Today’s Innovation is Tomorrow’s Tradition

Walker & DunlopThe inspiration for the Innovator Award is the long and distinguished tradition behind the real estate and urban economics program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A rich history cannot be established without continuous improvement in ideas and in practice. We have been innovative in our teaching, in our research, and through the accomplishments of our alumni and practitioners – all dedicated to making a positive impact in our community and beyond. These award recipients embody the spirit of the Wisconsin real estate tradition in innovation.

The Innovator Award is generously sponsored by Walker & Dunlop. Read more about the gift here. 


Spring 2019 Recipient – Robert Bond, Co-Founder & President, Bond Companies.

Robert J. Bond is a co-founder and president of Bond Companies, an award winning real estate development and investment firm with offices in Chicago and Los Angeles.

He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a Master of Science Degree in real estate investment analysis and appraisal theory with a concentration in finance. He also holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in finance and a degree in economics from the same university.

Over the past 30 years, Mr. Bond has been involved in hundreds of real estate transactions involving development, acquisition, re-development and capital formation activities representing several billion dollars.

With a national platform, Bond Companies has completed several high profile projects in Oakland, California, San Francisco, California, Los Angeles, California, Naperville, Illinois and Chicago, Illinois having won multiple awards and improving the fabric of those communities. The firm has an expertise in mixed-use, adaptive re-use, retail and multi-family development. Mr. Bond oversees the company’s real estate development pipeline. The company currently has projects under construction in four states including both coasts.

As a thought leader, he has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Crain’s, and Investor Business Daily, as well as several industry periodicals discussing mixed-use development and the retail marketplace. As a frequent speaker on the development process, Mr. Bond has presented to the London School of Economics and at several industry conferences including the Urban Land Institute, the International Council of Shopping Centers, Bisnow, the Big Ten Real Estate Forum, Young Real Estate Professionals, REIA and Real Estate Roundtable among others. He is an active participant in several professional and trade organizations, including the Urban Land Institute and the International Council of Shopping Centers. He is also a member of the World Presidents’ Organization (former chapter chair and founder, Chicagoland Chapter of the Young Presidents’ Organization), a member of the Metropolitan Planning Council, a member of the Board of Trustees for the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate at the Wisconsin School of Business and a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and the City Club of Chicago. Mr. Bond is a National Council Member of The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and a Board Member of Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago.

Robert’s personal contribution to his community includes helping at-risk youth make a positive difference as a role model in his ongoing relationship as an active mentor and senior thesis advisor at North Lawndale College Prep School. He is married with three children.

Click here for more information on our previous Innovator Award presentation to Robert White, President, Real Capital Analytics. 

Past recipients of this award include: