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John C. Cushman, III, Chairman of the Board
Cushman & Wakefield, Inc.

John C. Cushman, III, is a leader in the commercial real estate industry on a global basis. As Chairman of the Board of Cushman & Wakefield, Inc., he is responsible for formulating and articulating strategic policies and initiatives for the company on a domestic and global basis. Prior to becoming Chairman, he was acknowledged by a variety of media sources as the top office leasing broker in the country. Cushman & Wakefield is the world’s largest private commercial real estate firm with 231 offices in 58 countries on 6 continents with more than 15,000 employees on a global basis.

Drawing on his depth and breadth of experience as both a brokerage leader and corporate citizen, Mr. Cushman will provide context for the numerous economic crosscurrents that are impacting the industry, helping separate transient economic noise from sustainable trends in real estate. He will also describe how shifts in client demand are leading practitioners from different aspects of the industry to break down silos and collaborate in new ways, particularly in the area of environmental sustainability, and the implications—and the opportunities—for the real estate services sector.


Speaker Emeritus Karen Bass
California State Assembly

Karen Bass was elected to the California State Assembly in 2004 to represent the 47th Assembly District. In May 2008, the Los Angeles Democrat made history when she became the 67th Speaker of the California Assembly and the first African American woman and the first Democratic woman to have served as Speaker of the California Assembly. Speaker Emeritus Bass is also the first African American woman in the country to have served in the role of Speaker of a State Assembly. Speaker Emeritus Bass served in Assembly leadership positions beginning in her first term when she served as Majority Whip and in her second term as Majority Floor Leader. Before Speaker Emeritus Bass began her political career, she was a community organizer who founded and ran the Community Coalition. As the organization’s executive director, Speaker Emeritus Bass built a community-based social justice organization in South Los Angeles to empower residents to get involved in bringing about change. Today, the organization is considered a model for energizing communities.

During the closing plenary session, Speaker Emeritus Bass will address California’s budgetary process and the critical role that process will play in California’s future. Furthermore, she will touch on such topics as predatory lending practices, ensuring the real estate industry’s accountability to consumers, and our imperative to address both issues quickly and with clarity as California attempts to weather the tough economic times brought about by the national recession and global economic turmoil.