Meet 7 Sibling Groups Rocking Houston Commercial Real Estate
In honor of National Sibling Day yesterday, we rounded up some pros that are (un?)fortunate enough to work alongside their siblings in Houston's commercial real estate industry.
It's a family affair at JLL, where two sets of siblings work.
President of retail brokerage Naveen Jaggi (left) and SVP Simmi Jaggi (right) have completed many deals together since Simmi recruited Naveen into the industry, most notably selling the property that would later become River Oaks District. Naveen says the two are smarter together than they are apart. The two celebrate an Indian tradition known as Rakhi, a sibling appreciation day. The sister ties a ribbon or thread around the brother’s wrist and the brother gives the sister a gift. The thread is a friendship bracelet that the brother wears all day, symbolizing the sister’s love and prayers for her brother. Simmi loves her brother so much that she taught him everything he knows—she felt that should really be in the article. (It's comments like these that lead Naveen to constantly say "I get it, she's the fun one.")
EVP Jeff Venghaus (left) and SVP Jarret Venghaus (right) have been working together for more than 15 years, completing countless deals as a team. Jarret says he couldn’t imagine not working with his brother and says he was fortunate to be able to follow Jeff into the biz. It's all a shock to their parents; the two fought quite a bit growing up, but say they haven't had cross words in years. Jeff and Jarret live close to each other and get together often; their kids love cousin time. The brothers completed a 188k SF industrial lease at DCT Northwest.
Colvill landlord rep Connor Saxe (right) followed his brother Kevin, a tenant rep and first VP at CBRE, into the business. They say they absolutely love working in the same industry because it gives them something to talk about at family gatherings instead of pretending to play along with their father’s ridiculous antics. (He only recently stopped pretending the Easter Bunny was real.) They tried working at the same company for a while, but they look very similar, so people got them confused. Now they're sticking to separate offices.
Years of commercial real estate talk over family dinner has certainly made an impact on the career choices of the six Layne siblings. Kelly, the oldest, is a director at HFF. Lizzie recently became an analyst at Lionstone Investments. A little over a year ago, Kevin joined the team at The Signorelli Co. Kevin recruited younger sister Caroline as a graphic artist. Stephanie, an interior designer, has completed several commercial real estate projects, and Corey worked as a tenant rep broker at Fritsche Anderson before recently moving out to LA to work in the film industry. The one thing they all have in common is making fun of their dad, Howard Hughes EVP Paul Layne.
Pictured is the Layne Family: Caroline, Kevin, daughter-in-law Bethany, Kelly, Penny (the matriarch), Corey, Lizzie and Paul Layne. Not pictured are daughter Stephanie and son-in-law Andrew Disney.
JLL VP Ryan Barbles' (left) brother Richard (right) works at Stream, which isn’t surprising to anyone who saw how competitive they were growing up. They're very different—Richard says Ryan talks a lot and is very hyper, whereas he doesn't talk enough and gets teased for not having a pulse—and didn't get along well as kids, but they've since grown very close. That hasn’t stopped them from doing deals on opposite sides of the table. They both claim those have all been smooth transactions. In fact, Richard wishes his brother would bring some more business!
ICO Commercial associate Colton Schmidt (right) followed his brother Taylor, Lee & Associates senior director, into the business. At first, Colton was frustrated with his brother's success, often being written up by Bisnow. Now he uses it as motivation to work harder. Colton was finally able to sell a tract of land for his family that Taylor never could, so you if ask him, he’s the better broker. Both gents graduated from A&M and you can find them at every home football game, and the occasional away game.
Michelle, Stacy and Kevin Giuseppetti have a history of copying each other. Stacy decided she wanted to be an architect when she was just 6, Michelle soon followed and not long after, Kevin joined the ranks. Soon the siblings found themselves moving to Kirksey (in the same order) to continue their careers. The three sometimes carpool together in what has been dubbed “The Giusepetti Wagon.” Though their co-workers give them a hard time for taking vacations together, leaving them short-handed, they assure them they make architecture a priority in their itinerary.
Brent (Marketplace Chaplains USA) and Robin Rucker (Kirksey) grew up around the AEC world, surrounded by construction and beautiful architecture via their dad and stepmother, who are in real estate in San Antonio. While younger sister Robin knew she wanted to work in the business from a young age, Brent took a different route. After working as a linguist in Russian counterintelligence, he became a chaplain whose clients include Gamma Construction, which has a partnership with Kirksey. Brent's oldest has said that if her dream of being the first cat astronaut doesn't work out, she wants to be the first kid chaplain architect instead.