It makes sense that Stanley Gale's favorite motto is: "It can be done."
Gale founded Gale & Wentworth, a diversified real estate investment and services organization headquartered in Florham Park, NJ. "I'm proud of the organization we've built, but it has never been a self-centered organization," says Gale.
As the firm's chairman and chief operating officer, Gale leads the organization of a global real estate portfolio, concentrating on the sourcing of equity opportunities and the establishment of joint venture partnerships with financial investors and institutions. He relies on his senior staff, partners, the Internet, and his financial partners to provide the market data necessary for his business. Gale's involvement encompasses establishing policies and the overall strategic direction of the organization that embraces quality service, total client satisfaction, and community improvement.
Gale was deeply affected on a personal level by the attack on the World Trade Center, losing his cousin and 15 business associates. His company has dramatically changed the way it does business in response to recent security concerns. The organization has re-examined its entire portfolio - 50 million square feet in 26 states - with a focus on life safety. For example, one of the projects under construction is being re-evaluated for increased security. "We want to be sure we have done everything we could have done to provide for safety," says Gale.
"My strongest tool, my strength, is strong visualization of the outcome. I set the goal, rally the troops, be sure the goal is a team goal, build consensus, and go after it with relentless pursuit," he explains. His determination, positive attitude, and focus on others reflect the company's guiding principles during these difficult times. "Accepting defeat; I hate that, it is not my nature," says Gale.
Experience has taught him the importance of supporting the community and overcoming adversity. Gale has been in the real estate industry since 1974 and has weathered many economic cycles. "That's the challenge to try and measure [the current financial situation] and adapt your business to the economic climate. We are in uncharted territory," says Gale.
An industry leader, Gale is the member of several associations, including the Urban Land Institute, the Industrial Development Research Council, and the National Association of Corporate Real Estate Executives. He serves on the Board of Trustees of Prosperity New Jersey. In addition to having ownership interest in the New York Yankees and the New Jersey Nets and Devils, Gale is strongly committed to revitalizing Newark through a development program that will bring a new sports and entertainment complex to the area.
Adds Gale, "I always ask, 'How can we do a good job by doing good things?' "Up Close and Personal
Stan, what are some of the highlights of your career?
We have built a successful organization while doing exciting things that are helpful to others.
What do you like least/most about your job?
What I love most is helping clients solve their problems and assisting the growth of their companies through the facilities we build, manage, or invest in with them. Least? I don't dislike anything I do.
What advice do you have for your peers?
My principle is fairness in everything you do.
What do you consider your most important resource?
I rely on my partners and my senior people to help me make the right decisions.
Looking ahead, what do you see as challenges in the coming year?
The world economic crisis that we are in has tremendous implication for the future. We are only a reflection of our business clients that pay the rent in our buildings
Any particular pastimes, hobbies, or hidden talents?
My favorite thing was when I was the coach of my children's teams. Watching their games is my pastime. They are good athletes, better than I am!
How about favorite films?
Anything with Jim Carrey in it. I love comedy. The film, The Graduate, that's my favorite.
What is your biggest strength?
My ability to make decisions and not waffle on them, to make decisions and move forward.
What is your personal motto?
I use Ronald Reagan's slogan: It can be done.
If you weren't in this profession, what alternative occupation would you pursue?
I wanted to be a professional soccer player. Unfortunately, I'm 51 now, so that has passed me by.
Regina Raiford (regina.raiford@ buildings. com) is senior editor at Buildings magazine.