CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Lyneir Richardson is co-founder and CEO of The Chicago TREND Corporation. He is an experienced commercial and residential real estate developer with over 17 years of experience in urban retail development.
Lyneir is also a Professional Practice Instructor in the Department of Management and Global Business at Rutgers Business School in Newark, NJ, and the Executive Director of the Rutgers Center for Urban Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (CUEED), where he leads capacity-building programs that have assisted over 400 entrepreneurs.
Lyneir has served as Chief Executive Officer of the primary economic development corporation in Newark, NJ, for two different mayoral administrations. He was Vice President of Urban Development at General Growth Properties, Inc., where he led the national initiative to bring quality shopping centers to ethnic neighborhoods in large U.S. cities. Early in his career, Lyneir founded Lakeshore Development Construction Company and was recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as Illinois Young Entrepreneur of the Year. He started his career as a corporate attorney at the First National Bank of Chicago.
Lyneir is a graduate of Bradley University and the University of Chicago Law School. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute, the International Council of Shopping Centers, and the International Economic Development Council. He serves on the Board of Directors of the International Economic Development Council, New Growth Innovation Network, Newark Arts Council and the Cook County Land Bank, and has served as Vice Chairman of the Illinois Housing Development Authority Trust Fund Board and as a Commissioner on the Chicago Plan Commission.
CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
Gretchen Kleinert is COO of The Chicago TREND Corporation. She joined the firm in January 2019, bringing experience in community and economic development, real estate economics, project management and program design. Prior to joining TREND, Gretchen was Vice President at RW Ventures, LLC, where she worked for nine years, providing thought leadership for complex, innovative economic growth projects and managing multi-firm project teams, a diverse array of client and stakeholder relationships and firm operations. She has also served as the Director of Research for World Business Chicago and as a Project Manager for S.B. Friedman & Company, a Chicago-based real estate and development advisory firm. Gretchen holds a BA in Statistics, with a second concentration in Economics, from the University of Chicago, and a Master’s degree in Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
DIRECTOR OF RETAILER RELATIONS
Tina Taddei is a fourth generation Chicago native with a passionate interest in the complexities and idiosyncrasies of the Chicago market. She began her retail leasing career at General Growth Properties, where she first became intrigued by the profound impact that the right combination of tenants brought to a project, an interest that has informed her work ever since.
Her focus on the strategic merchandising of retailers has had a number of notable successes over the years, both locally and nationally. During her tenure at GGP, she conceived and initiated the replacement of Lord and Taylor with American Girl at Water Tower Place, creating additional retailer synergy for both signature destinations. At GGP, she also initiated Akira’s expansion from a single street location to a successful mall retailer. Later, at Sears Holdings, Tina implemented an in-store leasing program that allowed the Sears brand to be strategically marketed alongside other prominent retailers. Her approach was not only adopted internationally, but increased the value of Sears real estate and led to partnerships with international brands, such as Primark.