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Multifamily Executive Magazine: Tom Bozzuto Receives Lifetime Achievement Award, Urges Reinvention

December 08, 2008

Tom Bozzuto, CEO of The Bozzuto Group, who was honored Wednesday night as winner of ULI Washington's annual Lifetime Achievement Award, called on the development community to reinvent itself in order to survive the current economic crisis.

Nearly 650 people gathered between the massive floor-to-ceiling pillars at the National Building Museum to recognize what attendees called the creativity, integrity, pursuit of perfection, discipline, and leadership of Bozzuto, who has worked in the single-family and multifamily development industries for more than 30 years.

"Tom is a true visionary --d he has contributed to the industry so significantly," said Ron Terwilliger, chairman and CEO of Trammell Crow Residential, who introduced Bozzuto and presented him with the award. "He is a competitor, a housing advocate, a leader, and a friend."

Bozzuto gave special thanks to his wife, Barbara, who was in attendance, and their family. He also thanked the audience and expressed his passion for the industry and the work that his firm does. "We are blessed to shape the environment and the world of the future," he said.

Quoting Winston Churchill, one of the people he most admires, Bozzuto said, "Churchill was asked once the difference between a pessimist and an optimist, and he said a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. When times get tough and the bubble has burst, we shouldn't forget to find the opportunities in the challenges."

He continued, "Those opportunities exist today for companies that are willing to change, to reinvent themselves. I believe that those who survive and who thrive will reinvent their companies and find new things to do and new ways to do them."

Since 2002, the Urban Land Institute's Washington, D.C., chapter has issued a lifetime achievement award to an individual who has enhanced the Washington, D.C., built environment. Past winners include Gerald Halpin, president and CEO of West Group Management; Albert Small, president of Southern Engineering; Milt Peterson, chairman of The Peterson Cos.; and Ben Jacobs, founding partner of The JBG Cos.