CREW Charlotte hosted its 2016 awards ceremony Tuesday at Charlotte Country Club and took the opportunity to present a $5,000 donation to Community Building Initiative as part of its final meeting for the year.
Community Building Initiative is a local nonprofit that works toward racial and ethnic inclusion and equity in the Charlotte area and Mecklenburg County. The group was established by government and civic leaders in 1997 and has since expanded its work to include other aspects of diversity, such as gender, religion, sexual orientation and economic status.
“You just don’t get calls like this in a nonprofit world where people tell you they want to present you with a big check,” said Dianne English of Community Building Initiative as she received a giant novelty check for $5,000 from CREW Charlotte President Marie McLucas. “There are a lot of challenges in this community and we all have opportunities in our businesses to work for change in our own ways. What you have done here today is to tell us that our work in the community matters. And for that we thank you.”
The Rising Star award for 2016 was given to Melissa Oliver with LandDesign Inc. Oliver was recognized for her work with the group’s ABC Networking event and Casino Night. She used her graphic design skills to design all of the signs and drink tickets for both the ABC Networking event and the Casino Night event and has already committed to being one of two co-chairs for the Special Events Committee in 2017.
The Networker of the Year award went to Dawn Royle with Investor’s Title. Royle was recognized for her ability to be a master networker by not only making CREW connections but also educating, mentoring and referring business to CREW members. In 2016, Royle led 19 legal continuing education programs for CREW firms including Primax Properties, MECA Properties, Bank of the Ozarks, Parker Poe, Miller-Hogue, Horack Talley and Troutman Sanders. She also has volunteered with Susan G. Komen on the grants committee and works with the Board Development Committee for Girl Scouts Hornet’s Nest Council.
This year’s CREW Outreach Award was actually given to three members, for the first time. Nancy Olah of Nancy Olah Law, Carrie Sharp with Indoff Commercial Interiors and Sharon Reed with Global Girls Project and Heart by Design each received the award. All three members have been hard at work creating a new leadership program, which will help each participant develop her unique individual style as an authentic leader and maximize their leadership potential.
The winner of this year’s Member of the Year award was Emily Buehrer of Bloc Design. Buehrer joined CREW in 2014 and immediately made an impact by joining the communications committee and completely reworking the group’s social media strategy. In 2016 she led the U Crew committee which focuses on recruiting young women and college students to the group. She successfully planned and executed the first CREW panel discussion at Queens University and another at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.
The President’s Choice award for 2016 was given to two members who helped make all of the CREW programs a success. Programs Committee co-chairs Robin Haddock of RLH Development and Anna O’Neal with Wells Fargo Bank each received this year’s President’s Choice award. The duo helped make and execute plans for all of the group’s 2016 programs which averaged an attendance of 178 and an overall speaker rating of 4.9 out of 5 on feedback forms.
Finally, the Deal of the Year award went to the team behind the Johnston Allison and Hord Building refinance lead by Marie McLucas of Primax Properties. As part of the process, McLucas solicited quotes from many CREW members. Charles Lyle of South State Bank, a CREW Charlotte sponsor, won the competitive bidding process with a $7.5 million bid. The bank selected CREW members Wanda Townsend and Brian Koontz of Parker Poe to provide legal counsel and Dawn Royle and Jane Barkley of Investor’s Title to provide the title commitment. Fortenberry Lambert, the firm of CREW past-president Carol Fortenberry, provided the appraisal.