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CREW St. Louis Honors Members, Lesley Hoffarth at 13th Annual Networking Awards Ceremony

in Associations/News

Leader of Forest Park Forever receives Woman of Influence honors 

The St. Louis chapter of CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) honored members at its 13th Annual Networking Awards held on March 8 at The Saint Louis Woman’s Club. In addition to members, CREW-St. Louis presented its third annual Woman of Influence Award. The award recognizes a female leader who has impacted the commercial real estate industry through her leadership, accomplishments and service to the St. Louis region.

Cindy Preszler, broadcast and web meteorologist, served as the evening’s master of ceremonies.

The awards revolve around CREW-St. Louis’ mission to advance, educate and support women to influence the commercial real estate industry. Those honored in 2018 were: 

Woman of Influence: Lesley Hoffarth, President and Executive Director, Forest Park Forever

Hoffarth was recruited by the board to lead Forest Park Forever while still overseeing the $535 million I-64 project. A 20-year veteran of the Missouri Department of Transportation, Hoffarth joined Forest Park Forever after she completed the massive transportation project one month ahead of schedule and $11 million under budget.

In January 2010, she assumed the helm of Forest Park Forever, the private nonprofit conservancy charged with restoring, maintaining and sustaining one of America’s greatest urban public parks.

Hoffarth is leading the organization through a transition of its mission. Initially focused on rebuilding the 1,300-acre park, the organization has expanded its mission to partner with the City to restore, sustain and maintain it forever. To do so, Hoffarth and her team successfully negotiated a first-in-the-nation innovative agreement with the City that forms a partnership, secures funding for ongoing maintenance and builds the next phase of capital projects. This public-private partnership is considered a leading national model, with requests from around the country for advice on what it takes to make it work.

As part of this mission, she launched Forever: The Campaign for Forest Park’s Future. The $130 million campaign was designed to raise $30 million dollars to complete urgent capital projects and $100 million to expand the endowment for long-term park maintenance.

The most ambitious fundraising initiative in Forest Park’s history, the Forever campaign exceeded its goal.

Those gifts already have been made an impact in improving the park:

  • Rebuilding the roads around the Zoo and Art Museum, adding safe crossings, LED lighting and more than two miles of new sidewalks;
  • Rebuilding the bridge between the Boathouse and the Muny and adding safe sidewalks and a connection to the path system;
  • Installing a comprehensive new way-finding system for drivers, cyclists and walkers;
  • And overhauling the Festival & Parking Plaza above the Muny.

New Member of the Year: Lauren Berry, Gershman Commercial Real Estate

Berry jumped right in after joining CREW-St. Louis in late 2016. She serves as a key member of the communications committee. As a major contributor to its social media outreach, she recently agreed to chair the social media subcommittee.

She started an informal networking event for younger members and also serves as co-chair of the organization’s ambassador committee.

CREW Impact Award: Stacey Hudson, CORE Facility Services

Hudson was honored for advancing the chapter’s success. In particular, she has devoted numerous hours to capturing the spirit of CREW-St. Louis in her photographs. Additionally, she compiled a history of the chapter’s past presidents. She currently serves on the executive board as secretary.

Her impact on CREW-St. Louis started almost the day she joined in 1991. She became a board member filling the slot of someone moving away. Since then, she has co-chaired the programs committee and continues as a member on this important committee. She also has shared the opportunities available in commercial real estate with female high school and college students.

Economic Impact: Sarah Davis and Brittany Burke, CRG; Julie Panagos, Koman Group; Farris Hughes, Fifth Third Bank; Jenny Marler, Dentons US LLP; Eryn Bassett, Environmental Operations Inc. (Everly on the Loop)

The award honors a development project that impacts a community and the CREW-St. Louis members who played a pivotal role in the completion of Everly on the Loop

It took vision to convert what had been a vacant lot into a 14-story, 209-unit residential complex. The site formerly housed the Yellow Cab Company but the building was demolished in 2006.

Working with the community, area business leaders and political entities, formal approval to rezone the property took place in February 2016. Construction began soon after in May 2016. It was completed in record time, opening its doors in August 2017.

The student housing high-rise development anchors the East Loop in St. Louis City. Its impact extended development beyond Skinker Boulevard and connects to the nearby MetroLink station. And it will encourage future development.

The $66 million development greatly added to the region’s economy, supplying nearly 1,000 jobs as it rose from the ground. Equally impressive, 29 minority and women-owned firms were awarded contracts, expanding their capability to tackle larger projects in the future. Apprentices received experience, including several from the Construction Career Development Initiative.

Developed by CRG and the Koman Group, Everly on the Loop features one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments that appeal to students at nearby universities such as Washington University, as well as to young professionals who cherish urban living. Leases have been signed for more than 80 percent of the residential units.

The vision to move this forward required the skills of several CREW-St. Louis members.

Sarah Davis with CRG provided legal counsel before, during and after construction, and Brittany Burke handled public relations and marketing support.

Other members include those in the Koman Group, which became a partner in the project. Julie Paganos oversaw finish selections for the common areas and residential units, as well as details for the amenities and security.

Farris Hughes represented Fifth Third Bank, the project’s key lender, and she enlisted Denton’s Jenny Marler to oversee the legal work and due diligence to complete the $52 million syndicated construction loan. Eryn Bassett with Environmental Operations performed the environmental due diligence.

Career Advancement for Women: Erin Torney, Colliers St. Louis

CREW-St. Louis members recognized Torney for her constant efforts to support and advance the careers of women in commercial real estate. In fact, one nominee credits her for helping when she contemplated a transition to a new company.

Part and parcel, she has served in key positions as a member of the golf and ambassador’s committees. She then became co-chair of the ambassador’s committee, which welcomes new members and provides networking opportunities to all members. She is ideally suited for her latest role as co-chair of the membership committee.

Torney holds leadership positions with other organizations outside of CREW-St. Louis, focusing her efforts on education and advocacy to help others advance their careers.

CREW-St. Louis is one of the largest of CREW Network’s global chapters. Its more than 200 members come from all disciplines in commercial real estate. For more information, visit Follow CREW-St. Louis on Twitter @CREWSTL.

CREW-St. Louis Appoints 2018 Officers & Directors

in Associations/News

The St. Louis chapter of CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) announced its executive officers and board directors for 2018.

CREW-St. Louis officers for 2018, including their respective companies, are:

President, Lynn Goessling, Herzog Crebs LLP

President-Elect and National Delegate, Michelle Yates, Lawrence Group

Immediate Past President, Angie Earlywine, Forum Studio

Secretary, Stacey Hudson, Professional Office Environments

Treasurer, Carol Hanson, Great Southern Bank

National Delegate, Tracy Howren, UMB Bank

Board directors for 2018, and their respective companies, are:

Natasha Das, Stinson Leonard Street LLP

Sharon Henderson, Lawrence Group

Kristy Hess, Enterprise Bank & Trust

Karen Karwoski, Simmons Bank

Amy Mistler, Spencer Fane LLP

Ann Schmelzle, Balke Brown Transwestern

Celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2017, CREW-St. Louis is one of the largest of CREW Network’s global chapters. Its more than 200 members come from all disciplines in commercial real estate. For more information, visit Follow CREW-St. Louis on Twitter @CREWSTL.

CREW St. Louis Presents: Vision For City Development

in Associations/News

Join us at the beautiful ANEW Rooftop to hear about St. Louis’ new administration’s vision for city development.

Speaker: Linda Martinez, Deputy Mayor for Development

Appointed Deputy Mayor of Development under Mayor Lyda Krewson, Linda Martinez will present the new administration’s outlook for economic development in the city of St. Louis. Martinez joined the staff just weeks after Krewson won a historical election in April to become the first woman to serve as mayor of St. Louis.


5:00 – 6:00 pm – Registration, networking, happy hour, hors d’oeuvres

6:00 – 7:00 pm – Presentation

7:00 – 8:00 pm – Networking, happy hour, hors d’oeuvres


ANEW Rooftop @ Big Brothers Big Sisters
519 North Grand, St. Louis, MO 63103

Street parking available or adjacent Scottish Rite parking garage.

Register by June 6»
Member – $60 | Nonmember – $75

CREW-St. Louis to Recognize Leaders at Annual Awards Program

in Associations

The St. Louis chapter of CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) will hold its 12th Annual Networking Awards from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 9, at The Saint Louis Woman’s Club. In addition to honoring members, CREW-St. Louis will present its Second Annual Woman of Influence Award. The award recognizes a female leader who has impacted the commercial real estate industry through her leadership, accomplishments and service to the St. Louis region.

CREW-St. Louis 12th Annual Networking Awards

Time: 5:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Date:  Thursday, March 9, 2017

Place: The Saint Louis Woman’s Club
4600 Lindell Boulevard | St. Louis, MO 63108

Cost:  $75 for Members/$90 for Non-members/$560 for table of eight

(Includes cocktail reception, hors d’oeuvres and dinner)


Program outline:

Debbie Monterrey, KMOX radio morning drive-time anchor, will serve as master of ceremonies for the banquet. The awards revolve around CREW’s mission to advance the success of women in commercial real estate, showcase the power of networking and demonstrate the organization’s support to the community. Members will be honored in four categories: New Member of the Year, CREW Impact, Career Advancement for Women and Economic Impact. The Woman of Influence Award will celebrate the achievements of a female leader who has made a significant contribution to the commercial real estate industry and community. Amy Gill, CEO of Restoration St. Louis and the first recipient of the Woman of Influence Award, will present the award to this year’s honoree.

The St. Louis chapter of CREW Network was started in 1982. Since then, it has grown to become one of the largest of CREW Network’s 76 chapters in North America, with nearly 200 members from all disciplines in commercial real estate.

CREW-St. Louis Member Monica Conners Appointed To Crew Network Foundation’s Board Of Directors

in Associations/People
Monica Conners

Monica Conners is one of six members selected to serve on the 2017-18 Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network Foundation Board of Directors. The foundation is an international initiative that supports women in commercial real estate. Funding provides educational programs, scholarships, mentoring opportunities and cutting-edge industry research to advance the success of women in the industry.

As a champion director, Conners will help the foundation further its reach by continuing to raise awareness and funds that build opportunities for women and girls in the commercial real estate industry.

Conners is senior director of client development at the Lawrence Group, a national development and design firm based in St. Louis. She manages existing and new relationships for the St. Louis, Austin, Charlotte and New York offices and is responsible for cultivating growth in Lawrence Group’s markets.

A member of CREW-St. Louis since 2010, Conners has chaired the programs committee, served on the board of directors and most recently served as chapter president during 2016.

The St. Louis chapter of CREW Network was started in 1982. Since then, it has grown to become one of the largest of CREW Network’s 76 chapters in North America, with more than 180 members from all disciplines in commercial real estate.

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