“If you’re really good at what you do, you have the freedom to be who you really are.”


Open Book

In 2017, Penguin Random House released Sam’s book. Am I Being Too Subtle? — a reference to Sam’s favorite way to underscore a point — takes readers on a ride across his business terrain. With honesty and humor, Sam shares stories of the times he got it right, when he didn’t, and most important, what he learned in the process.

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Sam’s t-shirts for the MHC (now ELS) IPO in 1993 were designed to combat the marketplace’s bias against manufactured home communities.

Indelible Impressions

Sam gained a reputation for doing IPO road show t-shirts with memorable, often tongue-in-cheek spins. He started the practice in the early 1990s.

“Attracting investors is as much art as science. To gain an advantage, I got creative. These guys saw twenty presentations a day. They were inundated with seemingly great companies to invest in. I had just forty-five minutes to make a pitch, answer questions, and leave an impression. I created custom T-shirts to help seal the deals.”

Sam’s first IPO was in 1991 with Vigoro, a fertilizer company. The back of the t-shirt read, “We make money with it.”
In 1994 Sam used this t-shirt in capital raising to take advantage of pending telecom deregulation by buying radio stations.


In the 1970s, in response to receiving holiday calendars and keychains, Sam began developing items that conveyed his thoughts on the marketplace for the coming year. The often prescient gifts grew increasingly elaborate, eventually morphing into automata — moving, mechanical music box sculptures with customized lyrics. Sam would send them out to about six hundred friends, colleagues, and business associates.

Little Red Books

As a business card, Sam often handed out pocket-sized red books that featured cartoons depicting sayings he often referenced.

Freedom of Expression

Whatever outlet Sam’s creativity and humor took, it always had a message — and a story behind it. From the statue of a bureaucrat covered in red tape to the contemporary art collection along all the walls of his offices, and the elaborate events that showcase the talent of local artists — Sam always delivered a memorable encounter.