ICSC trustees elect Robert F. Welanetz chairman for 2014-2015 term; vote in 10 new trustees

Publish Date: May 20, 2014


Robert F. Welanetz, CRX, CSM, global retail real estate advisor to Blackstone Real Estate Partners, was elected chairman of ICSC on Monday for the 2014–2015 term. Welanetz, one of ICSC’s most committed members, has worked with some of the industry’s leading companies, in several of the world’s most active markets. 

His career began some 35 years ago at The Hahn Co., under the legendary Ernest Hahn. While there, Welanetz held executive positions in development, management and investor relations, and he was involved in the development of such trophy centers as Horton Plaza, in San Diego, and Fashion Show Mall, Las Vegas. He went on to serve as senior vice president of operations and leasing for Pan Pacific Development; managing director of retail at The Yarmouth Group; head of Lend Lease Retail Americas; and president and CEO of Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Retail. His career then took him to Asia, where he was president and CEO of Shanghai Kinghill Ltd. and co-chairman of Chia Tai Real Estate, both real estate subsidiaries of Thailand-based conglomerate The CP Group. He also served on the board of Lotus Supercenters, CP’s 100-unit hypermarket chain in China.

Now based in Atlanta, Welanetz advises Blackstone’s Real Estate Partners on sourcing and creating investment strategies, underwriting acquisition targets and determining strategic retail real estate asset management for the global portfolio. A member of ICSC since 1982, Welanetz is a past member of the Board of Trustees. He also served on the Executive Committee, from 2003 to 2008, and was Southern Division vice president from 2002 to 2005. Welanetz has been both a student and a teacher in ICSC’s educational programs. He obtained his CSM certification in 1983 and his CRX this year. He was chairman of the CSM Admissions and Governing Committee during the mid-1990s and served for years on the faculty of ICSC’s University of Shopping Centers and its John T. Riordan School for Professional Development, here in the U.S. and abroad. He has also been a frequent speaker at ICSC events.

“I want to make ICSC as relevant as it can possibly be to all its multifaceted membership,” he said Monday.

“Bob will make a great chairman, given his broad and deep experience in the industry and his long involvement in ICSC,” said Michael P. Kercheval, president and CEO of ICSC.

Those sentiments were echoed by Gary D. Rappaport, CRX, CDP, CLS, CMD, CSM, chief executive of the McLean, Va.–based Rappaport and chairman of ICSC’s Nominating Committee. “Bob Welanetz has really dedicated a lot of his time and his expertise to ICSC over the past 35 years,” he said. “I could not think of a better person to be our chairman.”

Welanetz is a graduate of Colorado State University and of executive management courses at INSEAD, the global business school. He has served on the board of Australia-based Galileo Americas Trust and on the advisory board of the National Association of Realtors. Currently, he serves on the advisory boards of Mokard, a China-based retail technology sales and marketing company, and Sino/U.S. Holdings, a U.S.-based investor in Chinese consumer-product companies. He is also on the supervisory board of Netherlands-based Multi Corp. 

Welanetz lives in Atlanta with his wife, Karen Spencer-Welanetz, and has three children: Colby, Jack and Parker.

At the Meeting of Members, the following were elected to the Board of Trustees: Mohammad Iqbal B.H. Alawi, CEO, Red Sea Markets Co., Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Peter Ballon, vice president and head of real estate investments, Americas, at Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Toronto; Andrew W. Brien, CEO, Suria KLCC, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Joseph F. Coradino, CEO, Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust, Philadelphia; John C. Dolson, vice president of real estate, Nordstrom, Inc., Seattle; Kim Ellis, senior vice president of development, Regis Corp., Minneapolis; Thomas M. Flexner, global head of real estate, Citigroup, New York City; John A. Strachan, partner, head of global retail services, Cushman & Wakefield, London; Jim Sud, executive vice president of growth and business development, Whole Foods Market, Inc., Austin; and Douglas H. Tilson, executive vice president of real estate, Express, Inc., Columbus.

The following were re-elected to the Board: Karen Case; Alfredo J. Cohen; Karen Flavelle; Seth D. Geldzahler; Sandeep Mathrani; Martin A. Mayer; Michael Rodel, CRX; Mark A. Schurgin; Suk Singh; and Marcus Wild.

Trustees whose terms of service ended this month are Rick J. Caruso; Daniel B. Hurwitz; David P. Lindsey, FAIA; John R. Morrison, CRX, CDP; Bruce D. Pomeroy, CRX, CDP; Alejandro Ramirez; Pua Seck Guan; Shahram Shamsaee; and Edward Sonshine. 

Elected to the ICSC Executive Committee as divisional vice presidents were: Kenneth A. McIntyre Jr., CRX (Eastern); Vincent A. Corno, CRX (Central); Mark A. Schurgin (Western); Martin A. Mayer (Southern); Karen Flavelle (Canadian); and John A. Strachan (Europe). 

Donald C. Wood was named the Committee’s Secretary-Treasurer.

Appointed as at-large members: Thomas J. Connolly, CRX, CLS, CDP; Carl Goertemoeller; and Sandeep Mathrani. 

Other appointments: Brad M. Hutensky and Gary D. Rappaport, CRX, CSM, CMD, CLS, CDP, as co-chairmen of ICSC PAC; Norris R. Eber, CRX, CSM, CLS, as chairman of the ICSC Foundation; Christopher J. Niehaus, named chairman of the Investment and Employee Retirement Committee; and Michael Rodel, CRX, appointed chairman of the International Advisory Committee.

ICSC past chairmen serving on the Executive Committee are: David J. LaRue; Brad Hutensky; David B. Henry, CRX; William S. Taubman; and Peter Sharpe.    

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