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Deals & Dealmakers

WHO’S NEWS: Peter Kozel, Garth Davis, Nick DeLuca

The New York office of Cresa announced that Peter P. Kozel, PhD, a 30-year veteran of the real estate industry and an accomplished research analyst, has joined the firm as principal and director of consulting services.

Peter Kozel
Peter Kozel

He will be tasked with building a stronger interaction between the firm’s consulting groups and its brokerage teams to deliver best-in-kind solutions.
Dr. Kozel comes to Cresa New York from Colliers International, where he was responsible for property, regional and capital market analysis and for the management of consulting-related activities.

Dr. Kozel’s work background prior to Colliers International includes leading research and consulting activities at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank; analyzing commercial mortgage-backed securities at GMAC Commercial Mortgage; developing rating methodology in the structured finance department at Standard & Poor’s and working with several large commercial banks in their asset allocation, including real estate lending.

Over the years, Dr. Kozel has also been active in a number of professional associations, including: Pension Real Estate Association, National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries, and Commercial Real Estate Finance Council.

He has an undergraduate degree from Harvard, an MBA from Wharton and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was on the faculty of Trinity College, Babson College and Harvard College.


Arbor Commercial Mortgage, LLC announced the appointment of Garth Davis as senior vice president and Western Regional Director.

Davis is responsible for originating Fannie Mae, FHA/HUD, CMBS, Bridge, Mezzanine and Preferred Equity transactions for multifamily and healthcare properties nationwide.

Davis brings 14 years of nationwide lending experience to Arbor across FHA, agency and CMBS financing platforms for both the multifamily and healthcare sectors.
Most recently, he was successful in originating a $70 million multifamily acquisition transaction structured utilizing floating-interest-only bridge financing with an eventual FHA/HUD permanent loan.

Davis achieved Honors in Accounting with double majors in Finance and Economics from the University of Cape Town in South Africa.

He also received a Chartered Accountancy qualification from South Africa Institute of Chartered Accountants and obtained certification in Advanced Real Estate Finance from the University of California, Berkeley.


R.J. Brunelli & Co., LLC announced the promotion of Nick DeLuca to sales associate.

DeLuca will serve as tenant account representative for an operator of Taco Bell restaurants in Northern New Jersey, responsible for sourcing and negotiating leases and land purchases.

He will also continue to serve as a member of the firm’s tenant representation teams for Dollar Tree throughout New Jersey and for Burger King in central New Jersey.
DeLuca joined R.J. Brunelli & Co., in 2013 as a market research analyst. Before that, he owned and operated DeLuca’s Royal Detail, focusing on the rejuvenation of high end vehicles.

Earlier, he was manager of the on-site auto detail and prep facility at Pine Belt Nissan in Keyport, N.J.


NAI James E. Hanson recently honored its top performers of 2013 at its annual awards dinner, held at the Wilshire Grand in West Orange,.

Executive managing director of corporate services Michael Walters, SIOR, received the firm’s NAI Award, which is given to those who embrace the NAI network.
Vice president Hal B. Messer received the firm’s Transaction Award, given to the team member who completed the most transactions in 2013.

Chief financial officer Virginia Conrad received the firm’s EnHansonment Award, recognizing her leadership of the firm’s Property Management division through exemplary professionalism, positive attitude, work ethic and dedication to the firm.

Additionally, Messer was honored with the Mildred C. Hanson Sales Associate of the Year Award, and for displaying the best quarterly performance in quarters one, two and three. Vice president Barry Cohorsky received the honor for quarter four.

Marketing director Anne Remley and administrative assistant Mini Perez received the Joan K. Hoerauf Employee of the Year award.


Evyan O’Keefe has joined Cushman & Wakefield in East Rutherford as marketing associate.

Previously, O’Keefe worked in Cushman & Wakefield’s Atlanta office, where she supported the business development, client relationship and administrative needs of a seven-person brokerage team.

Before that, she served for five years as the client communications and marketing coordinator for Henry Spiegel Milling LLP, an Atlanta-based law firm.
Earlier in her career, she worked as an account executive for the New York City-based Evins Communications, Ltd.

O’Keefe holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Auburn University.


Kent M. Swig, president of Swig Equities, LLC, announced that Eric Morris has been appointed property manager of 825 East Gate Blvd., a 75,000 s/f property located in Garden City, Long Island for which Swig Equities’ serves as the property manager.

Morris will be responsible for the daily operations of the property, including payroll management, forecasting and budgeting, and oversight of all building employees.
Prior to joining Swig Equities, Morris served as director of administrative services at the New York City Economic Development Corporation and was responsible for planning and administering contract budgets, facility maintenance and construction of activities.

Before that, he held the position of director of administrative services at Astro Fuel Oil Company for two years.


Blackstone and its real estate portfolio company, Invitation Homes, announced that it has named John A. Schissel as chief financial officer and Leslie B. Fox as executive vice president and chief operating officer (COO).

The announcements round out Invitation Homes’ management team and follow other high-level appointments.

The company announced in September that Bryce Blair would join the company’s board of directors and in October that Gary DeLapp would join as president.
John Schissel joins Invitation Homes from BRE Properties where he served as executive vice president and chief financial officer from 2009 until its recently completed merger with Essex Property Trust.

Prior to joining BRE, Schissel served as CFO and board member for Carr Properties and helped guide the company’s predecessor’s (Columbia Equity Trust) initial public offering in 2005.

Prior to Carr Properties, he worked for nearly 13 years at Wachovia Securities.

Schissel holds a B.S.B.A degree from Georgetown University.

Leslie B. Fox joins the company from American Residential Housing Communities where she served as COO.
She also served as the executive vice president of Affordable Housing at Equity Residential as well as chief investment officer at Asset Investors Corporation & Commercial Assets Inc.

Fox holds a B.S. from University of Colorado and a J.D./ M.B.A. from the University of Denver.

First Nationwide Title Agency announced that Dorian Lam has joined the firm as vice president.

A manager in FNTA’s operations department, Lam will also focus on overall new business development as well as exploring potential new business areas among Asian and other minority communities.

With more than a decade of experience in the title industry, Lam gained his experience at a subsidiary of First American Title of New York where, just prior to joining FNTA, his title was senior project and operations manager, a post he had held since 2008.

Lam was selected for the First American Emerging Leader Program in 2008 and was a finalist for the First American 2009 Excellence Award.
He graduated from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University with a Bachelor of Science, Information Systems and Management in 2000.


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