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Abandoned factories and warehouses—symbols of economic and social decay, neighborhoods sliding into dysfunction. But where most people saw reasons for discouragement and hopelessness, Donald Manekin saw an opportunity. And not just an opportunity for creating a business, but, more importantly, an opportunity to rebuild a community, responding to a pressing need for affordable housing and a supportive environment to meet the needs of teachers and others serving in these urban settings. Thus it was that a development business was born—but not merely to develop properties, rather develop neighborhoods as healthy and vibrant communities—revitalized places to live, work and play. Accomplishing this involved important lessons around clarity of purpose, creative hiring, and careful engagement of multiple stakeholders. And the outcome continues to be making a difference in Baltimore.
(co)space (co)nversations – a treat to the community from (co)space to hang out during your lunch hour every once a month. We facilitate the conversation of lessons learned from successful, international entrepreneurs who have made a difference on and in the world.
Register for this free event by clicking here.
For more than four decades, Donald has worked on community-focused real estate development, civic leadership and philanthropic missions in the Baltimore-Washington D.C., USA region.
Donald’s professional experience varies from real estate executive to professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and John’s Hopkins University to Chief Operating Officer of a U.S. public school system to grandfather of nine. The career-long passion for his work and community led him to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award due to his career success and incessant eye on social, civic and philanthropic well being. Currently, Donald is writing a book on the power of relationships. He sits on multiple nonprofit boards, serves as an adviser to his son Thibault now running their co-founded real estate enterprise Seawall Development Company, and hangs out with grand-kids.