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NEWS: Roundtable Board of Directors Approves RER Leadership; Establishes Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

  • September 30, 2020
Deb Cafaro and John Fish remote RER meeting
Roundtable Chair-Elect John F. Fish, right, will succeed current Roundtable Chair Debra A. Cafaro (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ventas, Inc.), left, whose term expires July 1, 2021.

RER Board Approves Suffolk Chairman and CEO John F. Fish as Chair-Elect for FY 2021, Edens CEO Jodie W. McLean as Secretary, and Related Companies CEO Jeff T. Blau as Chair of Newly Established Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — The Real Estate Roundtable’s 24-member Board of Directors has approved John F. Fish (CEO & Chairman, Suffolk) as the organization’s Chair-Elect, to begin his term as Chairman of the Roundtable in mid-2021.  The Board also approved, effective immediately, Jodie W. McLean (CEO, Edens) as its Secretary and Jeff T. Blau (CEO, Related Companies) as the Chair of the organization’s newly established Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (ED&I) Committee.

Chair-Elect Fish will succeed current Roundtable Chair Debra A. Cafaro (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ventas, Inc.) whose term expires July 1, 2021.  “The Board of Directors of The Real Estate Roundtable is excited to announce John Fish as our Chair-Elect and Jodie McLean as our Secretary,” said Cafaro.  “John has been an active Board member and has played a key role in developing our policy agenda.  He is active on a bipartisan basis with policymakers, and his experiences and accomplishments across business, government and philanthropy give John a broad perspective that will benefit the Roundtable and our members.  John’s emphasis on labor force issues, infrastructure, and the need to level the educational and economic opportunities for all Americans are particularly relevant as The Roundtable develops and advocates fact-based policies that create jobs and inclusive economic growth,” Cafaro added.

Mr. Fish stated, “I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as Roundtable Chair-Elect, work with the talented team and follow Debra Cafaro’s impressive record of policy accomplishments in Washington.  I have seen the effectiveness of the organization in advocating shared industry concerns to lawmakers and regulators, and strongly believe it is essential for The Real Estate Roundtable to continue its engagement at all levels of policy-making as the nation comes together to address new economic, societal and health challenges.” 

About Fish and McLean

Mr. Fish is the Chairman and CEO of Suffolk, which is a national real estate and construction enterprise that invests, innovates and builds, providing value throughout the entire building lifecycle. Suffolk is one of the largest builders and privately held companies in the country, with main offices in the Northeast, New York, Florida, Texas and California. The company services clients in the aviation/transportation, science and technology, mission critical, commercial, education, healthcare, gaming and government sectors.  Mr. Fish is a former Chair of the Federal Reserve Board of Boston, current Chair of Brigham and Women’s Hospital and member of the Mass General Brigham’s Executive Committee, and is serving his second term as Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Boston College. 

Jodie W. McLean is Chief Executive Officer of EDENS, one of the nation’s leading private owners, operators and developers of retail real estate.  She is responsible for EDENS’ strategy to move the portfolio to major urban centers, creating a portfolio of assets that are the center of community life.  Ms. McLean currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.  She also serves on the boards of Cushman & Wakefield and Extended Stay America, as well as boards of several other institutions and charities. 

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Commitment of RER

On his appointment as the Chair of the Real Estate Roundtable’s newly created Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, Mr. Blau said, “As leaders, it is our obligation to enact fundamental change. I am honored to chair the ED&I committee and am eager to listen and be guided by diverse voices and perspectives as we work together to promote an industry that is reflective of the society we live in.” 

Roundtable Present and CEO, Jeffrey D. DeBoer commented, “I am delighted with these Board leadership decisions and, in particular, I look forward to implementing recommendations from our ED&I Committee that will help advance equal economic opportunities for all.” 

The Real Estate Roundtable brings together leaders of the nation’s top publicly-held and privately-owned real estate ownership, development, lending and management firms with the leaders of major national real estate trade associations to jointly address key national policy issues relating to real estate and and its important role in the global economy.  The Roundtable’s policy agenda, annual report and policy digest are available on The Roundtable website.

The Roundtable’s membership represents nearly 3 million people working in real estate; approximately 12 billion square feet of office, retail and industrial space; more than 2 million apartments and nearly 3 million hotel rooms.  The collective value of assets held by Roundtable members is estimated at $3 trillion.  

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