Two longtime ULI members and industry icons passed away during the month of May. Their leadership, insights, and engagement will be missed.
John C. Cushman, III, former chairman of global real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield and a ULI Trustee, passed away on May 4th at the age of 82.
A ULI member since 1983, Cushman served on several Urban Development/Mixed Use Council (UDMUC) flights and was a featured speaker at several other councils. He could often be found at ULI Spring and Fall meetings speaking at sessions and providing his insights on the state of the real estate market. In addition to philanthropic contributions, John served ULI locally as a member of ULI Los Angeles’ Strategic Advisors and co-chair of the Local Arrangements Committee for the 2005 Fall Meeting.
Cushman followed in the footsteps of his grandfather, the co-founder of Cushman & Wakefield, helping open the firm’s Los Angeles office and later serving as chairman. He built a tremendous legacy over the course of his 60-year career in commercial real estate, taking particular pride in the countless careers he influenced in a positive way. He is survived by his beloved family – his wife Jeanine, four sons, and 10 grandchildren.
“John was a titan of the real estate world and the communities in which he engaged throughout his life,” said ULI Global CEO Ron Pressman, who knew Cushman personally for several years. “He was a master of his craft and built great real estate services companies. His good work propelled the careers of thousands of people. He surrounded himself with terrific talent and frequently gathered thought leaders to his business events and ranch in Idaho. As a result, he became a thought leader himself. He has left an enduring legacy in the real estate world and will be long remembered.”
Sam Zell, CEO and Chairman of Equity Residential, passed away May 18th at the age of 81.
A ULI member since 1976 and a ULI Foundation Governor, Zell was generous with his time and resources. He spoke at several ULI events, sharing his wealth of industry knowledge and experience with all generations of ULI members.
Zell founded Equity Group Investments in Chicago in 1968, investing in real estate and many other industries in the decades that followed. He launched several successful real estate investment trusts (REITs) and has been credited with helping create the modern REIT. Throughout his successful 60-year career, Zell built a reputation as a creative thinker and an enthusiastic entrepreneur. He is survived by his beloved family – his wife Helen, three children, and nine grandchildren.
Randy Rowe, Chairman of Green Courte Partners, LLC, and past ULI Global Chair, reflected on Zell’s career and influence on many in the industry. “Sam was one of the real estate industry’s true innovators, being one of the first to create a private equity opportunity fund (Zell Merrill Lynch funds); appreciate the importance of bringing public discipline and liquidity to real estate through REIT’s (Manufactured Home Communities, Equity Residential and Equity Office); and participate in the globalization of real estate (Equity International). He was a mentor to many and left an indelible imprint on anyone who had the privilege and opportunity to learn from him.”