A primary objective for place managers is fostering a healthy, sustainable, diverse and prosperous economy for the managed place. The place manager collaborates and works closely with various levels of local and regional economic development organizations, developers, real estate brokers, private firms, philanthropic foundations, destination management organizations, non-profits, and state and federal government agencies, while representing the specific and unique needs, challenges and trends of the managed place.
Additionally, the place manager will work to recruit and retain businesses, conduct market research, encourage a strong local workforce, maintain a diverse mix of commercial and residential development, and facilitate a built environment that is accessible for all users to live, work, play, visit and invest.
Susan Mernit Master Talk
Susan Mernit is a serial tech and media entrepreneur, a Tech Stars alumni and a former consultant to the Knight Foundation. She is the founder of Oakland Local, an early—and still active—hyperlocal non-profit news site with a focus on diverse community voices. Hack the Hood, a tech inclusion non-profit she co-founded, was a 2014 winner of the Google Bay Area Impact Challenge. Hack the Hood, Oakland-based non-profit, opens up the opportunity pipeline in tech for low-income young people of
Molly Turner Master Talk
Molly Turner is the Global Head of Civic Partnerships at Airbnb, where she built and directs the company’s public-private partnerships program. She works with the Airbnb local community and their civic leaders on a variety of projects focused on sustainability, economic development, resiliency and hospitality. She also directs Airbnb’s policy research examining the business model’s various impacts on urban economics, environment and communities.
Gabe Metcalf Master Talk
Gabriel Metcalf is the President & CEO of SPUR. Under his leadership, SPUR has grown dramatically in influence and membership. Before becoming head of SPUR 2005, Gabe headed up SPUR’s policy and advocacy work for five years. A prolific writer and speaker, Gabriel earned his Master’s degree in city planning from the University of California, Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design.
Former Mayor Edwin Lee Master Talk
Before passing in 2017, Edwin Lee was an American politician and attorney who served as the 43rd Mayor of San Francisco, and was the first Asian American to hold the office.
David Dixon Master Talk
David Dixon leads Stantec’s Urban Places Group, an interdisciplinary practice committed to helping cities and suburbs alike manage the accelerating pace of social, economic, and environmental change for community benefit. During his master talk at the 62nd Annual Conference & Tradeshow in Atlanta, Georgia, Sept. 7-9, 2016, David explored the challenges in building an equitable city.
Lourdes Ramirez Master Talk
Lourdes M. Castro Ramírez is an accomplished executive dedicated to building partnerships, improving lives and communities, and expanding economic, educational and health opportunities. She is currently the President of the University Health System Foundation in San Antonio, Bexar County, and South Texas.
Michael Berne Master Talk
Michael Berne is one of North America’s foremost experts in Downtown and Main Street retail. As President of MJB Consulting (MJB), he has worked in cities and towns across the U.S., Canada and the U.K., and he has also spoken and written extensively on the subject. He is currently penning a chapter to a forthcoming volume on Suburban Downtowns and writing a book on “A New Retail Paradigm for the City Center.”
Jeffrey Robinson Master Talk
Jeffrey A. Robinson, Ph.D. is an award-winning business school professor, international speaker and entrepreneur. Since 2008, he has been a leading faculty member at Rutgers Business School where he is an associate professor of management and entrepreneurship and the Academic Director of The Center for Urban Entrepreneurship & Economic Development. Dr. Robinson is a passionate advocate for social entrepreneurship, inclusive innovation and economic development.
Janet Marie Smith Master Talk
Janet Marie Smith was named Dodgers’ senior vice president of planning and development in 2012. Since then, she has overseen large-scale improvement projects at Dodger Stadium and Campo Las Palmas. Smith is best known for her work on the construction and design of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which set the standard for a new wave of ballparks after its opening in 1992.Watch
Simon O’Byrne Master Talk
Simon O’Byrne is an award-winning urban designer/planner with Stantec’s Urban Places who has been frequently quoted in European and North America media and spoken at many international conferences. Simon has led multi-disciplinary design teams in the planning and delivery of complex and politically charged projects. His experience ranges from intensive urban revitalization redevelopments, to the Ice District in Edmonton, to creating resiliency in Hull, UK, to the Alberta Legislature Grounds.Watch