CREW Upstate is the networking and business development organization of choice for successful commercial real estate professionals in the Upstate. Its mission is to influence the success of the commercial real estate industry by advancing the achievements of women. Founded in 2010, CREW Upstate has grown to over 75 members and counting — welcoming women and men from a broad range of real estate disciplines. CREW Upstate supports its members through business development, leadership development, industry research, and career outreach.
CREW Upstate 2019 Award Winners
Rising Star: Mareena Register
As an audit manager at Greenville’s Cherry Bekaert, Mareena Register has become a front-runner in the audit market and a team leader. Speaking at real estate and S.C. Association of CPAs conferences, assisting with internal training, and spearheading improvements to employee benefit plan audits, Register shines in her career.
“As a fairly young person in the real estate industry, I truly appreciate the women of CREW that have given me an idea of what a successful woman in business looks like, and a more clear path on how to get there,” she says.
Career Advancement for Women: Lisa Dwight
As director of marketing at DP3 Architects, Lisa Dwight lives out her passion for advancing the achievements of women in the industry. In 2018, as CREW Upstate president, she published “Diversity: A business advantage,” an article regarding best practices for gender equity and inclusion.
“I am humbled and grateful to win this award, and I also recognize that this is an obligation, which I proudly accept, to continue working to assist in advancing the careers of women in commercial real estate,” Dwight says.
Distinguished Leader: Brantley Anderson
As a senior brokerage associate at Colliers International, Brantley Anderson displays expertise in the leasing and acquisition of office assets in the Greenville area. She led the rebranding and repositioning efforts for office space at the Wells Fargo Center and AXIS Office Park. She’s the leasing agent for both Liberty Towers and Independence Corporate Park.
“For other women in commercial real estate, I hope this award proves to them that anyone at any stage in their career can be a leader,” Anderson says. “I intend to continue acting as a leader in my industry and my community.”
Development Impact: Plush Mills
Greenville’s historic Plush Mills was the state’s first mill to make the soft, luxurious fabric called plush. Mark Peters and Shelby Dodson joined forces to transform the 3-acre property. With 24,500 square feet, the former textile mill houses a shared office space called Serendipity Labs.
“The project took three years to complete and offered numerous challenges, including brownfield conditions, financial constraints, and public perception of the building condition, location, and safety,” Dodson says. “Winning [this] award means that the team was able to successfully overcome these obstacles to create a project that supports and enhances the neighborhood and community.”
Development Impact: The Montgomery Building
The historic Montgomery Building in downtown Spartanburg was purchased by James Bakker and Tom Finnegan of BF Spartanburg LLC in 2017. They gave the $29.5 million project life by utilizing the Federal Historic Tax Credit, South Carolina Historic Tax Credit, South Carolina Abandoned Building Tax Credit, and the Bailey Bill.
The 100,000-square-foot, mixed-use building now has 63 apartments, 12,000 square feet of retail, and 30,000 square feet of office space. Bakker attributes the success to “a construction and design team that worked together and found solutions for all the problems [they] faced.”
CREW Upstate awards descriptions
- Rising Star: A CREW Upstate member who receives this award reached a milestone or unique career success. This person approaches tasks with ambition and intuition to create something new or unique, providing services, developing products, or improving practices by organizing, developing, or innovatively using available resources.
- Career Advancement for Women: A CREW Upstate member who receives this award exhibits CREW Network’s mission to advance the achievements of women in commercial real estate. The award recipient has impacted one or more women by equipping them with skills or confidence to advance in their careers through new opportunities.
- Distinguished Leader: A CREW Upstate member who receives this award demonstrates excellence in their field via transaction volume, groundbreaking deal size, or other industry achievements by exhibiting resourcefulness, collaboration, and industry best practices. The award recipient is also a proven producer, connector, manager, or trailblazer.
- Development Impact: Real estate projects are honored with this award when they significantly and measurably impact the community in a positive way. These projects help transform and revitalize the built environment as well as the community, reaching far beyond the project boundaries.
UPDATE: This story was updated on March 22 at 12:40 p.m. to include more information on the 2019 CREW Upstate award winners.