Mark Richard Schuster

Mark's Story


  Mark's entrepreneurial spirit began early in life when he started his first business—a janitorial services company—while still in high school. After graduating, he sold the business for a profit to a larger company. His work ethic and discipline comes from his business origins, and Mark often jokes with his employees that he himself started at the bottom, literally scrubbing toilets. His appreciation and respect of each person’s contribution to the team, no matter what their rank, come from his own beginnings.

 

At 18, Mark began to pursue his passion for real estate and became the youngest licensed real estate agent in the state of Washington. During this time, he also started purchasing, renovating and repositioning properties to sell for a profit. These professionally formative years inspired Mr. Schuster’s vision for The Schuster Group and laid the foundation for the company’s model of delivering superior products to its customers and, in turn, superior returns to its investors. This key philosophy would become the company’s trademark, and combined with an ethos towards community enhancement, drive every aspect of the business.

 

At the age of 22, Mark founded The Schuster Group—initially a third party real estate services company representing corporate clients and private individuals, handling various aspects of their real estate needs. At 26, Mark completed his first real estate syndication and purchased a 40-unit apartment building. The success of this investment helped formulate the model and strategy for investing the company utilizes today on a much larger scale. Following this first commercial acquisition, the company continued to grow with a greater focus on administering the acquisition, development and management of private real estate syndications headed by Mark. In 1997, Mark sold and divested the company’s third party management and brokerage services division in order to devote his attention to directing the acquisitions, development and portfolio operations of his various private equity real estate companies. Since that time the company’s endeavors have grown significantly, and encompass a multitude of investments, developments and successful private equity placements—boasting one of the best track records in the industry.

 

Today, Mark is known and respected for his ability to lead teams to produce extraordinary results while abiding by a strong ethical code. He has high expectations of himself and his staff, and through his leadership, has created an enviable work environment which has been recognized as one of “Washington’s Best Work Places” for several years running.

 

Mark's visionary leadership led to the creation of Mosler Lofts, the first LEED® Silver (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified high-rise condominium building in Seattle. Mosler Lofts ultimately became the most nationally acclaimed residential "green" high-rise building of 2008. Noted for its exceptional design, Mosler Lofts received over 60 forms of awards, recognition and accolades, including top awards from the National Association of Home Builders and a surprise sweep of the Gold Nugget awards at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference. 

 

Mark’s personal commitment to enhancing the community extends beyond environmental practices. He is the former chairman of the Pacific Northwest Regional Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a current member of the ADL's National Executive Committee and is a national commissioner of the League. Mark served on the Board of MAZON - an international hunger relief organization for over 9 years, is a founding member of the Seattle Advisory Board for UNICEF, sand erves on the Board of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Mark also served under the appointment of Mayor Greg Nickels on Seattle’s Green Building Task Force. 

Mr. Schuster has been recognized on numerous occasions for his business acumen and civic involvement. He was named by the Puget Sound Business Journal as one of the top 40 Under 40 business leaders in the Pacific Northwest, was the recipient of the ADL’s prestigious Torch of Liberty Award as well as the Daniel Ginsberg Leadership Award, and was named Citizen of the Year by the Whidbey Island Association of Realtors. Mark was also featured in the 2006 Puget Sound Business Journal’s “Leading by Example” profiles of local philanthropists.

Published by Brown Books, Mark's business memoir, Lofty Pursuits—Repairing the World One Building at a Time, has already received national attention, garnering awards such as the 2011 Eric Hoffer Book Award and the 2011 Reader Views Reviewer's Choice Award. The book takes each reader on a fascinating journey in exploration of what Mark describes as the true meaning of sustainability, and more specifically outlines his philosophy of the Three Pillars of Sustainability: legacy, business, and community.

 

 

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