Please join me in congratulating the 2016 CREW Tucson award winners.

December 15, 2016
So much fun to hand out these awards to our very deserving members.

Thank you to our awards sponsor – AXIA Real Estate Appraisers!

Below is the list of award recipients, followed by the details:

Entrepreneurial Spirit: Chris Young
Member to Member Business: Jeannie Nguyen
Member to Member Business: Sandra Barton
Chapter Service: Sara Baker
New Member: Lani Baker
Economic or Community Improvement: Melissa Lal
Career Advancement for Women: Susan Scholl Smith
President’s Award: Sandra Rutherford

Entrepreneurial Spirit — Chris Young

Chris has served the chapter on the Education committee for the past couple of years and will be our President Elect next year.  She works with fellow CREW members on deals, including Tricia Hooper at Title Security. Chris was one of the founding partners of The Kuhn Young Law Firm, which she formed with one of her law partners with whom she worked at a local Tucson law firm.  Recently, her law partner was appointed to the Pima County Superior Court bench.  This left her with a choice to make – to either seek employment with an existing law firm or continue to expand her law practice on her own.  She opted for the latter and is now the owner of Young Law Firm.

Member to Member Business — Jeannie Nguyen

As just one example of how Jeannie fits this category, we have the words of Nominator Lani Baker: "After another, California-based, lender backed out 2 days prior to closing, Jeannie and her great team jumped into action and provided an $8.6 million loan.  We were able to close on the acquisition with the loan in place within 2 weeks of engaging the NBAZ team.  They underwrote the project, reviewed third parties, and circulated through their approval process quickly and efficiently.  Amelie Messingham and the team at Snell & Wilmer, were also involved in this closing.   The entire team worked many late hours to get this done."

Member to Member Business — Sandra Barton

Several deals have been done because of Sandra Barton! Sandra routinely works with several members at different title companies including Title Security and Fidelity Title; she has worked with Melissa Lal at Larsen Baker and Kay Nelson at Deconcini Yetwin.  Nominator Judy Kaiser stated: “Sandra & I have worked together on a few transactions. Sandra is very knowledgeable and easy to work with.  She is responsive and understands what it takes to get to finish line.  I would recommend Sandra to anyone obtaining a commercial loan.” 

Chapter Service — Sara Baker

Sara has served the chapter as a Director on the Chapter Board of Directors, on the Leadership Forum Committee and as the Chair of the Education Committee. She attended the CREW Network Convention & Marketplace in Seattle (2015) and New York (2016). When the Education committee chair needed to step aside, Sara stepped in to lead it.  She facilitated the creation of a very successful Retail Seminar which resulted in over 70 attendees. She worked with Aaron at TAR to get the real estate credit and also completed the paperwork for appraisal credit.  The feedback received by CREW and the Education Committee was extremely positive. The seminar was a huge success!

New Member — Lani Baker

Lani joined our chapter in 2015. This year she stepped up and volunteered to work on the Sponsorship Committee, one of our chapter’s most important committees.  She and Melissa took over from Jane McCollum who ran Sponsorship for many years, so those were big shoes to fill!  Lani has secured a number of new sponsors for CREW programs and events.  We see great things in our chapter’s future in having Lani’s participation in chapter operations.

Economic or Community Improvement — Melissa Lal

As a key part of the Larsen Baker team, Melissa has facilitated several redevelopment projects. The former MDA building was an 82,000 sf office building that needed re-tenanting. In a very soft office market, she represented the landlord with the Sunquest deal.  She relocated Hooters from Tanque Verde to a new store at Broadway& Kolb. She found Chuze Fitness for a redevelopment project at 16th and Ajo. As Tricia Hooper said “she fills her centers with good companies. And she is willing to share the Larsen Baker story of successes and challenges.” Melissa detailed the redevelopment of the vacant Golden Corral at First Avenue and Wetmore at our recent Retail seminar. As “the only deal Mattress Firm has ever turned down”, that project was full of challenges!  Melissa has facilitated both economic and community improvements through these projects. 

Career Advancement for Women — Susan Scholl Smith

Susan was one of the founding members of CREW Tucson and our second chapter president. What started as a group of 30 women has now grown to 78 members! Susan’s impact on our industry is evident – just look at how many female CREW members we now have from National Bank of Arizona! Her presentations at early CCIM events, as one of the very few woman presenters, were humorous and insightful. She didn’t shy away from her female perspective – she embraced it!  Although retired from banking, she has continued to be an active member in CREW Tucson on the Special Events committee and has continued to mentor our newer members. CREW Tucson wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for Susan!

President’s Award — Sandra Rutherford

As stated by our chapter President Debbie Heslop: “Sandie did a terrific job with the Special Events Committee.  She and her committee developed creative events, different venues, good food & drink, and they were fun.  She kept me in the communication loop so I knew what was going on.  She provided me with a budget for each event:  worst case scenario and best case scenario. She was fiscally sensitive, a hot button issue for me.  And the planning that went into the Holiday Luncheon spared no detail.  It was a beautiful event and a fitting cap to her work this year.”