2016 IS A YEAR OF APPRECIATION AND CELEBRATION!
2016 is a time for our chapter to look back and appreciate the involvement and dedication of many qualified and exceptional members. It’s also time for each of us to commit or recommit to ourselves and each other that we need to engage in this amazing network of members, by joining committees, attending events and getting more involved to get the most out of our membership. Finally, this is also a time for our chapter to celebrate as we continue to meet and exceed the many goals that we’ve set for ourselves as a group. We have so much to celebrate and I feel excited, honored and humbled to be your President during this exciting time in our chapter’s history.
Starting with appreciation: a great accomplishment to appreciate and celebrate is that, as of Dec. 31, 2015, CREW Detroit reached its highest year in chapter membership, totaling 177 members and an annual retention rate of 88 percent. The growth in our chapter’s membership provides each and every CREW Detroit member with the ability to have a meaningful, local professional network. Could you imagine having 177 friends that you can contact with questions, for professional and general advice, and with whom to explore business opportunities? You don’t have to imagine – it’s real. Each of our members has access to this amazing network, and I know personally it’s benefited many of us already.
So how will the CREW Detroit network work for you? The most effective way for your membership to work is for you to “engage” in CREW Detroit. Random House Webster’s College Dictionary 2000 edition defines “engage” as: “to occupy oneself; to become involved; to assume an obligation, to occupy the attention or efforts of others.” The old saying still rings true: “you get out of it what you put into it.” So you can, and should, engage in our membership activities. Join and become active in a committee. Attend events and meet and sit with members that you have not yet connected with. Interested in a leadership position? Make your interest known by connecting with me, a board member and/or a current committee chair or co-chair. The leaders of our chapter are here to assist you in making connections within this network, and unless you express your interest in leading, they may never know.
In late January, I had the honor of attending the CREW Network Winter Leadership Summit in San Antonio, Texas. The Summit brought to light some thoughtful topics, such as providing value to chapter members. This is something our chapter has been focusing on in recent years by ensuring that the chapter is providing cutting-edge and engaging programs to our membership. CREW Detroit has continued to find ways to keep our members engaged once they join, connecting them with other members both at similar career levels and those who are more experienced, as well as connecting members with differing backgrounds to help diversify our individual networks. CREW Detroit has done this in part through the annual CREW XChange Program, creating mini-teams or smaller networks between newer and more seasoned CREW members. Our Chapter has featured some leading-edge programming, such as Professional Development sessions led by Inforum Center for Leadership, our annual Golf Outing (which was sold out in 2015), our annual Impact Awards (also sold out in 2015), a development symposium featuring representatives of local, high-profile real estate developments in and around Detroit – which involved CREW Members and/or CREW sponsor companies – a tour of the construction site of the Polk Penguin Conservation Center at the Detroit Zoo (featuring CREW Member participating companies), just to name a few. It is through these focused and interesting programs that CREW Detroit can celebrate its members and member projects.
Speaking to celebration, this year marks CREW Detroit’s 30th Anniversary. What an amazing accomplishment that our Chapter has so much history and continues to have exceptional members working to continue our legacy. An exciting event worthy of celebration is that our chapter is hosting the CREW Network Spring Leadership Summit June 16-17, 2016, at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. This summit will give CREW Detroit the ability to showcase to other North American CREW chapters and their members how vibrant Southeastern Michigan has become with its growing number of chapter members, many new developments, restaurants and activities to enjoy year round. If you are interested in being involved with this event, please contact our President Elect, Andrea Burg, who is heading up this exciting opportunity.
Besides our local connections through our chapter network, I want to remind our members of CREW Network and the amazing national network that you are a part of through your CREW Detroit membership. CREW Network resources are thoughtful tools for members to access. From Chapter leadership playbooks, information on recommended speakers, programming ideas and a national network business directory (i.e. CREWbiz), CREW Network can enhance local member benefits for each of us. Through the CREWbiz Member Directory, you will have access to a huge network of successful members throughout North America who’ve made themselves available to call upon for advice, to share information and to give and receive referrals. This Network does work and it can work for you, but only if you complete your CREWbiz profile. It will only take you 15-20 minutes and it can open doors you never thought possible.
In 2016, CREW Detroit will continue to offer exceptional programs – from hosting a nationally-recognized speaker, to our annual golf outing and Impact Awards, professional development opportunities and many other thoughtful and engaging events. So this year let’s appreciate our past CREW connections, engage in our chapter by making new connections and create new opportunities for ourselves and each other. Complete your CREWbiz profile, attend a new engaging program, attend the CREW Network Spring Leadership Summit in Detroit and celebrate the amazing members, colleagues and friends that you have and the relationships you will continue to create through your CREW Detroit connections.
Dana Kreis Glencer
2016 CREW Detroit President