What a year it has been for ULI Nashville and now we prepare to move forward into 2020. I am proud to serve as your new chair. It is an honor to follow in the footsteps of Mark Deutschmann and a line up of great leaders over the past decade that established such a strong foundation on which to build our Nashville ULI community.
In April, we played host to over 4,400 fellow ULI members. Not only did we break every record from attendees to dollars raised but, and perhaps most proudly, we broke the ULI record for event satisfaction. Over 93% of attendees responded that they were satisfied or very satisfied with the ULI Spring Meeting in Nashville. All of these records are a result of each of you! We are so grateful for the 110+ of our members that were actively involved in planning and touring and speaking at the ULI Spring Meeting.
We are ready to build upon that success this year as we continue our active committee work and small group initiatives. For example, this Fall we are planning for an Innovation Day, “Spring Meeting Tours” this time conducted for our own members and a “Fishbowl” experience on gentrification and displacement – all of which build on several of the many ideas that had so much traction at Spring Meeting.
The relevance of ULI Nashville is more important than ever as we work together to build on successes and recognize, with candor, the many issues impacting the quality of life for our broader city. Issues like an affordable living, the need for upskilling, reskilling and retraining our workforce, environmental resiliency and, perhaps the most important issue identified by our Spring Meeting closing speaker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jon Meacham, civility.
The internationally recognized author and presidential biographer listed three virtues that are most critical and often missing as a society right now. They are curiosity, humility, and empathy.
As I work with you over these next two years, I want us to constantly think about those three virtues and how they can impact and affect our work together.
Curiosity. Constantly seek knowledge and be aware of the broader context. These best practices may be reflected in other states or countries, and we have the benefit of discovering and benefitting from them. Every time we present a topic, let’s identify inspiring examples from inside and outside of our region that we can learn from.
Humility. Humility is the ability to admit a mistake or our own weaknesses and then to accept and learn from it or to recognize that we don’t have all of the answers or the benefit of all knowledge. We can seek other perspectives and truly respect and listen to each other.
Empathy. Out of humility comes empathy as we come to understand and appreciate each’s other’s story and view without immediate contradiction. Ask questions and recognize that your experience is not the only experience. We each come from where we are – we have no choice. Our life experiences are different and each one of those experiences is valid. Let’s be sure to leave room for diverse perspectives on our panels, in our discussions and committees.
I very much look forward to joining each of you as we move through these next two years
Kim Hartley Hawkins, ASLA, Hawkins Partners, Inc.
ULI Nashville Chair