It’s hard to comprehend that Derek Goring’s two-year term as Chair of ULI Toronto, and Emma West’s term as Vice Chair has come to end – what an amazing whirlwind tenure they have had. Allow me to inventory some of the hi-lights…
Our programming has tripled from 25 to 75, and doubled total registrations to over 7500. Stand outs from those 75 events include hosting our second major Symposium in Spring 2017 in conjunction with our sold out Meet the Chiefs gala and public event for a total of nearly 2000 registrations in one 48-hour period. Our 2018 Meet the Chiefs gala also sold out two months in advance, and we introduced our first Winter Social (sold out) to accompany our extremely popular consistently sold out Summer Social.
Of course none of those events would be possible without the support of our incredible group of volunteers. Since 2016 we engaged over 300 volunteers across our committees and initiatives as well as an other 100 people on our wait list. We also launched the volunteer-run UrbanPlan Program to 9 high school classes, including 220 students, 12 hours of programming per classroom, and over 500 volunteer hours – more than double our original launch plan.
The growth story doesn’t end there. In the last year we increased Full Memberships by 15%, Associate Memberships by 29%. ULI Toronto also has the highest social media following in the ULI Network at over 7000 followers across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn – and ran our fourth annual #CityReslove New Year’s social media challenge.
Measured by more qualitative performance indicators, our impact story includes expanding WLI’s scope of activity to include the SheWithHe campaign, including a major International Women’s Day event complete with socks; a Podcast Series; and an Educational Series (Women on Boards). In addition to expanding WLI, we also aligned with RealPac to launch a comprehensive industry Diversity & Inclusion strategy with NAIOP, Toronto CREW; BOMA; BILD; and the Women’s Infrastructure Network.
Taking advantage of time-sensitive programming opportunities, we leveraged the dual election year by hosting three provincial leaders receptions (also WLI); cooperated with Evergreen to host a 75-person, full day municipal “boot camp”; and hosted a major Post Provincial Election panel event on June 28.
Furthering our mission to promote leadership in the responsible use of land, we launched the mid-career Urban Leadership Program (now rebranded to the Curtner Leadership Program) and delivered a powerful set of land use visions to the Main & Danforth area. We also re-launched our Technical Advisory Panel (TAP) program in the Weston Village community area and created a Pro Bono Expert Panel to help the United Way advance a Community Hub in Scarborough.
Very importantly we moved towards our goal of shining an international spotlight onto the Toronto region – first with a major Fall Meeting Bid effort, including a Blue-Ribbon Committee chaired by Mayor John Tory. We did not win, but did secure the Spring 2020 Meeting which will bring 4000 global real estate professionals to Toronto. We also hosted the International Hines Competition in Toronto; and the hosted the North American Young Leaders Group (YLG) Exchange.
We also launched our first Local Product Council on Healthy Buildings, and the first Canada Product Council with ULI BC and ULI Alberta and we have significantly seeded the evolution of what is becoming ULI Ottawa and begun early discussions to help evolve ULI Halifax (or ULI Maritimes).
These are just some of the activities that made Derek and Emma’s terms such an incredible success. I want to thank them both for their outstanding leadership over these past two years. I am proud of what we have accomplished together, and I look forward to seeing what they will each bring to their new roles within ULI going forward.