Cocktail Confessions – Volume 7

May 29, 2013 at 2:14 pm

cocktailsBy Jerry Anderson, Escom Properties, Inc.

Welcome to the 7th installment of Cocktail Confessions, in which we track down three industry movers and shakers, feed them some cocktails, and get their take on the topics of the day.

If you have questions you’d like asked for future segments, please leave them in the comments section below.

In this installment we are pleased to feature Andy Deckas from Founders Properties, LLC; Todd Mohagen from Mohagen/Hansen Andy Deckas & Todd MohagenArchitectural Group; and Scott Smith from IRET Properties.

Question 1:  What was the biggest risk you’ve ever taken professionally?  How did it work out? 

Andy Deckas:
Leaving an established position with a major institutional advisor in a major city (Chicago) to try and build a new business with Opus.  While Opus was a major player as well, the business idea was new and the depth of the Minneapolis market for my skill set was well below Chicago’s.  The business idea was to syndicate real estate funds and I’m pleased to say that we have done quite well forming over ten funds since 1997.

Todd Mohagen:
Starting my own company at the age of 29 was definitely a risk.  To top it off I had only been married for 1-1/2 years, and we were expecting our first child in 3 months.  Thankfully it all worked out.  I credit having a supportive wife and great employees – some of whom still work at the firm today.

Scott Smith:
My first job in the industry was with Ryan Companies.  I resigned in 1993 to work for a small company…it didn’t work out well at all.

Question 2:  What inspires you on a daily basis?  What gives you the “fire” to tackle all the daily obstacles you face? 

Andy Deckas:
A big part of my daily inspiration is both the respect and camaraderie of my team. We work hard together but have a lot of fun together as well.  I try to bring my particular skill set to the task every day.

Todd Mohagen:
With the economy the way it has been the last 5 years or so, fear has been a great motivator!  The “fire” really comes from the confidence in my ability to creatively work with people who want to work with me.

Scott Smith:
I focus from start to finish and thrive on seeing win-win lease deals get completed in the properties that I oversee for IRET Properties.  Each deal brings with it a new cast of characters and situations.

Question 3:  What summer activities are most looking forward to?

Andy Deckas:

Todd Mohagen:
Every summer a group of us play golf up north.  It is always a great weekend of fun!

Scott Smith:
Fortunately, I work in a “golf-friendly” industry.  I play a lot during the week and enjoy long weekends at our cabin near Alexandria.  I can also be found at the Lake Harriet Bandshell on many a warm summer night.

Question 4:  Since the name of this series is Cocktail Confessions, next time we see you at Happy Hour we should all know – what is your favorite cocktail? 

Andy Deckas:
I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, it’s Dos Equis!

Todd Mohagen:
I love Brandy Manhattans, however, they do not love me – I stick to one, not two.

Scott Smith:
I confess to being a beer guy all the way.

Entry filed under: Cocktail Confessions.

Member Profile: Eric Anderson, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. Welcome new NAIOP members!

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