I would like to take this opportunity to hit the pause button, to reflect on our last two years, which have been challenging for all of us, to say the least. We have weathered the perfect storm that Covid-19 has rained upon us, and have remained strong, resilient, and determined. We have continued to execute the mission of ULI…to shape the future of the built environment for transformative impact on our communities worldwide. ULI is its members and we thank each and every one of you for playing a part in our continued success. As our fy22 closes, we would like to thank our dedicated District Council Co-Chairs, Greg Belew, and Jennifer Schwartzman, for their dedication and support of the District Council as they have steadfastly taken control and direction of our ULI ‘ship’. Over the last two years we have convened dozens of programs, both virtually and in-person, launched a number of highly impactful and timely programs for our members and prospective members, and have convened our first-ever virtual Technical Assistance Panel in conjunction with ULI New York. Under Greg’s and Jennifer’s tenure, we have grown our leadership team several times over, and our membership engagement has never been higher.
July 1st started our new fiscal year and we are thrilled to announce that we have appointed two new District Council Co-Chairs, Geraldine (Gerri) Tortorella and Stuart Lachs. We are excited to craft a new strategic direction for the District Council with a strong emphasis on the ramification and policy changes needed to address the implications of climate change and the built and natural environment, and to provide strong support to our communities, large and small, urban and suburban, municipal officials, sponsors, and members through the lens of DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion).
Ms. Tortorella is a founding member of Hocherman Tortorella & Wekstein, LLP, a boutique law firm in White Plains that specializes in zoning, land use, real estate, and related litigation matters for all asset classes, throughout the Hudson Valley Region and on Long Island. She has lectured and/or written articles regarding various zoning, environmental law, property rights, and constitutional law issues for the New York State Bard Association, Practising Law Institute, Municipal Law Resource Center of Pace University, Westchester Municipal Planning Federation, and League of Women Voters of White Plains. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Community Center of Northern Westchester, a not-for-profit organization that sponsors a food pantry, clothing boutique, and job training for persons experiencing food and other social insecurities with the goal of assisting its clients to regain independence and self-sufficiency.
Mr. Lachs is a Principal at Perkins Eastman Architects and is the Co-managing Principal of their Stamford, CT office. He is a registered architect with more than 30 years of experience, specializing in all types of housing including mid-rise, low-rise, and affordable housing throughout Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts. He currently leads the firm’s residential practice, and his experience includes high-rise office buildings and corporate office parks.
Stuart has worked with a range of developers from not-for-profits building their first affordable housing project to national REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts) expanding into new markets. He is particularly skilled at developing innovative solutions to accessibility challenges.
Please join me in welcoming our new leadership team. We encourage you to get involved with ULI West/FF now and to take advantage of the many volunteer opportunities available. All current members are reminded that they are invited to participate in our monthly Advisory Board Meetings and join a Committee. Contact [email protected] for more information.
Mara Winokur, AICP, PP
Executive Director, ULI Westchester/Fairfield and Northern NJ
ULI Westchester/Fairfield Co-Chair
Ms. Geraldine Tortorella, Hocherman Tortorella & Wekstein, LLP
ULI Westchester/Fairfield Co-Chair
Stuart Lachs, Principal, PERKINS EASTMAN
ULI Westchester/Fairfield Chair For Mission Advancement and Treasurer
Jean Coney, Business Development Manager, Langan
ULI Westchester/Fairfield Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Chair
Anthony Epps, Business Development, Benchmark Title Agency, LLC
Business Development Chair: Tom Bronner
WLI Chairs: Ashley Ley
Young Leaders Co-Chairs: Will Cannon and Ben Sachs