WDC 2022 Archive


WDC 2022 Holiday Gift Guide

Over the years, WDC programs have featured wonderful women businesses across the country. This is our 2022 holiday gift guide where you can order delicious chocolates, gourmet food, elegant clothes, artisan crafts, and more from these talented entrepreneurs for the holidays and throughout the year.

  1. Boston– Dahlia Gallery  Gallery featuring artisan crafts and apparel, including elegant hand woven garments made by owner, Dahlia Popovits.
  2. Chicago– Sugoi Sweets Confectioner creating “sugoi” moments (Japanese term meaning “amazing”) through the celebration of handcrafted chocolate, confections and other goodies.
  3. Dallas– Kate Weiser Chocolate  Hand-painted gourmet chocolates that are works of art that showcase their unique flavors.
  4. Denver– Snow Owl Confections  Decadently, delicious confectioner featuring all natural hot fudge sauces to warm up your winter.
  5. Detroit– Detroit is the New Black Community based retailer showcasing emerging Black & minority owned brands from Detroit.
  6. Nashville– Jackalope Brewing Company (The Ranch) Craft brewery featuring delicious brews, meals, and lots of fun gifts.
  7. New York– Organic Nectars Hudson Valley’s all-organic food company, specializing in agave, cacao and other delights including Cashewtopia.
  8. San Diego– Extraordinary Desserts Delicious cafe and gourmet store featuring elegant desserts, meals and gourmet products created by Chef Karen Krasne.
  9. Seattle– flora and henri Breathtaking collection of unique, sought-after, and inspiring creations for women, children and homes.
  10. Washington DC– Union Market District  Creative marketplace celebrating culture, food, art, crafts, music, and everything that makes Washington, DC unique.

Project Forum: Looking Back, Looking Forward

December 1, 2022

Our seventh WDC Project Forum featured updates by Montana developer Molly McCabe of HaydenTanner and Michigan developer Jill Ferrari of Renovare Development on their catalytic, mixed use developments. They presented their current development opportunities and challenges and received strategic advice from our WDC community:

Parkline project in frontier market of Kalispell, Montana by Molly McCabe of HaydenTanner. The proposed development has widespread public support and will redevelop a former 3.8-acre industrial site into a sustainable mixed-use development including office, retail ,maker space, and mixed-income multifamily residential with a net zero emissions target. Parkline will support the renewal of the Kalispell Core Area around the former downtown train tracks that are being redeveloped into a new linear park adjacent to Parkline.

Munising Marketplace near Michigan's famous Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore by Developers Jill Ferrari and Shannon Morgan of Renovare Development. The mixed-use development will integrate 38 units of workforce housing, ground floor retail and a new center for the Michigan Workforce Development Initiative and utilize innovative funding sources including the use of State funding and New Markets Tax Credits, State funding. Jill Ferrari updated us on Renovare's other Michigan developments.

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Investment Forum Roundtable Real Estate Investor Clubs Part 3

November 16, 2022

At our third roundtable we discussed the formation and implementation of real estate investor clubs by WDC members– an investor collaborative and a more formal investment club for accredited investors:

  • Investor Collaborative (mix of investors)— Informal educational club focused on crowd funding opportunities and individual investments by participants.
  • Investment Club – A formal organizational structure that would enable a group of accredited investors to evaluate opportunities and invest either as individual investors or as a group of investors

Based on our roundtable discussion on September 29, we discussed forming an Investor Collaborative first, with a subcommittee that consists of an Investment Club of Accredited Investors, which can delve deeper into deals. We will further explore this on November 16 as well as discuss committee leadership formation including co-chairs, secretary, treasurer and subcommittee chairs.



WDC Dallas Fall Meeting Program

October 24, 2022
Afternoon Program in Downtown Dallas (Coamerica, Stewart Title, 1717 Main St, Suite 3300, Dallas, TX)

WDC hosted a collaborative exploration with the women leading Southern Gateway Park about transforming Southern Dallas with equity minded development. This 5-acre, $100+ million urban green space will reconnect neighborhoods long divided by Interstate 35. Now that construction is underway, April Allen, Executive Director of the Southern Gateway Park and her board, are addressing the next challenge: How to use the park as a catalyst to stimulate equitable residential and commercial development around it and catalyze economic mobility for neighborhood residents.

Moderator: Juanita Hardy, Senior Visiting Fellow, Urban Land Institute

Panelists: April Allen (Executive Director, Southern Gateway Park), Molly Plummer (Parks and Schoolyards Director, Trust for Public Land), Eve Picker (Founder and CEO, Small Change), Maggie Parker (Founder and Managing Partner, Innovan Neighborhoods) and Janet Protas (Senior Vice President – Development, Conor Commercial Real Estate)

WDC Evening Program at the Catbird Dallas featuring its designer Caroline Todd (1401 Elm St, Dallas TX)

We reconvened at 7:30 PM for conversations and a fireside chat over drinks with Caroline Todd, Todd Interiors, at the elegant Catbird Dallas she designed in downtown Dallas.

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Investment Forum Roundtable Real Estate Investor Clubs Part 2

September 29, 2022

Part 2 of our Investment Forum Roundtable included discussion regarding the potential formation of one or more investor clubs where we will explore how clubs could enable individual investors or groups of investors to invest in women-led developments. Building on our prior discussion, we will explore the formation of two potential types of clubs and develop an implementation strategy for WDC:

• Investor Collaborative– Informal educational club that is focused on crowd funding opportunities and individual investments by participants.

• Investment Club – A formal organizational structure that would enable a group of accredited investors to evaluate opportunities and invest either as individual investors or as a group of investors



In Conversation with Developer Brinda Devine, P8 Real Estate Solutions, Detroit

September 21, 2022

We had an inspiring conversation with Brinda Devine, developer and founder of P8 Real Estate Solutions, who has managed and developed unique portfolios of commercial real estate assets for the past 25 years. We heard about Brinda's development vision to bring “Kornr Stores” to underserved neighborhoods in Detroit with poor access to life's essentials– healthy food and drink options, personal and home goods, and the Internet. Kornr Store, a neighborhood marketplace, will offer coffee, baked goods and fresh foods along with a mixture of personal, home goods and small business products, including those made by local residents. The Kornr Store will include a community green space along with other sustainable features and will host community activities with its local non profit partner, NW Goldberg Cares. The second floor above the Kornr Store will be a two bedroom apartment, and Brinda proposes to replicate this mixed use development concept throughout the Motor City.

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Investment Forum Roundtable Real Estate Investor Clubs

July 27, 2022

At this Investment Forum Roundtable, we learned about real estate investor clubs that enable groups of investors to pool their resources and make investment choices as a collaborative. This program featured a presentation by WDC Program Co-chair Jennifer Schwartzman based on her experience setting up an investor club, and a case study presentation by an emerging woman developer that describes the type of opportunity we might evaluate if we were to form a club. We then hosted a round table discussion that explores the benefits and considerations of launching an informal or formal WDC investor club.


Summer Solstice Virtual Cocktail Party with Karen Krasne, Extraordinary Dessert

June 23, 2022

We continued our tradition of featuring inspiring women entrepreneurs and artisans and virtually share our inspirations and accomplishments in WDC's Summer Solstice Cocktail Party. We are delighted to feature renowned artisan pastry chef and entrepreneur, Karen Krasne of Extraordinary Desserts who hosted our San Diego program in April at her beautifully renovated patisserie in Little Italy designed by Luce et Studio. As many of us experienced first-hand, her mouth-watering desserts coupled with the exquisite building design showcase her spectacular creations. Karen Krasne has been named one of the top ten pastry chefs in the country by Forbes magazine and was a featured dessert chef at the James Beard House. In addition to discussing how she has grown her patisserie business and line of gourmet food products, she shared culinary tips from her best-selling cookbook Extraordinary Cakes: Recipes for Bold and Sophisticated Desserts.



WDC Investment Forum on Self-Directed IRAs Part 2

May 19, 2022

We learned how to invest in real estate projects and new developments by setting up one's own self-directed IRA or raise capital for own projects using other people's IRAs. The panel included experienced accountants and sponsors who walked through the process and did a deeper dive into how self-directed IRAs have been successfully used to invest in projects and fund real estate ventures. The panel was moderated by investor, asset manager and sponsor, Sonya Rocvil of Bedrock Real Estate Investors.  Renni Schioppo and Rochelle Zarett of Gettry Marcus CPA, P.C. are experienced accountants who advise clients on tax, real estate, partnerships, trusts, and/or estates, with a focus on advising closely-held companies, family-owned businesses and real estate entities. Nanci Regnier is the owner of Rebel Property Solutions, a premier real estate investment firm that specializes in single-family renovations, new construction and multifamily housing to help solve the workforce housing crisis.




Project Forum - Adaptive Reuse and OmniEcosystems Expansion

April 28, 2022

In our sixth WDC Project Forum, we advised Molly Meyer, the founder of OmniEcosystems (Omni) and her partner Kate Groninger, on the expansion of Omni’s headquarters development in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago. Located in an Opportunity Zone across from an elementary school, Omni has purchased a 2.5 acre site and historically rehabbed a former milk bottling plant into the headquarters for their vibrant business installing and maintaining innovative green roofing systems focused on sustainability. Desiring to bring positive change to their economically disadvantaged neighborhood, Omni is seeking advice on how to redevelop the adjacent building and utilize the rest of their site acreage to create office space and a restaurant plus a showcase for their work, creating a venue that is also a community space for the neighborhood to enjoy. This session will focus on adaptive re-use, placemaking, retail lease structuring, and how to support entrepreneurial tenants.

Marty Jones  of MLJ Insights moderated the experienced panel of advisors including Robin Schabes of the Chicagoland Opportunity Zones Consortium, Kim Frentz Edmonds of Ventura Partners and Cathy Sloss Jones of Sloss Real Estate Company.


At ULI Spring Meeting: Women Transforming Downtown San Diego's Development Landscape

April 18, 2022

This San Diego program featured presentations and tours by innovative women who are transforming downtown San Diego’s development landscape. Marissa Feliciano, Director of Marketing and Communications for Jamboree Housing, kicked-off this inspiring program by introducing IQHQ’s Justine Nielsen, Senior Vice President, Development, and Fran Federman, Chief Financial Officer, who are developing IQHQ’s Research and Development District (RaDD) along the downtown waterfront. RaDD is a best-in-class, mixed-use life science district of 1.7 million square feet on an 8+ acre iconic site overlooking San Diego Bay. We then toured the RaDD project site and iconic developments throughout downtown San Diego. The program concluded with a reception at a beautifully renovated patisserie, Extraordinary Desserts owned by Chef Entrepreneur Karen Krasne, where we heard from its lead designer, Jennifer Luce, Principal Architect of Luce et Studio.


Member Only Investment Roundtable

March 3, 2022

This inspiring investment roundtable featured MSquared, a women-owned real estate development and impact investing platform that deploys capital and partners with local women and minority-led developers to build mixed-use projects that include housing affordable to a wide range of households. Alicia Glen, founder of MSquared, presented MSquared’s projects across the country and the types of future investment and development opportunities that they are seeking. Pioneering developer partners Anna Mackay and Jessy Ledesma presented Shortstack Housing, their innovative "missing middle" mass timber solution that tackles the housing shortage in Portland OR while addressing persistent industry inequities and advancing sustainable, resilient building technologies.

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Adaptive Reuse - Bringing new life to older buildings

Februrary 2, 2022

This lively and informative session addresses the intricacies of adaptive reuse development. Our panelists are accomplished real estate experts who represent the various professions needed to bring new life to older buildings. They presented successful strategies that address complex governmental regulations and incentives, environmental concerns, repositioning of potential uses, architectural design innovations, and creative financing options to achieve development. Our talented panel featured Seattle developer Liz Dunn, Founder of Dunn & Hobbes, Erika Stubstad, Design Director of Studio One Eleven in Long Beach, and New York attorney D Hara Perkins of Goulston & Storrs. This panel was moderated by Francesca Franchi, AIA, principal for RDC-Studio One Eleven in Virginia.