ML - Michigan Avenue

2014 - Issue 1 - Winter

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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Page 49 of 123

VIEW FROM THE TOP Rutledge compares developing a major hotel to climbing Mount Everest. continued from page 47 That aspect of contrast and multidimensionality through his buildings is something Rutledge consciously strives for both professionally and personally. "I've always been drawn to the entrepreneurial story," says Rutledge, who also serves as an angel investor in companies like Argo Tea, Homemade Pizza Company, and Health Integrated. "The story of diligence, hard work, and creativity, and maybe a little guts and maybe a little luck—you add it all up and forge your own path." Growing up in Wilmette, Rutledge first fell in love with architecture as a New Trier High School student, when during summers he served as a water ski instructor, driving an old twin-engine, 32-foot Chris Craft boat past the area's lakefront homes. With his Ray-Bans on, he'd tell boat passengers about the architectural history of the residences. That summer job sparked an interest in learning more about real estate developers and how they collaborated with their teams. From there, Rutledge earned a bachelor's degree in economics with an emphasis in real estate from the University of Michigan, and, drawn to the independence of "paddling my own canoe," cofounded his first company, Oxford Realty Corporation, at age 24. Rutledge went on to earn his MBA in international finance and economics from the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business, later studying at Northwestern University, Oxford University (Christ Church), and Harvard. In 1994, during his second year of business school, he cofounded his second company, Oxford Capital Partners, and created his current company, Oxford Capital Group, a decade later. "I would rather push myself really hard than be pushed," he says. Now married with two sons, 9 and 11, Rutledge says his ultimate challenge is to become "a better 'life decathlete'.… My role models are people who live a rich, multidimensional life," explains the developer, who serves on the advisory board of the Metropolitan Capital Bank Corporation and the World President's Organization. "Individuals who have a close family life, who are professionally accomplished, but are civically involved and may go to church; just very [multilayered]." And though Rutledge may not take reckless risks in the business world, he is a serious thrillseeker, counting sky diving, helicopter skiing at the North Pole, scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, and trekking through the jungles of Thailand among his many exploits. "I definitely have a zest for life," he says, "for adventures and for new experiences." No surprise, then, that Rutledge's favorite book is the ultimate adventure: The Odyssey, which he calls a good metaphor for life. Whether developing hotels or working to improve himself, says Rutledge, "it's all about the journey." MA CHECKING IN This hotel mogul is conscientious about maintaining a healthy work-life balance. *shall we dance "I love dancing of all kinds, from the classical ballroom dancing that I learned as a kid to jazz and rock. It's part of being animated as a person and being comfortable in your own skin." *windy city love "Chicago is fundamentally the best of all worlds. It's this big beautiful city with a rich architectural fabric, rich cultural fabric, great business community, great civic community, and yet is extremely livable. I live and work within a mile radius. My day-to-day orbit is so incredibly pleasant that there is little wasted time." *drink of choice "Pure apple juice (preferably apple cider) and green tea." *the langham vs. trump tower FROM LEFT: The Godfrey will boast an expansive rooftop deck; a vintage taxi from The Langham. 48 "They can be Mae West, and we'll be Audrey Hepburn. They are both charming and unique, just different styles." PHOTOGRAPHY BY MARIA PONCE BERRE (RUTLEDGE, TAXI) *favorite view "Coming into Chicago from the Southeast, along south Lake Shore Drive looking at that sweep coming across Millennium Park." MICHIGANAVEMAG.COM 046-048_MA_SP_VFT_Winter_14.indd 48 1/10/14 10:01 AM

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