Heather Goldman | Capstak Co-CEO and Co-Founder
Based in New York City, Heather Goldman combines a 20-plus year career in commercial real estate finance and investment with a deep background in technology. As a technology executive, she was Co-founder, Chairman and CEO of CapitalThinking, a leading application software company for the commercial real estate industry. During two decades in commercial real estate, Heather had senior roles at Brookfield, Starwood Capital and Bank of Montreal.
Today, she is the Co-CEO and Co-founder of Capstak, a market network for the commercial real estate industry. Heather serves as a director and trustee for the Brookfield Investment Management US and international fund complexes. She also acts as director of international business development for the Israel Financial Institute.
Heather earned a bachelor’s degree in international relations from the University of Wisconsin. She earned an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth, Graduate School of Business. Heather is particularly proud of her 3½ years of service as a water resource management Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, West Africa.
She answers our questions:
At Capstak we are driven to make what should be a more liquid and efficient market for trading assets be just that. We are aiming to marry-up the best of the digital world, cutting-edge technology, with the best of the analog, relationship world, and provide an online solution for commercial real estate leasing and capital markets, in particular leveraging social networking tools. We call it “actionable-connectivity.” At the end of the day, it should make all of our careers in the industry, as investors, lenders, developers, sponsors and brokers, a lot more fun, more profitable, and better for clients.
Of course first and foremost my most important role model is my mother, because she raised me to believe there was no barrier in life to what I could achieve. Maturing more in my career, I would distinguish the difference between mentors and sponsors, which I think is important. A mentor may offer advice, and there is a great need for mentors in our community and I don’t minimize that role in any way. A sponsor, however, will put his or her own personal political capital at risk to support someone he or she believes in. The individuals who have played that role for me, they know who they are. If there is anything that I can say about my gratitude, it’s that I hope I am paying-it-forward for the next generation.
Integrity. You should take my competence for granted.
As most people know, it takes a lot of people to get any deal done. But from a career perspective, it was probably the multi-year experience of working with the team at Starwood Capital to build what ultimately became Starwood Hotels. As an impressionable young banker, and this was a number of years before I ended up joining the firm, I learned a lot about the capital markets, finance, M&A, market dynamics, and politics. It was a tremendous education.
I'm not sure how many people want to know the answer to this question - since I've never been asked. But, for those who are curious, a symphony conductor. As a kid I studied piano, cello, viola and French horn. I wasn’t a terribly talented artist, but studying music and composition was a window to a world that was both intellectual and emotional. That love of music and the discipline of study has manifested itself in more ways than I can adequately describe.