CREW Dallas – Supporting Local Girls’ and Women’s Charities


CREW Dallas Image:
CREW Dallas

Focused on transaction real estate, Maxine Marie Hepfer is currently a Senior at Ernst & Young in Dallas and engages with audit teams in real estate fair value reviews and mergers and acquisitions due diligence services. Maxine Marie Hepfer maintains an active community presence and serves on the Programs Committee of CREW Dallas, a network for women in commercial real estate.

Established by a dozen real estate professionals in 1980, CREW now extends to chapters across the country and has more than 350 members. In addition to connecting multi-disciplinary professionals and providing them with leadership development support, the organization has a strong philanthropic commitment.

The nonprofit CREW in the Community has sponsored the CREW Dallas Classic Golf Tournament since 1986 and raised more than $2.8 million for organizations that assist girls and women in need. Over the years, grants have gone to charities such as the Genesis Women’s Shelter, the YWCA of Metropolitan Dallas, and the Dallas Area Habitat for Humanity.

How the Federal Fund Rate Works

Federal Reserve Image:
Federal Reserve

An experienced real estate professional, Maxine Hepfer currently works as a senior in Ernst & Young’s Transaction Real Estate group in Dallas, Texas. Maxine Marie Hepfer is a member of the team that recently published an article on the effect of a Federal Reserve rate hike.

The federal funds rate is the interest rate at which depository institutions such as banks and credit institutions borrow from each other overnight. The rate is set by the Federal Reserve’s policymaking committee, the Federal Open Market Committee, and is reviewed periodically. Applicable to creditworthy institutions, the interest rate is a tool used by the Federal Reserve to check the market’s liquidity.

How this works is simple. Banks and credit institutions are required to maintain a reserve of funds with the Federal Reserve so that they are able to execute their financial operations. The reserve requirement ensures banks do not lend out every dollar they have. These reserves are capped at a specific figure every end of day. Banks with reserve funds way above the end-of-day requirements can loan their excess funds to banks with lower reserves. They do this using an interest rate negotiated between the two, centered on the federal fund rate.

When the federal fund rate is increased, banks are generally more reserved in their lending. The trend trickles down to the open market, reducing the flow of money. A low interest rate encourages lending, in turn boosting the flow of money and economic growth.

Ethan Hawke Plays Legendary Jazzman Chet Baker in Born to Be Blue

Ethan Hawke pic
Ethan Hawke

Cornell University alumna Maxine Marie Hepfer works in Ernst & Young’s Transaction Advisory Services Group. Apart from her profession, Maxine Marie Hepfer appreciates a wide variety of music, from Giraffage to Chet Baker.

Legendary jazz trumpet player Chet Baker died in 1988, but his legacy persists in a biopic that recently debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival. Starring Ethan Hawke, Born to Be Blue has received glowing reviews.

As but one indicator of the seriousness with which he has approached his portrayal of Chet Baker, Ethan Hawke took up the trumpet. Moreover, he encountered the former a couple of decades ago while working with director Richard Linklater on a script that portrayed the jazz legend in his 20s, and while that project never materialized, it was enough of an introduction to leave Mr. Hawke feeling as though he was revisiting a character in his work on Born to Be Blue, a fictionalized account of Baker in his 40s that was written by director Robert Budreau.

The Spa Resort of Wiesbaden

Wiesbaden pic

Real estate professional Maxine Marie Hepfer was raised with a strong German cultural background, as her mother hails from just outside of Frankfurt. Despite having been educated in the United States, Maxine Marie Hepfer has spent a significant amount of time in Germany, including several summers in her mother’s hometown of Wiesbaden.

Regarded as one of the best-heeled cities in Germany, Wiesbaden is known for its sophistication and class. However, it is arguably best known as Europe’s wellness capital and an exclusive spa resort.

Wiesbaden’s reputation as a spa destination dates back to the Roman Empire, when the healing effects of its 26 thermal springs became well known. Since then, the city has become the gold standard for any spa town. Considered to be the city’s crowning glory, the Kaiser Friedrich baths are located on the site of an ancient Roman steam room. Spanning 1,500 square meters, the baths can simultaneously accommodate multiple guests, leaving them refreshed from head to toe.

A Top Attraction of Wiesbaden, Germany

Nerobergbahn funicular pic
Nerobergbahn funicular

Maxine Hepfer holds a bachelor’s degree in hotel administration and a minor in real estate from Cornell University. Today, she works in the Transaction Real Estate (TRE) group of the Transaction Advisory Services arm of Ernst and Young. Maxine Hepfer’s mother is from Wiesbaden, and she spent a lot of time with her extended German family growing up.

Wiesbaden has a population of around 273,000. Located between the Rhine River and the Taunus Mountains, the city is in a valley that used to be known for its spas and gambling. Nowadays, Wiesbaden offers a good mix of parks, sights, landmarks, and tours.

According to TripAdvisor, the number-one attraction in Wiesbaden is the Nerobergbahn funicular. This railway connects Wiesbaden to Neroberg hill and is one of the only funiculars left that is propelled by water. The Nerobergbahn offers tourists panoramic views of the city.

An Overview of CREW Dallas

crew-dallasOutside of her work as a Senior in Transaction Real Estate with Ernst & Young, LLP, Maxine Hepfer is involved with the Dallas chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), an organization that provides support for women who work in the commercial real estate field. Maxine Hepfer currently serves on the Programs Committee of the organization.

Appropriate applicants for CREW must be currently employed in commercial real estate or a related field. Female students working toward a relevant degree also have the opportunity to join CREW. About 80 percent of CREW’s membership are women with careers closely tied to commercial real estate, such as architecture, construction, and property management. The remaining members are in fields like interior design, insurance, and landscape architecture. Prospective members are eligible for different membership levels, depending on their work experience and expertise.

The Dallas chapter of CREW holds monthly events and luncheons to facilitate communication among its 350 members. To learn more about CREW, visit

I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard at Kitchen Dog Theater

I'm Gonna Pray For You So Hard at Kitchen Dog Theater pic
I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard

A graduate of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration with a minor in real estate, Maxine Hepfer now serves as a Senior in the Transaction Real Estate group at EY in Dallas, Texas. Alongside providing real estate advisory services, Maxine Hepfer enjoys attending performances at the Kitchen Dog Theater, which she appreciates for its unique and thought-provoking pieces.

The Kitchen Dog Theater took its name from the play Waiting For Godot by Samuel Beckett. Although the kitchen dog in Beckett’s play represents the futility of the struggle for happiness, the Kitchen Dog Theater presents work that questions society’s cycle of injustice and ignorance. Hence its plays present sometimes controversial material and encourage audience members to question conventional beliefs about culture and the self.

One of the Kitchen Dog Theater’s spring shows, I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard by Halley Feiffer, will open on February 12th, 2016. The play, directed by the company’s Lee Trull, tackles the conflict between parents and children through a complicated relationship between a playwright and his daughter, who is an off-Broadway actress.

EY Supports Women Through Its Professional Women’s Network

In her work in the real estate industry, Maxine Hepfer draws on experience with companies such as International Capital, Inc., in Dallas, Texas, and Henderson Global Investors in Frankfurt, Germany. Now a senior in transaction real estate at EY in Dallas, Maxine Hepfer also serves as a committee lead for the company’s Professional Women’s Network.

Participants in the Professional Women’s Network have access to exclusive opportunities for additional education and networking. For example, the New York Tri State branch hosts the program Issues On My Mind®, which fosters an exchange of ideas regarding financial strategies, healthcare delivery, and numerous other topics relevant to women leaders.

EY’s efforts have resulted in a 20 percent increase of women in its top executive management positions. In part because of its commitment to promoting women in the workplace, EY has been recognized as one of the 100 Best Companies to Work For in the US by FORTUNE Magazine. Working Mother Magazine also ranked EY as one of the top 10 companies for career women with families.

About Membership in CREW Dallas

A graduate of the School of Hotel Administration of Cornell University, Maxine Hepfer is actively involved in various women’s organizations. She serves on the Programs Committee of the Dallas chapter of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) as well as the Professional Women’s Network of her firm, Ernst & Young,LLP.

A chapter of the national CREW Network, CREW Dallas was established in 1980. CREW is a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting women in the profession through civic involvement, education, development, and networking. Guided by more than a dozen committees, the Dallas chapter holds a number of regular events, like monthly lunches for members to connect, and fundraisers, like its annual golf tournament to support other nonprofit organizations for women and girls.

Membership in CREW Dallas is open to any woman currently employed in the field of commercial real estate or studying a related subject. Qualifications are broken into an applicant’s primary and secondary discipline. Primary disciplines include practice-oriented areas, including appraisal, development, and facilities management, among others. Secondary disciplines are supplemental areas that are not necessarily specific to the field, like registered interior design, marketing, and title insurance services. Members can also apply for a spot in the CREW Speakers’ Bureau, which promotes the group’s mission via speaking engagements at a range of organizations and businesses.

Potential Impact of Rising Interest Rates on Commercial Real Estate

Maxine Hepfer, who earned her bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, joined Ernst & Young’s Transaction Real Estate services team in Dallas, Texas, in the summer of 2014. As a staff II analyst, she is responsible for performing due diligence prior to sales or acquisitions, advising clients on potential real estate transactions, and other consulting services. Maxine Hepfer’s team recently published an article titled Commercial Property Outlook in a Rising Rate Environment, which discusses the potential impact on commercial real estate prices of an increase in the federal funds rate.

The article notes that while it may seem intuitive that rising interest rates will depress commercial real estate (CRE) values and make development of new projects more costly, the actual impact of increasing interest rates may be much more benign. The article notes that far from being the sole determinant, the interest rate is only one of several variables affecting CRE costs and values. Some of those other variables include changes in the level of supply and demand, transaction activity, and trends in the national economy.

The article acknowledges that, in the immediate aftermath of a rate increase, publicly traded real estate investment trusts, or REITs, may experience a reactionary sell-off. It notes, however, that the spread between CRE and 10-year Treasury yields should permit further compression. In addition, the combination of a great deal of inbound capital, available private equity, a generally positive economic outlook, and strong CRE fundamentals suggest that CRE values are much more able to withstand the shock of rising interest rates. This is especially true if the increases are in the range of 25 to 50 basis points, as seems likely.