ULI Carolinas: 2024 Carolinas Meeting

When

2024-02-22 - 2024-02-23

Choose Your Calendar

    Where

    Charlotte Convention Center Will open in a new window 501 S College St Charlotte, NC 28202-1827 UNITED STATES

    Agenda

    Times displayed in 

    2024-02-21T18:00:00 - 2024-02-21T21:00:00
    America/New_York
    Regional Council Dinner (Invitation Only: Ticketed Event)
    2024-02-22T10:00:00 - 2024-02-22T12:00:00
    America/New_York
    The Shift South – Vibrancy in South End (Ticketed Event) - SOLD OUT
    2024-02-22T12:15:00 - 2024-02-22T14:30:00
    America/New_York
    Sorting Out the New South (Ticketed Event)
    2024-02-22T12:30:00 - 2024-02-22T14:30:00
    America/New_York
    Moving from a Banking Center to a New Uptown (Ticketed Event)
    2024-02-22T14:00:00 - 2024-02-22T15:00:00
    America/New_York
    Welcome Reception
    2024-02-22T15:00:00 - 2024-02-22T15:45:00
    America/New_York
    Opening Session: Transforming Charlotte – 30 Years of Building a Dynamic City
    2024-02-22T15:45:00 - 2024-02-23T16:30:00
    America/New_York
    Keynote: Capital Markets: Cautious Optimism for 2024?
    2024-02-22T16:30:00 - 2024-02-22T18:30:00
    America/New_York
    Networking Reception
    2024-02-22T18:30:00 - 2024-02-22T21:00:00
    America/New_York
    Dine Together (Ticketed Event)
    2024-02-22T07:00:00 - 2024-02-22T17:30:00
    America/New_York
    Registration
    2024-02-22T07:30:00 - 2024-02-22T14:00:00
    America/New_York
    Regional Council Meeting (Invitation Only)
    2024-02-22T07:30:00 - 2024-02-22T14:00:00
    America/New_York
    Regional Council Meeting (Invitation Only)
    2024-02-22T07:30:00 - 2024-02-22T14:00:00
    America/New_York
    Regional Council Meeting (Invitation Only)
    2024-02-22T07:30:00 - 2024-02-22T14:00:00
    America/New_York
    Regional Council Meeting (Invitation Only)
    2024-02-22T20:30:00 - 2024-02-22T23:00:00
    America/New_York
    ULI Networks Happy Hour (WLI, YLG & NEXT) (Drop In)
    2024-02-22T09:30:00 - 2024-02-22T12:00:00
    America/New_York
    Moving from Suburban Office Park to Urban Destination (Ticketed Event)
    2024-02-23T11:15:00 - 2024-02-23T00:15:00
    America/New_York
    Transforming Urban Centers to Central Social Districts
    2024-02-23T11:15:00 - 2024-02-23T12:15:00
    America/New_York
    The Practicality of Sustainability: Micro & Macro Actions for Development
    2024-02-23T12:15:00 - 2024-02-23T13:30:00
    America/New_York
    Closing Session & Lunch: Crane Watch
    2024-02-23T06:15:00 - 2024-02-23T07:15:00
    America/New_York
    Jogging Meetup
    2024-02-23T07:30:00 - 2024-02-23T08:30:00
    America/New_York
    Continential Breakfast (Open to All Attendees)
    2024-02-23T07:30:00 - 2024-02-23T08:30:00
    America/New_York
    ULI Student Breakfast (Invitation Only)
    2024-02-23T07:30:00 - 2024-02-23T12:00:00
    America/New_York
    Registration
    2024-02-23T07:45:00 - 2024-02-23T08:30:00
    America/New_York
    ULI Leadership Breakfast (Invitation Only)
    2024-02-23T08:30:00 - 2024-02-23T09:30:00
    America/New_York
    Real Deals in Today's Capital Markets
    2024-02-23T08:30:00 - 2024-02-23T09:30:00
    America/New_York
    Commercial to Residential Conversions: The Devil is in the Detail
    2024-02-23T09:45:00 - 2024-02-23T11:00:00
    America/New_York
    How the Built Environment Impacts Health and Equity in Our Communities

    The ULI Carolinas Meeting is the premier real estate industry gathering in the region. 
     
    The annual event facilitates candid discussions with thought leaders on the most important topics and trends in real estate.
     
    • Get board-level strategies for your business.
    • Build valuable professional relationships with partners and clients.
    • Find out how to capitalize on new trends.
    • Take behind-the-scenes tours.
     
     
     

    Charlotte Convention Center 501 S College St Charlotte, NC 28202-1827 UNITED STATES

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    Speakers

    Panelist

    Mitchell Silver

    Principal, McAdams

    Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP, Hon. ASLA Mitchell is a principal with McAdams, a land planning and design company. He is responsible for providing advisory services in urban planning, parks and public space planning. He is an award-winning planner with more than 38 years of experience and is internationally recognized for his leadership and contributions to contemporary planning issues. He is a prolific public speaker and specializes in urban planning, placemaking and implementation strategies. Prior to joining McAdams, Mitchell served as the commissioner for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation; Chief Planning Officer in Raleigh, NC and served as president of the American Planning Association and the American Institute of Certified Planners. Mitchell is one of the nation’s most celebrated urban thinkers. He was selected to Planetizen’s list of the 100 Most Influential Urbanists in the world. In addition, he has been honored as one of the top 100 City Innovators in the world by UBM Future Cities, and the Urban Times named him one of the top international thought leaders of the built environment.

    Panelist

    Katie Blum

    Director, Real Estate Development, East West Partners

    As a Denver resident, a native of the Vail Valley and a former LEED consultant, it was only a matter of time before Katie joined the East West Partners family in 2016. Katie has spent her first couple years with East West Partners in Denver focusing on project management for The Coloradan. Katie is now focused on acquisitions, working with local teams to take new projects from concept to closing. Before joining East West Partners, Katie led business development efforts for multiple nonprofits, was a Development Associate and LEED consultant for Navarro Lowery, and worked in finance for William Blair & Company and J.P. Morgan. She earned an MBA from the University of Denver and a BA from Duke University. Katie has an affinity for the outdoors and is passionate about building sustainable, inclusive communities.

    Panelist

    Ian Levine

    Principal, Spandrel Development Partners, LLC

    Ian S. Levine, Co-Founder of Spandrel Development Partners, LLC, specializes in property and asset management, operational and financial oversight, as well as construction and funding monitoring of mid- and large-scale projects having completed and consulted on projects valued in excess of $3 billion. At Spandrel Development Partners, Ian is responsible for overseeing project execution including budget oversight, design feasibility, marketing and branding efforts, corporate and project insurance, lender relations, and construction process, procurement, and oversight. Prior to co-founding SDP, Ian spent 16 years with RAL Companies and Affiliates, LLC as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer as well as CEO and President of Spandrel Property Services, Inc., RAL’s affiliated property management and brokerage firm. At RAL Companies & Affiliates, LLC, a developer of luxury apartment, condominium and resort communities nationwide, Ian provided asset management, operational and financial oversight of multiple residential and mixed used projects which included such projects as Tower 270 Condominium in Tribeca, New York, The Franklin Tower in Tribeca, New York, Loft 25 Condominium in Chelsea, New York, One Brooklyn Bridge Park Condominium in Brooklyn, New York, the New Yorker Condominium, New York, New York as well as The Inn At Lost Creek in Telluride, Colorado. Ian has held real estate licensure in the states of New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Colorado and has been a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, the New York Association of Realty Managers, the Real Estate Board of New York and the Institute of Real Estate Management. Ian received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Babson College. Ian is also a member the Board of Trustees of The Windward School and resides in Connecticut with his family.

    Panelist

    Malo Hutson

    Dean and Edward E. Elson Professor, University of Virginia School of Architecture

    Malo André Hutson, Ph.D., MCP, Dean and Edward E. Elson Professor at the University of Virginia’s School of Architecture, is a nationally and internationally recognized expert in the areas of community development, climate resilience, environmental justice, and urban health. As a scholar, teacher, and practitioner, he focuses on the nexus of environmental, architectural, and urban equity practices. He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including the Salzburg Global Fellowship, two Mellon Fellowships, and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health & Scholar Fellowship, among others. He served as tenured Professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning, and Preservation at Columbia University where he was a Director of the Urban Planning Ph.D. Program and the Urban Community and Health Equity Lab. He was also the Director of Project Development for Columbia World Projects, a university-wide initiative that mobilizes researchers and scholars to work with governments, organizations, businesses, and communities to tackle global challenges. He served on the Executive Committee of the Earth Institute, Columbia's Climate School. Hutson has also held academic leadership appointments at the University of California at Berkeley, serving as Associate Director of the Institute of Urban and Regional Planning (IURD) and the Chair of the Urban Studies Program. Hutson has worked nationally and internationally on community-centered projects that improve the economic, environmental, political, and social well-being of urban residents. His research and writing have been recognized by numerous awards and grants, and his most recent book, The Urban Struggle for Economic, Environmental, and Social Justice: Deepening Their Roots (Routledge, 2016), explores the efforts by coalitions of residents, community leaders, unions, and others to resist displacement as a result of neighborhood change and gentrification. As an expert leader in the areas of community development, environmental justice, and urban health, he was invited to participate in the Obama Administration’s White House Forum on Environmental Justice, has advised the PEW Charitable Trusts and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Impact Project, and spearheaded a community-driven process for the development of the Oakland Unified School District, among many other projects. Hutson received his Ph.D. in Urban and Regional Planning from the School of Architecture and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and earned both his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and Master of City Planning degrees from the University of California at Berkeley. In addition, Hutson is an alumnus of the Robert Wood Johnson Health and Society Scholars Program where he was a fellow at the University of Michigan’s Center for Social Epidemiology and Population Health within the School of Public Health.

    Keynote Speaker

    Eric Freedman

    Chief Investment Officer, U.S. Bank Asset Management Group, US Bank

    As Chief Investment Officer, Eric oversees the Asset Management Group (AMG) within U.S. Bank, which is responsible for management direction that affects more than $390 billion* in assets under management by U.S. Bank. AMG directs overall investment strategy, asset allocation research, investment vehicle and security selection, and policy analysis. This work ultimately helps guide the development of client investment portfolios. AMG maintains deep relationships with research partners and has access to investment opportunities across the world, and the team works to distill the inherent complexities into implementable, actionable views. The AMG team accomplishes this through specialization, frequent collaboration and a data-driven approach. Eric has many years of experience in the investment and wealth management business. Previously, he spent 10 years at CAPTRUST Financial Advisors where he served as Chief Investment Officer and helped grow the company into one of the largest Registered Investment Advisors (RIA) in the country. Prior to that, he was a senior portfolio manager for Franklin Street Partners and vice president of equity derivatives with Goldman Sachs. Eric is regularly featured in The Wall Street Journal, Reuters and Bloomberg, and on CNBC, Fox Business and Yahoo! Finance. Eric is active in his community, including serving as the Chairman of the Diocese of Raleigh Investment Committee. And he serves on the DiversityQ Board of Advisors, an organization focused on diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) best practices in the workplace. Eric is also a Member of the American Bankers Association’s Investment Committee.

    Panelist

    Matt Livingston

    Partner, Thrift Capital Partners

    Thrift Capital Partners, a division of Thrift Commercial Real Estate Services, is a retail investment and development firm focused on value-add and adaptive reuse projects in the Carolinas. Thrift Capital leverages extensive local market knowledge of developing submarkets to find projects where lease rates are below market and land appreciation is highly likely. Combining more than 40 years of commercial real estate investment experience, the Thrift Capital team applies diligence and discipline in identifying assets that will provide above market returns for their investment partners. Matt Livingston joined Thrift Capital in 2023 as Partner. Prior to Thrift, Matt was a serial entrepreneur, having co-founded several successful startups in services industries. He brings years of sales, marketing, and operational experience to the Thrift CRES team and has invested in more than $100 million of retail commercial real estate projects throughout the southeastern United States.

    Moderator

    Risa Wilkerson

    Healthy Places by Design

    Risa Wilkerson is the Executive Director of Healthy Places by Design, a nonprofit consulting group serving philanthropy, nonprofit, and community-based organizations across the U.S. She provides overarching guidance and strategic vision to fulfill the organization’s mission of advancing community-led action and proven, place-based strategies to ensure health and well-being for all. Risa has 20 years of proven leadership in the healthy communities’ field, with a focus on equity, integrity, and collaboration. She has extensive experience supporting multidisciplinary community-based partnerships across the country. Risa is the lead author of the report Socially Connected Communities: Solutions to Social Isolation and A Sense of Belonging (published in the Stanford Social Innovation Review) and she stewards Healthy Places by Design’s initiatives and partnerships supporting this work. Risa holds an MA from Michigan State University. Risa is an action-driven optimist, abundance thinker, and simplicity seeker.

    Moderator

    James LaBar

    Senior Vice President of Economic Development, Charlotte Center City Partners

    James LaBar is the Senior Vice President of Economic Development for Charlotte Center City Partners. He is focused on retaining, expanding and attracting businesses, talent and investment in Uptown, South End and Midtown. James collaborates with the entire economic development ecosystem to help ensure economic development for Charlotte’s urban core is robust, shared and continuous. Prior to joining Charlotte Center City Partners, James served as the Regional Solutions Director and Policy Advisor for Housing, Economy and Jobs for Oregon Governor Kate Brown. He also worked for the Salt River Project, an award-winning utility in Phoenix, Arizona, as the Manager of Strategic Engagement – State and Local Government Relations. James earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati, a master’s degree from the University of West Florida and completed Ph.D. coursework at Arizona State University. James and his wife, Janet, live in Charlotte with their three children.

    Speaker

    Tom Hanchett

    Historian, History South

    Dr. Tom Hanchett is a community historian in Charlotte, NC. He’s best known for his history book Sorting Out the New South City: Race, Class & Urban Development in Charlotte (new 2nd edition from UNC Press in 2020). Educated at Cornell University, University of Chicago, and UNC Chapel Hill, he especially enjoys working with community groups on neighborhood histories, museum exhibitions and walking tours. His website, www.HistorySouth.org, showcases his wide range of writing: a scholarly study of US shopping mall history, newspaper columns on immigrant foodways, explorations of early country and gospel music, history of Rosenwald Schools and Black education across the South. Charlotte Magazine calls him “Charlotte’s Dr. History” and named him a 2015 Charlottean of the Year.

    Panelist

    Carman Liuzzo

    Senior Vice President of Investments, Highwoods Properties

    Carman leads the Company’s Investment Group. He joined Highwoods in 1994 as Vice President, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer and remained in that position until December 2003. Prior to Highwoods, Carman spent four years with KPMG Peat Marwick and then Boddie-Noell Enterprises as Chief Accounting Officer. He is a member of the Real Estate Industry Advisory Board and the Pamplin College of Business Advisory Council for Virginia Tech, the Cristo Rey Research Triangle High School Board, the Catholic Charities Board and the Haven House Services Board. Additionally, Carman is the former chair of the Diocesan Finance Council for the Raleigh Catholic Diocese and vice chair of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Triangle District Council.

    Panelist

    Scott Garvin

    President, Garvin Design Group

    Scott Garvin established architecture, interiors, and planning firm Garvin Design Group in 2003 after having practiced architecture in South Carolina for more than 17 years. He has been directly involved in the design and management of more than $1 billion worth of projects (in construction value) in his career. Scott provides strategic oversight for every one of Garvin Design Group’s projects beginning with the programming and early design phases. Beyond his work as an architect, Scott is also a developer. His development projects include the conversion of several late 19th and early 20th century commercial buildings into multifamily residential buildings in the heart of downtown Columbia. Scott is an active community leader and philanthropist, Clemson fan, fisherman, and father to four very accomplished daughters.

    Panelist

    Andy Lucas

    Principal, Beauxwright

    As a Principal at Beauxwright, Andy brings 16 years of experience in capital markets and real estate. Andy helps guide the firm’s portfolio strategy and is involved in all aspects of the development process from conception to delivery. Prior to Beauxwright, Andy served as CFO of an energy efficiency startup targeting LED lighting retrofits for property owners and founding principal of a private investment management and real estate advisory business. Before that, as a vice president at Wells Fargo Commercial Real Estate, Andy sourced, underwrote and closed over $750 million in secured and unsecured commercial real estate originations for opportunistic clients in both Washington, D.C., and Austin, Texas, where he managed the commercial real estate office. His role required relationship management, internal sponsor analysis and reporting on $500 million in existing credit exposure. Andy began his career as a global capital markets and investment banking analyst with Banc of America Securities, LLC, where he focused on residential mortgage-backed securitization. He earned his B.B.A. degree in finance from James Madison University, where he graduated summa cum laude. Andy serves on ULI Charlotte’s Program Committee and is a licensed real estate broker in North Carolina. He lives in Charlotte with his wife and two daughters.

    Panelist

    Tracy Dodson

    Assistant City Manager, City of Charlotte Economic Development

    In her dual roles of assistant city manager and economic development director, Tracy Dodson guides the City of Charlotte in developing a vibrant new regional economic ecosystem. She utilizes her proven business insights and strategies to champion the city’s economic expansion, workforce development and upward mobility initiatives. Under Dodson’s guidance, the city continues to successfully leverage strong business relationships on the local, county, regional and state levels. The attraction and retention efforts led by Dodson have resulted in game-changing economic development wins, including Honeywell, a fortune 100 company, moving its headquarters, as well as expansions by LendingTree, AvidXchange and Lowe’s, all bringing thousands of new jobs to Charlotte. Dodson has more than 20 years of economic development and real estate experience across North and South Carolina. Prior to her work with the City of Charlotte, she was a senior vice president for brokerage and development at Lincoln-Harris, and from 2009 to 2013, she served as director of economic development for Charlotte Center City Partners. Dodson earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and holds a master's in real estate and urban development from Harvard University.

    Panelist

    Stuart Proffitt

    Founding Partner, Proffitt Dixon Partners

    Stuart Proffitt- Proffitt Dixon Partners, Founding Partner Proffitt Dixon Partners is a multifamily investment and development firm with a focus on the development of Class-A apartment communities and self-storage across the Southeast. Proffitt Dixon Partners has closed transactions valued at over $1 billion since 2009. The firm has an active development pipeline in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Stuart, a co-founder of Proffitt Dixon Partners, has been involved as a principal in the ownership and/or development of more than 450,000 SF of retail and office and 4,750 residential units. Prior to forming Proffitt Dixon Partners, Stuart was the vice president of mixed- use development at Pappas Properties and Director of Development for Champion Development Group in Los Angeles, California. Stuart graduated cum laude from North Carolina State University, and in 2004 earned his Master of Business Administration and Master of Real Estate Development from the University of Southern California.

    Panelist

    Toygun Mar

    Principal, SK+I Architecture

    Toygun Mar is a Principal, design leader, and sustainability advocate. His experience spans over 20 years of diverse, international experience in the planning and design of large-scale, mixed-use projects for a variety of corporate, commercial, hospitality, institutional, and residential clients and developers of various sizes. Building on his vast and varied experience—extending the full spectrum of the building process from design to hands-on construction—Toygun has successfully managed several large-scale, mixed-use projects, spanning from Florida to New Jersey, throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. He has a comprehensive understanding of the marketplace and coupled with his vast and varied design and construction experience, he is a mentor and inspiration to his team. He has the ability to develop and maintain a solid, repeat client base through providing excellent service and is adept at establishing a solid rapport with contractors, subcontractors, engineers, building officials, property, facilities managers, leasing agents, and the end-user. His highly collaborative and strategic approach allows him to exceed client expectations and ensure that all stakeholders achieve their project goals. Toygun believes that thoughtful design and the built environment have a profound effect on people’s day-to-day lives and is committed to sustainable architecture that results in smarter, more diverse, and connected neighborhoods.

    Moderator

    Lance Patterson

    Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Patterson Real Estate Advisory Group

    Lance Patterson is the CEO of Patterson Real Estate Advisory Group, LLC, which he founded in January 2010. Patterson is a capital placement and real estate finance advisory firm based in Atlanta, with additional office locations in Charlotte, Charleston, Dallas, Nashville and Tampa. Under Lance’s leadership, the firm now employs 25 full-time professionals and has closed more than 450 transactions representing approximately $11 billion in capital placement. Patterson is active in all asset classes and capital platforms, primarily throughout the southern United States with growing activities in the Mid- and Mountain West. PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE Immediately prior to forming Patterson, Lance served as President and Chief Operating Officer at Barry Real Estate Companies where he oversaw the company’s capital market activities and general administration. While at Barry, he was responsible for the financing, acquisition, and development of more than $1.5 billion of transactions. Lance’s career spans nearly 40 years in commercial real estate finance and includes experience as a banker, capital advisor, developer, loan guarantor and investor – all built on a foundation of deeply analytical capital skills. Over his career, Lance forged relationships across the capital markets and enjoys working closely with clients to help leverage great products through appropriate capitalization. EDUCATION Bachelor of Finance and Bachelor of German – University of Missouri Master of Business Administration – Washington University in St. Louis Robert Bosch Stiftung – Fellow in Bonn and Stuttgart, Germany INDUSTRY INVOLVEMENT Lance is past Chair of the Urban Land Institute (“ULI”) Atlanta District Council, ULI Atlanta Governance Committee and ULI Urban Development-Mixed Use Commercial Silver Council. He is currently a member of the ULI Atlanta Executive Committee. He has been on the boards of New Horizons for Children and Central Atlanta Progress, and is currently on the boards of TVS Design and The Atlantic Companies. He was also on the steering committee for the Terwilliger Center for Workforce Housing. In addition to his Series 63 and Series 79 licenses, Lance holds broker licenses in Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. LIFESTYLE Lance is originally from Columbia, Missouri where he still has strong family ties. He resides with his wife in Atlanta, and together they enjoy an active love of travel. Lance has three grown sons with whom he spends as much time as possible, and has a growing number of grandchildren, soon to be four. He speaks fluent German and is a member of The Cathedral of St. Philip Episcopal Church

    Panelist

    Jeff Benavides

    Director of City and Building Performance, U.S. Green Building Council

    Jeff currently serves as the lead for city and building performance at scale across international markets at USGBC and GBCI. Prior to his family’s move to Raleigh, Jeff served as the first Chief Sustainability & Resilience Officer for Orange County/Orlando. He has built an agile and unique 17-year career as including a co-founder of 4 women led sustainability and energy startups, sustainability advisor Fortune 200 companies, and a Board President for a UN accredited NGO, and Professor. Jeff brings dynamic skills in infrastructure, public policy, net-zero building design, and finance to his current role leading Portfolios and Performance at Scale across USGBC, Arc, and GBCI.

    Panelist

    Lisa Phocas

    Director of Stewardship, Crescent Communities

    Lisa Phocasis the Director of Stewardship at Crescent Communities, a market-leading real estate investor, developer, and operator of mixed-use communities with offices across the Southeast, Southwest, and Mid-Atlantic. Lisa attended the University of Toledo in Ohio, where she received her bachelor’s degree, as well as her Master of Business Administration. Prior to joining the Crescent Communities team in Charlotte, NC, she served as the Corporate Marketing Manager for Eastwood Homes for nine years. In 2015, Lisa accepted the role as Director of Marketing for Crescent Communities’ homebuilding business. Five years later, Lisa assumed the role of Director of Stewardship for Crescent Communities and now oversees the sustainability and wellness initiatives across the portfolio, as well as managing the company-wide community engagement efforts. A lifelong environmentalist, Lisa served on the board of directors for Sustain Charlotte for six years, three of which as the board chair. She is a member of the ULI Greenprint Committee and is currently a new board member for the Catawba Lands Conservancy. Additionally, she is certified as a Fitwel Ambassador, LEED AP, WELL AP, and maintains her real estate license in the state of North Carolina.

    Moderator

    Sofia Song

    Global Cities Lead, Gensler

    Sofia leads cities research cities at the Research Institute, where she leads a cross-disciplinary team that includes designers, architects, planners, economists, and technologists, to generate new insights and knowledge that extend beyond a single building to communities, neighborhoods, and cities. She positions Gensler as a cities thought leader to influence change at the city scale. Sofia also represents Gensler as a Strategy Officer at the World Economic Forum where she works closely with others from globally recognized organizations to explore how industries can catalyze change in order to solve the biggest global challenges facing us today. She was formerly the head of research at various proptech/real estate companies such as StreetEasy.com, Compass, and Douglas Elliman. With a background in economics and urban planning, Sofia began her career in transit planning in Los Angeles, community planning in Pasadena, and in public space planning and transit-oriented development in New York City. She is based in New York.

    Panelist

    Welch Liles

    Managing Director, Asana Partners

    Welch Liles is a Managing Director – Development at Asana Partners, a real estate investment firm that creates value through the acquisition, enhancement, and operation of distinctive retail driven mixed use properties in dynamic urban markets throughout the United States. As Managing Director, Welch oversees the firm's development, strategic development partnerships, and construction management activities across all national markets. He has over fourteen years of industry experience including a diverse development and construction management background. Welch is a proud Charlotte area native and a graduate of North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering.

    Panelist

    Geeti Silwal

    Principal, Perkins&Will

    As the head of the West Coast Urban Design Practice, Geeti Silwal brings vision and design leadership to lay the foundation of transformative changes in cities. She strongly believes that urban designers hold the responsibility to inspire integrated, multi-purpose design solutions of innovation and beauty that create healthy and inclusive cities. Working with cities, institutions, regional transit agencies, and private developers her work includes delivering well-connected, mixed-use, vibrant communities around transit corridors and stations; and also focuses on visioning and planning successful innovation ecosystems. The primary focus being the interrelatedness of economic, cultural, and physical dimensions that combine to deliver a complete community and instills an authentic and lasting sense of place. She has led planning efforts for communities of innovation for the University of Utah Research Park Strategic Vision Plan, University of California Santa Cruz -MBEST Innovation District, San Carlos East Innovation District, Los Angeles Biomed/Tech Focus Area Study, and San Diego State University Innovation District visioning session. Geeti holds a Master of Urban Design degree from University of California, Berkeley. She is a Board member of Perkins&Will’s AREA Research 501c3, member of ULI San Francisco's DEI Committee, member of ULI Public Development and Infrastructure Product Council, and was a jury member of the ULI Hines International Design Competition in 2021 and 2022 and the Jury Chair in 2023.