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Local Students Gear Up for Seventh Annual CREW Careers Event Day

DETROIT, Mich. – CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) Detroit is gearing up for its seventh annual CREW Careers program May 15, 2014 at Quicken Loans (the Qube Building) in downtown Detroit.

An interactive mentoring program, CREW Careers is an exciting, hands-on experience, designed to introduce teenage girls to the various careers available in commercial real estate. CREW Detroit members educate participants through a series of presentation modules and activities over a three-month period. Students then apply what they have learned at the end of the program during the “big event”, by working in teams to create a conceptual redevelopment proposal for a Detroit property. Last year, Quicken Loans brought the winning team’s idea to life by incorporating the design into one of their spaces.

The program has grown drastically in size since it’s introduction, this year partnering with three (3) Detroit area schools – Go Lightly Career & Technical Center, Randolph Career and Technical Center and Cristo Rey, a Detroit parochial school. In addition to exposing the young women to alternative careers, the program is also designed to enhance their interpersonal, presentation and networking skills.

“This year’s theme, At the Turning Point, highlights the strides that Detroit is making towards a transformation, and how the neighborhoods are a vital component for the city’s success,” said CREW Careers Moderator and Outreach Committee Chair, Ellen Mahoney. The girls will be asked to create community centers from vacant Detroit Public Schools, that embody what they feel their own neighborhoods need in order to support this transformation and to make it sustainable.”

More than 100 young women from the participating schools have started preparing for this year’s event. By attending the in-school member hosted presentation modules, they are learning the commercial property development process and how real estate transactions transpire. This ensures that the students are equipped with an abundance of knowledge to complete the final project in only a few hours on event day, which is hosted by Quicken Loans.

“Quicken Loans is excited to be hosting CREW careers for the fourth year running,” said Melissa Price, Director of Facilities at Quicken Loans and member of CREW Detroit. “The event is an amazing opportunity for these young ladies to learn about the opportunities available in our field, receive one-on-one mentoring and earn an opportunity to obtain a internship with Quicken Loans and other corporate supporters.”

CREW Detroit members volunteer in various capacities for the event. Some serve as presenters, team advisers and ambassadors while others help out as greeters and general volunteers.

The program is set up as a 9-5 workday. The morning consists of CREW Detroit member presentations, speakers, skits that illustrate the right and wrong ways to act in the business world, networking and other activities. Students will then be presented with a design challenge – transform vacant DPS schools into neighborhood community centers – and are assigned to a team. Team advisors help guide students as they discuss, plan and create their vision for the space. Each team will present their ideas to a panel of judges comprised of local real estate professionals, city government personnel, and members of the media and CREW Detroit. Team awards are given in several categories – Most Dynamic Presentation, Most Creative Idea, Best Use of Visual Aids, etc. – with the Grand Prize Award given to the team who represents the best of all the above categories. Every student is given a CREW Careers embroidered messenger bag, filled with pens, notebooks, and other donations from CREW Detroit member companies and sponsors.

This year’s speakers and judges include: Kemba Braynon – Historic Planner, City of Detroit; Kathy Makino-Leipsitz – Owner, Shelborne Development; Mike Tidwell – Dean of the College of Business, Eastern Michigan University; Anthony Cartwright – Owner and Broker, North American Real Estate; Tahirih Ziegler, Executive Director, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and; Leslie Zawada, CREW Detroit President and Owner of Civil Engineering Solutions, Inc.

CREW Detroit has presented CREW Careers since 2008 to more than 300 DPS high-school girls. Each year, past students are invited to speak at the event and share their experience as college students.

Quicken Loans is located in the The Qube (previously known as the Chase Tower) at 611 Woodward Ave. in Detroit, Mich. To participate as a sponsor of CREW Careers or attend as a member of the media, contact Ellen Mahoney at 248-505-2509 / emahoney@ctitleonline.com or Marcy Beck at 1-877-70-PLANT / mbeck@colorscapesonline.com.

About CREW Detroit:
Since 1986, CREW Detroit (www.crewdetroit.org) has been advancing the success of women in the commercial real estate industry through networking and member-to-member-driven business opportunities. It is a founding chapter of CREW Network, a professional organization made up of more than 9,000 women and men from across the United States and Canada. The network serves as a key resource to CREW chapter members and the commercial real estate industry as a whole. Members hail from all disciplines of commercial real estate and represent every type of expert necessary to complete a commercial real estate transaction.
Learn more at www.crewnetwork.org.

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