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Deals & Dealmakers

Who’s News: NKF hires new EVP, Avison Young scores new advisor

Avison Young announced that Howard Roth has been engaged as an independent advisor and will report to CEO Mark Rose.

Most recently global head of EY’s real estate, hospitality and construction practice, Roth will provide advice and counsel to Rose and the Avison Young management team on the direction and implementation of the company’s growth strategy.

Roth’s role will include advising on strategic acquisitions and capital transactions, supporting the firm’s expanded global footprint in new markets in Europe and Asia, and direct involvement in key corporate projects that require seasoned leadership and experience.

The announcement follows the appointment of Carol Johnson as an independent Director in May 2018 and the addition of two representatives of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) to Avison Young’s Board in July 2018, when CDPQ made a C$250-million preferred-equity investment in Avison Young.
Roth was previously a member of EY’s global practice group, which comprised senior leaders of the firm’s global partnership. Earlier in his 32-year tenure with EY, he led the company’s New York real estate industry and tax practices.

He is a Certified Public Accountant, former trustee and governor of the Urban Land Institute, and a member of NAREIT and the National Association of Corporate Directors.


Newmark Knight Frank (NKF) announced that 27-year industry veteran Marc Shapiro, MAI, MRICS has joined its Valuation & Advisory (V&A) business as executive vice president of the Financial Reporting Practice.

Shapiro joins Senior Managing Director and Financial Reporting Practice Leader John Corbett, MAI, ASA, FRICS, and serves as a regional lead.

Based in Whippany, NJ, Shapiro is an expert in all property types and has advised public and private clients in the application of Financial Accounting Standards Board Accounting Standards Codification (FASB ASC) 805 Business Combinations.

Previously, Shapiro spent more than ten years at FTI Consulting working as a Real Estate Valuation Practice Lead specializing in Financial Reporting and Litigation Support. He also co-led the cost segregation practice, which advised clients on how to maximize benefits of the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS), the current system for calculating deductions for depreciation under the U.S. tax code.

Prior to FTI Consulting, Shapiro was a Director in the Valuation & Advisory group of Cushman & Wakefield for five years, where he conducted portfolio level analyses. Before that he served as Vice President with the Albert Valuation Group, Inc. for 12 years.


JLL has promoted Andrea Alexander, senior vice president, to head of Project and Development Services in New Jersey.

Alexander will report to Terry Harris, managing director and COO of the firm’s suburban tri-state and Northeast Industrial Regions.

Alexander has more than 20 years of experience in project management, specializing in both retail and office projects. She has overseen the construction of more than one million square feet in projects as diverse as a broadcast studio for live video game competitions to a flagship store for T-Mobile International A.G. in Times Square.

She joined JLL in 2004 as a project manager with its New Jersey PDS group and later served as senior project manager and vice president. She was promoted to senior vice president in June 2017.

Before that, Alexander was the business development manager for Turner Interiors in New York.

She received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Rutgers College of Engineering and earned her master’s degree in business administration from Fordham University.

She is a licensed real estate salesperson in the state of New Jersey and is certified as a LEED Green Associate.


Convene announced Frits van Paasschen, former CEO of Starwood Hotels and Resorts and current member of Convene’s Board of Directors, as the new board chairman.

Director of Global Marketing and Partnerships at Waze Erin Clift is a new board member.

In his role as chairman of the Board, Fritz van Paasschen will leverage his global leadership experience to help Convene prepare for global scale.

Van Paasschen previously served as CEO of Coors Brewing Company, in addition to CEO of Starwood Hotels and Resorts. He has also held top leadership roles at Nike and Disney, and sits on the Board of Directors of the publicly traded companies Williams-Sonoma and Royal DSM.

He serves as an Advisor for TPG Capital, The Red Sea Project in Saudi Arabia, and The Indian School of Hospitality.

Van Paasschen has been a non-executive director at Barclays, Jones Apparel, and Oakley, and served on numerous other boards, including as Chairman of the European-American Industrial Council, for Apollo Hotels, the U.S.-India and U.S.-China business councils, and the Center for Environmental Leadership in Business at Conservation International, among others.

He is a graduate of Harvard Business School, where he also served as a Teaching Fellow in Economics.
Erin Clift currently serves as the Director of Global Marketing and Partnerships at Waze. Before that, she served as Chief Marketing Officer at Kik, a mobile messaging platform. Clift also served as Vice President, Global Marketing & Partnerships at Spotify.

Previously, she spent over a decade as an executive at AOL and Google, and in various marketing and media consulting roles, including Director of Marketing at


Avison Young announced that Lauren Mattia has joined the firm’s Brokerage Team as an associate specializing in Capital Markets and Hospitality Brokerage.

In addition, she will be part of Avison Young’s Emerging Leaders program.

Mattia joins Avison Young after excelling at financial planning and analysis during internships with Daiwa Capital Markets America, Inc. and Tiffany & Co. where she assisted the Tax and Accounting departments.
She graduated from Montclair State University in New Jersey with a degree in Economics where she was a member of the Financial Management & Economics Society and served as Vice President of Operations for the Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority.


Enterprise Community Partners announced the election of Laurie Ledford and Benathan “Ben” Upshaw to its New York Advisory Board.

Laurie Ledford is the senior vice president and chief human resources officer of Marsh & McLennan Companies.

A member of Marsh & McLennan’s Executive Committee, she is responsible for the talent strategy and the delivery of human resources services to the company’s nearly 65,000 colleagues worldwide.

She is a recent graduate of the Partnership for New York City’s David Rockefeller Fellowship, which fosters civic engagement amongst corporate executives.

She received her bachelor’s degree in business administration from Florida Atlantic University and her master of business administration from the University of Miami.

Ben Upshaw is the founder and co-owner of CB Emanuel Realty.

He oversees the financing and development of affordable homes across New York State and has structured and closed over $500 million in housing transactions over the course of his career.

Prior to founding CB Emmanuel, Upshaw served as the Director of Finance for the New York City Housing Partnership (NYCHP) and Director of Real Estate Development for Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement (HCCI).

He received his bachelor’s degree from Canisius College and his master of science in real estate, with a concentration in investment, from New York University’s Shack Institute of Real Estate.


TH Real Estate has appointed Manuel Martin as co-head of its US Retail Sector platform.

He joins US co-head John Ragland in leading the company’s retail sector investment team and overseeing all retail equity acquisitions, dispositions and asset management in the US.

After a 40-year career in real estate, Ragland will retire in February 2019.

Martin is an 18-year year real estate industry veteran with deep acquisition and asset management expertise in the European, US and Latin American retail areas.

He was previously head of the company’s South East Region in US and Latin America. Prior to this role, as head of Spain and Portugal, he led the expansion of the firm’s European retail platform to approximately $2 billion in assets.

Before joining TH Real Estate in 2007, he held asset management and consulting roles at Unibail Rodamco and BNP Paribas Real Estate.


WinnResidential announced the appointment of Thuong “Terri” Benskin as executive vice president.

She joins the company from LEDIC Realty Company, where she most recently served as Chief Operating Officer.

In her new role, Benskin will be responsible for a portfolio of owned and fee-managed properties located in the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Benskin brings more than 23 years of property management experience to the executive vice president position.

In her role as COO at LEDIC Realty for eight years, she was responsible for all property management operations for a portfolio of 300 owned and fee-managed properties featuring 38,000 market rate and affordable units in 18 states.

Her career in the multifamily industry began with a five-year stint as district property manager for CAMCO. Benskin also served for six years in the United States Naval Reserves.

She holds a Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation from the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) and is a Housing Credit Certified Professional (HCCP) through the National Association of Home Builders.


Transwestern Development Co. has expanded its national Logistics Group, previously called Ridge, with industry veteran John Thomas at the helm as Managing Partner.

Based in Dallas, Thomas will oversee the firm’s industrial pipeline and manage regional offices in Texas, Illinois, California and Georgia with plans to open more across the U.S.

With more than 35 years of commercial real estate development and investment experience, Thomas recently served as Senior Managing Director at CBRE Global Investors where he oversaw the firm’s North American logistics investment strategy and was the global practice leader for the logistics business.

He also founded USLF 1, an institutional real estate investment fund. Earlier, he established Hillwood Investment Properties’ European logistics platform and held senior roles with Panattoni Development Co., Trammell Crow Co., and Clarion Partners, where he co-founded the firm’s Lion Industrial Trust Fund.
In addition to Thomas, TDC has recruited Stephen Batcheller as Regional Partner to facilitate the firm’s expansion along the West Coast.

He previously worked at Panattoni Development Co. as a Partner.

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