European Real Estate Leader and Former Urban Land Institute Europe Chairman Roger Orf Named Life Trustee
Former Urban Land Institute (ULI) Europe chairman and partner at Apollo Global Management Roger Orf
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WASHINGTON D.C. (October 15, 2020) – Long time Urban Land Institute (ULI) leader and former Urban Land Institute Foundation chairman James J. Curtis III, also known as Jim Curtis, has been posthumously named as a ULI Life Trustee, an honor reserved for ULI’s most dedicated and respected members.
Life Trustees are individuals whose service to ULI has been meaningful, distinctive, and extraordinary, with individuals selected based on their contributions of time and resources to ULI and the ULI Foundation; leadership and participation in committees, task forces, councils, and advisory services; standing and reputation in the land use industry; and years as a ULI full member and trustee.
Curtis was managing partner at Bristol Group, a San Francisco-based real estate investment and development firm, and passed away in June 2019. Curtis was a ULI member for nearly 40 years, ULI Trustee for 20 years, and the ULI Foundation chairman from July 2012 through June 2014.
Curtis’ wife, Melodie Duke, accepted the honor on his behalf and said: “Curtis would have been very proud to have been honored as a ULI Life Trustee. He was a man of many ideas driven by hopeful exuberance, and ULI proved to be a crucial part of putting his ideas and philanthropic contributions into motion. He loved being part of the Institute and would be pleased to know that his work continues to live on and make a difference. I believe he would also consider this designation to be not only an honor to him, but also a tribute to the importance of passion, imagination, and generosity that is in all of us.”
Prior to his passing, Curtis had worked with current ULI Foundation Chairman Douglas D. Abbey and other Institute leaders on a campaign to significantly increase the Foundation’s support for ULI’s mission-oriented work, including efforts to increase diversity within the industry, increase sustainability throughout the built environment, enhance the Institute’s education programs, and expand the Advisory Services program.
Curtis’s honor was celebrated at ULI’s Virtual Fall Meeting, where ULI Global Chief Executive Officer, W. Edward Walter, praised his generosity. “Jim constantly championed ULI’s work to improve our communities and to make a tangible difference to people’s lives. I know that Jim is sorely missed across ULI, however, his legacy will live on through the newly created ULI Curtis Infrastructure Initiative, which he generously funded. The initiative will identify and promote infrastructure solutions that improve cities and enhance long-term real estate value.”
ULI Global Chairman Owen D. Thomas notes that Curtis was tremendously influential in the Foundation’s growth over the years. “He believed fervently in fostering a culture of philanthropy to expand ULI’s mission-focused work because he was passionate about our Institute’s potential as a game-changing organization,” Thomas says. “We all benefited from his energy, enthusiasm, and leadership, and I believe he fully deserves to be posthumously selected as a ULI Life Trustee.”
In addition to being a ULI Foundation chairman, Foundation Benefactor, and ULI Trustee, Curtis served the Institute in many capacities, including 35 years of involvement in the product council network. He was a devoted member of the Small-Scale Development Council, and he was a featured speaker at meetings of that council as well as the Capital Markets Council and the Mixed-Use and Multi-Use Development Council. His extensive volunteerism also included service as chairman of the Council Chairs Advisory Group, the Hines Student Design Competition, and the Awards for Excellence Management Committee, as well as membership on the Program Committee, the Policy and Practice Committee, the Governance and Nominating Committee, and ULI San Francisco’s Governance Committee.
Over the course of ULI’s 85 years, fewer than 20 people have been named Life Trustees: Nicholas Brooke, Chairman of the ULI Asia Pacific region and chairman, Professional Properties Group; Joseph Brown, chief innovation officer, AECOM, San Francisco; James DeFrancia, principal, Lowe Enterprises, Inc., Aspen, Colo.; Wayne Doran, consultant, Dearborn, Mich.; Robert Engstrom, president, Robert Engstrom Companies, Minneapolis; Gerald D. Hines, founder and chairman, Hines, Houston (deceased); Frederick Kober, chairman, The Christopher Companies, Oakton, Va.; Walter Koelbel, chairman of the board, Koelbel and Company, Denver, (deceased); Robert Larson, chairman, Lazard Alternative Investments, Bloomfield Hills, Mich., (deceased); Sir Stuart Lipton, partner, Lipton Rogers Developments LLP, London; Bowen Buzz McCoy, president, Buzz McCoy Associates, Inc., Los Angeles; Roger Orf, partner, Apollo Global Management, London; Alexander Otto, chief executive officer, ECE Projektmanagement; Henry Paparazzo, chairman and chief executive officer, Heritage Development Group, Inc./Heritage Village, Southbury, Conn.; Wayne Ratkovich, founder and president, The Ratkovich Company, Los Angeles; Stan Ross, chairman of the board and senior fellow, USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, Los Angeles; Melvin Simon, co-chairman of the board, Simon Property Group, Inc., Indianapolis, (deceased); and James W. Todd, president, JWT Inc., McLean, Va.