By Elizabeth Darwen
They are that rare combination of a power couple individually possessing intellect, compassion, and entrepreneurial values that come together with the aim of making the world a better place in which to live while striving to make an impact. They are Don and Katrina Peebles.
Recognized as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the nation, R. Donahue (Don) Peebles is Founder, Chairman, and CEO of The Peebles Corporation, one of the country’s few national privately held real estate investment and development companies. His portfolio of projects spans New York, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, Miami Beach, San Francisco and Charlotte, North Carolina. The Peebles Corporation is well known for its signature projects including The Royal Palm Hotel and The Lincoln in Miami plus 2100 Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington DC.
REAL ESTATE & POLITICS
Building on the success of the organization, new projects are under development in locations on the West Coast, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington DC. Don contends that real estate is a local business. “It is a highly regulated business, so there is an element of politics—land use, for instance, is highly political. And real estate is a key component of our overall society.” As he further explained, “It provides shelter and locations for businesses. In every major city in the country, the biggest industry to contribute to local elections are the real estate developers. Real estate is highly political.”
As if that weren’t enough, Peebles is a top-selling author of two books, The Peebles Principles: Tales and Tactics from an Entrepreneurs Life (2007) and its sequel The Peebles Path to Real Estate Wealth (2008). Profiled in media publications such as Forbes Magazine, Don Peebles is a regular guest commentator on news and business channels including CNBC, CNN, and the FOX Business Network, as well as a highly sought-after speaker and was the recipient of the prestigious Reginald F. Lewis Award for successful African-American entrepreneurs under fifty in 2009. Don reflected, “I started off interested in politics. I worked in the most political environment in the country, the United State Congress as a page in the House and as an intern when I was in high school.”
Aside from his real estate/publishing interests, Don is also an avid supporter for the mentoring of underprivileged youth by exposing them to the value of entrepreneurship. He is the former Chairman of the Board of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, is on the Board of Directors of the YMCA of Greater New York, was a two-time member of former President Barack Obama’s National Finance Committee, and the former Chairman of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau.
LOVE & DEVOTION
Don Peebles’ shining star is equally balanced with his wife, Katrina. They married in 1994 and have two children. Son, Donohue, a Columbia University graduate is now working as a Senior Associate of Development in the family business, while daughter Chloe is a top equestrian competitor.
In the early 90s, Katrina spearheaded the Peebles Corporation real estate tax appeal business, which grew into the most successful real estate tax appeal firm in the entire District of Columbia. In the mid-1990’s, after the launch of Peebles Atlantic Development Corporation, Katrina began preparing responses to requests for proposals and guiding marketing efforts and promotions for mixed-use developments in Florida.
Although she has invested substantial professional time in the Peebles Corporation, Katrina has always found it essential to give back to her community and has also sought to contribute her time and skills to various charities including Honey Shine, and is a former co-President of the Women’s Cancer League. She has always expressed an interest in politics and has hosted and contributed to political fundraising for over 25 years. But despite politics and charity organizations being a significant interest to Katrina, she also has a love and devotion to art and design and was able to combine her commercial and artistic passions in the historic restoration of The Bath Club in Miami Beach, Florida. Katrina has taken over the responsibility of the family’s philanthropic priorities while working at the Peebles Corporation. She currently sits on the board of directors for CARE Elementary School in Miami, as well as the NYC Mission Society.
For more information on the Peebles Corporation, please visit peeblescorp.com.