Sharon Todd

Spouse, ULI member Jim Todd

Governor in the ULI Foundation Governors program

ULI Involvement:
ULI Foundation donor

Personal health is a priority for Jim and Sharon Todd. Nearly every morning, the Todds start their day by walking a two-mile loop on trails that wind through their Virginia community, which was built by the company that Jim led for 25 years.

The Todds like to walk everywhere, in fact, whether their destination is a new restaurant or the grocery store. Once there, they strive to make healthy food choices: Jim says he cleaned up his diet after marrying Sharon, cutting down on red meat and eating more fruits and vegetables.

“Everybody needs to have a broader understanding of and take a greater responsibility for their own health, besides just waking up in the morning,” Sharon Todd says.

The couple decided to expand their personal quest for healthier living by providing a generous gift of $40,000 to support ULI’s publication of Ten Principles of Healthy Communities. The report, which will be published in 2013, will identify ways to incorporate strategies for healthy living into residential developments. The principles will be derived from three ULI Advisory Services panels in Colorado in early 2013 that explored healthy-lifestyle options for communities.

Jim Todd hopes that the Ten Principles report’s recommendations will offer low-cost solutions that are easy to implement. “What I’m hoping is that we don’t make Ten Principles so tough that nobody can do them.”

ULI and the ULI Foundation are committed to engaging the families of ULI members through creative programming. Sharon frequently attends retreats, meetings, and other ULI events with her husband. Not only has her participation given her a “broader understanding of Jim’s workday” while he was president and CEO of Peterson Companies, it has also convinced her of the unique role ULI plays in creating better communities.

“In my opinion, ULI is such a professional organization and its level of expertise is unsurpassed,” she says.

In turn, the spouses of land use professionals provide valuable outside perspective, says Jim, who is now a senior adviser at Peterson.

“It broadens our ability to understand the communities we are developing,” he says.