Why did you become involved with ULI?
My dad, Perry, who founded Reader & Partners, was always involved with ULI. He participated in many of the councils and really advocated my joining after college graduation.
You obviously took your father’s good advice.
Yes. I joined 10 years ago, soon after I got out of college. For the first five years I’d say I was a passive participant, but Debra Dremann, who was then with Wellyn doing work with Cresent, pulled me in and said that I needed to get involved. More good advice that I’m glad I took. I currently chair the Trends and Membership Committees.
What do you like about ULI?
I love that it’s about professional development. The programming is so good. ULI is not just about networking; it’s an outstanding way to learn best practices from engaged industry leaders. I always learn something from ULI events and share that knowledge with my colleagues. They know I’ll return from the ULI Summit with slides from thought-provoking presentations on issues that you don’t think about on daily basis. ULI really expands your knowledge base.
But the networking is good, too.
Oh, without a doubt. One of my favorite things about ULI is the people. This is a very collegial and collaborative group that’s really invested in the built environment and the Orlando market. My ULI colleagues have curious minds and truly care about the quality of projects and the direction of real estate in Central Florida. I’m better in my work because of my interaction with ULI members.
How would you advise someone to take the greatest advantage of his or her ULI membership?
Attend events. Join a committee. First go to the programming to see what the value is. For $220 as Young Leader you get so much and access to real thought leaders. ULI offers deep information on things like real estate underwriting, which isn’t so easy to navigate. In ULI you have the opportunity to learn from people who’ve done it right. The ULI membership is a great investment in you. Take advantage of it!