Gregory Hummel, Chairman
Senior Partner | Bryan Cave LLP
Greg Hummel is a senior partner at the national and international law firm Bryan Cave LLP. He is based in Chicago where he leads the firm’s public private partnership practice. His work involves real estate development and finance, as well as, public and project finance. His forty year career unfolded first as counsel to leading national developers, architect/engineers, construction companies, and commercial and investment banks. Today, his practice focuses on the economic development and job creation activities of cities, states and other units of government both in the United States and abroad. He has advised public and private clients on public finance and economic development strategies all over the world including the governments of New Zealand and its capital city Wellington, New South Wales, Australia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. cities of Chicago, Raleigh, and Hartford. Another facet of his practice is incentives where he has obtained financial benefits for private sector clients in the form of grants, tax credits and/or tax exempt debt in over twenty U.S. states. These incentives often make the difference between projects being feasible or not.
Mr. Hummel also serves as legal counsel to some of the nation’s largest banks, construction companies and real estate developers, for whom he handles all facets of acquisition, zoning, construction, financing, leasing, management and disposition of office, retail, industrial and residential projects.
Managing Director | Perkins+Will
Gina Berndt serves as the Global Interior Design Discipline Leader driving vision and strategy in order to develop the strength and breadth of our Interior Design practice. For more than 30 years, Gina has led teams to deliver design solutions that delight clients, meet their functional parameters and exceed their expectations. With her singular focus on interiors, she is acutely in tune with the trends that affect how people work, live, learn and heal. A consummate leader and mentor, Gina’s insight and instincts have helped cultivate talented, interdisciplinary interior design teams who have been recognized with numerous awards, publications and loyal repeat clients.
Gina received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois and also studied at the University of Copenhagen. She is a member of the American Society of Interior Designers, past President of the Chicago chapter of Commercial Real Estate Executive Women and has served on the board and executive committee for the Girl Scouts of Chicago.
Executive Vice President and General Counsel | The Habitat Company
As Senior Vice President and General Counsel for The Habitat Company, Stephen Galler oversees all legal matters, including all acquisitions, dispositions, financing, leasing and development for our real estate concerns.
Before joining The Habitat Company in 2007, Mr. Galler served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Related Midwest (formerly LR Development Company), where for 11 years he oversaw and managed all of the company’s legal matters, including such notable projects as Park Tower, 340 on the Park, Roosevelt Square, Residences on Lake Shore Park, Fort Sheridan, and The Mayfair.
Mr. Galler is a member of the Chicago Central Area Committee and the Urban Land Institute and currently serves on the CCAC – ULI Infrastructure Committee. He also serves on the JFMC Facilities Corporation Steering Committee of the Jewish United Fund. In addition, Mr. Galler is the former Chair of the Real Property Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association and continues to serve on that committee’s Condominium Subcommittee. He also formerly served on the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees of Beth Emet Synagogue. Mr. Galler has been a frequent speaker at bar association and continuing legal education seminars and has authorized numerous articles for real estate and law firm publications. He is also a member of IRELA, REIA, ABA and ISBA.
Mr. Galler earned his Juris Doctor from Northwestern University School of Law, and earned his Bachelor of Arts, with Cum Laude distinction, from the University of Pennsylvania.
Principal | Forum Studio
As an Associate Principal and award-winning urban designer with Forum Studio, Tyler Meyr is a leading conceptual thinker with a strong national and international portfolio of projects including built work in Los Angeles, London, Antwerp, St. Louis, and Istanbul. Having earned his Bachelor and Master of Architecture from Tulane University and Master of Architecture in Urban Design from Harvard University, he utilizes more than 15 years of experience in urban design, planning, and architecture to address the complex challenges of today’s urban environment. His unique blend of urban design and architecture talent allow him to serve as a link between the two disciplines, synthesizing context and program, along with the input of vital stakeholders into a cohesive vision. As the Lead Designer on many of Forum Studio’s most important projects, Tyler strategically integrates diverse inputs into vibrant, distinctive, and inclusive urban environments. His passion for our city and its public spaces has made the CCAC a dream opportunity to collectively envision and advocate for its future.
Partner | Jenner & Block
Donald I. Resnick focuses his practice in commercial real estate on a national and local basis. Clients seek his counsel on all types of real estate transactions, financing, leasing, development and construction and corporate real estate needs. He also has significant experience in real estate-related loan and equity restructuring and workouts. Mr. Resnick is Chair of the Firm’s Real Estate Practice, Co-Chair of the Firm’s Real Estate Securities Practice, and Co-Chair of its Real Estate Finance Litigation and Workout Task Force.
Chambers USA has consistently named Mr. Resnick one of the country’s leading lawyers in real estate law. He was listed in Best Lawyers in America for real estate law, elected by his peers as an Illinois Super Lawyer in real estate transactions, and amed a leading lawyer in real estate finance law and commercial real estate law in the Leading Lawyers Network survey of more than 52,000 Illinois lawyers. Mr. Resnick is AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale- Hubbell’s highest peer recognition for ethical standards and legal ability. Mr. Resnick serves the Firm as Co-Chair of the Business Services and Transaction Executive Committee and is a past member of the Management Committee. He has given seminars and written articles regarding various real estate issues including complex like-kind exchanges, real estate workouts and loan and equity restructures, dual agency for brokers and real estate contract negotiations. He is a guest lecturer for the real estate program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He is also a member of the Chicago Central Area Committee, a group of civic leaders dedicated to the economic development of Chicago’s downtown community.
Director of Urban Design and Planning | Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Douglas Voigt is a Director with the Chicago office of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill. Together with Philip Enquist, he leads the urban design and planning practice within the global design firm. Over the last couple of years, SOM has been scripting a vision for the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Region that advocates new bi-national thinking and a comprehensive strategy for the future of the region. SOM is currently engaged in discussions with multiple stakeholders in both the United States and Canada to address the issues centered on the phenomenal increase worldwide in human population, the impacts of urbanization, and the threats of climate change that could impact the Great Lakes.
Since joining SOM in 1995, Doug has focused on complex urban plans and architectural projects. He is interested in the capacity of urban design to build communities and connect people to one another. Doug’s work is distinguished by a passionate appreciation for each project’s unique challenges and the need for a comprehensive and innovative response. Doug balances innovative thinking with a realistic, hands-on process. As a designer and planner, he has worked closely with cities, institutions, and developers across the globe. Although each project has its own story, a common focus on building long-term partnerships with clients and their communities motivates his approach to urban planning. Over the last two decades, he has learned to unite disparate stakeholders under a cohesive vision, transforming abstract ideas into physical realities.
Doug is a strong advocate that the principles of sustainable design underlie every plan. He is a committed to pursuing new ideas to advance the design of mixed-use, pedestrian-oriented communities with accessible public transportation, renewable sources of energy, healthy ecologies, and a balanced approach for development.
Vice Chairman | Newmark Grubb Knight Frank
With a career spanning over 30 years and 13 million square feet in completed assignments valued at more than $7 billion, Bob Chodos is one of the premier tenant representation specialists in the Chicago area and nationally. Bob applies a tenacious and focused negotiation style to every transaction and has a proven reputation for delivering the most aggressive deal terms for his clients. He is a recognized leader in corporate headquarter consolidation/relocation projects as well as for assignments ranging from strategic real estate planning, large relocations and build-to-suits, data/technology center site selection and development, big box warehouse and manufacturing site selection, incentives procurement, and construction.
In order to advise on all potential scenarios, Bob offers a diverse platform of disciplines including Corporate Services, Transaction Management, Lease Auditing, Lease Restructure, Lease Negotiations, Subleasing/Dispositions, Construction/Project Management, Strategic Planning and Benchmarking. Bob’s vast experience, skillset, and tenacity continue to be an asset to his clients and to Colliers International.
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Kelly O’Brien is the Executive Director of the Chicago Central Area Committee. Her career spans both the public and private sectors and she has distinguished herself as a creative and strategic thinker. As Executive Director of CCAC, Kelly manages a brain trust of Chicago leaders interested in planning and development by applying best practices to enhance the public good. Approaching its 60th anniversary, this civic group has been at the center of major initiatives impacting the city and helping it grow into the global destination it is today.
Before moving back “home” to Chicago, Kelly was affiliated with the County Executives of America (CEA), the only non-partisan association dedicated specifically to chief elected county officials. Serving as the Deputy Director of CEA and Director of a major initiative, the County Executive Telecommunications Network, Kelly worked closely with both the legislative and executive branches of the federal government as well as county governments in 45 of the 50 states. Her portfolio included economic development, housing, workforce development and homeland security issues.
Previously, Kelly served at the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration (EDA) as Director of Public Affairs and as the liaison for the Secretary to the nation’s premier leaders of business, government and academia regarding American competitiveness. Prior to joining the President’s team, Kelly was an Associate at a New York investment banking firm, where she specialized in affordable housing and healthcare facility municipal bond finance. As an influential member of the industry, Kelly served on the Board of Directors for the National Leased Housing Association. After completing law school, she was engaged as the Director of the Government Policy and Practice Group of a large Midwestern law firm. She has been involved at every level of political campaigns in races from school board to Presidential elections, in several states. Kelly also served in the George H. W. Bush administration in communication and congressional affairs capacities. She began her career in the Office of Communications for the First Lady in the White House. She then became Special Assistant to the Director of Congressional Affairs at the Interstate Commerce Commission.
Kelly received a degree in Political Communications from The George Washington University and her J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She is a former elected official in Illinois, serving as Alderman of the 4th Ward of Palos Hills and as Chairman of the Economic Development Committee. Kelly is Vice President of the U.S. Board of Directors for All Hallows College in Dublin, Ireland and received the International St Vincent de Paul Vincentian Charism Award for public service.