Waterfront Toronto Announces William Fleissig as its New President and CEO

TORONTO, Dec. 14, 2015 /CNW/ - Waterfront Toronto's Board of Directors today announced the hiring of Will Fleissig as its new President and CEO, after the retirement of John Campbell. Mark Wilson, Chair of Waterfront Toronto's Board of Directors, announced the hiring after a year-long international search.

Will Fleissig has over thirty years' experience in real estate development, urban design and planning, public finance and environmental stewardship. He has successfully managed the planning, financing, and construction of diverse community and real estate development projects in Boston; Washington, DC; Denver; Boulder; San Francisco; San Jose; and Los Angeles.

"On behalf of the entire Board, I am confident in Will's ability to lead Waterfront Toronto and am delighted that he has chosen Toronto as his new home for himself, his wife, Wendy, and his two daughters," said Mark Wilson. "We know Will brings deep experience, tremendous energy and fresh ideas to build on John Campbell's great legacy and take Waterfront Toronto through the second half of its mandate."

"The Waterfront vision, the continued commitment to that vision by all three government partners, and the significant milestones already achieved by Waterfront Toronto's staff presented a compelling opportunity," said Will. "I am honoured to undertake this world-class city-building effort, and am committed to add to this great city rich, diverse, and vital new communities that all Torontonians will be proud to bestow to future generations."  

"Will understands the vision for the waterfront, and I'm totally confident he will continue to put that vision into action," said outgoing CEO John Campbell. "He has the experience and expertise to lead Waterfront Toronto and to ensure that the waterfront becomes an asset for Toronto, Ontario and Canada."

As part of the selection process, Will met with Mayor John Tory and Brad Duguid, Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure.

"I'm pleased that Waterfront Toronto has selected Will Fleissig as the new CEO to lead it into the next phase of the revitalization of Toronto's waterfront," said Minister Duguid. "These are critical times for investing in infrastructure across the province, and I look forward to continuing our work with Waterfront Toronto to build the waterfront up, create jobs, and ensure this region remains an economic hub."

"The future of Toronto's waterfront is important to everyone in this city, and that's why the City will ensure we continue to transform our waterfront into great new places to live, work and play," said Mayor Tory. "And with Will Fleissig leading Waterfront Toronto, I'm confident that the waterfront is in good hands."

"I offer my congratulations to Will Fleissig as Waterfront Toronto's new CEO," said Amarjeet Sohi, Canada's Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. "I look forward to working closely with Waterfront Toronto and my provincial and municipal partners to ensure the successful next phase of waterfront revitalization work." 

About Will Fleissig

Will is currently the President of Communitas Development, a real estate development and advisory company in San Francisco that leads and advises on community-oriented urban developments. He has overseen multiple award-winning, mixed-use, large-scale urban projects.

Will has served in the public sector as the Director of Planning and Development for the City of Boulder, Colorado, and as the Director of Downtown Planning and Development in Denver, where he led the city's efforts to revitalize several historical areas of the city. Previously, Will directed the planning of many prominent transit-oriented development projects including Boston's North Station Development Plan, Kendall Square/Cambridge Center Master Development Plan and Denver's Union Station Master Development Plan.

Will is well-known nationally as a development and thought leader, building new and existing communities into sustainable, accessible, vibrant and beautiful places. His experience in community engagement, district-scale sustainability, building equitable and inclusive communities, and transit-oriented development serves as an ideal match for Waterfront Toronto's overall approach and vision for community- and city-building.

Will holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania; a Bachelor of Architecture in urban design from the City College of New York, and a Master in Public Administration with an emphasis on public finance from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. He is a licensed architect in the State of California.

Will, who currently lives in San Francisco, will be moving with his family to Toronto in early 2016. He will start as CEO in January. His compensation package is a net zero increase from that of John Campbell's CEO compensation package with an annual salary of $350,000 and a performance-based bonus component. As with other Waterfront executives and senior staff, the complete compensation package will be disclosed in the annual provincial sunshine list.

About the Hiring Process

After John Campbell informed the Board of his plan to retire from Waterfront Toronto in 2015, the Board started the search process in mid-2014. A Nominating Committee of Board Directors was formed, which includes Directors representing all three governments. After a competitive procurement process, Amrop Knightsbridge was hired in autumn of 2014 to lead the search. The process included interviews with more than 30 Waterfront Toronto stakeholders in order to develop a detailed and focused job profile, including key requirements such as real estate development experience, public sector experience, community engagement, proven leadership, and commitment to, and passion for, Waterfront Toronto's vision.

The job description was first posted in December, 2014 and a global market search started in January 2015. More than 300 people applied for the job, of which 11 were selected for consideration by the Board Nominating Committee. After further interviews with shortlisted applicants, Will Fleissig was identified unanimously as the preferred candidate.

About Waterfront Toronto

The Governments of Canada and Ontario and the City of Toronto created Waterfront Toronto to oversee and lead the renewal of Toronto's waterfront. Public accessibility, design excellence, sustainable development, economic development and fiscal sustainability are the key drivers of the waterfront revitalization. Toronto's new waterfront communities will use technology to enhance quality of life and create economic opportunity for the citizens of Toronto, helping to keep the city competitive with major urban centres around the world for business, jobs and talent.


William Fleissig is a real estate developer, urban planner, architect and policy advisor who specializes in collaborating with local governments, communities, transit agencies, and advocacy groups to execute projects that realize maximum benefit for the community and investors.  

Throughout his career, Will has demonstrated a strong commitment to creating and adapting communities that are sustainable, accessible, vibrant and beautiful places. Will is recognized as an authority in the U.S. on community engagement, sustainable design, public/private financing and transit-oriented development – all key to Waterfront Toronto's overall approach and vision for community and city-building.

Recently, Will co-authored Advancing Equitable Transit Oriented Developmenta national policy paper published by Living Cities, proposing pragmatic steps to avoid pitfalls and catalyze successful built projects from transit-oriented policy. In 2014, the Urban Land Institute asked Will to lead six different workshops across the U.S. to put his approach into practice.

Since 2006, Will has been the managing member of Communitas, a San Francisco-based development company that focuses on sustainable, transit-oriented, and mixed-use development of urban infill sites. Communitas' approach to development includes a strong commitment to working actively with communities to generate expanded social, environmental and economic benefits.

Will has advised state and local governments and large development funds on translating their broad goals into strategic priorities, and economically feasible buildings and districts. Will has directed mixed-use planning and development projects in diverse American cities, among them Boston; Cambridge; Washington, DC; Denver; Boulder; San Francisco; Los Angeles; and San Jose.  

From 2005 to 2010, Will was a partner in Urban Villages Inc., which co-developed West Village at the University of California, Davis. The new 130-acre campus district for 3,000 students, faculty and staff includes a mixed-use village square with shops and services, a community college, parks, and a fitness centre. West Village is the largest planned "zero net energy" community in the United States, and when completed in 2017 is on track to demonstrate that such an approach is practical on a large scale. The project received the prestigious Urban Land Institute Global Award of Excellence in 2013. 

From 1997 to 2005, Will was a co-founder of Continuum Partners in Denver, and directed the planning and development of projects that integrate sustainability, vibrant public places, retail, work space and housing. Belmar, a twenty-three block, downtown district on a former shopping mall site in Lakewood, Colorado, received the 2006 Urban Land Institute Award of Excellence, the 2005 Environmental Protection Agency Smart Growth Award, and the 2005 Congress for New Urbanism Charter Award.    

Previously, Will served in the public sector as the Director of Planning and Development for the City of Boulder, Colorado, and as the Director of Downtown Planning and Development for Mayor Federico Pena in Denver. While in Denver, Will led the City's vision for downtown, including infrastructure improvements to the Central Platte Valley, which now supports 3 million sq. ft. of commercial, shops retail and hotel space plus over 4,000 mixed-income units.  During his tenure with the City, Will initiated zoning and infrastructure improvements that led to the renaissance of Denver's historic Lower Downtown district.   

Will is committed to helping cultivate the next generation of city building professionals. He has been a senior advisor to the University of Colorado Real Estate Center, an adjunct professor at USC School of Architecture, UCLA's Department of City Planning and the Anderson School of Management, and a lecturer teaching development studios and case studies at Harvard's Graduate School of Design.

Will is a board member for Reconnecting America and the Center for Transit Oriented Development, and a licensed architect in the State of California. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania; a Bachelor of Architecture in urban design from the City College of New York; and a Master in Public Administration with an emphasis in public finance from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. 

The full media kit is available at www.waterfrontoronto.ca  

SOURCE Waterfront Toronto

For further information: Andrew Hilton, Director of Communications and Public Engagement, Waterfront Toronto, Telephone: 416-214-1344 x263, Mobile: 416-427-4613, E-mail: ahilton@waterfrontoronto.ca


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