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WHO’S NEWS: Blaise Punturo, John Sheffield, Steve McCarthy

ERG Capital Advisors announced the hiring of Blaise Punturo as senior director of finance. Punturo joins ERG Capital Advisors with over 25 years of experience in commercial and residential lending. He will oversee the Commercial Lending Department, managing both ERG Capital Advisors and overseeing ERGCA’s Credit Department.
He previously served as president at The Manchester Company and has experience in purchasing performing and non-performing residential and commercial mortgages.
He formed a separate entity in 2010, purchasing performing and non-performing notes where he was involved in the due-diligence from the beginning to the completion of the transaction.
Punturo also has an extensive knowledge of eviction, foreclosure, and bankruptcy processes. He maximized the total return for each of the assets.
Punturo earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the State University of New York.
ERG Capital Advisors announced the hiring of Ernie Bartels as capital advisor.
Bartels comes to ERG Capital Advisors with over 25 years experience in commercial and residential lending.
He specializes in the arrangement of debt on investment real estate in the form of 1st and 2nd mortgages, mezzanine loans, and through strategic alliances with direct private lenders, the arrangement and participation of equity or joint venture deals.
Prior to joining ERG Capital Advisors, Bartels served as New York Mortgage Branch Manager at Executive Mortgage Brokers Ltd.
He has also worked with Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac gaining an experience with secondary markets.  He previously worked with Citigroup – Solomon Smith Barney.
Integra Realty Resources has hired Andrew Ludwig as chief marketing officer.
Ludwig will lead and execute IRR’s corporate marketing campaigns and oversee corporate branding, communications, and content development.
Prior to joining IRR, he developed internal marketing campaigns as a consultant to J.P. Morgan’s Chase Wealth Management Technology division and their Broker Dealer Services unit.
Ludwig was previously senior vice president and director of communications for Fairfield Greenwich Group, an alternative asset management firm, and VP, editor-in-chief in the Marketing and Product Development departments of DLJdirect, the online brokerage service of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, later acquired by Credit Suisse First Boston.
Prior to this, he had research and editorial responsibilities at Citibank and Simon & Schuster.
Ludwig has an A.B. from Brown University, Providence, RI, and has studied at Columbia University, New York University, Hunter College, and New School University, all in New York City.
Entitle Direct Group, Inc., announced the appointment of John Sheffield as its new chief financial officer and corporate secretary.
He joins the company with over 20 years of financial, strategic and corporate expertise developed from companies in several industries.
Prior to joining EDG in 2013, he served as executive vice president, chief financial officer and for a publicly traded manufacturer of healthcare supplies.
Prior to that, Sheffield held senior positions in the investment banking industry with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and the Bank Street Group after many years with Wasserstein Perella & Co.
He commenced his professional career as an auditor with a predecessor to PricewaterhouseCoopers and was a Certified Public Accountant in Texas.
Sheffield received a Master of Business Administration from The University of Texas McCombs School of Business, a Diploma in Management from EMLyon Business School (France) and a Bachelors of Business Administration in Accounting from Southern Methodist University.
AXA Real Estate Investment Managers has appointed Steve McCarthy as U.S Head of Asset Management and Transactions.
He will be based in AXA Real Estate’s office in New York and report to Olivier Thoral, AXA Real Estate’s Head of North America.
McCarthy joins AXA Real Estate from his role as co-founder and principal of MXA Capital, a real estate investment advisory company.
Prior to MXA Capital, he was chief operating officer at Greenprint Foundation (renamed the ULI Greenprint Center for Building Performance), a coalition of global real estate investors.
During his 30 years in real estate investment management, McCarthy also held senior positions in the U.S at Buchanan Street Partners, WestWind Capital Partners LP and Jones Lang Wootton and in the UK at Tishman Speyer Properties.
He earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business and a Bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College.


Massey Knakal Realty Services announced that Debra Cohen has joined the firm as a director of sales, focusing on South Nassau and the Rockaways.
She comes to Massey Knakal with over 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, public relations, and business management.
In 1997, she founded Home Remedies of NY, Inc., a Homeowner Referral Network (HRN®) business that pre-screens and refers home improvement contractors.
She launched her business locally and grew it nationwide, grossing more than $4 million in sales. In 2007, Start-Up Nation called Home Remedies of NY, Inc. one of the Top 10 Home Based Businesses.
Earlier, Debra was VP of client relations at Revista Aérea. She served as a bilingual sales professional for the Spanish language aviation magazine.
Debra graduated cum laude from Union College, earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology/Spanish.
Mission Capital Advisors announced the hiring of top finance broker Jonathan More to further the growth of Mission’s Debt & Equity Finance platform.
More joins Mission Capital as a director and will be responsible for originating, underwriting and structuring commercial real estate transactions nationwide.
Prior to joining Mission Capital, More served on the origination and execution teams for Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group.
He received a B.A. in economics from the University of Michigan, and an M.B.A from Columbia Business School, where he placed first overall in the Bodini Competition for Real Estate Investment & Entrepreneurship.
Margate Atlantic Properties has hired Kali Valenzuela as director of acquisitions and business development.
His responsibilities will include opening Margate Atlantic’s Brooklyn office where he’ll lead a new acquisitions team to acquire retail properties for Margate’s existing portfolio located throughout the tri-state area.
Valenzuela comes to Margate Atlantic after two years as acquisitions executive at Knightsbridge Properties Corporation and, before that, as an acquisitions associate at Benchmark Real Estate Group.


Chuck Lanyard, president of the Goldstein Group, announced the promotion of Lewis Finkelstein to executive vice president and a partner of the firm.
Since joining The Goldstein Group, Finkelstein has completed numerous sales and lease transactions for both landlords and tenants.
Owners such as KIN Properties, US Realty, Ivy Equities, Madison Realty Capital, Oritani Bank, and Goodrich Management are someof the many landlords he has represented.
Aong his most notable accomplishments, Finkelstein has assisted many national retailers in their NJ expansion plans.
Verizon, T-Mobile, Weight Watchers, Entenmanns, Retro Fitness, and 7-Eleven, have all utilized his expertise . Most recently, T-Mobile has selected Lew in securing prime locations throughout New Jersey.
Marc Horowitz has been promoted to the position of senior vice president of Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation.
Horowitz, who joined Cohen Brothers 3.5 years ago, has handled all aspects of leasing for the firm’s large Manhattan office portfolio as well as its Westchester, Florida and California properties.
Prior to joining Cohen Brothers, where he most recently served as vice president of leasing, Horowitz was with the Kaufman Organization.
There, over a 12-year period, he wore the hats of both a broker and agent, handling in-house and third party agency work for the Kaufman firm as well as for Robert Savitt and Olmstead Realty.
Horowitz is a graduate of the University of Hartford.
Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services has named Rick Lechtman as eastern director, national office and industrial properties group (NOIPG).
He is based in the firm’s New York City office, reporting to managing director Alan Pontius who oversees NOIPG.
Lechtman is charged with growing and developing the firm’s expanding office and industrial investment sales team for 12 offices from Boston to south Florida.
He is also responsible for aligning and supporting the firm’s national strategic growth initiatives in the region.
Prior to joining Marcus & Millichap, he served as managing director for the Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group in New York City.
Lechtman holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy from Tulane University and an Advanced Professional Certificate in Real Estate from The New York University Real Estate Institute.

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