The ULI Los Angeles’ Women’s Leadership Initiative, along with hosts Bank of America-Merrill Lynch, held a book discussion event featuring a new work of nonfiction, “Believe It or Not: The Challenges Facing One Professional Woman a Half Century Ago,” by ULI pioneer Nina J. Gruen. The event was held on Wednesday, August 24, 2016 in BAML’s Los Angeles office.
In her book, Ms. Gruen discusses the challenges she faced and overcame as a young professional woman in the real estate industry over the last fifty years. The robust discussion focused on current themes that female professionals face today (developing a support network, finding mentors and champions, and navigating ones’ career path), and featured insights from the book as well as from a panel of industry leaders representing different generations.
Ms. Gruen is the Principal Sociologist in charge of market research and analysis at Gruen Gruen + Associates, a firm she co-founded in 1970 with her husband, Claude. Ms. Gruen uses the analytical techniques of social science to project demand for real estate, and to understand the culture of the groups who determine the success of development, planning, and public policy decisions. She is a pioneer in synthesizing behavioral research with quantitative time-series data to forecast market reactions. Nina Gruen’s innovative studies in market and community attitude evaluations and programming have led to development and redevelopment of many large-scale, single- and mixed-use projects. Ms. Gruen is also a nationally recognized leader within Urban Land Institute, as the first woman elected to the Urban Land Institute’s Board of Trustees in 1982, and the first female ULI Product Council Chair.
ULI joined with the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council and host Guggenheim Partners to present a Women’s Leadership Initiative Speed Mentoring event on Thursday September 15, 2016. The sold-out event featured notable women in commercial real estate/finance leading round table discussions. Mentors included:
- Margot Latham, Director, Guggenheim Partners
- Michele Aronson, Senior Vice President, Douglas Emmett
- Anne Walsh, Senior Managing Director and Co-Chief Investment Officer, Guggenheim Partners
- Danielle Vick, Managing Director, Ares Management LLC
- Joan Kramer, Managing Director, Kennedy Wilson
- Allison Lynch, Vice President, Watt Companies
- Anne Mathias, Senior Managing Director, Guggenheim Partners
- Jackie Park, Managing Partner, DLA Piper LA
- Sondra Wenger, Managing Director, CIM Group
- Nancy Wilhite, Vice President, CBRE
Over 90 real estate women of all career levels attended the WLI Los Angeles/CREFCWomen’s Group Speed Mentoring Event. Participants gained insights into the various career paths the senior level mentors took to get to where they are today;
from embracing overseas opportunities to being patient with being considered for top leadership roles. Attendees appreciated the mentors’ candor, which led to a safe environment for open dialogue. As the event was well received, WLI Los Angeles and CREFC Women’s Group look forward to organizing many more Speed Mentoring events in the future.