Real Focus at the Real Estate Roundtable

April 07, 2017
Written by: Wendy Mann, CAE, CREW Network CEO

The Real Estate Roundtable, the premier lobbying organization for commercial real estate in the U.S., hosted its spring meeting this week in Washington, D.C. Our President, Alison Beddard, Senior Director - Office & Investment at Cushman & Wakefield Commerce, and I represented CREW Network at the meeting. The twice-a-year meetings bring together industry leaders to get insight about U.S. government action that will impact the commercial real estate industry.

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross, flanked by Real Estate Roundtable Chairman Bill Rudin (above), provided commentary during our pre-dinner reception. 

Senator David Perdue (R-GA), Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), Congressman Bill Shuster (R-PA) and Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao were among the political luminaries who shared their insights and perspectives with us. I think the most important discussion was around infrastructure. Secretary Chao was very clear that the administration is taking an integrated approach to the issue, bringing together key cabinet members to work in a collaborative way to address the many infrastructure problems. She noted that the right people need to be at the table to deal with these issues and they include energy, water, broadband and transportation. She noted that the deficit in the Highway Trust Fund and the challenge of finding needed construction workers are just part of the problems that need to be overcome. “It’s a heavy lift here every day,” Chao stated. Still, I will say that she and Congressman Shuster are optimistic that they will accomplish the work that needs to be done.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao

This part of the conversation is perhaps the one that is most important to commercial real estate. If the funding support is there and infrastructure projects begin moving forward, CREW Network members will want to take note. What opportunities will this bring to your community? Keep an eye on the Administration’s progress on this issue.

Additionally, I was honored to speak with Congressman John Katko (R-NY) about our work. He was interested in our benchmark study, which I will send to his office to follow up. Educating government leaders about our work is valuable, and we were able to speak with several members of Congress and connect with industry leaders who share our goals of diversity and parity for women.

Lisa Pendergast, Executive Director of the CRE Finance Council; CREW Network President Alison Beddard; CREW Network CEO Wendy Mann, CAE


Wendy Mann is the chief executive officer of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network and president of the CREW Network Foundation.

Twitter: @crew_wendym

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