As a way to get to know the CREW Atlanta membership better, we have created a Member Spotlight column in which we will be interviewing some of our members on their thoughts on CREW Atlanta, the commercial real estate industry, workplace issues and life in general. This month, we caught up with our very own CREW Atlanta member who is currently serving as CREW Network president, Caddis Healthcare Real Estate Director of Development Christine Gorham.
Q. What attracted you to getting involved with CREW Network beyond your involvement with CREW Atlanta?
After serving as 2014 President of CREW Atlanta and getting “the bird’s eye view” while leading the organization, I realized how much I appreciated serving our members – being part of making a difference. I saw such positive impacts that our members made at the local level and I wanted to experience that at the global level – to work towards something huge that could influence so many more – so I went for it!
Q. What do you like most about being CREW Network president?
Meeting so many people in our industry, being involved in the strategic direction of the organization and making a positive impact on people’s lives.
Q. What is your biggest challenge?
Making everyone happy. It would be nice, but it is not possible to make 12,000 members love your decisions at all times.
Q. What is the most important thing you are working on right now?
Adding value for our members in a new, creative way to keep everyone engaged and feeling supported.
Q. What makes a successful leader?
Be ahead of what’s coming – anticipate the ride and pivot quickly. I also think it is very important to instill inspiration and optimism at all times, but especially in the midst of an odd environment.
Q. What has been your interaction with the commercial real estate industry during your presidency?
I have been exposed to so many great, diverse people through membership interactions and other industry collaborations. Prior to COVID-19 modifications, I was scheduled to meet with many CRE professionals in person from all over the world. Clearly that has been altered. However, thanks to our digital capabilities, I have had the pleasure of meeting many more members and industry colleagues than I likely would have had the chance to, and I’ve participated on panels, videos and podcasts, which has provided the opportunity to meet and interact with many insightful, engaging CRE professionals.
Q. From your unique perspective, what is your best advice for women in commercial real estate?
Always be prepared and confident. Never ask for something because you are a woman – ask for it because you have worked hard to deserve it.
Q. As you ponder your current status, what are you most proud of?
I am so proud to serve as a leader for the women and men of CREW Network, and the fact that I have the honor to lead our membership is incredible, educational and humbling.
Q. What are your favorite words of wisdom?
“I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it” – Thomas Jefferson
“Look closely at the present you are constructing. It should look like the future you are dreaming.” – Alice Walker
NEVER stop interacting with or helping your network if you ever must step away from your career (birth of child, sick family member, etc.). You need to stay in the know of your industry, the people influencing your industry and your career path options.
Q. Who is a mentor or a personal hero?
I admire strong (not loud or boastful) women who “follow the road less traveled” and/or those who follow their passion and work to be the best of their ability as they define what their success looks like.
Q. What keeps you busy outside of work when you are not consumed with your current responsibility?
I LOVE time with my three sons and husband as well as my parents, three sisters and their families, my extended family and friends. I’m usually watching my son’s baseball, Clemson football, live events and spending time outdoors
Q. What would you like to share about your family and how they have adjusted to your current position?
Before I accepted the nomination, I talked with them and told them that I would need their backing if I were selected. They agreed that I should go for it and have been nothing but supportive of me! I think they know how important this is to me and they stand by me all the way!
Q. How has commercial real estate benefited you throughout your career?
It has been said by many people in the CRE industry that this is the most competitive, yet friendly industry there is – which describes me perfectly.
Q: As a member, CREW Atlanta chapter president and CREW Network president, summarize what has CREW done for you?
I don’t know that I can quite articulate this answer. I have learned so much, helped so many people and have gained so many friends world-wide all because of CREW.