Carleton Management, Inc.: Company History
Management, Inc.'s San Diego roots date back to the 1920s, when Isaac Ratner,
a cap manufacturer, moved his wife and family of six children from New York
City. A doctor had advised the diabetic Isaac Ratner that Southern California
was the best place for him to find
fresh fruits and vegetables with which to balance his diet year-round.
Isaac Ratner reestablished his cap business in San Diego, and two of his sons,
Abe and Nate, joined him as salesmen. During World War II, Ratner Clothing
Corp. manufactured naval uniforms and officers' caps – including a lieutenant's
cap with a special braid that Abe Ratner designed. After the War, Ratner Clothing
added mens' pants and suits to its manufacturing portfolio.
Under Abe Ratner's
skillful leadership, Ratner Clothing became the largest manufacturer of mens'
clothing west of the Mississippi. In the 1960s and 1970s, Ratner Clothing developed
the leisure suit, produced in the synthetic polyester fabrics that were revolutionizing
the clothing industry.
1970, Abe Ratner's son-in-law, Stanley Foster, took over management of the
business. Stan Foster had worked his way up from shipping clerk to salesman,
and eventually to president. In the 1980s, the company bought the licensing
rights to Hang Ten and licensed the popular brand worldwide.
the clothing business grew, the business acquired factory capacity in San
Diego and elsewhere on the West Coast.
This property expansion was the genesis
of the company's real estate investment business.
Foster was the driving force behind the company's evolution into a real estate
1989, when Ratner Clothing sold its clothing business, the company retained
its real estate assets as the nucleus of properties from which Carleton
Management would grow. Carleton Management
continued to acquire and develop additional properties throughout the 1990s
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Foster's real estate philosophy investing for the long-term, holding
diversified properties in its portfolio, rarely selling its investments, and
periodically entering into strategic development relationships remains
guiding philosophy today.
Management has been a leader in philanthropy in San Diego since its inception.
Isaac Ratner earned a reputation for giving to everyone who came to his door
to ask for help. Since he did not know who needed help most, he gave
to all who asked. Stan Foster and his wife, Pauline, continued to set a high
standard for leadership and philanthropy in the secular and non-secular communities
for many decades. Philanthropy continues to be an important company value.
Stan's passing, his son-in-law, Jeff Silberman, became president and chief executive
officer in 2004. Jeff works closely with Chief Financial Officer John Harris
and Carleton's outstanding management team. Carleton is truly a family business
and many of its staff have been part of the company family for years.