A Young Leader is a ULI member under the age of 35 who wants to be actively involved in shaping the built environment and the future of the real estate industry in the area. Find out how to become involved today!


Executive Co-Chairs

ULI New York’s Young Leaders Group executive co-chairs are responsible for representing the interests of YLG and advancing the mission of ULI within the YLG platform of activities. Both chairs participate on the District Council Management  Committee and support and celebrate the efforts of the various YLG committees.

melissacohenMelissa Cohen
Boston Properties

Melissa Cohen joined Boston Properties in 2011 as a development project manager and was promoted in 2015 to a senior project manager for the New York region. She collaborates on all of the company’s development and acquisitions activities in New York City.  Melissa worked on the construction and lease-up of 250 West 55th Street, and currently oversees the development of Dock 72 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard – a 675,000 SF commercial office building for tech tenants, and is actively involved in all new business efforts for the region.  Prior to Boston Properties, Melissa worked for Urban Partners, a real estate development company in Los Angeles specializing in mixed-use projects at transit oriented hubs.  She focused on the development of a 450-unit multifamily project above a subway station, a 1600-bed student housing project at USC and a 400-unit suburban rental project in a master planned community. Melissa received a BA in Urban Studies from Brown University and an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business.

krystyn-gattoKrystyn Gatto
SL Green Realty Corp.

As an associate at SL Green Realty Corp., Krystyn Gatto is part of a team responsible for leasing a portfolio of 15 office properties totaling close to ten million square feet.  Krystyn joined the team at SL Green after moving to New York in 2015.  Prior to that Krystyn was a Senior Leasing Associate with Colliers International in Calgary, Alberta for seven years.   During that time Krystyn co-founded Alberta’s District Council for the Urban Land Institute.   She intends to leverage her experience with the organization to elevate the operations, and impact of the Young Leaders Group here in New York.  Krystyn graduated from the University of Mount Royal with a Bachelor of Applied Business and Entrepreneurship, and studied abroad in San Antonio, Texas and Melbourne, Australia.

Programming Committee Co-Chairs

The Programming Committee designs, organizes and runs the group’s signature series programs,  volunteer days, and networking opportunities.

jackiemanzer-headshotJackie Manzer
Silverstein Properties

Jackie Manzer is the Tenant Experience Manager at Silverstein Properties, a privately-held, full-service real estate development, investment and management firm based in New York. In her role, Jackie helps foster a class A experience for all tenants that occupy Silverstein’s buildings. She is responsible for tenant outreach and events, which involves establishing programs and amenities that differentiate the company’s portfolio from any other. Prior to joining Silverstein, Jackie was the Director of Marketing & Communications at Vidaris, where she held responsibility for communications and marketing planning/strategy, corporate identity and branding, client relations, media relations, corporate philanthropy and internal communications. Additionally, she helped evaluate and implement Vidaris’ processes and organizational structures to make the company more productive in its corporate operations. She also previously worked as an Event Producer for Bisnow Media, a nationally recognized commercial real estate media and events firm, where she produced large-scale industry conferences across the country. Jackie graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in Sociology. While attending Yale University, Ms. Manzer was a pitcher for the varsity softball team.


Lauren Sanders
Zeckendorf Development

Lauren Sanders is a Vice President at Zeckendorf Development and is responsible for underwriting new development opportunities as well assisting with project development and coordination including building design, project budgeting, financing and marketing for 520 Park Avenue, 18 Gramercy Park South and 50 UN Plaza. Prior to joining Zeckendorf Development, she worked for 5 years as an Assistant Vice President at Bank of America Merrill Lynch where she was responsible for underwriting, structuring and closing over $2B in construction loan opportunities for residential, hotel, office, retail and industrial properties throughout New York City and other primary markets in the United States. Lauren also worked as a Development Associate for The Dermot Company where she oversaw the redevelopment of a 30,000 square foot Landmark building in Battery Park. Lauren graduated from Boston University with a Bachelors in Business Administration and holds a MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. She is a member of ULI, NYPEN and a WX Scholarship Recipient.

Outreach & Membership Co-Chairs

The outreach committee is responsible for collaborating with YLGs from other ULI District Councils, with local universities and with other industry associations to share ideas and coordinate events, such as panels and YLG Leadership Exchanges.

frank-futia-2016-headshotFrank Futia
Alliance for Downtown New York

Frank is a Research and Planning Manager at the Alliance for Downtown New York. He tracks the Lower Manhattan market and helps promote the nation’s largest business improvement district as a place to do business. Frank also manages different economic development and urban planning projects Downtown including an urban design study for Wall Street and the NYSE area and other placemaking initiatives in Lower Manhattan. Prior to his current role Frank worked as a Research Analyst and intern at the Alliance for Downtown New York and the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy. In addition to his outreach co-chair role at ULI, Frank has also co-chaired the YLG Social Initiative. Frank received a B.A. in Environmental Design and Minor in Architecture from the University at Buffalo and holds a Master’s degree in Urban Planning from Hunter College. He also is currently pursuing a Commercial Real Estate certificate program at Baruch College.


Katie Paxton Christ

Katie is the Senior Demand Generation Manager for VTS, the leading end-to-end leasing management platform for the commercial real estate industry. She manages the firm’s external marketing efforts, focusing on PR, social media, events and roundtables, and Hightower’s annual customer summit. Prior to Hightower, Katie led marketing efforts at VOA’s New York office, focusing on corporate interior design and ground-up residential and hospitality projects. She completed similar work at Perkins Eastman for their large-scale, mixed-use design studio. Katie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government, focusing in international relations and comparative politics, from Dartmouth College.