Get Involved as a ULI Minnesota Leader
ULI Minnesota actively engages public and private sector leaders in land use planning and real estate development to learn, network and join in meaningful, strategic action. The future holds many challenges and opportunities; we need the diversity of ULI Minnesota’s professional community to meet them wisely.
ULI Minnesota’s Committees serve as the local leadership for the Urban Land Institute, and are made up of leading real estate and land use professionals who volunteer their time to build a strong Minnesota presence for ULI.
To learn more about becoming involved as a ULI MN leader, contact Caren Dewar.
A letter for our Management Committee Chair, Jeremy Jacobs - 06.03.2020
What can I do? What can we do together?
These questions have guided ULI MN for nearly two decades. Combined, they are our raison d’etre. They guided the formation of the Regional Council of Mayors over a decade ago and, more recently, Minnesota Mayors Together. They have joined members of our community, across lines of politics, professions, race and gender, to dive into the problems that define us through our Product Councils and Technical Advisory Panels. And they explain how the Real Estate Diversity Initiative (REDi) and UrbanPlan were originally conceived.
For these reasons and many more, the Twin Cities are the envy of many other Cities in the US — and for good reason. From our park system to our diverse and strong economy, we have so much to be proud of and grateful for. Yet despite efforts from engaged, passionate, and well-meaning people, Government entities, non-profits and Corporations in our community, serious systemic problems continue to prevent the benefits of being a Minnesotan from being enjoyed by all members of the Communities within which we live.
Nine months ago I wrote to you to inform you that, among other things, diversity, equity and inclusion is our top priority at the Management Committee. Since then, we have been hard at work exploring what more ULI MN can do to impact our Cities and our Region along the lines of DE&I.
The senseless killing of George Floyd serves as a potent reminder that the battle is far from won. The rioting and looting that ensued has been a sad, visible reminder of the disconnect between the Minnesota we all love and the Minnesota we often fail to recognize.
Never before have we seen two crises collide like we have in the past week. The economic uncertainty of Covid ramming directly into the social uncertainty arising from the death of George Floyd has given us all pause in how we manage our personal lives and our businesses. From dinner tables to conference room tables, conversations have changed.
Without a doubt, there is quite a bit more left that we can do — WE MUST DO — together.
Rather than start with answers, ULI MN will double down with questions. How can we leverage our Platform to Deliver to make a difference? How can we accelerate the work already being done by REDi and UrbanPlan to build more bridges between minority members of our community and the real estate industry? What role should we play in facilitating desperately needed conversations in our Communities? What do we aspire to be? Who else should be at our table?
And, how do we do it all as ULI MN itself transitions from the only Executive Director we have ever known in Caren Dewar to a new, yet unnamed leader who will bring new energy, ideas and excitement?
To that last question, I emphatically suggest we do it — together.
Thus, your support of ULI MN has never been more relevant or more urgent. Whatever you’re able to do, whether it’s an investment of time or money or ideas, we will cherish it. An investment in ULI MN is an investment in our shared future of more access, more equity, more inclusion and more prosperity for all.
Let’s have greater collective impact – together!
A letter for our Management Committee Chair, Jeremy Jacobs - 10.04.2019
October 4, 2019
Record membership numbers. Thriving programs. Glowing press coverage from national media.
It has never been a better time to be a member of ULI MN. Our platform is more robust than ever and the value proposition for being a ULI member has never been more compelling.
The Knowledge Finder tool is connecting more members than ever to the experience and institutional knowledge that flows through ULI on a daily basis. Membership retention rates soar by double digits when members use Knowledge Finder just once in a year. Similarly, ULI’s Navigator is connecting more people to opportunities to engage than ever before.
Yet, our most basic value proposition is unchanged: Trust. Our technical assistance panels are trusted to diagnose challenging urban problems and recommend a path forward. Our product councils are trusted to deliver timely real estate insights in rooms where market competitors engage one another’s experience to evolve our industry separately and together. Our Regional Council of Mayors and Minnesota Mayors Togethers is trusted to convene leaders from across the metro and from across the State to figure out how we can go farther together, faster.
And, most importantly, our members trust ULI to be a place where they can accelerate their careers by tying into and building upon a network of engaged thought leaders. As many ULI MN members know, much of my own success is attributable to the network I’ve built at ULI MN. That is, I’m not only the Chair, I’m also a very thankful member.
But challenges remain. Diversity and Inclusion, despite all of our best efforts, remain areas of great need. ULI MN is deeply invested in and committed to our Real Estate Diversity Initiative, which is being hailed nationally as a model to follow. We have graduated more than 90 people — but much more is needed. We need members, sponsors and key stakeholders at all levels to be engaged in helping ULI MN explore and launch initiatives that take aim at making our industry more diverse and inclusive. Our community is relying on ULI MN to be at the forefront of these solutions.
We also have a rapidly aging membership. Only one-third of ULI MN members are under the age of 45. While ULI MN will never compromise its value propositions for the sake of growth, we need to be deeply engaged in ensuring that ULI MN continues to connect with and engage the youngest contributors of the real estate industry in order to ensure our own long-term prosperity. With trust as our heart beat, we will remain focused on evolving to meet the needs of current members and the next generation.
And, lastly, the financial constraints of running ULI MN have never been greater. We remain incredibly grateful to our Sponsors and Grantors. They enable us to make daily investments into our staff, our members and our industry. Yet, all too often, our impact is limited by the funds we raise each year, much of which is variable from year to year. We are incredibly proud of how much we do with so little, yet its hard not to imagine how much more could be done. During my term, we won’t hesitate to turn over every stone to evaluate how we can grow our balance sheet in order to accelerate the success of ULI MN, of our members, and of our collective Minnesota future.
I’m excited to be a part of the journey that lies ahead. I hope you are too!