2018 Hines Jury

Meet the 2018 Jury

The 2018 ULI Hines Student Competition judges pose for a group photo at the offices of the Urban Land Institute in downtown Washington, D.C., February 15, 2018. Back row, left to right, Merrie Frankel, Raymond Mikulich, Megan Torza, Bob Engstrom, Bruce Kuwabara, Paul Bedford, Alex Rose. Front row, left to right, Sharmil Modi, Leslie Woo, Carl Weisbrod, Vicki Mullins and Jamie Simchik. (photo by Allison Shelley)

The ULI Hines Student Competition jury was formed by 12 seasoned professionals practicing across different areas of the built environment, from real estate to finance, from architecture to planning, from land law to public policy, etc. Its diverse composition not only aims to reflect the mix of participating students, but also includes at least 4 members based in the Competition’s host city to further enhance a fair and quality assessment of the different proposals. This is also a key reason not to announce the jury composition until the city and site are announced when the general competition opens in January.

For the 2018 ULI Hines Student Competition, 122 teams from 59 universities in the United States and Canada developed solutions for a site in Toronto, Ontario

The Hines jury meets twice. First in February to evaluate the entries and name the four finalists that advance to the next stage of the competition, as well as any honorable mentions. They then meet for a second time in the host city during the month of April to evaluate the final-four live presentations, and select a winner.

Jury Chair

Carl Weisbrod
Senior Advisor
HR&A Advisors
New York, New York

Carl Weisbrod is a national authority on city planning, urban development, and public-private real estate development. He is currently a Senior Advisor at HR&A Advisors, Inc., an industry leading real estate and economic development consulting firm. He is also a Fellow at New York University’s Marron Institute of Urban Management, the Chairman of the Trust for Governors Island, and a member of the board of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

Throughout his career guiding public agencies and transformative development initiatives, Carl has been the appointee of five New York City mayors and served the City of New York in many capacities– most recently, as Chairman of the New York City Planning Commission and Director of the New York City Department of City Planning. As a member of the de Blasio Administration, Carl was charged with creating land use policies to promote an equitable, resilient, sustainable and economically vibrant city. Notably, he was a key player in the development and implementation of Housing New York, the Mayor’s affordable housing initiative, which includes the recent enactment of Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) and Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA). MIH establishes the most rigorous zoning requirements for affordable housing of any major U.S. city and ZQA is the most important revision of the city’s Zoning Resolution since 1961. Under Carl’s leadership, the Department of City Planning worked with communities on developing holistic, place-based, community-driven, ground-up frameworks for growth that will provide affordable housing, along with necessary retail, amenities, jobs, services and resiliency.  At City Planning, he created a new Capital Planning division to integrate planning principles and priorities into the city’s capital budget process and a new Regional Planning division, recognizing that the city’s and region’s health are intimately intertwined.

From the late 1970’s through the early 1990’s, Carl spearheaded the city’s efforts to revitalize and transform Times Square from a symbol of urban decay into a global hub for tourism and entertainment as an appointee of Governor Mario Cuomo, as well as Mayors Koch and Dinkins. He was the founding President of the New York City Economic Development Corporation and helped in the post-9/11 recovery of downtown neighborhoods as a Director of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (appointed by Mayor Bloomberg), while also serving as the founding president of the Alliance for Downtown New York. As the President of the real estate division of Trinity Church, he oversaw the successful rezoning of the Hudson Square neighborhood in Manhattan, paving the way for its development as a dynamic mixed-use neighborhood for creative industries and new housing.

Mr. Weisbrod is also the former chairman of the New York State Health Foundation, a non-profit entity which funds innovative healthcare programs throughout New York State. He is a former Trustee of the Ford Foundation and of the Urban Land Institute, as well as a former full-time faculty member at New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate, where he served as Academic Chair of the Concentration in Global Real Estate.

In 2017, Mr. Weisbrod received New York University’s Lewis Rudin Award for Exemplary Service to New York City and was the inaugural recipient of the John E. Zuccotti Public Service Award from the Real Estate Board of New York, which recognizes citizens who have displayed exceptional accomplishments and service in the public’s interest. In 2011, Mr. Weisbrod was recognized by the Center for an Urban Future as “one of New York’s most innovative economic development leaders over the past three decades” and, in 2002, Mr. Weisbrod was honored by Crain’s New York Business as one of the “100 Most Influential Leaders in Business.” He has received both the “Chairman’s Award” by the New York Landmarks Conservancy (2000) and the “Public Interest Service Award” by New York University (1993).



Paul Bedford FCIP, RPP
Urban Mentor
Chair, Waterfront Toronto Design Review Panel
Former Toronto Chief City Planner
Paul Bedford & Associates
Toronto, Ontario

Paul Bedford is a Member of the Canadian Institute of Planners with more than 45 years of experience in urban planning. As Toronto’s Chief City Planner for eight years, he championed numerous planning strategies with Jane Jacobs for the King-Spadina and King-Parliament districts, a new City-wide Official Plan and a principles plan for the Central Waterfront called “Making Waves”. He served eight Mayors over his 31year career at the City of Toronto.

Since retiring, he has been an Adjunct Professor of Urban Planning at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University, served two terms on the Metrolinx Board of Directors, the National Capital Commission’s Advisory Planning Committee, and was appointed Vice-Chair of the Ontario Transit Investment Strategy Advisory Panel. He is currently Chair of Waterfront Toronto’s Design Review Panel and serves on the U of T’s Design Review Panel and is a Senior Associate of the Canadian Urban Institute. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of 8-80 Cities and the Ryerson City Building Institute.

He plays an active role in the Toronto Chapter of the Urban Land Institute and drives the ULI Leadership Program for Toronto public and private sector city building professionals.


Robert E. Engstrom
Robert Engstrom Companies
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Bob Engstrom is the developer of numerous residential communities, including three landmark communities: Summit Place, in the historic district across from the St. Paul Cathedral, and The Fields of St. Croix, Minnesota’s first Conservation Community and currently, Wildflower at Lake Elmo, featuring a 40 acre pollinator- friendly Conservancy.

Among participation in other professional organizations, he is one of six original Life Trustees of the Urban Land Institute. The author of ULI’s 236 page publication Planning and Design of Townhouses and Condominiums, Bob was the founding Chairman of ULI’s District Councils and a Life Trustee of the Sensible Land Use Coalition. He is a member of the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association Hall of Fame.

Merrie S. Frankel
Minerva Realty Consultants, LLC.
New York, New York

Merrie Frankel has extensive experience in REITs, capital markets, credit ratings, portfolio management, equity and debt transactions, restructuring, workouts and strategic advisory assignments for corporate, institutional, public, private and nonprofit entities.

Ms. Frankel is a member of Agree Realty Corporation’s (ADC) board of directors, sits on the Audit Committee, and Chairs the Nominating and Governance Committee. She is the President of Minerva Realty Consultants providing Independent advisory services regarding the credit ratings process, strategy and litigation support for REITs and other real estate firms, hedge/opportunity funds, banks, lawyers and accountants monetizing portfolios through IPOs or other capital market strategies.

She was a Vice President/Senior Credit Officer in the Commercial Real Estate Finance group at Moody’s Investors Service from 1998 until 2016. At Moody’s, she was responsible for a portfolio of large REITs and real estate operating companies (REOCs) in the United States and Canada where she interacted daily with senior management at issuers, institutional investors, and investment bankers as well as participated in global ratings. Prior to joining Moody’s, Ms. Frankel was a Senior Vice President and Director of Portfolio Management for the Argo Funds, a real estate opportunity fund with $1.5 billion in assets, responsible for portfolio management, financing, investor relations, and dispositions for investments in properties, operating companies, and CMBS. Ms. Frankel previously held various positions in the commercial real estate industry including that of Senior Manager at the Ernst & Young Real Estate Group; a Director in the Financial Services Group at Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.; an Officer who played a key role in establishing the commercial mortgage group at J.P. Morgan Securities, LLC; and a real estate investment banker and senior tax attorney at Salomon Brothers Inc.

Holds J.D. and M.B.A. degrees from Hofstra University Law and Graduate Business Schools and graduated with a B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania with various honors.


Bruce Kuwabara
KPMB Architects
Toronto, Ontario

Bruce Kuwabara is an influential practitioner and advocate of architectural excellence with expertise creating and communicating compelling design visions that catalyze stakeholders and the wider community. His unwavering belief in the power of architecture to implement social and civic change and maximize cultural, environmental and economic potential has earned him an Officer of the Order of Canada, the RAIC Gold Medal and the Ontario Association of Architects Lifetime Achievement Award.]

Exemplary projects include the LEED Platinum Manitoba Hydro Place in Winnipeg, the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, the Julis Romo Rabinowitz Building and Louis A. Simpson International Building at Princeton University, Canada’s National Ballet School, the Canadian Museum of Nature, and the Global Centre for Pluralism in Ottawa. Current work includes the Remai Modern Art Gallery of Saskatchewan and projects at Dartmouth College and the University of Pennsylvania.

Bruce serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees for the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal, is a member of the Design Review Committee for the University of Toronto, and is the former chair of Waterfront Toronto’s Design Review Panel. In fall 2016, Bruce was the recipient of an Honorary Doctorate of Laws (honoris causa) degree from McMaster University.

Raymond C. Mikulich
Managing Partner & Chief Investment Officer
Ridgeline Capital Group
New York, New York

Raymond Mikulich is an accomplished Senior Executive, Consultant, and Board Member bringing more than 30 years of success building and managing real estate equity investment, finance and asset management and financial services businesses. His experience includes equity and debt investment, banking, construction, loan servicing, and legal issues presented by businesses. He now serves as Chairman of Altus Group Limited www.altusgroup.com, a real estate software, services and data analytics company. Throughout his executive career, Raymond has held leadership positions at companies including Apollo Global Management, Lehman Brothers and LaSalle National Bank (ABN-AMRO). He was responsible for many market-leading transactions such as the IPO and later sale of the Rockefeller Center, the acquisition and recapitalization of ITT Sheraton, and many innovative CMBS and structured finance equity and debt issues. Raymond was awarded Commercial Banker of the Year in 1983 and 1984.

Raymond received his JD with honors from Chicago Kent College of Law. He attained his BA (magna cum laude) from Knox College. He is a Certified Real Estate Consultant (CRE) and a Charter Surveyor (RICS). As an experienced Board, Advisory Board, and executive committee member, Raymond has held positions with organizations including Altus Group Ltd, Campus Crest Communities, Park Madison Partners, Interstate Hotels & Resorts, and the Advisory Boards of Columbia, Wharton, and Wisconsin Real Estate Centers and served as Trustee and Governor of the Urban Land Institute and Real Estate Roundtable.

Sharmil Modi
Modi Adventureprises
Boston, Massachusetts

Sharmil Modi is a Boston-based entrepreneur and investor.  Previously, he was a Principal at The Baupost Group, a $30BB investment firm, where he has focused on Real Estate equity and distressed debt investments in the United States and Asia for 10 years.  Prior to Baupost, Sharmil worked at Grove International Partners, GTCR Golder Rauner, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Company/Capstone, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, and McKinsey & Company.

Sharmil graduated from Harvard College with a degree in Economics and received an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.  He is a Governing Trustee of the Urban Land Institute.  Outside of work, Sharmil is involved with the Broad Institute and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.


Vicki R. Mullins
Executive Vice President/Chief Financial Officer
Newland Real Estate Group
San Diego, California

Vicki Mullins is Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Newland Real Estate Group, a developer of residential master-planned, commercial and urban mixed-use real estate projects in 12 states.  Since 2005, Ms. Mullins has provided the strategic leadership and management of Newland’s financial operations including capital management, investor relations, financial planning & reporting, accounting, tax, information technologies and risk management. She serves as Chairman of the Investment Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee.

Prior to joining Newland, Ms. Mullins was Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer at Prometheus Real Estate Group, an owner, manager and developer of multi-family and commercial real estate, where her responsibilities included overseeing operational, development, financial and human resource functions. She also held the position of Vice President of Finance and Accounting at The Irvine Company, a diversified real estate company, where her responsibilities included overseeing the financial operations of apartment and condominium development, management and sales. Prior to that, Ms. Mullins was an Audit Manager at Ernst & Young in their Newport Beach, CA office.

Ms. Mullins graduated with honors from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She is a Certified Public Accountant and licensed California Real Estate Broker. Ms. Mullins is an Urban Land Institute Governor and member of a Community Development Council. She is a member of the University of California at Berkeley Policy Advisory Board for the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics, and University of San Diego Burnham-Moores Center for Real Estate Policy Advisory Board.


Alex Rose
Senior Vice President
Continental Development Corporation
El Segundo, California

Alex J. Rose serves as Senior Vice President for Continental Development Corporation in El Segundo, California.  He is responsible for leading all development, acquisition, disposition and redevelopment activities for the suburban office/medical/R&D park developer, whose holdings cover nearly 5 million square feet in Southern California’s Los Angeles County South Bay and City of San Francisco markets.

Rose has overseen the development and acquisition of over 2 million square feet of Class A office, medical, recreation and retail space and the redevelopment of nearly 2 million square feet of single-tenant R&D facilities into multi-tenant office space, restaurants, retail, entertainment and education uses.  Previous responsibilities have included planning and execution of all tenant improvement, core and shell renovation and new construction work; major facilities maintenance and upgrades; project budgeting and cost controls; internal project management; architect, engineer and contractor management; asset and property management.  Rose also has extensive experience in title insurance and is a licensed California attorney, with experience in general civil and bankruptcy litigation practices.

He is an Urban Land Institute Trustee and Foundation Governor, has served as Chair of ULI’s Los Angeles District Council Executive Committee, Chair of ULI’s Commercial and Retail Development Council and numerous other national and local leadership positions. Rose has chaired and served on over 30 national ULI Advisory Service assignments focusing on downtown and transit corridor redevelopment, revitalization and strategies as well as office and mixed use development issues.

Rose serves on the Board of Directors of Cross-Campus, a Los Angeles-based co-working/shared office space provider, on the Board of Trustees of the California Science Center Foundation, on the Board of Trustees of AltaSea, a public-private venture developing a marine industry, science and education campus at the Port of Los Angeles, on the Board of Business Advisors of Tideline Partners, a San Diego-based small scale, infill development firm, and in various leadership positions in numerous other non-profit, civic, community and academic organizations.   Rose regularly mentors numerous students and young professionals through formal mentoring programs organized through ULI as well as UCLA and USC undergraduate/graduate programs in business and real estate.

Rose received his MBA from the University of Southern California, his JD from Southwestern University School of Law and BA, Political Science from UCLA.


Jamie Simchik
Simchik Planning & Development
Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Jamie Simchik is the Principal of Simchik Planning & Development in Portsmouth, NH. Simchik Planning & Development is an urban/transportation planning and real estate redevelopment advisory services firm that manages our clients’ projects throughout their entire lifecycle to shape the highest and best use of the built form. Simchik Planning & Development works with real estate development firms to assist with urban planning, transportation planning, market feasibility and public engagement.

Prior to this current role, Jamie was a Principal Planner at Fort Hill Companies, an architectural, engineering and urban planning firm with offices in Massachusetts and Florida. He was also a Public Engagement Assistant with Regina Villa Associates undertaking public outreach for sewer separation and road reconstruction capital improvement projects in Massachusetts. Additionally, Jamie was a Research Planner with Connor Holmes, an urban planning consulting firm in South Australia, collaborating on a variety of projects for government and private clients.

Jamie is a member of the ULI Urban Development & Mixed-Use Product Council (Purple Flight) and ULI Boston Infrastructure Council. He is a ULI Michigan Larson Center for Leadership Class of 2015 alumni, ULI Boston Partnership Forum participant and an active ULI Boston UrbanPlan volunteer. Jamie has co-chaired a number of ULI Technical Assistance Panels as well as participated in the ULI Advisory Services Panel in Bellevue, WA. Jamie graduated from Colgate University and has a Master of Business Administration, Master of Urban Planning and Graduate Certificate in Real Estate Development from the University of Michigan.

Megan Torza, OAA / MRAIC / LEED AP BD+C
Toronto, Ontario

Megan is an architect whose professional development has been influenced by a strong personal interest in adaptive reuse and the integration of contemporary architecture into historic urban fabric. She joined DTAH in 2006 and became a partner in 2012.

Megan’s recent work includes leading the design of a renewed Farmers’ Market + Cultural Hub in downtown Niagara Falls, acting as professional advisor for the Etobicoke Civic Centre International Design Competition on behalf of Build Toronto and the City of Toronto, and developing the vision for an innovative urban farm and therapeutic greenhouse for the University Health Network. Megan was previously involved in the development and implementation of two of Toronto’s most beloved community hubs: the Artscape Wychwood Barns and the Evergreen Brick Works — both award-winning, LEED certified examples of the creative adaptive reuse of abandoned industrial facilities for not-for-profit clients.

Her socially-minded, contextually-sensitive portfolio also includes numerous institutional and housing projects for public and private-sector clients. Examples include the TRCA Office Headquarters, the Little Trinity Church Annex, the Dane Avenue and St. Andrew Child Care Centres in Toronto, the Market Commons Affordable Housing project in Guelph and the Gallery Loft Towns in Toronto. She has designed numerous integrated park pavilions including structures for Toronto’s Riverdale Park East and North York’s Woodsy Park, and is currently the Partner-in-Charge of the Tommy Thompson Park Entrance Pavilion project. She was curator of the RavinePortal Exhibition and co-designer, with Robert Cram, of the Orange Crush installation at Come Up To My Room 2015 at the Gladstone Hotel. Megan is a frequent guest lecturer and design critic in the Urban Design and Planning faculties at the University of Waterloo and Ryerson University, vice-chair of the City of Vaughan Urban Design Review Panel, and vice-chair of the executive board of the Toronto Society of Architects.


Leslie Woo
Chief Planning & Development Officer
Toronto, Ontario 

Leslie Woo is Chief Planning and Development Officer at Metrolinx, the regional transportation authority for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area. Named One of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in the 2017, Spacing Toronto’s Transit Change-maker in 2016 and Canada’s Women’s Infrastructure Network’s Outstanding Leader in 2015, Leslie is the executive lead for both strategic planning and portfolio development of the $35B public expansion in public transit.

Leslie leads the strategic planning functions at Metrolinx, which extends from traditional long range planning, project planning through to operational service planning. She also heads up the development arm of the business in areas of program sponsorship, design excellence and strategic land development. Leslie is frequently the public face of the organization, growing key external relationships with municipalities, not-for-profits and the private sector. She is also a champion for driving sustainability and leads Metrolinx’s network for women.

Leslie is a passionate and influential strategist who, prior to joining Metrolinx, worked in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. She was the key author of the original Greater Golden Horseshoe Growth Plan (2006), which by 2016 had resulted in urban intensification totaling an over 18 per cent increase in multi-family residential development, a two-thirds reduction of greenfield lands consumption, and conserved about 800 square kilometres of agricultural and rural land.
Among her many global professional associations, Leslie is a 2011/12 Fellow and member of the International Women’s Forum, a Global Trustee with the Urban Land Institute, and a retired member of the Ontario Association of Architects. Leslie holds many community volunteer roles including as Director on the board of Womens’ College Hospital and the board of YMCA for the Greater Toronto Area from 2009 – 2017.

Leslie is the creator of the blog shebuildcities.org celebrating women city builders around the world.  Leslie received a Bachelor of Environmental Studies and a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Waterloo where she also studied Urban and Regional Planning. She is also the 2015 recipient of the Renison University College Distinguished Alumna Award. Born in Trinidad, Leslie is the mother of two global citizens.