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Deals & Dealmakers

WHO’S NEWS: Commercial appointments and promotions

Ripco Real Estate announced that Aryeh Orlofsky has joined the firm’s Manhattan office where he will be responsible for overseeing day-to-day operations of Evan Schuckman and his team. Evan Schuckman, a Ripco broker, has completed over 200 retail transactions in Manhattan, the Outer Boroughs and New York City’s suburban markets. In this role, Mr. Orlofsky will manage the flow of the team’s tenant and landlord representation and investment sales transactions, as well as communicating with current and prospective clients and the brokerage community.

Mr. Orlofsky is an experienced real estate professional most recently overseeing the research department of Ariel Property Advisors for seven years. Under Mr. Orlofsky’s supervision, the research department evaluated more than 6,000 properties valued at over $40 billion in gross consideration for private and institutional owners throughout New York City. His division’s reports were widely recognized as the industry standard and covered by prominent real estate news outlets and local media.

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AmTrust Title Insurance Company announced that Ben Sommers, a 20-year veteran of the title industry, has joined as Agency Representative to fortify and continue expansion throughout the west coast of Florida. He is based out of the Tampa Bay area.

Initial responsibilities will include assisting with growth, and recruiting independent title agencies to work with AmTrust Title.

Mr. Sommers has led somewhat of a classical career path in title insurance. Just prior to joining AmTrust Title, he was Vice President Florida and Alabama for Title Resource, Realogy where he oversaw those states by providing title and related services to independent title companies and real estate attorneys. His focus there was generating new business. Before that he was Escrow Operations Manager for the Florida Builder Division of First American Title Insurance Company. Earlier he served as Customer Services Manager, National Operations for Stewart Title based in Tampa, where he was responsible for coordinating processes with title production. He was also National Operations Manager/Builder Services for Stewart Title, responsible for closing services for the national builder division.

Mr. Sommers attended both Lakeland College Wisconsin and University of Central Florida.

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Lee & Associates NYC LLC welcomes Charles Goldberg and Hank Widmaier to its investment sales and leasing teams as Senior Managing Directors. Prior to joining Lee NYC, Mr. Goldberg and Mr. Widmaier were at Colliers International and both have been in the New York City real estate industry for nearly 40 years. They started at Lee & Associates NYC in February.

After earning a degree in politics from Princeton University, Mr. Goldberg attended both the New York University Stern School of Business and the New York Real Estate Institute. Upon graduation, he joined the team at Cushman & Wakefield, Inc. where he honed his commercial real estate skills in the professional world. His diverse clients have included Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Börse, CrossFit Wall Street, Throckmorton Fine Art, Ashkenazy Acquisitions and The Juvenile Bipolar Research Foundation, of which he is a board member and the former director of development.

After earning a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Pennsylvania, Mr. Widmaier moved to New York City where he began to help friends find lofts in Lower Manhattan. With the realization that he could make a living through real estate, he entered the commercial side of the business and successfully completed a number of sales in TriBeca, Soho, FiDi, the West Village and various neighborhoods throughout Brooklyn. Recently, as part of an exclusive rep team, he completed a 35,000-square-foot lease transaction in the Pfizer Building in Brooklyn.

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Jayson Siano, managing principal of Sabre Real Estate Group, the New York metropolitan region brokerage, announced that Jill-ann Painter, of Atlanta, an experienced corporate real estate executive who has worked for some of the nation’s top restaurant and retail chains, has joined the firm as Director of National Accounts.

Painter, who will work from Atlanta, will focus her talents on increasing the already robust national consulting platform at Sabre.

Painter, whose 24-year career in retail real estate included stints at Sprint, Cosi, Starbucks Coffee, Church’s Chicken, Protein Bar and Chop’t Creative Salad, has been involved in site selection across the United States and in more than 30 countries, including France, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.

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John Corbett, MAI, ASA, MRICS, has joined Newmark Knight Frank (NKF) Valuation & Advisory (V&A) as a senior managing director and the national practice leader of the Financial Reporting Group. Based in Philadelphia, Mr. Corbett is responsible for oversight of the group, which focuses on meeting the consulting and valuation requirements of clients as prescribed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) and International Accounting Standards Board (IASB).

Throughout a career spanning more than 25 years, Mr. Corbett has successfully completed valuation and consulting assignments for a wide range of properties, including office buildings, regional malls, shopping centers, apartment complexes, hotels and a variety of industrial/R&D facilities. These studies have been used in real estate portfolio and joint venture valuations, merger and acquisition due diligence support, internal planning, highest and best use analysis, financing, litigation support, sale-leasebacks and insurable value studies.

Prior to NKF, Mr. Corbett worked for more than nine years at Cushman & Wakefield, where he served as senior managing director and national practice co-leader of the Financial Reporting Practice Group. Previously, Mr. Corbett was a director in the real estate advisory group of a boutique investment bank and financial advisory firm. He also held corporate valuation and consulting positions in the Philadelphia offices of Standard & Poor’s and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

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Simone Development Companies announced that Kevin J. Plunkett, former Westchester Deputy County Executive, has joined the company as Director of Strategic Initiatives.

Mr. Plunkett, who has a long and distinguished career in both the public and private sectors, served as Deputy County Executive from 2010-2018. As the County’s Chief Operating Officer, he was responsible for managing a $1.8 billion budget with 35 departments, 4,500 employees and more than 5 million square feet of commercial real estate.

Plunkett, who has practiced law for more than three decades, began his law career in 1975 as an Assistant District Attorney for Westchester County. He later joined the law firm of Plunkett & Jaffe where he was an equity member of the firm for more than 20 years representing private and public sector clients in business transactions and in federal and state courts. He later became a partner in the international law firm of Thacher Proffitt & Wood from 2000 to 2008. Prior to becoming Deputy County Executive, he was a partner in the regional law firm of DelBello Donnellan Weingarten Wise and Wiederkehr.

Well-known in Westchester’s business and not-for-profit community, Plunkett has served on the boards of numerous not-for-profit and educational institutions including ArtsWestchester, Westchester ARC Foundation and Iona College. He served on the board of Union State Bank, a New York Stock Exchange company, from 1998 to 2008. A graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, Mr. Plunkett earned his law degree at Stetson University College of Law. He is a life-long resident of Tarrytown.

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The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) has appointed Reggie Thomas as Senior Vice President for Government Affairs. Starting on April 16th, Thomas will build and maintain REBNY’s strong relationships with elected officials on the City, State, and Federal level with the purpose of advancing the organization’s interests and agenda. He will work closely with REBNY’s units to analyze legislation, testify on behalf of the industry at public hearings, and develop advocacy campaigns on key issues.

Thomas comes to REBNY with more than 10 years of experience in government affairs. In his most recent role with Cozen O’Connor Public Strategies, Thomas worked as a Government Affairs Principal. Thomas will work alongside John Doyle, REBNY’s Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, who will retire from fulltime responsibilities after 31 years of service, to a consulting role, effective May 1st.

Doyle began his career with REBNY in January 1987, and represented REBNY before the New York City Council throughout the tenure of five council speakers and five mayors. He advocated on behalf of the industry on a wide array of issues from commercial rent control and recycling to street vendors. In the 1990’s, Doyle organized industry and community opposition to a proposed property tax increase. He also administered REBNY’s Ethics and Arbitration processes.

From 2011 through 2015, Reggie Thomas served Mayors Bill de Blasio and Michael Bloomberg in the Office of City Legislative Affairs as First Deputy Director and Senior Policy Advisor. From 2009 to 2011, Thomas was the Director of Legislative & Budget Affairs for then-New York City Council Land Use Committee Chairman Leroy Comrie. Thomas started his career as an aide to then-Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Pace University and currently resides in Lower Manhattan where he serves on Community Board 1.

REBNY also announced the promotion of Carl Hum to a newly created role of General Counsel, which will complement his current responsibilities as Senior Vice President for Management Services and Government Affairs. Hum joined REBNY in 2015 as the lead advocate on construction safety, building codes management, sustainability, and federal policy. His previous legal roles were Manhattan Assistant District Attorney, Deputy General Counsel at the NYC Department of Small Business Services, and Counsel at Reese Richman LLP. Hum will administer REBNY’s Ethics and Arbitration processes.

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Bussel Realty Corp. announced Suzanne Tharaldsen has joined the company as vice president – brokerage services and will become part of the expanding Esses brokerage team.

The Esses Team at Bussel Realty is led by Leo A. Esses, senior vice president. It currently consists of Suzanne Tharaldsen, vice president, Ilan Tabbouche, associate, and Jennifer Sarro, executive assistant coordinating marketing and administrative support.

Suzanne Tharaldsen has 17 years of real estate experience and has been a member of The International Council of Shopping Centers (I.C.S.C.), Building Owners and Managers Association International (BOMA) and the Urban Land Institute (ULI). Suzanne possesses a broad background in national and regional commercial real estate. Early in her career, she specialized in industrial leasing and sales with the national firm CB Richard Ellis in their Iselin, New Jersey office. Suzanne later held other positions within their Global Corporate Services division working on the development and implementation of national accounts utilizing their broad range of client services.

Bussel also announced Scott Turner has joined the company’s brokerage division as a vice president.

Scott Turner brings over 33 years of sales and marketing experience to his new position. Formerly a sales associate at Coldwell Banker Commercial, Scott generated new development deals for a multi-family and retail developer as well as provided market and financial analysis. He was also a member of their Global Client Solutions team for the Northeast US region.

Prior to this position, Scott served as vice president of sales and strategies at Prudential Real Estate. During his tenure with the company, he helped build the company’s leasing division for multi-family and retail properties and completed multiple transactions for a multi-family and retail developer.

Scott has an MBA from the University of Chicago in Finance and Economics, and a New Jersey Real Estate Brokers License.

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