For October, our featured Member of the Month is Autumn R. Glover, who serves as Women’s Leadership Initiative co-chair for ULI Columbus. In her day job, Glover serves as Director of Local Government and Community Relations for University Hospital East-Ohio State Office of Government Affairs.
Autumn R. Glover, MCRP, MPP, Director of Local Government and Community Relations, University Hospital East-Ohio State Office of Government Affairs
Family: Married, 1-year-old daughter
Hobbies: Travel, going to concerts, exploring taco places (the food truck at Long Street and Taylor Avenue is my favorite)
Favorite restaurant: Spagio
If I could meet one person: Oprah
Favorite book: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (which Oprah recently made into a movie)
What do you do for University Hospital East-Ohio State Office of Government Affairs?
Glover: I am the Director of Local Government Affairs and Community Relations, representing Wexner Medical Center’s University Hospital East, CarePoint East and our presence on the Near East Side. Then I also support the university in local government affairs and relationships.
How did you get involved with ULI Columbus?
Glover: I joined ULI Columbus in 2015, actually as a result of completing the Real Estate Associate’s Program, which is a program that Steiner and L Brands and other folks helped to fund to bring to Columbus—really looking at how do we increase diversity in commercial real estate. I am an urban planner by trade. By virtue of my work, I get involved in a lot of different commercial real estate things, so the program was interesting to me because it was an opportunity for me to grow my knowledge. And one of the things that was stressed in that program was professional organizations in the field. So I joined as a member through REAP and then I continued my membership through joint committees. And it absolutely was a great opportunity for me, both professionally and personally, to join ULI.
How does ULI Columbus influence your career?
Glover: The network has really helped grow my depth of understanding. I have friends and colleagues that I learned from—from their day-to-day jobs. And, certainly, I would like to think that I’m bringing to them (the understanding of) what role universities play in economic development, and community and commercial real estate. We’re able to have in-depth conversations through ULI programming, committee work. It’s lifelong learning, absolutely, for me. From a research perspective, I think ULI has the opportunity to be in unique places in the conversation—they don’t have some of the same political things that will hold them back. And we’re really trying to explore what’s going to be best for our region. So things like Insight 2050 absolutely have informed my work. It’s a way for me to connect with other folks in the region and think about what’s coming, and what role we can play, both personally and professionally. Obviously, I live in the region, too, and so I’m a stakeholder at different levels. So that level of research, the opportunity for ULI to be a convener, and bringing different stakeholders to the table for these conversations that are going to impact all of us and our children in the long run, is really dynamic and it’s exciting to be involved in that.
What do you do in your leadership role with ULI Columbus?
Glover: I co-chair our first-ever Women’s Leadership Initiative, WLI, for ULI Columbus. WLI is important because we’re talking about women’s leadership, but we’re also talking about diversity in the field—which is gender, but it’s also race. It’s also the diversity of practice. Our committee is really focused on both membership development, making sure that women feel like WLI is their resource—, and how we get them connected into ULI Columbus. There are women who are working in the field and we are not always represented in leadership positions, so we’re talking about how we grow our professional development network amongst ourselves— but then also not to be separate. There are men who participate in WLI initiatives and we’re really just making sure that ULI Columbus represents the diversity of our field, whether that be women, people of color, folks of different disciplines and backgrounds. We do things like making sure there’s not a panel of all white males. Is there a woman who has some leadership in this space? Is there a person of color? And then also thinking through, just, there’s a business case for diversity in the field. So if all the people look the same, think the same, are we really getting the best quality developments and impact in the Central Ohio region? Probably not. So those are the things that we’re focused on. But it’s not a boys-over-here, girls-over-there initiative. It really is, how do we work together and what value do we all bring together.
What would you say to someone who is thinking about joining ULI Columbus?
Glover: I actually had this happen yesterday. I would say that this is where you are going to learn how to do your job. This is where your next job is going to come from. And this is also where you will have the opportunity to have input on what happens in our region. There is no other organization like ULI Columbus in our area for professional development and networking. You want to be with the people who are thinking about these issues in the way that we’re thinking about them, who are going to challenge us and who are going to be our partners as we try to push our community forward. There are a lot of people today who are very interested in transportation and attainable housing, but not everybody is thinking about it from this unique lens that I think folks who work in commercial real estate and planning and development think about it in. The other thing I would say about ULI Columbus is that it really challenges me personally to think about, okay, where else can I grow my skills. It challenges me but also provides those opportunities, whether it be through ULI Columbus programming or someone that I met through ULI who’s going to help me grow my knowledge base. And I don’t know how else I would access them or these programs if not for ULI Columbus.