Legendary retail developer and former mayoral candidate Rick Caruso headlined a gathering of more than 200 of the region’s elected officials, business leaders, CSUN leaders and alumni at the campus’ Orchard Conference Center on Jan. 11. Caruso — whose eponymous company, Caruso, is known for iconic L.A. shopping centers such as The Grove and Calabasas Commons, addressed the second-annual “Our Region, Our Future” summit convened by the Valley Economic Alliance. He spoke about his background, starting from scratch in real estate, and emphasized the need to build a range of housing — especially affordable housing — and more mixed-use (residential with retail) development. “There is buying power in the Valley, like nowhere else in L.A.,” Caruso said.

Chandra Subramaniam, dean of CSUN’s David Nazarian College of Business and Economics, which co-sponsored the summit, welcomed Caruso and all the program’s dignitaries to campus. On the very cold and blustery January morning, he also presented Caruso with a welcome piece of Nazarian College swag: a fleece vest.

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