Chief financial officer, Ackerberg Group
Mark Schlitter, 51, has joined the Ackerberg Group in Minneapolis as CFO and will oversee the company’s finance and accounting divisions. Ackerberg, one of the largest landlords in Minneapolis’ Uptown area, recently acquired the Calhoun Square retail center at Hennepin Avenue and Lake Street for $69.5 million and developed the nearby MoZaic office building. The company is currently courting software development company Code42 to possibly anchor the planned MoZaic East office building.
Privately held, Ackerberg has developed, owned, renovated or managed more than 7 million square feet of retail, office and industrial property. Most recently, Schlitter was vice president of finance for Carlson Real Estate Co. in Minnetonka where he oversaw its accounting, finance and IT areas. He also had stints at Arthur Andersen and Carlson, the hospitably and travel company.
Q: Were you looking for a career change?
A: I was ready to transition into something new … and after talking to Stu [Ackerberg, CEO and owner of the Ackerberg Group] and his team, I really felt like I could be needed here. I didn’t want to go into an environment where all I was doing was taking over what somebody else had done before me. This is a place where they want somebody to come in and create — along with them — a new opportunity, a new business model, and that was exciting for me. I didn’t just come in and take over somebody’s inbox and to-do list. It was “Hey, come on in, eyes wide open, and work with us and help us get there.”
Q: What else drew you to the Ackerberg Group?
A: Stu and his team are really experienced and have a lot of energy and a thoughtful approach in how they carry out business. Stu launched his first real estate investment fund earlier this year; it’s a $20 million fund. And also at that point, I knew they were going to be an investor in Calhoun Square and work on plans for MoZaic East. Those are exciting opportunities.
Q: What do you hope to accomplish during your first year?
A: Upgrade their accounting system to meet the needs of an expanding portfolio and new investors. Ensure that we have the right team here doing the work and they have the right resources and skills at their desk to do the work. Also bring in the right new talent to help us make that next step forward. Make sure our reporting is not only historical based, but also proactively looking out into the future, so we can manage the resources effectively. And give accurate and timely information to the rest of the organization, so they can make the right decisions.
Liz Wolf is an Eagan-based freelance writer. She can be reached at email@example.com.