Saturday, November 2, 2013

PREA / Music & Business Mix / Where Angels Play


Congratulations to Gail Haynes, President of the Pension Real Estate Association, and her team for producing another successful event!  Approximately 900 commercial real estate industry professionals converged on Chicago’s Fairmont Hotel last week for the 23rd annual Conference.  This is historically the most well attended event in the industry bringing together pension funds, their managers and other service providers.  The upbeat conversations at the venue were sprinkled with talk of bursting bubbles, sinking cap rates, and rising interest rates.

During breaks and meals I noticed many people hanging out with their peers, often in the same age range.  While this is often comfortable, this may limit opportunities to hear fresh ideas.  

I’m including a link to an interesting Forbes posting on ‘reverse mentoring’ which talks of the benefits of generational knowledge sharing.   I challenge you to read this 2011 article, if you haven’t already, and not think differently.

Music and Business mix 

Last Monday night two well-known industry personalities hosted their third annual music event during a PREA conference.  Fred Gortner of Paladin Realty and Ryan Krauch of MesaWest were the orchestrators of this get-together.

Held in Chicago’s House of Blues, it was one of the most fun evenings I’ve had in a long time.  A blues band had been hired and alerted to the fact that some of the audience may want to sit in with the band – and that’s just what happened!!

Gortner is a fabulous guitar player with whom I’ve jammed before.  Joining us was Triton Pacific’s Scott Arden, a solid drummer.  Steve Vittorio of Prudential and Joe Nahas of Equus Partners were dynamic rhythm guitarists – Vittorio also adding vocals to the mix. I have known Steve a long time but until that night didn’t know he was a musician.  Quilvest's Ione Permison and her tambourine added a special dimension and I played keyboards and sang a few songs.

The next day there was a little music buzz at the PREA conference.  It was a real treat to mix business and pleasure and share the stage with industry friends who happen to be talented musicians as well.  Thanks Fred and Ryan for thinking outside the ‘box set’ of business.

Where Angels Play

It’s been a year since Hurricane Sandy devastated the northeast and almost one year since the senseless shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  

Last weekend while visiting friends in Island Park, Long Island we stopped at the site of a brand new playground, which replaces the one damaged by the hurricane.  A group of New Jersey firefighters created a non-profit organization called The Sandy Ground Project to build 26 playgrounds in 26 different communities - one for each of the 26 Newtown victims.  ‘Where Angels Play’ is the theme of the Sandy Ground project.

The new pink 2,600 square-foot playground in Island Park is named after 6-year-old Sandy Hook victim, Caroline Previdi. She loved the color pink.   Seeing her photograph at the entrance to the playground was so very sad.  The loss of the possibilities of life that Caroline left behind is unfathomable.  The naming of playgrounds after her and other young victims is a beautiful, simple and powerful tribute.  


Doug Abbey has joined Swift Real Estate Partners as Chairman
Mike Coster has launched Kimberlite Advisors
Benjamin Linder joined LGT Clerestory

On The Road...

Nov. 20 - 21:  Johns Hopkins University, Carey Business School, Edward St. John Real Estate Program; Conducting a workshop for students: Careers in Real Estate / Interview Skills, Drills & Thrills, Washington, DC

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