Healing Hearts and Strengthening Communities, with Brett Kaufman

Mar 27, 2019


Brett Kaufman, founder and CEO, has been working in real estate development through the investment, banking and development lens—for 20 years. During this time, he has developed, leased and/or sold over 10,000 homes and developed a variety of commercial, retail, land, and office projects.

Since founding the company, Kaufman Development has donated numerous resources to various philanthropic organizations, including Besa, KIPP Journey Academy, Community Shelter Board, Ohio State University Star House, Hunger Alliance, Ronald McDonald House, OSU James Cancer, Columbus Jewish Federation and many others.

Brett personally has donated much of his professional life to many community organizations, and various committees, including Adjunct Professor Ohio State Fisher School of Business, Agudas Achim Synagogue, the Columbus Jewish Federation, and the Columbus Jewish Day School. Brett also serves as board member for The Columbus Partnership, Greater Columbus Arts Council, and the Wexner Center for the Arts.

His professional accomplishments have been recognized by a variety of generous awards and designations. He was twice named Developer of the Year by the Building Industry Association (BIA); is past president of the Columbus Apartment Association; and serves on many civic boards throughout Central Ohio. In 2012, he was named Next Generation Builder of the Year by the BIA, and in 2014, Brett was honored as Ernst & Young’s Emerging Entrepreneur of the Year. Brett has been recognized as one of the top 50 leaders in the region for his ability to drive innovation within his organization, impact his employees and the community-at-large, as well as lead Kaufman Development in a direction that is built to transform. In 2015 and 2016 Brett has been honored with Smart 50 and Fast 50 awards and was recently listed at #657 on the Inc. 5000.

What you’ll learn about in this episode:

  • How Brett entered the world of real estate via a journey that includes architecture and banking
  • Why Brett founded Kaufman Development on the principles of philanthropy, wellness, innovation, and sustainability
  • How Kaufman Development works to develop real estate properties centered on creativity and community development
  • How Kaufman Development is expanding beyond Columbus, Ohio, including working on a project in partnership with the Green Bay Packers
  • Why Brett refocused his life on lifting up communities, and how he first began doing the work he does
  • Why Brett believes passionately in helping people, and why he sometimes questions the path he is on
  • Why our hobbies, interests, and passions are seldom things we look to for our purpose in life
  • Why Brett’s difficult childhood involving divorce and abuse shaped his views on self-care, mental health, and perseverance
  • Why opening yourself up to the help you need to overcome your challenges is the first step to taking action
  • What advice Brett has for people needing to overcome trauma and find internal healing and happiness

How to connect with Brett Kaufman: