Chair, Playhouse Square
Tom started his business career in 1962 after graduating from the University of Wisconsin. He became a Partner at Cragin, Lang, Free & Smythe in 1968 and was Executive Vice President and Chairman of the Executive Committee there when he left in 1979 to be a co-founder of Adler Galvin Rogers, Inc. In 1986 AGR sold to a national real estate company, Grubb & Ellis. Tom served as President of the company’s Investment Services Group and in 1991, tired of extensive business travel, left and co-founded Cleveland Real Estate Partners. Tom was Of-Counsel at the time Deloitte & Touche acquired CREP at the end of 1998. He currently serves in the pro-bono advisory position at PSF Management Company, which he helped form to manage the real estate assets of Playhouse Square Foundation as well as those of other clients.
During his real estate career, he was very active in leadership roles nationally, serving on the Boards of the National Association of Realtors, American Society of Real Estate Counselors, National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, and in 1990 as National President of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors. He also served in leadership positions with the Urban Land Institute.
During the mid–1990’s, Tom began to transition more and more of his time into the community and today, other than some real estate investments and a board position with Highwoods Properties, Inc., a large NYSE R.E.I.T., he devotes 100% of his time and energy to community service.
In the general community, his primary focus is the redevelopment of downtown Cleveland. He is immediate Past Chairman of Playhouse Square Foundation ( the largest performing arts center outside of NYC) and previously co-chaired the $27 million capital campaign for Idea Center, a partnership between Playhouse Square Foundation and Ideastream. He served as Chairman of the Downtown Cleveland Partnership (2003-2005) and currently is a member of the Downtown Alliance Board and Executive Committee and chairs its Advisory Committee. Tom is a past trustee of the Greater Cleveland Growth Association and co-chaired their Regional Physical Development Committee. He was very involved with the Euclid Corridor Improvement Project and co-chaired the Stakeholders Committee. He has served on the Visiting Committee of the Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University and currently is a member of the Board of Trustees at CSU
His interest in urban revitalization is also focused in Shaker Heights, where he has lived most of his life. He has been Finance Chair for three school levies and one tax levy campaign and was co-founding Trustee of Friends of Shaker Square. He has served as a real estate advisor, helping the City to implement their strategic redevelopment plan, is a past Trustee of the Shaker Heights Fund for the Future and serves on the Shaker Schools Foundation Advisory Committee.
Other community activities include having participated in the first Leadership Cleveland Class (1977-78) He is currently Chair of Alumni. He is an officer, trustee and member of the Executive Committee of United Way Services where he serves as Co – Chair of the Philanthropist Society( formerly ten Plus) Campaign and as Chair of Planned Giving He is also a Trustee of The Cleveland Red Cross, University Hospital and the Diversity Center of N.E.Ohio( formerly NCCJ ).
Tom’s involvement within the Jewish Community is extensive. At the Jewish Community Federation, he is currently serving as a Trustee,member of the Executive Committee and Chair of the Development Committee.He is past Chair of the Endowment Fund Committee, Human Resource Development and Planned Giving Committees. In 2004 he received the Gries Award given for outstanding service to both the Jewish & General Community and he currently Chairs that committee and in 1979 he received the Kane Award for outstanding young leader. He is also a Life Trustee of the Cleveland Chapter American Jewish Committee (AJC) ,a Trustee of The Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation and a member of the Visiting Committee of the College of Jewish Studies at the University of Wisconsin.
He is a member of The Union Club, 50 Club, Bluecoats ,Oakwood Club( Pres. 1996-98) and The Pepper Pike Club.
Tom and his wife, Joanie, have been married for 47 years and have 3 wonderful and successful children. The oldest, Peggy, received her MFA degree from the University of Michigan and is now teaching writing and writing a novel in Israel. Sally received her graduate degree from the Art Institute in Chicago and is an Art Therapist. Bill, the youngest, President and CEO True Fit Corp.