“Little did I know growing up that my experience of being poor, coupled with a burning desire to be wealthy, would be the catalyst that enabled me to structure over $2 billion dollars in closed real estate transactions. And with every transaction, I legally got cash back at closing.

Community development is an art! By leveraging real estate, students learn how to accumulate a substantial net worth that “can be given away to others." Think about it - to be a great philanthropist, you must be a great capitalist.

Strather Academy students, interns, partners, and investors all learn “insider secrets” that are not taught anywhere else. Many have gone on to build multi-million-dollar real estate portfolios and have become change agents throughout their communities." - Herbert J. Strather

Our Team

Herbert J. Strather, CEO

Herb Strather is an optimist committed to the city of Detroit. Worldwide, he has established 140 Optimist Clubs and has closed more than $2 billion in real estate transactions in and around Detroit including the national award-winning Woodbridge Estates and Motor City Casino. He has donated millions to charities and believes Detroit is by far the most exciting and opportunity-filled place in the world.

Strather admits that, like so many others, he lost millions during the Great Recession, but has enjoyed getting it back, and at the same time teaching others how to create wealth by leveraging income producing real estate.

He also went through the recession in 1980 when interest rates and vacancy rates both went to 20 percent. At that time, he was noted for putting together the biggest deals in Southeast Michigan, including Hunter Ridge Condos in Farmington Hills for $43 million and the Republic Development Company apartment portfolio reduction for $165 million.


Gary O. Shelton, Co-Chairman

Strather Affiliated Companies

Gary purchased his first multifamily property from Herb in 1985 and has completed 450 buy, fix & flip transactions. After learning to leverage real estate acquisitions one hundred percent or more, he began to do leverage buyouts of businesses and led companies that generated over $500 million in revenue. January 2019 Gary returned to Detroit from Los Angeles to rejoin Herb and teach students how to qualify with banks for business credit lines and loans thus creating leverage, freedom, and advantageously impacting their businesses and lives.

Every real estate entrepreneur needs access to capital, so Gary collaborated with the Blackstone Group, the largest alternative investment firm in the world, to provide investors in 2019 with over $1.8 billion in real estate lines of credit. Also, he provided over $300 million in unsecured business lines of credit and business loans to small business owners.

Robin McLellan, Executive Director

Strather Academy

Robin McLellan understands the importance of property ownership and is passionate about helping people acquire their first, next and/or income producing properties.

As a Realtor® and Investor, Robin is uniquely qualified to assess and provide individualized housing solutions. Whether you are looking to invest, buy, sell, rent, lease with a buying option or “Just Move on Quietly with Dignity,” She can help!

Robin is on a mission to assist people with immobility-challenged disabilities. She seeks to provide people who are severely immobility challenged with basic needs such as housing and home care support services to help remove these barriers to entrepreneurship.

Robin has over 25 years of experience in corporate education administration directing and managing the educational departments of the Construction Association of MI and Walbridge. Robin has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration (BBA) from Cleary University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Phoenix.

Marc Trail, Realtor

Marc is a licensed agent with Strather Associates and has adapted to the new, tech-centric real estate landscape to help Strather Academy students to remain competitive. That said, despite widespread industry disruption, he plays a crucial role for students as they create wealth and legacy for their families in the real estate buying, selling, and renting process.

Marc’s career began with having had the honor to serve in the United States Navy. Upon returning home he earned his business chops working with a great team, helping a national pizza franchise expand from 1,800 units to over 5,000 during a 5-year period. From this strong foundation Marc pursued his dream of entrepreneurship.

Hassan Shukr, Real Estate Marketing Coordinator

Considering that in 2020, millennials will be buying the bulk of real estate in the U.S. Hassan helps Strather Academy students better understand how to market their properties to millennials.

Hassan teaches our students how digital advances have transformed how real estate is done today. He understands how millennials are dedicated to their devices, and for this group, technology plays a central role in home buying and real estate investing.

Hassan provides our students with an elite negotiation advantage, reliable market information, and around the clock responsiveness.

Hassan has received extensive training in the latest real estate marketing strategies from Strather Academy. He has a bachelor’s degree from Eastern Michigan University.

The Real Story

In 2006, Herb Strather was extremely interested in sharing his knowledge with future urban developers; with people like himself that would accumulate wealth, redevelop their communities, and leave a legacy. He realized, to succeed on earth by leaving a great legacy, he would have to share his knowledge with the next generation that will carry on into into future generations yet to come.

So, he cut a deal with Wayne County Community College to teach one course free which was to be recorded for use thereafter. However, Herb fell in love with his students and discovered he loved teaching. And the students fell in love with Herb!  The class ran from 6:30 until 8:30pm, but usually the students didn't leave Herb until around 10:00 pm.

Herb’s deal with the college was that students could buy his book and he would teach the class free of charge. Unfortunately, the union had a problem with that. The union insisted that Herb should be paid a salary, pay my union dues, and give the balance back to the college. Herb objected, they could not reach an agreement, and thus the beginning of Strather Academy.

Perhaps More than anything in the world besides spending time with his youngest daughter, London, and his God Children; Herb loves teaching Strather Academy students how to close transactions in a way that no one else in the world can.


We teach students how to support their families and uplift their communities with real estate acquisition, and neighborhood development.

St. Regis Hotel

Motorcity Casino

Town Center Plaza

Crescent House Apartments

Hunters Ridge Apartments

2340 Calvert