Real estate economist Hugh F. Kelly, PhD, CRE, opened his 20th annual presentation to CREW-Miami with the observation that forecasters should have learned some humility after the inaccuracy of many of their 2016 predictions. That said, he projects moderate acceleration for GDP in 2017, sees the economy as doing well now, and expects continued prosperity for Miami real estate. “Contrary to popular belief, a change in the presidency does not usually mean major changes in the economy, because the economy is cyclical, regardless of who is in office.” Read More »


At its December 2016 luncheon, CREW-Miami celebrated an impressive array of achievements by the organization and its members.

Cristina Lumpkin of Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP expressed gratitude to the amazing team who helped to make her year as CREW-Miami’s 2016 president so productive. “I am proud of the work we have done and all that we achieved this year, from our membership number reaching a new high of 275, our excellent programs and fabulous signature events, our outreach programs through U-CREW, and our scholarship program.” She also expressed the very successful Fall Connections event held at the Freedom Tower in October.  Read More »


The President’s Breakfast, a CREW-Miami members-only event, has become a cherished tradition. The lively gathering on December 10, 2016, included board members, committee chairs, and new and continuing members. Linda Adler of Carlton Fields, who chairs CREW’s strategic planning committee, welcomed guests to her firm’s offices. Chapter President Cristina Lumpkin (Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP) opened the program with deep thanks to the members for honoring her with a challenging yet rewarding year. She noted that the membership was a strong 275 as of the board’s last meeting. Read More »


Responding to the changing world and staying competitive in Miami’s high demand real estate market was the topic of CREW-Miami’s November 16, 2016, luncheon program at the InterContinental Miami. Read More »


Nominations are Open for CREW-Miami’s Annual Awards

CREW-Miami members have been working all year to make deals happen, as well as dedicating time to CREW, and actively engaging in the industry and community. Now we have a chance to recognize those whose leadership and dedication have stood out from November 2015 through the present. We want to acknowledge the movers and shakers of this milestone year

Want to recognize a mentor who has helped you in your career? Did you ink a big deal and want everyone to know? If so, please click on the link below to see all the categories, and complete a nomination.

CREW-Miami’s awards ceremony will be held on Wednesday, December 14.


Nominations must be submitted by 5:00 PM on Wednesday, November 16, 2016. 

Send questions or submissions to Joann Soman. Thank you!

Click HERE to download Awards Nomination Form 


CREW-Miami’s Signature Fall Event Scores an Impressive Success

True to its name, CREW-Miami’s annual “Cocktails, Community and Connections” showcased the enthusiasm and generosity that characterize South Florida’s commercial real estate professionals. Co-chairs Joy McKenna and Diana Carballeira and their tireless committee members created a memorable evening of networking on October 27, 2016, at the National Historic Landmark Freedom Tower at Miami Dade College in Downtown Miami. 

Read More »


Visionary brokers and developers analyze Miami’s dynamic retail real estate market

On Sept. 21, 2016, at the Four Seasons Hotel, journalist Emon Reiser of the South Florida Business Journal moderated a panel that included Michael Comras, Principal, The Comras Company of Florida; Kristin Mueller, COO of Jones Lang LaSalle’s retail group; Tom Roth, Principal, Grass River Property; and Sara Wolfe, Senior Managing Partner, Koniver Stern. Both Comras and Roth are involved in redevelopment initiatives for Cocowalk in Coconut Grove and The Shops at Sunset Place in South Miami. Read More »


“He said, ‘Barbara, if you were a man, I would hire you today.  But since you’re a female, I’m not going to hire you.’” Barbara Black’s retelling of her first attempt to enter the commercial real estate industry was an emotional kick off to the CREW-Miami August luncheon.

Barbara is currently managing partner at JLL, the second largest real estate brokerage in the nation.

Joining her for the luncheon and panel discussion were Florida Bar President and managing partner at Burr & Forman LLP’s Tampa office Bill Schifino; incoming president and managing director of Gray Robinson and former Florida Bar president Mayanne Downs; partner at Bilzin Sumberg Al Dotson; and principal of Fairchild Partners Maria Juncadella.  Former television news anchor and reporter Cynthia Demos moderated the panel.

In addition to sharing stories, the panelist offered the following advice for the women and men in the audience, which included commercial real estate and legal industry professionals:

  • Beware of the ‘Glass Cliff”: Maria Juncadella pointed out that while women are now getting tapped on the shoulder for leadership roles, it is often happening when companies are at a precarious place and desperate for change. These women are breaking the glass ceiling but then finding themselves faced with a glass cliff. She advises surrounding yourself with other company leaders and industry advisers who can help guide and support you to achieve success.
  • Find mentors:“If you can’t get mentoring within your business, you can get it by networking in outside groups,” said Barbara Black. She recommends joining industry and business groups who can provide advice, mentorship and career development.
  • Men need to be part of the solution:“Often, men are missing from this conversation,” said Al Dotson.  Al urged employers to bring men and women to the table to discuss the unconscious biases that continue to exist and work together on creating and enforcing solutions that will be most beneficial for the organization.
  • Ask for what you want:“Here’s what you do about gender pay gaps: You don’t accept it,” said Mayanne Downs, who stresses that when it comes to compensation, women have a right and responsibility to ask for fair and adequate compensation.

The panel came about after recent studies from CREW Network and The Florida Bar show that women are still dealing with gender bias and a wide wage gap.  Bill Schifino shared that Florida Bar’s Young Lawyers Division survey found that 43 percent of young female lawyers still face gender bias and harassment in the workplace.

The CREW Network Benchmark Study indicates that while career satisfaction and optimism among women in commercial real estate is improving, a 23.3% median wage gap between men and women remains.

Today, women make up just over a third of judges and 38% of the Florida Bar’s membership.  “No, it’s not enough,” said Bill Schifino, “There’s a lot of work to do, but we’re getting there.”

Panel discussion

To view the event photo album, click here.




This April, CREW-Miami’s monthly luncheon and panel discussion focused on Miami’s largest mixed-use projects under development. Moderated by South Florida Business Journal reporter, Brian Bandell, panelists Gonzalo Cortabarria, Senior Vice President of Swire Properties developing Brickell City Centre; Ali Soule, Public Affairs Manager of All Aboard Florida; and Dean Warhaft, Vice President and Development Coordinator of Florida East Coast Realty developing Panorama Tower; shared the latest updates on their new developments and discussed the opportunities and challenges these large-scale projects represent for our local business and civic community.

For instance, Ali Soule said All Aboard Florida will remove 3 million cars from the road every year and change the way people in our state travel for work or leisure. Brickell City Centre and Panorama Tower will both unite office, hotel, retail and residential components, a trend that is redefining communities as more people seek greater quality of life. The pursuit of a lifestyle where you can work, live and play is driving this significant real estate investment in Miami’s urban core.

Here are a few photos from CREW-Miami’s April Luncheon. You can view the full album here.

Gonzalo Cortabarria, Ali Soule, Marti Mang, Brian Bandell, Dean Warhaft