Beth Zafonte, NYCREW
Members and attendees at the New York Chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women's Network (NYCREW)'s annual Leading Ladies in Real Estate Summer Breakfast Series will not be the only people enhancing their education through an outstanding lineup of speakers - the events also will help needy high school students as they collect school supplies for Volunteers of America's Operation Backpack. The Summer Breakfast Series features leaders in various sectors of commercial real estate discussing current issues and their careers in an intimate, highly interactive setting. The series kicked off on June 24th, with guest speaker Gayle Matthei, CMO and principal, Cassidy Turley Commercial Real Estate Services. Patricia Dunphy, senior vice president of Rockrose Development, will speak on July 16th, with Patricia Kantor, partner at Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP concluding the program on August 13th. All events will be held from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m. at the offices of sponsor Akerman Senterfitt, 666 Fifth Ave. "These events are truly special, and a perfect way to kick off a summer business day," said NYCREW 2014 president Laura Walker, a senior vice president of Citibank. "These are informal talks by some of the most successful women in our business, and an inspiration to all our members. This year is even more exciting, as we also will be contributing to a worthy cause. NYCREW is all about education and we're honored to help Operation Backpack." NYCREW will collect donated school supplies (such as 3-ring binders, loose-leaf paper, spiral notebooks, #2 pencils, pens, rulers, erasers and Post-It notes) from attendees at each of the Summer Series sessions, with a goal of filling 30 new backpacks for high-school students. A full list of needed supplies can be found at www.voa-gny.org/ninetwelve. "Through CREW Careers, which focuses on attracting students to real estate as a possible job path, NYCREW already is involved with many local high schools," said NYCREW director Beth Zafonte, director of economic development services for Akerman Senterfitt's real estate practices group. "So it was logical for us to fill backpacks with items needed by 9th through 12th graders. Despite the strength of our local economy, there are still many in need, and it is our privilege to assist the Volunteers of America."