Though reluctant to discuss it, Carlins devotes considerable energy ensuring the success of others. In addition to serving as director of Roosevelt University's Real Estate Program in Chicago, he is the director and past president of the Yul Brynner Cancer Research Foundation and founder and sponsor of Ogden Elementary School Mentor and Scholarship Program in Chicago. Carlins also serves as an auxiliary board member with the Art Institute of Chicago and with the Council of Regent's for Chicago's Loyola University. In 2002, he was the recipient of the Arthur Rubloff Humanitarian Award.

"I think whatever your circumstance, you can find a way to give back, if that's what you want to do," Carlins says. "I took a special interest in children at a young age. Education is so important to the development of young minds."

He admits to hectic days of late. In recent years, Magellan has extended its reach to Minneapolis, Miami, Nashville and Tulsa. "I delegate more than I used to," says Carlins. "I have children and grandchildren who have all joined Magellan, so now I get to tell them what to do," he laughs. "And I have a son with whom I've never disagreed about anything except how I dress."

He believes his legacy will be decided by future generations of Chicagoans, should they happen to remember him. "But buildings," he says, "buildings are something permanent, something tangible."