Albert M. Berriz learned early that there are two things that can never be taken away: education and hard work.
His father ingrained that lesson into him after the family fled Cuba in 1958 with nothing, setting him on the path to entrepreneurship. ThatdrivetookhimtotheUniversityofMiami, then to the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University before partnering with Ronald Weiser, founder of McKinley Inc.
Even before he became the company’s CEO, he was helping McKinley grow. His ability to solve clients’ problems and the company’s innovative approach gave McKinley a competitive edge, helping it grow and develop a stellar reputation. The company, which invests in and manages residential and commercial real estate nationwide, today owns and manages 173,871 apartments and 6.2 million square feet of commercial space in 10 states. It is working with some of the largest financial institutions in the country, and its core target is to be the premier real estate brand in its markets, doubling in size every eight years.
To get there, Berriz emphasizes the positive with his employees, knowing that if he does a great job with them, they’ll do a great job with customers. The entire company celebrates when something good happens, and Berriz makes sure he says five positive things for every negative thing he has to point out.
Conversely, he often talks to employees about what he’s done wrong, and what he thinks he should have done differently, using himself as an example and allowing people to learn from his mistakes.
HOW TO REACH: McKinley Inc., www.mckinley.com or (734) 769-8520