CREW Detroit Announces Honorees at the 17th Annual Impact Awards

Ceremony honors Metro Detroit’s most impactful real estate developments of 2018, Woman of Impact

DETROIT – Nearly 300 local professionals attended the annual CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) Impact Awards Luncheon at the Detroit Athletic Club in Detroit Sept. 12, where 3 local projects and one CREW member were presented with the organization’s highest honors.

Rachele DownsCREW Detroit presented the Woman of Impact Award to Rachele Downs, founder of Downs Diversity Initiatives, LLC. Selected by the board, CREW Detroit’s Woman of Impact is someone who demonstrates a sincere commitment to the commercial real estate industry, has been an advocate for women in the industry, and is an organization member of long-standing tenure.

Downs, a past president of CREW Detroit, she is a long-time champion of CREW Careers and UCREW.  She utilizes her skills, experience, and sphere of influence to help others realize their full potential through cultivating self-awareness, resilience, networks, and leadership development.Passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion, Downs works tirelessly to improve and strengthen community access to resources in economic development, educational preparedness, and leadership development

Selected from 17 entries, the real estate developments presented with the 2017 Impact Awards were:

Beacon ParkBeacon Park
Category: New Construction; Submitted by: Giffels Webster
Beacon Park, Detroit’s newest urban park offers activities 365-days a year. This once vacant lot now connects people, literally and figuratively. Whether dining at Lumen, viewing the city skyline, listening to a concert, playing volleyball, or merely siting among the landscape, Beacon Park truly is a beacon for the community.
GM Workplace TransformationGeneral MotorsWorkplaceTransformation
Category: Adaptive Reuse/Renovation; Submitted by: SmithGroup JJR
General Motors is undergoing an overall workplace transformation that repositions the company into that of a technology / mobility company. Fully realized, the project enables the company to provide more than 2,600 jobs for the Metro Detroit area and compete with the nation’s hottest tech companies like Google and Apple for the best and brightest workers.
Little Caesars ArenaLittle Caesars Arena
Category: Special Impact; Submitted by: Barton Malow
Little Caesars Arena is located in The District Detroit – a live, work and play development fueling the city’s redevelopment — one of the largest sports and entertainment developments in the country. Little Caesars Arena features state-of-the-art technology, fan amenities and active community spaces.

The 2018 judges panel consisted of:
ANDREA BURG // Director, Clinical Workplace Delivery, United HealthGroup
ALEXA BUSH // Landscape Architect and Senior City Planner, City of Detroit Planning & Development Department
SAMANTHA ECKHOUT // Senior Vice President of Development, REDICO
DANA KREIS GLENCER // Partner Dawda, Mann, Mulcahy & Sadler, PLC
TIM KAY // Managing Director, JLL
LAWRENCE R. MARANTETTE // Partner, Taktix Solutions LLC
LISSA MARGARET // Director of Urban Design Narratives, Bedrock Detroit
KIRK PINHO // Real Estate Reporter, Crain’s Detroit Business
MICHAEL P. SMITH // Vice President, Associated General Contractors of Michigan

About the CREW Detroit Impact Awards:
The CREW Detroit Impact Awards are presented annually to three multi-disciplinary real estate development projects in the categories of New Construction, Adaptive Reuse/Renovation, and Special Impact. Winning projects demonstrate a significant, positive social and economic impact on the communities in which they are built.

As further tribute to the organization’s commitment to cultivating influence throughout the region, the CREW Detroit Board of Directors presents one deserving member with the Woman of Impact Award, nominated by the CREW Detroit board.

About CREW Detroit:
Founded in 1986, CREW Detroit is a founding chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women Network, the premier professional organization dedicated to advancing women’s success in commercial real estate. We are an organization comprised of more than 175 professional women within a growing national network of over 10,000 CREW Network members in 70+ chapters across the United States and Canada. Members of CREW represent every discipline in the commercial real estate industry including architects, attorneys, brokers, contractors, designers, developers, engineers, lenders, title agents and many others.

On both the national and chapter levels, CREW presents programs and events that promote educational and business opportunities to its members:

  • Monthly programs focus on industry issues, personal development and networking.
  • Special events – Impact Awards, CREW Careers, Annual Golf Outing – provide networking and business development opportunities.
  • Committee involvement develops desired skills – leadership, communications, management – and gives back to the community.
  • Creating opportunities for members to succeed in business, developing effective leaders, informing the industry and educating women and girls about career opportunities ensures that the commercial real estate industry remains not only a rewarding career choice but a viable industry.


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