CREW Network Announces 2021 CREW Catalyst, Circle of Excellence and Impact Award Recipients

October 4, 2021
Written by: CREW Network

Lawrence, Kansas, USA (Oct. 5, 2021) – CREW Network recognized excellence and achievement in commercial real estate by honoring eight industry leaders with the organization’s Catalyst, Circle of Excellence, and Impact awards on Sept. 29 and 30 at the 2021 CREW Network Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.

CREW Network’s awards programs recognize and celebrate extraordinary leadership and success in commercial real estate. Through these recognition programs, CREW Network provides a platform to recognize outstanding professionals and achievements in the industry. The awards categories and 2021 honorees follow.

CREW Catalyst Award
The CREW Catalyst Award honors industry leaders—both male and female—who are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion in commercial real estate. This industry-wide award recognizes a senior-level executive who has consistently demonstrated a commitment to advancing women, serving as a catalyst for change in their company and throughout the industry. The 2021 CREW Catalyst honorees are:

Steve Lefton
President and CEO, Kimley-Horn

Lefton leads more than 4,600 employees in 95 offices. Throughout his 24-year history with Kimley-Horn, he has been instrumental in making sure programs like spot bonuses and back-up childcare are offered to every exempt employee. He has created a culture focused on employees, leadership, and fairness. This philosophy has earned Kimley-Horn awards like FORTUNE’s 100 Best Companies to Work For, Best Workplaces for Women, and Best Workplaces for Parents.

Karen Whitt
President of Real Estate Management Services U.S., Colliers International

Whitt oversees more than 630 million square feet of assets and 1,600 team members in 50 markets. She prioritizes equal opportunities for education and advancement, including mentoring, strengths training, technology education, and career development. She is Colliers’ Co-executive Sponsor for Diversity & Inclusion North America, a past CREW Network global board member, and a current member of CREW Atlanta and CREW Washington DC.

Circle of Excellence
The CREW Network Circle of Excellence award recognizes individuals and companies who consistently deliver excellence, and whose efforts advance the commercial real estate industry and show support for our mission. Inductees demonstrate excellence, integrity and innovation, and serve as thought leaders, change agents and champions of diversity.

The 2021 Circle of Excellence honoree is Marilyn Lissner, Executive Director, Cushman & Wakefield. In 1987, she co-founded the organization that would later become CREW Chicago. She has also been devoted to CREW Network’s core purpose for her entire 40-year career and has continuously worked to break down barriers for other women and empower them. In her successful brokerage career, she as completed over 600 transactions valued at $5 billion.

Impact Awards
The CREW Network Impact Awards recognize member achievements considered exceptional. The industry-wide awards were presented in five categories, listed below with the 2021 honorees:

Entrepreneurial Spirit Impact Award
Lori Suba
President, Scout Real Estate Ltd.
CREW Calgary

In 2020, Suba launched Scout Real Estate, an all-female brokerage, which has swiftly grown and shaken up Calgary’s market. She took a tremendous financial risk launching Scout during the most challenging economic downturn in Calgary's history. Scout has continued to dominate the market, winning projects and deals that have previously been held by large brokerage firms.

Economic and Community Improvement Impact Award
Jeanie Springer Knight
Managing Partner, Springer5 Investments
CREW New Mexico

Springer Knight successfully fostered public and private partnerships in the development of the Unser Gateway area in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. Los Diamantes, the hallmark sector, includes 578 single-family residential units, and a 34-acre business park. Over the first 10 years, it is projected to increase gross regional product by $1.3 billion USD and create 687 new jobs.

Member-to-Member Impact Award
Sue Myers
Senior Vice President - Real Estate, Development & Hospitality, Assurance MMA
CREW Chicago

Myers is an exceptional “CREW Connector.” When looking for strategic partners for deals, she consistently considers her CREW colleagues first and advocates for their selection when discussing with key stakeholders. In the last two years, she has been involved in CREW member-to-member deals with an impressive asset value of over $3.2 billion.

Career Advancement for Women Impact Award
Ginny Gibson
Professor Emerita of Corporate Real Estate, University of Reading - Henley Business School
CREW UK

Gibson has demonstrated her commitment to advancing women in commercial real estate through building CREW Network’s first global affiliate CREW UK, developing a successful mentorship program, and expanding the group’s market presence. In early 2021, she analyzed UK data collected from CREW Network’s benchmark study, generated a sub-study, and facilitated three DEI roundtables for CREW UK members.

Rising Star Impact Award – NEW!
This new Impact Award recognizes a rising leader who has contributed significantly to CREW Network and the industry with outstanding volunteer contributions, participation, and engagement.

Casey Flannery
Senior Associate, Cushman & Wakefield
CREW Network Member-at-Large

Flannery has quickly climbed the ranks to senior associate broker in Memphis, Tennessee. She was a member of the 2019 CREW Network Leadership Certificate cohort, is currently co-chair of the Communications and Editorial Committee, and a content contributor to CREW Network. She has also been active in Cushman & Wakefield’s Women’s Integrated Network

View the full list of 2021 Impact Award nominees.