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2016 Winter Alumni Profiles

Navneet Agrawal
Senior Estimator
Hathaway Dinwiddie
2016 Winter Class Alumni
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Navneet Agrawal, is a Senior Estimator, in the Preconstruction Department for the Los Angeles Division of Hathaway Dinwiddie since 2010. Prior to working at Hathaway Dinwiddie, Navneet worked as Cost Analyst at Davis Langdon Inc. (an AECOM company) and before that as Cost Engineer at Parsons Corporation. He has 15 years of experience with an extensive history of preparing program budgets and detailed estimates for schools, office buildings, high rise condominiums, recreational facilities, convention centers, hospitals, public use facilities, universities, restoration and re-use, and seismic retrofit work. He develops budgeting and project pricing advises for various developer opportunities.
He has successfully lead the Preconstruction team efforts in developing the BIM model base estimating workflows which is still a novel concept in preconstruction. He has delivered Guest Lectures on this subject for Master degree students at USC.
Navneet possesses a Master of Science degree in Construction Management from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Malaviya National Institute of Technology, India. He is also a LEED Accredited Professional.

Email: agrawaln@hdcco.com

Cesar Aguirre
Partner
Aero Collective
2016 Winter Class Alumni
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Cesar Aguirre is a licensed Architect and Partner at AERO Collective, a recently founded Architecture office located in the heart of Downtown Inglewood. AERO Collective collaborates with interdisciplinary design offices, from Interior design firms to furniture fabrication companies. The goal is to bring a synergetic design influence from a broad field of creative and artistic expertise. The project types are purposefully diverse in order to maintain creative curiosity regarding each individual project. Cesar has worked on the design of Restaurants and Bars to Yoga clothing stores and Residential apartment buildings.

Prior to AERO Collective, Cesar worked as a Project Architect at PSL Architects. This was an office dedicated to the design of Affordable and Market-rate residential apartment buildings of varying size, from small 30 unit buildings to larger 300 unit buildings. PSL provided full design services from Entitlement Packages to Construction Documents and Administration. While at PSL, Cesar was the lead designer of three Adaptive Reuse buildings in Downtown Los Angeles, converting underutilized buildings into 160 new residential units in the Fashion District of Downtown LA.

Cesar believes that the strength of cities and communities lies in having a strong and unique sense of place and identity. AERO Collective decided to locate their office on Market Street in downtown Inglewood in order to participate in the ongoing redevelopment of the Historic Street. Cesar, through AERO, is partnering with local community groups and will begin hosting a business start-up speaker series. The program will include panelists and networking sessions to encourage new companies and entrepreneurs to come and set-up office space in Inglewood.

Cesar Aguirre received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Southern California. He is eager to learn and grow professionally from the Ross Minority Program, looking forward to it inspiring the breath and scope of his Architectural career.

Email: cesar@aerocollective.com

Cris Arzate
Government Relations Consultant
California Emerging Technologies Fund
2016 Winter Class Alumni
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Mr. Cris Arzate, 41, is a Public Affairs Consultant with over 15 years of experience in education, telecommunications, non-profit administration, resource development and external relations.

Mr. Arzate has served as an appointee of the Senate Pro Tem and Senate Rules Committee to the California Student Aid Commission where he held executive office as Secretary.  Mr. Arzate was also appointed by the Senate Pro Tem and Senate Rules Committee where he served for eight years as the Past President of the Structural Pest Control Board under the Department of Consumer Affairs. He was also appointed by the past president of the Los Angeles Board of Education to the Human Relations Commission where he served as Chair.

Mr. Arzate has a Bachelor of Arts from University of California at Berkeley.  He is a Fellow of the Coro Fellowship Program in Public Affairs, and completed the Harvard Graduate School of Education's Institute for Higher Education Management Development Program. He has also completed certificated programs in non-profit administration and grant writing. 

Mr. Arzate is a proud husband and father to three girls.  He plays golf and enjoys a good laugh. 

Email: arzate.cris@gmail.com

Alex Chen
Project Manager
Grandway Asset Management
2016 Winter Class Alumni
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Alex Chen is a project manager for Grandway Asset Management.  He oversees and manages the development of each project from acquisition and construction.   Prior to joining Grandway Asset Management, Alex worked four years as an independent sales agent with emphasis on investment properties and single-family homes. During that time, Alex gathered a deep understanding of market data throughout the Greater Los Angeles area and San Bernardino County to better inform and serve his clients.

Alex graduated from the University of California Riverside with a Bachelor’s in Business Administration.  Since graduation Alex has continuously taken steps to strengthen his knowledge, in and out side the field of real estate, by taking extra curricular courses, studying a foreign language, and learning other business opportunities. For real estate and business, Alex has developed multiple excels to increase efficiency and logistics.   This includes excels which computes internal rate of return, projects development and construction milestones, or reorganizes and summarizes sales data for cities throughout Los Angeles since 2002.

Alex’s goal is to understand the entitlement process.  Perhaps in the future pursue a Masters in Real Estate Development, attain a CCIM certificate, or launch own real estate development company.  But for now, Alex’s focus is at the opportunity at Ross to advance his knowledge as a real estate developer in Los Angeles.

Email: alex.chen@grandway.com

Steven Dou
Real Estate Broker
2016 Winter Class Alumni
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Steven Dou is a licensed broker, formerly with Marcus & Millichap, specializing in the sale of multifamily properties in the San Gabriel Valley. Here, he honed his verbal and written communication skills with investors. He also learned how to underwrite multifamily properties using current and pro-forma income and expenses. Prior to that, he started his real estate career in 2012 working as a residential real estate agent with one of the largest networks of Re/Max franchises in the San Gabriel Valley. At Re/Max, he successfully completed 20 real estate transactions in just 2.5 years, which included single family homes, multifamily properties and a medical office space lease.

In 2010, Steven Dou graduated from the University of California, Riverside with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics / Administrative Studies. Currently, he is a proud member of the Urban Land Institute, Orange County / Inland Empire Division. He is also certified in Argus Enterprise.           

After completing the Ross Minority Program in Real Estate, Steven is seeking to build upon his real estate experience by building a solid foundation in real estate finance. With this foundation, he hopes to transition from a brokerage role to an analyst position at a development or an investment firm. Steven has a passion for real estate and feels that he will always be a student of the industry.

Email: sdou001@gmail.com

Jorge Gomez
Senior Loan Officer
Patch of Land
2016 Winter Class Alumni
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Jorge Gomez is a Senior Loan Officer with Patch of Land, a real estate debt crowdfunding company. He is an early member of the crowdfunding industry and is experienced in hard money lending. His current position involves working with real estate investors by assisting them in obtaining financing for short term loans on both residential and commercial property. Prior to Patch of Land, he worked as an acquisitions analyst for Strategic Realty Capital, a Junior Agent at Horizon Realty, and as a property manager for family owned industrial property.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from UCLA in 2014. 

Email: jorge@patchofland.com

Denise Kees
Owner
Your Property Advisors, Co.
2016 Winter Class Alumni
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Denise Kees is a real estate entrepreneur, exploring innovative ways to increase economic benefits through real estate in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. She is the owner of Your Property Advisors Co., a real estate consulting firm. She has over 12 years’ experience in the real estate market as a broker, business owner, and policy influencer, working in both the residential and commercial real estate.

Denise holds a B.S. degree in Hotel Administration with an emphasis in Real Estate and Law from Cornell University. She obtained her California Real Estate Broker’s License in 2005.

In 2011, she joined Dutra Cerro Graden, Inc. (DCG), bringing with her a wealth of experience and dedication. As Operations Manager at DCG, her responsibilities included project managing special real estate projects for executive officers, supervising all open escrow activities, and implementing new policies and procedures to meet productivity goals. Denise founded Your Personal Assistant Co., a transaction coordination firm, located in Oakland, CA in 2008.

From 2003 - 2008, Denise worked for Kees Realty & Mortgage, a boutique residential firm. She held multiple positions in the company, culminating with Vice President.

Denise is a Director for the California Association of REALTORS®. She is an active member of the Oakland Berkeley Association of REALTORS®, serving in her second elected term on the Board of Directors. Additionally, she serves as Chair of the Committee on Housing and the Commercial Committee for her local association.

Denise is currently working on creating a real estate investment fund to address housing affordability in the Bay Area. She currently resides in Oakland, CA.

Email: denise@ypaco.com

Berenice Marquez
Investment Associate
Concord Real Estate Services
2016 Winter Class Alumni
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Berenice Marquez is an Investment Associate specializing in multifamily investments and development properties in Concord Real Estate Services.

Prior to joining Concord Real Estate Services, Berenice Marquez was a student at the University of Southern California and worked for multiple real estate companies where she found her passion for commercial real estate. Berenice Marquez currently represents investors and developers who purchase and sell multifamily properties or development opportunities.

Berenice graduated from the University of Southern California in with a Bachelors of Science from the Sol Price School of Public Policy with an emphasis in Real Estate Development and completed a Real Estate Finance Minor from the Marshall School of Business. Additionally, she is a California licensed real estate salesperson and an active member of ULI. 

Since working for Concord Real Estate Services, Berenice was awarded the Rookie of the Year Award for closing her first commercial real estate transactions totaling over $3.2M during her first year. Her persistence and knowledge of the properties and the local market propelled her to become the Rookie of the Year among her colleges.

Email: bmarquez@concord-re.com

Candace McKeever
CEO & President
Strategic Solutions Group, Inc.
2016 Winter Class Alumni
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Candace Bond McKeever is a real estate services consultant providing full service consulting in real estate acquisition, disposition, valuation, financing, construction management and project management.

Ms. Bond McKeever provides services to a diverse and demanding client base including corporations and non-profits, federal, state and municipal entities.  Recent consulting projects include Circa, the $650M 34-Story residential tower project at 1200 South Figueroa in Los Angeles CA; Oceanwide the $1B residential, hotel and retail development in Los Angeles, CA and the $2B Hollywood Park Forever development in Inglewood, CA.  She has also consulted on major infrastructure projects including the $230M Los Angeles DWP Silver Lake Reservoir Complex Storage Replacement Project in Burbank, CA and the $50M Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Project Intermodal Parking Facilities and Enhancements Design-Build Project in Southern California.

With over 20 years of experience in strategic management consulting, Ms. Bond McKeever has advised federal policymakers at the White House, US Treasury Department, HUD and top banks on national housing policy including Treasury’s Making Home Affordable programs such as HAMP, HAFA, and HARP.  Her firm has assisted in the financing and development of affordable housing units as well as the acquisition, rehabilitation and disposition of multi-class real estate assets.

She received her B.A. with honors from Harvard University and her M.B.A. from Harvard Business School.   She recently received her Executive Management degree in Sustainability from the Presidio Graduate School in San Francisco, CA.  She was appointed by President Obama to his Advisory Committee on the Arts and was recently named Woman of the Year by the LA County Commission for Women.  She currently serves as a Trustee for the Martin Luther King Community Hospital Foundation, the Alliance for Veterans and the Children’s Institute Inc.

Email: cbondmck@strategicsolutionsgroupinc.com

John-Michael Mendoza
Budget & Asset Manager
TELACU
2016 Winter Class Alumni
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John-Michael Mendoza is the Budget & Asset Manager of a 52 property portfolio for the Los Angeles based non-profit, low-income housing developer TELACU.  Prior to coming on board at TELACU, he ran his own independent real estate brokerage serving individuals, families and investors focusing on residential and multi-family properties.  For the seven years prior, John-Michael fulfilled the role of Portfolio Analyst in the financial management industry for Capital Group Private Client Services (PCS) serving high-net-worth individuals, organizations and institutions.  During his time at PCS, he became intimately aware of investment objectives and goals desired by investors.  John-Michael is also a licensed real estate broker in California.

In addition to the Ross Minority Program, John-Michael is currently pursuing a CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) certification to broaden his knowledge and skill set in helping investors make well informed decisions, lower their risk profile, achieve desired returns on their investment and benefit from all the advantages real estate has to offer.  John-Michael’s goal is to utilize his knowledge, skills and experience to launch his own Real Estate Investment & Development Company.  The mission of the company will focus on wealth preservation & growth for institutions, organization and families.  

Email: jmendoza@telacu.com

Laura Minnich
Deputy City Manager
City of West Covina
2016 Winter Class Alumni
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Laura Minnich is Deputy City Manager for the City of West Covina. She has worked in local government for 14 years with several municipal agencies in Southern California.  

Prior to joining the City of West Covina, Laura worked in the City of West Hollywood, the City of Santa Clarita, the City of Palmdale, and the City of Encinitas. 

Laura holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of California at San Diego (UCSD) and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from San Diego State University (SDSU). 

Laura is very active in the local government community and has served as president for both the Municipal Management Association of Southern California (MMASC) and the California affiliate of the International City/County Management Association (Cal-ICMA).  She enjoys giving back and mentoring the next crop of local government professionals and in 2015 was awarded the Excellence in Government Award from MMASC recognizing a member who has made a significant contribution to the public service profession and advancing the success of others.

Laura is excited to be able to use the knowledge gained from the Ross Minority Program in Real Estate at USC to build on her interactions with local developers in her local market. 

Email: laura.minnich@westcovina.org

Jeffrey Nourafshan
Leasing and Acquisitions
Reliable Properties
2016 Winter Class Alumni
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Jeffrey Nourafshan is seeking a future in the field of real estate development. He attended USC and received his bachelor’ s degree from the Price School of Public Policy and Development with a concentration in Real Estate Development in spring of 2015. He is currently working at Reliable Properties, a real estate company that owns about 70 Shopping Centers throughout Southern California. They mainly focus on shopping centers and office buildings, as well as apartment development sites. Jeffrey is working in the leasing and acquisitions of Reliable Properties.

Prior to working at Reliable Properties, he interned at an architecture firm where he was the onsite property manager.  He also interned at Grubb & Ellis, a brokerage firm that was sold to New Mark Grubb Knight.  

Email: sharpjeff31@aol.com

 

Jeannie Park
Senior Management Analyst
City of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering
2016 Winter Class Alumni
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Jeannie Park is a Senior Management Analyst with the Street and Stormwater Division of the Bureau of Engineering in the City of Los Angeles. Somewhat improbably for an English and Art History major, she works with engineers, project managers and consultants to deliver $300 million dollars annually in transportation projects that are physically and conceptually changing our ideas of resources such as the LA River, as well as public space and mobility in the City. Her job can be characterized as diplomacy for the Bureau, navigating among numerous stakeholders in the dance between the public right of way and land use conflicts whether through projects or initiatives such as Great Streets and Green Streets. Ultimately, though, her job is to make Los Angeles work for all of its constituents. The critical lack of affordable housing - and homelessness - in Los Angeles represents a gaping public/private sector failure.

Jeannie’s interest in urban development was sparked by James Rouse’s pioneering projects in her home state of Maryland - namely, the City of Columbia and Baltimore’s Harborplace. After graduating from Wellesley College, she spent nine years in Seoul, Korea working for the national broadcasting system and two public sector “start ups” promoting Korea’s fledgling contemporary art and cable TV industries. Korea’s rapid ascent as a “tiger economy” engendered profound political, economic and cultural shifts, echoes of which she sees in Los Angeles today.

The Asian financial crisis of 1996 compelled her to study economics and political science at what is now the School of Global Policy and Strategy (formerly, International Relations and Pacific Studies) at UC San Diego on a Nielsen Fellowship. One of her favorite classes was environmental studies. Though reducing our reliance on fossil fuels through alternative transportation modes is a priority, she is exploring the possibility of a similar mode shift in housing. Outside of work, Jeannie is involved with a group trying to develop co-housing in SoCal. Jeannie has also completed a certificate program in Project Management through UCLA Extension and is a certified Envision Sustainability Professional. Cities - and people - are a source of endless fascination and experimentation. 

Email: Jeannie.park@lacity.org

Sherman Perryman
Owner
Perryman Commercial
2016 Winter Class Alumni
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Sherman Perryman is a Commercial Real Estate Agent at Perryman Commercial. While at Perryman Commercial Sherman has had the opportunity to specialize across several domains such as business, multifamily, and office building sales. Prior to his career in real estate Sherman attended Morehouse College and was involved in student activities such as the Lehman Brothers Stock Competition, Morehouse Real Estate Club,and Morehouse Entrepreneurship Club. Sherman's work history primarily includes mortgage banking, insurance sales, tax preparation, real estate sales, and business sales.

As a commercial real estate agent, Sherman has a passion for finance and plans on using his passion for helping people advance in his community. He has a desire to create opportunities for those in his community in addition to creating advances to build the economy. Sherman is looking forward to learning and applying new skills acquired through the Ross Minority Program as well as building a network with others who share similar goals.   

Email: perrymancommercial@gmail.com

Leif Rand
President
Rand Property Investments
2016 Winter Class Alumni
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Leif Rand is an expert in multifamily investment analysis and market analysis. He is the owner of Rand Property Investments, Rand Property Investments is a company that procures and manages real estate. Mr. Rand stays in contact with over 80 commercial real estate brokers and many lenders. Mr. Rand also conducts property inspections, reviews contracts and negotiates on terms of the contracts.

Prior to working at Rand Property Investments, Mr. Rand worked as a Real Estate Acquisition Analyst for Rio Company. Throughout his time there he assisted Rio Company in advancing their $150 million portfolio. He analyzed over $1 billion worth of investment properties, created investment offerings for investors, performed budget analysis for repairs on newly acquired properties, helped with property management and assisted in acquiring over $15 million worth of multifamily properties.

Mr. Rand earned a degree in Finance and a degree in Business Administration with an Option in Real Estate from California State University, Northridge. He is a Licensed Real Estate Broker. He is the 2013 recipient of the California Bureau of Real Estate Scholarship and Internship Grant (RESIG) at California State University, Northridge. 

Email: rand.leif@gmail.com

Kerel Sharfner
Associate
DAUM Commercial Real Estate Services
2016 Winter Class Alumni
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Kerel Sharfner, a broker at DAUM Commercial Real Estate Services specializes in the leasing and selling of Industrial properties.  Prior to working at DAUM, Kerel worked as an account executive at LoopNet, most recently acquired by the Costar Group.  He was chosen as part of a select group responsible for leading the national expansion of online CRE listings and analytic data. During his time at that company, he taught property investors, owners, and brokers how to effectively use analytic data to value commercial buildings.

Kerel received his Bachelors of Science degree from California Lutheran University where he majored in Business Management.  He participated in an exchange program in New York where he studied international business at Wagner College.  Mr. Sharfner is a member of the American Industrial Real Estate Association.

Upon completion of Ross Minority Program, Kerel plans to continue his career with industrial brokerage.  Ultimately he has goals of personal real estate investment, as well as forming a syndicate of developers and investors that have desires to improve underserved communities throughout the United States.  

Email: kerel.sharfner@daumcommercial.com

Michael Tessler
Real Estate Developer
Responsive Homes
2016 Winter Class Alumni
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Michael Tessler is the President of Responsive Homes, a real estate development company founded in 2015 with the mission to create positive environmental and social change in Los Angeles. With a background in real estate sales, investing and development consulting, Michael brings a well-rounded financial basis for achieving 'regenerative' real estate development.

Michael’s concern for environmental and social issues led him to focus his development efforts on creating climate-responsive architecture, generating building designs based on the region’s climate zone and the natural conditions of a site. Through this approach, buildings can utilize abundant natural resources like sun, wind and light to reduce both their environmental footprint and cost for occupants.

To achieve this high standard of building performance, Michael has assembled a team of expert architects, engineers and academics to implement innovative strategies such as passive heating and cooling, greywater reuse, and the use of sustainable materials.

Michael completed undergraduate studies in the Spanish language at UCLA and is a member of the AIA, ULI and NAR. He lives, works and walks in Northeast Los Angeles.

Email: michael@responsivehomes.com 

Ane Weathersby
Finance Associate
Hudson Pacific Properties
2016 Winter Class Alumni
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Ane Weathersby currently manages financial planning and analysis for the media & entertainment portfolio at Hudson Pacific Properties (HPP) which includes Sunset Gower Studios and Sunset Bronson Studios.  Prior to her current role, Ane was an Operations and Development Analyst focusing on cash flow statements, pro-formas and construction loans for various development projects.  She has over 5 years of experience in operations and finance of entertainment facilities and Class A commercial high rises.

With over 5 years’ experience in commercial real estate operations and finance for a REIT, Ane has dedicated a wealth of time and resources to expand her analytical skills.  She has taken several courses at UCLA Extension in real estate finance focusing on financial modeling and using ARGUS as a valuation tool.  Ane also completed the Real Estate Associate Program (REAP) in May 2014. 

Ane received a bachelor’s in Political Science at California State University, Long Beach and a MBA in Entertainment Industry Management from Carnegie Mellon University. 

Ane is currently a member of ULI, NAIOP, ICSC, and BOMA.

Email: aweathersby@hudsonppi.com