Preston Young, Regional Managing Partner at Stream, was recently named one of Houston Business Journal’s (HBJ) 40 under 40 honorees. Per HBJ, the award honors 40 individuals under the age of 40 who have proven themselves to be key industry leaders within their companies and in the community. He co-started the Houston office in 2006 and since its inception, has grown the firm to over 150 employees across a diverse platform, including, but not limited to, property management, leasing, tenant representation and marketing.
Get to Know Preston Young
Name: Preston Young
Title: Regional Managing Partner
Hometown: Dallas, TX
College: Texas A&M University – BBA Finance (Cum Laude)
What’s your biggest accomplishment to date?
We started Stream with two employees in a tiny, interior office. Twelve years later, we have grown this company to over 150 team members and have retained the culture that we started with, which is hiring nice, honest, smart and passionate people. A company is only as successful as its people – and every employee at Stream contributes to what we have built. Our team and its special culture are one of the things I’m very proud and honored to be part of.
What first intrigued you about the CRE industry?
It is a perfect (and often ironic) blend between the “analytical and social.”
What community service activities/organizations have you been associated with and in what capacity?
- Chairman of the Board – St. John Paul II Foundation for Life & Family
- Board of Trustees – Free Enterprise Institute
- Board of Directors – Western Academy
- Board of Directors – Catholic Charities of Houston
- Board of Directors– Business Ethics Forum
- President – Sandalwood Civic Association
- Advisory Board Member – Texas A&M University, Mays Business School
- Champions Council – 12th Man Foundation, Texas A&M University
- Founder, Amber and Preston Young Endowed Real Estate Excellence Fund – Texas A&M University, Mays Business School
How have you displayed leadership and mentorship?
My ultimate goal for Stream is to develop and raise leaders for the community we serve. How virtuous would a company be if it was dedicated to raising leaders for our society? Being that “force for good” at all levels; helping people becoming better parents, spouses, coaches, volunteers and even better friends. At Stream, I started a program that I’m incredibly passionate about called the Headwaters Program. Headwaters is the source of a stream… and you can see where I’m going here. We want each employee to adopt these leadership skills, so they are empowered with a strong base to start streams within their own lives. This multi-faceted program works with employees of all levels (associate to vice president) on everything from emotional intelligence and negotiation skills to public speaking and conflict resolution. This program will help these future leaders build positive skills that translate into every aspect of their lives, from work to a non-profit to their relationships with family. I’m really excited about what we have taught and continue to teach to our team at Stream.
What was your biggest win last year?
This is a no brainer… watching our team’s incredible response in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Companies always pay lip service to culture, but we got to see a first-hand account of Stream’s strong culture. Not only did they create a Go Fund Me page for fellow employees impacted by the flood, they raised over $100,000 and 100% of proceeds went to those employees!! Every single employee in our office (152 at the time) also volunteered in some fashion – every one of them. That is just phenomenal. Not only did employees contribute financially, but countless hours of volunteer work to help fellow employees, neighbors or even strangers. It’s during the most difficult times that a person’s character is tested and revealed, and I can say without any hesitation that our team has it in spades. I was amazed with what I saw.
What’s the biggest challenge you have faced in your career and how did you overcome it?
The recent oil crash has been what I like to call ‘character building years’ for many in Houston, especially in commercial real estate. With that being said, adversity is a great teacher. I firmly believe that those that maximize their career make their greatest strides during downturns. Plus, if you ever read the book Unbroken, you realize it could always be much worse!
What’s one mistake you made and what did you learn from it?
Not to dwell on mistakes. Learn from it and drive on.
What do you wish to accomplish in the next five years?
At Stream, I still feel like I have just scratched the surface in Houston. The goal is to double the firm in size again, all while making sure our culture remains completely intact. For the charities I’m involved in, I’m really looking forward to a few developments we have in the works at the St. John Paul II Foundation for Life & Family. Again, it’s all about building leaders for our community. We are also having some very profound discussions amongst members of the Business Ethics Forum – many of whom I respect personally and professionally – and I can see us making a real impact in Houston over the next five years.