I would like to thank everyone who has contacted me and the ULI team in the past few weeks with messages of help and support. It was really humble to see the depth of the care and dedication of all of you for our organization.
Over the past week, the daily disorder caused by COVID-19 has increased significantly, and it is obvious that limited contact with other people over a longer period of time will be required to stop the virus from spreading. Our primary concern has always been to protect the health of our members and employees, and it is now highly unlikely that we can safely hold the May meeting. Following the latest directions from the U.S. and Canadian health authorities, our Global Board of Directors has decided to cancel the spring meeting.
We are very grateful for the tremendous efforts of our host committee and our Toronto staff who have worked with us to develop some exceptional programs for the meeting. We are of course disappointed that we cannot present the vibrant city of Toronto and demonstrate the impact of ULI in Canada. However, our event team quickly and successfully negotiated new negotiations with the Metro Toronto Convention Center and partner hotels so that we can host the spring 2023 meeting in Toronto.
Our immediate goal is to communicate our decision to cancel this year’s meeting so that you can adjust your plans accordingly. We will be writing to our registered attendees and sponsors next week directly about their options and process for receiving refunds or assigning their commitments to future ULI events and programs. We ask that you wait for our customer service team to contact you so that we can make the refund process as efficient as possible.
I want you to know that we are breaking new ground for members to connect and share best practices online worldwide. Working with our Product Council team, our council chairpersons have created plans for virtual council meetings so members don’t have to wait until the fall meeting to continue their discussions and learn together. We are also expanding our webinar series so that all members can continue to access business-related information on a wide variety of topics, with the insights shared by member experts around the world. Webinars are advertised via email and email Americas websiteand the free member-only recordings will be available later so you can access them when needed Knowledge finder, along with the rest of our content.
In these unprecedented times, it is important to stop and think about our role in the world and focus on how we can support our cities and communities. For over 80 years, ULI has been a source of best practices and impartial information through its members, as well as a forum where leading real estate companies can share ideas and experiences to create and maintain thriving communities around the world. Through countless market cycles, natural disasters, and unforeseen crises, ULI members were there to help each other understand events and develop new strategies to adapt to the future. Our members have donated their time, talent and resources to help our communities find solutions to their most difficult problems and to rebuild them stronger and more resilient for tomorrow. And so it will be again in the coming weeks and months.
Thank you for your continued support from ULI. My best wishes for the health and safety of you and your family.
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