Women’s Leadership Initiative

The mission of the ULI Women’s Leadership Initiative is to raise the visibility and number of women leaders in ULI and the real estate industry.

Women’s Leadership Initiative

The ULI Women’s Leadership Initiative, formally launched in Charlotte at the ULI 2012 Spring Meeting, was formed in late 2010 and is now an active part of ULI’s Larson Leadership Initiative. ULI New York is proud to have an active WLI in our District Council.


The mission of the WLI is expressed in its four primary objectives:

  • Promote the advancement of women, throughout their careers, as leaders in the real estate industry.
  • Increase the number of women who serve in leadership positions in the real estate industry and in ULI.
  • Increase the visibility of women leaders in the real estate industry and in ULI.
  • Increase the number of women who are active ULI Full members, and support the development of young women members as leaders in ULI and in their professions.

To date, ULI NY’s WLI has provided programming geared specifically towards our women members, sponsored networking events, and encouraged women members to become more involved and help them navigate within ULI.

To learn more about ULI NY’s WLI and how to get involved, please contact Kathryn Dionne.


The Co-Chairs of the WLI are responsible for representing the interests of WLI and advancing the mission of ULI within the WLI platform of activities. The Chairs participate on the District Council Management Committee and support and celebrate the efforts of the various WLI committees.

Ropa-43246960-3680-flatBethany Logan Ropa, Chair
UBS Investment Bank

Bethany Logan Ropa is an Executive Director in the Real Estate, Lodging & Leisure Group at UBS, focusing on strategic advisory and corporate-level debt and equity financing assignments for real estate and lodging companies. During her career at UBS, Ms. Ropa has completed over $50 billion in M&A, equity capital markets, debt capital markets and financing transactions.  Ms. Ropa has experience working across multiple sub-sectors in real estate including office, industrial, retail, multi-family, lodging, net lease and healthcare.   Notable recent advisory transactions include Select Income REIT’s $3 billion acquisition of Cole Corporate Income Trust and NorthStar Realty Finance’s $4 billion acquisition of Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II.  Ms. Ropa received an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, where she concentrated her studies in corporate finance and real estate.

belinda_wattsBelinda Watts, Co-Chair

Belinda leads Gensler’s financial services practice in the Northeast region and brings particular expertise to the design and management of the boutique financial workplace. Belinda moved to New York after graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Curtin University in Perth, Australia. She continued her education at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where she received a Master of Architecture degree. Belinda is a regional leader for Gensler’s Northeast region financial services practice area, with a focus on the private investment sector. Her leadership within the financial services sector is reinforced by a broad experience across many industries and project types ranging from building adaptive re-use to high-end retail, including the relocation of Christie’s to Rockefeller Center and the development of the 57th Street Burberry Store. She applies her knowledge of evolving workplace trends to building repositioning projects and new commercial ventures. She is currently Co-Vice Chair of the ULI Women’s Leadership Initiative.

fullsizerenderMarina Trejo, Co-Chair
Two Trees Management

Marina Trejo is a Senior Project Manager at Two Trees Management, having joined the firm the day the company closed on the 11-acre Domino Sugar Factory site. Much of her role is related to the project’s large scale redevelopment including the entitlement process of securing four new building permits for the proposed high-rise mixed-use buildings and interim use programming on the site’s undeveloped waterfront acreage. Since joining the firm, Marina has overseen the build-out of the NYPD Horse Stables, a 35,000 sf precinct located on the ground floor of the Mercedes House, a 33-story mixed use building; established Certificates of Occupancies on existing and new buildings within the company’s DUMBO portfolio – most notably the Clocktower Apartment; producing Brooklyn’s highest residential condominium sale to date, and has managed a number of capital improvement projects within the company’s residential and commercial portfolio, ranging from landscaping to entire building transformations.

Marina has also worked for the Hudson Companies, the Related Companies, The Kessler Collection and John Simpson and Partners in London.

She holds three masters degrees: one from Columbia University in Real Estate Development, an MBA from Rollins College and a B. Arch and Masters in Architecture from the University of Notre Dame.