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Elizabeth Gordon interviews Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) – on the Chic Perspectives Show – Samantha Lueder of Ant Hill Communications, Carolyn Saffold Wilson of Womble Carlyle and Tonya Creekmore, Vice President of General Growth Properties


It was my pleasure this week to have on 3 fabulous businesswomen from CREW Atlanta, Commercial Real Estate Women.

First up was Samantha Lueder of Ant Hill Communications. For more than fourteen years, Sam Lueder has been managing consumers’ perceptions of brands through integrated marketing and Public Relations programs.

With a supportive and collegiate management style, Sam’s strength lies in being able to work and secure substantial results for brands within both the corporate atmosphere, some of the worlds best-known agencies and now with her own boutique agency – Ant Hill Communications.

Her love of the actual work of Public Relations and marketing drove her to start her own company, Ant Hill, in 2009, with a corporate mandate of providing big brand experience, ideas and contacts to small, entrepreneurial companies looking to do some good and to make a difference.   In this vein, Ant Hill aims to partner with new companies and people, who are excited about their brands and willing to make loyalists out of their supporters and brand ambassadors out of their customers – the sweet spot of all that Ant Hill can achieve.

Sam started her career and secured the fundamental knowledge of Public Relations with Hill & Knowlton in London. Past credits include Corporate Communications Manager for Philips Consumer Electronics, and Marketing Manager for Song, Delta Airlines low-cost, high style airline.  She’s done marketing and PR worked with clients including Motorola, Cheerwine, Applebee’s restaurants, Earthlink and Mansfield Plumbing, Publix and Sports Authority.

Sam talked about what CREW is doing in terms of programing and events and why she was attracted to the organization, as well as her unique perspective on why an organization for women in commercial real estate is so necessary.

Next up was Carolyn Saffold Wilson of Womble Carlyle

Carolyn Wilson advises banks, companies and individual clients on commercial finance transactions and real estate matters.  She specializes in commercial loan workouts, evaluation and enforcement of lender’s rights and repayment/recovery efforts to maximize the client’s return. Her practice includes resolution of problematic unsecured loans, as well as loans secured by business assets, special purpose buildings, offices, shopping centers, condominium and other multifamily complexes, residential developments and industrial projects. She also has experience in identifying and solving title issues that might adversely affect the value and marketability of real property collateral.

Carolyn is a a CREW past president and has been active for many years as an officer, board member, legal counsel and speaker for the Atlanta Chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network, a national organization of executive women in the commercial real estate industry. She is a recipient of the CREW Distinguished Achievement Award and has been named to Atlanta Magazine’s 2008 and 2009 Georgia Super Lawyer lists.

Carolyn is a magna cum laude graduate of  Duke University and Washington & Lee University School of Law.

Carolyn talked about what a impact CREW has made on her career and her advice for other businesswomen.

Tonya Creekmore, Vice President  of General Growth Properties was my next guest.   Two years ago Creekmore joined General Growth Properties as Vice President responsible for securing catalyst anchor retailers for re-development of regional malls throughout the Southeast. Prior to joining General Growth Properties, Creekmore was Partner at North American Properties where she was responsible for development and retailer relations throughout the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. Creekmore spent ten years as a Senior Leasing Representative at Ben Carter Properties before North American Properties.

She currently serves on the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network national board representing over 8,000 commercial real estate professionals and has consistently volunteered for International Council of Shopping Centers nationally and locally.

Tonya’s career includes an impressive list of awards, professional affiliations and accomplishments, including being a 40 Under 40 Atlanta Business Chronicle 2007 Up and Comers in Atlanta and Commercial Real Estate Women – Atlanta (CREW):  Past President 2006 (the year Atlanta hosted the National CREW Convention).  She was the CREW Representative on Atlanta Women’s Foundation’s Grant Making Committee, an active member and Co-Chair of yjr International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) 2004 Southeast Conference and Chair 2005 Southeast Conference (approximately 4,000 attendees). Tonya is also a CREW Network National Board Member.

Tonya has spoken at a variety of conferences and CREW events talking about Re-Development Trends and Opportunities, Retail Development in Atlanta,  Growth in North Seminole County and has also a frequent panelist at CREW meetings over the years.

Tonya talked about her experiences with CREW and the substantial impact the organization has had on her professional development and network.

It was such a pleasure to get to know these amazing and accomplished women and to shine the Chic Spotlight on all that CREW is doing for the women in commercial real estate.

Thanks for tuning in, be sure to check out the Chic Perspectives Aftershow of this episode on the Chic Entrepreneur Facebook Fanpage

Until next time, wishing you all Chic Success,