2018 Celebration of Champions Recap

December 11, 2018

In early November, more than 220 CREW Orlando members and guests gathered at the Alfond Inn for the 15th Annual Celebration of Champions awards gala. Attendees donned their best attire for this year’s Spanish-themed event, mingling over live music and signature cocktails during the happy hour. After the awards ceremony, they put their good luck to the test with a number of casino games.

The awards ceremony highlights the outstanding achievements over the past year, and 2018 was a year to celebrate . . . Congratulations to all of the winners and nominees! Click here to go to the photo album

Award winners and nominees

  • Rising Star – honors a new CREW member, in their first year of membership, who has made noticeable contributions to CREW.
    • Winner – Karen Kurta 
      • Karen serves as a co-chair for CREW’s communications committee and fully embraced her role. She was instrumental this year in managing CREW Orlando’s social media presence, creating marketing flyers, the sponsor spotlights and providing graphics for a number of initiatives.
    • Nominees – Jennifer Black, Christina Bracco, Brittany Gruber, Karen Kurta, Lisa Lee, Landry Loving, Hattie McGriff
  • Esprit de Coeur – is designed to recognize an active CREW member who continually puts their heart and soul into CREW Orlando. The individual has demonstrated a strong commitment to furthering CREW Orlando ’s goals and purposes; has enthusiastically participated in CREW Orlando events; and has promoted CREW Orlando as an organization in a recognizable way.
    • Winner – Jennifer Pollock 
      • Jennifer joined CREW in 2018 and has served on the Board of Directors for the past four years. She is actively involved in almost all CREW committees, in addition to serving as chair of the sponsorship committee. Under her leadership, this year’s sponsorship committee successfully implemented a new sponsor package for 2019 which will serve as an instrumental tool for our chapter. Jennifer is constantly using her CREW network for business deals with local and national members.
    • Nominees – Gina LeMaster Brown, Chiara Clatterbuck, Shanna Cole, Brittany Gruber, Dorrie Knizatko, Libby Wingard, Jennifer Pollock
  • Future Leader of the Year – honors a current CREW member, 35 years of age or under, who has made noticeable contributions to CREW.
    • Winner – Brooke Strasser 
      • An active Future Leader, Brooke is a strong advocate for the group both internally and outside of CREW. She served as the CREW liaison for the annual Visionaries Event with ULI and NAIOP, and assisted in planning Future Leaders events and obtaining sponsorships. Brooke works in business development and marketing for Hutton Enterprises, a general contractor specializing in interior construction. She received her bachelor’s degree in marketing from UCF, and has been a member of CREW since 2017.
    • Nominees – Avery Donaudy, Jordan Eiserman, Hanna Edeback, Alex Lanauze, Heidi Mitchell, Sarah Riffe, Brooke Strasser
  • Entrepreneurial Spirit – an entrepreneur is one who renews society and invigorates industry by seeking out and capitalizing on opportunities. Individual may own a company or work within a larger organization. Nominee provides services, develops products, or improves practices by innovatively organizing, developing, or deploying available resources. Nominee is often a risk taker, and is willing to step outside the box to create something new or different. The Entrepreneurial Spirit Award honors a CREW Orlando member who has achieved a unique career success or milestone as the result of an exceptional entrepreneurial spirit.
    • Winner – Susan Godorov
      • After 17 years with Brixmor Property Group, Susan left to start her own commercial real estate company, MarketBuilders, which provides management, marketing, public relations and communications to area organizations. She brings her knowledge of the industry to her clients and leverages her relationships through CREW Orlando.
        Susan has been a CREW Orlando member since 2015 and is active with the programs committee.
    • Nominees – Mara Hunt, Sarah Kelly, Susan Godorov, Therese Taylor
  • Company of the Year – honors a general or affiliate-member company that has made noticeable contributions to CREW Orlando.
    • Winner – HuntonBrady Architects 
      • HuntonBrady Architects has been an advocate of CREW Orlando since 1998, supporting in sponsorship, as well as in the contributions of staff who are active on a board, national delegate or committee level. In the past few years, the firm has been honored with four networking deals, in addition to an economic and community involvement award. HuntonBrady currently has four active members, and continues to support CREW as it aligns with the firm’s goals.
    • Nominees – Axiom Bank, HuntonBrady Architects, National Due Diligence Services, Lowndes
  • Outstanding Networking Achievement – recognizes an outstanding networking experience between two or more members of CREW Orlando and/or CDEW Network. Nominees must be active members, in good standing, of CREW Orlando and/or CREW Network at the time of the deal, and at the time of the nomination. Nominations in this category are not limited to real estate transactions, but may include career development opportunities such as significant business referrals.
    • Winner – Sale of Class A Medical Office Portfolio. CREW members involved were Anne Spencer (Cushman & Wakefield), Cindy Schooler (SRS Real Estate Partners), Mary Pat Dunleavy (Fidelity National Title Group), Shanna Cole (Fidelity National Title Group), and Stephanie Landis (Intertek PSI).
      • Anne Spencer with Cushman & Wakefield negotiated the sale of a Class A medical office portfolio for $16.2 million. Cindy Schooler from SRS Real Estate Partners introduced Anne to the client, and provided a consulting role throughout the entire process. Fidelity National Title Group provided the title insurance, led by Mary Pat Dunleavy and Shanna Cole, while Stephanie Landis with Intertek PSI conducted the building inspections. The portfolio consists of five buildings totaling 59,644 square feet, which are each 100 percent leased to a single, credit-rated Orlando-based health system. The five properties are located in strategic markets throughout the Greater Orlando region including Orlando, Lake Mary, Longwood and Ocoee.
    • Nominees – NeoCity Academy, Sale of Class A Medical Office Portfolio, Orlando Health’s Freestanding Emergency Facility in Osceola County, Northpoint Tenant Improvement Deals, Redevelopment of Old Town, Design Build Office Building for Lockheed Martin, Northmarq Capital Office Move, Multi-State Hotel Package.
  • Economic & Community Involvement
    • Nominee & Winner – Pulse Interim Memorial (Vicki Berman & Kristilee Chihos with Dean Mead) 
      • Vicki Berman and Kristilee Chihos with DeanMead assisted with the real estate matters for the Pulse Interim Memorial, including the identification, analysis, negotiation and drafting for potential land acquisitions, leasing, title matters, easements, design and construction for the Interim Memorial site. Additionally, Vicki serves on the onePULSE Foundation Board of Trustees and serves as the chairperson of the Design and Construction Committee for the onePULSE Foundation, which is tasked with the design and construction of the Interim Memorial and permanent Memorial and Museum. The Interim Memorial opened to the public on May 8, 2018 and has been visited by over 34,000 attendees. The opening ceremony for the Interim Memorial generated over a million total media impressions and was highlighted by national and international media outlets.
  • Woman of Influence – recognizes an exceptional female commercial real estate professional or industry executive who has demonstrated significant contributions to the Central Florida real estate community. She will have provided a powerful example for other professional women in our industry through her achievements within her own organization; her desire and ability to mentor others; and her continued personal investment in advancing women’s role in commercial real estate.
    • Winner – Yvonne Baker with Franklin Street 
      • With more than 25 years in the commercial real estate industry, Yvonne Baker has an extensive background in agency leasing for office, industrial, retail and multifamily assets with experience in development, sales, property management, project management, brokerage operations, commercial real estate lending, commercial credit analysis, training and development and management. Yvonne was one of the first members of CREW Orlando and served its President in 1992 and in 1993. She is a constant advocate for CREW Orlando, and has taken a special interest in furthering the development and advancement of our Future Leaders. Active in the community, Yvonne has been honored with several recognitions, including being named a Woman of Influence in 2017 by Real Estate Forum and being presented the University of Central Florida’s Notable Knight Award at the 2017 UCF College of Business annual Hall of Fame banquet, just to name a few.
    • Nominees – Yvonne Baker, Cecelia Bonifay, Laurie Botts, Vernice Atkins-Bradley, Leslie Candes, Mya Hatchette, Jennifer Pollock, Tara Tedrow, Betsy VanderLey
  • President’s Award – this award was added to our Celebration of Champions as a way of recognizing a member for extraordinary efforts that may not have fit perfectly in the other award categories recognized. It is given at the sole discretion of the President, and has traditionally been given to one member whose efforts not only help forward the mission of CREW Orlando, but also may have helped make the President’s job just a little bit easier along the way.
    • Awarded to the 2018 Sponsorship Committee: Jennifer Pollock, Amy Gordon, Libby Wingard, Heidi Mitchell, Gina LeMaster Brown, Virna Mitchell, Kristin Brown, Elaine Devlin, Debbie Morlock, Ivona Minossora, Jennifer Black. This year CREW Orlando introduced a brand new sponsorship package. Over the past nine months, the entire sponsorship committee spent hours interviewing current sponsors, speaking with other CREW chapters, running numbers, answering board questions, holding workshops and meeting with sponsors. Their efforts from research to roll out merits honoring the entire committee!
  • Legacy MembersCecilia Bonifay (Akerman), Stephanie Landis (Intertek PSI) 
    • Several years ago, CREW Orlando decided to recognize and honor those members and sponsors that have shown continued dedication and support of our mission. A legacy member is one who has been a member of CREW Orlando for 15 or more continuous years.
  • Legacy Sponsor – Intertek PSI
    • A Legacy Sponsor is a sponsor who has continuously been an annual sponsor of CREW Orlando supporting its mission for five or more years.

​Thank you to our Celebration of Champion sponsors for their contributions that made the event possible:

  • Title Sponsor – Axiom Bank
  • Table Wine Sponsor – BHI Services
  • Drink Ticket Sponsor – Cushman & Wakefield
  • Signature Cocktail Sponsors – RLH Construction and Little
  • Cocktail Hour Sponsors - Architectural Design Collaborative and CPC Business Development
  • Favor Sponsors - C4 Architecture and Valley
  • Valet Sponsor – Winderweedle, Haines, Ward & Woodman
  • Centerpiece Sponsors – PM&I and Universal Parks & Resorts
  • Step & Repeat Sponsor – Avista Retail & Development
  • Live Music Sponsor – BASE Consultants
  • Appreciation Sponsors – CliftonLarsonAllen, The Fund, SRS Real Estate Partners, RSM, Cemex, OFS, Patterson Pope, and Seacoast Bank
Click here to go to the photo album