Joseph E. Brown, Chair
Chief Innovation Officer
Joseph Brown serves as Chief Innovation Officer for AECOM (NYSE: ACM), an $8-billion global provider of professional technical and management support services. AECOM’s 45,000 employees – including architects, engineers, designers, planners, scientists and management and construction services professionals – serve clients in more than 140 countries around the world.
In this position, Mr. Brown leads enterprise focus on leveraging innovation and creativity as key aspects of the company. This includes strategically supporting AECOM’s Global Cities initiative – an institute that engages worldwide collaboration among engineering and design experts to produce forward-thinking solutions for the evolving roles of metropolitan regions. Mr. Brown also actively champions efforts around sustainability, serves as the committee chairman for AECOM’s brand steering committee and is deeply involved with driving enterprise processes to deliver inventive, turnkey solutions to large multi-national and global clients.
Mr. Brown has 30 years of experience as a planner and landscape architect, with particular emphasis on new community planning, urban planning and redevelopment, community revitalization, historic and cultural design, and issues confronting rapid-growth areas. Examples of his work include the new Tokyo Midtown mixed-use development in the city’s Roppongi neighborhood; the Suzhou Historic District Revitalization Plan in Suzhou, China; and the redevelopment of Denver’s Stapleton Airport site as urban community and parks. With others, he was responsible for a highly respected but controversial early New Orleans renewal strategy sponsored by the Urban Land Institute (ULI).
Mr. Brown has been involved in the advancement of many notable projects. These include MeadWestvaco’s holdings in Charleston, South Carolina; TimberWest’s on Vancouver Island; and several projects for The St. Joe Company in West Florida. His other current projects include a comprehensive site and streetscape design for the New York World Trade Center district. Additionally, Mr. Brown’s urban design and landscape architectural expertise is frequently solicited by a multi-disciplinary team assisting the National Capital Planning Commission in preparing a long-range plan for Washington, D.C.’s Monumental core. He is also working with Frank Gehry, Eisenhower Memorial Commission and GSA on the Eisenhower Presidential Memorial.
Mr. Brown has been both author and subject of several articles published in Urban Land, Harvard Design Magazine, Metropolis, and Landscape Architecture. His commitment to sustainable and distinguished design and planning is evidenced by a wide variety of professional and teaching activities, including participating in panels, study groups, and studios around the world. He has lectured at Harvard Graduate School of Design, and has led a number of design charrettes and seminars.
J Street Companies
At J Street, Balaban is charged with joining the J Street team in
building and diversifying the firm’s development and investment business.
Balaban previously co-founded SB-Urban, a firm dedicated to Balaban’s “Urban Suites”, rental apartment communities consisting entirely of furnished studios, served by socially interactive shared living spaces, available for flexible lease terms. During Balaban’s term as President, the company and its affiliates acquired, entitled, and readied for construction three Urban Suites projects in ultra-prime infill locations in Washington DC: 92 units in the Stanford White-designed Patterson Mansion on Dupont Circle (delivering 2017); 125 units on historic Blagden Alley in Shaw (commencing construction 2017) and 142 units in the former Latham Hotel (sold above acquisition cost, pre-development).
Prior to forming SB-Urban, Balaban was associated since 1994 with LA-based Lowe Enterprises, a national advisory, investment, and development firm, managing its East Coast office in DC while serving as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. That team acquired and executed over $1 billion of projects in metro DC including: the re-development of the Air Rights Center in Bethesda, three office buildings totaling 720,000 square feet with ancillary retail; Chevy Chase Pavilion, a mixed use project including hotel, office, and retail on top of the Friendship Heights Metro; CityVista, a market-leading and trend-setting $250 million mixed-use project with apartments, condos, and an “urban Safeway” grocery store; and the 1,100-room Washington Hilton hotel for which entitlements were extensively revised to permit a 200-unit residential component, which delivered as the market-leading Hepburn in 2016. From 1988 to 1994 Balaban was the Acquisitions Officer for Washington REIT.
Prior to receiving his MBA from Wharton 1988, Balaban held positions as a practicing architect and development consultant in the Boston area, following his award in 1975 of a Masters in Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He was registered as an Architect in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Balaban has a BA from Kenyon College.
Douglas Betz serves as a senior partner of Woolpert LLP, a national A/E/P firm of 700 people. He is the principal-in-charge of the firms’ developer and private sector group that totals 85 people. He is experienced in leading multidisciplinary teams of professionals and is responsible for managing special projects that involve planning expertise.
Betz’s responsibilities include directing a national practice that focuses on the design of theme parks, resorts, industrial/office parks, correctional facilities, and with most emphasis on retail projects. He has over 25 years of experience in representing clients at planning commission meetings, zoning hearings, city council meetings, and other public meetings.
A partial list of retail clients include Simon Properties, The Rouse Company, The Taubmann Company, Urban Retail Properties, TrammellCrowCompany, Target, Circuit City, Kimco Realty Corporation, Regency Realty, Best Buy, Sears, Steiner & Associates, and Cousins Properties.
Betz is an active member of ULI, including having served on several advisory services panels, several project analysis teams, and he is a member of the Community Retail Council (CRC Gold Flight). He has also authored articles for UrbanLand magazine.
He is also active in ICSC and NAIOP, holding leadership positions at local and state levels. He has been most active in governmental lobbying efforts on behalf of the real estate industry. He currently sits on the board of a community performing arts organization and an educational foundation.
He is a graduate of University of Cincinnati, where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Planning and Design. He has also attended numerous continuing education courses at Harvard University and the American Management Institute.
Amanda M. Burden, FAICP, served as the New York City Planning Commissioner from 2002-2013.
As Commissioner, she spearheaded the largest planning effort in the city since 1961, initiating comprehensive rezoning plans for 124 neighborhoods – almost 40% of the city – and catalyzing significant new housing opportunities in diverse communities throughout New York City’s five boroughs. A champion of design excellence, Ms. Burden emphasized community consensus-building to improve the city’s streetscape, reclaim the waterfront, and create dynamic public spaces including the East River Esplanade and the High Line.
Prior to her city appointment, Ms. Burden helped launch the Midtown Community Court in Times Square, acclaimed as a model of community-based justice in New York City. From 1983-1990, she served as Vice President for Planning and Design at the Battery Park City Authority, developing design guidelines for all buildings on the site and supervising the design of the Esplanade and 30 acres of parkland incorporated in the project.
Ms. Burden holds a Master of Science degree in Urban Planning from Columbia University, a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sarah Lawrence College and an Honorary Doctorate in Public Administration from Pratt Institute. She was elected to serve on the Council for Foreign Relations in 2014.
President and CEO
Linden Associates, Inc.
Christopher W. Kurz is President and CEO of Linden Associates, Inc., a Maryland real estate development . Previously, he was a Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of McGill Development Company, which grew into the fourth largest commercial real estate development company in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area. Kurz served as Chairman of the Board of Directors and Co-Founder of Columbia Bancorp and The Columbia Bank that now is a billion dollar, publicly traded bank holding company. As a Principal at Alex Brown Real Estate Group, Inc. he acquired investments for pension fund clients. Other companies with which Kurz has been involved include J.G. Smithy Company, Maryland National Corporation, and the Rouse Company.
Kurz holds a Master of Business Administration from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Trustee and governor of the Urban Land Institute.
I.D.E.A. Partners, LLC
Prior to starting his own firm, David was the founder and a Managing Director for seven years with RCLCO’s Development Services Group. David drew upon his 25 years of experience in the development business, which included completion as principal developer of over $1 billion in high-profile projects, to assisting numerous clients in the planning and execution of mixed-use, entertainment, and waterfront developments.
Between 1996 and 2002, David was a Senior Vice-President at TrizecHahn Development Corporation. During his six-year tenure, he was the key project executive on Hollywood & Highland and the Kodak Theater in Hollywood, CA (with architects Stan Eckstut and David Rockwell). During this same period, he initiated the development effort on Paseo Colorado in Pasadena, CA (also with Stan Eckstut).
Previous to his position at TrizecHahn, David was Vice-President/General Manager at Disney Development Company-West. During his nine years at The Walt Disney Company, he managed the development of over $200 million in projects including The Feature Animation Building in Burbank (with architect Robert Stern) and Disney Ice in Anaheim (with architect Frank Gehry).
From 1993 to 1996 he spearheaded Disney’s restoration of the New Amsterdam Theater in New York (with architect Hugh Hardy) and the highly acclaimed development of additional retail/entertainment business on New York’s famed 42nd Street.
Prior to joining The Walt Disney Company in 1988, David was a Vice-President at McCarthy Building Companies and was responsible for the start up of their successful Newport Beach, CA. office beginning in 1984.
Jeff is a master planner with experience across multiple market sectors, including mixed-use commercial, hospitality, residential, resort, entertainment and cultural attractions. He has thirty years experience gained at several major international firms- Gensler, EDAW and CRSS.
Jeff served on the ULI Global Awards Jury from 2010-2012, and as the Chair of the ULI District Council in Orange County / Inland Empire from 2008-2011, and the International Board of the Themed Entertainment Association. Jeff has spoken at ULI, CCAPA, BIA, IFMA, alt.ofc & The Museum Computer Network. His work has been published in AIA Architect, Interior Design, at the International Symposium on Virtual Reality, Archaeology & Cultural Heritage, Athens, Greece, and in the book Digital Illusions.
Jeff holds a B.S. in Planning and Landscape Architecture from the University of Virginia, and undertook graduate study at Wharton School of Finance, University of Pennsylvania.
Green Courte Partners, LLP
Randy Rowe is Chairman of Green Courte Partners, LLC (“GCP”), a private equity real estate investment firm focused on niche real estate strategies. GCP currently has three active niche strategies: 1) near airport parking (“The Parking Spot”); 2) manufactured housing communities; and 3) active adult/independent living properties.
Previously Mr. Rowe was a co-founder and Chairman of Transwestern Investment Company, LLC and Chairman and Director of Transwestern Commercial Services, LLC. Mr. Rowe was also Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hometown America, LLC, a large owner of manufactured housing communities.
Mr. Rowe is a Trustee and former Global Chairman of the Urban Land Institute, an Emeritus Trustee of the Steppenwolf Theatre, and a member and former Chairman of the Real Estate Roundtable.
Mr. Rowe holds a BA from Denison University, a MBA from Harvard University and a JD from the University of Michigan.
The Bozzuto Group
A cofounding owner of Bozzuto & Associates, Inc., Mr. Slidell has directed the company’s apartment development, homebuilding, and land acquisitions operations, leading to the creation of over 6,000 rental apartment units and 2,500 for sale homes. He is currently the Vice Chairman of the company.
Prior to the formation of Bozzuto in 1988, Mr. Slidell spent six years as a Vice President and Operating Partner for Oxford Development Company, where he was involved with development of over 7,100 apartment units in the Mid-Atlantic region. He was also a Partner with ZHA, a real estate consulting firm specializing in mixed use public/private partnership development and worked for the Mitchell Company developing The Woodlands community in Houston, Texas.
A graduate of Princeton University, Mr. Slidell earned a Masters in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina and served in Vietnam as an officer in the U.S. Army. He is the immediate past Chair and current Governance Chair of the Urban Land Institute’s Washington District Council, served as District Council Governance Counselor for ULI’s national organization, Chair of its Residential Development Council, and was a juror for ULI’s International Awards for Excellence program. Currently he is a Council Counselor for four of ULI’s national Product Councils.
Mr. Slidell is also a past Chair of the Severn School Board of Trustees and the Bethesda Cultural Alliance, a Life Director of both the Northern Virginia Building Industry Association and the non-profit Montgomery Housing Partnership, and currently serves on the Board of the Pen Mar Development Corporation.