Beth Silverman is a senior practitioner and thought leader at the intersections of social impact, urban planning, real estate development and public policy. Beth’s 15-year career includes leadership roles in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors focused on building livable, equitable and resilient communities. Since 2018, Beth has served as the founding Executive Director of the Lotus Campaign. Under Beth’s leadership, the Lotus Campaign developed 14 partnerships with nonprofits, landlords and funders to facilitate housing for over 280 individuals at an annual cost of less than $800 per person and received an honorable mention in Fast Company’s 2020 World Changing Ideas competition. Beth also participated in the 2020 class of SEED20 nonprofit entrepreneurs.
Prior to leading the Lotus Campaign, Beth tackled complex land use and real estate development challenges in communities across the U.S. and internationally. From 2014 to 2018, Beth served as Vice President of Advisory Services at the Urban Land Institute, designing technical assistance programs that addressed a range of challenges from equitable urban redevelopment to planning for resilience. She co-created the Equitable Economic Development Fellowship program with the National League of Cities and Policy Link to help equity, transparency, sustainability and community engagement become driving forces in local economic development efforts and to strengthen public sector leadership.
From 2005 to 2013, Beth oversaw and managed large-scale real estate, policy, and economic development initiatives throughout the New York City region. While at the NYC Economic Development Corporation, Beth managed a $110 million portfolio of 10 projects that created mixed-income housing, including over 300 units of affordable housing, five new cultural assets, and 16,000 square feet of high-quality public space.
Beth holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland and a graduate degree in City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. She is an active member of the Urban Land Institute and serves on the board of the Petersburgh Community Development Corporation. When not working, Beth can usually be found outside; running, biking, surfing, and hiking, and generally encouraging friends and family to enjoy the great outdoors with as much unabashed enthusiasm as she does.
Her personal motto is: “Find out who you are and do it on purpose", which she proudly lifted from Dolly Parton.
Michelle made an intentional move to the non-profit sector 10 years ago following a diverse career, primarily in the areas of banking and marketing. To support her transition to a fundraising professional, she earned her credential as a Certified Fundraising Executive "CFRE" and received a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Duke University. In her previous leadership roles as regional Director of Development and VP of Advancement, she was instrumental in the development of strategic plans, designing and deploying comprehensive philanthropic programs, community building and cultivating relationships.
Her commitment to non-profit work has been a life-long journey as she's held board and leadership positions in her church, cultural organizations and women's service and giving organizations over the last three decades. She is currently a member of the Women's Impact Fund in Charlotte, NC sitting on the Community Impact Committee. Michelle has served as the face of these organizations, as well as on behalf of her employers - speaking to groups, leading sessions at conferences, preparing and giving presentations to boards and key constituents.
When not at work, Michelle enjoys cooking, reading, entertaining, attending sporting events and being outdoors in nature. She and her husband, Bill, enjoy life in the charming southern town of Belmont located just west of Charlotte.
Her life purpose follows the words of John Wesley - "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can."
Philip is one of the co-founders of Lotus Campaign. He considers himself a pragmatic idealist who believes that it is possible to do good while doing well.
For nearly 30 years, Philip has worked to produce and maintain multifamily rental housing that is affordable to the workforce. During this time, he has served in various roles at a number of real estate companies including being Chairman of a public company, CFO of both a private and public company, and a Board Member and Audit Committee Chairman for two public companies. He has extensive experience and expertise in the areas of development, acquisition, rehabilitation, management, operation, financing, tax and legal issues of multifamily housing. He is currently the chairman of Ginkgo REIT, which provides workforce housing in Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. He is a Trustee of the Urban Land Institute, the founding chairman of its Responsible Property Investment Council and the current Chair of ULI Charlotte. He is also a member of the National Multifamily Housing Council. Philip holds both a BS in Psychology and a JD from the College of William & Mary.
Molly is a co-founder of Lotus Campaign. She describes herself as a Scout, Map Maker, and Bridge Builder. She’s the CEO and Founder of HaydenTanner, a strategic real estate advisory firm focused on accelerating impact investment & sustainability in the built environment. Molly founded HaydenTanner after spending many years with large financial institutions in commercial real estate finance, capital markets and development. She has spent her career cultivating practical solutions and strategies to accelerate the emergence of resilient buildings and vibrant, sustainable cities.
She is the former Chair of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Responsible Property Investment Council and sits on the Board of The Freshwater Trust. She holds a BS in Managerial Economics from University of California at Davis and an MBA in Finance from the University of San Francisco. Originally from San Francisco, she now lives in Montana with her family and a host of pets.
The quote that lives over her desk says, “The only death you die is the death you die every day by not living. Dream big and dare to fail.” -Norman Vaughn, Alaska, age 93
Steve’s career in real estate spans over 45 years and includes experience in real estate investment banking, advisory and consulting services, capital markets, and mergers and acquisitions. In addition to serving as the senior officer responsible for all real estate activities for three Wall Street investment banking firms, Steve has served as an Independent Director as well as non-Executive Chairman, lead Director, and Committee Chair (Audit and Nominating and Governance Committees) of public companies focused in the multifamily residential, shopping center and hospitality sectors. After retiring from the investment banking, Steve joined the Urban Land Institute as Senior Fellow, Real Estate Capital Markets. Steve is involved in charitable activities including serving as member of the Board of the Boca West Children’s Foundation.
Paul is an Executive Vice President for the Urban Land Institute (ULI), a nonprofit education and research institute that focuses on issues of land use, real estate and urban development. Mr. Bernard manages the Advisory Services, UrbanPlan, and the Awards programs.
Prior to joining ULI, Mr. Bernard served as Vice President at Enterprise Community Partners, Inc., where he led the organization’s national public-sector and community development advisory practice. Previously, Paul held several senior roles in government and the private sector, including Senior Vice President at Walker & Dunlop where he led the company’s Institutional Investment Advisory practice and a Principal at MunieMae, managing the growth and operations for approximately $1.0 billion in institutional capital.
He’s held senior positions at the City of Detroit, including Director of Planning and Development, and at Public Financial Management (PFM), as a Senior Managing Consultant for federal, state and local municipalities and public authorities on traditional and alternative financing initiatives. Mr. Bernard served on various boards and civic organizations, including: The National Association of Real Estate Investment Mangers; the Steers Center for Global Real Estate (Georgetown University McDonough School of Business); the Strawberry Mansion Neighborhood Action Center; and the Baltimore Station.
Mr. Bernard holds a master’s in Public Policy from Harvard University, an MBA from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.
Sylvia is the Chief Investment Officer at Ellevest, a technology-enabled financial company built by women, for women. In this role, she is responsible for creating the investment solutions, strategies, portfolios, and proprietary algorithms that drive Ellevest’s investment recommendations across both automated digital and customized private wealth advisory services. She guides the firm’s investment philosophy and leads the development and due diligence of Ellevest’s impact and gender forward investments.
Prior to joining Ellevest, Sylvia was a founding member of the investment steam at Financial Engines, L.L.C. one of the first successful digital advisors. During her tenure, she developed scalable, robust investment processes to manage over $14B in AUM for over 200,000+ client accounts.
In 2010, Sylvia co-founded the boutique RIA firm SimplySmart Asset Management, serving individual investors with fully customized global investment solutions. Her financial services experience also includes portfolio management positions at Charles Schwab Investment Management, where she was director of equity quantitative research, and at the Boston Company, where she managed over $500 million in institutional fixed-income assets.
Sylvia is a Director of Exit 182 Group, LLC where she shares responsibility for the fiduciary oversight of Grinnell College’s $2B endowment.
Sylvia earned a B.S. in applied mathematics and computer science from Brown University and a Ph.D. in engineering-economic systems from Stanford University. Her doctoral dissertation on investor behavior and social interaction was one of the first in the field of behavioral finance.
Jeralyn Gerba is the co-founder of Fathom, the award-winning travel website providing world-curious travelers with inspiration, expert recommendations, and advisory services. Her book, Travel Anywhere, was published in April 2019 and she is also the creator and host of the A Way to Go podcast with iHeart Radio. Before Fathom, Jeralyn was on the founding editorial team of the groundbreaking (and cultish!) newsletter company DailyCandy. She began her journalism career nearly 20 years ago writing on architecture and design before moving on to investigating culture both from an anthropological and service journalism lens. She has spent the past 10 years working on service journalism in the travel space and launching Fathom with the goal of helping people connect with places that are special and meaningful and become better travelers and global citizens. Jeralyn has written for various publications — including T, Domino, NY Mag, and Men’s Journal — and has been an on-air reporter for media outlets like NPR and Good Morning America.
Mary Ruth, one of the co-founders of Lotus Campaign, began her career as a psychologist at a large public hospital where she developed and evaluated treatment programs for children, adolescents, and adults dealing with mental illness or chemical dependency. As the deinstitutionalization movement progressed, she became an administrator and collaborated with the clinical directors of nine community services boards in the Tidewater region of Virginia to ensure comprehensive coordination of services before and after discharge. She was also responsible for media and public relations activities and worked closely with advocacy and civic groups on projects that promoted interest in the hospital and understanding of mental health issues. Later, in the private sector, she managed two start-up chemical dependency and mental health inpatient programs where she supervised all clinical and support staff, and prepared the programs for review by the national Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO) and for inspections for Medicare coverage and state licensure.
Mary Ruth holds a MA in psychology from the College of William & Mary and a BA in English from Cleveland State University. She describes herself as a reader, outdoors enthusiast, and nana to seven exceptional grandchildren.
As principal at Direct Invest, Carlton is focused on developing strategies to bring capital markets to disinvested communities to invest in the development of “sustainable restorative” human settlements.
This strategy of sustainable restorative development addresses human social, economic and cultural capital development while at the same time preserving environmental resources for future generations and returning a market rate of return for investors. Brown’s work has continuously pointed the way forward. Carlton was exploring these strategies in the development of low carbon footprint affordable housing in economically devastated communities of Brooklyn, NY and developing mixed income condominiums in Harlem, heated and cooled by geothermal extraction and injection. This triple bottom line approach has continued to demonstrate that you can do good while doing well.
Brown is spearheading Direct Investment’s initiative in helping community based organizations mine value from their under-utilized real estate assets via sustainable development strategies.
Brown’s long-term focus is on developing strategies that create sustainable restorative human settlement to heal the physical & human fabric of communities. He has been leading Direct Invest in strategies to develop “closed loop” triple bottom line developments in the “developed northern hemisphere” and in rural sub-Saharan Africa. These developments address strategies for adapting to climate change, reducing climate impacts from human settlement and creating communities in which all people can be self-actualized.
As Executive Vice President of Avanath Capital, Keith is responsible for the firm’s Acquisitions program. Avanath is a vertically integrated real estate investment firm that acquires, renovates, owns and operates affordable, workforce and value-oriented apartment communities across the U.S.
Prior to Avanath, Harris was Principal of CKG Advisors LLC, an investment and advisory business focused on the multifamily industry and ancillary investment opportunities. Harris also was Senior Vice President of the Bozzuto Group, an experience-focused real estate company that developed, acquired and built more than 42,000 homes and apartments. His responsibilities included institutional capital raising and client relations. Prior to Bozzuto, Harris spent 14 years at The Laramar Group, most recently as Chief Investment Officer.
Harris also spent 12 years with Heitman Capital Management and JMB Realty Corporation as Senior Vice President. His 35 years of experience in real estate includes acquisitions, dispositions, asset management, lending, property management and partnership structuring.
Harris is the Chairman of the Multi-Family Green Council of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), an active member of the National Multi-Family Housing Council (NMHC), a past chairman and current member of the Board of Directors of the not-for-profit, Over the Rainbow Association and an advisor to several property-tech firms and funds. He has a BA in Economics from Carleton College.
Kathy Izard was an award-winning graphic designer for twenty years in Charlotte before launching the pilot program Homeless to Homes for the interfaith Urban Ministry Center in 2007. She led the city-wide effort to build Moore Place, Charlotte’s first permanent supportive housing for chronically homeless men and women. After Moore Place opened in 2012, Kathy worked on numerous civic projects most recently leading the development campaign for HopeWay, Charlotte’s first nonprofit residential mental health treatment center which opened in 2016. She wrote about these efforts in her memoir The Hundred Story Home which received the 2017 Christopher Award. In 2019, she released A Good Night for Mr. Coleman, a children’s book written to encourage kids to dream big and Do Good. Kathy is the recipient of the Bank of America Neighborhood Hero Award, the NC Housing Volunteer of the Year Award and recognized as a William J. Clinton Distinguished Guest Lecturer. Her work and her books have been featured on NPR as well as the Today Show inspiring people to be changemakers in their communities.
Tom Murphy, ULI Canizaro/Klingbeil Families Chair for Urban Development, is a senior resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute. A former mayor of Pittsburgh, he has extensive experience in urban revitalization—what drives investment, what ensures long-lasting commitment.
Murphy served three terms as mayor of Pittsburgh, between 1994 and 2005. During that time, he initiated a public/private partnership strategy that leveraged more than $4.5 billion in economic development in the city. Murphy led efforts to secure and oversee $1 billion in funding for the development of two professional sports facilities, and a new convention center - the largest certified green building in the United States. He developed strategic partnerships to transform more than 1,000 acres of blighted, abandoned industrial properties into new commercial, residential, retail, and public uses, and development of more than 25 miles of new riverfront trails and parks.
Previously Murphy served eight terms in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and in the Peace Corps in Paraguay from 1970 to 1972. He holds a Master of Science in urban studies from Hunter College and a Bachelor of Science in biology and chemistry from John Carroll University.
He is an honorary member of the American Society of Landscape Architects; a board member of Harmony Development Inc. of New Orleans; president of the board of the Wild Waterways Conservancy of Pennsylvania; and a board member of Mountain Lake Inc. of Virginia.
Ed McMahon holds the Charles E. Fraser Chair on Sustainable Development at the Urban Land Institute where he is a leading authority on economic development and land use polices and trends.
As a senior fellow McMahon leads ULI’s worldwide efforts to conduct research and educational activities related to environmentally sensitive development policies and practices. He’s also Chairman of the Board of the National Main Street Center and Senior Advisor to ULI’s Healthy Places Initiative.
Previously, McMahon spent 14 years as Vice President and Director of Land Use Programs for The Conservation Fund, protecting more than 5 million acres of land. He co-founded and was President of Scenic America, a non-profit devoted to protecting America’s scenic landscapes. He taught law and public policy at Georgetown University for 9 years, and served in the U.S. Army, both at home and abroad.
McMahon is the author or co-author of 15 books and over 500 articles and has worked with more than 600 communities on a wide variety of land use and economic development issues.
He’s served on numerous advisory boards including: Chesapeake Conservancy, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Preservation Maryland, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the Home Depot Foundation and the Orton Family Foundation.
McMahon has a BS from Spring Hill College; an M.A. in Urban Studies from the University of Alabama, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law School.
Brenden leads consulting work at Integral Group, the global leader in deep green engineering and low carbon design. He advises half of the Fortune 10 on climate and sustainability strategy. Brenden has over 15 years of experience in energy and carbon solutions in the built environment at all scales – from
home renovations to campus master plans to statewide regulations.
Prior to joining Integral Group, Brenden served as Pacific Region Director for the US Green Building Council. At USGBC, he ran all programs for the $80M organization’s largest market, and his office in San Francisco was USGBC’s primary lead with Fortune 100 companies, cleantech startups, and high
performance building product and service providers.
Before that he was the Director for Urban Resilience at the Urban Land Institute, the largest global Real Estate think tank, where he oversaw the organization’s work helping communities to prepare, plan for, absorb, recover from, and more successfully adapt to impacts from climate change.
Earlier in his career, Brenden established the City of Santa Monica as an internationally recognized leader in sustainability and high performance building practices. At the City, he developed green building codes, policies, incentive programs, and educational programs and acted as the City’s primary
technical consultant for over $400 million in capital projects.
He served as Board Chair of the USGBC-Los Angeles Chapter for two years. In addition to his public policy background, Brenden ran operations for the largest green building materials retailer in Southern California and has extensive experience with environmental cleanup and remediation projects at top engineering firms.
Brenden is a LEED AP (BD+C) and has lectured internationally on sustainability, green building, and environmental policy. He is a graduate of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and of Yale University.