Before 2000, Karen had never envisioned working in commercial real
estate. But her father had constructed one of Michigan's leading
development companies over 30 years, and she had to decide whether she
would step into the family enterprise. The choice ultimately hinged on
one factor: could the company carry on her father's basic tenets of
honesty and integrity? The answer was decidedly yes.
From her office in the building her father constructed, she can
point out the first commercial high-rise he built when she was a
child. That same building is now surrounded by several more, with
nearly 50 additional properties in surrounding areas. And while the
company has its home base in Detroit- they constructed the Palace of
Auburn Hills where the Pistons play- it has expanded its development
to other parts of the country.
In the midst of her many responsibilities, Karen works closely with
her private wealth advisor (PWA), whom she began working with a couple
of years after she assumed her role at her father's company. She had
interviewed several other firms at the time and eventually established
what has since evolved into over a decade long relationship with her
PWA. Initially recommended to her by an acquaintance, her PWA
demonstrated to her an approach to wealth management that allowed her
to pursue goals that were personally meaningful to her. "At the
end of the day, the most important thing is trust," she said.
Karen plays an active role in handling her personal and family's
finances. Beyond being the "family voice" in the business,
she manages her mother's portfolio and ensures her family's art
collection is preserved.
Recently, taking her son to the Detroit Institute of Art, she
excitedly pointed out the Anselm Kiefer painting that once hung in
their home before they gifted it to the museum. "The fact that
the family, along with the public, is able to experience that painting
is wonderful," she said.
She also prioritizes her philanthropic role in the community. Since
returning to Michigan, she has devoted time to several nonprofit
organizations. Recently, she became chair of The Jewish Fund after
serving on its board for fourteen years. It was another step in
carrying out the legacy of her father, who co-founded the organization
to fund health and welfare services for Metro Detroit's most
Through her commitment to community and family, Karen knows she is
honoring the values of her father and "bringing a little bit of
meaning" into the family enterprise.