Outgoing ULI Global Chairman Thomas Toomey was honored at the 2019 Spring Meeting by the Institute’s leadership at the Global Governing Trustees dinner, which was held at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame.
In remarks to the group, Global Chief Executive Officer Ed Walter praised Toomey for his leadership and the financial support he provided for the creation and implementation of ULI’s Global Strategic Plan, which seeks to improve the member experience through investments and initiatives to strengthen member engagement and impact.
Citing Toomey’s considerable record of volunteerism leading up to his chairmanship, Walter said, “It’s nearly impossible to imagine the number of hours Tom has devoted to ULI, but in addition to being generous with his time, he has been generous with his treasure. Through his financial support, Tom enabled ULI to pursue initiatives that were critical to moving the Strategic Plan forward. Those gifts and his other generous gifts have clearly established him as one of our top benefactors.” Walter, who became the Institute’s global chief executive officer in June 2018, said, “It’s been a wonderful 10 months, and it would not have been as fun or as successful without all of Tom’s guidance.”
Randall Rowe, who preceded Toomey as global chairman, described his friend and fellow ULI leader as a “thoughtful, committed, analytical, and decisive leader with a huge heart and a great sense of humor.”
“The Tom I know cares deeply about ULI and its mission. Every day, he is focused on how he can move ULI forward, and he has done an extraordinary job,” Rowe said. He pointed out several of Toomey’s achievements as global chairman, including oversight of the following: the establishment of the Key Leaders program to recognize and engage the Institute’s most committed and influential members; the creation of 10 new product councils; investments in technology to increase member engagement and connections; and, with ULI Foundation Chairman Douglas Abbey, the launch of a ULI Foundation Capital Campaign (which Toomey will be co-chairing) to increase philanthropic support for the Institute’s mission-oriented work. “The bottom line is that Tom has made a massive impact, and we owe him a deep debt of gratitude,” Rowe said.
Toomey credited Rowe and previous global chairmen for laying the foundation for ULI’s successes during his two-year term, which ends June 30. “The ULI chairmanship often revolves around the sequence of people before you who are tackling the next challenge, keeping the agenda moving, and lifting the organization higher,” he said.
He noted that while ULI has made significant progress as a member-focused organization, “we have only scratched at the potential” of what is possible.
Toomey described his shift from global chairman to co-chairman of the ULI Foundation capital campaign as a “natural sequence” in his journey as a ULI member. “To me, helping Doug [Abbey] raise funds for the Foundation is critical, because if ULI has more resources, just think of what we can do. Think of where we could grow our impact, of how many more lives we can change through better cities. No other real estate institute could move the dial so far,” he said.
Toomey’s term ends June 30. He will be succeeded by ULI Governing Trustee and ULI Foundation Governor Owen Thomas, who is chief executive officer of Boston Properties. “Owen will take us to another level,” Toomey said.