Alice and the Cat

Alice and the Cheshire Cat:



do you know where
you're going to?


One day, Alice was lost. She came to a fork in the road and saw a Cheshire cat in a tree.

"Which road do I take?" she asked.

"Where do you want to go?" was his response.

"I don't know." Alice answered.

"Then," said the cat, "it doesn't matter."


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



the danger of standing still

If any of your competitors are exploring anything new or different and you are not, you are effectively doing what no business can afford: you are sliding backwards.

As Albert Einstein said: "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving."

michael friedlander


  • Overview
  • F & W
  • RhythmRadio
  • The Jerde Partnership
  • Owl SC




Prior to arriving in Los Angeles in 1979, I worked as an attorney in Johannesburg and then in the banking and financial sectors in London and Zurich.

In 1979, I was admitted to the California Bar. Since then, my clients and I worked in many diverse industries. These include the real estate, manufacturing, intellectual property, licensing, entertainment, architectural and other professional service industries. I worked with start-up and established companies and with industry leaders in marketing and brand-building.

From 1998, I served as Chief Executive Officer of an international music company and then as the Chief Executive Officer of an award-winning international architectural design firm. I now also serve as Chief Executive Officer of Owl Strategic Consulting LLC.

I was born in South Africa and graduated with BA and LLB degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg. I also studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and at McGill University in Montreal.




friedlander & werlin ... 1983 — 1998


I was one of the founders of Friedlander & Werlin, a boutique Los Angeles law firm that specialized in business law and complex litigation. For 15 years, I headed and directed the firm's business law practice.

Our business law practice ranged from structuring and financing start-up ventures to advising established businesses. My advice was often sought in identifying and establishing national and international strategic partners for his clients. My specialty became one of structuring, drafting, negotiating and closing transactions for my clients and in advising them on their national and international business activities.

During these years, I traveled on client business to Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore, Hong Kong, London, Paris, Zurich, Geneva, Rome, Montreal, Toronto, and Johannesburg to help clients in their various projects.



RhythmRadio Corporation ... 1998 — 2004


In 1998, I was invited to become chief executive officer and co-founder of one of the firm’s clients, a multi-platform entertainment business that included radio, Internet, television, record label and licensing divisions. My fellow founders were radio icon, Shadoe Stevens, and multiple Emmy award-winning music writer and producer, Charlie Midnight.

My experience in brand-building was tapped to develop the RhythmRadio brand internationally. The company's brand was centered on its tag: "The Sound of the World in a Good Mood." Its global sponsor was Nescafe. In the course of creating the company’s brand, I worked closely with McCann Erikson Worldwide, Nescafe’s global marketing, advertising and branding specialist.

RhythmRadio syndicated its radio programs in over 30 countries. During these years, I traveled to London, Mexico City, Caracas, Buenos Aires, and Bogota.



the jerde partnership, inc. ... 2004 — 2009


In 2005, I was invited to become CEO and board member of this award-winning architectural design firm with offices in Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Dubai. For over 30 years, the firm had designed large mixed-use projects for the most prominent developers around the world. In the United States, its best-known projects included the Bellagio Hotel, Universal City Walk and the Mall of America. The firm had also designed award-winning projects in Japan, Hong Kong and Europe.

During my time at the company, I developed a keen interest in sustainability and energy issues. I advocated the importance of bringing energy and sustainability experts into the design process at the earliest possible stages.

I also recognized the opportunity for architectural and engineering firms to apply for federal and state research and development tax credits with respect to their work in the energy and sustainability sectors. I supervised the drafting of the firm’s application for these credits.

During these years, I traveled extensively to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Macau, Seoul, Tokyo, Osaka, Dubai and Istanbul on company matters.



owl strategic consulting llc ... 2009


In 2009, I created this company in response to two specific opportunities I identified in the energy and real estate sectors.

The first opportunity lay in the area of energy-efficiency. I noted the availability of government incentives, stimulus funds and the emergence of private investment banking firms dedicated to funding energy-efficiency projects. I saw the opportunity of funding energy-efficiency projects through the energy savings generated from those projects.

The second opportunity lay in the area of adaptive reuse, or taking existing facilities such as those vacated by large anchor tenants like the Circuit City group and converting them into alternative entertainment uses.

I saw my existing relationships with sustainability consultants in engineering firms and with nationally-renowned movie theatre and retail mall consultant, IJM Enterprises, as being vital cogs in pursuing these opportunities.