ULI San Francisco Welcomes a New Associate
ULI San Francisco is excited to introduce Jacqueline Smith as our newest associate.
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.
Brynn McKiernan, Gala Committee Co-Chair and YLG Committee Member
Associate, Emerald Fund
Q. How did you first get involved with ULI and your committee?
I started attending YLG events and programs including Development 360 and the ULI Mentor Program. They are both amazing programs to get started in ULI. Eric Tao was my mentor and when he developed the concept for ULI’s Inaugural Gala and created a Gala Committee – I couldn’t help but volunteer to be a part of this event and celebrate all the good things we have going for us.
Q. What’s a memorable connection you’ve made through ULI?
My ULI Gala Co-Chair Justin Zucker! Justin and I first met when we joined the Gala Committee. He is the best partner for the job, and we have ULI to thank for the connection. It’s been a joy to work with him on the Gala.
Q. What keeps you engaged with ULI SF and what are you most excited about in the near future?
I stay engaged with ULI because of their willingness to discuss the sticky, challenging, real-time issues facing Bay Area real-estate today especially their DEI initiatives. As we emerge from the pandemic, I am most excited to reconnect with ULI SF Members in person and meet all the folks that moved in San Francisco during the pandemic.
Q. What do you hope to accomplish in the next year?
Continue to build more housing. Emerald Fund has built over 5,500 housing units in its 43-year history allowing 5,500 more individuals and families (traditional and non) to live in one of the most dynamic and diverse regions in the country. At Emerald Fund, I want to add more housing to the region, reducing the cost burden for existing residents and welcome new neighbors to the region.
Q. What’s your leadership philosophy/style?
A mix between Democratic and Strategic. Leaders are good at facilitating conversations, synthetize data and making decisions, but that does not make them the smartest person in the room. Building consensus and listening to feedback based on everyone’s strengths and expertise pools the team’s talents together resulting in a better, more optimal outcome.
Q. What’s front of mind for you right now?
ULI’s San Francisco inaugural Gala! The Gala is an opportunity for us to celebrate one another, what the Bay Area real estate community has been through in this pandemic and Reconnect and Renew our engagement with ULI. The Gala Committee has been working overtime to make this a special event and we are excited that the event is finally here.
Q. Who has been an instrumental person in your career?
My first mentor, Alexa Washburn, SVP at National Community Renaissance. Alexa is a housing advocate, a fellow woman in real estate, and a ULI member. She always encouraged me to chase my passion, advocate for myself and career advancements, and get involved in groups like ULI. She guided me in every key professional development decision and taught me how important it was to lift women up in real estate development.