Zell.Life seeks to reach, serve and engage all Zell alumni and the current students of the Zell Entrepreneurship Program at Reichman University to foster a lifelong intellectual and emotional connection between the graduates, the association and the program.
Sam Zell is a global, opportunistic, and often contrarian investor. He specializes in identifying market anomalies and emerging trends and has a long track record in turning around troubled companies and assets, leading industry consolidations, and bringing companies to the public markets.
The majority of his investment portfolio is in energy, logistics, transportation, manufacturing, communications and healthcare, but he is often best known for his pioneering role and stewardship in creating the modern commercial real estate industry. Sam is the Chairman of Equity Group Investments, the private investment firm he founded 50 years ago. He also chairs five companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange, including three real estate investment trusts (REITs), Equity Residential, Equity LifeStyle Properties, and Equity Commonwealth; an international energy-from-waste company, Covanta Holding Corporation; and a communications and security distribution company, Anixter International Inc. Sam also founded and chaired Equity Office Properties Trust, the largest office REIT until its $39 billion sales in 2007. In addition, he introduced the first Brazilian and Mexican real estate companies, respectively, to the New York Stock Exchange through Equity International, a second private investment firm he founded to focus on real estate-related businesses in emerging markets.
Sam is an active philanthropist with a focus on entrepreneurial education. Through the Zell Family Foundation, he has led the sponsorship of several leading entrepreneurship programs, including the Zell/Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business; the Zell Fellows Program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management; the Samuel Zell/Robert Lurie Real Estate Center at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton Real Estate Center; and the Zell Entrepreneurship Center at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya (IDC). The Zell Global Entrepreneur Network (ZGEN) unites the students and alumni of these programs and actively provides them with connections, opportunities, mentorship and support. Sam holds a JD degree and a BA from the University of Michigan.
All the opportunity in the world means nothing if you don’t actually pull the trigger”
Liat is the acting executive director and the chairperson of the program. Today, she is also a co-founder and CSO at Horizen Labs, a blockchain technology company. She was also the COO of Selina, a high-growth start-up in the hospitality space. Before that, she was a Partner at Marker LLC, a leading Israel-New York based venture capital firm, where she continues to oversee their follow-on annex fund. She holds a B.A. in economics (cum laude) from the University of California at Berkeley, an LL.B. and an MBA from Tel Aviv University, and an LL.M. from the University of Leiden in the Netherlands (cum laude). She attained practical experience in M&A at Naschitz, Brandes, Amir & Co. Liat is a board member at Wristcam and at the Infinity Investment Group. She is a member of the Friends of IDC’s advisory board and on the advisory boards of: WiSe, Weizman Institute’s entrepreneurship program and Scola, the 81 Unit entrepreneurship program.
Prof. Yair Tauman is a leading professor of economics at Stony Brook University and dean of the Adelson School of Entrepreneurship at Reichman University, where he also serves as academic director of the Zell Entrepreneurship Program (since 2009). Professor Tauman has been the director of the Stony Brook University Game Theory Center for the last 20 years. He served as the dean of the Arison School of Business at Reichman University ( 2010-2011), professor at the Kellogg School of Management (Northwestern University from 1980-1987), the Economics Department at Ohio State University (1987-1990) and Tel Aviv University for 25 years (1983-2008). Recently, he was elected president of the Israeli chapter of the Game Theory Society.
Liraz is the CEO of Zell Life, the director of personal growth at the Zell Program and a Zell 7 graduate herself (Zellot). Liraz is a seasoned professional with varied experience in the Israeli innovation ecosystem across multiple sectors. Liraz’s expertise lies in developing entrepreneurial programs and translating customers’ needs into a strategic vision and operating structure. Liraz is the founder of Boost.accelerating people, which specialized in developing entrepreneurial educational programs and creating tailor-made venture creation strategies for early-stage startups. Liraz holds an EMBA from The Hebrew University with practical experience in “Startup Investing" and a B.A. from IDC Herzliya.
Nofar, a Zell graduate herself, is the COO of Zell.Life. Today she is also a co-founder of an early stage Fintech startup. Nofar worked at Shenhav & Co. Advocates & Notary in the Hi-tech and M&A department. Later she led the marketing and customer acquisition at KolGene, a start-up in the field of genetic testing. Over the years Nofar gained a deep knowledge and understanding of how to form a company, fund it and take it into the market.