2019 President's Farewell Message

December 26, 2019

Dear Members:
This will be my final newsletter as President of CREW CT. The year has gone by very quickly for me and I hope you share in my excitement in looking back on our many accomplishments in 2019.

First, I would like to sincerely thank the Board of Directors and Committee Chairs for their hard work, dedication and enthusiasm throughout the year. Our Board is a working Board and our members have very demanding jobs yet still manage to contribute their time and efforts in making our CREW events a success. We could not have had our many successes and accomplishments this year without their tireless efforts.

It was a successful and record-breaking year in many ways. This year marked the 30th anniversary of CREW. We are proud that our chapter, formerly called The Real Exchange, has been at the forefront of advancing women in commercial real estate and is a strong advocate for promoting gender equity and diversity in the workplace.

On a local front, CREW Connecticut also had a banner year. We were fortunate to host Holly Neber, immediate past president of CREW National who spoke at our join7 event in May co-sponsored by CoreNet. We also welcomed Tara Piurko, past president of CREW National and our regional liaison. Tara spoke at the Blue Ribbon ceremony in April on behalf of the CREW Foundation, our scholarship initiative.

To summarize some CREW CT highlights this past year, our Committees led us in making possible the following events:

In January, our Program Committee, chaired by Rita Joy, hosted a breakfast program highlighting Brownfield Initiatives: Challenges and Solutions for Commercial Real Estate.  We co-sponsored a Cannabis Event in April with REFA. We also offered a joint event with CoreNet in May at the new UConn Branch in the old Hartford Times Building.

Melissa Roy and Jenn Marks, Co-Chairs of the Blue Ribbon Committee, conducted our most successful Blue Ribbon Awards Showcase event to date. We enjoyed a record 31 project submissions and the largest number of attendees as well. We provided awards in 10 overall categories. Honored with the Blue Ribbon was the Pratt & Whitney Engineering & Technology Center in East Hartford with the new Orthopedic Center at the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford winning the People’s Choice award.

Our Careers Committee, co-chaired by Kate Mylod and Hilary Stoudt, held events at both Tunxis Community College and Manchester Community College. A panel of CREW members addressed the students and shared their career experiences in the hopes of encouraging them to pursue commercial real estate as a career.

Our professional Development Committee, co-chaired by Betty Horne and Attorney Laura Cardillo, hosted two lunch and learn events centered on the impact of Technology trends on real estate.

And, as always, we ran three members-only events this year. The Essex Summer social was held in June and Pam Torsiello graciously made her home available for the fall dinner.

I would love to introduce our very newest member, Baby Anne Cleary. Megan Cleary, past chair of our Communications Committee, delivered Baby Anne in October. Both mother and daughter are doing well. Look for Baby Anne to serve in a leadership role in CREW CT in approximately 25 years!


Looking forward to next year, CREW CT will be in the very capable hands of President Melissa Ferrucci and President-Elect Attorney Kathleen (Kate) Mylod. Please join me in welcoming our 2020 Board of Directors:
President – Melissa Ferrucci, CPA, CohnReznick LLP
Past President – Attorney Lisa Lugauskas – Fidelity National Title Group
President Elect/CREW Network Delegate- Attorney Kate Mylod, Shipman & Goodwin
Secretary – Attorney Andrea L. Gomes, Shipman Goodwin
Treasurer – Edward Engberg, CPA, Whittlesey, PC
CREW Network Delegate:
Janet Wheeler, Manager, Space Planning & Utilization, University of Hartford
Committee Chairs:
Membership Committee: Katie Pelczar, UBS and Dinora Lopez, Ford & Paulekas

Program Committee: Rita A. Joy, Interscape Commercial Environments and Lisa Chapman, Performance Services

Professional Development Committee: Betty Horne, Red Thread and Laura A. Cardillo, Pullman & Comley

Communications Committee: Jenna Zaikarite, Whittlesey and Erin Cabelus, CATIC

Sponsorship Committee:  Lisa Lugauskas, Fidelity National Title, Janet Wheeler, University of Hartford, and Melissa Ferrucci, Cohn Reznick

Blue Ribbon Committee: Melissa M. Roy, Tecton Architects and Jennifer Marks, BL Companies

CREW Careers Committee: Hilary Stoudt, CBRE New England and Stephani Hayes, Savings Bank of Danbury

Thank you for the honor of being your President. I hope you all have a wonderful, productive, healthy and happy New Year and I hope to see you all at our upcoming CREW events.

Lisa Lugauskas
2019 CREW CT President