Since 2004, Caren Dewar has passionately led ULI Minnesota as its Executive Director. On August 31st, Caren will take off her cape one last time.
ULI Minnesota relies on all of its members, sponsors, grantors, and stakeholders to achieve the potential of our Platform to Deliver. Yet, many of the ways in which we engage with ULI Minnesota simply would not exist without Caren. Caren’s steady hand, thought leadership, and relentless pursuit of the resources required to fulfill our mission have made the very ways we enjoy ULI MN possible.
Trust me. This is not flattery. Or hyperbole. It is fact.
Under Caren’s leadership, ULI MN:
Launched the Regional Council of Mayors in 2004, UrbanPlan in 2006, the Housing Initiative in 2007, Building a Foundation in 2009, the Real Estate Diversity Initiative in 2016, and Minnesota Mayors Together in 2017;
Created the Market Council, Community Development Council, Housing Council, Resilient Communities Council and the Capital Markets Council;
Conducted dozens of Navigating Your Competitive Future workshops, and dozens of Technical Assistance Panels, among hundreds of other convenings;
Grew membership from approximately 180 to nearly 600; and
Grew revenue from $0 to over $800,000 annually.
These achievements are impressive individually and collectively, yet ULI separates itself by not celebrating achievement. Rather, we celebrate impact. Caren has lived at the center of impact for 16 years. For that, she has earned our eternal gratitude.
For example, our Community and our Country continue to wrestle with racism and its implications. Under Caren’s leadership, ULI Minnesota has graduated 117 people from the Real Estate Diversity Initiative and touched more than 1300 high-school students through the UrbanPlan Curriculum. Caren’s passion for creating equitable pathways for all members of our Community into Real Estate has had an incredible impact on so many lives. We will collectively continue to carry this torch forward.
Additionally, Caren was instrumental in enabling the Nationally recognized Rondo Technical Advisory Panel. She showed passion in raising the capital needed to support the work, wisdom in letting the voice of the Rondo community be heard and resolve in inspiring those connected to the work to keep going! The Rondo TAP – in a way – is a reflection of Caren’s entire career at ULI Minnesota: through convening, necessary conversations can happen, trust is earned and Thriving Communities become possible. Though the work is never done, Caren has always known the power of taking the first step.
I could go on…and on. By operating from a position of trust, by embracing every voice and by leveraging the power of Improv’s “Yes, and…” mentality, Caren has been a convener who has inspired hope, ignited possibility and positively changed us and our community in awesome ways.
Please join me in thanking Caren for all that she has given to ULI Minnesota. Let us also give her our very best wishes for continued health and prosperity, as she will continue to serve ULI Minnesota as a consultant for the Regional Council of Mayors and Minnesota Mayors Together.