The scions of some of the Hamptons' boldest names are determined to keep their family's businesses successful. Meet the next generation stepping up to fill their parents' big shoes.
Alessandra Ford Balazs, Model & Travel Expert
How are you following in your family’s foosteps? ALESSANDRA FORD BALAZS: I’m launching a new travel and lifestyle website this fall. The foundation of the site has been a lifetime in the making. As the daughter of André Balasz, I grew up in the hospitality industry. I’ve worked in every position you can imagine, whether it’s been a dishwasher, waitress, housekeeper, concierge—the list could go on! Plus, I’ve traveled to at least over 100 countries. Over the years I’ve collected insider tips and tricks of the trade that I’m really excited to share.
Best career advice from your parents: AFB: Both of them have been CEOs of their own companies. rowing up I learned that not only is anything possible but you have to work to get it. But a motto my father truly lives by, and I do as well, is ‘There is no such thing as no.’
Bradley Fishel, Vice President, Renaissance Properties NY
What do you admire about your dad’s work ethic? BRADLEY FISHEL: My father, Kenneth Fishel, runs a lean shop. He understands his employees’ strengths and weaknesses and delegates properly and efficiently.
Goals for the family business: BF: My aim is to expand the company by diversifying its holdings, whether it’s in other geographic areas or different asset classes.
Best career advice: BF: Organization and reading are keys to success in leadership.
Passion projects: BF: I am currently the president and chairman of the NoHo BID. Being one of the largest commercial building owners in the area, I hope to impact the (already great) neighborhood for the better.
Barron Hilton, Real Estate Broker, Hilton & Hyland
Why join the family business? BH: Over the years, I’ve learned a lot from both my father and grandfather, who are true pioneers in the residential and commercial financing industries. Growing up around this environment, the real estate dialogue became somewhat of a second language for me.
Best career advice: BH: My parents have always encouraged me to be an entrepreneur, to stay true to my dreams and never settle for mediocre.
Dream job: BH: I get to work as a team with the love of my life. What better job could I ask for?
Upcoming projects: BH: Right now, I am working on a groundbreaking hotel operations system called Aqua (aquapms.com), an interface that connects housekeeping, front desk, engineering, etc., with machine learning and AI to optimize the workforce like never before. We are currently integrated with Hilton Worldwide and will be beginning our rollout in the next couple of months!
Lucas Zwirner, Editorial Director, David Zwirner Books
Why join the family business? LZ: My father was considering starting a publishing house and so I applied for the job as an editor.
How does working for your dad work out? LZ: He weighs in on all the big decisions, but he has allowed me to develop my own program and treat this as a full-on publishing house. I feel really lucky that there is support, but then I can go try things.
Why do a pop-up at Pilgrim Surf? LZ: I met Chris [Gentile] who runs Pilgrim Surf and bought a longboard from him for my dad’s birthday. My dad loved it so much he ended up buying one for me for my birthday.
What books at the Amagansett pop-up are you excited about? LZ: [Yayoi] Kusama is a global phenomenon right now. We have a big book of her work and we will have a few early copies at Pilgrim.
Passion project: LZ: Our Ekphrasis series. Each one is dedicated to publishing rare, out-of-print and newly commissioned texts as accessible paperback volumes.
Bruce Grant, Licensed Salesperon, Sotheby's International Realty
Why join the family business? BRUCE GRANT: It’s in my blood. My grandmother, Patricia Patterson, was a great Manhattan Sotheby’s agent and my father, Harald Grant, has been the top broker at Sotheby’s out of the Southampton office for many years. It just made sense for me to follow into this profession.
What’s it like working with your dad? BG: I have to admit: It’s great working with family. My dad’s been teaching me a lot, which is an understatement.
Best career advice: BG: Be around and know your product. It’s all about the information on hand and availability.
Dream job: BG: It feels 100 percent that I am working in my dream job. If I’m taking a page from my father’s playbook, then my goal is to be among the top real estate agents in the Hamptons.
ALESSANDRA FORD BALAZS, BRADLEY FISHEL & BRUCE GRANT PHOTOS BY ZEV STARR-TAMBOR; ALESSANDRA FORD BALAZS HAIR AND MAKEUP BY KALLY SITARAS USING CLE DE PEAU BEAUTE; BARRON HILTON PHOTO BY MADISON MCGAW/BFA.COM