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Meet Kenneth Bank of Skyline Multi Housing in Calabasas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kenneth Bank.

Kenneth, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I am a Vietnam combat veteran who served in the Army almost 50 years ago. At the time I was drafted I was in college studying Structural Engineering at night, working for a Fortune 500 company designing their facilities as a space planner and draftsman, and feeding my soul by singing in a Doo Wop group that had started to become fairly successful by the time of my induction into the Army.

War is a terrible experience. The loss of innocence, the erosion of trust, and the muddy landscape of morality contributed to a state of mind that is constantly confused and without direction. Our system is set up so that when Vets return from active duty, especially in combat zones, there is NO REQUIRED de-programming before these men and woman hit the streets. Yes, there is counseling available, but it is voluntary. PTSD is a bitch. It is an addiction but few people realize that. The Vet becomes addicted to the doses of adrenalin, and other endorphins that the body releases in times of eminent danger. Hence, so many are left with very little coping mechanisms and we see the fallout via the homeless on our streets. It took many decades for me to peel back the layers of pain, distrust, non-vulnerability and self-loathing so I could regain my professional focus and step back into feeding my soul by singing again.

Well it took some time, and a few failed relationships, but I have been able to do exactly what it is I want to do. I have been developing Affordable Housing and Permanent Supporting Housing in Los Angeles for over 25 years. I cringe every time I see a Vet on the streets and a personal goal is to one day see all of them off the streets. I have been a part of approx. 2,000 units of housing completed here in the LA area.

In addition to that, I went back to singing about 10 years ago after being away for decades. I formed a group, the Dukes of Doo Wop, with four other guys. Today we are busy doing shows all over Southern California and sharing the stage with Legends of the genre. We have entertained thousands of fans across the Southland and we are getting ready to do our first Cruise in October…

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has not been a smooth road at all. The effects of war on a person’s state of mind and soul are devastating. There is a numbness that does not allow for intimacy to flourish. Skepticism is rampart because there is an unwillingness to fully trust. The PTSD acts as a drug promoting self-sabotage. So for me what that meant was two failed marriages, inability to properly focus on business, and the use of recreational drugs as a form of self-medication. All this leads to an inability to clearly define life and personal goals and have the discipline to achieve them.

Skyline Multi Housing – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
At present I am a consultant for development entities looking to build Affordable, Market Rate, or Student Housing. My company is called Skyline Multi Housing. I specialize in site acquisitions and entitlements. I guess you could say I am a hired gun that can handle multiple issues related to the development of multifamily housing, including project management, financing, contract negotiations, and owners rep. What I am most proud of in the housing industry is the fact that I have helped so many individuals and families gain aces to quality, sustainable, and in many cases affordable places to live. I am brutally honest and have no agenda other than to accomplish the task at hand. Everything I do is transparent so those that work with me feel comfortable within the relationship.

My singing group, the Dukes of Doo Wop is a something I am also very proud of. I started this group approximately 7 years ago and the members are all dedicated to what we do. In that short period of time we have become one of Southern California’s top acapella groups specializing in Doo Wop and street corner harmony. We are now being asked to open for the top Doo Wop and Rock N Roll shows here in Southern California and have been fortunate to be able to back up some the true legends of this genre. Singing acapella in front of 1500 fans is not easy. It’s like flying without a net. We pride ourselves on being perfectionists and I think the fan base see it.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
The proudest moment in my career as a developer is happening now. After finishing a four year exclusive relationship with one of California’s largest housing developers I am now being sought after to help other developers with their needs including in other states throughout the country. The future looks exciting, and the hard work is proving to be something that the industry as a whole is now recognizing.

As for singing, it is having the Dukes of Doo Wop asked to entertain on board the Ruby Princess in October for a 5 day cruise to Cabo San Lucas. That is going to be a blast.

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