Two months after CREW Detroit Past-President Jumana Judeh completed service on the 2015 CREW Network Audit Committee, she’s preparing to nominate herself again for the role. She said serving on the Audit Committee gave her a better understanding of CREW Network as a whole and opened her eyes to the challenges that come with running an international, multi-million-dollar organization.
Judeh, who served as 2013 CREW Detroit President, is a business management and entrepreneurship adjunct at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Mich., and President of Judeh & Associates, a real estate appraisal and valuation firm specializing in tax appeals for commercial, industrial, residential and a variety of other property types.
The Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network is a premier real estate industry business networking organization, dedicated to advancing the achievements of women in commercial real estate. With more than 9,000 members across 70 major North American markets, CREW represents nearly every discipline in the industry. Through CREW’s focus on business and leadership development, industry research and career outreach, members have multiple resources to create new and different ways of structuring deals.
The Audit Committee is one of five national committees that help steer CREW Network, which is the umbrella organization for 81 chapters. Made up of a handful of members from across the organization, the Audit Committee assists the CREW Network Board of Directors in overseeing and assuring the integrity of its financial information and the adequacy of its internal control systems, which are also applied to CREW Foundation, the philanthropic arm of CREW. The Audit Committee reviews the official audit report prepared by the organization’s contracted auditors and acts as an independent team to communicate all audit information directly to the CREW Network Board of Directors.
Each year, CREW members are encouraged to nominate fellow members to serve on the committees or apply themselves. Judeh nominated herself. Without being a certified public accountant, she thought her chances of being selected would be slim. But she applied anyway, leaning on her strong financial background as a respected real estate appraiser in metro Detroit.
“I wanted the experience, I wanted the exposure; so I went after it, and I got it,” said Judeh.
In addition to Judeh in Detroit, members in the Charlotte, Houston, Maryland, New York and Seattle were selected to serve on the 2015 Audit Committee.
Serving on a national committee for CREW Network is voluntary. Judeh said the biggest challenge for her was carving out time in her own schedule to make sure she met the expectations of the committee. To her this meant educating herself on the material that needed to be discussed and taking time to study the budget. Over conference calls, committee members scrutinized CREW Network’s annual budget line-by-line, so she wanted to be prepared.
“Serving on this committee is an extension of how much I support CREW and how much CREW has done for me professionally,” she said. “CREW is a way of life for me, so this was an amazing experience.”
Judeh is an advocate of self-promotion. She hopes more members interested in taking advantage of what CREW has to offer will follow suit. “I encourage everyone to go after a national committee,” she said. “I have always advocated to all members: if you want something, go after it – don’t wait for someone to ask you. If you’re waiting to be asked, you’ll miss opportunities to reach your goals.”
Members interested in joining a 2016 CREW Network Committee can learn more here.