Our association is about the members. CARW’s strong board leadership and outstanding committee leaders have driven the organization’s success and member engagement over the past 12 months. Our mission, as outlined in the 2015 Strategic Plan is to ensure the success of our members. The prescription is one that the members have written; engagement, information, leadership and unique opportunities. Membership records were shattered in 2016 with more than 650 members helping move CARW forward to propel commercial real estate practitioners to the next level through information sharing, legislative advocacy and premiere networking opportunities.
Social Media helps us tell our story: CARW launched its first Instagram post in 2016, increased engagement on Twitter to nearly 300,000, and engaged with more than 82,000 on Facebook. This interaction helps amplify CARW’s voice on issues that matter to our industry and has helped our organization gain national visibility for programming and legislative efforts. If you’re not connected to us on social media – you should be.
CARW leaders work diligently and strategically with partners at WRA and the NAR to leverage the nearly 1.2 million members that help support advocacy efforts that move our industry.
A few other highlights from 2016:
- Unique events at new locations including the Uline tour coordinated by Mortenson in Pleasant Prairie and in conjunction with CORENET Chicago, and the Irgens Development in Meadowland were among a few.
- Throughout 2016, Commercial continuing education brought more than 400 practitioners to the classroom to hear about commercial updates to the real estate practices and laws.
- CARW’s partnership with Xceligent continues to evolve with re-engaged Xceligent boards and a new research director. Xceligent and CARW produce quarterly market trend reports and have grown the product offering to enhance member needs – we have even more in store for 2017.
- Lunch and Learns – this monthly series brought expertise on topics from 1031 exchange, private/public partnerships, drones and the newly created Waukesha county economic development association. More than 300 members participated in this year’s lunch and learn series.
- Roundtable Event: nearly 300 attended to engage with 30-plus roundtable leaders on topics from financing, WEDC, the Milwaukee streetcar, and the latest projects from around the region. Big thanks to Active Roofing for their event sponsorship.
- March Madness coincided with the St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Ryan Companies hosted us at our first ever DOWNTOWN March Madness event at The Brass Alley.
- Government Day brought more than 50 members from ten commercial real estate associations to Madison to meet with legislators on issues including transportation, TIF and other economic development initiatives. Members of CARW were invited to the bill-signing for Chapter 452 with Governor Walker.
- In 2016, CARW and WRA celebrated nearly 50 legislative victories including the passage of TIF legislation, changes to chapter 452, liquor license and historic tax credit preservation to name a few. Members responded to calls to action and communicated thoughtfully with their legislators on issues that matter to you.
- Retail Event – this joint event with ICSC, presented by Landmark CU, featured Ted Balistreri of Sendik’s and John McGlocklin from the Milwaukee Bucks. More than 20 retailers attended and in excess of 60 roundtables were executed. Nearly 400 attended this growing one-day conference. Feedback suggested this event was one of the best events in the region.
- In May, CARW members traveled to Washington, D.C. with WRA and NAR to meet with Wisconsin legislators including Speaker Paul Ryan, Senators Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin, and members of Congress including Gwen Moore, Sean Duffy, Ron Kind, Mark Pocan, Jim Sensenbrenner and Glenn Grothman to advocate for changes to EB-5, 1031 Exchange and real estate depreciation.
- CARW participated in the Bucks Arena groundbreaking celebration in June with members receiving great praise for advocacy efforts from City and County leadership. Our association also received recognition this year from BID 21 and the MMAC.
- Members took over the Dew Deck at Miller Park for a ‘day at the ballgame’ in June.
- CARW members met with newly elected Milwaukee Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton to discuss his interests in commercial real estate and opportunities for our industry to work together. In addition, CARW supported the re-appointment of DCD Commissioner Rocky Marcoux.
- CARW continued to support REACH (Real Estate Alliance for Charity) which gave nearly $50,000 to children’s charities.
- In conjunction with NAR, CARW presented “Building Communities Through Innovation in Commercial Real Estate.” The program, at Tripoli Shrine Center brought leaders from Near West Side Partners, MKE United, and speakers Linda Gorens-Levey (General Capital), Paul Jones (Harley), Dave Misky (City of MKE), and James Phelps (JCP-Construction). The panel was moderated by Kimberly Kane and explored best practices for urban development. The series was part of Coffee with CARW, presented by Johnson Bank.
- The 2016 Golf Outing, presented by Somerset Properties, welcomed nearly 300 golfers at Northshore Country Club. The annual event continues to grow with a golf ball gun, massages and cigars. Oh, and we had great weather. Attendees received Bluetooth speakers to use on the course and raised more than $5,000 for REACH!
- Rainmaker Event – Held at the Bucks preview suite in Schlitz Park, RevGroup CEO, Tim Sullivan, discussed his new role bringing a corporate headquarters to the City of Milwaukee. He also talked about his time as CEO of Bucyrus and with the State of Wisconsin workforce initiatives.
- Deal of the Year Event – CARW members met the 2016 recipients of the prestigious CARW Deal of the Year awards for Retail, Investment, Industrial and Office. The event was held at the historic Grain Exchange and presented by Tri-City National Bank. Other awards went to Richard Maslowski from the City of Glendale, Briohn Building, and Paul Galbraith of Irgens.
- CARW leadership testified for the Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Transportation regarding the importance of transportation funding solutions for the State of Wisconsin.
- Market Update – this joint event with NAIOP-WI showcased annual data and trends and was presented by MB Financial Bank. Experts from Industrial, Retail, Office and Investment sectors gave their predictions for 2016. Presenters included: Jim Young, Tom Shepherd, CCIM, David Pudlosky and Tony Colvin. The program was moderated by Ryan Marks.
- Holiday Party – the first Monday of December – every year – kicks off the commercial real estate holiday season. More than 300 came out to spread cheer and a band headlined the night’s festivities. The evening was presented by Associated Bank with support from Schlitz Park.
- CARW leaders held key positions on NAR committees including the Commercial Committee, Legislative Affairs Committee, and Regulatory Affairs.
- CARW members participated in RPAC in record numbers. 26% of members contribute to RPAC at an average of $35. These dollars help propel our CRE issues and support candidates that help grow our collective voice at City Hall, in Madison and in Washington DC. There are 35 members that participated at the Large Donor level and had premiere opportunities to meet with Congressman Sean Duffy, Assembly Speaker Robin Vos and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.
- CARW Next Gen group was selected for this inaugural year’s session. Fifteen next-generation commercial real estate pros will embark on this 9-month cohort program starting in January 2017. It will feature industry leaders and top-level networking opportunities.
- Huge THANKS to our ANNUAL and EVENT Sponsors including Irgens, CARW’s Partner Sponsor, who made so many extra special events possible. We can’t do it without all of you and look forward to working with you in 2017!
- There may be more that we are missing – if so – let us know and we’ll update the online post!On behalf of the CARW Board of Directors and Staff – Happy New Year!We have a lot more work to do and can’t wait to get started!