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Our History

Story contributed by Martha Hardy

In mid-1982, efforts began to organize a group of women in the commercial real estate industry to meet for educational and networking purposes. The first documented meeting was September 28, 1982 where representatives from the Houston-based National Association of Women in Commercial Real Estate (“NAWCRE”) gave a presentation about their group organized in Houston in 1979. The Houston group wanted to organize chapters in other cities in Texas and across the United States.

Another meeting was held October 7, 1982 to discuss forming a local group and whether to join NAWCRE as a chapter. The local San Antonio group appointed Jeri Guidi as acting President, and they voted at the November 30, 1982 meeting to join NAWCRE.

The first formal meeting of the San Antonio Chapter of NAWCRE was held January 11, 1983 at the Gill Company. Pro-tem officers and chairpersons were elected to act as the charter steering committee: Jeri Guidi of Hogan Property Company (President), Martha Rettinger of Philip Barshop & Company (1st Vice President-Programs), Charlotte Ressling (2nd Vice President- Membership), Susan Ketelski (Secretary and Nominating Chair), Sandy Erickson of the Gill Company (Treasurer and Budget Chair), Karen Range of Henry S. Miller Company (Bylaws chair), and Karen Hugie of Omni Interests and Debra Schuch (Co-Chairmen of Membership Committee).

The first Board of Directors meeting was January 18, 1983. The first program was an evening workshop on February 9, 1983 at The Petroleum Club featuring Kenneth Gindy speaking about the legal aspects of lease negotiating and closing.

Founding members in 1983 were: Jeri Guidi, Sherry Walker with Jim Dement Properties, Martha Vanek Hardy, Debra Schuch, Nancy Miller-Kuehn with Leasing Systems, Karen Range, Imogen Young, Mary Pat Mitchell, Martha S. Rettinger, Susan Ketelski, Charlotte Ressling, Cynthia Ellison with Henry S. Miller Company, Karen Hugie, Jill Wilson, Susan Goldberg with Routh & Co., Fela Fenstermacher, Lynn Coulombe, Jan Almon, Sherrie Evans Wade with Henry S. Miller Company, Sandy Erickson, Ann Thomas, Jane Macon, Sheila Nicholson, Guyla Smith Sineni with Henry S. Miller Company, Jelinka Sterental, Sybil Morel, Chris Pellett, Lis Lewis, Dell Gibson, Pat Vigeon with D.B. Harrell Co., Paula Jacobs with R&B Management, Sally Dwyer, Laura Anthony, Kay Barr, Cynthia Beard, Mona Kohler, Dee Scheppler, Julie Jorrie, Faye Bracey, Judy Rueger, Irene Anderson, Pat Brown and Anne Toepperwein.

At the first General Meeting held April 27, 1983, the chapter and officers were installed by Sharon Katz, President of NAWCRE, and the speaker was Lila Cockrell, former San Antonio mayor. Other speakers at various programs during 1983 were Mike Hogan, Sol Schwartz, Frank Ruttenberg, Mike Birnbaum, Tom Rohde, Eric Weissgarber, Stephanie Coleman, Tom Sineni, Jane Macon, Merle Morrow, Scruggs Love and Don Williams. A general business meeting was held June 14, 1983 to approve the bylaws, and by a meeting in November, the chapter had grown to 60 members.

In 1984, chapters in San Antonio, Sacramento, San Diego, Los Angeles and Phoenix withdrew from NAWCRE and went their own way. The San Antonio group changed its name to the Network of Women in Commercial Real Estate. In 1999, the Network of Women in Commercial Real Estate voted to join another national association, the National Network of Commercial Real Estate Women (or CREW Network) and became CREW San Antonio, one of approximately 50 chapters across the United States and Canada. Today, CREW Network has approximately 12,000 members around the world.

Today, NNCREW is simply known as CREW - the acronym known to represent successful commercial real estate women.