The Federation’s Commercial Real Estate Society is a networking and philanthropic group of Jewish professionals in the commercial real estate and affiliated industries. Our goal is to create networking and business development opportunities and to raise money to support the Federation and the Jewish community.
Our group includes employees of multifamily complexes, tenant representatives, developers and industries like insurance, brokers, appraisers, suppliers, developers, financial lenders, attorneys, and more. The CRES meets three times annually featuring two breakfasts with local speakers and a fundraising dinner with a national speaker.
We strive to bring members informative and interesting speakers and potential mentorship opportunities with each event. Attendance at our breakfasts is usually around 150 people and the dinner hosts about 375.
Past speakers include former Houston Mayor Annise Parker; Ric Campo, Chairman and CEO of Camden Properties and the Super Bowl LI Host Committee; Dr. Robert Robbins, CEO of the Medical Center; Phyllis Saathoff of the Port Authority of Houston; Ed Wulfe, Chairman, CEO and Founder of Wulfe & Co Inc.; Gerald Hines, Founder and Chairman of Hines; Ron Ratner, EVP of Development of Forest City Realty Trust, Howard Lutnick, Chairman and CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald, and Mayor Sylvester Turner, City of Houston.
Society membership requires each person to make an annual donation of $1000 to our Annual Campaign. Members 35 and under are required to make an annual donation of only $500.
Adam Braun is a New York Times bestselling author and the Founder of Pencils of Promise, an award-winning organization that has broken ground on more than 300 schools around the world. As one of the nation's leading speakers on purpose-based leadership and innovation, he has been featured as a speaker at The White House, the United Nations and the Clinton Global Initiative.
By the age of 31 he was already named to Business Insider’s “40 Under 40,” Wired Magazine's “50 People Who Are Changing the World,” and was selected as one of the World Economic Forum’s first ten Global Shapers. In 2015 he joined a coalition to address global challenges with Kofi Annan, Desmond Tutu and several Nobel Peace Prize winners.
Braun began working summers at hedge funds when he was just sixteen years old, sprinting down the path to a successful Wall Street career. But while traveling abroad he met a young boy begging on the streets of India. When Braun asked him what he wanted most in the world, he simply answered, “a pencil.”
This small request became the inspiration for Pencils of Promise, the organization Braun would leave Bain & Company several years later to launch. Using his unique “for-purpose” approach, he meshed for-profit business acumen with non-profit idealism, proving that anyone can build a movement that matters.
Braun graduated from Brown University and is a highly sought after speaker at major conferences and Fortune 500 companies. With over 500,000 followers he is one of America's most engaging entrepreneurs and in 2015 he received the nation’s most prestigious award for public service, the Jefferson Award.
His book The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change debuted at #2 on the New York Times bestseller list and went on to become a #1 national bestseller. In the words of Sir Richard Branson, “For anyone with a big dream to change the world, this book will show you how to get it done.”
Commercial Real Estate Society Sponsor
Haim “Chad” Kamman
Jay Harberg, Jr.
W. Barry Kahn
Glenn R. Lowenstein
Rebecca Fein Luks
Lolly Friedman Miller
Laura Mitzner Paletz
Emily Durham Sewell
Scott Van Nostrad
This list is current as of June 2016