Name: Helen McCann

Company: Universal Studios Inc.

Age: 48

Specialty: Entertainment real estate

Recent Deal: Working on the approval process for the proposed Universal City Master Plan.

Helen McCann knows a lot about the power of persuasion. As a Universal Studios vice president, she is spearheading an ambitious campaign to shepherd the proposed Universal City expansion through the governmental and community approval process.

In Universal’s case, the proposal would add approximately 6 million square feet of new development on the company’s 415-acre property in the Cahuenga Pass.

McCann comes eminently qualified for the job, having helped Twentieth Century Fox explain and alleviate citizen concerns a few years ago in its Century City expansion.

Her two undergraduate majors while at UCLA were in psychology and English. Learning the complexities of real estate development came while earning her MBA in real estate and finance from USC.

“I became interested in real estate as I began to specialize in my second year of the business school program at USC, which has an excellent real estate development program,” said Los Angeles native McCann, a travel and art history buff.

McCann said her work requires the art and science of “taking complex problems and making them understandable and solvable.”

McCann got good marks for doing just that during the initial public presentations on the expansion. Still, she has her work cut out for her. This month, Los Angeles City Council president John Ferraro and County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky announced that they would seek a 40 percent reduction in the size of the Universal project.

Bob Howard

No posts to display