Host a CIWI Intern At Your Company This Summer
ULI SF is again partnering with CIWI to provide internships to college students from lower-income households who are interested in land use.
Get to know some of the ULI San Francisco members who work hard behind the scenes to develop the events and initiatives our District Council is known for. These industry leaders come from a variety of real estate land use sectors and lend their expertise and time to drive the work of our committees. We’ve asked these committee co-chairs to answer questions around their involvement with ULI San Francisco.
Jim Ellis, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee
Co-Founder and Managing Principal, Ellis Partners
Q: How did you first get involved with ULI and your committee?
I have been a ULI member for 30 years. My primary motivation for joining ULI was to get involved in ULI product councils. My most recent committee involvement stemmed from our deep involvement in Oakland and our desire to accelerate our contribution to positive change in DEI.
Q: What’s a memorable connection you’ve made through ULI?
My first product council was SSDC (small scale development council). It was so rewarding, as a young professional, to compare notes with so many dynamic and impactful developers in this group. It served as a real inspiration for me to think big and persevere.
Q: What keeps you engaged with ULI SF and what are you most excited about in the near future?
What keeps me engaged is the opportunity to continue my education in the industry while at the same time offering my knowledge to others through committee leadership and mentoring. More specifically, I am particularly motivated by the ULI SF DEI Committee efforts to expand career pathways for those who historically have not had the opportunity to be part of our industry.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish in the next year?
We (ULI SF DEI Committee) are focused on building our alliance with Construction Industry Workforce Initiative (CIWI) to help them expand and place their pipeline of young adult professionals with BIPOC/first generation diversity. We are helping them significantly expand their internship program for 2022 and beyond.
Q: What’s your leadership philosophy/style?
Set a bold vision and engage with your organization to help them define and realize it. We are all far more capable that we may think we are so leadership must help us realize our true potential. Being transparent, accessible and respectful is critical to effective leadership.
Q: What’s front of mind for you right now?
Navigating an increasingly opaque macro-economic environment. We may be entering a new phase in our industry that the millennial generation has never experienced which requires that us Gen Xers (and Boomers) be engaged with and constantly mentoring our teams. This is even more critical in a post pandemic environment.
Q: Who has been an instrumental person in your career?
I have to say my father. I had the honor and privilege to work with him for the first 15 years of Ellis Partners, a company that I co-founded with him and my sister Melinda Ellis Evers. It is a very unique circumstance where such a familial and business relationship can thrive and be mutually respectful and rewarding. I gained so much knowledge from his mentorship and I think he very much appreciated being able to work with his children.
Q: Outside of work and ULI, what do you enjoy doing?
I love the outdoors. I most enjoy skiing, hiking and lake time. I also have an affliction with old cars. I find that as we evolve (ie: get old), being in nature or pursuing your passions is critical to keeping your mind pliable and open to new ideas.