WASHINGTON (July 1, 2015) – Randall K. Rowe, Chairman of Green Courte Partners, LLC, a private equity real estate investment firm based in Chicago, has been named the new Global Chairman of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), a non-profit research and education institute with more than 35,000 members dedicated to leadership in real estate and land use and creating thriving communities worldwide. Rowe, a longtime ULI member, ULI Trustee and ULI Foundation Governor, will serve a two-year term that ends June 30, 2017.
As ULI Global Chairman, Rowe will focus on three areas: strengthening ULI’s capacity for knowledge sharing throughout all of its member-to-member networks; ensuring that ULI’s core programs have a steady source of funding; and growing the organization globally, all with the overarching goal of reaffirming ULI as the most trusted authority worldwide on creating communities that are highly livable, economically prosperous and environmentally sustainable.
Rowe’s leadership priorities reflect ULI’s evolution over the past several years from a highly centralised, primarily U.S.-focused organization into a much more decentralised one that is global in reach and influence. “ULI has this energy, this sense of possibility and strength that is very exciting. We are only beginning to realize the very real impact ULI can have around the world — the part our organisation can play in creating communities that change people’s lives by making them better,” Rowe said. “We must keep the momentum going by offering new opportunities for engagement, to share lessons learned and exchange ideas about what works best.”
In terms of knowledge sharing, Rowe points to ULI’s business plan, which describes ULI’s core strategy as the creation of adaptive, decentralised global knowledge networks connected by an integrated system that creates and distributes content to the Institute’s membership. He aims to improve knowledge sharing throughout ULI’s District and National Councils, which serve members at the regional and local level; as well as its Product Council programme, a prestigious network of members organised by property sector type. “Building on each other’s work is what allows the Institute to have such great influence,” Rowe said. “What we’re doing only has value if the knowledge gleaned is distributed, utilised and enhanced. If we enhance the member experience and use technology to give them tremendous access to information, the impact we have in every community is that much greater, and does that much more to advance ULI’s mission.”
In the area of programme support, Rowe believes that ULI’s core offerings – such as its 60-year-old advisory services panel programme, the highly popular Urban Plan design and development course for secondary and university students, and the awards programmes that celebrate excellence in community building and urban open space design – need permanent, dedicated funding so they can continue without interruption during economic downturns. “Permanent funding for our key activities is essential to keep ULI effective during busts as well as boom times,” Rowe said.
In terms of growing globally, Rowe is seeking the implementation of a regional governance structure that fosters more engagement by and more leadership opportunities for members in diverse markets around the world. “ULI’s evolution as a global organisation relies on our ability to shape local land use decisions on a global level,” he said. “To do this, we must ensure that what we are delivering as an Institute helps our members advance ULI’s mission in a way that is tailored to the specifics of very different markets and regions.”
Rowe has a strong record of volunteerism with ULI. In addition to his service as a Board member and Trustee, he currently serves on the Operating Committee. He is a member of the ULI Foundation Board of Directors and has previously chaired several committees, including the ULI Audit Committee, Investment Committee, and ULI Global Awards for Excellence Jury. In addition, he served as the co-chair of the Host Committee for the 2013 ULI Fall Meeting in Chicago, and he has served on the Commercial and Retail Development Council, Urban Development-Mixed Use Council, and the Manufactured Housing Community Council. He has been actively involved in ULI Chicago, which serves ULI members in the Chicago metro area and throughout Illinois.
Rowe’s long involvement with ULI, combined with his vast industry expertise, and his energy and enthusiasm, will be invaluable as ULI continues to evolve into a truly global and member-centric organisation, said ULI Global Chief Executive Officer Patrick L. Phillips. “We are very excited to have Randy at the helm,” Phillips said. “He is thoughtful, he is innovative, and he is a doer who will guide ULI to new levels of excellence in land use leadership.”
Rowe’s firm, Green Courte Partners, LLC, specialises in niche real estate strategies including the acquisition and development of manufactured housing communities, parking, and infill retail (mixed-use) assets. Prior to establishing Green Courte Partners, Rowe was a Co-Founder and Chairman of Transwestern Investment Company, LLC and Chairman and Director of Transwestern Commercial Services, LLC. He also was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hometown America, LLC, a large owner of manufactured housing communities.
Rowe is a former member of the advisory board of Harvard University’s Real Estate Academic Initiative, and is a former member of the Board of the Primo Center for Women and Children. Rowe currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Steppenwolf Theatre; is a member of the Board of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club Foundation; and is a member of the Board of Sun Communities, Inc. (NYSE:SUI). He is an active member and a former Chairman of the Real Estate Roundtable.
He holds a Bachelor’s degree from Denison University, a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Michigan.
About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute (www.uli.org) is a nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has more than 35,000 members worldwide representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines, including more than 1,850 in Asia.