John C. (Jack) Portman, III is the Vice-Chairman of Portman Holdings, the land and property development company. Mr. Portman is responsible for the international development activities of the company. Additionally, he is Vice Chairman for John Portman & Associates (Portman), the architectural and engineering firm. Mr. Portman has structured the priorities of Portman to reflect the organization’s values: client service, world-class design, and creating successful environments in which people succeed.
Mr. Portman began his career in 1973 as an apprentice architect for Portman in Atlanta. From design experience on the boards, he moved to a position of corporate leadership. Working first with the domestic arm of the companies’ real estate development, he later established Portman Overseas to pursue international real estate development and property management.
Mr. Portman has led the companies’ international endeavors in the design, development and management of overseas projects. He is responsible for the firm’s entry into China and has initiated projects in other countries in the Pacific Rim. Recognizing the tremendous potential in the Pacific Rim, he established the first Portman office in Hong Kong in 1979, living there until 1982. He was responsible for projects which included housing in Hong Kong, hotels and mixed-use development in Singapore and mixeduse complexes in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.
In 1980, he pioneered Portman’s entry into China. He laid the groundwork for the design and development of Shanghai Centre, the largest foreign investment project in China, a coalition he built with American, Japanese and Chinese investors. As a developer and investor, his commitment to China was demonstrated during the challenges presented by the changing political climate within the country. Through numerous trips and a conscientious effort to build solid, long-term business relationships, he was instrumental in the opening of Shanghai Centre in 1990. The overwhelming success of the project spawned the increased activity for the firm in China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.
In early 1993, he directed the establishment of an office in Shanghai and reactivated operations from Hong Kong. In 1995, he moved back to Shanghai where he oversaw all international work for the firm, and laid the groundwork to open operations in India. While still responsible for all international activity, in 1998, Mr. Portman returned to Atlanta to oversee all operations of Portman and the firm’s renewed commitment to the local community and the United States. Since then he’s overseen the firm’s expansion in India and ground-breaking of new project ventures in three key U.S. cities. Mr. Portman remains involved in all Portman projects in China.