ULI Chicago News

Meeting Summary: Leadership in the Changing Real Estate Environment

This is a summary of the May 17, 2016 meeting of the ULI Chicago Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) and the Goldie B. Wolfe Miller Women Leaders in Real Estate Initiative. Those who gathered at The Langham Chicago heard a panel of leading women in the industry discuss the influences that have shaped their professional development as well as a variety of other topics of interest to current and next-generation leaders.

The moderator for the session was Pam Boneham, Managing Director Central Region, Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers. Panelists were Lynn Carlton, Regional Leader of Planning, Kansas City + Columbus, HOK; Lynn Cherney, Global Real Estate Practice Leader, Spencer Stuart; Mary Ann King, Co-Chairman, Moran & Company; and Amy Price, President and Chief Operating Officer, Bentall Kennedy U.S.

Leadership entails risks—there’s no guarantee of smooth sailing and, in fact, there are sure to be tumultuous waters. But the bigger danger is if you don’t make the effort to play a more prominent role in your career, in your organization or in your community.

In this inaugural WLI event, those were some of the prevailing sentiments that emerged through a wide-ranging dialogue facilitated by moderator Pam Boneham.

Her first question, directed to Amy Price, was whether she took risks to advance to her current role as president and COO of Bentall Kennedy U.S. In response, Price shared a move that may not have been risky, per se, but which was nonetheless “a scary thing”: delegating and “creating more responsibility for others” in her organization.

Another crucial element for Price was being alert to re-defining what represents success as a leader. Whereas her prior work at Morgan Stanley was a highly transactional environment, “that’s not really what defines good leadership,” Price said.

“It’s a jump—it’s a kind of risk in thinking and approach to go through,” she added. “…I am someone who naturally likes to re-define and challenge and think about those opportunities and frankly a big part of it is also, when you come to crossroads, how do you choose the path that’s going to challenge you the most?”

Prompted to share what sparked her career path, Mary Ann King said it was a love for cities and all that cities entailed, including the intersection of public policy and private investment. Further stoking the early part of her journey was encountering Jim Harper, who would become a mentor at her first post-graduate school job at Continental Illinois National Bank.

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