Annual Real Estate Symposium

Cummings Institute for Real Estate

Thanks to all who joined us for our inaugural event on April 13th! Stay tuned for details of our 2024 event.


April 13, 2023
11:30am - 5:00pm
University Club | Providence

At Roger Williams University’s Cummings Institute for Real Estate, real estate is studied as the complex and ubiquitous world that it is. Most people think of Real Estate as buying or selling a home or a developer undertaking a major reshaping of one’s community. Real estate is all of that, of course, but it is so much more. It is everywhere that we live, work and play. It is the land and the buildings and the infrastructure that connects it all and makes it all function.
At its inaugural Real Estate Symposium, the Cummings Institute will explore the many complex worlds of Real Estate at a time when those worlds are experiencing momentous change. The combination of incredible disruption of traditional working, living and shopping patterns caused by the COVID pandemic coupled with rapid advancements in technology that accompanied and addressed the disruption has dramatically altered the live/work/shop paradigm. 

About the Event

  • Keynote addresses by the Honorable Brett P. Smiley, Mayor, City of Providence, and Dr. Paul S. Willen, Senior Economist and Policy Advisor, The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston
  • Panel discussions with leading experts in construction, planning, real estate, and sustainability
  • Student poster presentations featuring Real Estate graduate students from Roger Williams University
  • Luncheon and cocktail reception

Thank you to our sponsors!


RXR Logo

Luncheon Sponsor

Logo for Consigili Construction

Cocktail Reception Sponsor

Logo for Garden Communities

Table Sponsors

Cornish logoPage logoZDS LogoVHB LogoPaolino Properties LogoArden LogoRI Housing Logo
Providence Mayor Brett Smiley

KEYNOTE: Brett P. Smiley, Mayor, City of Providence

Mayor Brett Smiley has worked in public service for the last decade, as Chief Operating Officer for the City of Providence, Chief of Staff to former Governor Gina Raimondo, and Director of Administration before becoming Mayor. In that time, he has taken on the biggest challenges of our state like expanding early education and childcare programs, making community college free for all high school graduates and guiding the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Paul S. Willen

KEYNOTE: Dr. Paul S. Willen, Senior Economist and Policy Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Paul S. Willen is a senior economist and policy advisor in the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Research Department. Willen conducts academic research with a focus on real estate and mortgage markets to support of the policy mission of the Federal Reserve. His duties include everything from advising policymakers to testifying in Congress to educating the public about the workings of the mortgage market to publishing articles in top scholarly journals. 

Symposium Schedule At A Glance

11:30 – 12:00 pm: Registration 

12:00 – 1:00 pm: Plated Luncheon and Welcome
Sponsored by Consigli Construction

Speakers: Estate Margaret Everett, Ph.D., Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Heather Boujoulian ’97, Richard Godfrey, Executive Director, Cummings Institute for Real Estate

1:00 – 1:20 pm: Keynote Address by The Honorable Brett P. Smiley, Mayor, City of Providence

1:25 – 1:40 Networking Break & Dessert

1:45 – 2:45 pm: Panel Discussion: “New paradigms within the built environment: Opportunities and challenges for homes, marketplaces and office spaces.”

2:50 – 3:10pm: Keynote Address by Dr. Paul S. Willen, Senior Economist and Policy Advisor, The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston 

3:10 – 3:25 pm: Networking Break

3:30 – 4:30 pm: Panel Discussion: “The tension between affordability, sustainability and profitability.”

4:30 pm: Cocktail Reception and Student Poster Presentations
Sponsored by Garden Communities

View the full schedule and panelists