ULI Central Florida Bulletin

Convo With… Cecelia Bonifay – Partner & Chair, Land Use & Sustainable Development Practice/Akerman

How did you get involved with ULI?
I got involved at the district level a decade ago. Akerman members elsewhere in Florida were very involved at the national level. I engaged with the sustainability programs and eventually became co-chair of the national group on sustainability. At the local level I chaired the Program Committee then became the District Council chair.

And you were chair at a challenging time.
I chaired our District Council during the dark days of the recession, from 2010 – 2015. So many people didn’t have jobs and it was difficult maintaining membership. But we continued to have great programs. The ULI Summit was born out those trying times as a way to generate interest and get more people involved.

What are you most proud of from that time?
That would be going from the worst financial rating for a ULI District to the best. ULI national was very helpful.

What do you see as the greatest benefit of ULI?
The level and caliber of discussion that goes on at ULI. The opportunity to learn best practices and have insightful discussions with people from different disciplines. It’s a great way to meet new and engaging people.

Advice for getting the most out of ULI membership?
Become involved and attend functions! Our smaller group events – Young Leaders, WLI, etc. – provide great networking opportunities. And join a committee. That’s how you get more information and connect with more people. ULI is very welcoming and offers a real value proposition for members.


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