Classy it may have been, but the building wasn't happy with its posh management firm, and it was suggested that the board try something different: a small West Side company, Midboro Management. "It was my strong recommendation that we give Midboro a try," says John Werwaiss, a current board member and former board president of 1107 Fifth, who had worked with Midboro at another building and was serving on the board at the time. One stipulation was that Wolfe be the principal person running the property.
Growing Up Together
That was in the 1970s, and both Wolfe and the seven-member board grew up together. "I learned how to interact with boards and deal with different personalities and different agendas," says Wolfe. "You learn that your job is to be proactive but not obnoxious. At the end of the day, it's the board's building, not yours."
"Michael is an exceptionally competent, responsible, diplomatic manager now," Werwaiss notes. "He is very direct and straightforward. Every building has prima donnas, and Michael handles those well."
Lessons for other boards about a long-term management relationship? "You've got to have confidence in each other," Werwaiss concludes. "He's got to have the confidence that you'll back him up, and you've got to have confidence that he'll execute the tasks you've given him."
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