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CREW-SF Launches Rising Leaders Committee for Emerging Professionals


Remember what it was like to start out in your career? Maybe you were new to a company and didn’t have a “wing-woman” to accompany you to events. Or perhaps you were new to the industry and without a trusted colleague to bring you up to speed on all the acronyms. In commercial real estate, the intimidation factor can multiply exponentially for women who find themselves in a distinct minority.


To help address some of these challenges, CREW-SF is pleased to launch its “Rising Leaders” committee. With goals including to provide mentorship and development opportunities for its members, the new group has already attracted a core of nearly a dozen enthusiastic participants.


Amanda Bates, Investment Associate at Kilroy Realty, knew instantly that the Rising Leaders group was for her. “I had just moved here from Washington D.C. a year ago, and I knew that CREW, and particularly this group, would be a place for me to feel most comfortable expanding my network,” said Amanda. “To make connections at multiple levels; to meet more seasoned people in the industry and find mentors – I knew CREW’s Rising Leaders would be the fastest and most effective way to grow my network in San Francisco commercial real estate.”


The group is distinct from other young professional tracks in professional associations. CREW SF conceived the Rising Leaders group as a “self-selected group for those fresher to the industry,” according to CREW-SF President Laurie Gustafson. With no hard cut-off for involvement, such as age, the Rising Leaders group could encompass a diversity of members who are new to the field of commercial real estate.


Kilroy hosted the most recent Rising Leaders meeting, where the passions and ambitions among this group were palpable. In addition to planning the group’s first mixer, the Rising Leaders brainstormed a variety of events they’d like to lead, including:


“A Day in the Life” – a panel featuring select members who will walk the group through what their job entails.

“Develop Your Elevator Speech” – a crash course in how best to represent yourself, your company, your brand.


After three initial meetings with facilitation and support from CREW-SF Board Member Kristina Owyoung Vinson, the Rising Leaders group has already formed strong bonds. When asked if they all knew each other, the response was resounding: “We do now!”


CREW-SF associate members interested in joining the Rising Leaders committee can contact the Team Leads for information: Amanda Bates – or Kena David –



CREW-SF board members join Rising Leaders at a recent meeting of the newly formed committee


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