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Deals & Dealmakers

WHO’S NEWS: This week’s appointments and promotions

The Association for a Better New York (ABNY) announced the selection of Melva M. Miller as its chief executive officer.
Miller will work closely with ABNY chairman Steven Rubenstein, and lead the organization as it builds upon its legacy of civic leadership across the public and private sectors.
Miller has been an integral part of the ABNY team since 2018, when she was hired to lead the organization’s Census 2020 efforts.
Prior to working at ABNY, she served as the Deputy Borough President of Queens.
In addition, Miller has held several senior economic development roles throughout her career, including Director of Economic Development for her hometown borough of Queens, and Executive Director for the Sutphin Boulevard Business Improvement District.
She sits on the Board of Directors of the New York City Economic Development Corporation, Habitat for Humanity New York City, and the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation.
Miller holds a Bachelor’s degree from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, a Master’s degree in Social Work from Hunter College School of Social Work, and recently received a second Master’s Degree in Philosophy from The Graduate Center at the City University of New York.
She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in the Social Welfare program at CUNY’s Graduate Center.

Newmark Group announced that Jimmy Hinton has joined the company as Head of Investor Strategies.
With nearly 20 years of career experience, specializing in research and analytics, investment strategy and data science initiatives, he brings a unique perspective and expertise to Newmark’s platform.
Hinton joins Newmark from a privately held real estate services, investment management and development organization, where he was a senior managing director of Investments and Analytics, developing leading-edge research and predictive analytics to guide and support real estate investment strategy.
His prior role was a managing director at HFF, where, working with the Chief Financial Officer and Investor Relations team, he provided in-depth analysis of economic, property and capital market trends for a wide range of commercial property types.

Eastern Equity Advisors — an affiliate of Eastern Union — has promoted Yehuda Schuck to the position of managing director.
Schuck will manage and broaden the company’s wide network of private equity funds, real estate funds, family offices, hedge funds and institutions.
Eastern Equity Advisors is responsible for directly handling Eastern Union’s capital introductions.
With his added responsibilities, Schuck builds upon his record of success as vice president of Eastern Equity Advisors, a position he had held since August 2017. He has been responsible for identifying and placing almost all of the equity that the company has placed since that time.
Schuck is a registered representative of Palladium Capital Group, LLC.

Anchin, Block & Anchin announced that Joseph Molloy has joined its Architecture & Engineering and Construction Industry Groups as a tax partner.
Molloy has 20 years of experience in public accounting working with all types of business entities, individuals, and trusts.
He is a visiting professor at Columbia University and a member of the American Institute of CPAs; the New York State Society of CPAs, where he served as Chair of the NYSCCPA Construction Committee; and the New York City Chapter of the CFMA.
He is a graduate of Queens College.

Helmsley Spear announced the appointment of Christine Emery as an Executive Managing Director of the firm where she will focus on all aspects of commercial/retail real estate sales and leasing.
Emery has been involved in the strategic planning of a tenant’s initial entry into the United States market and the expansion of its existing brand. She is also has been responsible for the re-use and renewal of urban properties.
Prior to joining Helmsley Spear, she served as executive managing director and headed MHP’s retail division.
Emery began her career at the South Street Seaport Museum during the Country’s bi-centennial where she was part of the museum’s team to revitalize the Seaport.
In 2007, The Real Estate Board of New York honored Emery with its “2007 Deal of the Year” award for the deal that most benefits Manhattan when she placed Hermes at 15 Broad Street.
She graduated from Barnard College in New York City with a degree in History.

Quarters, the co-living operator, has named Esther Bahne as Co-CEO and CMO.
Bahne joins Rui Barros, who has served as CEO since February 2020 focused on real estate, sales and operations.
Bahne will take the lead on strategy, brand and customer experience, managing business development, architecture, technology and marketing.
She joins the firm after seven years at MINI, part of the BMW Group, where she served as the Global Head of Strategy and Innovation at MINI and as Global Head of Marketing.
Prior to MINI, Bahne spent over nine years at AUDI AG, where she became the youngest ever spokeswoman of the Board and served as the Head of Social Innovation.

Commercial real estate services firm JAACRES announced Michael Schwartz has joined its team as an associate broker.
Schwartz, a well-regarded real estate attorney specializing in commercial and residential transactions and development, has a pre-law background in the fashion industry.
Schwartz earned his J.D. at Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University. He received a bachelor’s degree from Brandeis University with dual majors in French and international politics.
He was a merchandising associate at Dior before launching his own legal practice until 2012.

R.J. Brunelli & Co. announced that Mario Brunelli has been appointed Vice President of Investment Sales and Development Site Acquisitions, as well as a Principal in the retail real estate brokerage.
Brunelli most recently served as an Investment Sales Specialist/Sales Associate at the Old Bridge-based firm.
As a licensed real estate broker in New Jersey and Florida, he has sold more than $100 million of commercial properties in those states during the last five years alone.
Those deals, which included a number of 1031 Exchanges, ranged from neighborhood shopping centers to single tenant net leased properties occupied by such tenants as Auto Zone, Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, 7-Eleven, and Walgreens.
Brunelli began working full-time at the firm founded by his father, Richard, after graduating from Florida International University in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.
Prior to that, beginning at the age of 18, he spent summers at R.J. Brunelli performing market analysis research, studying occupancies at properties on retail corridors throughout New Jersey.
Brunelli earned his New Jersey real estate license at the age of 18 and his Florida license at 22.
With this promotion, he joins his father, sister Danielle (president) and CEO Ron DeLuca, as principal of the firm.

BMO Capital Markets has hired Paul Vanderslice to create a commercial real estate securitization business.
Vanderslice spent over 30 years at Citigroup, where he helped create one of the top CMBS businesses for one of the largest North American banks.
He is widely recognized as an industry leader; he is actively involved in the Commercial Real Estate Finance Council (CREFC) and currently serves on its Board of Governors and Executive Committee.

VTS announced the appointment of Eli Gilbert in the newly created role of Head of Market Research.
Gilbert brings 20 years of experience to the poisition, joining VTS from JLL where he served for more than a decade as Senior Vice President of Research and Business Development.
Prior to JLL, Gilbert served in research and sales roles at CBRE, Cushman & Wakefield, Grubb & Ellis, and CoStar.

Sabal Capital Partners has appointed Barry Gersten to head of production for its Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities (CMBS) business.
A seasoned finance leader, Gersten originally joined Sabal in early 2020 as managing director with a proven track record of more than 30 years in the industry.
Just prior to joining Sabal, he both founded and held the role of managing principal with Bedrock Capital Associates LLC, where he established a national commercial mortgage real estate finance platform.
Additional prior roles include executive vice president, co-head of North American lending for Capmark Financial (formerly GMAC Commercial Mortgage) and vice president of Lehman Brothers.

The NYC Housing Partnership has appointed Esther Toporovsky as Executive Vice President, a new position.
She joins from Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. in New York, where she served as Senior Program Director, Green Communities, since 2010.
Earlier in her career, Toporovsky served as Deputy Director, Earth Day New York/e4, Inc., and business development associate at FareChase, Inc., a Yahoo subsidiary.
She received an MS in Urban Policy Analysis and Management, Specialization in Real Estate/Community Development Finance, from Milano, The New School for Management and Urban Policy.
She also earned a BA in Environmental Studies at The New School University, Eugene Lang College, and was an Earth Systems Science Scholar at Columbia University.
Her civic engagements include the Sustainability in Affordable Housing Lender Learning Network (SAHLLN), NEWHABSolar Financing for Affordable Housing and Community Development, the Opportunity Finance Network (OFN) Climate Crisis Mitigation Working Group, Women in Housing and Finance Group and she is a Tri-State Board Member of GRID Alternatives.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher announced that Krystyna M. Blakeslee has joined the firm as a partner in the Real Estate Department.
Based in the firm’s New York office, she will serve as Chair of the Real Estate Finance practice group.
Blakeslee joins the firm from Dechert, where she was a partner in the finance and real estate group.
She was previously a law clerk for the Honorable Alan H. W. Shiff of the United States Bankruptcy Court, District of Connecticut, and served as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, including serving in Iraq.
Blakeslee is currently an editorial board member of the CRE Finance Council and is co-managing editor for CREFC Finance World. She is also co-chair of the CREFC Finance Counsel’s working group on High Volatility Commercial Real Estate loans.
Blakeslee received a BA from University of Connecticut. She earned a JD (High Honors) from University of Connecticut School of Law where she was the recipient of CALI excellence awards, the Women’s Law Student Association’s Pro Bono Service Award, the John M. Noonan Award for outstanding scholarship and the University of Connecticut School of Law pro bono award.

Leo S. Horey III, the former Chief Administrative Officer of AvalonBay Communities, Inc., has been appointed to the board of directors of Cord Meyer Development Company.
Horey served as AvalonBay’s Chief Administrative Officer beginning April 2012 and was Executive Vice President—Property Operations prior to that from January 2004.
Horey’s appointment marks the first time in its 116-year-history that Cord Meyer Development has appointed an individual to serve on the board who was not already employed by the company or a family member.
Horey received his Master of Business Administration from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was a Richard H. Jenrette Fellow and served on the Board of Visitors and the Advisory Board for the Wood Center for Real Estate Studies.
He also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Economics from Duke University and has served on the Executive Committee of the National Multifamily Housing Council.

Greystone announced that Pharrah Jackson has been named Vice President of Finance for Greystone Affordable Development.
Jackson will lead a team of analysts and underwriters responsible for securing debt and equity for all of Greystone’s affordable housing development transactions.
Jackson more than 20 years of affordable housing experience that spans production, underwriting, closing, servicing and asset management.
During her long tenure with Greystone, she has been involved in the financing of over 1,000 affordable housing properties totaling more than $8 billion in debt, having most recently served as Managing Director of the company’s affordable lending group.
Jackson began her career as a closing assistant with Washington Mortgage (now PGIM) and has also worked at other agency lending firms, including Red Mortgage and Walker & Dunlop.

Schwartz Sladkus Reich Greenberg Atlas LLP
has added six new team members.
David Alin joins SSRGA as a partner in the firm’s real estate practice group.
Prior to joining the firm, Alin was a partner at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. and previously worked at Proskauer Rose LLP.
He received his Bachelor of Arts from Duke University and his Juris Doctor from Emory University School of Law.
Samuel C. Watkins joins SSRGA as a partner in the firm’s real estate and litigation practice groups.
He was previously a partner at Hiscock & Barclay, and at Lewis, Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith..
Earlier, Watkins served as a trial lawyer in the U.S. Department of Justice as well as a senior counsel at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
He received his Bachelor of Arts from Harvard College, Master of Art from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Juris Doctor from Fordham Law School.
David B. Augenbaum joins SSRGA as an associate in the firm’s trusts and estates practice group.
Augenbaum earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland University College, and his law degree from Fordham University School of Law.
S. Yan Sin joins SSRGA as an associate in the matrimonial, family and reproductive law practice group.
Prior to entering private practice, Sin clerked for the Hon. Ellen F. Gesmer of the New York State Supreme Court.
She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia, and her law degree from New York Law School.
Allyson P. Stavis joins SSRGA as an associate in the commercial and real estate litigation practice groups.
She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her law degree from Brooklyn Law School.
She has successfully argued before the New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department, in a reported decision.
Matthew Ulmann joins SSRGA as an associate in the real estate litigation practice.
Prior to joining the firm, he represented multiple real estate holding companies at a large, international law firm. He subsequently served as a law clerk for the Honorable Anil C. Singh in the New York State Supreme Court, Commercial Division and New York State Appellate Division, First Judicial Department.
Ulmann earned his undergraduate degree from the University at Buffalo, and his law degree, magna cum laude, from New York Law School.

B6 Real Estate Advisors announced the appointment of Brian Streilein as Director.
Streilein will focus on investment sales in Bergen County, New Jersey.
Prior to joining B6, Streilein was a director for JLL, where he focused on multifamily development sites in the Bronx. Earlier, he worked as vice president of Investment Sales for Lee & Associates in Columbia, Maryland.
Streilein started his commercial real estate brokerage career at Massey Knakal Realty Services, where he was an associate in 2012. Following the acquisition of Massey Knakal by Cushman & Wakefield in 2014, he was promoted to Director of Sales.
Streilein earned a Bachelor of Arts from Villanova University. He was a member of the varsity baseball team and drafted in the 2010 MLB First Year Player Draft by the Houston Astros.


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