ULI Los Angeles News

Women’s Leadership Initiative: How We’ve GROW(n) in 2018

A message from the Chair of WLI Mentoring and Leadership Subcommitee (GROW):

First of all, THANK YOU to our amazing mentors Anne Fletcher, managing principal HOK and Crystal Lofing, partner, Allen Matkins for generously giving of their time and effort to help build up the next generation of ULI leaders! Congratulations to the mentees for making an investment in your future to be a leader!

GROW (Grow Relationships and Opportunities at Work) 2018 consisted of 27 ULI members who are mid-level in their careers split into two teams lead by our two mentors.   The small groups met monthly to discuss topics related to the many facets of real estate, development, land use, and career and professional growth. Here are a few of our highlights from 2018:

Kickoff Reception

Our much-anticipated kick-off reception was hosted in March at the beautiful Downtown LA offices of Akerman LLC and attended by over 30 people. Below center with scarf is managing partner Jane Hinto.

AVEN Hard Hat Tour

Our pre-selected topics throughout the year started with goal setting, followed by networking/public speaking, negotiating, work-life balance, being a good supervisor/leader, and team case studies. We were treated to a very exclusive hard hat tour with swag bags of AVEN an upscale, apartment community in South Park by Paul Keller’s MACK Development. Both groups were given the option to pick their own final topic. Crystal Lofing’s group member Robert Schmerling organized a group tour of Disney’s Imagineering campus and Anne Fletcher’s group opted to discuss the role of technology in real estate.

Special thanks to the support of WLI co-chairs Allison Lynch and Liz Wendell along with support from ULI staff Marty Borko and April Sandifer. Kudos to the WLI Leadership & Mentoring subcommittee Sarah Christiansen, Danielle Caswell, Denise Ustariz and Ashlee Wells to pull off a great year!

Looking forward another great year of GROWing in 2019!

-Ayako Utsumi, chair WLI Mentoring and Leadership Subcommittee (GROW)



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