Cystinosis Research Foundation Hope for a Cure More than $1.8 million was raised for the Cystinosis Research Foundation (CRF) at the seventh annual Natalie's Wish fundraiser held May 30 in Newport Beach, Calif., at the Balboa Bay Club. Natalie Stack is just one of an estimated 2,000 people worldwide afflicted with cystinosis, a genetic disease that slowly damages organs, muscle tissue, and the central nervous system. Natalie's father Jeff Stack is managing director of the SARES REGIS Group of Irvine, Calif., and is chairman of the Urban Land Institute's Multifamily Silver Residential Council as well as a past chairman of NMHC. Stack and his wife Nancy established the CRF in 2003 after learning at Natalie's 12th birthday that she had a secret wish: “To have my disease go away forever.” For more information, visit

License to Drive The Fresh Meadows, N.Y.-based U.S. Energy Group has awarded Ben Schwartz, Metropolitan Property Services; Richard Carcano, Rosenberg-Diamond Development; Ryan Shadrick, SFA Properties; and Ed Gublet, Ceebraid-Signal Management Group with “Efficiency Driver Licenses.” The honorary certifications recognize building owners and property managers who demonstrate exceptional attention to day-to-day, results-oriented efforts to drive their buildings toward peak operating efficiency, according to the U.S. Energy Group. —L.S.

Road Trip

Hong Kong high rollers have been getting a new real estate pitch lately—editions of the South China Morning Post are carrying advertisements to buy condo space in the Chicago Spire. The 2,000-foot-tall twisting project—now under construction on the shores of Lake Michigan—is being billed as the tallest residential building in the world. To fill its 1,194 luxury units, the Spire sales team is supplementing its world advertising with a global road trip, visiting prospective buyers in markets such as Singapore, Moscow, and Seoul. Spire spokesperson Kim Metcalfe tells the Chicago Tribune that the tour has been very successful, with purchases made at every stop, although she declined to say how many units have committed buyers. —C.W.

Racial Awareness A discrimination sting in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has resulted in three legal settlements between multifamily property management companies and the Cedar Rapids Civil Rights Commission. The commission filed complaints against 29 management companies in April after a five-month audit revealed that black auditors posing as potential renters were treated differently by leasing agents approximately 75 percent of the time. Valley View Apartments, Kelley Property Management, and Oakland Court and Gardens—all based in Cedar Rapids—have each agreed to send an employee to three training sessions. Ten other companies are still in settlement talks, while another 16 remain under active investigation. —C.W.