2018 CBRE Women’s Networking Forum

IMG_0069.jpgCBRE hosted its 2018 CBRE Women’s Networking Forum, the largest company gathering of women, March 14-16 in Chicago. Five of our six female Partners attended the event, Eileen Carroll, Martha Dellenback, Anita DiPrizio Pasquale, Suzanne Duca and Erin Walls, in addition to 400 other women from CBRE Inc. The three-day event included speakers such as Bob Sulentic, President and Chief Executive Officer and Executive Sponsor of the CBRE Women’s Network, CBRE; Wendy Silverstein, Chief Executive Officer, New York REIT; Dr. Victoria H. Medvec, Medvec & Associates and Kellogg Graduate School of Business, Center for Executive Women; Erica Dhawan, Leadership Strategist and Connectional Intelligence Expert; Carla Harris, Vice Chairman, Global Wealth Management, Morgan Stanley; Karina Muller, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Maripossa Wellness; as well as many other featured speakers.

I asked the group to share a key takeaway from the event:

Duca_SuzanneSuzanne Duca came back from the trip raving about Dr. Victoria H. Medvec’s constant flow of quotes from the Friday morning 9 a.m. meeting. A couple of Dr. Medvec’s memorable quotes are below:




People who set more ambitious goals get MORE.

Nobody owns your brand but YOU, own it!

anitaAnita DiPrizio Pasquale’s favorite quote from the forum was, “Fake it till you make it.” She noticed that the quote was in the opening address by Lisa Konieczka and was also mentioned by a handful of other speakers.




Walls_ErinErin Walls came back from the forum excited to have heard from Bob Sulentic. Erin commented, “At what other Fortune 200+ company do you have the opportunity to speak and be heard by the CEO? It’s always great to hear directly from Bob Sulentic on the aspirations for CBRE to be world class, which means having the ability to consistently deliver client outcomes that others cannot. It’s always engaging to hear directly from Bob on some of the advancements that are being made to ensure that the strength and depth of CBRE continues to grow—for both our employees and our clients. Hearing Bob’s resounding confirmation that the Women’s Network at CBRE is the most compelling group and event (Women’s Networking Forum) not only at the company but also in the industry, continued to drive my devotion to the Women’s Network.”

Erin was also captivated by Dr. Victoria Medvec’s three-hour session, which she felt was not long enough. In addition to what was mentioned above, a couple other quotes that really stood out were:

It is not your job to decide if you are qualified.

Be your own best story teller, set the right goals and ask for the opportunity.

The CBRE Women’s Network was formed in 2000 and has more than 3,000 members from all levels of the organization, the company’s three regions and every business line. The group’s mission is to “Promote the Success of Women,” which is guided by three key principles: Growth, Connection and Mentorship.

Recap: 2018 CBRE/New England Hartford Market Overview


At our Hartford Market Overview, our Connecticut team presented on the state of the industrial, office and investment markets. We were pleased to have Joshua Solomon, Owner of the Hartford Yard Goats, join us on stage as our keynote speaker.

Office Market 
Michael Puzzo, Senior Vice President/Partner, and Jennifer Gosselin, Vice President, covered the Connecticut Office market.

Puzzo and jenn

“The Greater Hartford Office market lost 560,000 SF of occupancy during 2017 and it came in many forms. Classic large-scale consolidations; new workplace initiatives that have increased density and efficiency; and new sublease offerings from users that have relocated ahead of scheduled expirations.” – MP

“With the market more competitive than ever for limited demand, landlords will be more focused on engaging tenants and enhancing the overall experience at their buildings. This past year we’ve seen lobby refreshes, new cafes, new fitness centers and outdoor gathering spaces.” – JG

Our office market forecast for 2018 includes:

  • Healthcare will be the #1 growth industry during the next decade
  • Start-up incubators could be a potential source of demand
  • The Hartford Line opening in May should provide future economic growth
  • Hartford Office market will have a lot of work to do to absorb the losses experienced in 2017

Industrial Market 
Chris Metcalfe, First Vice President, led with an in-depth overview of the Greater Hartford Industrial market.


“More than any other product type, industrial is influenced by the vibrancy we see on a national level as commerce changes its real estate footprint in response to the marriage of industrial and retail. The rise of industrial nationally has kept our local industrial market immune to the challenges facing Connecticut.” – CM

“Growth-related challenges facing the supply chain present opportunities for Connecticut. There is currently a two-day delivery expectation from the consumer, which forces competition down to one-day or same-day delivery. This change will require new warehouses to be even closer to population centers.” – CM

supply chain

“There is another huge challenge in the industrial market: The Trucking Labor Crisis. By 2024 the deficit of insufficient truck drivers is forecast to be 175,000 positions.” – CM

Our industrial forecast for 2018 includes:

  • More large-format in our vicinity – demand from one MSF users
  • Last mile keeps rolling
  • Driverless trucks (?)

Capital Markets
Anna Kocsondy, Vice President, and Anna Pfau, Senior Production Analyst, covered the Connecticut Investment Sales market.

Anna and Anna
Our investment market forecast for 2018 includes:

  • Continued demand for well-located office buildings with walkable amenities
  • Multifamily is still highly sought after by investors and lenders with strong and stable fundamentals both on the local and national level
  • Industrial is the #1 favored property type
  • E-commerce giants to acquire more brick & mortar stores
  • Medical office expansions into traditional retail spaces should bolster retail centers’ credit and future pricing expectations
  • There is moderate to strong liquidity in the debt markets for both traditional (industrial, apartments, office, retail) assets and new types of assets (such as student housing, medical office, senior housing, self-storage)
  • Anticipate an average volume of office assets trading in 2018 (10-12 sales)

Overall, market fundamentals in Greater Hartford are strong and the outlook is positive for 2018, particularly in the Industrial sector.

Andy with YardGoats
Stay tuned for our next post, where we will reveal what our Rhode Island experts covered at this year’s CBRE/NE Rhode Island Market Overview. Did you miss our Boston Market Overview recap? Click here to catch up.

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Recap: 2018 CBRE/New England Boston Market Overview

It was a great honor to have both Mayor Marty Walsh and Governor Charlie Baker speak at our 2018 Boston Market Overview.

This year, CBRE/New England representatives from our Downtown, Cambridge, Capital Markets, Suburban, Retail and Industrial teams all gave poignant market insights and takeaways for 2017 while looking forward to the year ahead. The group was moderated by Spencer Levy—Americas Head of Research for CBRE and a senior member of the company’s global research team—who opened the discussion on domestic and international trade, healthcare, taxes, industrial and retail agility, as well as the importance for businesses to follow talent.


Urban (Downtown & Cambridge) – Jon Freni, Senior Vice President/Partner; Carolyn Wheatley, Associate
Freni and Wheatley kicked off their 2018 IMG_2384-2market insights with the ever-present growing industry: co-working. Freni stated, “Tenant or landlord, this will be the big debate in 2018 and will continue to change the way we do business. Whether you like it or not, co-working is here in a big way. Embrace it and look for ways to compete with it.” Freni continued with two additional market insights that are increasing in popularity: ‘spec success’ and risk-reward deal structures.

Wheatley spoke of three market insights in Cambridge: the increasingly life-science-driven tenant base for both office and lab space, spec developments that meet the supply needs of the low vacancy market, and market risk-reward deal structures that are currently landlord-favored.

Capital MarketsDave Pergola, Executive Vice President/Partner
Given the complexity of investing in New England commercial real estate, Pergola broke the investment market into three categories.


“In closing, CBRE/NE believes that if you have some conviction and the right type of capital to invest, the best opportunities in 2018 will be large, high-quality suburban office buildings.”


Suburban OfficeAlison Powers, First Vice President
Powers started off her talk by debunking a common 2017 theme. “[…] despite the headlines signaling otherwise, the market was actually quite active in 2017 fueled by an incredible amount of leasing velocity driven by organic growth (I promise you not every suburban tenant moved to the Seaport) as well as continued momentum from the life sciences sector.”


A select number of suburban landlords thrived because their space was large, scalable, high-quality and/or new real estate, with amenities and an accessible location.

RetailMatt Curtin, Senior Vice President/Partner
Next up was Matt Curtin who spoke about how changing consumer behaviors are forcing both retailers and landlords to step it up. He mentioned L.L.Bean and lululemon as two examples of traditional retailers who have integrated experience into their lifestyle brands. L.L.Bean will offer kayak and paddle board at its new Seaport Square location and lululemon offers fitness classes inside and outside of their stores. Matt also highlighted how entertainment concepts, craft beer, fast-casual restaurants, mobile app ordering and “clicks to bricks” retail trended in 2017 and is expected to blossom in 2018.


IndustrialRachel Marks, Vice President
Rachel Marks closed out the market talks by focusing on the importance of industrial warehouses in Greater Boston as consumer expectations of convenience continue to grow, and people are comfortable buying more online. The changing habits of consumers force omni-channel distributors to deliver product quickly and inexpensively, which means they now need to occupy space close to large population centers like Boston. Other demand drivers in the industrial market include breweries, marijuana cultivators, biopharma manufacturing, technology and medical devices. With all this demand, there is currently a major shortage of quality industrial supply in New England.

Marks Photo1

Visit the CBRE/New England Vimeo page for videos from the event. Stay tuned for our next post, where we will reveal what our Hartford experts covered at this year’s CBRE/NE Hartford Market Overview.

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CBRE/NE at the 2016 MA Conference for Women

By Rachel Goldberg, Assistant Vice President, Client Services | Valuation & Advisory


Rachel Goldberg

Last week I was afforded the opportunity to attend the 2016 MA Conference for Women with about 20 of my CBRE/New England colleagues. Overall, the experience was empowering and energizing, but most of all, reassuring. Being a woman in a male-dominated industry isn’t always easy. One of the break-out sessions that stuck with me the most was called How to Lead…When You’re Not in Charge. We learned about two different mindsets: Fixed and Growth. Leaders maintain a growth mindset. The qualities of a growth mindset are as follows:

  • Has a passion for learning.
  • More willing to take risks/confront challenges and work through them.
  • Failure doesn’t define them.
  • Open to accurate information about their current abilities.
  • Resilient in the face of setbacks.
  • Thrives on challenge.
  • Values where they are going regardless of outcome.
  • Believes success is earned.


Leaders also demonstrate credible performance by meeting and exceeding standards, communicating intent and expectations, holding others accountable for their performance; seeking responsibility before beginning to place blame; and valuing everyone and serving people in ways that matter.


Another lesson learned in this session was to lead with confidence. Confidence is built by:

  • Experiencing success and recognizing and internalizing one’s own achievements.
  • Surrounding yourself with positive role models who have your best interest at heart.
  • Creating positive self-appraisals/positive self-narrative.
  • Managing other key emotions: the more dramatic you are, the less you’ll be able to access confidence.

Millennials have an impactful contribution to the leadership at our company. We may not have leadership designations, but we bond emotionally with one another and empower one another. We demonstrate the growth mindset every day, and we learn from one another.


Over 10,000+ in attendance at this year’s conference!

The next session I attended was Gender Partnership: Engaging Men As Advocates to Pioneer Pay Equity. I was shocked to learn from the thought leader (Catherine Corley, Senior Vice President, Global Operations, Catalyst) and speaker (Beth Carlson, Vice President, Global Talent Development & Organizational Effectiveness, Raytheon Company) that less than half of men believe that gender-stereotyping is an issue, while 76% of women believe it to be. One of the speakers began with a brilliant point: women are over-mentored and under-sponsored. We do not have enough male (or female) sponsors who speak highly of us and our achievements to others. Part of the reason is because women are afraid to request it. It is harder for women to talk about their aspirations than it is for men; therefore, women’s careers plateau while men continue ascending.

The group learned that progress is halted by a lack of male allies. If we are able to engage with men so that they understand and believe that gender-stereotyping exists (and that nobody wins from it), progress would occur more rapidly. According to the session leader, change has plateaued, which is unfortunate, because if it slows, women are not projected to reach pay equity until 2152. Men are afraid to help women for a variety of reasons, which include fear of making mistakes and fear of other men’s disapproval. Women can help to engage men by discussing our experiences of being outside of male privilege in a non-accusatory way. The pace of societal change is dependent on male allies, and alienation slows the pace.



Andrea DeSimone with keynote speaker Kevin O’Leary


When we broke for lunch and regrouped with our peers my heart swelled with love from the energy in that room. Hearing about the other sessions my colleagues attended was inspiring. The keynote speaker at lunch was Sara Blakely, founder of SPANX, Inc. Her personal story of achievement exhibited so much strength of character, resolve and self-actualization. I was absolutely beaming listening to her, hoping that the other women in the room knew that they are all capable of the same capacity for self-love and conviction.


Part of the CBRE/NE crew wrapped up for the day.