Shooting for the Stars

January 24, 2012 marks the 10th Annual Commercial Real Estate Forecast event. That’s a lot of forecasting, a lot of speakers and a lot of planning.

It’s even more when you consider that I started doing a Forecast event in 1995. That’s even more forecasting, speakers and planning.

No offense to Carl Tannenbaum, Diane Swonk or Steve Stoner; Steve Kling, Rick Scardino or Pat Sullivan; or any of the other speakers to take the dais over the last 16 years, but it doesn’t get any bigger than what is planned for 2012.

Sam Zell and Deb Cafaro will take center stage at the Chicago Marriott Downtown. Deb is interviewing Sam. This is quite a pair:  a real estate icon in Chicago for several decades and one of the brightest stars in real estate.

It doesn’t get any bigger than this.

I worked for Sam for three years. Well, it actually was one of his companies. It was pretty amazing. The contact was minimal, very minimal; but for my first job in real estate marketing and public relations, it was great.

Move the clock ahead many years and I have had the opportunity to work with Deb on some other events. She was the keynote speaker at a Women In Real Estate program I launched for the Real Estate Publishing Group. She too is great.

How do you get a Sam Zell and a Deb Cafaro to an event? It is some combination of who you know, perseverance and luck. It all came together this year.

Now we move on to the rest of the program, and piecing together the right mix of speakers for three general session panels and six breakout sessions. Stay tuned, we’re building something big.

-Michael Millar

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