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Deals & Dealmakers

WHO’S NEWS: Commercial appointments and hires

Aaron Warkov has joined Ariel Property Advisors’ New York office as a Director in the Investment Sales Division.
In addition to originating and executing exclusive sales listings, he is responsible for leading business development and networking initiatives in Brooklyn, with a particular focus on the Red Hook, Carroll Gardens, Gowanus, Park Slope, Greenwood, and Sunset Park neighborhoods.

Warkov comes to Ariel Property Advisors from Cushman & Wakefield, formerly Massey Knakal Realty Services, where he sold properties of various size and asset type throughout Brooklyn, including multifamily, mixed-use, office and development sites.

He has evaluated $1.5 billion in properties since entering the market.


OVG Real Estate, a real estate technology company with offices in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Berlin, announced the hiring of Sherveen Baftechi to join its new and expanding U.S. office.

Baftechi joins as Executive Development Director of OVG USA, a newly-created position to help bring OVG’s mission to transform buildings into smart and healthy living and working spaces to the U.S.

With over 20 years of experience in the real estate industry, focusing on complex, large-scale projects in urban areas, Baftechi will help further OVG’s ambitions to build smart and sustainable cities around the globe.

Baftechi will join Jan-Hein Lakeman, Executive Managing Director of OVG Real Estate USA Holding and report to The Board.
Beftechi began his career working on large-scale projects such as Atlantic City Convention Hall Renovations, Citizens Bank Park, Barclays Center and Atlantic Yards masterplan.

He was most recently recruited by The Howard Hughes Corporation to oversee the design and construction management for all New York City developments.

Prior to joining Howard Hughes, Baftechi worked for Forest City Ratner Companies (now Forest City Trust) and played an integral role in the construction of the Barclays Center.


The Long Island Real Estate Group appointed Avalon Bay Community’s Matthew Whalen to its executive board.

Whalen, who previously served on LIREG’s executive board from 2006 to 2010, is senior vice president of development of Avalon Bay Communities Inc.

With almost 30 years of experience in the real estate business, Whalen began his career with Toll Brothers in New Jersey, and he has held vice president positions at Security Capital, Homestead Village, Crimson Partners and Cogent Communications.

A former president and chairman of the Long Island Builders Institute, Whalen currently is a board member of the Long Island Association.

He also has served on the boards of the Real Estate Practitioners Institute, the Long Island Housing Partnership, Hofstra University’s Institute of Real Estate, the New York State Builders Association, and the Community Development Corporation of Long Island. He is an active member of the Association for a Better Long, the Urban Land Institute, Action Long Island and the Suffolk County Village Officials Association.

A 1988 graduate of Princeton University, where he received a B.A. in history and captained the varsity football team. He subsequently captained the United States Rugby team in 1998 and 1999. He also completed the AMDP program at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.


Jamie Austin has been appointed general manager of TOTUS Business Centers in Melville.

Austin, most recently chief operating officer of Long Islander News, and a founder and co-chairman of the Long Island Fight for Charity, will manage the executive office complex operated by TOTUS, an affiliate of Melville-based T. Weiss Realty Corp.

Prior to joining Long Islander News, Austin served as vice president of sales and account management at his family’s business, Austin Travel, which was acquired by Protravel International in 2010.

Austin is active in the philanthropic community. In addition to his role at the Long Island Fight for Charity, he is president of the Long Island Community Chest and a board member of Long Island Cruzin for a Cure.


NAI James E. Hanson announced that Michael Guerra has joined its Hackensack office as a Sales Associate.
Guerra will work with Randy Horning, MSRE, and Darren Lizzack, MSRE, and will focus on medical/ professional office sales and leasing along with investment sales in the northern New Jersey marketplace.

Prior to joining NAI Hanson, Guerra was a Wealth Management Analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. Prior to that, he was an On-Site Analyst with Danitom Development in Paramus responsible for overseeing residential development projects.
Guerra holds a B.B.A with a double major Finance and Real Estate from Villanova University.


Servcorp has hired Mathieu Schepard to join the company, as General Manager of its U.S. Flagship Center, which currently occupies the entire 85th floor of 1 World Trade Center.

In his new role, Schepard will oversee operations, community, services, sales, marketing and business development.
Schepard joins Servcorp from Silverstein Properties, where he served as Director of Marketing and Sales, from 2012-2016, at both 7 World Trade Center and at 4 World Trade Center.

At Silverstein, Silver Suites ranked among the top 10 co-working brands, worldwide, in amount of square footage leased, according to the JLL Report.

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