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Seminar Leader: Henry Joseph
The purpose of this seminar is to provide CDC project managers with an opportunity to develop their knowledge of real estate development and their project planning and problem-solving skills in a setting that will draw on the knowledge and experience of their peers, as well as the seminar leader.
The seminar will meet once a month for 6 months, for about four-and-a-half hours. If possible, the location will rotate each month among the CDCs whose project managers are participating in the seminar.
Each applicant to the seminar will be required to identify a development project in which he or she is playing a lead role and provide some basic information about this project. For those who are approved for the seminar, these projects will then serve as their “case studies”.
In the first part of each meeting, the seminar leader will make a presentation on a specific real estate development topic and then open the topic up for questions and discussion. The focus of this segment will be on project managers gaining a better understanding of relevant topics than is usually possible in the daily rush of managing projects. The topics will address various aspects of the development process. Examples of topics that might be discussed are the process of getting a zoning variance, different approaches to selecting and contracting with a builder, and the various types of project financing.
In the second part of each meeting, three of the participants’ projects will be reviewed and discussed, for about half an hour each. The project manager will briefly present his or her project, describing the basic goals for the project and its current status and then focusing on questions that have arisen, problems or obstacles that have been encountered, and actions that are planned for the near future. The group will then discuss the project, with the other participants and the seminar leader drawing on their own experiences to provide information and ideas to the project manager.
Each project manager will present his or her project in this way every other month, so each project will be discussed three times over the course of the seminar. We will also have brief updates each month on the three projects that are not being reviewed that month.
Time permitting, each session may also include a brief discussion of a policy issue related to affordable housing. The seminar leader will select an issue and send out relevant materials in advance of the meeting.
The seminar also includes “office hours” – two two-hour periods each month when the seminar leader is available to individual participants, by telephone or e-mail, to discuss any development-related topics, including questions about specific programs or projects.
The seminar will run for six months, beginning this fall. All participants will be asked to make a commitment to attend all six meetings, as well as a pre-meeting to be held at LISC to kick off the seminar.
All information provided by participants about the projects on which they are working will be kept strictly confidential.