John Gates is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of PortaeCo, LLC a private investment company.
He graduated from Groton School in 1972 and from Trinity College in 1976 with a BSc in Economics and Philosophy, and began his career as an Assistant to Governor James R. Thompson of Illinois. In 1979, he joined CB/Richard Ellis, and in 1981, co-founded the Chicago office of Jones Lang Wootton (now Jones Lang LaSalle), a global commercial property investment firm.
In 1984, John co-founded CenterPoint Properties Trust and served as Co-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer for the next 22 years. During that period, CenterPoint became the Nation’s first publicly traded Industrial Real Estate Investment Trust, as well as the largest private property owner/developer in the Metropolitan Chicago Region. In 2006, the Company was acquired by the California Public Employees Retirement System (CALPERS), at which time Mr. Gates retired from the company.
From 2007-2010, he served as Chairman of the Board and Chairman of Finance Committee of the Metropolitan Pier and Exhibition Authority (McPier), which owns and operates Chicago’s McCormick Place, Navy Pier. These facilities anchor Chicago’s huge convention and tourism business and host over 15 million visitors per year. John oversaw the operational, financial and legislative restructuring of virtually every aspect of the authority in order to make Chicago a more attractive convention and tourism destination.
From 2010 to 2014, John was Chairman of the Board of the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA), which oversees all rail, bus, subway, elevated and other forms of public transit in the six county metropolitan Chicago Region. RTA owns, controls funding and integrates the Chicago Transit Authority (Urban Subway, Elevated, Bus), Metra (Commuter Rail) and Pace (Suburban Bus). This system provides 2.2 million rides per day and has annual operating and capital expenditures in excess of $5 billion.
John serves on the boards of several for profit companies, including Care Capital Properties, Davis Funds, DCT Industrial Trust, and Miami Corporation. He additionally serves on the boards of the following not for profit organizations; Lurie Children’s Hospital, Trinity College, Metropolitan Planning Council, University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.
John has received numerous awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Urban Land Institute and the Lifetime Award for Excellence from the NAIOP. In addition, he was named “Outstanding REIT CEO” for the six consecutive years prior to the sale of CenterPoint by Realty Stock Review in their annual survey of institutional investors.