Keith M. Allen‐Niesen
Keith Allen Niesen is a partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips’ Los Angeles office. He is the co-chair of the firm’s Real Estate and Land Use practice group. Mr. Allen-Niesen previously served as the firm’s National Hiring Partner, was the former director of the firm’s Southern California Business & Transactions unit and a member of the firm’s Compensation Committee. Mr. Allen-Niesen’s practice involves providing counsel to public and private companies. He has a broad range of transactional experience, and oversees major business litigation, business transactions, land use and development matters. He also has extensive experience in the acquisition, development and sale of hotels, resorts, golf courses, restaurants, office buildings, residential subdivisions, shopping centers and industrial sites, including transactions involving contaminated real property. In addition, he represents landlords on both leasing and management issues for office buildings, mixed-use developments and shopping centers. Mr. Allen Niesen also has significant experience in public/private development, land use and loan workouts involving real estate collateral. Mr. Allen Niesen’s clients include Maguire Properties, JP Morgan Investment Management, Playa Capital, CIM, CB Richard Ellis Investors, Bank of America, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Aerospace Corporation, Decron Properties and Integrated Capital. He holds a JD from the University of California Davis School of Law where he was the Managing Editor of the U.C. Davis Law Review. He also earned an M.A. in Chinese Law from the University of London and a B.A. from the University of California San Diego.
Bruce Baltin is a Senior Vice President in the Los Angeles office of PKF Consulting, a national consulting firm specializing in the hospitality and real estate industries. PKF Consulting is a member of Hospitality Asset Advisors International. In his 30 years with PKF, Mr. Baltin has had a wide diversity of experience in the Hospitality and Tourism industries including market demand studies, valuations, economic and operational consulting and dealing with leases, franchises and management contracts. His industry experience includes hotels, resorts, clubs, restaurants, theme parks, and national and state parks. He has worked extensively with various governmental entities in tourism and hospitality real estate issues. He has frequently been quoted in the national and local press and testified as an expert witness on various industry issues. Prior to joining PKF he taught at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and was corporate operations analyst for the Sheraton Corporation of America. He has taught extensively in the Collins School of Hospitality Management at California Polytechnic Institute, Pomona, as well as courses in the Dollinger real estate program at the University of Southern California. He is a member of various professional and community organizations.
Dr. Bostic is a Professor in USC’s Price School of Public Policy (USC Price). Prior to joining USC Price, Mr. Bostic spent six years on the staff at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. While at the Fed, he was responsible for studying and advising on fair lending and discrimination issues and received a Special Achievement Award in 2000 for his work supporting a Congressional mandate. Mr. Bostic has done extensive research on housing markets and homeownership, including a recent study on barriers to homeownership and determinants of gentrification. He also has written extensively on consumer banking issues, with a particular focus on mortgage and small business lending, bank branching patterns, and credit scoring and automated underwriting. He is currently conducting research on the ways in which the Community Reinvestment Act has influenced the behavior of lenders and credit markets. His broad research interests include financial markets and institutions, with a particular focus on banks in community development, the role and effects of regulation in banking, housing and homeownership, urban economic growth, wage and earnings profiles, and policy analysis generally. His work has been published in the Journal of Urban Economics, Real Estate Economics, the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, and the Journal of Banking and Finance. At USC, Mr. Bostic teaches courses in affordable housing development, urban economics, and public finance. Mr. Bostic received his B.A. in psychology and economics from Harvard University in 1987 and his Ph.D. in economics from Stanford in 1995.
In the Summer of 2009, Professor Bostic was appointed by President Obama as Assistant Secretary of Policy Development and Research for the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development. He is on a two-year leave from USC as he undertakes this role.
David S. Brown
David Brown is Co-President of Grand Pacific Resorts based in Carlsbad, California. Grand Pacific’s latest project is the Grand Pacific Palisades Resort and Hotel, a 285-unit hotel and timeshare adjacent to the new Legoland California children’s theme park in Carlsbad. Grand Pacific also developed Carlsbad Seapointe Resort, a 95-unit oceanfront resort in Carlsbad, the Coronado Beach Resort adjacent to the Hotel Del Coronado, and the Red Wolf Lakeside Lodge on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe. Grand Pacific Resorts and its affiliates have developed vacation ownership projects totaling over 600 units, comprising over 28,000 vacation ownership unit weeks, all located in California. Prior to forming Grand Pacific Resorts with partner Tim Stripe, Mr. Brown spent six years with Shell/Winners Circle Resorts developing four other San Diego-area timeshare projects. From 1981 to 1988 Mr. Brown served as general counsel to Vistana Resort in Orlando, Florida. Mr. Brown is a graduate of Columbia College and the University of Virginia Law School.
Robert D. Champion
Robert Champion founded Champion Real Estate Group (CREG) in 1987 and has kept it on the cutting-edge of the Southern California real estate market ever since. In the last 21 years, Champion has developed or renovated over 50 projects and has received numerous awards. In 1992, Champion’s $36 million Atlantic Square community shopping center won the NAHRO award as one of the best public-private partnerships in the country. In 1996, Champion’s $70 million One Westside shopping center, the first vertical power center in Los Angeles, won a Gold Nugget and a Maxi Award as one of the best designed shopping centers in the world. In 2004, Champion’s $60 million Pasadena Collection won a Gold Nugget for being the best designed mixed-use project (retail, residential and office) in the Western United States. In 2006, Champion completed Gaslamp City Square, a $150 million mixed-use (retail, residential and public parking) development located in San Diego’s historic Gaslamp Quarter District. In 2007, Champion completed the $20 million adaptive re-use (restaurant and residential lofts) and restoration of the historic Samuel Fox building and the $18 million adaptive re-use (restaurant and office condos) and restoration of the Fletcher building, both located in Downtown San Diego. In 2008, Champion will complete the Burbank Collection, a $100 million mixed-use (retail, residential and public parking) project in partnership with the Burbank Redevelopment Agency and AMC Theaters. Champion will also complete The Dalton, a $45 million mixed-use (retail and residential) project located in Downtown Pasadena. Champion has his Master’s Degree in Real Estate Development from the University of Southern California, where he has been an adjunct professor teaching the Retail/Mixed-Use Product class in the Master’s program for 10 years. In addition, he is a frequent speaker at events sponsored by USC, UCLA, ULI, ICSC, the CRA and other institutions and trade groups.
Terri Dickerhoff is President of CGR Development and entitlement, project management and construction management-consulting firm in the Southern California area. She takes projects from vacant land to occupancy through the entitlement and construction phases. Projects include high-end residential, workllive space and retail developments. Previously she was with The Lee Group as Project Manager for new residential developments, ranging from affordable to high-end, which included 23 high-end homes in Playa Vista, affordable urban infill projects in Bell Gardens, Commerce and El Monte, a rehab office and work/live loft space in Venice and several semi-custom homes in Venice and Marina del Rey. Terri holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and a Master of Real Estate Development and Master of Planning from the University of Southern California.
Peter Gordon is a Professor in the USC Price School of Public Policy. He is also attached to USC’s Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorist Events (CREATE) Gordon and his colleagues have developed various economic impact models which they apply to the study of the effects of infrastructure investments or disruptions from natural events or terrorist attacks. Recent work involves the modeling and study of economic impacts. Some of this is reproduced in The Economic Impacts of Terrorist Attacks (Edward Elgar 2005, co-edited with Harry W. Richardson and James E. Moore II) and The Economic Costs and Consequences of Economic Terrorism (Edward Elgar, 2007, co-edited with Harry W. Richardson and James E. Moore II). Gordon’s other research interests are in applied urban economics. He has recently written on the problems of the “sprawl” debate. Gordon is also interested in cities and institutions. He is co-editor (with David Beito and Alexander Tabarrok) of The Voluntary City (The University of Michigan Press, 2002). Peter Gordon has published in most of the major urban planning, urban transportation and urban economics journals. His recent papers are at http://www-rcf.usc.edu/~pgordon/. He has consulted for local, state and federal agencies, the World Bank, the United Nations and many private groups. Gordon was elected a Fellow of the Regional Science Association International in 2009. Gordon received his Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1971.
Richard K. Green
Richard K. Green, Ph.D., is the Director of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate. He holds the Lusk Chair in Real Estate and is Professor in the Price School of Public Policy and the Marshall School of Business. Prior to joining the USC faculty, Dr. Green spent four years as the Oliver T. Carr, Jr., Chair of Real Estate Finance at The George Washington University School of Business. He was Director of the Center for Washington Area Studies and the Center for Real Estate and Urban Studies at that institution. Dr. Green also taught real estate finance and economics courses for 12 years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he was Wangard Faculty Scholar and Chair of Real Estate and Urban Land Economics. He also has been principal economist and director of financial strategy and policy analysis at Freddie Mac. More recently, he was a visiting professor of real estate at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and he continues to retain an affiliation with Wharton. He is or has been involved with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, the Conference of Business Economists, the Center for Urban Land Economics Research, and the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties. Dr. Green also is a Weimer Fellow at the Homer Hoyt Institute, and a member of the faculty of the Selden Institute for Advanced Studies in Real Estate. He was recently President of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association. Dr. Green earned his Ph.D. and M.S. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He earned his A.B. in economics from Harvard University. His research addresses housing markets, housing policy, tax policy, transportation, mortgage finance and urban growth. He is a member of two academic journal editorial boards, and a reviewer for several others. His work is published in a number of journals including the American Economic Review, Journal of Economic Perspectives, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Journal of Urban Economics, Land Economics, Regional Science and Urban Economics, Real Estate Economics, Housing Policy Debate, Journal of Housing Economics, and Urban Studies. His book with Stephen Malpezzi, A Primer on U.S. Housing Markets and Housing Policy, is used at universities throughout the country. His work has been cited or he has been quoted in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek and the Economist, as well as other outlets. He recently gave a presentation at the 31st annual Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City Economic Symposium, where his work was cited by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. The National Association of REALTORS, the Ford Foundation, and the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy have funded grants to support some of Dr. Green’s research. He consults for the World Bank. In 1995, Dr. Green was honored as “Teacher of the Year” by the University of Wisconsin Graduate Business Association, and soon thereafter was inducted into that University’s Teaching Academy.
Stanley L. Iezman
Stanley L. Iezman is President and Chief Executive Officer of American Realty Advisors. Mr. Iezman is responsible for the strategic planning and direction of American Realty Advisors, an SEC registered investment advisor and ERISA fiduciary for tax-exempt investors. American currently has over $4.6 billion of assets under management, utilizing core, enhanced core and value-added strategies. American offers Separate Accounts, open-end and closed-end commingled funds to its pension fund investors. Mr. Iezman has directed the acquisition, structuring and management of approximately $8 billion of real estate located throughout the United States. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Southern California’s School of Planning, Policy, and Development where he teaches real estate asset management in the Dollinger Master of Real Estate Development Program. A noted speaker in the real estate arena, he has addressed a number of industry groups, and has authored numerous articles for real estate, pension, and legal industry publications. Mr. Iezman received his BA from the University of California-Santa Barbara and his JD from the University of Southern California School of Law. He is a member of The Urban Land Institute and serves on their Industrial & Office Park Development Council; International Council of Shopping Centers; National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers; Pension Real Estate Association; International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans; Los Angeles County Bar Association; American Bar Association; and was the Chair of the New York University Real Estate Institute’s Annual “Conference on Pension Fund Investment in Real Estate” for ten years.
Steve Kellenberg is a Principal with EDAW in the Irvine, CA office. He has over 23 years of experience in large-scale master planned community and new town planning projects. His education and experience have resulted in integrated urban design, economics, market analysis and public participation skills. He has worked with numerous national developers at the management level, assisting in master planning, detailed design, and builder process through implementation. Steve’s major projects include Ladera Ranch and Rancho Santa Margarita in Southern California, as well as the Verrado community near Phoenix, Arizona. Projects such as Monrovia Nursery infill master plan in Azusa, CA and the Southport project in West Sacramento, CA, have won several national competitions. Steve leads EDAW’s Green Communities initiative, and has directed a national team in a number of large new community plans that implement green building practices at various levels. He speaks nationally on sustainable planning methodologies for large complex projects. Steve received his Masters in Urban Design from Harvard, with honors. Steve is an Associate Professor at USC’s Master of Real Estate Development Program and a member of the Urban Land Institute’s Leadership Group. He is the co-author of the ULI book Great Planned Communities. Steve holds a Bachelor of Science in Architecture from Iowa State University and a Master of Urban Design from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University.
Michael I. Keston
Michael is Chairman and CEO of KFG Investment Company, a privately owned real estate and investment company. Michael serves on the Board of Councilors of the University of Southern California Price School of Public Policy and a member of the Executive Committee of the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate. He has previously served on the Board of the California Regional Water Quality Control Board and on the Los Angeles Board of Water and Power Commission. Michael currently chairs the Southern California Leadership Council of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy headquartered in Washington, DC and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Music Academy of the West in Montecito, CA.
KFG Investment Company and Affiliates have built and marketed approximately 50,000 residential units in more than 140 separate communities and over 2 million square feet of commercial properties since Mr. Keston joined the Company in 1970.
Mr. Keston is a past Director of the Los Angeles Conservancy, past Director of the California State Chamber of Commerce, past member of the Board of Governors for the Western Los Angeles County Council of the Boy Scouts of America, has served as a member of the Advisory Board of Brentwood Middle and High School and is a member of Heal the Bay.
A native of New York City, Mr. Keston received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering from City University of New York in 1961, a Master of Science Degree in Engineering from San Diego State College in 1964 and a Master of Business Administration Degree from the Wharton Graduate School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1966.
Allan D. Kotin
Allan D. Kotin is Owner and Principal of Allan D. Kotin & Associates. Mr. Kotin has over 40 years of experience in real estate economics with an emphasis on financial planning and redevelopment. He has extensive experience in financial analysis, financial structuring, transaction negotiation, and market research for public agencies, developers, investors, and lenders. Entering the real estate field in 1960, Mr. Kotin has held key positions with several major real estate consulting and strategic planning firms before founding Kotin, Regan & Mouchly, Inc., in 1980. Allan D. Kotin & Associates is a successor firm. Intervening firm names were Sedway Kotin Mouchly Group, KMG Consulting and PCR Kotin. Allan’s management responsibilities have included developer selection, negotiation support, feasibility analysis, development monitoring, and the strategic planning for problem projects. Since 1980, Mr. Kotin has been actively involved in public/private joint ventures, often acting as a key strategist and active negotiator for public agencies and private developers in major redevelopment and asset management transactions. Within this area, Mr. Kotin has developed particular expertise in participatory ground leasing, a topic on which he has lectured before several national associations of government officials. His other work includes extensive consulting on developer selection, negotiation of public private joint ventures over a wide range of agencies and formats and extensive training and teaching experience. Mr. Kotin earned a Master of Arts in Economics (concentration in regional economics), University of California at Los Angeles, 1964. He completed graduate studies in Economics, Harvard University, 1960-1961 and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, with highest honors at UCLA in 1959. He has taught at USC since 1986 and prior to that at UCLA. He has been a guest lecturer and summer program instructor at Harvard University School of Design, and has both designed and taught at numerous industry, association, and public sector training programs including International Association for Economic Development, the California Community Redevelopment Association and the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Alon I. Kraft
Alon I. Kraft, Vice President of Lowe Enterprises Investment Management, LLC is responsible for managing the investment portfolios of a number of Lowe’s pension fund clients. He was previously responsible for management of the financial underwriting team and due diligence coordination for commercial investment opportunities for Lowe’s southwestern regional real estate group which closed on over $300 million worth of assets. Prior to joining Lowe, Mr. Kraft provided financial analysis and planning consulting services with KMG Consulting, a Los Angeles based real estate and urban economics consulting firm. He is an active member of the American Planning Association and a Certified Planner. Mr. Kraft received a Bachelor of Architecture and a Master of Planning from the University of Southern California.
Jeff Kreshek is Vice President—West Coast Leasing. In this capacity, Mr. Kreshek oversees the day to day leasing activities of the west coast portfolio. Primary responsibilities include sourcing new retailer relationships, negotiating all leases and lease related documents, and overseeing and directing third party real estate professionals. Prior to joining Federal Realty, Mr. Kreshek was the Principal in charge of leasing for The CIM Group where he was responsible for formulating the leasing strategy on CIM’s commercial portfolio of approximately twelve million square feet. Prior to joining The CIM Group, Mr. Kreshek was the Vice President of Development and Operations for Regent Properties, Inc. and before that, Mr. Kreshek formed and operated Vision Property Management, Inc., a full service real estate development, leasing and management company. Mr. Kreshek brings over 23 years of experience to the Trust in leasing, entitlements, property and asset management with an emphasis on redeveloping and repositioning underperforming and functionally obsolete assets. Mr. Kreshek received his undergraduate degree in Real Estate Finance, his Masters of Business Administration and his Masters of Real Estate Development from the University of Southern California. In addition, Mr. Kreshek holds the Certified Leasing Specialist (CLS), Certified Property Manager (CPM), Senior Certified Shopping Center Manager (SCSM), and Certified Commercial Investment Manager (CCIM) designations.
Carl F. Meyer
As a Principal at Perkins+Will, Carl leads the corporate, commercial and civic practice area. Over the course of his architectural career he has been responsible for the leadership and direction of major urban mixed-use projects; commercial, community, corporate and institutional facilities; and university projects. Carl thinks like a client and helps a client think like an architect to produce an environment in which projects of the highest quality can be developed. Prior to joining Perkins+Will, Carl was Principal and Managing Director at Rossetti where he led major project efforts for the University of California, Irvine and Cal State, San Luis Obispo as well as the design of several retail and entertainment projects. He is a former partner of Altoon + Porter Architects where he led major commercial mixed-use projects in the U.S., Western Europe and Russia. Mr. Meyer is also former President of the American Institute of Architects in California and is a former member of the AIA National Board of Directors. In 2005 he was elevated to Fellowship in the AIA. He is active in the Urban Land Institute. He holds a Master of Architecture from the University of California at Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Loyola University.
Ehud G. Mouchly
Ehud Mouchly owns READI, LLC which works on development, redevelopment and financing of sustainable infill projects, mixed-use development (MXD) projects, master planned communities (MPC), workforce housing communities and employer-assisted housing projects. He was previously Vice President and General Manager of UniDev, LLC’s West Coast Office, focusing on the design, development, financing, and management of workforce housing communities. Earlier, Mouchly worked with SunCal Companies as a member of the master planned communities’ acquisition, entitlements and start-up team; General Manager of Anaverde (formerly City Ranch), KB-Home’s 2,000-acre, 5,000-unit in Palmdale, CA; Principal and Co-Developer of a 160-acre commercial MXD in San Joaquin County, CA; managing director in the Real Estate Group of Price Waterhouse; founder and president of a national real estate consulting company; developer/builder of residential and retirement communities. Mouchly has served as chairman and vice chairman of several flights of the Community Development Council (CDC) of the ULI, vice chairman of the ULI Program Committee, a ULI council counselor, and serves on the ULI-LA District Council Executive Committee. He is a member of the California Redevelopment Association (CRA), the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the Counselors of Real Estate (CRE), former fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), and member of Lambda Alpha International. He is an adjunct professor in the graduate real estate development program (MRED) at USC, and has served as an expert witness in U.S. district and state superior courts. He is an occasional author, instructor and frequent speaker on real estate matters in the U.S. and overseas. Mouchly holds master’s degree and certification as Ph.D. candidate (“all but dissertation”) in economics and Middle East studies from Columbia University.
Mark E. Oliver
Mark E. Oliver, MAI, MRED is a Senior Commercial Appraiser in the Valuation Advisory Services division of Cushman & Wakefield. He is a member of the Retail Industry Group and also serves on the Business Improvement Committee. Appraisal and consulting assignments have included all major property types throughout Southern California. In addition to office, retail, industrial, and multi-family properties, Mr. Oliver has appraised special purpose properties such as self-storage facilities, cinemas, private schools, and religious facilities. Mr. Oliver has expertise in the use of econometric modeling for real estate valuation and market analysis, and has provided entitlement consulting for land acquisition and subdivision development. Mr. Oliver has appeared as an expert witness on valuation issues in the Orange County and Los Angeles Superior Courts. Mr. Oliver is currently an Adjunct Associate Professor in the University of Southern California, Price School of Public Policy, teaching Finance Fundamentals for Real Estate Development. This is an introductory, graduate-level course designed for students planning a further study in real estate finance and development. Mr. Oliver earned his Bachelor of Arts at Whittier College and his Master of Real Estate Development at the University of Southern California. Mr. Oliver is a Member of the Appraisal Institute (MAI) and a Certified General Real Estate Appraiser in the State of California.
A seasoned veteran of the real estate industry, Richard “Dick” Ortwein has overseen all aspects of the business, having directed and managed the construction of millions of square feet of real estate. Ortwein brings to Focus Real Estate LP more than 35 years of management experience, most in senior level posts with the Koll organization, one of the premier commercial developers in the country. Additionally, Ortwein offers a rarity in real estate circles: a banker’s financial acumen with a developer’s hands-on experience. While at Koll, Ortwein oversaw the accounts of local, national and international clients, exposing him to a wide array of regional issues and placing him on the cutting edge in detecting new construction and development trends in the commercial and residential sectors. In his senior management capacity at Koll, Ortwein was responsible for commercial development, land entitlement, finance, construction management, asset management and corporate services. Additionally, Ortwein was a key member of the executive team responsible for overseeing key acquisitions and mergers, including the 1998 purchase of Koll Real Estate Group’s commercial development arm, Koll Development Company. Prior to joining Koll, Ortwein served at Wells Fargo Bank, where he was responsible for the financing of commercial development product. Capping a 10-year tenure in the banking industry, Ortwein steadily rose through the management ranks of Security Pacific Bank and Wells Fargo Bank. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Dick is affiliated with many professional and civic organizations, including the Orange County Business Council and the Urban Land Institute. He has served on both the national and local board of directors of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, and is a past Chairman of the Orange County Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Young Presidents Organization. He also served on the board of the directors of the Pacific Club. Recently ending his term as Chairman of the Board at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, Dick remains a member of the board of directors, and previously served as chairman of the Facilities, Design and Construction Committee, overseeing a $500 million capital improvements budget. Dick also serves on the board of directors for A&A Concrete, Inc. and H.G. Fenton Company.
Christian L. Redfearn
Christian Redfearn is an associate professor in USC’s Price School of Public Policy and a Research Fellow at USC’s Lusk Center for Real Estate. His general area of research interest is urban economics, with concentrations that include urban and regional economics, urban redevelopment, small market and neighborhood dynamics, aggregate price measurement, home ownership, and urban areas in lesser-developed countries. In addition, Prof. Redfearn is an active participant in the Casden Real Estate Economic Forecast. Prof. Redfearn has published in recently in the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics and the Journal of Urban Economics. In 1996, he was awarded the Fisher Center for Real Estate Dissertation Fellowship and is a member of the American Economics Association and American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association. In 2000, he (with co-author John M. Quigley) was awarded the Best Paper award at the Asian Finance Society meetings in Beijing, China. Prof. Redfearn teaches real estate finance and investments in both the Marshall School for Business and the program in Real Estate Development in the School of Planning, Policy, and Development.
Shlomi Ronen is a managing director and founder of Lucent Capital where he is focused on the raising equity and debt for investors and developers acquiring both performing and non-performing assets. Prior to founding Lucent Capital he opened and co-headed the Los Angeles office for the Carlton Group, a New York based real estate investment banking firm, and was a Senior Vice President at Los Angeles based George Smith Partners, where he active in raising joint venture equity on behalf of institutional clients and executing both performing and non-performing note sales on behalf of financial institutions. He has worked in real estate for nearly 15 years and has spent the last nine years working in a real estate capital advisory role. In the past four years he has placed more than $2 billion in equity, mezzanine, and debt financing for investors and developers throughout the United States. Mr. Ronen earned his MBA with a concentration in Real Estate Finance at the University of Southern California. A frequent guest presenter at industry conferences, he is also an active participant in numerous professional and charitable organizations including the Urban Land Institute, International Council of Shopping Centers, USC Lusk Center and currently serves as the Young Leadership Chair of the Los Angeles Jewish Federation Real Estate Cabinet. In October 2010, Mr. Ronen was named by Real Estate Forum magazine to its 40 Under 40 list.
Alex Saunders is responsible for originations, underwriting and acquisitions in the Los Angeles metropolitan area, Northern California and other areas in the state, targeting investments in urban residential and commercial properties. Mr. Saunders joined as Phoenix Realty Group opened the Western Region in March, 2003. Prior to joining PRG, from 1996 – 2003 Mr. Saunders held positions of Project Manager at the Lee Group, Director of Financial Analysis at BT Commercial, Appraiser at Cushman & Wakefield, and Financial Analyst at CB Richard Ellis. During that time, Mr. Saunders participated in the valuation of over $2 billion of commercial and residential real estate, the disposition of over $200 million of commercial real estate, and the development of over $100 million of residential real estate. His experience spans the United States and includes residential, office, retail, and industrial uses. Mr. Saunders holds a Master’s Degree in Real Estate Development, with a specialization in finance, from the University of Southern California and is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine, with a degree in Urban Economics.
Jenny Schuetz is an Assistant Professor in the Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California. Her primary research interests are urban economics, local public finance, land use regulation and housing policy. Her research has been published in a variety of journals, including the Journal of Housing Economics, Regional Science and Urban Economics, the Journal of Policy and Management, and the Journal of the American Planning Association. Current research projects include the effects of real estate cycles on neighborhood retail services, the outcomes of distressed mortgage borrowers, and the relationship between art galleries and gentrification. Dr. Schuetz earned a B.A. with Highest Distinction in Economics and Political and Social Thought from the University of Virginia, a Master’s in City Planning from M.I.T., a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard University, and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at NYU’s Furman Center. Previously Dr. Schuetz worked for the Public Housing Strategic Consulting Group of Abt Associates Inc., the Innovations, Research and Technology Division of the Fannie Mae Foundation and, the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.
Mott Smith has built his career crafting real estate innovations from positions in private industry and the public sector. Prior to forming CEA, he was Acting Director of Planning for the Los Angeles Unified School District, where he helped launch the District’s $1.6 billion Phase II school construction program. Earlier his work focused on expanding the application of joint-ventures, mixed-use and public-private real estate development models. Notable efforts include: implementing Fannie Mae-recognized public/private housing and development partnerships; innovation in the use of private non-profit corporations to expedite public real estate acquisition; execution of the first mixed-use public school/affordable housing project in the City of Los Angeles; and serving as the founding Executive Director of New Schools-Better Neighborhoods, an L.A.-based nonprofit that develops creative, community-based solutions for school and housing development. Mr. Smith earlier developed affordable housing and served as the editor/business manager of two industry publications, The Planning Report and Metro Investment Report. He is President of the Westside Urban Forum, a member of the Urban Land Institute’s L.A. Executive Council, and sits on the Board of the Transportation & Land Use Collaborative. Mr. Smith received a Master of Real Estate Development from the University of Southern California and a B.A. in Linguistics from UCLA.
Dennis A. Watsabaugh
Dennis A. Watsabaugh is a Principal at S.L. Leonard & Associates Senior Vice President. Mr. Watsabaugh’s background includes 35 years as a Contractor, Construction Manager and Development Manager for project types ranging from commercial office, educational healthcare, specialty retail and institutional. Mr. Watsabaugh has been involved with projects such as California Plaza Phase 1A; Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Warner Center Plaza Phases I, II, III, V, VI; Pacific Design Center Phase 2; Pitzer College Master Plan Expansion; Glendale Plaza, all in Southern California. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Northwest Missouri State University in 1972, and is a licensed general contractor in California.
Christopher A. Wilson
Christopher A. Wilson, President of Wilson Commercial Real Estate, has 21 years of retail commercial real estate experience in the Southern California market. His expertise is concentrated on the leasing and sales of institutional quality shopping centers representing the Landlord. He has participated in the leasing of more than three million square feet of retail space and the sale of 50 shopping centers during his career with a total value exceeding $600 million. Prior to forming Wilson Commercial Real Estate in 1990, he served as Vice President of Champion Development and was responsible for the acquisition, development and leasing of over $25 million of retail projects in northern Los Angeles County and began his retail real estate career in 1985 as a retail specialist with Grubb & Ellis working in the San Gabriel Valley. Preceding his commercial real estate career, Mr. Wilson held a position as a manufacturer’s representative selling seasonal and sporting goods product lines to major chain retailers across the 11 western states. Mr. Wilson graduated from the University of Southern California in 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Public Administration and received his Masters in Business Administration from Pepperdine University in 1985. He holds a California Department of Real Estate Broker license. Mr. Wilson is an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). He has served on its Southern California Program Committee since 1996 and is currently the ICSC California State Chairman and a member of the ICSC’s San Fernando Valley Local Program Committee. He has served as the Co-Chair of ICSC’s Western Division Conference in Palm Springs, the Southern California Idea Exchange in Long Beach, the Co-Chair of ICSC’s California Alliance Program and was formerly ICSC California State Government Relations Co-Chair. He is also a frequent speaker at ICSC and other industry programs.