Our NextGen 10 Real Estate and Finance class of 2020 honorees share the ability to act with fearless optimism in the face of uncertainty. They may not always have the answers, but they’re finding creative ways to support their teams, advance their company missions, and rebuild theNextGen 10: Real Estate & Finance  economy against all odds. These risk-taking under-40 leaders are raising millions in equity capital and hiring thousands of new employees while other companies are cutting staff. They’re funding COVID-19 test centers and innovating new real estate closing processes to keep clients safe. They’re connecting founders with investors to raise capital for trailblazing tech startups. And they have been helping people to find community and save money on housing in big cities. If you’re looking for an indication that things will get better, that there’s still a light at the end of the tunnel of 2020, take a moment to learn more about these inspiring entrepreneurs below.
By Sheean Hanlan / June 17, 2020
JOSH SCHUSTER  – NY MANAGING PRINCIPAL, SILVERBACK DEVELOPMENT
About: I founded Silverback Development to deliver developments that incorporate modern design along with thoughtful amenities that cater to future lifestyle trends and long-term livability within the built environment. I am also the founder and chairman of the Bicol Clinic Foundation, a nonprofit that constructs free medical clinics in developing countries and has raised more than $4M to build four clinics in the Philippines, Haiti, and Nepal.
Company: With a current pipeline of projects valued in excess of $2B stretching across four states, Silverback employs a robust investment strategy and pursues ground-up development and adaptive reuse opportunities coast to coast.
Residence: New York
Company HQ: New York
Education: BA, Political Economy, Tulane University.
Industry: Real estate
Notable projects: Closed more than $2.5B in real estate deals by the age of 36. Co- founded DHA Capital, leading the development of luxury developments in NYC, including 50 Clinton, 535 West 43rd, and 12 East 13th. Acquired 75 Kenmare in Nolita and collaborated with celebrity Lenny Kravitz on the interior design. At Silverback we have developed Long Island City’s first Art-Moderne condominium known “Hero,” and broken ground in Gramercy Park for a project designed by architect Isaac Stern. We are also building a 500’ tall condominium on East 47th.
Advice: Don’t let the victories get to your head, and ensure that the failures never get to you heart.
Success: It is met and measured in every goal achieved, at which point a new one is set.
Mentors: My physician father taught me compassion when he would take me on trips to Haiti post-earthquake to deliver food and medical supplies. My grandfather taught me that strength and confidence come from knowledge and experience, not simply from age. My original business partner Jeff Gershen died while scuba diving just two months into our partnership. His death taught me how to survive and succeed when facing obstacles that could mean certain failure. Fear can motivate. Like water, it can float a ship just as easily as it can sink one.
Local companies you admire: I admire hard work. What really comes to heart are the men and women who set up curbside fruit stands at the crack of dawn and sit for 16 hours a day selling produce.
First job: A busboy cleaning tables at a local restaurant in Florida.
Guilty pleasure: I enjoy dressing up in costumes (dinosaurs, transformers, Jedi knights) in order to play with my kids in fantasy worlds they create.
In the morning: I go to the gym at 6 a.m. It’s my meditation and my “prebattle” preparation.
Before bed: Read work documents or two to three fiction novels on Kindle. I took a speed-reading course, so I can cover a lot of material.
What keeps you up: How I could have done better, whether professionally or personally. If I didn’t do something that produced growth, then I am frustrated with myself.
Year ahead: To continue to grow Silverback, support healthcare causes, and see my family stay safe and healthy.