Give and Take
AS I WAS GOING THROUGH THIS YEAR’S
submissions for what was originally planned as
40 Under 40 (now 50 Under 40), one major trend
stood out in a big way
Sure, the nominees—all 541 of them—were each impressive and tal-
ented. All of them exhibited the determination and ambition necessary to
be successful in this business. Many of them have transacted hundreds
of millions of dollars worth of deals, played a pivotal role in their organiza-
tions’ growth and/or rapidly climbed the corporate ladder to senior posi-
tions in a short time frame.
Yet the thing that stood out the most was this: as important as career
success is to these individuals, so is giving back to the community. Many
of the young professionals’ bios I reviewed looked like the “community
service” portion of competitive college applications.
Whether it’s serving on the boards of nonprofits, volunteering their time
and money to improve the lives of those around them, mentoring troubled
teens or coaching youth activities, these professionals are as involved in
these efforts as they are in their business endeavors.
Some of them even combined their love of commercial real estate with
their passion for service, forming companies that work to better their communities, including building environmentally sustainable product and providing affordable housing to veterans and families in need.
The motivation behind their actions varies. Some came from rough
neighborhoods and want to use their experience to help others follow in
their footsteps. Others have family members who suffer from the diseases
for which they try to raise money and support. Several of the firms that
employ these professionals encourage and support community service.
Yet for just about all of these individuals, they do what they do for no
reward other than the satisfaction of helping, of giving back to a world that
has benefited them in so many ways.
It’s a refreshing thing to see, especially when much of the attention in
the CRE business often goes to the big deals, which transactions made
the most money and who was behind them.
Sometimes, the give is as important as the take.
6 REAL ESTATE FORUM OCTOBER 2015
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