Holiday Party Recap

December 22, 2020
Written by: CREW Silicon Valley

This month CREW SV hosted their annual Holiday Party, which included networking, a craft cocktail class, ugly-mask contest, games, and the announcement of this year’s chapter awards.  We’d like to extend CONGRATULATIONS to this year winners: Kristi Pearce-Percy of Cuschieri Horton Architects, Jennifer VanderArend of HMH Inc., Laura Hulberg of Valbridge Property Advisors, Leigh Knight of One Workplace, American Asphalt (corporate), and Michelle Goudeaux of Columbia Property Trust.



CREW SV’s first-ever virtual holiday party celebrates awardees
CREW Silicon Valley’s annual Holiday Party is always a favorite way to cap off a year – with networking, ugly sweaters, and plenty of free-flowing libations. But it’s also a fundraiser, with money going to support the chapter’s local scholarship fund.
So could a pivot to virtual this year keep at least some of the magic?
The answer was a resounding “Yes!” 
More than 75 Bay Area CRE professionals gathered for CREW SV’s virtual cocktail party on Thursday, Dec. 10. After months of planning by the UCREW committee, the event went off without a hitch and showed what you can do with a little creativity and a webcam.
Emceed by Chapter President Kristi Pearce-Percy, the event kicked off with an ugly-mask contest and a hilarious video of the board singing a custom holiday song, produced by Director of UCREW Sabine Zimmerhansl. (You can watch it yourself here.)
Then it was on to the announcements of this year’s chapter awards (see below for the full list of winners) and a virtual cocktail-making class from San Jose mixologist Andrea Whittaker. Andrea made three drinks with us, and you can get the directions here if you’d like to try them yourself!
We finished out the night with the quarantine-era game, “You’re Muted!” and prizes.
Special thanks to all of our sponsors and prize donators who made the night special.

CREW SV Chapter Awards
Every year, our chapter celebrates the standout achievements and leadership exhibited by our members. We always give out at least three award categories: Rising Star, Outstanding Individual, and Entrepreneurial Spirit. This year, we added the Community Hero Award and a special Member Recognition Award to spread the love during an extra-challenging year.

Outstanding Individual:
Kristi Pearce-Percy of Cuschieri Horton Architects (and our 2020 Chapter President) was recognized for successfully leading the chapter through the extraordinary months of 2020. Kristi ensured the organization functioned virtually without a hiccup, spearheading weekly Zoom “coffee chats” with themes relevant to our quickly changing situation. Kristi behind the scenes worked to support individual members who were experiencing hardship or career transition. And she always brought a positive attitude and selfless approach to everything she did.

Rising Star:
Jennifer VanderArend of HMH Inc. took home this year’s award, which recognizes a member who shows developing leadership both within the CRE industry and in CREW. Jennifer is a key member of the UCREW Committee working on committee communications and has developed a dynamic and professional website for the committee. Most recently, Jennifer has coordinated our efforts to begin a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion task force that units the CREW East Bay, SF and Silicon Valley chapters.

Member Recognition Award:
Laura Hulberg of Valbridge Property Advisors was recognized for the positive and energetic spirit she brings to everything she does for CREW Silicon Valley. Over the last year, Laura has improved the Chapter’s presence on social media, helping to draw more attention to CREW’s programs and initiatives. Laura’s strong support of the Communications Committee and willingness to get involved are examples for other members.

Entrepreneurial Spirit:
Leigh Knight
of One Workplace truly exemplifies this award, which goes to someone who is making waves in the CRE industry. Leigh has helped to successfully position One Workplace as a creative thought leader that is helping to bring leading Silicon Valley companies back to work safely and even in better ways than before. Leigh’s writings on remote management, teambuilding and personal experiences of 2020 are “must reads” on LinkedIn. Her business acumen is on full display as Director of Membership for CREW, where she has done an amazing job of engaging with new members and thinking outside the box to attract new ones.

Community Hero (corporate): This year, we added an award designed to recognize community service, inspired by the tremendous rallying to help others we saw during the year 2020. American Asphalt is a prime example. As the COVID19 crisis unfolded in the spring, the staff and leaders of American Asphalt sprung into action to support Bay Area first responders.  They teamed up with Guy Fieri and his catering company, Knuckle Sandwiches, and Sonoma Family Meal to feed them. In just three days in May, they served nearly 1800 meals at three different North Bay hospitals.
As the California wildfire crisis unfolded, American Asphalt again answered the call to keep fire crews fueled up, something they’ve done several times during the difficult fire season. American Asphalt CEO Allan Henderson has been intimately involved in the whole thing, including donating and doing food prep. In addition, American Asphalt employees have dug into their wallets to donate $6,700 for the Alameda County Community Food Bank, money which was matched by the company itself, for a total of $13,500.

Community Hero (member):
Michelle Goudeaux
of Columbia Property Trust is known to many CREW members for her involvement with the Programs Committee, which she leads as Director. In her hometown of East Palo Alto, however, she is known for a long history of service to her community that is borne of passion for helping others. 
Michelle’s primary interest is education, financial literacy, and helping seniors. That’s evident in the other organizations with which she’s involved: She is on the board chair for Able Works, Inc. which works to empower and equip youth with financial education, life skills and assets that enable one to live free from oppression and poverty.
She is also on the Advisory Board for East Palo Alto High School Academy-Charter school, where she works closely with the administration to ensure that the mission and goals of the school are being met.
She also is a lifeline to many local senior citizens. Michelle delivers food, goes shopping, stops by to just say hello to those who are shut-in and are not getting around like they used to.
Michelle is also part of The Links Inc., a volunteer service organizations of women who are committed to enriching, sustaining and ensuring the culture and economic survival of African Americans. Links support services to youth, health and human services.
Back in her hometown, Michelle and her partner started a Holiday in the Park Toy Giveaway for East Palo Alto back in 2017 and served over 2,000 children and purchased 7,000+ toys, as well as critical necessities such as laptops for college bound students, and even Christmas trees.
Both award winners exemplify the type of corporate and individual volunteerism that inspires all of us. They are truly Community Heroes.