I grew up in Baltimore, where my dad was a city planner for the Community Redevelopment Agency. He was a key part of the redevelopment of the Inner Harbor and the transformation of Downtown Baltimore. I remember seeing models of buildings my dad was working on from an early age. In his spare time, he would buy and rehab houses, and I was fascinated by how he added value to these projects, sparking my interest in real estate early on.
After graduating from UCLA, I joined Merrill Lynch as a banker, but after a couple of years I knew I wanted to go back to school to get into real estate. I did my MBA at Wharton to sharpen my technical skills and got a job at Tishman in 1991; I have been here ever since.
At Tishman, I was thrown into the fire immediately and worked on everything from advisory assignments to hotel development deals in Poland and Puerto Rico. I was exposed to every aspect of the development process, from pre-development through asset management, and learned a ton about how to solve complex problems through an organized and systematic approach.