Edward Henley III, Founding Principal and Project Executive of Pillars Development

By Martin Cherry

Edward Henley III is the Founding Principal and Project Executive of Pillars Development, a project management, consulting, and land use development firm based in Nashville. Edward has over ten (10) years of experience as a Project Executive / Project Manager/ Project Analyst primarily in the public sector.

He excels within large capital projects, providing timely and accurate management of often complex and complicated budget expenditures and reporting. He adeptly coordinates numerous government agencies, project personnel, and architectural, engineering and construction firms. Edward is also experienced with and passionate about planning and community engagement.

As the executive of a minority-owned firm, he lends his unique perspective to assist with market assessments and concept development. He is passionate about community engagement; he lends his experience as the executive of a minority-owned, small business to assist with facilitating, presenting, and participating in community and stakeholder engagement efforts. Edward Chair of Mission Advancement and the soon to be Chair of Urban Land Institute (ULI) Nashville and supports the Advisory Services Program nationally.

Edward is also a member of the Urban Land Institute’s Public Development and Infrastructure Council. With the council, he reviews case studies from across the nation, assessing feasibility and analyzing best practices for funding, initiatives and programs. His personal motivation is to further thoughtful development that can create innovative and equitable benefits for the individuals and organizations of communities in multiple stages: seemingly stagnant, transitioning, and those dealing with or contemplating rapid growth.

More recently, he has been called into action to serve on ULI’s National Council for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Edward is a Nashville-native, born and raised. He attended University of Tennessee – Knoxville, where he earned a degree in Finance and Enterprise Management. Edward returned to Nashville in 2011 and founded Pillars Development in 2013.

His areas of focus, currently, are in furthering civic and cultural projects, increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in real estate development and creating resources of information, networking and capital for new and nontraditional investors and developers. His passion for affordable housing and economic are on full display as he co-leads Nashville’s Affordable Housing Task Force and has multiple affordable housing and commercial projects in the works