Marquette University Alumni Association Alumni National Awards Weekend
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Barry R. Mandel

Barry MandelSome view urban development strictly as buying property and building things on it. For Barry Mandel, it’s more like weaving a rug.

“Each development is a knot in the urban fabric,” he says. “The tighter the knot, the more carefully planned and constructed, the more vibrant the urban fabric becomes.”

Barry’s urban fabric is Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin. For him, a key part of ensuring that vibrancy is creating new opportunities along with new communities.

“Milwaukee’s success,” he says, “in part will be dependent on job opportunities for minorities and combating the high unemployment rate.”

To achieve that goal, Barry’s company is committed to hiring and building the capacity of minority contractors, as well as supporting training for tradespeople.

Barry is also a big believer in the Milwaukee Associates in Commercial Real Estate program for minority real estate professionals, which he is funding at the Marquette Center for Real Estate for the next three years. The program prepares minority individuals for careers in commercial real estate.

A graduate of Georgetown University’s Law School, Barry founded the Mandel Group in Milwaukee in 1991. Since its inception, the company has constructed more than $500 million in residential and retail developments and financed, acquired or sold $700 million more in real estate.

“There’s something very special about having a vision for development, breaking ground and seeing it become a reality,” he says. “Our reward is far greater than the profits we receive. It’s a lasting imprint on our city that we hope has made Milwaukee a better place for everyone.”


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