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Deals & Dealmakers

WHO’S NEWS: Commercial appointments and promotions

AmTrust Title Insurance Company announced that Read Hammond Esq., a national commercial title underwriter and commercial operations manager with more than 17 years of experience, has joined AmTrust Title’s expanding team as Senior Vice President/Southwest Regional manager.

Situated in Houston, Mr. Hammond is charged with growing the business in Texas as well as focusing on establishing agency title operations in New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada.

Prior to joining AmTrust, Mr. Hammond was Vice President/Area Operations Manager and Underwriting Counsel for First American’s operations in Texas. During his tenure, he expanded First American’s operations to three offices in the state.
Earlier, he was an Associate Attorney with the law firm of Jones Walker.

Mr. Hammond earned a J.D. degree from the University of Houston Law Center, and an undergraduate degree with a major in music, a minor in business, at the University of Texas at Austin.


Venable LLP announced the expansion of its nationally recognized real estate practice with the addition of Angela J. Crowder as counsel in the New York office. Crowder joined the firm from Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann LLC, in New Orleans, La.

Ms. Crowder focuses her practice on commercial real estate and finance, drawing on her wide-ranging knowledge of virtually all aspects of real estate transactions.

She has worked on a variety of leases and development agreements and regularly advises on private financings, purchase and sales agreements, joint ventures, loan sales, workouts, construction contracts, and general corporate matters. She also has experience in the structuring, negotiation, and documentation of credit facilities. She works with public benefit corporations, developers, private companies, borrowers, and lenders.

At Venable, Ms. Crowder joins a Real Estate Group representing real estate investors, developers, landowners, and public agencies in the legislative, administrative, and regulatory aspects of complex zoning. Chambers USA, Legal 500, and U.S. News-Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms” have consistently recognized the group among the top practices, both regionally and nationally.

Ms. Crowder received a J.D. from the Paul M. Hebert Law Center at Louisiana State University, and a B.A. from Louisiana State University.


Greystone announced it has added two Managing Directors to the CMBS lending group. Joe Mosley, Jr. and Dan Wolins will both report to Rob Russell, head of CMBS loan production.

Joe Mosley, Jr., based in Greystone’s Birmingham, AL office, comes to Greystone from UBS Investment Bank, where he was a Director originating CMBS loans. Prior to UBS, he was an Analyst at Deloitte & Touche.

Dan Wolins, based in Greystone’s New York office, joins the firm from Hunt Mortgage Group, where he was most recently a Managing Director. Prior to Hunt, Mr. Wolins was a Partner at Olmsted Capital Partners, and has held previous senior CMBS lending roles at Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, and Salomon Smith Barney.

Both Mr. Mosley and Mr. Wolins will focus on CMBS and Agency lending, as well as the diverse range of lending products Greystone offers for multifamily and commercial property owners.


Enterprise Community Partners (Enterprise) announced the hire of Lorraine Collins as Director of Public Policy and External Affairs for its New York office. Ms. Collins comes to Enterprise after a decade at New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR), where she served most recently as Assistant Commissioner and Director of the State’s Fair and Equitable Housing Office, a department she launched and led to carry out a proactive statewide fair housing plan. In her new role, she will leverage her extensive experience in housing policy to expand Enterprise’s focus and impact at the state and local levels, furthering its mission to ensure every New Yorker has access to a stable, affordable home.

Before launching the State’s Fair and Equitable Housing Office, Collins worked at HCR as a regional director and policy advisor, leading efforts to address affordable housing and community development needs in areas such as health and housing, resilience, education, and employment inequalities.

Collins graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor of Business Administration and earned an MBA and Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University.


Continental Ventures, a leading residential and commercial development company, has announced the appointment of Sara Rubenstein as General Counsel and Senior Vice President. Ms. Rubenstein brings more than 17 years’ experience in the real estate and construction industries, with a broad range of legal and business operations expertise in real estate finance, development, sales, acquisitions, leasing and construction. The announcement was made by Jane Gol, President, Continental Ventures.

Ms. Rubenstein was previously an attorney in private practice, most recently as Counsel for Herrick, Feinstein LLP, where she advised prominent owners, lenders and developers, including REITs and private equity funds, in their real estate acquisitions, dispositions, developments, financings, workouts, restructurings and joint ventures.

In addition, Ms. Rubenstein has extensive in-house legal experience, having previously worked as Associate Counsel for Lend Lease, one of the world’s largest development, property, infrastructure and construction management firms, where she advised senior officers and directors on a wide range of legal issues and business transactions. She alsoheld a business role at Lend Lease, where she led acquisitions for Lend Lease’s development business in New York.

Currently residing in Manhattan, Rubenstein earned a Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with honors, with concentrations in Finance and Accounting, from the University of Miami.


Lane Office has hired Whiteney Luhrs as Project Administrator. Luhrs previously worked as a building and zoning law consultant and as an assistant certificate of occupancy co-ordinator. She assisted tenants, property owners and developers through the NYC CO process and presented project details to the Department of Buildings officials to obtain waivers and approval.

She earned a B.S. Business Management and Information Technology from UMass Amherst.


Hamed Khan has been named a senior supervising resident engineer at WSP USA, formerly WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff.

In his new position, Mr. Khan, who is based in the firm’s Briarcliff Manor office, will serve as resident engineer on the Component Rehab of 9 Bridges project. In this capacity, he will act on behalf of the New York City Department of Transportation in supervising the contractor on all project-related issues—including liaison between design engineer and contractor, quality assurance management, progress tracking and verification, and contractor payments—through final acceptance of work.

Experienced in highway, bridge, mass transit infrastructure and marine construction engineering, Mr. Khan joined WSP from an international civil infrastructure construction firm, where he was chief inspector for a major transportation infrastructure project in the New York City area.
A licensed professional engineer in New York, Texas and Ohio, Mr. Khan received a master of science in civil engineering from Wayne State University. Among his professional affiliations, he is a member of International Code Council and the National Association of Corrosion Engineers.


Stephen Bonina has been named a vice president in the Newark, New Jersey office of WSP USA, formerly WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, a global engineering and professional services organization.

In his new position, Mr. Bonina serves as the Eastern region fleet manager for WSP’s transit & rail technical excellence center (TEC), responsible for overall management of the firm’s rail vehicle practice in Boston, Newark, and Atlanta.

Mr. Bonina has more than 33 years of experience with commuter rail, rapid transit, light rail and streetcars. He has served as a senior executive with a rail vehicle manufacturer, engineering manager at a Class I railroad, and engineering consultant. He has extensive experience working for rail car manufacturers and a transit authority as well as consulting companies specifying and providing oversight over multiple new rail car and rehabilitation projects.

A licensed professional engineer in New Jersey, Mr. Bonina received an M.S. in management from the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the State University of New York Maritime College. He is a member of the American Public Transit Association and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.


Thornton Tomasetti, the international engineering firm, announces that Dr. Mahesh Kailasam has joined its Weidlinger Applied Science practice as a vice president and director of the Cupertino, California, office. Mahesh has 20 years of experience in the deployment of modeling and analysis techniques for solving demanding problems in life science, high-tech, energy and other industries.

In the first of such partnerships, Thornton Tomasetti announces its membership in the Living Heart Project, a transformational initiative that uses multiphysics simulations of the human heart to improve cardiac care. Dr. Kailasam will direct the Weidlinger Applied Science practice’s contributions to the project, working alongside leading medical device companies, researchers, clinicians and regulatory agencies.

During his career, Dr. Kailasam established partnerships with major oil and gas companies, which resulted in new simulation tools and methods for safer and more efficient exploration and production, such as hydraulic fracturing. He was also involved with R&D and product management of Abaqus (finite element analysis), and has experience in strategic planning, acquisitions and industry diversification.

Dr. Kailasam has master’s and doctorate degrees in mechanical engineering and applied mechanics from the University of Pennsylvania and a bachelor of technology degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras.


Debra Simonelli has joined Adler Windows as Chief Operating Officer and is responsible for managing the company’s overall operations. She previously held the position of Director of Risk and Compliance at Holt Construction Corp.

Debra brings 25 years of invaluable knowledge and experience to Adler Windows. She is responsible for ensuring business operations are efficient and effective, and that the project requirements and corporate and client expectations are achieved under the model of best practices.

Ms. Simonelli held the roles of Director of Risk and Compliance and Director of Operations for Holt Construction. She has held various positions at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey – World Trade Center Construction. Debra is the former CEO of Studio Associates, Inc. and Frances Steel Construction.


Ware Malcomb announced that Ted Heisler has been promoted to Vice President, Interior Architecture and Design. In this role, Heisler maintains responsibility for the overall growth of Ware Malcomb’s interior architecture and design practice across the firm’s 22 offices. A member of Ware Malcomb’s Executive Team, Heisler is responsible for national business development and leads the firm’s corporate accounts program. He also oversees Ware Malcomb’s national Interiors Advisory Group.

Heisler attended the University of California, Irvine where he studied Environmental Design. He is a Certified Interior Designer (CID), has passed the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) exam, and is a member of the International Interior Design Association (IIDA). He is also an active member of CoreNet Global, and previously served on the Board of Directors for the Southern California Chapter.



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