CREWNY is delighted to announce this year’s winners of the 2022 Impact Awards, Past Presidents’ Scholarship, and our 2022-2023 DEI Grant recipients. CREWNY is committed to being a leader in recognizing the achievements of women in commercial real estate in New York City.
Impact Awards winners are CREWNY members who have achieved extraordinary success in commercial real estate and demonstrated exceptional leadership and talent. They support CREWNY's mission of advancing the success of women in CRE through their collaborations and accomplishments. This year’s winners are Camille Renshaw, CEO & Co-Founder B+E Net Lease, who won the Entrepreneurial Spirit Impact Award; Arianna Wendt of Gilbane Development Company, who won the Career Advancement for Women Impact Award; and Beth Zafonte, Director of Economic Development Services at Akerman LLP, who won the Economic and Community Improvement Impact Award.
Renshaw won the Entrepreneurial Spirit award for her work revolutionizing CRE areas and creating an online platform for net lease dealing. B+E Net Lease's trading platform consists of user-friendly dashboards, real-time predictive pricing and an AI-driven exchange – all leveraging the most extensive industry data set. Much like online stock trading platforms, Buyers and sellers can conduct entire transactions online, reviewing real-time credit, news and tenant data while they trade.. In addition to running B+E, Renshaw is an Executive in Residence at New York University’s Stern School of Business, an Advisory Board Member for Rutgers University's Big Data Program, and an advisor to DreamIt's Urban Tech Accelerator. She recently joined the Board of Directors at Blace.com, a CRE Tech startup founded by fellow CREW member Robin Fisher, and became Blace's Chief Strategist.
Wendt, who is currently pursuing a master’s degree in real estate at NYU’s Schack Institute of Real Estate, won the Career Advancement for Women award for her work with the coaching and mentoring program at her firm and in the community, among many other notable achievements, where she empowers those around her to get involved and to eventually lead. While with Gilbane, Wendt served as a Board Member for the Gilbane New York Young Professionals group, where she led the Brooklyn Library site tour and encouraged women to participate in young-professional-oriented events, thereby establishing a network and a community where women support women. She has also been a leader for women in the community, volunteering for Women in Need, a women-only homeless shelter in Midtown Manhattan.
Zafonte, who has 20 years of experience in the practice of Economic Development Incentives throughout the US, won the Economic and Community Improvement award for her long-standing dedication to economic development and, more recently, her pivotal role in the development of NYPC (The New York Proton Therapy Center) by successfully securing the necessary 25-year tax abatement that directly impacted NYPC's bottom line operating costs. NYPC is the first facility of its kind in New York State, the largest free-standing proton center in the US, and cements New York City as a leader in cancer treatment across the country. Zafonte was engaged to remedy a previously filed non-compliant Industrial and Commercial Incentive Program (ICAP) real estate tax abatement application and later engaged to assist in obtaining a reduction in excessive increases in land taxes. Project feasibility depended on obtaining the approval of the 25-year ICAP tax abatement, and Zafonte successfully led the four-year effort.
Her work involved multiple city agencies and approximately 45 contractors to secure the ultimate approval and implementation of the ICAP real estate tax abatement and led to a meaningful reduction in unjustified increases in land taxes through separate processes at the Department of Finance and the Tax Commission. Measurable impacts included hiring 17 MWBE contractors totaling just over $40 million or 33.32% of the total project costs.
The Past Presidents’ Scholarships are awarded to graduate students with a minimum GPA of 3.0 who are enrolled in a qualified commercial real estate field and demonstrate financial need. The winners receive a one-year student membership with CREW New York. This year’s recipients of the past president’s scholarship were Andrea Palacios (NYU Stern), Senior Analyst, Community Development Finance, Santander Bank, and 2024 MBA candidate; Ozge Karga (Fordham University), Project Engineer, AECOM Tishman and former paralegal, specializing in personal injury; and E.J. Shin, a Graduate Student at Columbia University who will be receiving her GSAPP, Master of Architecture, in May 2024.
This year, a new membership scholarship was added to CREWNY’s roster: The 2022-2023 DEI Membership Grant. This grant was added to advance all women in Commercial Real Estate through greater visible and invisible diversity and inclusion in CRE. Recipients of the inaugural grants were Hunzah Ahmad, Director of Operations at CH Co. Inc. and a veteran in general contracting and construction management for 15 years, and Anysa Tagaeva, Accounting Manager at SP Plus Corporation. Tagaeva has been working in facility management for the last six years.
Thank you to all who applied for each award, and congratulations to our winners!
A dominant force for women real estate professionals in New York City, CREWNY has long been a leader in networking, education and community outreach. As a chapter of the CREW Network, CREWNY provides its members with direct access to more than 12,000 commercial real estate professionals in 75 major global markets.