In one of his slightly nutty emails to an extremely nervous Twitter staff, Elon Musk demanded that the remaining troops at the social media platform commit to being “hardcore.”
“This will mean working long hours at high intensity,” Musk said. “Only exceptional performance will constitute a passing grade.”
Say what you will about Musk’s business negotiating skills ($44 billion?!), his management principles, and his social media arbitration talent (yes, Twitter has become even more of a hellscape than it was a month ago). But high-intensity exceptional performance is not that crazy a formula for personal success.
One thing we’ve long noted in covering commercial real estate is that the people who seem to come out on top are the ones who are fanatical about their jobs — the ones who believe in the mission, show drive and, yes, display a certain intensity. This usually led to great reward during normal times, but in the last year — with markets growing colder and banks becoming as nervous as a Twitter accountability monitor — it has been a necessary precondition for survival.
It’s no surprise then that dedication and hard work are common traits among the exceptional Young Professionals profiled here. You don’t accept a summer job as “bait boy” — as Savills’ Andrew Dzenis did when he was younger — unless you possess a certain amount of pluck.
Many of our young standouts had seen the business up close before they chose it for themselves. Caroline Collins’ parents were in real estate, Bobby Carrozzo was typing up lease riders for his grandmother’s Queens warehouses, and Josh Fisher was from a family business you might have heard of. (Yes, that Fisher — as in Fisher Bros.) There are many other examples.
And, young though they are, they’ve already worked with the luminaries of the business.
Sebastien Coles of MdeAS Architects is currently overseeing the interior work on Macklowe Properties’ redevelopment of One Wall Street done by the eponymous Harry Macklowe. Jonathan Gann of SOM is the project manager for Vornado Realty Trust’s massive conversion of the Farley Post Office in Midtown South.
But they’re not just living in the shadows of their projects (and their elders). They’re interesting characters in their own right who have come from far away, like New Zealander Florence Violet Mangan, or who sailed oceans for the U.S. Navy, like Ryan Merluza. They’re even teaching these elders a thing or two, like Ben Milbank, whose expertise on Local Law 97 no doubt dwarfs that of many old-timers.
The names on our finance, leasing, sales, architecture, engineering and construction list have intensity, have grit, and have survived 2022, the year of crises — averted and otherwise.
They’re the Young Professionals, Class of 2022.—Max Gross