Pitts, left, and William Lampley
values, friendship launch real estate venture
Chris Van Nostrand
When James Pitts
'95 and William Lampley '94 started Kellogg Partners,
their new commercial real estate firm in Atlanta, they wanted
a name that represented their core business values and the
genesis of their relationship. Their alma mater fit both criteria.
"Kellogg represents the reason we [came to Evanston] - the
quality and level of excellence and teamwork," says Pitts.
The two have been close friends since Pitts arrived on campus
in 1993 and hit it off immediately with Lampley, who was then
in his first year.
Boldness and innovation
are apt descriptions of Kellogg Partners, which with its founding
in April became one of the few commercial real estate firms
in the country owned by African-Americans. Though the company
is a demographic rarity, it was a relatively common set of
mid-life reflections that led Pitts and Lampley to consider
starting their own business. After working together at Jones
Lang LaSalle in Atlanta since 2001, Lampley notes that the
two men "hit a [birthday] milestone at the big four-oh" earlier
this year. They also had on obvious passion for real estate
which led Pitts to ask, "What if we did this for ourselves?"
venture has inadvertently resulted in Kellogg Partners serving
as a "clearinghouse," says Pitts, for minorities and women
who have always been interested in real estate but found it
difficult to develop the necessary relationships to enter
the field. The two Kellogg grads receive weekly inquiries
from people who are fascinated by the business but who don't
know how to break into the clubby atmosphere, so Lampley and
Pitts often help by using their contacts to get such individuals
in the door at major firms.
"We are truly committed
to women and other minorities seeing what this industry is
all about," says Lampley. "These are individuals who have
the mental acuity to navigate commercial real estate."
Now these fellow
travelers have trailblazers to lead the way.