Why he’s Hall of Fame material: How effective has Matthew Lester been in his 20-plus years in the commercial real estate industry? In 1994, Lester founded Princeton Enterprises, L.L.C. Since then, he has expanded his multi-family assets to 10 states and has acquired more than 100 properties with a total of nearly 20,000 units. This is especially impressive considering that Lester’s specialty lies in adding value to multi-family communities that have been poorly operated or managed. This specialty also results in significant financial and civic benefit to the areas in which these properties are located.
Career accomplishments: True effectiveness in business is more than just surviving during down time. It’s about flourishing through them, and Lester did just that during the economic downturn of 2008. Under his leadership, Princeton Enterprises was one of the few companies that acquired new properties and hired new staff while most other companies were selling and downsizing.
During the past two years alone, Lester has acquired in the city of Detroit 18 buildings, 10 of which are commercial spaces, along with 1,200 residential units. As expected, with Lester’s track record, his honors are vast, including the 1997 American Board of Trial Advocates Award, 2007 Frank A. Westman Young Leadership Award, 2000 Nationwide Register’s WHO’S WHO and 2013 Yad Ezra Food Pantry Honoree of the Year.
Why his work matters: Like many successful people, Lester gives back to his community. He is the chairman of the board of directors of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, chairman of the Financial Oversight Committee of the Jewish Community Center of Detroit and a member of the Kadima, BBYO.