SCOTTSDALE, Ariz.--()--The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) announced today that David J. LaRue, president and CEO of Forest City Enterprises, Inc., has been selected by ICSC’s Board of Trustees nominating committee to serve as the association’s chairman for the 2013–2014 term. If, as expected, LaRue is elected at ICSC’s annual meeting of members in May, he will succeed Brad M. Hutensky, president and principal of Hutensky Capital Partners, and become the association’s 54th chairman.
“Reform in this area would also benefit cash-strapped state and local public coffers”
LaRue succeeded Charles A. Ratner as head of Forest City in June 2011. A publicly traded company, Forest City is noted for the diversity of its real estate, which encompasses retail, office and residential properties in key markets around the United States.
“David heads a company that owns property across all categories and in all kinds of markets, and therefore his experience meshes with that of just about every one of ICSC’s members in one way or another,” said Michael P. Kercheval, ICSC’s president and CEO. “Forest City is also a leader in sustainable and innovative development, all of which makes David’s nomination an exciting one as we, as an industry, embrace the future.”
Forest City is not only focused on diversity in terms of its real estate, however. One of the company’s core values is diversity and inclusion, both in its associates and in the communities where it operates. An ongoing challenge for the industry is to recognize and respond to demographic changes in the U.S., both at the consumer level and in terms of promoting workplace diversity, LaRue says. “Our industry must have a sharper focus on this important issue,” he noted.
LaRue has been an active ICSC member for nearly 20 years and a trustee since 2008, playing a key role in the organization’s administration and many of its activities. He has been an advocate of ICSC’s Global Public Policy efforts in Washington, contributing to the ICSC PAC, and he has spoken at ICSC events.
One of ICSC’s continuing priorities for the coming year will be to push for federal legislation requiring online retailers to collect sales taxes in those states in which brick-and-mortar retailers are required to. “Traditional physical stores cannot continue to be discriminated against by this tax policy,” said LaRue. “Reform in this area would also benefit cash-strapped state and local public coffers,” he added.
LaRue, who holds a bachelor’s in business and accounting from Wittenberg University, began his career as an internal auditor and financial analyst at The Sherwin-Williams Co. He joined Forest City in 1986 as a financial analyst, rising to executive vice president and COO in March 2010.
“David is a visionary leader with proven abilities to get things done and work cooperatively with people in the industry,” said ICSC Past Chairman Gary D. Rappaport, SCSM, SCMD, SCLS, SCDP, chief executive of The Rappaport Cos. and chairman of ICSC’s nominating committee, in announcing the nomination to the Board of Trustees at its midwinter meeting. “David stands for Forest City’s core values: integrity, sustainability, diversity in the workplace and dealing fairly with stakeholders — all qualities consistent with ICSC’s values.”
LaRue is active in his community as a member of various professional, charitable and artistic organizations, including the Cleveland School of the Arts. He helped found the Basketball Challenge Cup, a series of charity games held every spring in Rocky River, the Cleveland suburb where he and his wife, Cindy, have raised their four children. The event raises money to fight drug and alcohol abuse among young people.
Founded in 1957, ICSC is the premier global trade association of the shopping center industry. Its more than 57,000 members in over 90 countries include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, retailers and brokers, as well as academics and public officials. As the global industry trade association, ICSC links with more than 25 national and regional shopping center councils throughout the world. For more information, visit www.icsc.org.