Mason Ailstock

Mason Ailstock

Senior Principal

Mason is a creative relationship-focused executive with fifteen years of experience in strategy and operations management. Skilled in bringing diverse perspectives together for the purpose of finding shared solutions, he has a proven ability to successfully analyze opportunities and produce meaningful results that institute lasting positive change.

  • Clemson University, Master of Science, City & Regional Planning
  • US Green Building Council, LEED Certification
  • Clemson University, Bachelor of Science, Architecture & Design
  • HR&A Advisors, Inc, Senior Principal, 2019 — Present
  • University Financing Foundation Vice President of Operations, 2017 — 2019
  • Convergent, B-Corp, Founder & President, 2016 — Present
  • Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina, Chief Operating Officer, 2015 — 2016
  • Clemson University Innovation Research Park Network, Advance Materials Research Park Director, 2010 — 2012
  • Clemson University Innovation Research Park Network, CU-ICAR Partner Manager, 2006 — 2010
  • Clemson University Innovation Research Park Network, Land & Capital Assets Associate Director of Sustainability & Development, 2003 — 2006
  • Association of University Research Parks, Board Past President, 2018 — Present
  • Association of University Research Parks, Board President, 2016 — 2018
  • Urban Land Institute, Programming Co-Chair & University Development and Innovation Council, 2017 — Present

Vice President of Operations, University Financing Foundation, Atlanta, GA

Led operational strategy development and implementation for national operating foundation as developer and owner of innovation based real estate assets. As an executive leadership team member, advanced $1.3 billion of investment. Led client development and operations in the areas of innovation districts, university research parks and place-based public-private partnerships.

Founder & President, Convergent, B-Corp, Atlanta, GA

Provides advisory leadership in the areas of real estate development, negotiations, programming and operations, business development and communications, activation and thought leadership. Leader in strategic planning and implementation for the acquisition and development of public and private real estate projects focused on economic development, corporate/start-up/university partnerships, and innovation districts.

Chief Operating Officer, Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina, Durham, NC

Led global strategic positioning of Research Triangle Park (RTP), the largest research park in North America at 7,000 acres with over 220 companies, 3 Tier 1 Research Universities, and 5 incubators accounting for 50,000+ employees. Managed the execution of physical development plans, international business recruitment, and communications strategy through strong industry, university and governmental relationships. Led the execution of the master plan, design and redevelopment of 1.2M sqft mixed-use project, Park Center, launch and expansion of the Frontier at RTP, a 265,000 sqft co-working and creative space for start-ups, 2nd Stage, and multi-national companies.

Vice President of Business Development, Research Triangle Foundation of North Carolina, Durham, NC

Developed internal and external partnerships to include universities, existing industry partners, and international prospect activities. Managed the implementation of the RTP Phase 1 Master Plan and evaluation of economic development opportunities. Major accomplishments include the creation of proactive business recruitment platform to identify and cultivate relationships with prospective partners, redesign of RTP website, digital content and communications platform, development of creative projects to engage diverse partners and expand the RTP brand, such as RTP180, Catalysts for Innovation, The Farmery RTP, and Disrupt.

Advanced Materials Research Park Director, Clemson University Innovation Research Park, Network, Greenville, SC

Led business development, marketing, real estate and partnership efforts on the 265-acre campus focused on attracting private sector research and development. Created a global real estate database critical to the business and economic development processes. Managed university administration and private sector partners through the master planning process.