Real estate profile: Brett West

Team leader for the business environments team/associate principal, Kahler Slater

Title: Team Leader for the Business Environments Team/Associate Principal
Company: Kahler Slater
Education: Master’s of architecture, master’s of business administration, University of Nebraska
Family: Wife, Pam; daughter, Drew (5) and son, Luke (3)
City of Residence: Milwaukee
Hobbies and Interests: Basketball, golf and buildings
What are you working on? "Catalyst project with the Ghazi Company, the Aloft Hotel and The Residences Above with Ruvin Development, Capital Heights with Venture Development, Bimbamboo Restaurant in Boulder, Colo., and a lot of other fun projects."
How does the market look to you? "The market looks opportunistic. There are going to be some great projects that will get off the ground and many that will not. I think there is more focus on creating stronger teams to pursue deals in the marketplace. You are going to have to be clear on your niche, your market position and make sure you are adding value for your clients and to the user experience."
What was the best deal you’ve ever been involved in? "Every deal has been good in its own way but the most rewarding was a project I just completed with my wife’s pediatrics practice and another physicians group. We designed a medical office building in Wauwatosa, and I was able to really dig deep into the project and see it from all sides. It was enlightening and it really made me a more well-rounded architect. I am really looking forward to seeing the Aloft and the Catalyst projects get going. Those are going to be great for the city!"
What was the funniest moment of your career? "One of the firm’s chief executives asked me to ‘stalk’ (in a good way) Tom Peters, the business guru. I met him at a conference in Colorado and he had a speaking engagement here in Milwaukee. Our client services department made up a small clear plastic cylinder with red caps on either end and a note tucked inside inviting him to visit our offices and to take a guided tour of the city. I remember sitting through the entire conference wondering how I had gotten myself into the position of having to hand off a note to a celebrity … I felt like I was in sixth grade again. He graciously took the package, but I will never forget the look of bewilderment on Tom Peters’ face."

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