearly 50 attending our May 4 tour of the New Britain Costco Wholesale Store. Thanks to program organizers Lisa Lugauskas and JoAnn Fenty who scheduled the informative tour and the panel discussion and social after at the Stanley Golf Course Whinstone Tavern. Thanks also to co-chairs Elizabeth Strole and Keli Savage, and all of our volunteers who participated in this year’s CREW Careers program, hosted at Aetna. See informative articles below for program recaps.

Jennifer Marks Photo

Jennifer Marks, President

We were pleased to receive nice regional coverage of our Blue Ribbon event, with feature stories in both New England Real Estate Journal (NEREJ) and The Commercial Record. We thank Annie McEvoy of NEREJ and Steve Adams of The Commercial Record for making trips from Massachusetts to cover our event.


And, finally, we have a lot to look forward to at our Summer Social at Essex Yacht Club on June 23. As you will see in the full description of the program, there are a number of enhancements this year including the invitation to bring a spouse, significant other or guest, and addition of a silent auction of fabulous items to raise funds for attendee stipends to the national convention in October. Optional afternoon activities preceding the 5:30 program are golf at the historic Fenwick course, sailing, and shopping. We hope to see everyone there.


Do You Need A Separate Cyber Insurance Policy?

By Colleen M. Capossela, Esq.

Data security is an issue for all businesses. Companies are being hacked in part because they maintain trade secrets and key information about their customers. Hackers know the value of your data. Unfortunately, no one business is immune. As a result, you need to be prepared. You need to adopt specific protocols, practices and procedures to minimize risks and hopefully prevent a breach. You also need an incident response plan in place in the event a breach happens.

Colleen M. Capossela, Esq.

As part of your plans you also need to determine how you will cover the costs and expenses associated with dealing with a breach, because as we all know, even the best plans may not protect you 100%.


Annual Careers Day Encourages Careers in Real Estate

28 local high school girls participated in our annual CREW Careers day for an engaging event on May 13th. Hosted at Aetna, the purpose of the event was to inform and educate the young women about the full range of possible careers in commercial real estate.


Students came from East Hartford High, Bloomfield High, Pathways Academy of Technology and Design, and Hartford’s Insurance and Finance Academy.

2016CREWcareers Photo

Annual CREW Careers Day

They were treated to a tour of the Aetna building and gained firsthand insight into the efforts involved in managing a building where thousands of local residents work. Aetna employees gave entertaining and informative speeches on their day- to -day facilities management work, including the various issues that can arise in the maintenance of a building of several hundred thousand square feet. After the tour, while dining on boxed lunches and “CREW Careers” cupcakes, the students heard from CREW members in such diverse fields as brokerage, surveying, acquisitions and business development. Eight CREW members participated in the program. Several sponsors generously supported this event financially, and each student also received a “CREW Careers” t-shirt and goodie bag to take home. We were pleased with the enthusiasm that the students showed during the event, and the thoughtful questions that they asked. Many of the young women who attended had no knowledge of the commercial real estate industry prior to the event. Each of them now has a bird’s eye view of many of the possibilities of a career in commercial real estate that awaits them.


New Britain Costco Featured in "Anatomy of the Deal" Program

Flash Mob!! On May 4th four dozen of CREW CT’s most adventurous members descended on the New Britain Costco Wholesale Store which opened in October 2015. The building was constructed in 6-9 months, but the approval process took over 6 years. Given the wholesale nature of the retail activity, there is no “back of the house” warehouse, just a small loading area tucked away in a rear corner. Although many members were familiar with Costco and other wholesalers, emphasis by the staff was placed on what sets Costco apart from the others. They are the largest wholesaler in the World, have the best warranty program and their Kirkland Store Brand items are considered premium.

After the tour, the program moved to the Whinstone Tavern at Stanley Golf Course.

2016may4 Photo

2016may4 Photo

Costco, New Britain, CT

Each of the panelists is part of a team which selects locations and secures approvals for new Costco stores. Joseph Montesano of Costco outlined the demographic and locational considerations which favored the New Britain Site. Lou Proto of the Proto Group described the market exploration via helicopter. John Mancini of BL Companies and Tom Cody of Robinson+Cole discussed the challenges involved in purchasing land located within Stanley Park and securing approvals at the local, state and federal levels. All were united in their concern that development within Connecticut takes much more time and significantly greater expenditures than is required in other parts of the country.


Member News
Carolyn Bligh, President of Bligh Graphics, has been elected President of the University of Hartford Alumni Association, assuming the position on July 1. She previously served as the board’s director of communications and social media. Congratulations, Carolyn.

Bridget Chase, Vice President Acquisitions, Dispositions & Financing at Hamilton Point Investments was profiled in New England Real Estate Journal on April 19. Click here to view the profile.

Candace Cunningham, Counsel at Robinson+Cole was featured in the April 28 “Art of the Deal” column in The Commercial Record. Click here to view the story.

Maura M. Cochran, Principal of Bartram & Cochran National Real Estate Consultants, has been named chairman of the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Metropolitan Hartford for a two-year term. She has served as a board member or trustee of the YMCA of Metropolitan Hartford for more than 25 years. Prior to joining the Board of Directors she served on the Downtown YMCA’s Board of Advisors, including 2 years as chair.


Welcome New Members
We are pleased to welcome our new website sponsor, CATIC and their division CentricPro, which will be represented by Anthony Lombardi and Colleen Capossela. Additional new members are Betty Horne of Red Thread and Nikki Witaszek of Phase Zero.


2015 National CREW Network Benchmark Study Released
CREW Network has recently released the results of its third comprehensive benchmark study which measures the progress for women in commercial real estate. Generously sponsored by underwriter CBRE, the study tracks and analyzes perceptions of specialization, compensation, and career achievement by gender. Respondents include the full range of CREW members including entry level to C-Suite positions and all major specializations within the field – asset and property management, brokerage and sales, development and financial services.

The 2015 study included the same questions as previously asked in the 2005 and 2010 studies to guarantee data integrity and consistency. Survey respondents revealed important gains made by women in the industry, as well as areas where inequalities persist.

A significant income gap between men and women still exists. More...


CREW Network Convention & Marketplace The Perfect Combination of Information and Inspiration

The New York Hilton will be home to the 2016 CREW Network Convention & Marketplace to take place October 19-22. It is expected that a sizeable delegation from Connecticut will be in attendance; mark your calendars now. Bridget Chase attended her first national conference last year and summed up her experience with the words “the perfect combination of information and inspiration.”

From Bridget:
Last year I had the privilege of attending the annual convention held in Seattle, WA. The sheer scale of the event was impressive with nearly 1,000 attendees, over 95% being women.

2016convention Photo

2015 CREW Convention-Seattle
Bridget Chase & Jenna Bennetti

The two-and a half-day experience included a series of presentations and panel discussions on various topics and current projects, a handful of optional excursions within Seattle and an incredible line-up of featured speakers including Carla Harris, Vice Chairman of Morgan Stanley, Marci Rossell, Former CNBC Chief Economist, Rita McGrath, Business Strategist, and keynote Madeleine Albright, Former U.S. Secretary of State. It was the perfect combination of information and inspiration. Speaking with and listening to other successful women, especially those who struggled with challenges far more difficult than what we are faced with today as women, who effectively transformed social norms for generations to come, is life-changing. I learned a great deal, but more than anything, I left feeling empowered. I left feeling that I could not only excel in my career as a woman in my industry, but that I could take on the world and excel as a woman in society.

Registration is now open


Fun Ahead at June 23rd Summer Social
Registration is now open for our annual dinner and night of fun at the Essex Yacht Club. The board has been hard at work planning the event, adding a robust silent auction of donated items including a weekend at a mountain house, tickets to sporting events, gift cards, theater tickets, concert tickets with backstage pass, museum passes, and more. Members are sure to enjoy our new “wall of wine” raffle. Everyone is asked to bring a bottle to include in the wall. Proceeds from the auction and raffle will be used for stipends for national convention attendees.


Future Member News:
Please send news items and CREW CT network success stories to newsletter editor

Jennifer Marks
Principal, BL Companies


Thirsty Third Thursday
June 16, 2016
  CREW CT Summer Social Event
June 23, 2016
  CREW Network Convention & Marketplace
October 19-22, 2016
Bar Louie, Blue Back Square, West Hartford
5:30 pm
No Registration Required


  Members, Past Presidents, and their guests welcome
Essex yacht Club
5:30 pm
More + Register
  New York Hilton Midtown, NYC
More + Register

Thanks to Our Current 2016 Sponsors!


BL Companies


CohnReznick LLP

Community Investment Corporation (CIC)

First Niagara Foundation

Hutensky Capital Partners

The Fidelity Family of Title Insurers:
Chicago Title / Commonwealth Land Title / Fidelity National Title

Phase Zero Design

The Simon Konover Company

Whittlesey and Hadley, P.C.


Fuss and O'Neill, Inc.

Loureiro Engineering Associates, Inc.

McCarter & English, LLP


Peabody Office

Unity Construction Group



Bligh Graphics, LLC
Burke Reprographics LLC
CBRE New England
Clohessy, Harris & Kaiser Architects, LLC
Cohn Birnbaum & Shea P.C.
Colliers International
Halloran & Sage LLP
Hinckley Allen
Interscape Commercial Environments
KBE Building Corporation
MetroHartford Alliance
Murtha Cullina LLP
Performance Environmental Services
Red Thread
Robinson + Cole, LLP
Shipman & Goodwin LLP
The S/L/A/M Collaborative, Inc.
Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, P.C.


More Sponsorship Opportunities Available. Contact: Janet Wheeler

Become a CREW Member TODAY! Conact: Kelsey Rath

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