ULI Global CEO Ed Walter speaking at the 2019 Spring Meeting in Nashville.

The success of ULI’s 2019 Spring Meeting—which drew 4,300 attendees, the highest ever for a Spring Meeting—is indicative of the Institute’s ongoing efforts to improve the member experience, ULI Global Chief Executive Officer Ed Walter said in remarks at the meeting’s closing session. He praised outgoing Global Chairman Thomas Toomey for his leadership in the creation and implementation of ULI’s Global Strategic Plan, which seeks to strengthen member engagement and impact.

“We are moving steadily toward making ULI the leading global real estate organization that attracts and retains top industry leaders, the ‘go-to’ place for industry information and expertise, and the provider of solutions to the most complex real estate and urban development problems faced by cities around the world,” Walter said.

“This is due in no small part to the leadership of Tom Toomey, who has served so capably as our global chairman for the past two years. With Tom’s thoughtful guidance, we are implementing a plan that is strengthening ULI through robust member engagement and impact. By listening to what our members want and need, we have a plan that will enable our organization to stay relevant and responsive as it grows.”

Walter pointed to growth in mission-oriented work at the global, regional, and local levels, including the thought leadership emanating from ULI’s Center for Sustainability and Economic Performance, Terwilliger Center for Housing, and Center for Capital Markets and Real Estate; the guidance to communities provided through Advisory Services and technical assistance panels; and efforts to increase industry diversity through UrbanPlan, mentorship programs, and education efforts targeted to public officials. This growth, combined with hundreds of initiatives and programs offered through the member networks, underscores that “ULI is making a difference,” Walter said.

Implementation of the plan includes a heightened emphasis on connecting the work of all areas throughout the organization to further expand ULI’s reach and enhance member impact, he noted.

“As our work in each area progresses, we are making sure that it aligns with that of our member networks. And we want the programs that are administered at the regional level to be informed by what matters at the local level, because real estate is a local business,” Walter said.

“Real estate is a puzzle that is constantly changing, and each of you, as ULI members, are the leaders who know how to solve the puzzle and make our cities better. As Tom reminds us, the goal is not just to do more, but to do better. I am confident that we are well on our way.”