As we bid farewell to 2023, we look ahead to 2024 with a renewed sense of optimism and a clearer vision of the evolving world around us. With inflation showing signs of easing and interest rates poised for potential cuts, real estate stands out as a resilient and valuable investment.
This past year was different for everyone – a great year for many, a good year for some, and a year of strategic rebalancing for others. Throughout these dynamic shifts, CARW remains steadfast in its commitment to serving as a vital resource for our members and the industry at large.
We express our gratitude to all who contributed to making this past year truly remarkable. Explore some of the highlights below, and if anything is missing, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll promptly update the link!
Make sure you read all the way to the end – and check out the amazing CARW 30th Anniversary Video.
A few highlights from 2023
- Membership swelled to more than 950, highlighting CARW’s significance as a valued network for influential commercial real estate professionals in Wisconsin. High levels of participation at events forced some venue changes throughout the year to accommodate interest. Big thanks to the Home of CARW, 250 for being the base for many events, as well as Sam Denny at Schlitz Park, who helped with space needs when attendance grew.
- CARW NextGen welcomed more than 20 CRE professionals to the ranks bringing the total number of NG Grads to more than 120. CARW NextGen celebrated six years of preparing the next generation of commercial real estate professionals, in 2023.
- CARW celebrates members who achieve commercial designations – in 2023, Nick Unger, SIOR (Cushman & Wakefield | Boerke) obtained the SIOR Designation. Mike Testa (Ogden) obtained the CCIM Designation. CARW manages the Wisconsin Associations for both CCIM and SIOR and actively encourages the pursuit of designations.
- We lost several key members of our industry throughout the year. Notably, Bob Dennik, Tony Bareta, and Mark Brickman. Our industry is better for their involvement, and their impact will live on through the many people they mentored and influenced.
- In Q1, CARW partnered with WTMJ and the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) to share commercial real estate insights and information with the general public through ‘The Commercial Real Estate Minute” as well as a series of Sunday talk segments featuring professionals in the industry focused on the sectors of office, industrial and retail. If you missed those segments, click HERE
- We kicked off the programming season with the Commercial Real Estate Economic Forecast featuring Moody’s Analytics’ Head of CRE Economics, Thomas LaSalvia. If you missed this session, check out the audio on Spotify HERE.
- February’s Roundtable event at the ICC drew a record number of attendees once again featuring topics including the RNC and it’s impact on Commercial Real Estate, market sector updates, Artificial Intelligence, and more.
- In March, CARW partnered with SIOR to bring an industrial insights panel at Luxe Bay Golf in Franklin. Speakers from Link Logistics, Walker & Dunlop, HSA Commercial, and Cushman & Wakefield. Panelists highlighted the importance and strength of the Industrial Markets in 2023.
- June took CARW to Green Bay for a Green Bay and Fox Valley Market Update at Titletown. Speakers included: Tom Fisk (NAI Pfefferle); Aaron Schuette (Village of Ashwaubenon) and Mark Pucci (Colliers). Green Bay Packer’s Public Affairs leader Aaron Popkey provided an update on the Lambeau developments and the 2025 NFL Draft.
- A series of Lunch and Learns presented by Landmark Credit Union featured topics including Triple Bottom Line Development with Kevin Newell, M7 Update with Jim Paetch, RNC opportunities for Milwaukee Businesses with Allison Prange; Banking Panel featuring Crux Commercial, Old National Bank, US Bank, Tri-City, and Landmark Credit Union; Artificial Intelligence featuring MSOE’s Basel Elkhapery; and Personal Tax tips and tricks for independent contractors with presenters from CLA.
- In late winter, we bundled up to head to Madison for Government Day. We heard from Watertown Mayor, Emily McFarland on the topic of shared revenue and Department of Workforce Development Officer, Dennis Winters. Jeff Stone, Kapur, gave a 101 session on speaking with legislators prior to our one-on-one meetings to discuss property taxes, workforce housing, and more. For materials and a full recap, click HERE.
- CARW’s Investor Series for RPAC Investors welcomed a series of legislators and policymakers including Senators Dan Knodl, Duey Stroebel, and Devin LeMahieu; Representatives Tyler August, and Kalan Haywood; and Common Council President Jose Perez. Dozens of CARW Members participated in these virtual sessions for small-group access to the elected leaders.
- The CARW Golf Outing was postponed in August and took place in chilly October. The event is sponsored by Old National Bank and supported the CARW Foundation. This was the first postponed golf outing in over a decade. All golfers and sponsors were able to accommodate the new date and a great time was had by all. For pics of the event click HERE
- The CARW Retail Event, themed “Strong Wisconsin Brands” featured panels, roundtables, and speakers who focused on Wisconsin as a powerful market for retailers as well as the home of brands including Kwik Trip, Culvers, Cousin’s Subs, and Fleet Farm. CBRE’s Brandon Isner gave a Retail Economic Update and Wisconsin’s own Charlie Berens provided some lighthearted entertainment. Photos from the event are HERE
- October brought us the Annual Meeting and Deal of the Year event. Many noteworthy projects and people were honored. If you haven’t had the chance to check out the finalist videos, they are all on the CARW Youtube Channel: HERE
- On November 30th, CARW kicked off the Holiday Season with the annual Holiday Party and 30th Anniversary Celebration. Festivities took place at the Milwaukee Athletic Club and were presented by Irgens, our long-time CARW partner. Throughout the City, buildings were lit in red and white to celebrate the Anniversary. Mayor Cavalier Johnson also proclaimed that November 30th was CARW – Commercial Association of REALTORS Day. CARW was founded in 1994 by several prominent Real Estate professionals. The Articles of Incorporation are HERE.
- The year closed out with the Annual Market Update in partnership with NAIOP-Wisconsin. First American Bank sponsored the event. Presenters included; Joe Carollo (JLL); Katie Gremban (Cushman & Wakefield | BOERKE); Matt Hock (NAI Greywolf); and Isaac Berg (Colliers). A recording of the presentation and materials may be found HERE.
- In October, the CARW Foundation honored its fourth Hall of Fame inductee; Jim Barry III. He joins Mike Mooney, MLG Commercial; Tom Bernacchi, Zilber, and the inaugural inductee, Deborah Sobczak, Eastmore Real Estate. Hall of Fame honorees have supported CARW and helped advance the Commercial Real Estate Industry. The CARW Foundation funds scholarships, programming and research that support careers in commercial real estate. The Foundation also attended the UW-Milwaukee Career Fair to promote careers in commercial real estate.
- The Moody’s Platform continued to serve members throughout Wisconsin giving access to national data and resources. In 2023, we pulled together a retail team to do SE Wisconsin retail reports and continued to strengthen reports in Madison. The next reports will be in the Fox Valley. The system boasts 127,000 properties in the system; 35,000 sale comps and 7,500 active listings. For more information about the platform, click HERE.
CARW once again achieved Diamond Level Commercial Accreditation from the National Association of REALTORS.
This organization is effective because of you – the members, the sponsors, and the supporters. We are stronger together and better when we collaborate. Please support those sponsors that support YOUR industry. We are grateful for the 2023 sponsors and excited to welcome some new names to the banner in 2024. If you are interested in learning more about committee involvement, sponsorship, or membership, please reach out to anyone on our board or staff.
On behalf of the CARW Team – Thank you and Cheers to another great year! If you read all the way through – we encourage you to take a peek at this incredible video shot for CARW by our friends at Light the HOAN. Let us know what you think! CARW Celebrating 30 Years
Tracy Johnson, Amanda Hoffman & Alexis Strode