Real Estate Mogul to Discuss the "Brave New World" May 6 at RIT

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Sam Zell speaks during William D. Gasser Distinguished Lecture Series in Business

A leading figure in American real estate brings his success story to Rochester Institute of Technologyóranked nationally among the top providers of business education.

Sam Zell, founder of Equity Group Investments LLC, is the next speaker at the William D. Gasser Distinguished Lecture Series in Business, sponsored by RITís College of Business. His presentation, Real Estate: A Brave New World, will be at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 6, in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science auditorium on RITís Henrietta campus.

In the 1960s, Zell began his career managing apartment buildings while attending the University of Michigan. After graduate school, he partnered with a fraternity brother to form the company that became known as Equity Group Investments. The Chicago-based investment group now controls a multi-billion dollar mix of businesses, including real estate investment trusts, restaurants and cruise ships.

Zellís portfolio makes him the nationís largest owner of properties leased for manufactured homes, office buildings and apartments.

"Sam Zell has a knack for purchasing distressed properties and turning them into profitable investments," says Thomas Hopkins, dean of RITís College of Business. "His foresight and tenacity make him an inspiration for a whole new generation of budding entrepreneurs."

Tony Vasile, president and CEO of Maven Technologies, helped to make the talk possible. An RIT alumnus who previously worked within Zellís organization, Vasile extended the invitation to his former boss to speak at RIT.

The Gasser Lecture Series is designed to advance interaction and dialogue between business and academic communities. Recent presenters included Jeffrey W. Green, chairman of Hutchinson Technology Inc., and Mike Adams, director of Global Performance Xcellence at Microsoft.

A reception will immediately follow Zellís presentation, which is free and open to the public. For more information, contact Donna Slavin at 475-2199 or