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Deals & Dealmakers

WHO’S NEWS: Dustin Stolly joins NKF; HAP hires new CFO

The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) has appointed Sandhya Espitia as Deputy Senior Vice President for Brokerage, Education, and the Residential Listing Service (RLS).
Espitia will oversee REBNY’s wide array of programming and services for commercial and residential brokerage members alongside Joseph Barbaccia, Senior Vice President of Brokerage Services and Education.
Espitia comes to REBNY with more than 15 years of experience in executive leadership roles at many notable organizations.
In her most recent role as Vice President of Education and Certification for the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), she was responsible for managing a $3 million vertical focusing on the strategy and operation of industry knowledge programs for more than 70,000 ICSC members across 100 countries.
Prior to her role in education at ICSC, Espitia served as the commercial real estate association’s Managing Director of Latin America and the Caribbean from 2013 to 2015.
With fluency in Spanish, Espitia served as the organization’s regional spokesperson, positioning the association in 15 countries through education, research, marketing, and advocacy efforts.
Before joining ICSC, Espitia held two roles at Harvard University leading professional education programs throughout the Americas.
Espitia’s previous roles include: Program Director in economic development at Accion International; Leasing and Marketing Specialist at the Legaspi Company (commercial real estate), Inclusiveness and Intercultural Adviser at Texas Christian University; and Marketing and Communications Specialist for Sister Cities International.
Espitia holds a B.S. in Media and Communication Studies from Texas Christian University, an M.A. in International Education from the SIT Graduate Institute, and a Post-Graduate Fellowship in Higher Education Leadership and Management from Harvard University.


Newmark Knight Frank (NFK) announced that Dustin D. Stolly, a 14-year industry veteran who has executed more than $30 billion in capital markets transactions, will be joining the firm as vice chairman and co-heading the New York debt/structured finance team with vice chairman Jordan Roeschlaub.
In addition to structured finance, Stolly also plans to raise equity and execute on loan sales across all commercial asset classes.
Stolly — who was previously with JLL — began his new position with NKF on July 18.
Heitman announced that Gregory T. Gore will join the firm as Senior Vice President Client Service and Marketing.
Gore will be responsible for supporting the firm’s initiatives and clients within the sub-advisory and financial intermediary channels with investments in Heitman’s suite of real estate investment strategies.
Prior to joining Heitman, Gore was Managing Director, Director of Intermediary Distribution at LaSalle Investment Management and also held senior roles across several retail platforms including Blackstone Private Wealth Management, Invesco, and AIG. He began his career at Putnam Investments in 1995.
Gore is a CFA and graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.
HAP Investments announced that Yehuda Kestenbaum has joined the company as Chief Financial Officer.
Kestenbaum joins HAP Investments from Rockrose Development where he was Chief Accounting Officer. Prior to Rockrose, he served as Chief Financial Officer of Macklowe Properties and SG2 Properties.


During his more than 20 years of experience in the real estate industry, Kestenbaum has overseen all the financial and accounting aspects of more than 13 million square feet of office and retail properties and over 10,000 apartment units.
In 1998, he received his Certified Public Accountant license from New York State and holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Towson University.
Berkadia announced the addition of Senior Director Marc Possick to the New York office.
Possick brings 25 years of mortgage banking experience to the company and will report to Senior Managing Director Stewart Campbell. He will be responsible for debt origination for multifamily and commercial real estate properties.
Prior to joining Berkadia, Possick spent 11 years with GE Capital Real Estate, where he was responsible for debt and equity originations and originated over $2 billion in transactions on a national scale.
He also worked in development, investment and asset management at firms including CBA Mortgage Partners, E&Y Kenneth Leventhal and MetLife.
Possick earned his bachelor’s degree in Economics from Indiana University and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
Clarion Partners announced that Howard Margolis has joined the firm in the newly created role of Head of Product Development.
Margolis will work to further advance products already in development as well as create new investment opportunities for clients and the Firm.
He joins Clarion Partners from BIP Investments, where he served as Principal. Prior to that, he served in investment leadership roles at Willett Advisors LLC, the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, and the Real Estate Investment Banking group of UBS.
He is a longstanding member of PREA and is currently serving as the Chair of the Conference Committee. He is also a member of the ULI Global Exchange Council.
TH Real Estate, an affiliate of asset manager Nuveen and one of the world’s largest real estate investment firms, has appointed Melissa Reagen Head of Research for the Americas region, reporting to Chris McGibbon, Head of TH Real Estate Americas.
Reagen is based in New York City and joins TH Real Estate after four years with MetLife Investment Management where, as Head of Real Estate and Agricultural Research, she oversaw all research and strategy related activities, with a focus on real estate.
Previously, she created the Americas research platform for Aberdeen Asset Management and held a research and strategy role at LaSalle Investment Management.
Reagen will collaborate with London-based Global Research Head Alice Breheny. The current Americas research team will report to her, including Senior Directors Tom Park and Shannon Wright.
Reagen earned her Master of Business Administration with concentrations in Finance, Econometrics and Statistics from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from The University of Chicago.
The Community Preservation Corporation (CPC) announced that Michael Staton, former Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Lending for TD Bank, N.A., has joined its loan originations team as a Vice President and Mortgage Officer.
Staton will take a lead role in bringing CPC’s suite of Freddie Mac and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) lending products to multifamily building owners throughout the Northeast region with a focus on cultivating new relationships in New Jersey.
With over three decades of commercial mortgage lending and real estate financing experience, Staton brings knowledge and expertise of the regional market to CPC.
From 1985 through 2012, he worked for New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) where he built a foundation in accounting, asset management, financial management, and credit.
In 2004, he became Director of Multifamily Programs and Lending, a position he held until 2012. Under Staton’s leadership, the agency closed more than 200 multifamily developments with mortgages totaling more than $800 million.
Staton later became Vice President of Originations at WNC & Associates, where he managed investments in Low Income Housing Tax Credit properties. In 2015, he joined TD Bank where he led efforts to cultivate relationships with commercial real estate borrowers.
He also created lending structures for investors, leveraging an array of lending products from conventional construction and permanent financing, tax-exempt bond direct placement, bridge loans, and federal, state, and historic tax credit programs.
Staton received an M.A. in Human Services Administration from Rider University and a B.S. in Finance from Hampton University.


Gettry Marcus CPA, P.C., has welcomed Scott Sanders, CPA, PFS, CGMA, CFP, CFS, as a partner.
Sanders specializes in the Trusts & Estates arena and will be located at the firm’s Woodbury, New York headquarters.
A former president of NYSSCPA-Nassau chapter, Sanders brings with him over 30 years of experience and has built up an extensive portfolio of diversified clients.
He has broad experience in tax planning, trust and estate – planning and compliance, family office services and surrogate accounting for the courts.
Sanders works closely with trust and estate attorneys, fiduciaries, and high net worth individuals during all stages of planning and assists with all aspects of federal, state and local income taxation for corporations, individuals and trusts and estates.
Prior to joining Gettry Marcus, he was a partner at Sanders Thaler Viola & Katz, LLP.
He brings with him several staff members from his previous firm, as well as an independent consultant, Brian Gordon, CPA, a state and local tax specialist (SALT), who focuses on residency, sales tax and NEXUS issues.
Sanders is a graduate of Queens College and earned a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting.
Polsinelli announced that Dan Flanigan, chair of the firm’s Real Estate and Financial Services Department and managing partner of its New York office, has joined the Board of Directors of the World Childhood Foundation USA (WCF).
The Foundation supports community-based programs that aim to prevent and end child sexual abuse and exploitation in the U.S. and internationally. Polsinelli is a corporate sponsor of the WCF.
Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden founded WCF in 1999 together with 14 family foundations, private individuals and companies. Since then, the organization has grown to support children who are victims of abuse and sexual exploitation, street children, children in alternative care and families at risk. WCF currently supports more than 100 projects in 17 countries. Last year, Childhood USA served more than 73,000 clients, directly and indirectly.
Dino DeFeo, PE, LEED AP, a member of AKF’s Executive Committee and Campus Sector Leader has been named Managing Partner of AKF, a global engineering firm.
DeFeo will work with Paul Bello, the former Managing Partner who has now assumed the role of chairman.
DeFeo will be responsible for the daily operations of AKF and will work with the Executive Committee on staff development, building client value, operations, and financial performance.
DeFeo is a graduate of Manhattan College with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.
Upon graduation he joined AKF in 1994 and has over 23 years of experience in the design of Mechanical Systems for Healthcare, Education, Corporate, Institutional, and Science and Techfacilities.
A licensed professional engineer in New York and five other states, he is a leader in many professional organizations including New York Building Congress’s Healthcare Committee.

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