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Tuesday, Jan 31, 2023
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7 Over Seventy – Stuart Solomon

Stuart Solomon | 76 | Chief Executive, Transcon Property Services Inc., Woodland Hills Adaptability has saved Stu Solomon’s career several times during his ride of the Valley economy over six decades. At one point he founded Century General Corp., a Van Nuys concrete company, and took it public, but later lost control in a proxy battle. Another time he ran a company that managed real estate portfolios owned by movie stars and film executives, delivering returns of 70 percent a year. But a change in the tax law killed that business. “The world changed, so I found myself working for banks and S&Ls,” he said. “I went into consulting, restructurings and real estate services.” Solomon started college with a dream to become an architect, but when he ran out of money he switched his strategy. After a semester at Valley College, he entered UCLA and graduated with an accounting degree in 1960. After working as a CPA, chief financial officer, venture capitalist and consultant, he purchased a real estate management company which became the basis of Transcon Property Services Inc., the firm he runs today. In 1993, Solomon started Pacific Realty Partners, a subsidiary of Transcon that helps retail chains plan their geographic expansion. The company has software that uses Census data to match a chain’s target customer to demographics in specific neighborhoods. Starting in 1994, the company helped Kinko’s grow its footprint in 20 states. It also helped the Jared jewelry chain grow from three stores to 300 and more than $1 billion in revenue. But once again, the world has changed. The relationship with Jared ended last year, so Solomon intends to re-invent himself once more. This time he will retain the property management operation and move into consulting for clients with real estate portfolios to help them realize their financial goals, whether they are income, appreciation or development. And forget the stereotype that older people don’t understand technology. To lower overhead, Solomon plans to take himself and the company’s three employees and create a virtual company, where everyone will work from home through an automated phone answering system and Web-based property management software. “In the process of restructuring my company, we are closing our physical office after 34 years on Ventura Boulevard,” he said. “We need to stay ahead on technology because it’s changing and you need to provide the highest level of professional service to clients.” Solomon, who works about 35 hours a week, doesn’t even think about retirement. “I’m not a golfer and I don’t play bridge. So I just love what I do,” he said. One activity where Solomon will cut back is civic work. After 28 years on the board of Valley Presbyterian Hospital, he’s leaving this year because of new term limits. He is a past chairman of Valley Industry & Commerce Association. His advice for other people considering a career past 65 is to make sure you enjoy your work and your colleagues. “Try to plan financially for your future,” he said. “Enjoy the people you work with. And make sure you’re not compromising your values.” – Joel Russell

Joel Russel
Joel Russel
Joel Russell joined the Los Angeles Business Journal in 2006 as a reporter. He transferred to sister publication San Fernando Valley Business Journal in 2012 as managing editor. Since he assumed the position of editor in 2015, the Business Journal has been recognized four times as the best small-circulation tabloid business publication in the country by the Alliance of Area Business Publishers. Previously, he worked as senior editor at Hispanic Business magazine and editor of Business Mexico.
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