The District Council
The Urban Land Institute Orange County/Inland Empire was established in 1988, thanks to several ULI full members who saw the need to get members involved at the local level. The early past chairs, Kevin Hanson, Jack Camp, and Don Bauer, along with other ULI members such as Lee Sammis, Jim Goodall and Linda Congleton, were the people who helped get ULI Orange County/Inland Empire on its feet. Some of the topics the District Council focused on in the early 1990s included the closing of the El Toro Marine Base and its subsequent evolution into the Great Park, and the fact that Orange County/Inland Empire was dealing with the worst real estate market in history.
In the late 1990s, UrbanPlan, a ULI outreach program designed to teach high school students about the planning process through a simulation exercise, was brought to Orange County/Inland Empire by past Chair Larry Netherton, with the concept of Smart Growth being introduced during that same decade. By the turn of the century, a little more than ten years after forming the District Council, ULI Orange County/Inland Empire made its mark as the vehicle for broadening awareness about Orange County’s transition from a suburban, agricultural community to a thriving, urbanized economic engine. This was about the time when ULI introduced the new Young Leaders Group, and past Chair Richard Gollis embraced this new group of members under 35 as the future of ULI. When David Biggs served as chair of ULI Orange County/Inland Empire, he focused on increasing public sector involvement, and in 2005, under Bill Devine’s chairmanship, ULI Orange County/Inland Empire formalized its operation by hiring a full-time executive director, Phyllis Alzamora.
Today, ULI Orange County/Inland Empire stands as one of the ten largest District Councils worldwide, with over 1,300 members. Joan Gladstone took the reins as chair during fiscal year 2008, and ULI Orange County/Inland Empire focused its community outreach efforts through Technical Advisory Panels and the Workforce Housing Initiative, to name a few. On July 1, 2008, Jeff Mayer stepped up to serve as the ninth volunteer chair of ULI Orange County/Inland Empire.
ULI Orange County/Inland Empire celebrates 20 years of bringing together leaders in the responsible use of land to create and sustain thriving communities. This could not have been possible without the generous support of the past chairs, the members of the executive committee and the general membership, as well as our sponsors throughout the years. They have all played a significant role in the transformation of ULI Orange County/Inland Empire. Thank you!