/ Americas

Expanding Product Council Network to More Members

ULI’s Global Strategic Plan emphasizes strengthening member engagement by providing more opportunities to participate in the Institute’s unique member networks—including the highly popular Product Council network.

Nine Product Councils—including five new ones and four additional flights to existing councils—were added during FY 2018, opening up participation to 228 members who had never before served on a council, as well as 98 members who transferred membership or rejoined councils. The recruitment process was conducted primarily through Navigator, ULI’s member benefit that matches members to volunteer opportunities, with the expectation that associates who secured a seat would be expected to upgrade to full-member status. Each of the councils met at the 2018 Spring Meeting in Detroit and the 2018 Fall Meeting in Boston.   


The five new councils reflect a focus on issues identified by members as having a significant impact on the real estate industry: the Technology and Real Estate Council, chaired by immediate past ULI Global Chairman Randall K. Rowe; Placemaking Council, chaired by former ULI Global Chairman Marilyn Jordan Taylor; Travel Experience and Trends Council, chaired by former ULI Global Chairman Harry H. Frampton III; Sharing Economy Council, chaired by ULI Foundation Board Member John J. Healy Jr.;  and the Suburban Development and Redevelopment Council, chaired by ULI Trustee Richard M. Gollis.

  • “The fun part of the experience is meeting all the new players and listening to open discussions on new concepts.

    – Sharing Economy Council Chairman John J. Healy Jr.

Their take on the new councils: The focus on a specific issue rather than a property type is providing a highly informative experience, in that the issues being discussed affect several property types, similar to those of councils such as the Sustainable Development Council and the Responsible Property Investment Council. In addition, the councils’ membership includes professionals outside the design and development arena, creating an environment in which there is as much to be learned as there is to be shared. 

The creation of the Technology and Real Estate Council brought in new members from “outside the ULI tent” such as those involved with new technologies as well as venture capitalists to mix with real estate professionals, explained Rowe, chairman of Green Courte Partners LLC in Chicago. Rowe added: “It is a different mix. People ask questions of each other that they would not normally ask of their own peers. The interaction of the built world with the tech world is mutually beneficial, and I find this to be very exciting,” he said.  

“Change is happening faster now than ever before—there has been more change in the past 10 years than occurred during the entire 30 years prior that I have been in this business. As a result, it is more important than ever to understand the changes, and it is equally important for Product Councils to be reflective of the changes affecting the industry, to be more attuned to external factors that affect development,” said Frampton, chairman and founder partner of East West Partners in Avon, Colorado. 

A Product Council expansion has also occurred within the District Councils, providing a Product Council experience for younger as well as more senior members at the local level. By the end of FY 2018, there were more than 90 Product Councils within 41 District Councils focused on a variety of topics ranging from industry leadership to livable communities.  

Use Navigator to apply for membership on a Product Council.

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