Leadership Spotlight: Kelli Herman, President

2019 Leadership Spotlight Series

We kick- off our new Leadership Spotlight Series with a feature on our fabulous 2019 President, Kelli Herman.  Kelli is the Director of Opportunity Creation at Neumann/Smith Architecture and has been involved with CREW Detroit since 2011. In her role as the president of CREW Detroit, Kelli leads the chapter with strategic vision and moderates meetings of the board of directors.  She serves as a National Delegate to CREW Network by attending all CREW Network meetings. She understands the CREW brand and the importance of connecting with the resources at CREW Network in order to lead CREW Detroit with best practices to provide value to membership.


Why did you join CREW? And how long have you been in CREW?
I joined CREW in 2011.  When I was hired, my previous employer stressed to me that I join CREW Detroit immediately as they saw it as a valuable resource within the current market and network to connect for business.

Why is CREW important to you? To your company?
CREW has had a major impact on my life.  It has provided me with a platform where I can challenge and grow my skills as a leader through various scenarios and interactions with a multitude of people who have become an integral part in my growth.  This organization has provided an avenue where I can seek out advice and guidance in every facet of my life; the members of CREW have had a major impact on my development as a leader and professional.  As a member company, Neumann/Smith Architecture supports CREW Detroit as a resource for network growth, professional interaction, and name recognition.  In addition to supporting four Neumann/Smith employee’s memberships, they have been a long term supporter by being a Legacy Sponsor throughout the organization’s history.

What has CREW done for you? Personally and Professionally?
It has provided me the opportunity to connect with other CRE professionals in the industry who I would not have had the opportunity to connect without a common connection such as CREW Detroit.  Personally, the connections I’ve made through CREW Detroit have turned into valued and cherished friendships.

Why should people within the CRE industry join CREW?
As the premier organization in the commercial real estate industry, I believe CREW is continuously challenge the status quo and asking “Why?”  From the white papers that Network has published on equality and diversity/inclusion to growing into a global organization, it has helped transform the conversation in how the CRE industry has been operating by openly discussing the areas of improvement and providing tools to help make those changes.

Can you share a #crewsuccess story? Job Opportunity? Project Opportunity?
I’ve had numerous opportunities through CREW Detroit. Whether it has been project opportunity or looking for a consultant to strength our team approach; my first decision is to look within CREW Detroit.

3 things I wish I had known to elevate my professional career.

  1. Understand all the opportunities that your skills and talents offer and not what your degree says.
  2. Be mindful of your career path.
  3. Welcome failure.  The ability to acknowledge a pause and see another stepping-stone toward something greater.

How have you been involved in with CREW? Committees; Board?
I dove right in!  Within my first year of CREW, I was a Chair/Co-Chair of Membership for 5 years with some involvement on the Golf Committee.  After my time on Membership, I was selected as Board Liaison for Golf; a two-year commitment. And last year was selected as President Elect / Sponsorship to prepare me for this year’s leadership as CREW Detroit’s President.  Throughout my membership, I’ve also been involved/volunteered in many of the activities and programs that the organization has developed: Career Day, the first professional development program, etc.

What advice would you give a new Member?
Looking for a new opportunity… Join CREW.
Looking to build your network… Join CREW.
Looking for like-minded professionals in the CRE industry… Join CREW.
Looking to gain industry knowledge… Join CREW.
Looking for professional development… Join CREW.

Who was your CREW Sponsor?
Mary LeFevre was my sponsor.  As a competitor at the time, she agreed to meet with me and explain what CREW was about and reiterated why I should be a member.

What is your favorite quote?
“Nothing is impossible, the word itself says, I’m possible!”
Audrey Hepburn

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