Commercial real estate conference gets new name

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Posted: Wednesday, March 5, 2014 12:00 am

After a tug of war over the name CREW, one of the groups that had laid claim to the brand succumbed and now is resurrected under a new banner: Commercial Real Estate Summit.

The Summit, as it will be called for short, will hold its inaugural conference under that name April 4 at the CenturyLink Center Omaha. In reality, however, this marks the 25th year for the all-day gathering that brings together various segments of the commercial real estate world to share what’s new and hot in the industry.

Jerry Slusky, who founded the event expected to draw nearly 600, said this year’s workshops and speakers are expected to reflect a “hopeful but cautious” outlook for the local commercial real estate market.

This year’s conference brings a national keynote speaker, William Kristol, founder and editor of the Weekly Standard and a political analyst for ABC News.

One of the main workshops, “How Omaha has transformed over the past 25 years,” features former Mayor Hal Daub, former city planning directors Steve Jensen and Bob Peters, former Chamber of Commerce economic development leader Rod Moseman and Jay Noddle of Noddle Cos.

The panelists will talk about game-changing decisions in the last quarter-century that made Omaha what it is today.

Other workshops will focus on such topics as millennials, trends in urban and suburban living, technology, construction and lending.

The silver anniversary conference, which also will recognize Omaha’s “deal of the year” and “development of the year,” follows a federal trademark dispute during which the annual conference lost its original name.

A national network called Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) had asserted that the Omaha workshop’s use of the acronym CREW (short for Commercial Real Estate Workshop) infringed upon its turf. The national women’s group had a federal registration that predated the local CREW event.

“The more we thought about it, the word summit fits us better today than a workshop,” Slusky said.

Early registration for the Summit goes through Friday. For more information, go to attendCRESummit.com.

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