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Louise, are you happy with Suzanne’s decision to start her own company?
Totally. I think it’s so important for a woman to do her own thing and have her own company, and that’s exactly what I did, and I’m more than proud of her. I just totally encourage her and stand by her and love working with her. She feels good about herself, and she has so many accomplishments to be proud of. I think it’s really helped to improve our working relationship because we’re able to share so many working experiences together.
Suzanne: When I worked for her at the Sunshine Group, I really knew deep down that I would never be as good as her at residential, so it was better for me to stick with my own passions and follow my heart, and take the risks. So that was something she did. She didn’t tell me to do it, but by example she taught me to do it.

Do you ever get tired of reading the word ‘legendary’ affixed to your name when reading articles about yourself in the newspapers and trade magazines?
Louise: It’s sort like having an advanced look at your obituary, if that makes any sense. I think people are only a legend in their own mind. I never think of myself as legendary. I get up every day and look at the day’s challenges as brand new.
Suzanne: I see my mother as always looking for opportunities every day. We were just in Frankfurt, as well as Switzerland, and she was looking at all the buildings in Frankfurt that Tishman Speyer developed, and she was thinking about new things. She doesn’t look backward; she looks forward.
Louise: It was phenomenal, actually. I had the privilege of having a guided tour through Jerry Speyer’s new building, which is not opened yet, which is called the OpernTurm. I mean, it’s the most amazing building I’ve ever been to in my entire life.
Suzanne: It’s a masterpiece. It’s on the outskirts of downtown Frankfurt.

Growing up with such a pioneer in the real estate industry, Suzanne, you must have been surrounded by living legends of the business.
I’ll never forget when I was about 16, I had my first date with Fred Trump, which Donald Trump arranged. And he drove the limousine with Ivana, and he drove us to Giants Stadium for a date to see a soccer game.

Was that the only date with Fred?

That was the one and only date with Fred. We’re still friends, and we work together, and we laugh about it. But as a daughter of my mother, I was always very enthralled and impressed with what she did, and what she created for herself.
jsederstrom@observer.com

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