Shopping Centers Today

JUN 2019

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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50 S C T / J U N E 2 0 1 9 N E W S M A K E R S M ichael Gold did not choose the easiest of times to get into the real estate industry. Fresh out of college he did a brief stint in marketing, and then he joined CBRE, in 2009 — right smack in the middle of the Great Recession. "I describe it in two ways: by brute force and by luck," said Gold. But he made it — as evidenced by his promotion last January, at the age of 32, to executive vice president and COO of Pine Tree, a full-service real estate firm specializing in retail property investments. Since its founding in 1995, Northbrook, Ill.–based Pine Tree has acquired nearly 100 properties and completed upwards of $2.1 billion in transactions across the U.S., focused primarily on the open-air convenience-based shopping center side. Gold joined Pine Tree only five years ago (the exact length of his tenure as a broker at CBRE, representing retail landlords and tenants in his native Chicago area), serving most recently as a senior vice president of asset management. Now, as COO, he will have broad oversight over the company's portfolio, which currently totals about $800 million. Gold credits CBRE senior colleagues Todd Caruso; Joseph Parrott, CRRP, CRX, CLS; and Jim Sakanich with teaching him the ropes of leasing suburban shopping centers and for helping secure his survival through the depths of a recession. "They wanted to be able to train me as their junior partner, he said. "It was a unique opportunity to get directly into the brokerage room, and so I jumped on that." Gold certainly made the most of the opportunity, earning CBRE's National Rookie of the Year award in 2010 as the highest-performing first-year retail professional nationally. Gold also credits ICSC — and the Next Generation program in particular — with helping him advance his career. "It has been a phenomenal experience working with ICSC," he said. "From day one it was an opportunity to learn more about the industry and to connect, not just with people, but [with] relevant people and important people and the real decision makers of the industry. It has been just an invaluable piece of my career." In 2013 Gold decided to pursue an MBA, so he took evening courses at DePaul University's Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. Halfway through the program, in 2014, he joined Pine Tree as vice president of leasing. "The biggest challenge, quite frankly, was going from being the broker to being the client," he said. "What prepared me was just knowledge of the business. I had worked on the institutional side and worked with principals similar to Pine Tree, and so it equipped me to be able to go in day one and do my job effectively." MICHAEL GOLD A fruitful decade Michael Gold: Pine Tree's new COO reflects on how he got there By Ben Johnson

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