Women Leaders Honored With Fall Meeting Scholarships

In keeping with its mission to promote the advancement of female leaders in the real estate industry, the Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) of the Urban Land Institute has awarded funding to nine outstanding women to attend ULI’s 2012 Fall Meeting in Denver, Colorado.

WLI offered the funding through two programs introduced this year. The Fall Meeting Scholarship was awarded to six ULI Associate or Young Leaders members, while the Chair’s Award recognized three ULI members who have given exceptional service to the initiative. The nine will attend the Fall Meeting, to be held from Oct. 16 to 19 at the Colorado Convention Center.

A selection committee chose the following six women for the new Fall Meeting Scholarship:

  • Dianne Burnette, Main Street Corridor Development Corp./Main Street Community Improvement District in Missouri
  • Terri Haymaker, Public Building Commission of Chicago (PDF)
  • Elizabeth McMillan, Crescent Resources in North Carolina
  • Laura Reinbold, TTL Inc. of Tennessee (PDF)
  • Stephanie Monroe Tillerson, city of Woodruff, South Carolina (PDF)

The chair of the WLI Steering Committee named three winners for the inaugural Chair’s Award:

The Women’s Leadership Initiative is an active part of ULI’s Larson Leadership Initiative. To date, WLI has increased the visibility of women in the real estate profession through assistance with speaking engagements and publication opportunities, programming for the Spring and Fall meetings, organization of networking events, endorsement of women as candidates for ULI leadership positions, program collaborations with District Councils, educational studies and materials on women in leadership, and other activities.

Fall Meeting Scholarship Winners

WLI created the Fall Meeting Scholarship Program to recognize exemplary female ULI members who have made significant contributions to ULI, demonstrated long-term commitment to real estate and land use issues, and articulated compelling benefits of WLI involvement and Fall Meeting attendance to their professional interests and pursuits.

The scholarship includes complimentary registration to the 2012 Fall Meeting and a capped reimbursement of travel, lodging, and related expenses.  In addition, winners will attend a product council session with a WLI member designated as their mentor for the meeting, attend all WLI events at the meeting, receive recognition during the Fall Meeting Women’s Reception on Oct. 18, and summarize their perspective on key takeaways from the Fall Meeting to be posted on the ULI website.

The Fall Meeting Scholarship recipients “truly are emblematic of the next generation of potential leaders in our industry in general, and in ULI in particular,” said WLI Membership & Outreach Committee Chair Alice Connell. “Their achievements to date, their leadership in both their companies and in their local District Councils directly address the over-arching goals of WLI: the advancement of women … and the increase in their visibility and influence within the real estate industry and within the Urban Land Institute.”

The 2012 winners have all demonstrated a commitment to ULI and its programs:

Jennifer Ball is the vice president of planning and economic development for Central Atlanta Progress Inc. She is responsible for formulating and directing land use and transportation planning and economic development dedicated to the vibrancy and vitality of downtown Atlanta, Georgia. An accomplished urban planner and project manager with 15 years of professional experience, Jennifer has been active in ULI since 2001, serving as a volunteer facilitator for the Urban Plan program at ULI Atlanta, a member of that District Council’s Awards Committee, and an Atlanta Young Leader. Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture and a master’s of urban planning from the Georgia Institute of Technology.



Diane Burnette is the executive director and chief administrator of the Main Street Corridor Development Corp. (MainCor) and the Main Street Community Improvement District in Kansas City, Missouri. In this capacity, Diane is the leading community partner of the city’s Main Street Corridor, working and supporting commercial, mixed use and residential progress that encourages the renewal and vitality of the midtown area. A member of ULI since 2008, she has secured a ULI Community Action Grant for Kansas City, and she serves as chair of ULI Kansas City’s Awards Committee. Diane has worked with the Daniel Rose Center fellowship program for Kansas City, has served on a Technical Assistance Panel in Central Florida, and is the urban community adviser for ULI Kansas City. She is also chair of the Trustees of the Jackson County Land Trust and sits on the Jackson County Tax Increment Financing Commission.

Terri Haymaker is the director of planning and project resources for the Public Building Commission of Chicago, whose mission is to construct and renovate municipal buildings and infrastructure throughout the greater Chicago area. A member of ULI since 2010, Terri currently serves on both her District Council’s Program and Public Policy committees. She organized ULI Chicago’s first members-only policy forum in November 2011, which focused on overhauling the city’s Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Program. She has also served as a panelist for her District Council’s Technical Assistance Services Program. Terri earned a bachelor’s degree at the University of Kansas and a master’s of urban planning and public policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Elizabeth McMillan is project manager in the commercial division for Crescent Resources in Charlotte, North Carolina, where she is overseeing the land planning, engineering, rezoning, leasing, and sale of a hybrid retail development spanning more than 200 acres. A member of ULI since 2001, Elizabeth is chair of her District Council’s Young Leaders Group, serves on the Management and Advisory Committee, and was a member of the local arrangement committee for the 2012 ULI Spring Meeting in Charlotte. She also was treasurer of the local Young Leaders Group and served on its program committee for several years. Elizabeth holds a bachelor’s in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a ULI Professional Development Certificate. She is a U.S. Green Building Council LEED accredited professional.


Laura Reinbold, P.E., is vice president and Nashville branch manager of TTL Inc., a geoprofessional engineering firm that specializes in engineering, environmental consulting, and construction materials engineering and testing. A member of ULI since 2010, Laura is co-chair of ULI Nashville’s Membership Committee and sits on the Council’s Management Committee. Laura was recently elected as the first woman to sit on the board of directors of ASFE, a business association for geoprofessionals. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Vanderbilt University.



Stephanie Monroe Tillerson is the city manager of Woodruff, South Carolina, overseeing all city functions, supervising all divisional heads, preparing the annual budget, and working with a wide variety of citizens and community organizations. A member of ULI since 2006, Stephanie has served as co-chair for committees during ULI South Carolina’s Upstate Reality Check events. She was a member of the inaugural 2007-08 class for ULI’s South Carolina Center for Sustainable Leadership and has been involved in a number of Technical Assistance Panels. Stephanie holds a bachelor’s degree in public affairs management from Michigan State University, a master’s in urban regional planning and urban studies from Michigan State, and a master of public administration degree from the University of South Carolina.


Chair’s Award Winners

The Chair’s Award, which was also founded in 2012, recognizes up to three outstanding female ULI members who have made significant contributions to WLI and its mission. The award includes complimentary registration to the 2012 Fall Meeting and a capped reimbursement of travel, lodging, and related expenses.

“The mission of the WLI is to raise the visibility and number of women leaders in ULI and in the real estate industry,” said WLI Steering Committee Chair Kathleen Carey, who chose the three recipients. “Each of this year’s Chair’s Award winners has dedicated her time and energy in an outstanding way to move the WLI mission forward.  WLI is extremely appreciative of their efforts and wants to recognize and reward their important contributions to advancing the theme of women in leadership.”

Vanessa Hale is a senior analyst at Strutt & Parker, a real estate firm in the United Kingdom, where she is establishing the company’s first research team to support all of its property sectors. Vanessa previously worked as a senior research analyst for CBRE in Chicago. She is co-chair of the membership division of the Young Leaders Group in the United Kingdom and is in the process of establishing a chapter of WLI in the UK. Vanessa was also a member of the Young Leaders in Chicago, where she also headed up membership efforts. She earned a bachelor’s degree in food science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s in hospitality and tourism management from Roosevelt University in Chicago. Vanessa is a U.S. Green Building Council LEED accredited professional.

Vanessa was selected in recognition of her early efforts to move WLI to an international platform, which the initiative is just starting to explore.

Pauline Nee is director of digital strategy for Art Assets, a boutique art consulting firm that integrates art and culture into real estate projects. She is also the founder of Aerogram Group, which creates digital marketing, design and social media strategies for real estate organizations and small businesses. Pauline serves as chair of the WLI Communications Committee, following three years as co-chair of the Communications Committee for the Young Leaders Group in New York. Pauline is responsible for publishing WLI’s newsletter, which is distributed to all ULI members, and managing WLI’s web presence on ULI.org. She also sits on WLI’s Executive Committee. Pauline joined ULI in 2007. She holds a bachelor’s degree in art history from Boston University.

The Chair’s Award was presented to Pauline to honor her active involvement in WLI since its inception, and particularly her leadership in its communication strategies online and in print.

Andrea Wong-Miller is a senior analyst at HR&A Advisors, a New York real estate and economic development consulting firm, where she conducts real estate development feasibility analyses for public-private projects across the country. Prior to joining HR&A, Andrea was a senior project manager at the New York City Economic Development Corp., leading pipeline development and origination of tax credit financing transactions. She serves as a member of the WLI Membership and Outreach Committee and on the board of the New York/New Jersey/Connecticut chapter of Women in Housing and Finance. Andrea is a founding member of Public-Private Real Estate Professionals, a peer networking group for junior and mid-level professionals, and a past recipient of the ULI Kenneth M. Good Graduate Student Fellowship.

Andrea was selected for her contributions to WLI’s Membership and Outreach Committee and the creation of the Fall Meeting Scholarship Program, which resulted in over 70 applications from women around the globe.

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