**SOLD OUT** ULI New York's Young Leaders Group - in Partnership with ULI New York's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee - Present: See It to Be It - Creating Opportunities Through Equity


2023-02-22T17:30:00 - 2023-02-22T19:30:00

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    Offices of Wells Fargo, 30 Hudson Yards 500 West 33rd Street, Floor 63 New York, NY 10001 United States
    - Sold out -
    ULI New York’s Young Leaders Group (YLG) and our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee are proud to present a special program reflecting on the lived experiences of local Black professionals in the land use industry. Hear how representation, inspiration, and leadership define new possibilities for future talent – and as a result – present boundless returns to an industry also in search of its own opportunities for growth.
    In honor of Black History Month, join our accomplished and powerfully insightful panel as they share personal stories of their career experiences in commercial real estate & urban land use. Our panelists will aim to deliver unique and practical guidance towards innovation and prosperity for all by answering key questions that include: How did we get here against great odds? What have we experienced along our careers that has been helpful and challenging? How have we contributed professionally and personally to evolve and better our industry? What do we wish to achieve for future generations and our field of business?

    From urban planning to construction development, from acquisitions to property management, the land use industry offers a wide range of highly lucrative, rewarding, and impactful career opportunities. Our panelists will offer insights into careers in their respective fields, as well as practical advice for success gained through their own experiences as racially diverse members of the New York real estate community.

    These learnings can serve as a blueprint to attract and motivate new talent and business opportunities, as well as evolve how all communities experience our built environment for the positive.

    ULI New York’s commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion emphasizes the importance of diversity to leverage each of our members’ unique perspectives to create and sustain thriving, resilient, and equitable communities. This in turn supports ULI’s mission to shape the future of the built environment for transformative impact in communities worldwide.

    Moderated by Will Gonell
    Will Gonell is a former US Marine and NYPD Officer. The discipline and strong work ethic he learned during his years of service have had a profound impact on his career in the building industry. He learns from building science, constantly improving and educating himself—and his clients. As a WELL Accredited Professional, Certified Living in Place Professional, and LEED Green Associate, he brings together a unique blend of building principles based on wellness, accessibility, and sustainability. He is passionate about building better and improving the industry as a whole.
    Often called to speak at industry conferences and trade shows, Will readily shares his passion to learn and to teach. His most recent endeavors have included achieving his Certificate in Global Business through Harvard Business School and the opportunity to shape the next generation of post-secondary students as a Professor of Business Management & Development at a Canadian college.
    Will has held positions on Advisory Boards for the National Association of Home Builders, the City of Toronto, and the Building Industry and Land Development Association. He is a current member of the Advisory Committees for WELL Homes and George Brown College and is a dedicated volunteer with Renos for Heroes Veteran Support.
    Justina Bethune
    Justina Bethune is a Consultant in Guidehouse’s Housing and Community Solutions team. She has six-plus years of experience working in affordable housing, public administration, policy analysis, public speaking, leadership, data analysis, stakeholder engagement, and community outreach. She has worked closely with state and local governments advocating for better policies, practices, programs, and legislation to strengthen a state foster care system and low-income communities.
    She previously worked at the New York State Office of Children & Family Service, gathering housing resources for homeless youth, advocating for housing policy changes for foster care youth, and helping previously incarcerated persons locate adequate housing. There, she created a housing resource guide for homeless foster youth; attended several housing and homeless conferences; served on many guest speaking engagements; and advocated for more housing and funding options for the homeless. She has spoken at venues such as the OCFS Home-Finders Summit, the New York Public Welfare Association’s annual conferences, and various speak-out events around the East Coast and started several campaigns to end homelessness, including the “No More Trash Bags Campaign.”
    Justina received her Master of Regional Planning from Cornell University. She has published several documents on housing safety and a report evaluating New York State’s housing voucher programs. She is passionate about connecting members of all ages and races who are homeless and in lower-income communities to better housing resources and opportunities.

    BJ Glenn

    BJ Glenn is a Vice President at Lubert-Adler Partners, where he is responsible for portfolio management, capital formation, business development, and investor relations.
    Before joining Lubert-Adler, Mr. Glenn was an Asset Manager for Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, where he was responsible for asset management and the execution of strategic planning for URW’s flagship assets. Before joining URW, BJ spent four years with Brookfield Asset Management, where he was involved in the management of investments held within Brookfield’s real estate funds; and he began his career at Baltimore-based Cordish Companies, where he specialized in retail leasing and mixed-use development.
    Mr. Glenn holds an M.B.A. from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and a B.A. from Lafayette College.

    Damani Strasner 

    Damani Strasner is a broker at Cushman & Wakefield, where he currently focuses debt brokerage for the NYC Equity, Debt & Structured Finance team. Damani previously worked alongside Will Conrad, Senior Director, where they focused on Midtown East Investment Sales.
    Damani is passionate about community service and is actively involved in Project Basta, the Robin Hood Foundation, and the Vanderbilt Alumni Association where he serves as the community service chair for the NYC chapter. Damani is also a member of the Urban Land Institute through Project REAP.
    Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield full time, he was an Investment Sales Intern with Team Conrad during the summer of 2019. A lifelong New Yorker, Damani was raised in the East Harlem & St. Albans neighborhoods of New York City.
    He is a graduate of Vanderbilt University.