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Father's Day Wisdom: What Chicago Developers Tell Their Kids

Chicago Other

When children follow Dad into the family business, fathers can be overjoyed yet cautious. We asked some developers to share the advice they offered their kids as they entered commercial real estate. (Rule #1: not returning your mom's call is a fireable offense.)


Advice from Prime Property Investors Co-CEO Michael Zaransky to his son Brad Zaransky:

“Real estate investing is a constantly changing industry. Follow the demographics, always look for the next trend and adapt the business plan accordingly.”


Kinzie Real Estate Group principal Steve Spinell to daughter Briana Spinell:

"Be a good, active and productive member of society. Not only in business, but in faith and helping others. Relationships, both personal and professional, are all about maintaining a healthy level of 'water in the goodwill bucket' of life. Get experiences in life and don't be afraid to venture off and do what you want to do."


KZF Development partner Suzy Kogen says the best advice her father, Briar Grace Management‎/Kogen Development partner Jerry Kogen, offered her was to always remember and give credit to the unsung heroes who did the actual work. "He said it's like being a part of a great football team. We are the quarterbacks and the people on the job‎ we work with are our all stars/most valuable players. We call the plays, but they are the ones who execute in the field...and carry us through the goal post."

Suzy says her father encouraged her and her brother, KZF Development partner Joel Kogen, in every step they have taken in their professional careers. "No one has a dad like we do."


Fifield Cos Steve Fifield to son Chris Fifield, owner of Fifield Construction and Realty: "Do not borrow too much money, bring extra investors in, and share the profits."

Pictured: Chris, Steve, and their wives, Mary and Randy.