Designing buildings that are efficient and enjoyable for the people who work and live in them has been George Fellner’s notion of a rewarding career since his early teens.
Sixty years after Jack Kerouac’s legendary novel “On the Road” was published, his distant cousin –real estate agent AJ Kerouac – is also on the road, knocking on doors and trying to get elected as selectman in his hometown of Brooklyn.
Kevin Dillon heads the Connecticut Airport Authority, created in 2011 to expand commercial service out of Bradley International Airport and oversee the state’s five general aviation airports.
Jeffrey Phillips and his partner, Mark Madonna, started out working in finance together in New York City.
Danielle Bercury helps developers navigate the permitting puzzle when proposing commercial and multifamily projects.
Daniel D. Thomas was named one of Realtor.com’s 30 under 30 in 2016 and it’s easy to see why.
Trevor Davis spent seven years after college drumming in bands before settling down to work as a commercial broker in the Hartford area.
Beth Brucker got into the mortgage business after leaving a corporate job with an insane work schedule.
Patty McManus’ real estate career was off to a slow start when the crash came.
Architect Mark Simon began designing homes with an eye for sustainability long before the term came into vogue. More than four decades later, he’s incorporating the latest energy-saving strategies into clients’ projects. Simon is one of four partners at Centerbook Architects, along with James Childress, Chad Floyd and Jefferson Riley. The firm is active in custom home design and commercial, religious and academic projects including a new 216-bed, 87,000-square-foot resident hall at Sacred Heart University that opened last fall.
Like so many others in banking, Anne Cerami says she got into her field mostly by accident, when a recruiter suggested a commercial real estate gig at Shawmut Bank 25 years ago. Since then she’s held a variety of roles, including credit analyst, commercial lender and SBA manager. Now with TD Bank, Cerami is overseeing the addition of several new small business specialists in Massachusetts and Connecticut. She also serves on the advisory board of the microlender Accion.
Candace Adams started out in real estate sales, but soon got into management and never looked back.
Colleen Sheridan’s career in commercial real estate has taken her from Fairfield to Manhattan and finally Hartford overseeing investment sales, sale-leasebacks and managing corporate real estate including Honeywell’s 29-million-square-foot national portfolio.
Bruce Howell knew from a young age that he would eventually go blind. At 11, he was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease for which there is no cure. He retained most of his vision through high school and college and enjoyed a 15-year career in retail banking. But then the community bank in Needham where he’d worked was shuttered by the FDIC during the commercial real estate collapse of the ’90s. Around that time, Howell also became legally blind. The Carroll Center’s independent living program gave him back his sense of agency, he said, and today he works on web accessibility issues at the center, helping businesses make sure their digital assets are accessible to all of their customers.
Jeff Criswell was a starting tackle in the NFL (Indianapolis Colts, Buffalo Bills and Kansas City Chiefs) for a dozen seasons – more than twice the league average – before retiring in 1998.
Following stints practicing law and running his own mortgage company, Ken Ginsberg joined Real Living Wareck D’Ostilio as a commercial broker in 2015.
Jessica McCauley kicked off her accounting career at what was then Price Waterhouse. She worked for five years in the company’s auditing department, working largely with startups and tech companies before taking a hiatus to raise her children. Beers Hamerman offered her the flexibility to balance work and life when she was ready to re-enter the accounting world, and it was there that she developed a specialty working with nonprofits.
Carl Lantz started his professional life as a professional chef, a career he says is one of the few that forces people to work longer, later hours than real estate does.
Lauren Freedman started selling real estate during one of the worst markets in memory.
When West Hartford attorney Scott Franklin represents clients in real estate matters, he brings added perspectives to the negotiating table beyond his legal background: that of an office building owner familiar with a landlord’s role; the son of a record store chain founder who operated stores from Philadelphia to western Massachusetts; and that of a former town official who’s reviewed development proposals. Outside the office, he’s active as chairman of the town’s bicycle advisory committee, which is working to improve accessibility for pedestrians and cyclists.
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