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.
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. Under Mayer’s leadership, the District Council created the Initiative Council structure. Twentieth century non-profit committees, such as Membership, Programs and Sponsorship, were eliminated and seven local Councils were organized around ULI’s priority initiatives. This innovative structure for volunteer involvement infused the District Council with strong member involvement and has been adopted by other ULI District Councils throughout the world.
Michael Ruane led the District Council in 2011-2014. He many accomplishments to his credit, such as increasing Full Member and Student Member involvement, strengthening the Technical Assistance Panel program, re-engaging members in UrbanPlan and bringing ULI’s Building Healthy Places initiative to the discussion of real estate issues in the region. Randal Jackson has been appointed as the 10th Chair of the ULI Orange County/Inland. His terms begins July 1, 2014. Jackson is a ULI Governor and past Chair of one of the ULI Community Development Product Council (at the national level of ULI). While serving as Chair, Jackson will focus on the needs of mid-career professionals, increasing the number of young professionals joining, heightening the awareness of ULI’s Building Healthy Places initiative and taking a close look at developing along corridors as well as creating new sources of revenue to further the work of ULI in SoCal.
ULI Orange County/Inland Empire stands as one of the ten largest District Councils worldwide, with over 900 members. ULI Orange County/Inland Empire celebrates over 26 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 Advisory Board 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.