Women’s Leadership Initiative – 2013 Scholarship Winners

The Women’s Leadership  Initiative’s (“WLI”) Fall 2013 Scholarship Program

The WLI created in 2012 a Fall Meeting Scholarship Program to recognize exemplary women members of ULI who have made significant contributions to the organization, have demonstrated a long-term commitment to real estate and land use issues, and have articulated the compelling benefits of WLI involvement and attendance at the ULI Fall Meeting will be with respect to their professional interest and pursuits.

The Scholarship program includes a complimentary registration to the Fall Meeting, as well as an expense reimbursement up to $1,500 for all documented, otherwise non-reimbursable expenses incurred in connection with Meeting attendance. At the Meeting, recipients will be ‘hosted’ by senior WLI members at a Product Council as well as at all WLI branded Meeting events – in particular, the  Women’s Reception – at which function the award winners will be formally recognized. Following the Fall Meeting, each recipient will be asked to write a short essay summarizing their major takeaways from the conference, and these remarks will be posted on the ULI website.

Having received over 85 compelling applications, the WLI Selection Committee of Diana Reid, Sheri Chromow, Gail Goldberg, Lynn Jerath, Diane Olmstead and Andrea Wong announced the five outstanding recipients of the inaugural Fall Meeting Scholarship:


RobynRobyn Eason:  Robyn is the Team Lead – Urban Planning for the Green Building Certification Institute (“GBCI”) in Washington, D.C.   She is responsible for leading and training GBCI staff as well as external contractors on LEED for Neighborhood Development. Robyn also manages the certification review process for LEED new construction and neighborhood development.  Robyn has been most active in ULI since 2004, serving as a Volunteer for Washington DC’s ULI Urban Marketplace Conference and the ULI Real Estate Trends Conference, served on the first ULI Washington Young Leaders Group Committee, and has authored two ULI Baltimore Technical Advisory Panels. Robyn holds a BS in Architecture from Catholic University and a Master of City and Regional Planning from Clemson University.


Laurie_Payne_2008Laurie Payne: Laurie is the Development Director of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation. In this capacity, Laurie  is leading the redevelopment of over 1,300 units of social housing and building 5,00 units of new housing in partnership with the private sector. A member of ULI since 2009, she has been most active in her Toronto District Council, a four year co-chair of the Communications Committee and a member of the Advisory Board, an active participant in the Mentorship program, a sponsor for ULI Toronto ProBono + Grant program, and a founding member of Toronto’s WLI committee.


Jennifer Quinn Formal HeadshotJennifer Quinn: Jennifer is a Real Estate Economist at Property and Portfolio Research (“PPR”) in Boston. In her role at PPR, Jennifer writes and presents research reports on real estate markets and property types, and has authored several research papers on revitalizing downtowns, affordable housing and bricks and mortar retail. A member of ULI since 2011,  Jennifer currently serves as both the co-chair for Boston’s YLG, and is a member of the Program Oversight Committee and the Management Committee. Jennifer holds a B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of South Florida and a M.A. in Urban Planning and Environmental Policy from Tufts University.


Abbey_Roberson_Headshot2Abbey Roberson: Abbey is a Vice President, Regional Leader of Planning for HOK in Houston. She has been involved in numerous mixed-use, urban redevelopment projects  in the U.S. and abroad, and has extensive experience in working with communities in doing  public engagement and outreach activities. A member of ULI since 2006, Abbey is currently co-chair of her District Council’s Membership Committee, will serve on the Host planning committee for the Houston Spring Meeting in 2015, and has participated locally with Urban Marketplace, Suburban Marketplace, Houston Urban Corridors Task Force, and several Technical Assistance Panels. Abbey holds a B.S. in Environmental Design from  Texas A & M University, as well as a Master of City and Regional Planning from Georgia Institute of Technology.




Christine Pic

Christine Robertson: Christine is a Regional Planning Assistant II, for the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning Land Divisions Section. In this capacity, Christine processes subdivision maps including associated quasi-judicial land use entitlements and CEQA documents; coordinating with public agencies, and working with diverse multi-disciplinary project teams. A member of ULI since 2012, Christine is a member of LA’s WLI Committee and the WLI Career Path Sub Committee. She also served on the ULI LA Building Reuse Advisory Committee and serves on the Technical Assistance Panel Committee.  Christine holds an Associate of Arts degree from El Camino College, a B.A. in English and French from UCLA, and a Master of Community Planning from the University of Cincinnati.


Alice Connell, Chair of WLI’s Membership Committee, said that selecting 5 recipients out of such an excellent pool of applicants was a daunting task, but the ultimate selectees: “… truly are emblematic of the next generation of potential leaders in our industry in general, and in ULI in particular. 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.”


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