The Lehigh Valley has always held a special place in my heart. When I was 15 years old, I made my first trip there with my best friend and her parents to watch her brother play quarterback for the Lafayette College Leopards (Go ‘Pards!). Fast forward to 1987 in Washington, D.C., when I met my husband who also played college football at Lafayette (defensive linebacker for you football fans!). We’ve made many trips back to watch the Lafayette vs. Lehigh game over the years. It’s a truly special place in the fall with the bright foliage and the small town feel with a big heart.
When Rosalin Petrucci contacted me on my third day on the job at CREW Network and asked if I would join CREW Lehigh Valley for their special event in November, I was thrilled to say yes.
A terrific gathering of members, current leaders and the past presidents of CREW Lehigh valley.
While the Lehigh Valley industrial market is flourishing, the formerly depressed area is really transforming their downtown areas, from Allentown to Bethlehem to Easton (A-B-E!). Plus the big bonus of the Lehigh Valley is the fabulous women of CREW. These smart, talented women have a close-knit chapter, with super powerhouse past presidents, that planned an exceptional event. I especially loved that members from CREW NJ and CREW Philadelphia were in attendance as well.
I was honored to share CREW Network's Closing the Gap white paper content as well as moderate a panel of women who shared insights, tips and advice for navigating a career in commercial real estate. My pal Rosalin Petrucci was on the panel, as well as Kaisha Rosa, Sandra Bodnyk and Terri Johnson. It was an honor to work with such wonderful industry leaders.
A special treat was a post-event tour by Maureen O’Meara to see the renewal and development in the Valley. I was surprised to see a good deal of “lifestyle” retail development, and not surprised at all to see extensive industrial development with fulfillment centers in abundance. The downtown areas were particularly interesting as I loved to see the transformation of the Bethlehem Steel Stacks becoming a vibrant destination area.
For me, visiting a CREW Network chapter brings connection, awareness and knowledge about the terrific work our members are doing, the successful partnerships happening across the Network and the ways that our work builds community, both in cities and towns and among our members.
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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