Build Your CREW Relationships to the Third Dimension

December 6, 2018
Written by: Beth Zafonte, CREW New York
left to right: Patricia Hildebrant, Michele Boddewyn, Cindy Feinberg

Michele Boddewyn, President of Boddewyn Gaynor Architects, D.P.C. (BGA) and a member of CREW New York, counts numerous CREW connections among her RFP resources, making it easy to assemble a qualified team in short order. In addition, tapping qualified Women Business Enterprise (WBE) firms and CREW New York colleagues has proved to be a winning strategy.

BGA was engaged by The Hebrew Educational Society (HES), a non-profit organization, for a $1.8 million replacement of outdated building systems and upgrades to the agency’s 45,000 sq. ft., two-story building complex in Brooklyn, N.Y.  The scope included the implementation of a variety of energy efficiency measures including replacement of the windows and coordination of efforts with mechanical engineers to replace rooftop HVAC units with energy-efficient units to increase functionality and comfort within the structure while reducing the operating costs and carbon footprint.

“As a result of the established personal connections I have within CREW New York, I knew, without hesitation, who I could recommend to my client,” Boddewyn said.

JFK&M Consulting Group LLC (JFK&M), a certified WBE firm with two CREW New York members, was referred and selected for the mechanical engineering portion of the project. Boddewyn and fellow member Patricia Hildebrandt, JFK&M’s director of business development, had previously served together on CREW New York’s Program Committee and Membership Committee. This provided the opportunity to put a name to a face and drill down on the specifics of each other’s business.

“The committee engagement allows you to evaluate, firsthand, the individual’s approach to work and assess that individual’s work ethic,” Boddewyn explained. “This experience helps to determine how the firm distinguishes itself from its competition.”

“It was a great pleasure to collaborate with Michele on the HES project,” said Cindy Feinberg, JFK&M Partner, engineer and fellow member who was engaged on this project. “Our familiarity with each other’s firms certainly helped the project move ahead successfully for the client and the project team.”

To foster growth of her business and source new CREW New York referrals to expand her list, Boddewyn actively seeks to learn about her fellow members—not just what they do, but how they do it. She also recognizes that architecture and other industry professional firms may look the same. However, she has discovered that when you actually meet the firm leaders and work alongside them in CREW New York, you become three dimensional to each other.

These meetings and committee work have resulted in many Network-wide CREW referrals for Boddewyn, who noted, “It is wonderful to see and to experience the reciprocal nature of the CREW New York experience.”

Project lead:
Michele Boddewyn

Michele Boddewyn
Boddewyn Gaynor Architects, D.P.C.

Additional CREW New York members involved:
Cindy Feinberg

Cindy Feinberg
JFK&M Consulting Group LLC

Patricia Hildebrandt

Pat Hildebrandt
JFK&M Consulting Group LLC


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 previously served on the CREW New York Foundation Committee, and was a Board member of the former NYCREW Network.


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