Executive Speaker Series

Speaker Series Frank Cohen

On November 14th, Frank Cohen (center), Senior Managing Director of Blackstone’s Real Estate Group, joined a group of Kellogg students for lunch and discussed Blackstone’s strategy, his career, the state of the real estate markets, and provided career and investing advice. Also pictured at the head table are Sean O’Grady, President, Kellogg Real Estate Club (left), Craig Furfine, Clinical Professor of Finance (right) and students of the Kellogg Real Estate Club. Read more

Our executive speaker series was launched in May of 2004. Our inaugural speaker was Sam Zell. His presentation was attended by 25 students from the Kellogg Real Estate Club and several real estate faculty members as well as Dean Jacobs. The format then is much like today: Over lunch at the Allen Center, the executive provides an informal overview of his/her views on the commercial real estate market, which is followed by a question-and-answer period with the students and faculty. The series is a joint effort between the Kellogg Real Estate Program, Kellogg Real Estate Club and the Guthrie Center for Real Estate Research, but was initiated by the Zell Center for Risk Research.

The Kellogg Real Estate Executive Speaker Series provides our students an informal forum to exchange ideas with and ask questions of leading real estate executives. This interaction with key members of the real estate industry provides the students with varied and insightful perspectives on leadership, investment management, competition, personal development and other significant issues. The program also fosters positive relationships between key industry practitioners (and their company(ies)) and the Kellogg Real Estate Program.

We have been very fortunate to have hosted a distinguished roster of executive speakers:

2013-2014 Academic Year:

  • Soultana Reigle (NU '94), Principal, Prudential Real Estate Investors.
  • Frank Cohen (NU '95), Senior Managing Director, The Blackstone Group.
  • Robert Levy (NU '87), President and Chief Executive Officer, Centerline Capital Group.
  • Peter H. Schaff, Retired North America Chief Executive Officer, LaSalle Investment Management
  • Alasdair Cripps, Senior Managing Director, Mesirow Financial.

2012-2013 Academic Year:

  • David Helfand, Founder, Helix and Co-President, Equity Group Investments
  • Jerry Claeys, Non- Executive Chairman and an equity owner of Heitman (former Chairman and CEO of Heitman)
  • Ward Feste, Co-owner and President, Peregrine Group LLC
  • Christopher Merrill, Co-Founder, President and CEO of Harrison Street Real Estate Capital, LLC
  • John Parsons, Managing Director, MacGregor Associates

2011-2012 Academic Year:

2010-2011 Academic Year:

2009-2010 Academic Year:

  • Stephen Quazzo, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer - Transwestern Investment Company LLC
  • David Crowell, Chief Operating Officer - The Rise Group
  • Peter C. Roberts, Chief Executive Officer, Americas - Jones Lang LaSalle
  • Gwendolyn L. Butler (KSM '84), President and Chief Operating Officer, Capri Capital Partners
  • Gary F. Wendt (’93), Chief Executive Officer, Signature Resorts International 

2008-2009 Academic Year:

  • Casey Wold, Senior Managing Director Head of Midwest, Atlanta, Boston and Washington, D.C Regions - Tishman Speyer
  • Perry M. Pinto, Principal - Walton Street Capital L.L.C
  • Anthony Manno (NU '73), CEO, President and Chief Investment Officer - Security Capital Research & Management Inc.
  • C. Kevin Shannahan, Executive VP, Mid-west & Southeast Region - Hines
  • Bruce R. Cohen, Chairman of the Board and CEO - Wrightwood Capital

2007-2008 Academic Year:  

  • Lynn C. Thurber, Chairman – LaSalle Investment Management
  • John Kukral, President - Northwood Investors LLC
  • Donald Suter, Managing Principal and head - M3 Capital Partners
  • Gerald Fogelson, Founder and President, Fogelson Companies and Chairman and CEO, Central Station Development Corporation

2006-2007 Academic Year:

  • John Bucksbaum, Chief Executive Officer – General Growth Properties Inc., Chairman - International Council of Shopping Center’s Board of Trustees.
  • Bruce Duncan, Retired Chief Executive Officer and President – Equity Residential.
  • Jerry Claeys, Chief Executive Officer – Heitman
  • Gary Garrabrant, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder – Equity International

2005-2006 Academic Year:

  • Paul Beitler, President – The Beitler Company
  • Debra A. Cafaro, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer – Ventas, Inc.
  • Jack Higgins, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer – Higgins Development Partners
  • Leland Pillsbury (KSM '82), Chairman and Chief Executive Officer – Thayer Lodging Group Inc.
  • Geoffrey Dohrmann, Chief Executive Officer – Institutional Real Estate, Inc.
    John Schreiber, President – Centaur Capital Partners, Inc. and Co-Founder and Partner of Blackstone Real Estate Advisors, L.P.

2004-2005 Academic Year:

  • Neil Bluhm (NU Law '62) – Walton Street Capital
  • Jeffrey Schwartz, Chief Executive Officer – ProLogis
  • Stuart Scott (NU Law '64), formerly Chief Executive Officer – Jones Lang LaSalle
  • John Buck, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer – The John Buck Company

2003-2004 Academic Year:

  • Samuel Zell – Chairman - Equity Group Investments LLC

 We sincerely thank these industry leaders for enriching our students’ academic experience and for making this luncheon an undeniable success!