May 8, 2003
Keepin' it Real Estate
Becker General Contractors' Sandy Becker was happy to be at what is known in the real estate and construction business as a "sunriser" -- an early morning get-together. With a 4-month-old baby at home, Becker has, in recent weeks, been out of the loop regarding the regularly held sunrisers staged by The Jewish Federation's Real Estate and Construction Division.
But Becker was one of many real estate-related entrepreneurs packing the 6505 Wilshire Blvd. boardroom for a special dor v'dor panel focused on relatives working together in real estate, which Victor Coleman, president/COO of Arden Realty, moderated.
Robert Gluckstein, owner of Robert I. Gluckstein Investments, shared with the in-the-know industry intelligentsia his highs and lows in the business, as well as some insights into the cyclical nature of Los Angeles' real estate world. He also traced the career trajectory of his son, Brad Gluckstein, who went from Frisbee-flinging frat boy at Berkeley to becoming the self-made owner of Apex Realty and, more recently, CEO/managing partner of the Conga Room nightclub.
"I'm very proud of my son, because most of what he has accomplished, he's done on his own," Robert Gluckstein said.
Brad Gluckstein confirmed that autonomy in a parent-sibling relationship is critical to their healthy working relationship, and that keeping offices and dealings separate has helped achieve those ends.
Melissa Bordy talked about coming aboard as CFO of Held Properties Inc., founded in 1952 by her father, Harold Held, only after working her way up the field of finance at other companies. Unlike the Glucksteins, the Held family works together in the same office.
"Give them the authority to accomplish that responsibility and don't stand in their way" was Held's sage advice on how to foster a successful second-generation real estate kin.
Mark Lainer of Lainer Investments spoke of working with son-in-law Brian Fagan. Like the Glucksteins, whose real estate roots go back to 1918, the Lainers are third-generation real estate businessmen who still turn to to 99-year-old patriarch Louis Lainer for Solomonesque advice. Fagan spoke of the savvy and experience he has gleaned working alongside Mark, who in turn spoke about the hands-on nature of their business, which includes investing in properties and managing them.
"As my father liked to say," Mark Lainer said, "'I'm the president and I'm the janitor.'"
Raising Bar on Closets
While some Hollywood Jews are coming out of the closet to support Israel, others are going into the closet -- but with good reason.
Doorset Closet Mobel prides itself on premium closet spaces manufactured in Israel, where the company has been based since 1986.
LA Architect magazine recently spotlighted Doorset with a special reception at Doorset's Beverly Hills showroom. Playing hostess that evening was Netaly Bar, the showroom's sales and marketing manager and the daughter of Doorset founder Amos Ayzenberg, who, with wife Lily Ayzenberg, attended the Beverly Hills reception.
Also in attendance, noshing on hors d'oeuvres courtesy of The Grill: Michael Kienzl and Aaron Alfi, partners in Bradco Kitchens and Baths, another L.A.-based importer of Israeli home design products; Yariv Ben-Yehuda, an Israel Defense Forces Radio broadcaster based in Los Angeles; Ashley Lowengrub, representing products designed by his mother, Israeli sculptor Ilana Goor, and clothing designer James Perse, creator of the Los Angeles-based IAMGE T's casual clothing line, which LA Architect invited to take part in the evening.
Some 150 members and friends of the Shomrim Society of Southern California, the fraternal society for Jewish law enforcement personnel, gathered at Sinai Temple on April 29 to honor Rabbi Henry E. Kraus for his long service as chaplain to the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Among those on hand to honor the rabbi were Police Chief William Bratton; Sheriff Lee Baca; Rabbi David Wolpe; Shomrim President Marvin Goldsmith; Sinai President Abner Goldstine; Dr. Alfred Pasternak, Kraus's brother-in-law; and his grandsons, Jerry and Dr. Daniel Janoff. Kraus, 88, a survivor of Auschwitz, once served as chief rabbi of the western region of Hungary. -- Staff Report