If you grow up with brothers, one of the first things you learn to do is run. Whether you’re running with them, after them, or away from them, having brothers means you learn the importance of speed at an early age.
“We all had the bug,” Quinn Kiriluk says of growing up with his older brothers, Matt and Dean. As kids, family trips up north were an excuse to race everything from snowmobiles to dirt bikes. It’s a tradition that continues to this day. “We’ve always had that,” he says. “We’re all gearheads. All three of us enjoy racing to some extent.”
While the Kiriluks have always had a love for racing, their leadership roles in the family real-estate development business would make it seem unlikely that any of them might have the time to indulge it. Matt, the eldest of the three brothers, serves as KIRCO’s president and CEO, while Dean is its chief investment officer and Quinn is executive vice president of corporate real estate and chief marketing officer. For Dean, though, the speed bug was too strong to ignore. “I always dreamed of racing, from the time I was a boy,” he says. “The speed, competition, fear, and challenge of the sport draw me back.” So last year, he added race car driver to his resume. He leased a car, began practicing at the Waterford Hills Race Track, and soon had a racing license and the passion to go further.
It wasn’t long before he was participating in races both close to home and across the country. But he wasn’t just participating, he was winning. In fact, Dean took first place in three races at Waterford Hills as a rookie, took another first in the Ohio Valley Region Autumn Classic XXXIX at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, and one first and two third place finishes in the Palm Tree Winter Majors at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Now driving KIRCO’s own formula continental, Dean’s reaching speeds of 140 miles per hour and holding his own against some of the country’s best amateur racers.
It may seem like a left turn – for a business executive to take up motorsports – but considering KIRCO’s headquartered in the Motor City, it may not be as surprising as it seems. There are also more similarities between the commercial real-estate business and auto racing than you might initially think. After all, moving quickly and strategically, knowing your competition, and flawless execution are required in each. Quinn says preparation is also key. “I’d liken the pre-race regimen to our pre-development services on a project,” he says. “You obsess over every detail, so there are no surprises. I think there’s certainly a lot of that in racing. You want the optimal performance.”
Maybe Dean’s performance behind the wheel has benefited from lessons he learned in the real-estate business – or maybe it’s just a drive to always get faster. “As you roll off the track, you can’t wait to get back because you know you can do better,” he says. “You know there is more speed to be found.”
With his track record, there’s little doubt he’ll find it.