John Fortini
Managing Member, Silver Fern Companies/Silver Fern Capital

Years in CRE: 17
Years at company: 15

What was it about the industry that attracted you?
When I was a kid, I loved Tonka trucks and building things. As I grew older, I was intrigued by how things come together. So, I started with houses, then subdivisions, and now I get to put entire projects together. There is something very satisfying about seeing the tangible proof of our efforts.

How has the industry changed since you started?
In one word, regulation. There is now a tremendous amount of documentation, regulation and up-front work that needs to be completed before you turn any dirt.

Of what professional achievement are you most proud?
In 2012 I was diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. The past 22 months have been about setting priorities and taking care of what’s important. While I am still fighting, I feel like I have achieved a new appreciation for life that has translated into how I manage business.