The International Board of LAI has the ability to recognize selected active members as “International Fellows”. Fellows are members who are recognized for significantly advancing the purposes, organization and/or growth of LAI. A maximum of two members may be elected each year.
Since the initiation of the Fellowships, a total of 31 members have been elected. To date, of the 31, 18 are active members, 2 are inactive and 11 are deceased. At the Austin LEW, eight Fellows attended. In the 32 years since the Fellowships were created in 1987, Fellowships were awarded in only 17 of the years.
In Austin this November, two active members were admitted as “International Fellow of Lambda Alpha International:” Sheila Harris, Ph.D. and Steven Gragg, both of the Phoenix chapter.
Sheila Harris joined LAI in April 2004. She has served as Phoenix chapter president, International Assistant Treasurer and International Treasurer. She has also served on the New Chapter Development Committee and has assisted in the creation of the new Sonoran Desert Chapter in Hermosillo, Mexico.
She has served as the Director of both the Arizona Department of Housing and the Arizona Housing Finance Authority. She was appointed by Alan Greenspan to the Board of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco where she ultimately served as its Deputy Chair.
In 2019, she was named LAI International Member of the Year and elected President of LAI for the term 2019-2021.
Steven Gragg joined LAI in 2001 and has been on a leadership track ever since. He served on the Phoenix Executive Committee starting in 2002 and was President of the Phoenix Chapter in 2007 and 2008. He was the Chair of the first Phoenix Chapter Land Economics Weekend in 2008. Steven led the efforts to raise funding and create the LAI Student Association (LAISA) which led to the formation of the Phoenix Pathfinders, a group for young professionals desiring to become LAI members once they have met their 10-year experience requirement.
Steven join the leadership ranks of the Land Economics Foundation in 2007 and served two, 2-year terms until 2013. He served as First Vice President of LAI in 2013-2014 and was elected International President for 2015-2017. In addition, he has served on multiple LAI International committees. Steven represented LEF and served as a member of the first Professional Advisory Delegation (PAD) to San Miguel Allende, Mexico. He later represented LAI on a PAD to Paranapiacaba, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
He has devoted substantial time to the creation of new chapters and was instrumental in the formation of new chapters: Madrid, Sonoran Desert - Hermosillo, San Juan, Barcelona, and Austin. He led a LAI delegation of experts to Mumbai India to speak at a conference to support the AUM Chapter. He has been LAI’s ambassador for growth.
In addition to his LAI activities, Steven is the Sole Member of Gragg Risk Management LLC, specializing in contract appraisal review, valuation risk management and litigation support. www.grm.expert Previously he was the Chief Appraiser for MUFG Union Bank from 2012 to 2017 and was an active member and “Of Counsel” to the Orange County LAI Chapter Executive Committee. Prior to that Steven was a Regional Partner and Managing Director of Cushman & Wakefield Valuation & Advisory Services and was Manager of Real Estate Litigation Services at PriceWaterhouseCoopers. He holds an MBA from Arizona State University and a BBA in Finance and Urban Land Development from the Red McCombs School of Business at University of Texas at Austin.
Photos courtesy of Holly Elmore