Last night, I was incredibly saddened to read here about the death of former United Properties president and CEO Ken Stensby, who died while hiking in Yosemite National Park.

Stensby served in the top position at the Bloomington-based firm from 1972 to 1995, when he retired. He was also instrumental in starting the Minnesota chapter of NAIOP, the commercial real estate organization, and later served on the group's national board.

In a statement Wednesday, Frank Dutke, the current president and CEO of United Properties, said, "Ken Stensby was a foundational leader of United Properties. He assembled a team of exceptional individuals, most of whom had little or no real estate experience in the early 1970’s, and together they built a highly successful, multi-faceted real estate company.” 

“Although he retired 18 years ago, his imprint on the company remains today. We remain deeply grateful for Ken’s leadership. All of us at United Properties are saddened by his loss,” Dutke said.

Less than a month ago, I interviewed Stensby for a profile I wrote about Julie Hughes, who began her career at United Properties as his executive assistant. Hughes recently retired as a senior vice president and regional director of property management at a sister company, Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq. She credited, in large part, the encouragement she received from Stensby for launching her considerable career.

Janet Moore covers commercial real estate for the Star Tribune. 





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