Chief operating officer
Summit Realty Group of Indiana Inc.
Brian Zurawski studied industrial engineering at Purdue University, but wanted to get into transportation- and logistics-related applications rather than manufacturing, which is Purdue’s specialty. So he started his career working for the president of Celadon Group, a local trucking company, in 1994.
There, some of his duties included real estate-related work. That set the course for his career.
“It was great experience,” he said. “To this day, I still draw upon the things that I learned there as well as the problem-solving and project-management skills I learned at Purdue,” he said.
Zurawski decided that he wanted to get into commercial real estate in a place where he could control his own destiny, so he made the transition to Summit Realty Group. “What I’ve been able to do,” he said, “is draw upon the transportation and logistics experience and problem-solving and basically utilize that experience and knowledge in a corporate-services specialization where I’m acting as a real estate provider and in some cases a real estate department for companies.”
In his 12-plus years at Summit, he has moved up to partner and chief operating officer (and earned his MBA from Purdue in 2000), and in the past five years he’s been involved in nearly 200 transactions involving 23 million square feet of industrial and office space.
He figures to be even busier in 2011 as Summit brings in new associates from NAI Olympia Partners, a competitor that in December announced plans to close, and completes the $3 million renovation of the former Indiana Housing Authority building at Pennsylvania and New York streets. The building, which was vacant for 10 years, is scheduled to reopen in April.
“There are a lot of things that are going to help Summit emerge as a stronger, larger player in Indianapolis,” said Zurawski, who spends his off-hours with his wife and two sons. “I’m having a good time pulling that together, along with my other partners.”•