BIABC + IDA Pacific Northwest

 Regional Conference 2019

Keynote Speakers
photo by Marina Dodis

Tuesday - Morning Keynote

Urban Game-Changers and the Changing Game of Cities

LARRY BEASLEY is the founding principal of Beasley and Associates, an international planning and urban design consultancy, and the “Distinguished Practice Professor of Planning” at the University of British Columbia.  For many years, he was the Chief Planner for the City of Vancouver.

He sits on the Boards of TransLink in British Columbia, the National Capital Commission in Ottawa, and the Economic Advisory Council in Rotterdam. Beasley has been a developer and now designs new urban systems and places as well as solving targeted problems for cities around the world: from Australia to Canada and the United States; and, from the Middle East to the Nordic countries and Russia.

Larry Beasley is a Member of the Order of Canada, and a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

His book, Ecodesign for Cities and Suburbs, authored with Jonathan Barnett, is available from Island Press. His related UBC EdX on-line course, Ecodesign, has had an international reach. His second book, Vancouverism, from UBC Press, will be out on May 15, 2019.    

Initially studying architecture, Larry Beasley has degrees in Geography and Political Science (BA) and Planning (MA) as well as two Honorary Doctorate Degrees (Hon LLD). He is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners, an Honorary Member of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, a Fellow of the Dallas Institute and a recently retired Member of the Board of the Canadian Urban Institute. Among many honours, he has received the Kevin Lynch Prize from MIT and the UBC Applied Sciences Dean’s Medal of Distinction.  He has also been recognized as an “Advocate for Architecture” by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. 

Monday - Lunch Keynote

The Suburbanization of Hip

Michael Berne is the Founder and President of MJB Consulting (MJB), an award-winning, Berkeley, CA and New York, NY-based retail planning and real estate consultancy hired by a wide range of private, public and quasi-public/non-profit sector clients across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. to undertake market analyses, devise tenanting strategies and spearhead implementation efforts. 

Although based in the U.S., Michael is well-versed in the specifics and nuances of the Canadian retail landscape.  He has worked extensively across the country, with past consulting assignments, for example, in Squamish (Waterfront), Saskatoon (“Cultural Crescent” of Downtown, Broadway and Riversdale), Downtown Winnipeg, Downtown Kitchener and Downtown Toronto (Yonge Street). 

A regular speaker at the International Downtown Association’s (IDA) annual and regional conferences, Michael’s speaking engagements include a keynote address at BIABC 2015 (Edmonton) and a Master Talk at IDA 2017 (Winnipeg) as well as presentations at IDA 2014 (Ottawa) and multiple TABIA/OBIAA events. 

A former Board Member of the IDA and Vice Chair of its Executive Committee, Michael chaired IDA’s 2018 Top Issues Council on “Diverse Retail Mixes”.  He has also served on IDA’s Canadian Issues Task Force, where he was affectionately referred to as an “Honorary Canadian”.   

In addition to writing numerous articles for the Urban Land Institute’s (ULI) Urban Land magazine, Michael contributed the chapter on suburban retail to a recently-published book entitled “Suburban Remix: Creating the Next Generation of Urban Places" (Island Press, 2018), in which he first introduces this thesis about the suburbanization of hip. 

Michael has lectured at Penn and UC Berkeley, and he is regularly quoted in high-profile publications such as the Financial Times, the Washington Post, TheStreet and the Ottawa Citizen. 

A born and bred New Yorker, Michael is a graduate of Columbia University (Columbia College) in New York City and Cambridge University (Gonville & Caius College) in the U.K.   He lives in Berkeley’s Elmwood neighborhood with his wife, Vivienne.    

Tuesday Lunch Keynote

Standout Place Branding

Josh Yeager, Bright Brothers Strategy Group

Josh Yeager has been working in digital marketing since day one. Starting in the mid-1990s, Josh kicked off his career in international sales, desktop publishing and working at the OG of online CD retailers.  Travelling up the coast from his native Philadelphia, Josh worked in New Media in Manhattan and Boston before relocating to Arizona in 2003.  With a decade plus of agency life under his belt, Josh launched Double Dutch & Company in 2010 and joined forces with Dave Romako in 2015 to birth Bright Brothers.


As a consultancy specializing in downtowns, districts and place management organizations, Bright Brothers melds a data-driven approach with humanistic applications to help place brand managers understand and connect with their target audiences. Employing a vetted methodology for everything from developing the overarching brand to the copy on an Instagram post - Bright Brothers has helped dozens of brands around the continent to laser-hone their assets, messaging and tactical touchpoints.

Jenny Starkey, Interim CEO, Cherry Creek North BID, Denver

Jenny Starkey is the Interim CEO for the Cherry Creek North Business Improvement District (BID), the premier mixed-use and retail destination in Denver, CO and the region. In this role, Jenny oversees the core functions of a rapidly changing mixed-use business improvement district.  Jenny previously served as the Senior Director of Marketing and Community Relations and oversees the comprehensive marketing, communications and special events program that promotes Cherry Creek North, Denver.

Jenny’s journey has taken her from a childhood in Denver, to running communication departments for international nonprofits, raising capital for technology startups, and urban management positions with two of Denver’s most established communities, Downtown Denver and Cherry Creek North. 

Jenny was recognized in 2010 as one of the youngest 40 Under Forty recipients by the Denver Business Journal.  Jenny was named a 2016 Emerging Leadership Fellow by the International Downtown Association.  She serves on the International Downtown Association’s Membership Committee and Professional Development Committee and is a member of the Urban Land Institute’s Colorado Women’s Leadership Initiative Committee.  In 2018, Jenny was published as an author of a Top Issues Council Report produced by the International Downtown Association regarding place branding in cities

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