I officially began my duties as CREW Atlanta president in the midst of a massive snowstorm (more on that below) and ended it interviewing one of Atlanta’s most important businesswomen, Carol Tome of The Home Depot. In between, I have learned a great deal, met many fascinating women in real estate and become even more committed to CREW (which stands for Commercial Real Estate Women).

Lori Kilberg Interviews Carol TomeI look forward to 2012. I have been appointed to serve on CREW Network’s 2012 Board of Directors.  As a liaison for eight CREW chapters in the Southeast, I will participate in the 2012 Leadership Summits and Council Meetings taking place in Albuquerque and Montreal, respectively. This year I will also serve as the board liaison to the member education committee for CREW Network Convention to be held in October this year in Chicago. As I embark on new challenges, I am excited to welcome CREW Atlanta’s 2012 president elect Heather O’Toole who serves as general manager with PMRG.

I hope Heather has a smoother transition into her position than I did. I will never forget my first role as president – co-hosting the annual CREW Atlanta and CoreNet Global economic forecast luncheon in January – originally scheduled just days after the huge snowstorm that paralyzed the city. We were expecting 500 guests! I spent an entire day figuring out how to reschedule. Fortunately, our guest speaker Marci Rossell, former CNBC chief economist and co-host of SQUAWK BOX, was accommodating and the program was rescheduled two weeks later. The event went off without a hitch. If you missed Marci last year, you will have a chance to hear her speak at this year’s economic forecast lunch on January 12.

Despite the snowy start, the rest of the year was filled with sunnier times. I finished the year with a fireside chat with Carol Tomé, chief financial officer and executive vice president at The Home Depot. Tome told me her formula for success is to be truly passionate about what you do and to surround yourself with a team that is committed, motivated and equally passionate (and very, very smart!). It was great to start and end the year with two such impressive women.

With approximately 300 members, the CREW Atlanta chapter has a special place in my heart. My involvement helps me establish relationships with other women in the field and gives me training to better my practice. This year will be an exciting one for the chapter as it celebrates its 30th anniversary. Cheers to 30 more years and a great 2012!