David “Chip” Mills
ULI NEXT Chair
RVi Planning + Landscape Architecture
Chip Mills has more than fifteen years of experience in land planning and real estate development for large scale mixed-use communities and various real estate and economic development projects. A results oriented leader, his education and professional experience provide him with unique insight in the creation of land use solutions, facilitation of development approvals, and design of open space and transportation systems.
What has been your most meaningful ULI experience? My first ULI Fall meeting. It was 2005, I was in my late 20’s, and I found myself in a room with Haley Barbour, then Governor of Mississippi, his Secretary of Economic Development, and about 20 other people. We had an open discussion about to how to recruit investment in and redevelop the Mississippi Gulf Coast after Hurricane Katrina. Throughout the Fall Meeting I met a ton of cool people, and Colin Powell gave an incredible closing keynote address. I was hooked after that.
You chair the ULI NEXT, what are the priorities of the group and how has your involvement in the ULI NEXT helped you professionally? ULI NEXT is all about building new relationships, honing leadership skills, learning about our community, and having fun. Being a part of launching NEXT in Austin has been very rewarding in many ways. For example, we quickly identified that there was a large number of highly qualified real estate professionals in Austin wanting to engage in ULI who didn’t really see a clear path to engagement. Being a part of the first flight and witnessing how members of the group connect at a higher level has been the most rewarding thing. And we’re just getting started.
You are also involved with a Local Member Council, what Council are you involved with and how is that different from NEXT? Yes, I am also on the Northern Suburban Member Council. This council is focused on the growth and development of the northern submarket of Austin and consists of a diverse group of professionals who specialize or are vested in this market. We typically have an open dialogue concerning “wins” and lessons learned, which has been tremendously beneficial to me professionally.