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2018 Winter Alumni Profiles

Lizzet Alvarez
Real Estate Investor
2018 Winter Class Alumni
Lizzet Alvarez
Lizzet Alvarez is a recent graduate of the Masters in Social Enterprise program at USC’s Marshall School of Business.  She joined Marshall after having a fulfilling career as an arts administrator for 11 years.  

Lizzet’s experience managing community engagement and outreach programs developed her interest in urban planning and the relationships between art and culture, business, and housing.  As an arts manager Lizzet worked for performing arts centers such as Royce Hall at UCLA, the Ford Theatres in Hollywood, the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center in Maryland. 

Lizzet’s masters degree offered her an in-depth study of social enterprises. Her purpose enrolling in the Ross Minority Program in Real Estate is to marry her experience as an arts administrator with housing, to build efficient and thriving real estate projects that enhance everyday life.

Robyn Barrios
Real Estate Acquisitions Analyst
2018 Winter Class Alumni
Robyn Barrios
Robyn’s passion for real estate began in adolescence, just before the Great Recession of 2008. Fascinated by the psychology of economics, he studied asset acquisitions and investments as a pastime. In 2015, Robyn graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a background in Psychology and Finance, after which he completed an internship at a major Financial Services Firm.

Shocked by the Financial Literacy Crisis in the U.S., Robyn founded Mirai Financial, a non-profit organization teaching financial literacy to underserved high school and college students throughout Los Angeles. He is interested in the intersection between the securities’ markets and real estate, including environmentally responsible real estate development.

Upon completion of the Ross Program, he intends to cultivate professional relationships with industry leaders and expand his role in real estate acquisitions to include development investments. Robyn welcomes opportunities to network and collaborate with other professionals in the industry looking to have a positive impact in their communities via real estate finance, development and/or education. He currently resides in Los Angeles, CA.

 

André Bueno
Principal
Bueno Group
2018 Winter Class Alumni
André Bueno
With over 10 years of real estate experience, Andre is responsible for founding and overseeing the Bueno Group, a vertically integrated real estate development company. Since 2006, he has redeveloped and repositioned 400+ apartments across three states.

Before forming the Bueno Group, he actively researched and presented strategic investment opportunities across a $500MM client base on behalf of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Additionally, he spent time working at a privately held Real Estate merchant builder.

 

Kevin Clausen-Quiroz, AICP
Project Manager II
City of Anaheim Community and Economic Development Department
2018 Winter Class Alumni
Kevin Clausen-Quiroz
Kevin Clausen-Quiroz is an urban thinker and doer. Born, raised and still residing in Anaheim, California, Kevin guides a more sustainable, equitable and economically thriving future as a Project Manager and Planner with the City of Anaheim’s Community and Economic Development Department.  By leveraging community assets, property holdings and infrastructure funding sources, Kevin helps to facilitate catalytic public-private development projects. 
 
After completing a Bachelor’s Degree of Urban and Regional Planning from California Polytechnic University, Pomona, Kevin began working as a Planner for the City of Anaheim. While developing his understanding of land use and the entitlement process, he completed an MBA from California State University, Fullerton with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship. Kevin is currently working on a wide array of commercial and hospitality developments, long-range planning efforts, mobility planning and community branding programs for the diverse communities and destinations within the City of Anaheim. 
 
Kevin enjoys people watching in bustling public spaces and exploring cities. He firmly believes that the built environment sets the framework for community opportunity. Kevin hopes his participation in the USC Ross Minority Program in Real Estate program will broaden his understanding of urban revitalization and connect him with additional mentors and peers.
Rose Cuyno
Project Administrator
BRIDGE Housing Corporation
2018 Winter Class Alumni
Rose Cuyno
Rose currently serves as a Project Administrator for BRIDGE Housing Corporation, a nonprofit affordable housing developer. In this role, Rose supports development project managers and works with a team of financial, legal and construction professionals, and community stakeholders in the financing and construction of large family and senior housing projects. Rose is largely responsible for preparing tax credit, bond and competitive funding applications for HUD and California AHSC programs.

Rose’s professional experience is complemented by an academic background in History. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in History from California State University, Long Beach where she gained extensive training is historical research methodologies. Prior to graduating, Rose was an archives intern for the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum where she focused on writing abstracts and digitizing documents during the Nixon era making them available for online use.

Rose is particularly interested in community involvement and enjoys sharing her time working as a volunteer. Rose worked with children as a math and reading tutor for School on Wheels. This past summer, she organized an annual youth program at Emmanuel Lutheran, La Habra where children participate in different activities.

 

William Hicks III
Loan Officer Assistant
HomeStreet Bank
2018 Winter Class Alumni
William is a homegrown product of Southern California.  He spent most of his youth in Westchester and his college life at San Diego State University where he studied Kinesiology and Bio Mechanics.  He spent the next 15 years after college life devoted to athletic development within multiple professional sports.  He had the privilege of working with a large group of top tier athletes from the MLS, NFL, and X Games. 

In February of 2017, William decided to make a grand switch to banking and working in the Mortgage department at HomeStreet Bank in Seattle, Washington.  His passion for helping people develop evolved into a field where he can have a larger impact on the individuals that he has found himself interacting with.  He has long had a passion for finance and investment due to his father’s tutelage as a banking professional himself.  He learned many of the difficult lessons of money management, asset allocation, ROI, and many other financial principles from watching and learning from his father who worked as a government auditor for major projects in San Diego. 

Over his time working with athletes, William built many diverse relationships with San Diego and Seattle developers, real-estate company owners, mortgage business owners, banking CEO’s, and the like.  His focus in now utilizing those relationships to build a portfolio of business that will harness all his long time relationships and parlay them into long-term projects.  Projects that will help those individuals and businesses in the Seattle, San Diego, and Los Angeles area gain significance, by helping them develop communities that will build wealth and prosperity for the generations to come.

Chris Ifeanyi
Vice President of Operations
Elyon Development
2018 Winter Class Alumni
Chris Ifeanyi
Chris Ifeanyi is a resourceful, goal-driven and team oriented real estate project manager / developer.  Chris is a business professional with many years of operations and leadership experience in the real estate arena.  He has worked in residential, commercial and industrial construction projects. A strategic planner and an astute negotiator, Chris consistently builds positive and mutually respectful relationships with diverse teams to get things accomplished. 
 
Chris has researched, advocated and built numerous energy efficient (Green) homes, while implementing a variety of sustainable and eco-friendly (zero waste) construction methods. 
Chris is currently working in real estate project management with a group of private investors engaged in residential and light commercial developments.  
Chris holds a BSc in Computer Information Systems from DeVry University and an MBA from Pepperdine University’s Graziado School of Business and Management and has taken several classes geared towards cross-cultural conflicts, negotiation and dispute resolution at Pepperdine School of Law. 
James Y. Kuang
Real Estate Broker
Coldwell Banker New Century
2018 Winter Class Alumni
James Y. Kuang
James Y. Kuang is a real estate broker with 6+ years of experience in real estate transactions.  Whether it is working with Mr. and Mrs. Chen finding the right home or helping Mrs. Brinkley sell her father's home, you can expect a positive can do attitude from James. 
 
James’ true value is showing others what they don’t initially see.  There are deals that initially didn’t make sense for his investor clients however James keeps abreast on the latest financial trends, and is able to demonstrate to his clients the power of leveraging and the equity gained from appreciation.  His clients are able to see how you earn more than just what you put in your pocket every month.
 
James believes real estate is more than just closing the deal.  It’s about connecting with the buyer and seller to show them how they are really creating prosperity beyond their lifetime.  James believes real estate is the way to prosperity for every family and gives them a chance to pass something on to their heirs.  
 
James has been entrusted by his clients to handle over $50 million worth of real estate deals.  He has received gold awards in the past 4 years at Coldwell Banker New Century during the annual awards ceremonies.  He is also trained in and holds certificates for Construction Management, Senior Real Estate Specialist, Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives, and Certified Probate Specialist.
 
James holds a B.A. degree in political science and a minor in entrepreneurship.  James appreciates and studies history, war, and politics as a pass time finding inspiration and ideas  from these subjects.  He is able to meet today's challenges by emulating historical and inspring figures from the past and learning he’s not alone in the challenges he face.  James conditions his spirit with rounds of brutal Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and balances it out with quiet time for meditation. 
Andrew Martinez
Associate
Sperry Commercial Global Affiliates
2018 Winter Class Alumni
Andrew Martinez
Andrew Martinez is a real estate professional for Sperry Commercial Global Affiliates with experience in commercial transactions including the development and execution of exclusive agency contracts, letters of intent, market surveys and facilitation of lease and sale agreements. He specializes in the sales and leasing of commercial and industrial property in the Los Angeles market and surrounding areas.

Mr. Martinez has been representing owner/users and investors in the area for the past 2 years. He provides expert market research and knowledge to assist in real estate decision that will allow the client to take advantage of possible opportunities provided by the current market conditions.

Andrew entered the real estate industry working for Cushman & Wakefield, for Jones Lang LaSalle, and ultimately at Sperry Commercial Global Affiliates. Andrew is a native to Los Angeles, and grew up in a suburb in the San Gabriel Valley. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business from Whittier College in 2016.

Domenica Megerdichian
Management Associate
City of Torrance
2018 Winter Class Alumni
Domenica Megerdichian
Domenica K. Megerdichian is a Management Associate to the City Manager at the City of Torrance, and focuses on Economic Development and Land Management. Domenica also coordinates the City’s Hometown Heroes Military Recognition Program and is a staff liaison to the City’s Social Services Commission.  
 
Ms. Megerdichian completed her undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley, and holds two Master’s degrees: Master in Public Administration with a focus on Public Sector Leadership and Management from California State University at Northridge, and Master in Urban and Regional Planning, with a focus on Community and Economic Development from California Polytechnic University at Pomona. 
Maggie Miguel
Area Manager
NMS Properties, Inc.
2018 Winter Class Alumni
Maggie Miguel
Maggie Miguel is a fixer, resourceful, with nearly 20 years’ experience of turning new construction or mismanaged multifamily properties into highly profitable real estate assets. Currently at a prominent Los Angeles real estate management and development company, Ms. Miguel oversees a $300MM portfolio of thirteen luxury properties in Brentwood, Westwood, West LA, and the San Fernando Valley. 

Ms. Miguel’s focus is on new business development and creating calculated operations and policies that streamline real estate objectives.  She specializes in strategic pricing and negotiations and launching new multifamily properties for market, including establishing proforma rent rolls, creative branding, marketing and staging, hiring and training leasing teams, and facilitating apartment set up on accounting software and property websites.  Accomplishments also include drafting loan abstracts and business plan summaries for acquisitions and refinancing, and project managing the renovation of older properties, rebranding, repricing, and re-leasing with sizeable profit gains.  Ms. Miguel created and developed the operations for a short term furnished housing company, with designer furniture rental packages and quantifiable pricing premiums.

Ms. Miguel has a relentless passion for architecture and interior design, construction and real estate development.  Not surprisingly, free time is often spent perusing construction sites and attending open house tours precisely to study the architecture of specific decades and the latest trends in floor plans and design. 

With a BA in Communication from the University of Southern California, Ms. Miguel is a devoted Trojan overjoyed to continue her education under the USC Ross Minority Program in Real Estate.  With this certification, Ms. Miguel plans to focus on real estate development, building new housing with signature custom designer finishes that maximize square footage, and event/retail projects that secure energy and water efficiency.

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Kristi Patton
Director of Development
USC Sol Price School of Public Policy
2018 Winter Class Alumni
Kristi Patton
Kristi Patton is a Southern California native whose connection to the built environment goes back generations. As a descendant of California farmers, real estate brokers and developers, Kristi has always had an affinity for real estate. For over 16 years, she has managed and maintained a few West Los Angeles multifamily units for the Orange County company, Pacific Newport Properties.

Kristi has a Bachelor of Arts from Loyola Marymount University and a Master in Journalism and Communications from the University of Southern California. After college, Kristi pursued a career in event marketing and worked at ESPN, Nordstrom and now USC.

During her time at USC, she spent four years at the Office the Cultural Relations and University Events where she worked directly for many of the units across the university including the Price School of Public Policy and the Marshall School of Business. She then spent two years in the Office of Development at the USC School of Cinematic Arts where she handled donor stewardship, fundraising and events. Her passion for real estate lead her to USC Price where she has been working in development and external relations for almost four years.

Kristi works closely with our real estate alumni and most recently helped to launch the Price Real Estate Affiliates, the alumni support group that seeks to build upon the strong real estate tradition at USC Price. Kristi also manages the Price School’s Athenian Society, the premiere philanthropic support group for the Price School. She manages the major giving programs and engagement of the advisory boards for the METRANS Transportation Center and the USC Sacramento Center.

Miranda Rodriguez
Assistant Program Officer
Local Initiatives Support Corporation
2018 Winter Class Alumni
Miranda Rodriguez
Miranda Rodriguez, Assistant Program Officer: Miranda supports LA LISC’s comprehensive economic development and housing preservation strategy in low income neighborhoods throughout LA County. She currently manages the Kiva Mircolending Program, Slate Z Promise Zone Economic Inclusion Initiative, and the Health and Housing Program.

Prior to LISC, she served as Placemaking Manager for River LA, where she assisted with the delivery, sourcing, and funding of River LA’s project pipeline. She is a native Angeleno and holds a Bachelor's Degree from Lewis and Clark College.  As a lover of cities, she's interested in innovative community preservation initiatives and public space agendas for changing neighborhoods across America.

 

Chad Torres
Financial Analyst
Red Mountain Retail Group, Inc
2018 Winter Class Alumni
Chad Torres
Chad Torres is a Financial Analyst with Red Mountain Group based in Santa Ana, California. He focuses on retail specific commercial real estate development projects such as ground up development, build-to-suit, reverse build-to-suit, and re-development projects. Chad is part of a team that oversees the company’s potential acquisitions, dispositions and financing activities. Because Red Mountain’s development projects mainly consist of added-value/re-development scenarios the goal is to bring about day to day value for the surrounding communities that are represented.

Prior to Red Mountain Group he was an Investment Associate at Marcus & Millichap’s Net Lease Advisory Group where he assisted investors with the acquisition and disposition of investment properties. The focus was on adding value to the clients’ nationwide single-tenant retail investments and creating strategies uniquely for them such as sale-leaseback approaches and investment capital exchanges. Chad has been actively involved in the commercial real estate industry for over six years and participates in industry events such as The International Council of Shopping Centers. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Real Estate Studies from Ashford University and is eager to expand his knowledge as a commercial real estate developer and to embody the Ross Minority Program within future endeavors. 

Jessica Wackenhut-Lomeli
Assistant Program Officer
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)
2018 Winter Class Alumni
Jessica Wachenhut-Lomeli
Jessica Wackenhut Lomeli is a dedicated community development professional in Los Angeles. As an urban planner, she is driven by innovation to rethink urban challenges through collective impact projects.
 
Jessica is currently an Assistant Program Officer at Los Angeles Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). She supports the Los Angeles LISC Financial Opportunity Centers, the LISC AmeriCorps program, and grant management of HUD Section 4 funding. Prior to joining LA LISC, Jessica was the Community Development Coordinator with Youth Policy Institute where she led activities associated with the HUD Choice Neighborhood Planning Grant and the Los Angeles Promise Zone. Her efforts focused on locally driven strategies to comprehensively address neighborhood revitalization around distressed public housing.
 
She is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer who served in Paraguay. She holds her Master's degree in Urban Planning from the University of Southern California with a focus in Social & Community Planning as well as her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and Minor in Latin American & Latino Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz. 
 
Jessica was born and raised in South Lake Tahoe, California. She enjoys traveling, cooking, reading, and exploring new places on alternative transportation.
Winnie Wong
Development Associate
Speedway Development
2018 Winter Class Alumni
Winnie Wong
Winnie Wong is a second-generation ABC (American-Born Chinese) and fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese.

She earned two Bachelor Degrees, a double major in Chinese Studies and Sociology with an emphasis in International Studies from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). She is a California Licensed Realtor, Notary Public, and a Certified Transaction Coordinator (CTC), a certification awarded by the California Association of Realtors. This certification is designed to train professionals regarding the current regulations and best practices in successful real estate transactions.

She is an experienced commercial real estate professional for the land development department of her company, Speedway Development. She works in an array of matters, including real estate transactions, company formations, obtaining entitlements, and contacting various consultants. Currently, Winnie is managing a 27-acre project designed for Commercial Retail in Temescal Canyon, Riverside.

She is enthusiastic in the USC Ross Minority Program to further her pursuit in a career in Real estate for Land Development. Overall, she looks forward to helping her community by making an impact in Southern California.