MEMBER HIGHLIGHT

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Outgoing 2016 President Spotlight – Dec. 2016

Cristina Lumpkin was the 2016 CREW-Miami President and a partner in the Environmental Law practice group at Bilzin Sumberg in Miami, Florida.  At the firm, she primarily assists developers in pre-acquisition environmental due diligence and remediation.

Cristina did not always have her sights set on the legal profession. As a college student studying geography at University of Hawaii, she had aspirations of being a climatologist but was deterred by the challenges of calculus. She continued on, earning a master’s in geography/natural resource management. From there she returned to the mainland (she grew up in Cary, NC) and eventually made her way to Coral Gables, Florida, where she attended the University of Miami School of Law. 

Shortly after graduation, she started as an environmental attorney at a top law firm in Miami before moving to Bilzin Sumberg in 2011.

Looking to join a networking organization, Cristina attended several CREW-Miami luncheons. She had not been a member of any other CREW chapters before, and found the welcoming vibe and energy at the events enjoyable. With the encouragement of her colleagues, she joined the Miami chapter in 2012.

At her first opportunity, Cristina joined a committee and was appointed co-chair of Hospitality in 2013.  From there, she was Network Liaison, then President-Elect, then President while also participating actively on the Strategic Planning Committee. Of all the committees and positions she held, President has been, by far, the most responsibility but also the best opportunity for impact, introductions, and chances to form new bonds while deepening others. It was an incredible honor – rewarding, exhausting – to be selected to serve.

Cristina has long had a passion to further the rights of women and considers herself a lifelong feminist, having read “The Feminine Mystique” as a teen.  Always cognizant of women’s challenges, she was drawn to CREW, which she believes has created an “all gals/girls” network as an answer to the “all boys” networks that dominate the industry and community.

One of the challenges many women face in the business community is the need to balance work, family and personal time. But Cristina knew the presidential role would not pose a threat, because her firm proudly supports CREW – both through dedicated time and sponsorship dollars – and her family was fully in her corner.  Bilzin supplied her with colleagues who were available to moderate panels and participate in luncheons; the firm granted office space for board meetings and member-to-member events, including a discussion on the gender gap and diversity in the workplace.

The firm helped to pave the road for Cristina, as did two former CREW-Miami past presidents from Bilzin Sumberg—Suzanne Amaducci-Adams and Karyl Argamasilla. Bilzin Sumberg proved to be a place that offered sound advice, opportunity, and an open environment to try out ideas. Her colleagues have also been great advisors who provided a sense of history and advice for the future.

Her agenda for 2016 was aggressive yet attainable.  She feels satisfied with all that she accomplished in the course of the year and is excited for her new role as immediate past president and a continuing member of the strategic planning committee. While she has no aspirations for national CREW presidency, she envisions remaining part of the warm and inviting organization she has come to know and love.

For those who aspire to serve on the board or as future president, she encourages you to put forth the effort — to be active, to serve on a committee — and you will be rewarded with friendships, professional relationships, responsibility and empowerment.  Don’t wait…now is the time.

Past Highlights

Adler_Linda_colorLinda Adler, Esq. – Network Chapter delegate

Linda Adler became a member of CREW-Miami in 1995 after experiencing the buzz and energy at the Bal Harbour National CREW Convention. Greeted by Joann Soman, Linda was pleased with the welcoming nature of the Convention environment and was impressed by the strength of the professional women involved in CREW.

In 1996, Linda developed a connection with the CREW-Miami president who worked at Adler Group. Merely a coincidence in name, the Adler Group and Linda found their way to each other through CREW and Linda joined the Adler Group in 1996 as in-house general counsel. It was a career-altering CREW connection!

Immediately upon joining, Linda became an active CREW-Miami member. She went on to hold a variety of board positions including legal counsel, hospitality director, member to member (M2M) director, as well as Network delegate. Each position came with its own rewards, but, for Linda, the most satisfying was M2M director because it provided small, intimate gatherings that allowed for meaningful conversations and networking among a true cross-section of the larger membership.

Linda was attracted to commercial real estate law early in her career. She is currently a shareholder at Carlton Fields and practices transactional real estate. She notes that the law firm has been incredibly supportive throughout her tenure, granting her the flexibility and opportunity to maximize her CREW experience.

Carlton Fields has won many diversity awards, has several women on its board, provides space for CREW breakfast events four times a year, and has an active Women’s Initiative Network known as WIN. Linda, on average, does several deals annually with other CREW members around the country and is a strong advocate for CREW members doing business with other professional women.

As a female attorney and mother, Linda knew her career choice would place her in a male-dominated world. But CREW gave her access to other working moms, and enabled her to interact with women with similar interests, goals and challenges. CREW proved to be an ideal forum in which to share ways to balance life and family, while still being professionally successful, valued and happy.

Linda’s path in CREW led her to become a Network Chapter delegate and to learn more about CREW as a national organization. As a CREW-Miami delegate, she was appointed to serve on the CREW Network Nominating Committee. This position enabled her to meet the organization’s CEO and senior leadership, and to improve her understanding of the organization’s mechanics. When, in 2014, she was nominated to become a national director herself, she happily applied for the position.

As a director on the CREW Network board, Linda was exposed to the full networking potential of CREW. She looks at that time as a highlight of her CREW experience. She was able to give back to the organization, learn leadership tools, and educate herself on non-profits. Everyone surrounding her was thoughtful, creative and considerate, and she was able to establish lasting relationships, both professional and personal.

Although the time commitment for the national board role was significant, both her family and law firm supported her efforts. Attending two summits, one convention, and two days at each liaised chapter (one for a member meeting or M2M event and one for a board meeting), Linda was able to maintain her client base, spend time with friends and family, and still find time for herself. She encourages anyone with aspirations to be part of the national board to do it and make the most of it!

It is challenging to summarize her CREW experience in a few words but, if Linda could itemize the special benefits of CREW, she says it would be leadership growth and potential, business connections, lifetime friends, interacting with women who share similar experiences, and recognizing that your effort has stature, importance and a long lasting effect on those who look to you as a mentor, mother, sister, friend, colleague, attorney, and real estate professional.

Would she do it all over again? Unequivocally, “Yes!”

Lori Hartglass named a “Top Dealmaker of the Year”

Lori Hartglass, a partner at Arnstein & Lehr, was named a “Top Dealmaker of the Year”, in the category of Real Estate Finance, by the Daily Business Review for her involvement in securing a $214 million construction loan that was used to build the Porsche Design Tower in Sunny Isles Beach. Ms. Hartglass received the award on May 16 at Daily Business Review’s “Top Dealmakers” luncheon which recognized attorneys, brokers and finance executives for their involvement in commercial real estate transactions across South Florida over the past year.

She is the founding president of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) of Fort Lauderdale/Palm Beach and past president of CREW Miami.

At Arnstein & Lehr, Mrs. Hartglass is member of the firm’s Real Estate Practice Group. Her responsibilities and expertise include all legal aspects of financing, construction, acquisition and sales on projects throughout the United States, including shopping centers, malls, luxury condominiums, condominium hotels, office buildings and hotels.

Tere Blanca

Congratulations to Tere Blanca, President and CEO of Blanca Commercial Real Estate, for recently being selected as one of South Florida Business Journal’s Top 100 Power Leaders.

See the slideshow here.

Suzanne Hollander

Congratulations to CREW-Miami’s Suzanne Hollander, who was honored with a 2014 Thelma Gibson Award of Excellence from the Women’s Chamber of Commerce of Miami-Dade (corporate category).

The award is given annually to women who have made significant contributions to the advancement of women in our community. The Women’s Chamber was established in 1984 by Thelma Gibson who continues to participate in the organization.

Ellen is shown here with incoming Rotary International President, Ron Burton. She assumed office on July 1, 2013.

Ellen Blasi, New Governor for Rotary District 6990

CREW-Miami member Ellen Blasi has been selected to serve as District Governor for Rotary District 6990 during the 2013-2014 Rotary Year. Ellen is Director of Leasing for The Green Companies in Miami, Florida. She has been a member of CREW-Miami for eight years, having served on the Board of Directors and as head of the UCREW committee. She is currently active on the Scholarship committee.

Ellen has been a member of the Rotary Club of Key Biscayne for fourteen years and served as the club’s President in 2003-2004.

She has been selected as Rotarian of the Year twice by The Rotary Club of Key Biscayne and once by Rotary International Zone 6990.

Rotary District 6990 consists of 51 Rotary Clubs in Broward County, Miami-Dade County and Monroe County in the United States and Grand Bahama Island in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas. Rotary International is a global network of business, professional and community leaders, approximately 1.2 million members in 34,000 clubs worldwide, who volunteer their time and talents to serve communities locally and around the world and form strong, lasting friendships in the process.

Her goal for 2013-2014 is to foster awareness of Rotary and to create more opportunities for involvement of Rotary, in the communities in District 6990.

Donna Abood

The Commonwealth Institute South Florida (TCI) named Donna Abood as one of the Top 50 Women-Led Business Leaders in Florida for 2013.

Donna is Chairman–Founding Partner of Colliers International South Florida. Earlier this year she was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Florida State University’s College of Business, an honor bestowed on alumni who have excelled in their careers.

Danet Linares

Danet Linares, Executive Vice President, Blanca Commercial Real Estate, was recognized as a 2012 “Women of Influence” by REAL ESTATE FORUM magazine.

From a field of 200 nominees nationwide, Danet was among the 45 most prominent female executives in commercial real estate to be honored. Amid a still-challenging South Florida office market, she achieved the most productive year of her career thus far.

Congratulations to CREW-Miami members with Blanca Commercial Real Estate, law firm Bilzin Sumberg and Fairchild Partners, who collaborated on a recently complex office lease and land acquisition.

Blanca Commercial Real Estate served as the exclusive agent for the Miami Herald Media Company. Miami Herald and its sister publication El Nuevo Herald will relocate to 3511 NW 91st Avenue in Doral having leased the entire building consisting of 158,265 square feet of office space and will build its own 119,000-sq.-ft. production facility on an adjacent 6.04 acre parcel. Bilzin Sumberg represented the landlord/seller GPA-I and Fairchild Partners was a consultant to Blanca Commercial Real Estate with regards to the industrial market.

Congratulations to CREW-Miami members Karyl Argamasilla and Iris Escarra, who were named finalists for the 2010 national CREW Network 20 Under 40 awards.

The awards recognize talented young women who are blazing trails, ascending to senior leadership positions, and making their mark on the commercial real estate industry.