ULI South Carolina Friends,
What an honor it has been to serve as the ULI South Carolina District Council Chair for the past two years. Since 2016, we have worked together to advance ULI South Carolina as a state-wide District Council in pursuit of the Urban Land Institute’s mission to advance the responsible use of land. Here’s a snapshot of what I believe to be some of the highlights:
- Increasing ULI membership and member-engagement – Today ULI South Carolina includes 650 members—an increase of over 15% since 2016. While growth in membership is important, it is merely a reflection of the good work members are doing around the state organizing ULI events, presenting relevant programming and sustaining initiatives important to the work of this organization. Thank you to out-going Membership Chair, Bryan Stange, for all his hard work on membership retention and recruitment.
- Encouraging future leaders through enhanced Young Leaders Group (YLG) initiatives – In 2016 we created the YLG Chair position on the Statewide Management Committee and nominated Kerby Teller to serve as Chair. Today we have a statewide YLG committee made of the YLG Co-Chairs from each of our three regions who are producing a great body of work. Many thanks to our YLG co-chairs Chandler Cox and Bowman Still in the Upstate, Josh Speed and Walker Sojourner in the Midlands and Hagood Morrison and Lawson Still in the Coastal region.
- Creating meaningful monthly programs across the state – Over the past two years we have offered more than 80 programs, serving over 3,000 members and non-members across South Carolina. Many thanks to our out-going Chair of Mission Advancement, Irene Dumas Tyson, for ensuring our programs align with the ULI mission and to our hard-working program Chairs in each our three regions—Ashleigh Dane in Charleston, James Kelley, Will Dillard and Allen Bridgers in Columbia, and Justin Hirsch in the Upstate!
- Encouraging more diversity and inclusivity in the real estate industry – Recognizing the need for greater diversity in the real estate industry and among ULI members, the Management Committee created a Chair position to focus on this difficult task. Since 2016, Jessica Barron Barton has served as our Diversity & Inclusivity Chair. Under Jessica’s leadership we have increased the number of female members from 15% in 2016 to 19% today. I am grateful to Jessica for taking on this monumental task and look forward to our continued inclusivity efforts.
- Hosting a record-setting 2018 Carolinas’ Meeting – In February 2018 it was ULI South Carolina’s great pleasure to host the most successful Carolinas’ Meeting to date in Greenville! We had nearly 700 attendees from throughout the Carolinas attend—the previous record was 500. Many thanks to the Greenville Host Committee, chaired by Steve Navarro and Bogue Wallin, for making this conference such a success.
- Embarking on UrbanPlan — UrbanPlan is an ambitious, project-based learning initiative set to begin shortly with a freshman class at the College of Charleston and students at Wando High School. Many thanks to UrbanPlan Chair, Alex Fraser and ULI Program Assistant, Robin Hargett, for leading these efforts. We look forward to a successful launch with our 24 member-volunteers!
- Building Bridges Between Public & Private Sector – Recognizing opportunities to improve communications between the public and private sector actors who shape our land use environment, ULI SC’s Statewide Management Committee has made a concerted effort to convene discussions and share best practices with elected officials and public-sector leaders. Many thanks to Allen Bridgers, and Dale Stigamier in Columbia, K.J. Jacobs and Stuart Wyeth in the Upstate, and Miller Harper and Stuart Coleman in Charleston for working on these on-going efforts.
So many of you have played an integral role in these and other successes over the last two years. I am particularly grateful for Stuart Wyeth, our out-going Treasurer, who has worked behind the scenes to greatly improve the financial position of this District Council—the fruits of this labor will no doubt be visible over the next few years as we are able to invest more in our comprehensive program of work.
Thanks also to the members of the Management and Governance Committees for your guidance and leadership and to our many generous sponsors without whom this work would not be possible. Most importantly, I must thank you—our members—for all you do for ULI South Carolina. These past two years have seen a remarkable level of membership engagement that I hope only gets stronger.
Our District Council is also extremely fortunate to have exceptional staff members, Amy Barrett, Executive Director, and Robin Hargett, Program Assistant. Amy joined ULI SC two years ago and has been an amazing asset to our membership and the advancement of our mission. Amy has been instrumental in leading all of the accomplishments that we have had over the past two years. If you have not had a chance to meet Amy and Robin, I encourage you to do so, as they are great resources to the real estate industry in South Carolina.
Finally, I am proud to announce that Irene Dumas Tyson will succeed me as ULI South Carolina’s next Chair. We are set up for greater success, and I look forward to what comes next!