Jonathon Vento, True North Studio 

from Jonathon Vento

Housing is a popular focus of economists and investors gauging the strength (or lack) of our economy — from urban towers and infill projects to sprawling master-planned communities.

It’s a tremendous time for urbanization in cities across the country. The projects that we at True North Studio produce are inspired by, and contribute to, the fabric of a neighborhood and foster a sense of community. Thriving downtowns and urban areas must embrace the old with the new buildings, low to high elevations, mixed uses, public spaces, walkability, access to transit options — and, most importantly, arts and culture. The concept of “third spaces” and creating such environments are what draw communities together. People of all ages, incomes and walks of life are pouring into these areas for housing, and to be part of an enriching urban lifestyle. 

In Business Magazine turned to professionals invested in our real estate market to explore what’s happening in housing — from single-family residences to multifamily projects — and how that relates to employment, business growth and other important economic markers. In the cyclical nature of this industry, the idea of a bubble sometimes surfaces; this article provides a picture of where we are today.

Whatever that picture may be, business fundamentally runs on connections and relationships. And in networking, the gregarious extrovert is commonly seen to have an edge. Not necessarily so, says Michelle Tillis Lederman in “Networking Is for Introverts.” Henry Hutcheson stands another sacred cow on its head in “Successful Succession in a Family Business,” discussing what to do — and not to do — in handing the family business to the next generation.

A business sector attracting a lot of attention right now is marijuana, and this month’s Legal feature examines where the opportunities might be and some of the parameters to those businesses. The Startups page spotlights two businesses carving out a niche in their own business sector. And By the Numbers this month looks at the importance of “keeping it real” for the customer.

Power Lunch, Technology, Healthcare — In Business Magazine regularly serves a varied menu of information to inform and strengthen our local business community. Plus a special section that, this month, profiles commercial real estate leaders and leading properties.

I’ve enjoyed working with In Business Magazine to help bring you this May issue, a joy I hope you’ll share as you read it.


Jonathon Vento
Principal Developer
True North Studio 

Jonathon Vento brings to True North Holdings 25 years of private equity, development and project finance experience. He has built and managed, as a principal, more than 100 projects and operating companies throughout North America, Europe and Asia, including energy, real estate, technology and manufacturing, totaling in excess of US $3 billion.

Vento has utilized structured debt, institutional equity, mezzanine debt, state and federal grants, public/private partnerships and tax equity. He has managed combined staffs of more than 1,000 people in his prior roles as president and COO. In the early 1980s, he attended the University of Michigan, and graduated from Eastern Michigan University in business/finance.

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