Michael Furlong is both the longest serving board member and only east coast resident. Mr. Furlong has an extensive background in all facets of commercial real estate.
An engineering degree initiated a period as a specialty subcontractor. An MBA led to mortgage banking and later to construction lending at a Maryland regional bank. The REIT excesses of the 1970s extended that career to include the workout of problem real estate projects and/or ill-conceived projects and portfolios. Furlong went into business with a partner to serve the more complex analytical and problem solving needs of corporate and institutional clients. The Savings & Loan Crisis of the mid 1980s increased the stakes to the level of entire financial institutions (non-Federal Savings and Loans) being in jeopardy. His firm did a stint as State of Maryland-appointed Conservators to run, clean up, dress up, and sell (liquidate) an entire institution. Problem solving evolved to include real estate development for clients as well as personal projects including developing corporate headquarters, planning and implementing historical restorations, and developing high end residential lot subdivisions. His role was to get clients into or out of real estate investments.
Personal experiences by the late 1990s provided sobering insight into the vicissitudes of and fragility of life. Mr. Furlong and his wife individually and together witnessed burn outs, self-destructions, and, in two unforgettable instances, the agonizingly slow and degrading deaths of close friends. The last of these caused them to step back and reorder their priorities and their lives. What followed has been a full life with a wider range of experiences.
Initially appointed to the Coleman Foundation board in 1976 by the donors, Mr. Furlong has served in that capacity to this day.