A chance invitation turned into a great opportunity when Kim Henry at DDR contacted me last year and invited me to visit their company and speak to their Women of Influence group.
DDR is a commercial real estate company based in Cleveland, Ohio which owns and manages 273 retail properties, representing 92 million square feet in the continental U.S. and Puerto Rico.
DDR started its Women of Influence group to engage and develop female leaders within the company. The group includes all levels and divisions and creates internal opportunities for individuals to plan monthly gatherings to bring the group together to learn and discuss leadership development topics.
We had a great discussion about women in the industry and shared experiences and stories. We talked about the importance of culture to the company to meet the challenges of attracting and retaining great talent. We discussed the value and importance of sponsorship and mentorship for women.
Probably most profound for me was hearing the group share the accomplishment they are most proud of. Some very personal and amazing achievements were shared. We all left energized and excited about the future.
DDR Women of Influence hosted CREW Network CEO Wendy Mann for a leadership session. Left to right: Kim Henry, Wendy Mann, April Ehrenbreit and Christa Vesy.
Special thanks to DDR staffer Madeline McGrane for talking about the value of participation in the CREW Cleveland chapter. As past president, she can attest to the great value for business networking and connecting with other industry women.
Wendy Mann is the chief executive officer of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network and president of the CREW Network Foundation.
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