The Aspen Institute announced its 2019 Class of Henry Crown Fellows. Among the 21 honorees for this year was Tara Hovey, president and COO of Optima, Inc., a privately-held, design-driven real estate firm based in Chicago.
The Henry Crown Fellowship mobilizes a new breed of leaders, all between the ages of 30 and 45, to tackle the world’s most intractable problems. All are proven entrepreneurial leaders, mostly from the world of business, who have reached a point in their lives where, having achieved success, they are ready to apply their creative talents and skill sets to building a better society.
At Optima, Hovey is responsible for setting and implementing the strategic vision of the company and overseeing all company entities and business units including corporate finance, land acquisition, development, sales and marketing, human resources, investor relations, asset management and risk management. She directs all predevelopment planning and deal evaluation as well as the capitalization of the firm and its new developments.
Hovey has led the capitalization and financing of over $1 billion in real estate, including construction financing for new developments, recapitalizations and building dispositions. Prior to Optima, she worked in capital markets at Cushman & Wakefield. Hovey earned an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and holds a bachelor of art in communications with honors from Boston College.
Henry Crown Fellows spend four weeks over the course of two years in structured retreat—exploring their leadership, their core values, their vision for a good society and their desired legacies. But the fellowship is not just about reflection. It is also about action; each fellow launches a leadership venture that will stretch them and have a positive impact on their communities, their country or the world.
“We are especially delighted with this year’s class of Henry Crown Fellows, the most politically and geographically diverse ever,” said Tonya Hinch, executive director of the program. “For society, they represent a potent force of talent, ready to focus their energies on some of the greatest challenges of our times. For them, they are embarking on a personal journey—a journey ‘from success to significance’—that will change their lives forever. I know. I’m a Henry Crown Fellow too.”