Friday, December 28, 2018

Happy 2019!

I know it’s a few days early but wanted to wish all of you a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2019!  Boy oh boy – where did 2018 go?

On behalf of my business partner Liz Weiner I want to thank all our clients and workshop attendees for making this year the best we’ve had in our almost 6 years in existence!
In early 2019, I’ll be offering a number of new original songs for sale on iTunes.  All sale proceeds (other than iTunes cut) goes to Mac Angels ( a foundation that provides services and programs to enhance the quality of life for patients, family members and caregivers who are impacted daily by ALS. Since inception, MAC Angels has helped over 500 families in Connecticut, Southeastern New York and Northern New Jersey. 

I’ll let you know when the songs are available.  For now, here’s the latest one we’ve recorded called ‘Break Your Heart.’  My son Kevin and I co-wrote the lyrics and that’s Kevin singing lead vocal. 

Playing on the tune are some of the finest musicians in the Asheville, NC area:

Paul Babelay (
Molly Rose Reed (
Lynn Netherton (pedal steel)

I hope you’ll support Mac Angels when the tunes are available.

Thanks a lot!

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving...from Merida, Mexico

Gaining some distance from my everyday life gives me a chance to have some real perspective on things. This year, I have had a lot to give thanks for and to celebrate.

This year I took two vacations that I’ve wanted to do for many years – the Alaska cruise which I wrote to you about and a trip to Italy’s Amalfi Coast.  I remember when my mother and father came back from their trip to Amalfi, a million years ago.  My father, who loved to drive, was so excited about the winding, narrow roads there.  His face lit up when he told us about it.  Now I’ve also experienced it and, it’s likely that it’s even crazier now, given there are more cars, more big buses, more motorcycles and scooters and more people walking on the roads that have no sidewalks. The Italians are very aggressive drivers – and very good.  As in most things in life, to survive you just have to do what people do in their own cultures.  “When in Rome, do as the Roman’s do.”

As I think about Thanksgiving, I’m going to take the liberty of not only mentioning some things I’m thankful for, but also grateful for – they’re pretty much one in the same, right?

I’m grateful for having my health.  All of us have experienced too, too many people we know and love who, no matter how young or old, have dealt with or are currently dealing with really crummy health matters.  In our wonderful industry we’ve seen too many of our friends and colleagues die way too soon.  Each one is a wake-up call to me.

I’m grateful for having such a wonderful family.  My son Brian, his wife Bridget and their boys, Sean (9) and Gavin (7).  My son Kevin, his wife Marissa and their 7-year old twins, Ben and Edie. 

I’m grateful for having met so many truly nice people in my career – around the world.  

I’m grateful for all the wonderful musicians I’ve shared the stage and studio with – playing rock and blues keyboards, singing, writing songs and now in the process of recording my third ‘album’ – I’m a lucky guy.  Mentioning the new ‘album’ – I’ve been advised that very few people buy CD’s anymore. So, I’m going to sell the songs individually on iTunes.  After they take their cut, 100% of the proceeds will go to Mac Angels Foundation, a Westchester, New York - based organization whose mission is to enhance the quality of life for individuals, family members and caregivers impacted daily by ALS, by providing the compassion, education and unique resources needed to manage the devastating effects of this disease.​
I know of Mac Angels via my long-time friendship with Paul McEvoy, one of the true gentlemen in the institutional real estate community.  Paul and his wife M.C. were involved in the launch of Mac Angels and Paul currently serves as President of the organization.
I’m grateful for the fact that I have no debt and that my life has become fairly simple – after being complex for many years.
I’m grateful for the working relationship that Felix / Weiner Consulting Group partner Liz Weiner and I have developed.  It’s not easy being in business for yourself and over the past 6 years Liz and I have become a good team and built a respectable business.  Both of us are grateful for the clients and people we’ve worked with and especially those that have hired us more than once J
I’m grateful for the mentors, supporters and really, really good friends I’ve had in my life and my career. I had started listing them but was concerned I’d overlook someone so better left unlisted…you know who you are – in some cases I wish I had listened to them more.
In closing this piece, I want to share with you something that I learned a few years back that has helped me live a somewhat more peaceful and happier life:
“Whatever you do first thing in the morning you will do all day. Be happy. Smile. Laugh. Be grateful for all that you have.”
With that, I wish you and your family a wonderful Thanksgiving – and hopefully long holiday weekend.
P.S. Can you believe that there is only a little over 5 weeks left in 2018!  Boy, how amazingly fast time is flying by.  

Street in Merida

Street in Merida

New Restaurant in Merida

Mayan Ruins, Uxmal, Mexico

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

In memoriam: Dan Fulop (1974-2018)

Dan Fulop, Managing Director at The Related Companies died on September 28.  He was 43. 

I learned about Dan’s passing last night via an email exchange with another industry friend who told me she had recently joined Related.  In congratulating her I asked if she had met Dan yet.  Her reply, “Unfortunately, I haven't. I'm in the field office so I don't see many people outside my immediate team. Also, I only recognize the name because there was a company wide email about his recent passing. I hope I'm not the one to give you the news. Very sad, he was too young”.

Yes, too young and so sad. 

Dan and I met via this column about 15 years ago.  He worked in Related’s HQ in Columbus Circle in New York and I lived right around the corner.  About once a year, at around 5:30pm, we’d meet at Joe G’s Restaurant on 56th Street for a beer and talk about things.  Then he’d go back to the office and work until about 8pm before heading home to his family in New Jersey. 

Dan was one of those guys that you couldn't help be attracted to. His energy was contagious and his passion for his family and his career was powerfully evident.  He knew some things about me and at our first get together I learned that we had some things in common:  Livingston, NJ; Dan graduated from Rutgers University (the same school that my sons Brian and Kevin graduated from) and Jersey City where Dan’s brother Steven is now mayor and the band I played with, ‘Everyone’ was based.  

While the term ‘rising star’ may be over-used, after our first meeting I knew Dan was destined to advance.  Dan was a humble guy.  He did not seek out the spotlight. He just went about his business and got the job done. We connected right away and our conversations were always open and honest. 

From obituaries I found about him: Dan had nearly 25 years of investment experience, including long tenures with investment bank Goldman Sachs, & Co. and mutual fund manager Franklin Templeton. He is a graduate of Rutgers University, speaks five languages, and is proud to be a New York City-born first generation child of parents that immigrated to the United States in 1970. Dan was one of three brothers who learned a strong work ethic in their parents’ Newark deli and rose individually to prominence in their respective fields.

Over the years since he and I first met, Dan was spending more and more time in Asia.  He died while traveling in Vietnam.

I had a restless night last night thinking about Dan.  It’s another of those wake-up calls for us:  you never know.

One of the things that I read every day is a reminder:  Yesterday is gone, tomorrow doesn’t exist, today is all we have. 

Treasure today.  Appreciate all we have.  Don’t forget to tell someone you love that you love them.

My sincerest condolences to Dan’s family and friends.  He was a really good guy.

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