Women’s Leadership Initiative

Formally launched in Charlotte at the ULI 2012 Spring Meeting, the Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) was formed in late 2010 and is now an active part of ULI’s Larson Leadership Initiative. Started in the fall of 2013, ULI Washington is excited to welcome the WLI to our District Council.

Women’s Leadership Initiative


The mission of the WLI is expressed in its four primary objectives:

  • Promote the advancement of women, throughout their careers, as leaders in the real estate industry.
  • Increase the number of women who serve in leadership positions in the real estate industry and in ULI.
  • Increase the visibility of women leaders in the real estate industry and in ULI.
  • Increase the number of women who are active ULI Full members, and support the development of your women members as leaders in ULI and in their profession.

To date, the WLI has provided programming for the Spring and Fall meetings, sponsored networking events and helped women navigate within WLI.

Get Involved

To find out more about WLI and to get involved, please contact ULI Washington.

To learn more about the National Women’s Leadership Initiative, click here.

Read the WLI 2014 Strategic Plan.

ULI Washington WLI

Supporting the WLI Mission, ULI Washington will promote the following themes in all of its initiatives:

  • Leadership Education
  • Meaningful Relationship Building
  • Raising the profile of Women at ULI Washington and other industry events

ULI Washington Initiatives will include (with more coming in the future):

  • Leadership education series of events focused on providing tactics, tools and skills needed for advancement into leadership roles.
  • Meaningful networking and relationship building series of events programmed around fun and interesting activities while providing opportunities for women in the industry to build relationships with one another.
  • Signature series of events held at noteworthy venues and featuring presentations / keynote speakers relevant for personal and professional growth and development

What We’re Reading…and Watching

The below publications, articles, books and videos were recommended by the top women leaders who have participated in the Washington WLI.

  • “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg
  • “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”  TED Talk by Simon Sinek
  • “Management Time:  Who’s Got the Monkey?” Harvard Business Review article by William Oncken, Jr. and and Donald L. Wass
  • “Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work & in Life, One Conversation at a Time” by Susan Scott
  • “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Steven Covey
  • “Emotional Intelligence 2.0” by Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves
  • “Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time” Harvard Business Review article by Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy
  • “The Handbook for Leaders” by John H. Zenger and Joseph Folkman
  • “StrengthsFinder 2.0″ by Tom Rath
  • “Whale Done! The Power of Positive Relationships” by Ken Blanchard
  • HBR Article :  “Management Time:  Who’s Got the Monkey?”

WLI Washington Leadership

Roberson.1Kathy Roberson, WLI Washington Chair

President & CEO, Combined Properties

Kathy Roberson directs all of Combined’s strategic, growth, operational, and financial activities. She joined the company in 1990. Prior to becoming President & CEO, she held numerous other positions including: Financial Analyst, Director of Acquisitions, Senior Vice President – Capital Markets, and Chief Financial Officer. She has been credited with numerous notable achievements including establishing a growth unit in mid-2002 in Los Angeles, CA resulting in the acquisition of 18 new development and institutional grade assets totaling in excess of $600 million in value, and commencing a mixed-use development initiative on both coasts resulting in an active development pipeline in excess of $700 million. Her recapitalization and restructuring of the company has resulted in the highest occupancy level, profitability and value in its history.

EarnestPatricia Earnest, WLI Washington Co-Chair

Managing Director, PRC, LLC

Patricia Earnest joined PRC, LLC (“PRC”), a real estate investment banking firm based in Washington, DC as Managing Director. PRC to lead a business practice focused on providing innovative specialty capital solutions to real estate developer and investor clients in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions. Through an affiliated company, PRP Investors, the firm manages over $200 million in private equity invested in real estate.

Patricia is charged with expanding PRC’s capabilities in structuring and arranging equity and specialty debt capitalization for the acquisition, repositioning and development of real property.

Patricia has an established track record of over 25 years of real estate investment and capital markets relationships and experience. Prior to her role with PRC, Patricia most recently led equity and structured finance efforts at Transwestern and Walker & Dunlop also based in the Washington DC region.

She has executed over $3.8 billion in transactional volume in representing institutional and entrepreneurial owners in their capitalization and acquisition/disposition of over 16 million square feet of investment grade real estate: mixed use, multifamily, retail and commercial office properties since 1987.

Patricia continues to specialize in providing innovative capital strategies and exceptional executions in capitalizing more complex, mixed use acquisitions and development projects.

Patricia holds a Masters of Management in Finance, Marketing and Accounting from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management and was recognized as an F.C. Austin and a Baker Scholar.

She is a member of ULI, ULI Small Scale Development Council/Gold (to 2017), Women’s Leadership ULI Steering Committee & Vice Chair. She is also an active participant International Council of Shopping Centers and the DCBIA Capital Markets Committee.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAKelly Nagel, WLI Washington Assistant Chair

Development Manager, AvalonBay Communities

Kelly Nagel serves as a development executive for AvalonBay Communities, a real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on developing, redeveloping, acquiring, and managing high-quality apartment communities in high barrier-to-entry markets of the United States.  Ms. Nagel joined the Mid-Atlantic development team at AvalonBay after the purchase of Archstone, a luxury apartment developer, owner, and operator.

She is actively involved in the sourcing, underwriting, design, construction, and stabilization of AvalonBay’s newest development projects in the Washington DC region, and is currently overseeing several new high-end apartment developments in region with a total expected investment of nearly $500M.

Prior to joining Archstone, Ms. Nagel worked at Regency Centers, a leading retail REIT, and led the creation of pro forma and financial analyses for 150 operating shopping centers in the east coast portfolio, as well as underwriting acquisitions, the development pipeline and in-process construction projects.   She also has extensive strategic planning and project management experience that she earned at several organizations, including multifamily developer Wood Partners, the Defense Intelligence Agency, IBM, and Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting).

Ms. Nagel serves on the Executive Committee of ULI’s Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI), and co-chairs the ULI Washington WLI steering committee.  She is also a sustaining member and past board member of the Junior League of Northern Virginia, where she led fund development efforts for the philanthropic organization.  Ms. Nagel holds a Master of Business Administration from Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Accounting from Washington and Lee University.

Related Posts

Link to WLI event Recaps