Engaging Your CREW Network – A Different Perspective

November 13, 2018
Written by: Beth Zafonte, CREW New York

A professional network can have unparalleled value, especially when leveraged from a new perspective. Marianne Mathieu, Vice President, National Agency Accounts at Fidelity National Title Group and incoming president of CREW New York, has a broader vision of the CREW network and has actively cultivated relationships over her seven-year membership to utilize CREW connections in an expanded manner. In addition to making referrals in the more traditional professional business context, she has employed her network to fulfill personal as well as professional needs time and time again.

“It’s like having your own personal Angie’s list,” Mathieu said about activating her CREW resources for home and personal finance advisory. She engaged the services of Sarah Marsh, Principal and Co-founder of the New York-based MAAI Marsh Architects, to provide the architectural plans needed to locate a new HVAC system in her apartment. When Mathieu’s neighbor wanted to do the same work, she referred Marsh without hesitation. The approvals were secured for both apartments quickly, resulting in two satisfied clients.

Mathieu and Marsh formed their friendship through CREW, including leadership positions on several CREW committees. “Working together on a committee is how you really get to know someone and form the trust necessary to be able to confidently hire someone for your personal needs or refer them for work outside of a business context,” Mathieu said.

When Mathieu was seeking an advisor to help her with financial planning, she looked no further than her CREW network and found Sheila Soufian, retirement planning specialist and financial consultant at AXA Advisors. Soufian continues to advise Mathieu today.

CREW members are dedicated professionals and enjoy doing business with each other. Keeping your fellow CREW members top of mind for business, whether for professional or personal matters, can be a win-win for all CREW members. When searching for service providers of any type, Mathieu says her default question is “who do I know in CREW that can help?” From HVAC system drawings to financial planning to residential property management, CREW members have risen to the occasion for Mathieu.

When faced with a need for professional services in your personal world, who are your CREW resources that you will call upon for help? Cultivating this type of support system can be expedited by engagement in committee work and rising to leadership positions at the chapter and Network levels. The opportunities within CREW are abundant and the dividends worthy of the investment of your time.

CREW New York members involved:
Sarah Marsh

Sarah Marsh
MAAI Marsh Architects

Marianne Mathieu

Marianne Mathieu
Fidelity National Title Group

Sheila Soufian

Sheila Soufain
AXA Advisors


Beth Zafonte

Beth Zafonte is Director of Economic Development Incentives at Akerman LLP, a top 100 U.S. law firm operating from 24 offices in major U.S. commercial real estate markets. Based in New York, Zafonte has helped real estate developers, Fortune 500 companies, institutions, and other public and private businesses across the United States identify more than $3 billion in economic development incentives. Zafonte is a member of the CREW Network Communications and Editorial Committee, has served on the CREW New York Foundation Committee.


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