Leadership Spotlight: Rachel Smith, Treasurer

2019 Leadership Spotlight Series

This week’s spotlight is on another member of our Executive Committee – Rachel Smith, Treasurer. Rachel is an Associate and Project Manager at PEA, Inc., a professional civil engineering, land surveying and landscape architecture firm. Rachel became a member of CREW Detroit three years ago. In her role as the treasurer of CREW Detroit, Rachel manages the funds of the organization by helping each committee establish budgets for the year’s activities and reports on the expenditures and reports monthly to the Board. She monitors the cash and reserve accounts, analyzes and advises the Board on the financial position and health of CREW Detroit.

Why did you join CREW? And how long have you been in CREW?
A co-worker of mine told me about CREW.  One of his clients was a member of CREW and he noticed what an impact it made on her being a member.   I hadn’t heard of CREW prior to then, but I’m very glad I joined!  I’ve been a member for the past 3 years.

Why is CREW important to you? To your company?
I work in a male-dominated industry and being part of CREW is important to me to be able to interact and learn from other highly successful women in the commercial real estate industry.   I think CREW is important to my company because it has helped me improve my leadership skills as well as providing networking and marketing opportunities for our firm.

What has CREW done for you? Personally and Professionally?
Professionally, CREW has helped me improve my leadership and networking skills.  CREW offers many professional development events as well as insightful and informative speaker events, awards ceremonies, community outreach events, and several networking events.  I have learned a lot at these events and met so many great people.  Personally, I have made multiple new friends the past 3 years in CREW and have (slightly!) improved on my golf game.  The CREW golf outing definitely makes it less intimidating for women to participate in golf outings and the Sip and Swing event has helped improve my golf skills.

Why should people within the CRE industry join CREW?
CREW is an excellent way for people in the CRE industry to network with so many people from multiple different disciplines.  It also offers access to the national CREW Network directories and events.

Can you share a #crewsuccess story? Job Opportunity? Project Opportunity?
I have worked with several other CREW members on multiple projects.   Some were with companies that we had worked with in the past that we were able to grow our relationship with, and some were with new companies or contacts that we hadn’t worked with before.  We have also teamed with other CREW members on RFP responses for larger projects.    Being a member of CREW has definitely increased my network of contacts in the CRE industry.

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

  1. I wish I had known about and joined CREW earlier!
  2. I wish I had realized earlier how important networking is in our industry.
  3. It’s important to continue learning and challenging yourself.

How have you been involved in with CREW? Committees; Board?
I have been involved in both the Outreach and Membership Committees and try to attend every event that I can.  I am currently the Treasurer and CFO for the Detroit Chapter.

What advice would you give a new Member?
Join a committee and try to attend as many events as you can.  Play or volunteer at the CREW golf outing even if you aren’t a good golfer.   Don’t be afraid to take on a more leadership role in CREW.

Who was your CREW Sponsor?
The incomparable Whitney Findlay!

What is your favorite quote?
“Always go with the choice that scares you the most, because that’s the one that is going to require the most from you” – Caroline Myss

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