Seeing Stars

One of my favorite CPE rituals is the annual selection of our Stars to Watch. For one thing, the process gives me a taste of what college admissions committees go through.

Executive Editor Paul Rosta
Executive Editor Paul Rosta

One of my favorite CPE rituals is the annual selection of our Stars to Watch. For one thing, the process gives me a taste of what college admissions committees go through. To choose the 10 young professionals featured in this month’s issue, the editors spend hours poring over a mound of applications submitted on behalf of smart, versatile and accomplished professionals, none older than 40.

That also tells you why picking only 10 isn’t just difficult, it’s downright intimidating. These overachievers have already handled deals valued in the billions, managed high-profile projects, tied and untied difficult knots.

Among them, this year’s Stars offer a generous sampling of asset categories, professional specialties and geographic markets. The Class of 2018 includes a guiding force behind the revitalization of a San Francisco retail landmark; an architect who supervises California investment and development projects, specializing in clients from her native China; and a broker who tripled tenant-rep revenues in Chicago while also heading her company’s national law firm practice (presumably without cloning herself).

You’ll also meet an entrepreneur who has built a $1 billion multifamily portfolio since 2008, as well as the 30-year-old leading the transformation of the iconic TWA terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport into a one-of-a-kind hotel. One data point strikes me as particularly encouraging: The 2018 Stars comprise five men and five women. 

Each year, we ask CPE’s Stars to share a piece of advice, whether it’s wisdom that they’ve picked up from a mentor or a principle they pass along to younger colleagues. So at this point, I’ll yield the floor and close with three of my favorite observations from the Stars.

On creativity: “Let your mind think creatively and take time to create. Ideas create value, and seeing value where others cannot means you will always be an integral part of a transaction or a company.”

On the journey: “Don’t let your college major, previous work experience or money define your career choice and path. Take the time to reflect on yourself, pause and think about what direction you want to take.”

And finally, on learning: “You never know 100 percent of something. Someone will always know more than you do, so go out and seek that knowledge.”

You’ll find more on this topic in the March 2018 issue of CPE.