Meet the 2021 Jury
2021 ULI Hines Student Competition Jury
Sixteen ULI members serve on the main jury, meeting first in February to select the four finalist teams and again in April to hear the finalist presentations and select the winner. Five of these sixteen members are local to the host city or region.
For 40 years, Diana Reid has been a forward-thinking, customer-centric real estate and financial services leader, and currently is a member of the board of directors of Welltower Inc. (NYSE: WELL), an S&P 500 company headquartered in Toledo, Ohio driving the transformation of health care infrastructure.
From 2007 to 2019, Diana Reid served as executive of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.’s commercial real estate business, PNC Real Estate. During her tenure, Diana navigated the business division through the financial crisis to emerge and thrive, experiencing significant growth, industry leadership and profitability. During her two decade tenure at First Boston / Credit Suisse (1983 to 2002), she honed expertise in risk management, and a strong understanding of what it takes to lead a P&L in high-pressure situations and volatile markets, succeeding in trading, capital markets and advisory roles. Influential, dynamic, and known for her integrity, Diana is committed to the advancement of under-represented groups in business and the real estate industry through initiatives in her companies, and within industry associations. In 2003, Diana founded Beekman Advisors, providing CEOs, owners, and directors of privately held real estate finance companies with strategic advice and sell-side representation.
Throughout her career, Diana has been a voice and leader in the securities and real estate industries. For more than a decade she served on the Mortgage Bankers Association’s Commercial/Multifamily Board of Governors and was a founding governor of the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council. Diana served on the Urban Land Institute’s global board of directors from 2013–2016 and was elected Trustee in 2012 and ULI Foundation Governor in 2015. Diana Reid served on the Hines Award 2020 Jury and is currently Chair of ULI Urban Development Mixed Use Product Council.
Senior Vice President
JE Dunn Construction
Kansas City, Missouri
Randy Bredar currently serves as Executive Vice President and Office Director for JE Dunn’s Construction’s Kansas City office. In this role Randy is responsible for profit and loss, growth strategies and customer service for the company’s largest office, delivering more than $1.3 billion of construction annually. Randy also leads JE Dunn’s national sports facility construction practice.
As a registered architect, Randy practiced for more than 20 years designing some of the largest and most recognizable stadium and arena facilities in the Country. Prior to joining JE Dunn, Randy served as a Design Principal at Ellerbe Becket (now AECOM) and 360 Architecture (now HOK), and as National Director of Sports Architecture at HNTB. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Iowa State University, with post-graduate studies in business at The University of Texas-Arlington.
Randy is and has been involved in numerous community and civic boards, including the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City; Kansas City Sports Commission and Foundation; Downtown Council of Kansas City-Imagine Downtown 2030; Urban Land Institute/Kansas City; St. Luke’s Hospital/Bishop Spencer Place; Missouri 100; the School of Computing and Engineering at UMKC; and the Department of Architectural Studies at the University of Missouri.
Vice President, Regional Leader of Planning
Kansas City, Missouri
Lynn Carlton has over 20 years of experience in urban planning and design. As the Regional Leader of Planning for HOK, Lynn Carlton oversees the planning group in Kansas City, which includes planning, landscape architecture and urban design disciplines. She is responsible for the group’s financial success and integral to business development for both planning and architecture. She enjoys mentoring younger staff, sharing best practices and encouraging their growth.
Lynn also serves as the lead on all Kansas City-area master planning efforts, giving her the opportunity to work on diverse projects across our city and leave an indelible mark – from the Kansas City Downtown Corridor Strategy to the recent Gallerie development at 27th and Gillham. These projects are each complex – but Lynn is passionate about building consensus among stakeholders, resolving barriers to a project’s implementation and encouraging collaboration that results in districts that change our city.
Since the earliest stages of Lynn’s career, giving back to the community has been incredibly important. Lynn is involved in a wide array of Kansas City-area organizations, volunteering her time to support causes she is passionate about including:
- Downtown Council – Chair of the Board
- KC Chamber – Board of Directors
- Urban Land Institute Kansas City Chapter – Governance Board, former District Council Chair
- Lead to Read – Founding Board Member
- Kansas City Design Center (KCDC) – Advisory Board
- Kansas City Missouri Municipal Art Commission, 2018-2020
- Kansas City Missouri Enhanced Enterprise Zone Board, 2020-present
- Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art – Ambassador
- Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey – Membership Committee and 35th Anniversary Co-Chair
Each of these organizations have played an important role in Lynn’s personal and professional growth, allowing her to build relationships and see first-hand the tremendous impact of our city’s non-profits and organizations. In 2019, Lynn was selected as one of the Kansas City Business Journal’s Women Who Mean Business and appeared on the Business Journal cover in December 2019 for her article on leadership.
Additionally, Lynn helped to start two initiatives that have helped welcome women and next-generation leaders. Lynn helped co-found and co-chair the Urban Land Institute’s national NEXT Leadership Initiative. This effort aims to engage individuals between the ages of 35 and 45, providing them opportunities for training, networking and career growth. She also had the opportunity to start the ULI KC Women’s Leadership Initiative. The group aims to raise the visibility and number of female leaders in the real estate industry providing highly valuable programming to help women in pivotal stages of their careers grow into impactful leaders.
Assistant City Manager
City of Fort Worth
Fort Worth, Texas
Fernando Costa serves as an assistant city manager for the City of Fort Worth, overseeing a group of five departments and four units of the city manager’s office. He also serves as a part-time faculty member at the University of Oklahoma, where he teaches courses in public finance and organizational management as they pertain to city planning.
Before accepting both jobs in 2008, Fernando worked for ten years as Fort Worth’s planning director, eleven years as planning director for Atlanta, and eleven years as a planner for the Middle Georgia Area Planning and Development Commission in Macon. He studied civil engineering and city planning at Georgia Tech and served as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Walker & Dunlop
New York, New York
Managing Director John Gilmore brings more than a decade of commercial real estate experience to Walker & Dunlop’s Multifamily Finance Group. Mr. Gilmore is focused on the affordable multifamily space and has extensive experience sourcing loans for execution through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Mr. Gilmore is also highly experienced in complex deal structures including structured credit facilities, tax-exempt bonds, and federal and state tax credits.
Prior to joining Walker & Dunlop, Mr. Gilmore was a Vice President and Senior Relationship Manager in the Community Development and Investment group within KeyBank Real Estate Capital. While at KeyBank, he was a member of the management team tasked with expanding the bank’s affordable housing activity to all 50 states. He originated almost $1 billion of new mortgage debt in this position. Mr. Gilmore served many additional functions throughout his career at KeyBank, including working in the bank’s Income Property Group, Asset Recovery Group, and Private Equity Group. Mr. Gilmore began his career in the commercial real estate industry at Hartford Mezzanine Investors, LLC, where he was responsible for structuring real estate investment transactions for various levels of the capital structure with a primary focus on mezzanine positions.
Mr. Gilmore attended Morehouse College where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in finance and a minor in economics with cum laude honors. Beyond the company, he is active in industry associations and is a member of the MBA’s Affordable Rental Housing Advisory Council as well as the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Affordable & Workforce Housing Product Council. Mr. Gilmore also serves on the board of Bridge Street Development Corporation and the steering committee of the Real Estate Associates Program.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Strong leadership and a sense of integrity are part of Kona’s DNA. With experience in 30+ countries, his global management sense has positively shaped the outcomes of many challenging assignments. He successfully integrates creativity and regional resources into functional environments that invigorate the imagination. Kona is a firm leader that creates welcoming places that promote community and vitality in diverse neighborhoods around the globe. Blending sensitivity with innovative design solutions, he unites a client’s vision with his own vanguard designs to produce environments with purpose and presence.
Kona is a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) and currently serves as ASLA representative to the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Board. He also served as ASLA Vice President – Professional Practice and is a Past President of the Landscape Architecture Foundation. Kona is a member of the ULI Southeast Florida and Caribbean District Council and NSU Huizenga School of Business Real Estate Advisory Board. He is a registered Landscape Architect in Florida, Georgia, Arkansas, Commonwealth of Virginia and holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Georgia.
At EDSA, Kona’s award-winning projects are inspired by a passion for creative design solutions that solve meaningful global issues. His portfolio ranges from large-scale planning to detailed site design, with emphasis on communities, parks, hospitality, urban public realms, mixed-use destinations, healthcare and campus spaces. With an uncompromising dedication to quality, he consistently takes into consideration important factors like community, heritage, environment, and the constant pursuit of improving humanity through Landscape Architecture.
The Clarett Group
New York, New York
Veronica (Ronne) Hackett is a New York real estate developer focused on urban projects. She is the co‐founder of The Clarett Group, which completed 11 acclaimed ground‐up high-rise residential projects in NYC, ranging in size from 100,000 to 500,000 square feet. In addition to developing projects for its own account or with partners, the company also provides development advisory services for select clients. As previous development head for two large companies, Brookfield and Park Tower, she oversaw development projects in major US cities and London, developed signature office buildings for such companies as IBM and JPMorgan, worked on Hudson Yards and played a key role in the transformation of Times Square. Additionally, she has been a corporate and retail real estate executive in the U.S., Europe and Japan, a real estate pension fund asset manager, a real estate lender and executive banker with a major money center bank, a Wall Street financial analyst and a CIA economic analyst.
Mrs. Hackett has been the recipient of several awards and honors, including New York WX Woman of the Year award, AREW’s 25th Anniversary Women of Achievement award and the YWCA business leader’s award. Named one of New York City’s “100 Most Influential Women in Business” by Crain’s New York Business, as well as “One of the 100 Most Important People in Real Estate, she has held leadership positions with a number of prestigious organizations, including the Board of the Committee of 200, the organization of the country’s leading businesswomen. She was a Trustee of the Urban Land Institute, a member of the Executive Committee of the NYU Real Estate Institute’s Advisory Board and was on the Executive Committee of Board of Governors of the Real Estate Board of New York. She has also served as a member of the board of WX (New York Women Executives in Real Estate) and Girls Inc. She received an MBA in Finance from New York University and a BA in History and Economics from Notre Dame Maryland University.
FARON A. HILL
Founder & President
Faron A. Hill is the founder and president of Peregrine Oak, a commercial real estate capital markets and advisory services firm. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the firm works exclusively with clients throughout the United States to provide creative capital solutions. Since its launch in 2007, Peregrine and its principals have capitalized more than $4 billion in transactions across multiple asset classes. Faron is an active member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and currently serves as a member of the ULI Foundation Board of Directors and vice-chair of the Technology & Real Estate Product Council (TREC). He is an active member of the Atlanta District Council and a member of its advisory board. Faron is a graduate of Troy University and went on to earn MBAs from the SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University and the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University. In addition to his work with ULI, Faron supports several non-profit organizations in his community.
Steve Kenat is a registered Architect and Principal at GBBN and Director of Community Development. He specializes in projects that celebrate the vibrant, authentic, (and often messy) urban condition of the cities in which GBBN practices.
He’s actively involved in a variety of projects for commercial developers, cultural institutions, and non-profits for projects across GBBN’s domestic offices in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Louisville and Minneapolis. Passionate about projects in that are transforming our cities, he leads GBBN’s projects teams for urban design, transit-oriented mixed-use, market-rate affordable and mixed-income housing, social profits and cultural institutions. His recent projects include the restoration of Cincinnati Union Terminal – a National Historic Landmark and now a museum, and a recent expansion establishing Cincinnati’s as the world’s largest Ronald McDonald House.
Steve is the current Chair of ULI Cincinnati’s Advisory Board and served as the DC Chair of ULI Cincinnati from 2016-18. He is a current member of the ULI Urban Revitalization Council (URC Gold) Product Council, and was a founding member of ULI’s East Central Regional Product Council. He served on the national Jury for the 2019 ULI Hines Competition, several ULI TAP’s in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, and on ULI Cincinnati’s Management Committee since 2012.
He is the current Chair of the Over-the-Rhine Chamber of Commerce, a Past-President of AIA Cincinnati, and serves on Advisory Boards for the YWCA, CABVI. and LISC Cincinnati.
Kenat graduated from the University of Cincinnati’s College of DAAP with a BArch. He and his family reside in downtown Cincinnati.
Senior Vice President, Corporate Attraction
Kansas City Area Development Council
Kansas City, Missouri
With more than 29 years’ experience, Jill leads a high-achieving business recruitment team for KCADC — driving new business, talent attraction and capital investment to KC’s 18 county, 50+ city, bi-state region. Jill works with companies and national site location consultants considering the Kansas City metropolitan area for expansion or relocation. She is responsible for the implementation of strategic initiatives directing more deal flow to the KC region.
Jill works across multiple disciplines including IT, data centers, headquarters, finance, insurance, shared and customer service operations, and industrial projects. Jill drives several of KCADC’s outreach and hosting events, briefings and site visits. She has worked with numerous companies, including ChowNow, Littler, Magna Intl, Martinrea Intl, OptumRx, Thryv, U.S. Bank, USDA and the U.S. Marine Corps.
Jill holds board positions at the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Kansas City Advisory Board, KC Tech Council and CREW KC. Jill is involved in several other professional organizations: 7×24 Exchange, AFCOM, ACCP, IEDC as well as the state economic development peer groups, KEDA and MEDC. Jill is a mentor for the international CREW Network Leadership Certificate Program. She was the 2019 Co-Chair of the Queens of the Diamond event supporting the KC MLB Urban Youth Academy continuing that engagement at the Steering Committee level; and a 2018 Honoree of the KCBJ Women Who Mean Business. Jill and her husband, Sean, are engaged with Team Fidelis, combatting Veteran suicide.
KSL Capital Partners
San Francisco, California
Susan Meaney was a Managing Director at Makena Capital Management from 2006 through 2019. She was a member of the firm’s Management Committee, and one of the firm’s founding partners. Ms. Meaney was responsible for managing the firm’s real estate investments as well as overseeing the real assets portfolio.
Prior to joining Makena Capital, she was the Director of Real Estate and Real Assets Investments for the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation from 2002-2006.
She served as a Managing Director at the Stanford Management Company from 1993-2001, where she co-managed the real estate group. Prior to that, she was responsible for the development and management of the Stanford Research Park, where she oversaw the development of over 1 million square feet on behalf of the University.
She currently serves as a Senior Advisor to KSL Capital Partners. She is a member of the Board and Investment Committee at The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, chairs the Stanford Bing Overseas Study Program Advisory Council, and serves as a Trustee of the Urban Land Institute. She previously served on the Tuck School Board of Overseers and the Dartmouth College Investment Committee.
Ms. Meaney graduated from Stanford University in 1982 with an A.B. in Economics, with Honors, and earned her MBA from The Tuck School at Dartmouth in 1986.
Kansas City, Missouri
Joe is Vice President of Real Estate at Port KC (Port Authority of Kansas City, MO) where he oversees the management, development and marketing of properties owned or operated by the agency including over 500,000 square feet of industrial space, over 1000 acres of land, a casino, and riverfront development projects in downtown Kansas City. He brings more than 25 years of experience in the real estate finance, marketing, development, architecture, urban planning, public policy, public/private finance and development disciplines.
Before coming to Port KC, he spent eight years as commercial director for Gale Communities, Inc. where he managed planning, zoning, infrastructure, and building construction. He has public/private financing experience creating and managing tax increment financing, port improvement district, and transportation development district projects.
He holds a degree in Real Estate Finance from the University of Missouri – Columbia and a degree in Architecture and Urban Design from the University of Kansas. He is a licensed real estate professional in the Missouri and Kansas, the Chair of Mission Advancement of ULI – Kansas City District Council, and is engaged in multiple housing, community planning, and redevelopment entity boards.
San Francisco, California
Geeti Silwal is the Urban Design Principal at Perkins&Will. As the Head of the West Coast Urban Design practice, Geeti brings vision and design leadership that establishes the foundation of transformative changes for livable and sustainable environments in cities. She strongly believes that urban designers hold the responsibility to inspire integrated, multi-purpose design solutions of innovation and beauty that create healthy and inclusive cities. Designing cities around the fundamental organizing principle of ‘people first’ delivers a more humane, inclusive, socially connected and a healthy city. Everyday city spaces that have the power to instill dignity and build memorable experiences for the common man are of primary interest to Geeti.
Building and revitalizing communities, she lays deep emphasis on placemaking, connectivity, accessibility, and social justice. Her experience covers a vast breadth of scales, including regional transit-focused planning, downtown revitalization, waterfront redevelopments, urban mixed-use infill projects, research/innovation district planning, and public realm enhancement along heavily challenged infrastructure corridors.
Geeti is currently leading multiple projects that leverage transportation investment to deliver high-density, mixed-use, vibrant communities around transit stations. Prioritizing low-carbon modes of travel in these transportation projects, to connect people and communities seamlessly is important to deliver on the aspiration of an equitable city.
Geeti is also deliberate in her design approach to reveal the unrealized potential of Nature and natural processes. This lies at the core of her push to deliver regenerative solutions that address climate change issues of water scarcity, food security and social equity. Her research on the Resource Infinity Loop discusses a solution for a closed-loop water and nutrient infrastructure within our cities. She believes that the pursuit of carbon neutrality is, at its heart, a clarion call for a culture change—one that heeds our delicate relationship with nature and gives back to the environment more than it takes.
Founder & CEO
Kansas City, Missouri
Amy Slattery is an entrepreneur, an industry leader, and an architect. She created Odimo in 2015 as a collaborative of leaders focused on serving clients in higher education, affordable housing, sustainable laboratories, and office design with a vision driven design approach. Amy’s diverse experience and knowledge on the balancing act of innovation and market-driven design results has led to several successful repeat-client partnerships.
The firm received the 2019 AIA KC Firm of the Year Award and was a 2019 Top 10 Finalist for the Greater KC Chamber Small Business of the Year award out of over 800 companies. Odimo was also recognized as the 12th Fastest Growing Company by Ingrams Magazine in 2019.
Amy was recognized by the Kansas City Business Journal as Woman Who Means Business in 2020 and as a Next Gen Leader in 2018. She was honored by Engineering-News Record as a Midwest Top 20 under 40 in 2012 and was an American Institute of Architects (AIA) National Young Architects Award recipient in 2011. She is a past president of KC CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) and is a founding board member of the Heart of America International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL). She is currently a Chair of the Kansas City ULI Women’s Leadership Initiative, a Trustee of the AIA National Trust, and has held positions within the AIA on local, regional, and national levels.
In addition to graduating from the Kauffman FastTrac business start-up program in 2015, Amy is a recent graduate of ScaleUp! KC – an advanced entrepreneurial program for growth-focused companies. Amy is also a design advocate in the Kansas City community, currently serving on the Riverfront Advisory Board for the Port Authority of Kansas City, the KC Rising Ideas Committee, and the University of Kansas School of Architecture Advisory Board.
Lauren Standish is a nationally recognized planner and landscape architect, bringing award-winning, innovative design solutions to the urban landscape for more than twenty-five years. She is currently leading urban design and mixed-use efforts at HGOR, an Atlanta-based planning and landscape architecture collaborative focused on the re-imagination of the physical environment to support the sustainability of people and place.
In 2017, Lauren became a Principal and has since accepted the role as Vice President of the firm (2020). Her design philosophy celebrates urban form – optimizing a balance between the built and natural environment. Lauren’s approach to complex, multi-layered developments is founded on an assimilation of components – art, technology, culture, programming capacity, living infrastructure – to leverage adaptability as a function for creating destinations of underutilized places and the spaces in between. From campuses and civic spaces to city parks and urban master plans, Lauren has crafted an exceptional body of work that reflects a deep commitment to memorable placemaking, including Atlantic Station Central Park (a Hines Development), Georgia World Congress Center’s Pedestrian Mall, and The Battery Atlanta at Truist Park. In the past five years, two projects to which Lauren has contributed leadership have received national recognition as major contributions to the Southeast’s infrastructure.
Lauren’s understanding of the capabilities of transparency within the natural landscape strengthens form with function – resulting in impactful places that speak to a site’s history, context and aspirations. She has utilized her expertise in performance-based landscapes as a mentor for neighborhood legacy residents and non-profit organizations to layout frameworks that support the public agenda from an individual and organizational standpoint. Recently Lauren worked with Park Pride to develop trail connectivity and space activation and create conceptual park designs for a historic neighborhood in Atlanta.
Lauren is known for culturally significant design that serve as a powerful tool to showcase community character and improve quality of life. Connecting the individual experience with urban systems requires a high touch and loose fit design programming. Lauren has served on the ULI Atlanta’s Technical Assistance Programs (TAPs) Committee as a project manager for the Atlanta Community Schoolyards pilot program since its inception. She is also assisting in reimagining the Atlanta City Detention Center in Downtown Atlanta. She has been a member of ASLA and the Society for College and University Planning for over a decade.
ProMatura Group, LLC.
ProMatura Group, LLC and ProMatura International is a research and advisory company founded by Wylde. Clients include investors, developers, for-profit and not-for-profit owners, operators, cities, counties, and states; and industry associations in the Americas and Europe. ProMatura has offices in Oxford, MS and London, UK and is currently working on several projects in Mexico, the UK, Portugal, Canada, Dominican Republic, Australia, and the US.
ProMatura’s 50+ employees provide defensible, usable solutions based on statistically valid data. ProMatura’s products include feasibility studies, site selection analyses, predictive analytics, community audits, sales counselor assessments, satisfaction surveys yielding targeted quality improvement plans; and, community planning, design, and programming consultation based on primary research with qualified prospects for subject communities. ProMatura’s customer engagement community planning research defines the customers’ attributes and preferences for their lifestyle, residences, amenities, services, payment plans, and pricing that will yield the fastest sales pace and the highest market share. ProMatura’s consumer verified programs ensure communities provide the lifestyle and experience their customer’s desire.
ProMatura built the NIC MAP Database beginning in 2003, and continues to collect the data. ProMatura has completed dozens of industry-wide studies in the U.S. and has conducted large-scale studies of consumers in the US and UK. We have recently completed studies in the UK and Portugal, and are currently working in the Dominican Republic, Australia, and Canada.
Wylde was inducted into the American Senior Housing Association’s Senior Living Hall of Fame in 2020. Wylde is also a member of the Urban Land Institute serving as a Governing Trustee, Governor, a member of the Advisory Board of the Terwilliger Housing Center, former Chair of the Lifestyle Residential Development Council and Senior Housing Council and Building Healthy Places. She served on the Americas Executive Committee of ULI and serves on the Executive Board of the American Seniors Housing Association. Wylde is Vice President of the Board of Directors of Memory Makers, a not-for-profit provider of respite day care services for individuals with memory impairment.
Wylde received the Icon of the Industry Award from the 50+ Housing Council of NAHB for her “substantial and lasting impact on the seniors housing industry.” She was the first woman to receive this honor.
The author of five books and scores of technical papers and articles, Wylde is also a contributor to trade and business publications and scholarly journals. Her publications include Right House, Right Place, Right Time: The Community and Lifestyle Preferences of the 45+ Housing Market (BuilderBooks, 2008); Boomers on the Horizon: Housing Preferences of the 55+ Home Buyer (BuilderBooks, 2002); and Building for a Lifetime: The Design and Construction of Fully Accessible Homes (The Taunton Press, 1994). Wylde is often sought out for her expertise by various news and trade publications, including the Chicago Tribune, the Wall Street Journal, the Overseas Property Professional magazine, Seniors Housing Business, and other housing publications.
Wylde speaks frequently to organizations and businesses in the age-qualified housing industry in the US and UK and recently was the keynote speaker at a national housing conference in Australia.
2021 ULI Hines Student Competition Rehearsal Jury
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
Leah brings over 25 years of experience in the Real Estate industry. She began her career in corporate Real Estate for the Walt Disney Company where her most notable projects included the first two cruise ships for the Disney fleet. She spent the past 8 years with VanTrust Real Estate working on mixed use, multi-family and office projects throughout Kansas City. With a background in design, construction and development, Leah is able to draw on a multi-faceted approach to her projects. She recently transitioned to CBRE and will lead the Kansas City office.
HOERR SCHAUDT LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
Rob Gray is a partner at Hoerr Schaudt Landscape Architects and leads the Chicago-based firm’s Kansas City studio. As a landscape architect and urban planner, Rob offers an all-encompassing perspective when it comes to the built environment. With astute visualization, representation, and communication skills, he enjoys inspiring and facilitating community dialogue, and making complex concepts more accessible for clients. Rob is also a strong proponent of sustainability and has been involved in the development of numerous projects that have thoughtfully integrated green infrastructure into the public realm. With a design philosophy that pledges to evoke the spirit of place, Rob draws inspiration from both site and program to create settings that immerse people in enriching and memorable environments. Rob holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University and a Master of Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
DIRECTOR OF REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT
URBAN NEIGHBORHOOD INITIATIVE
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
Shalaunda Holmes is the Real Estate Director at Urban Neighborhood Initiative Inc. a 501c3 community development corporation in Kansas City, Missouri’s urban core. She is responsible for leading all real estate development activities of the organization to develop quality mixed income communities.
Prior to joining UNI in the fall of 2019, Ms. Holmes was a Senior Project Coordinator for the City of Minneapolis, Community Planning Economic Development Department (CPED) for 4 years focusing in multifamily new construction and the rehabilitation of existing multifamily housing developments. While in the role Ms. Holmes closed 585 units of housing of that 408 were affordable rental units.
Before joining the City of Minneapolis, Ms. Holmes was a Project Manager for Project for Pride in Living Inc. for 10 years PPL is a 501c3 housing developer serving Minneapolis and St. Paul Minnesota. Ms. Holmes closed and developed 102 units of low-income multifamily housing in 3 separate deals all with creative capital stakes.
Ms. Holmes has a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) with a minor in Design Studies, emphasis Community & Regional Planning from Iowa State University College of Design and a Masters in Urban & Regional Planning (MURP) with an emphasis in Housing & Community Development from University of Minnesota Humphrey School of Public Affairs.
ALYSSA PARSONS LEED AP BD+C
Kansas City, Missouri
Alyssa Parsons is an emerging firm leader who has contributed to several high-profile projects at BNIM. Her portfolio includes significant contributions to the Pacific Center Campus Development in San Diego; a Precinct Plan and new parking facility at Washington University; the production of several new high-performance buildings at the Summit
Bechtel Scout Reserve; the EPA Region 7 Headquarters facility in Lenexa, Kansas; and the adaptive reuse of Westport Middle School into the largest co-working space in the world.
In her roles as project manager and project architect, Alyssa has proven her ability to continually see the big picture while managing the necessary details through each project phase. She is a passionate practitioner and is deeply committed to her projects. Her clients describe her as an exhibitor of thoughtful leadership, even in tough and demanding situations. Internally, her colleagues recognize her as collaborative, detail-oriented, and highly skilled.
Alyssa’s passion and commitment extend beyond the boundaries of architecture. A 2020 graduate of the Kansas City Chamber’s Centurions Leadership Program, she is one of the emerging voices in the community and a leader in the making. She is actively involved in several initiatives and organizations that all share a common goal: elevating the Kansas City community, particularly realizing the full potential of its urban core. Her thesis research looked into redevelopment opportunities in the West Bottoms and along the River — two areas that are experiencing a resurgence of interest in development. She is also active at the neighborhood level, representing residents of downtown advocating for developments that support the Greater Downtown Area Plan.
VICE PRESIDENT AND Associate General Counsel
At Platform Ventures, Jason is involved in all aspects of the business, including acquisitions, leasing, joint ventures, financing, project development and construction, asset management, fund formation, regulatory compliance, marketing, and strategic planning for investments in real estate assets, real estate operating companies, and real estate technologies throughout the United States.
DIRECTOR OF CITY PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT
CITY OF KANSAS
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI
Jeffrey Williams has been the Director of City Planning and Development for Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO) since March 2015 after joining the department in July 2013 as its Principal Assistant to the Planning Director. He leads a staff of over 130 employees comprised of planners, certified building officials, engineers, architects, landscape architects, plans examiners, permit technicians, construction code inspectors, environmental health specialists, master code professionals and administrative staff that guides the future growth and development of Kansas City, MO – a city that covers 319 square miles with a population of over 464,000 residents. The department handles two primary functions: Planning Services – managing development policy, conducting research, crafting the long-term vision of the City, and administering the process surrounding the public boards involved in land use approval and Development Services – Reviewing plans, issuing permits and enforcing development policies.
Jeffrey has worked in the fields of urban design, historic preservation, and city planning at local and county government agencies for almost 30 years. Prior to joining the KCMO City Planning and Development Department, Jeffrey has served as the Commissioner of Planning and Development for the cities of Yonkers, New York and Mount Vernon, New York and was the Principal Historic Preservation Planner for Westchester County, New York. He has a Bachelor of Architecture degree (with a focus on Art Education) from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York and has held an American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) designation since 1998.
Jeffrey is originally from Yonkers, New York and served as the president of the Yonkers Historical Society and a chair of the Yonkers Occupational Education Advisory Council (now Advisory Council for Career and Technical Education). He became an advisory board member for the University of Missouri – Kansas City Department of Architecture, Urban Planning + Design in 2016.