Chase Yim is a Financial Analyst with Hunt Capital Partners (HCP), a syndication division of Hunt Companies, Inc. HCP specializes in the syndication of Federal and State Low Income Housing, Historic and Solar Tax Credits. Chase has 3 years of Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) experience and is responsible for acquisition of LIHTC equity investment and structuring of institutional funds. Chase collaborated with executive team to raise and deploy $200 million of investor equity in portfolios and to close on over 20 partnerships in both proprietary and multi funds. Chase oversees affordable housing portfolios of $1.4 billion in LIHTC investments across all States.
Prior to HCP, Chase was an Analyst at Venegas Capital, a boutique investment bank where he assisted in due diligence and processing of sell-side and buy side M&A transactions. Chase received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics/Economics with a minor in Statistics from the University of California Los Angeles.
Danny Navarro provides professional real estate services specializing in Los Angeles County and Orange County. Danny works as a Realtor with Century 21 Allstars, helping buyers and sellers navigate through the real estate process with understanding and clarity.
He also specializes in developing in low income areas of Los Angeles and renting out to low income housing.
Danny sets an example for the rest of the Century 21 team. His drive and dedication are contagious and inspires his fellow agents to be the best versions of themselves. He consistently provides outstanding service to his clients to help them make the largest financial decision of their lives as hassle-free as possible.
Born and raised as a native Southern Californian, Danny has a "rise above" mentality and a passion to give back to the younger generation. Danny participates regularly with motivational speaking to youth at-risk centers, juvenile halls, and high schools throughout SoCal.
Carina Lieu is a Program Analyst, and an expert in youth and community engagement, at the City of Oakland. Prior to working at the City of Oakland, Carina worked as a Career in Technical Education teacher for Bay Area schools. She began practicing in the transportation planning field since 2009. Carina is skilled in management, programming, policy analysis, and fundraising.
Carina obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Ethnic Studies from UC Berkeley and a Masters of Urban Planning, concentrating on Transportation Infrastructure & Policy, from the University of Southern California. She presented a poster at the 93rd Annual Transportation Research Board conference.
Carina currently partners with community-based organizations to advocate for community benefits and cultural preservation. She hopes to pursue a law degree in Land Use Law following completion of the Ross Minority Program. Carina Lieu lives in Oakland, CA.
It's no secret that she holds a tremendous passion for the industry. She has built a team of Real Estate Agents who, with her leadership, allows them to effectively deliver guidance to the community in which they serve. Some of the NY markets they specialize include: The Bronx, Lower Westchester and Upper Manhattan.
Falan Abreu and her team are ready and able to make your dreams come true. Today Falan's concentration and passion is in the investment part of real estate. Managing several of her own properties in her portfolio and concentrating in rehab properties. Helping first time home buyer and investors in achieving needs in real estate.
Falan Abreu was raised in New York and her drive and ambition makes the perfect asset to any business transaction.
Ishah Ahumada is a native Angeleno who began with KIPP in 2016. Currently, she is a Senior Facilities Coordinator in the Operations Team at KIPP So Cal Public Schools. In this capacity, she manages 19 charter public schools to ensure safe, structured and clean learning environments for 4,300+ students striving towards academic success.
Ishah began as an Office Manager at KIPP and now serves the Southern California regions of Greater Los Angeles and San Diego. Her grit and determination has allowed her to strive and grow within KIPP. Her involvement within the facilities team includes managing 40+ vendors and interaction with students, families, trade contractors and consultants.
Ishah coordinates facility improvements, requests for proposal processes, janitorial services, security systems, HVAC repairs, among other responsibilities at the combined 450,000 SF of all school sites. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Science in Community Development (Urban Planning) from Portland State University and she is a member of the Project Management Institute.
Adrian Alvarez is a lending specialist and a professional in loan administration at Century Housing Corporation. Adrian Alvarez is an expert at administering a loan through the closing process, leading to the funding point. Also, Adrian is remarkably knowledgeable in the application process for development funds and grants that Los Angeles County has to offer for affordable housing projects. Before working at Century Housing Corporation, Adrian Alvarez was an Accountant for Revolve. Adrian began his career in the real estate industry in 2019 after graduating from college.
In college, Adrian Alvarez received his bachelor of arts in business with a concentration in accounting at the California State University of Fullerton. Shortly After, he began his career at Century Housing Corporation. In just under one year into the profession, Adrian Alvarez has closed over fifty million dollars in acquisition, predevelopment, and construction loans throughout northern and southern California. The developments involved in these transactions consisted of affordable, multifamily, affordable, veteran, senior, and workforce housing. Company originations, hundreds of construction jobs, and housing for low-income families were a result of these achievements. Through his work, he has been able to contribute to one of his lifetime goals. Soon he fulfilled his goal to bring back resources into underserved communities like the one that he grew up in.
Adrian Alvarez is currently administering several affordable housing deals with organizations like EAH Housing, Jamboree Housing Corporation, and Abode Communities in Southern California. Adrian hopes to expand his skill base on the development side with the Ross Minority Program to better understand the development process from both the financing and developers’ side. In the future, Adrian aspires to develop housing for underserved communities. Communities similar to the City of Lynwood, California, where he resides.
Christian Alvarez is a Senior Associate within the Transaction Banking unit at MUFG Union Bank. Prior to working at MUFG Union Bank, Christian acquired the FINRA Series 7 and Series 66 investment licenses and worked as a Registered Associate at Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith. With support from the USC Latino Alumni Association Scholarship and the Bank of America Joe Martin Scholarship, Christian graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree in May of 2016.
Through USC’s Ross Minority Program in Real Estate, Christian aims to better align his interests and long-term goals with his career path. His next steps will be guided by a quote he recently read: “Specialize – the great human achievement is to specialize as a producer of goods and services so that you can diversify as a consumer”.
Christian is committed to specializing in the real estate finance space and using the power of real estate to positively transform underserved communities.
Christian Alvarez equally splits his living arrangements by residing in Colton, CA and in Long Beach, CA.
Herb Anderson has been Chairman of the Board of Minority Television Project, Inc. (KMTP-TV), a media company broadcasting televised spectrum throughout the San Francisco Bay Area since 2017. Between September 2012 and September 2018, he served as Board Chair, Chief Financial Officer and Chair of the Finance Committee for Disability Rights California, a state wide non-profit organization responsible for protecting the rights of over 750,000 people with disabilities.
Mr. Anderson has held significant leadership positions in both the public and private sector, including management of large programs for the State of California.
Mr. Anderson is experienced in transforming and positioning organizations with very different business units for performance and growth.
Mr. Anderson graduated from the University of California Berkeley with a B.A. in Economics.
Lisa Baker is Co-Owner and Vice President of Love Those Wings, Inc. and BMB Foods, Inc. where she oversees Development and Marketing for their franchise brands Wingstop, Juice It Up!, and soon to be The Lost Cajun franchise. Lisa has been in franchising for more than 20 years and has an extensive background in business development, management, residential and commercial real estate, commercial leasing, and marketing throughout the Los Angeles and Inland Empire DMAs. She regularly interfaces with local governing authorities, developers, brokers and restaurant owners alike.
Lisa’s background includes having been a corporate Director of Development for national restaurant brands, while currently overseeing all aspects of development and contract negotiations for her company-owned franchise restaurants. Lisa has successfully completed hundreds of real estate transactions; as well as owned restaurants in Compton, Los Angeles, and several cities within Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.
She and her husband are frequent supporters of local community organizations, schools, and non-profits. Their philanthropic support has not gone unnoticed as they are consistently recognized and receive awards within their respective communities throughout the Inland Empire. She continuously supports community initiatives, as well as industry organizations such as: International Council of Shopping Centers, CREW – Commercial Real Estate for Women, and National Association of Women Business Owners. Lisa has also served in many leadership capacities with local and national organizations.
Lisa plans to incorporate her knowledge gained in the Ross Minority Leadership Program with her existing experience in hopes of developing commercial and mixed-use projects. Lisa is a native of Los Angeles, and currently resides in Riverside, Ca with her husband and two children. She is also a proud alumnus of the University of California, Irvine.
Ms. Annette Barraza has started her path to licensure in Architecture and Construction Management-In-Training through the Construction Management Association of American (CMAA). As a Project Designer for the Ramirez Iron Works Group, she actively assists in several non-profit and metro projects for the city of Los Angeles. Before joining Ramirez Iron Works Group, she worked as a Project Engineer for Ceilings Plus, a division of USG Corporation (a building material company) that designs and manufactures custom aluminum ceiling systems. The opportunity and experience allowed her to work on a variety of projects which included mock-ups for Capital One, USC, and Google.
The Shades project by Koning Eizenberg Architects for the Temple Israel of Hollywood, located in Los Angeles, CA was published in the Architectural Record in February of 2017. The expanded courtyard of the temple features wavy aluminum sunshades. Its inspiration is based on the weave and flow of a prayer shawl or tallit. For this project, she was responsible for the creation of shop drawings required for approval, structural engineer submittals, Request for Information (RFI) documentation, fabrication and installation drawings.
In 2014, Annette graduated from Woodbury University with a Bachelor of Architecture. Her design studio topics were on policy and skid row housing trust. These topics were a complement to her thesis which focused on the abandoned lots and buildings in downtown Los Angeles. Independent studies included Landscape Architecture and Youth Outreach Los Angeles, a non-profit organization serving at-risk youth and their families.
The architectural education combined with work experience has allowed Annette to pursue the development side of Architecture. Her current project includes the development phase for two lots in the city of Lancaster. She currently resides in South Gate, California. She enjoys spending time and going on outings with her family, especially with her two-year-old daughter as she continues practicing environmental photography.
Matt is passionate about affordable housing development and transportation infrastructure. He has most recently served as a real estate portfolio manager at Opendoor, a San Francisco-based real estate tech company that simplifies the home buying experience. He began his real estate career at JLL (Jones Lang LaSalle), where he worked on mixed-use, office, and hotel projects. Matt has analyzed hundreds of properties, including acquisition underwriting, renovation and marketing decisions. His experience includes feasibility analysis, valuation and financial analysis, marketing strategy, and economics research.
Matt believes in the importance of neighborhood-based economic development and access to affordable housing. After returning to Los Angeles in 2017, he joined the DTLA Historic Core Business Improvement District and began volunteering with Abundant Housing LA.
Prior to his work in real estate tech, Matt was based in Jakarta, Indonesia for several years after first arriving there as a Princeton-in-Asia Fellow. He also has significant on-the-ground experience in Botswana, Ghana and South Africa with an emphasis on infrastructure research.
Matt holds a Master of Science in Urban Economic Development with a specialization in Mega Infrastructure Planning, Appraisal and Delivery from University College London (UCL). During graduate school his research focused on property-led urban regeneration in Los Angeles and he co-authored a research report on affordable housing delivery strategies for the Greater London Authority. He completed his undergraduate studies at Pitzer College in Claremont, CA.
Lauren works for Southern California Edison as a Planning Specialist in their local department. She creates the design, cost estimates, and options for the construction of distribution facilities needed for new electrical services for commercial and residential customers based on their proposed new load and site plans. Completing these projects often require permits and easements, identifying environmental requirements and coordinate required project components with other departments, governmental bodies, and various external sources. Prior to working at SCE, Lauren worked at Allstate as a Property Claims Adjuster.
Lauren completed her B.S. in Urban Planning with a minor in Sustainability from Arizona State University in 2016, as well as certificates in both AutoCAD and Real Estate Sales. She actively volunteers with the National College Resources Foundation, assisting with Black College Expo events in Los Angeles and Washington D.C. as well as annual walk-a-thon events with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF). Lauren currently lives in Long Beach.
Derrick Bracks is a Capital Markets Associate at CBRE, specializing in the sale of oﬃce and industrial properties throughout North Los Angeles County, Bakersﬁeld and the San Joaquin Valley.
Prior to launching his career in commercial real estate, Derrick spent several years in the ﬁnance and biopharmaceutical industries. His ﬁrm understanding of economics as well as the equity and debt markets allowed him to jumpstart his real estate career. He has since completed a number of deals and helped contribute to increasing his team’s bottom line, despite a national downturn in volume in his ﬁrst year.
Derrick took his ﬁrst professional job as Customer Service Representative at the Chicago investment ﬁrm, Stein Roe & Farnham. Soon after, he moved on to become a Trader with the Dutch Bank, ABN AMRO Global. Due to his outstanding performance, the bank paid his entire tuition as he earned his MBA in Finance. This opened up a new world of opportunity for Derrick who would go on to work at some of the most prominent international investment ﬁrms in the world before shifting his focus entirely to real estate.
Derrick earned his real estate license in 2018 and quickly began to establish his reputation in the North LA County real estate market. To further his career, he completed the highly competitive Capital Markets Associate Program at CBRE, a rigorous twelve month schedule with only a 36% success rate. As a result, he has become a leading performer, procuring a combined $62,000,000 in listings and pipeline development at the onset of his career.
In addition to achieving his personal real estate goals, Derrick is committed to using his status as a graduate of the USC Ross Minority Program in Real Estate to not only become a better real estate professional, but to become a greater advocate for those in the housing crisis in Los Angeles. He is a dedicated professional that seeks to make his community a better place through real estate. Derrick currently resides with his wife, Elena, in Los Angeles.
Demetrius Brown is a Real Estate Broker & Owner of Change Lives Real Estate located in Los Angeles, California. His mission is “To inspire people through real estate investing by teaching financial literacy that will empower property ownership”.
Before founding Change Lives Real Estate in 2019, Demetrius had over 12 years of real estate sales and marketing experience. Demetrius worked for real estate brokerages such as CEO Investment Group and Redfin that developed his skills and mindset leading him to become a passionate advocate and trusted expert in the real estate industry.
After dropping out of college in 2007, Demetrius pursued a career in real estate by becoming a licensed Realtor in California. By the age of 22, he had purchased four investment properties that he held and managed in his real estate portfolio. Unfortunately, three years later, Demetrius lost all his assets and decided to file bankruptcy due to the overwhelming amount of financial hardship he experienced during the Great Recession.
Demetrius lives his life by faith, purpose, and integrity. Even at his worst, he continued to have a positive mindset and held himself accountable that he eventually was able to get back on track with his financial goals.
While on his mission to help other people build financial wealth through real estate investing, Demetrius was able to reposition himself as a real estate investor that currently owns and manages multiple properties in Los Angeles.
In 2018, Demetrius enrolled back into college to complete his degree, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Business Management with the historic graduating Class of 2020 at California State University of Dominguez Hills. Demetrius Brown lives in Los Angeles, California.
Frank Byrd is a Realtor and Senior Real Estate Agent with REDFIN Corporation, who represents buyers in the Greater Los Angeles area. Mr. Byrd has been a full-time agent with REDFIN since January 2016 and closed over 55 transactions totaling more than $35 million dollars in real estate value. These deals span from the Inland Empire (Riverside and San Bernardino Counties), Orange County, and throughout Los Angeles County.
A licensed real estate professional since 2007, Mr. Byrd began his journey towards a career in real estate 2004 while pursuing purchase of his first home in DTLA. The process was complex and confusing as a first-time buyer, which led to a decision to take every real estate course available at Los Angeles City College (LACC). After completing the first 8 courses over 4 semesters, he sat for and passed the DRE exam for licensing. Before being hired by REDFIN, as a contractor in 2015, he completed the remaining course work and earned a Certificate in Real Estate with a concentration in Real Estate Finance from LACC in June of 2015.
As an agent at REDFIN, Mr. Byrd has been a big proponent of customer education, teaching home buying class throughout the market for the entirety of his tenure there and earned the top reengagement award for the third quarter of 2018 REDFIN Customer Education Division. This honor and recognition were earned by four presenters per year out of over 70+ markets nationwide. Frank was the first presenter to earn this award in the Los Angeles market, which is one of the top revenues producing markets in REDFIN.
Prior to being hired at REDFIN, Mr. Byrd had a 10-year career with the City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks. As a Recreation Facility Director, he led the training and implementation of the departments first fully realized online registration application for over 200 senior, recreation, and childcare facilities throughout the City of Los Angeles. Working closing with the Accounting and Information Technology Departments between 2005 – 2011, over 2,000 full time employees and 5,000 part-time employees were trained utilizing protocols designed by the team Mr. Byrd led.
Mr. Byrd was born in Kingston, N.Y. and raised in Durham, N.C. He studied Philosophy at Howard University in Washington, D.C, and later earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the San Francisco Art Institute. He subsequently completed graduate work earning a Master of Fine Arts in Communication Arts from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.
Luis is the CEO of a Real Estate development and investment company based in Los Angeles, CA. His team specializes in real estate development: value-add residential flips, ground up apartment building development, small lot subdivisions and new home construction. Luis has experience in sourcing investment opportunities, negotiating acquisition, budgeting and building a scope of work, designing, project management and disposition.
Luis earned his Business Administration degree from San Diego State University.
Michelle Colbert is a licensed Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Hollywood Hills.
Prior to becoming a Real Estate agent, Michelle worked in the Entertainment Industry as a Television Production Executive. While working in the entertainment industry, preceding the housing crash in 2008, she invested in real estate and rehabbed properties. She was always intrigued by real estate and it was only a matter of time before she took the leap in 2016 to make real estate a full-time career. She specializes in residential, multifamily, and distressed properties.
Colbert is also the founder of Empowering Women Through Real Estate. Her organization educates women on the process and available resources to acquire both single-family homes and multi-family residences. She also holds a Senior Real Estate Specialist Designation and serves consumers in the 50 and older market.
Michelle attended Grad School at Carnegie Mellon University earning an MFA and Howard University graduating with a BFA. Ultimately Colbert would like to develop large commercial projects and work with high-net-worth individuals that have an interest in building and acquiring real estate assets. Michelle resides in Los Angeles, Ca.
For the past eight years, Vicky has been a major contribution to Restore Neighborhoods, LA, Inc. (RNLA) a non-profit organization based in Downtown Los Angeles. Vicky has overseen the acquisition and disposition coordination, construction administration and compliance of over 250 projects and help facilitate an investment of more than $140M into local Los Angeles neighborhoods.
Vicky is eager to take on new challenges and help as many people as possible through affordable homeownership and now with the addition of Homeless Housing and Supportive Housing projects in RNLA’s pipeline, Vicky is even more excited to contribute to the successful completion of these projects.
She began her career in construction administration at just nineteen years old when she began working for Parsons on a bench contract with Gateway Science and Engineering positioned at Los Angeles Mission College. Since then, Vicky has transitioned to other organizations, gaining more experience and knowledge along the way. Vicky has also gained a greater satisfaction with knowing that her contribution is helping others whether it be through community revitalization or affordable homeownership to help providing homeless and supportive housing. Once Vicky began working at RNLA she knew she was “home”. Vicky is a strong advocate for what her non-profit organization is doing for Los Angeles and she is eager to be more of an asset to the company.
Vicky is so efficient at her job that she considers herself a quick learner with a passion to do more and better. Because of her skills, Vicky can be the effective support for many projects while being a friendly contact to keep for any questions or concerns for new homeowners to new partners and contractors. Vicky takes great pride for the work she is helping RNLA do and is extremely grateful for all the people she has and will be helping with the upcoming projects in RNLA’s pipeline.
More than her position at RNLA, Vicky is also effective at persuading and influencing high-ranking individuals. Her opinions are highly valued, people trust and respect her judgments. Vicky earned a degree in Business Administration from National University and is currently completing her Master’s degree. Vicky is eager to participate in and complete training opportunities and earn certifications that would add to her role in RNLA and in real estate, construction administration, and accounting.
Jay Cutting, Sr., is the Founder and President of ReVamp Energy, Inc. A Solar Energy and Battery Storage contractor based out of Los Angeles, California. As we transition from dirty fossil fuels to clean reliable renewable energy, Cutting and his team at ReVamp Energy stand as a resource for Homeowners and Building owners to convert to solar power. Since 2014, Cutting has developed over 500 solar and battery projects for throughout the United States.
Prior to launching ReVamp Energy, Cutting received his Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies from the College of Wooster in Ohio where he was a two-sport letterman in Football and Track & Field. Cutting’s first big opportunity came in the medical field managing the Atlanta, Georgia territory for Henry Schein Medical a Fortune 500 company. There Cutting learned how to manage a territory that consisted of thousands of doctors and medical facilities and was able to develop the skills needed that help manage expectations and become a valued resource by being able to under promise and over deliver.
After 4 successful years in the medical field and as one of the top performers, Cutting realized that as long as he was able to be a resource and bring value to the “need” or “pain point” of a company or person you can apply these basic principles to any industry. From there Cutting took his institutionalized training and experience and used it to fuel his passion and bring renewable energy to the masses.
In 2014 Cutting moved to Los Angeles to pursue his dream and in March of 2015 launched ReVamp Energy, Inc. As a Licensed Contractor and Realtor, Cutting started with generating leads for residential solar projects and partnering with local EPC companies to install the solar projects. From there Cutting worked on perfecting his craft as he built his brand and cliental. Cutting and the ReVamp team are now vertically integrated with a team of Electricians and Engineers that specialize but are not limited to commercial properties, storage and battery backup, ground mounts, solar carports, non-profits, funding options: pre-paid PPA’s & PPA’s, new builds and retrofits.
Cutting and his team recently partnered with the Bedford Group of Companies to bring solar power to new community developments and launched a nonprofit campaign that focuses on bringing solar power to churches by leveraging the tax incentives to help fund the project. Jay Cutting, Sr. lives in Los Angeles, (Pasadena) California.
I am a Vice President of Project Management and Acquisitions at Alliant Capital. Alliant Capital Syndicates tax credits and equity for affordable housing development projects.
Prior to my role as vice president for Alliant I was a real estate development project manager for CIM Group. At CIM I worked on multiple projects spanning from luxury new construction to the adaptive reuse of existing structures along the West Adams historic corridor. I am from New Orleans originally and have lived in LA for 3 years. I performed my undergraduate studies at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT.
I played college football at Wesleyan University. Prior to the covid-19 shutdown, in my free time I enjoy traveling, competing as an amateur boxer in charity boxing bouts, and attending live concerts at the Hollywood Bowl. I am a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the Real Estate Executive Council (REEC). My goal within the Ross Program is to further develop my holistic skill set as a real estate professional and utilize my knowledge to be a catalyst for economic change within African-American communities.
In his more than a decade of experience, Skyy Fisher has led community involvement efforts for public sector clients, as well as elected officials in Los Angeles County and throughout the State of California.
Throughout his career, he has helped clients ensure that communities are valued stakeholders in projects affecting their everyday lives. A focus in public policy, real estate, communications, and workforce development. Skyy played a crucial role in securing over $500 million in new construction.
A tested union representative, political strategist and communications advisor; Skyy has organized and represented working families across the country as well as played a vital role in electing numerous former and current public officials.
Skyy’s career includes successful tenures in the administrations of several local, state and federal elected officials as well as national labor unions. He began his career in the City of Compton Office of the Mayor and City Council, where he led community outreach for numerous housing and retail developments. Skyy served as an elected delegate for the Los Angeles County Democratic Party, appointed delegate to the California Democratic Party, Founder/President of New Wave Democratic Club and lastly the youngest ever elected Compton School Board Member.
Skyy is a graduate of California State University, Dominguez Hills, and a proud member of several civic organizations. Skyy lives in the south bay region of Los Angeles County.
Emerging from the inner-city streets of Jamaica Queens, NY Rachel Francis is looking to usher in a new era of understanding in her community. Motivated to bridge the gap of wealth between the black community and other demographics, Francis is looking for ways to elevate her understanding of economics and real estate in an effort to contribute back to her community.
Subsequent to being exposed to the opportunities within the real estate industry as well as the power of urban revitalization, Francis has grown immensely in investing in the communities of tomorrow.
Francis eloquently states “The kids growing up in my community will have the opportunity to see representation in a field they may not have seen representation in before. I want to be the motivation for the next generation. They can do it because I did it.” I want the youth of black communities to know it’s possible to inhabit and thrive in these corporate spaces. Francis will be exceptional in this field due to her interpersonal skills, stellar work ethic, and optimistic attitude.
As a travel nurse Francis prides herself on adapting to new environments and maintaining a consistent passion for new assignments that challenge and enlighten her.
Jessica Garcia is currently employed by the City of Anaheim, doing project management in the Community & Economic Development Department. As part of her career in Community Development, she leverages community assets and public-private partnerships to create vibrant and sustainable communities for the City of Anaheim. This entails assisting in deal structuring, changing land-use discussions, corridor and specific plan studies, and deal making and negotiations for disposition and development agreements between the City and private entities.
Prior to joining the Anaheim team, Jessica completed a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara with concentrations in Comparative Politics and International Relations. She worked in a congressional internship capacity on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. for California’s 31st District. Deciding to pursue a career in public administration, Jessica completed her Master of Public Administration from California State University, Fullerton.
Currently, Jessica is working on complex, catalytic mixed-use projects in Anaheim, including a 30 acre (former landfill) horizontal mixed-use development, a 2 acre commercial project site, a 115 for-sale unit residential development, and relocation of a historic home identified for an adaptive reuse project. Jessica lives in Anaheim, CA.
Kayla Gomez is a commercial real estate professional with interests in development, urban planning and construction. She moved to Los Angeles from a small rural town and became interested in learning how cities evolve. Kayla studied development and urban planning as an undergraduate at UCLA.
Kayla is an Assistant Real Estate Manager at CBRE where she helps with the operations, marketing and leasing of a 450,000 sf REO retail property. Previously, she was an Assistant Property Manager at Legend Real Estate Management, an owner/developer/operator. In that role, Kayla assisted with the operations of a portfolio of over 1 Million SF, which included Class-A office, open-air retail, mixed-use residential, medical and industrial properties throughout Southern California.
Kayla is passionate about connecting people to professional development and philanthropic opportunities. She leads CBRE’s Hispanics Organized to Leverage our Advantage (HOLA) chapter in Los Angeles/Orange County.
Kayla is looking forward to grow her knowledge in commercial real estate and to build connections with ambitious professionals with whom she can collaborate in the future.
Morgan is an environmental leader and activist advocating for carbon-neutral cities in the Angeles region. As Director of the Sierra Club’s Angeles Chapter, Morgan helps focus the environmental organization on how dense, infill housing is necessary to fight climate change, and on how seeking to end racism is synergistic to environmental goals of clean air, water and land.
Previously, Morgan served as a Town Councilmember and Mayor of Truckee, California. In that role he helped focus the town's efforts on building locals housing and reducing climate emissions by welcoming density into the town's core. He championed projects that are reshaping the small town away from a sprawling suburban model and toward a more urban pattern that will benefit from mass transit and allow more residents to live without cars.
While in Truckee, he also co-founded the Truckee Roundhouse. This community makerspace makes tools, classes and shop space available to the public to learn and create with wood, metal, ceramics, textiles and electronics. Morgan served as chair of the board from the founding of the organization, through its grand opening two years later, and then through a period of expansion and stabilization.
Prior to joining the Sierra Club, Morgan worked for ten years as an Online Campaigner with the global advocacy group Avaaz, matching technology to advocacy needs and connecting millions of members with decision-makers worldwide.
Morgan has worked with dozens of developers in various capacities through the town of Truckee, but only recently ventured into real estate. He is a co-owner of the Truckee River Cohousing LLC, a group of 15 households who are building a 35 unit multi-family development along the Truckee River in which the owner households will eventually reside.
Morgan attended Williams College where he graduated Cum Laude with a major in Chinese language.
Leo Grandison is a founding member and Manager of ELS Karenity, LLC, a real estate LLC based in California. Since 2016, Mr. Grandison led the organization's partnerships, purchasing, and overall operations. Prior to this, Grandison has 20 years of experience in organizational development, coalition building, and community empowerment work. In 2019, Grandison successfully represented the organization in a partnership to purchase and renovate an 8 unit multi-family property out of state. The organization seeks to repeat this initial success.
Grandison’s drive comes from a commitment to socially responsible and sustainable development. Under Mr. Grandison’s leadership, the LLC has adopted a vision to provide clean, safe, healthy, and affordable places to live that contribute to the betterment of the community, recognizing decent housing as a human right.
Mr. Grandison holds a BA in Language Studies and a Certificate in Ecological Horticulture from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He’s completed a Permaculture Design Course and 2 Natural Building Intensives.
Unique educational achievements, combined with a breadth of professional experience, situates Mr. Grandison to make meaningful contributions to community improvement through responsible real estate development projects. Grandison seeks to become a model for culturally responsible, sustainable development that reflects love of community, and contributes to increasing community vitality. The USC Ross Minority Program in Real Estate will provide the formal education in Real Estate Development needed for Mr. Grandison to actualize this vision. Mr. Grandison lives in San Diego, California.
Boris Gresely is a Public Affairs Representative for the Carpenters/ Contractors Cooperation Committee (C/CCC), a construction industry watchdog comprised of signatory contractors and the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters. At the C/CCC, Boris works with elected leaders, communities, developers, and contractors to strengthen labor compliance and to create quality construction jobs. On the policy level, Boris is engaged with local jurisdictions on land use and housing policy efforts to promote workforce housing and mixed-use development in Orange County and San Diego.
Prior to the C/CCC, Boris was a Principal for C9Concepts and an Associate Account Executive for Beckerman PR, where he provided digital communication and marketing support to several organizations and campaigns.
Originally hailing from the Garden State, Boris received his B.A. in Political Science and minor in Policy Studies from Syracuse University. During his time at SU, he was elected and served as Student Body President, representing over 15,000 undergraduates in matters regarding university policy, academic affairs, and overall student welfare.
In his spare time, Boris can often be found enjoying some southwestern BBQ and rooting for his favorite sports teams -- Boca Junior, LDU and the San Antonio Spurs.
Cindy Hanson is President of CH Global Luxury Homes, specializing in luxury homes in Orange County California, with solid professional partnerships in Beverly Hills, San Diego, San Francisco, Miami, New York City, Dubai, Tulum Mexico, Taipei Taiwan, and Shanghai and Beijing China. She is well-versed in a range of markets and transactions, and specializes in assisting international C-level executives with their primary residence, and second or vacation homes.
Before Cindy Hanson becomes a licensed real estate broker, she was a real estate investor and still is. Cindy has a Master’s degree in Music (USC '98), and her commitment to ongoing education is reflected in an array of industry designations. Cindy is a certified member of:
- CLHMS - Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist of KW Luxury Home Division
- GPS - Global Property Specialist
- CIPS - Certified International Property Specialist
- LIL - Leaders in Luxury
- ABR - Accredited Buyer’s Representative
- BNI - Business Network International
- AREAA - Asian Real Estate Association of America
- ProVisors Group
Fluent in both English and Mandarin, Cindy is honored and grateful to partner with Josie Lin developing an Asian multi-use center in Houston, TX. Cindy and her husband Douglas live in Irvine, CA.
Sua Iris Hernandez is the Director of Asset & Property Management for East LA Community Corporation. East LA Community Corporation is an affordable housing developer who believes in accountable, community-driven development, equitable housing, transformation through socio-economic justice, and building wealth through financial empowerment.
Sua began her career in the affordable housing industry since the late ’90s after an ELACC organizer introduced her family to the organization and politics of economic justice. The awareness she gained from that experience is the foundation through which she understands the systemic inequities that plague communities of modest means that lead to housing insecurity.
Since then, Sua has sharpened her knowledge of the industry by working towards solutions from different angles. She has worked closely with affordable housing residents as a lead organizer, campaigning around land-use, tenant rights, and economic justice issues. More recently, working in the asset management team of one of the strongest syndicators in the country, she gained insights into the intricacies of the LIHTC program and an analytical understanding of portfolio performance. Her position at Enterprise Community Asset Management gave her a glimpse into the of 1500+ LIHTC properties as her work closely involved providing investors with information about the financial and compliance status of their LIHTC interests.
Sua holds a BA in urban and environmental policy from Occidental College.
Melody Rault is a real estate investor currently residing in Southern California and operating in various markets around the U.S.
Following her graduation from Spelman College and a successful career with a Fortune 500 company, she discovered her calling in Real Estate and has since devoted herself to the profession, obtaining her California Real Estate Brokers license while being the sole proprietor of value-added housing projects.
With her experience ranging from development, rehabilitation, asset management, and multi-unit property management, Melody’s goal is to provide her community with a richer social landscape, delivering quality architecture and a sense of communal identity to her projects.
She is also a member of the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) and the Women’s Council of National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB).
Scarlett Jia is an Analyst at Clear Capital, a private real estate investment firm based in Los Angeles. She is primarily responsible for sourcing and analyzing multifamily and affordable housing opportunities in the Sunbelt States. During her time at Clear Capital, she worked with her team to close multiple transactions in the State of Arizona, Colorado, and Texas. In addition to acquisitions, she also performs market analysis, due diligence review, portfolio management, and capital raising duties.
Prior to joining Clear Capital, Scarlett was an Associate at Growth Investment Group where she oversaw the firm’s marketing, transaction, and underwriting platform for a group of multifamily investment sales professionals. She specialized in assisting foreign investors with identifying and closing investment properties in the Greater Los Angeles area. Scarlett developed a strong passion for real estate entrepreneurship by working with and learning from her clients who utilized creative strategies to transform uninhabitable real estate assets into housing units.
Scarlett received a BA in Communication with a minor in Applied Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
As a real state professional, Scarlett is not only passionate about acquisitions and development but also serving the community. Her long term goal is to provide more affordable housing for working-class people through creative workforce housing and affordable housing development and redevelopment.
Julian B. Curry is the President and Principal Broker at Charge Properties Inc. (CPI), a commercial real estate brokerage and investment firm founded in 2018. He is an experienced real estate professional analyzing & evaluating income producing and development properties for acquisition or disposition.
With an emphasis on serving the Mid-City L.A., South L.A., and Inglewood markets, Julian has amassed a wealth of practical knowledge and meaningful relationships spanning nearly a decade. Mr. Curry leverages these assets to offer valuable analysis, council, representation, and marketing for each of his clients, enabling the close of over $42MM in CRE transactions.
Prior to launching CPI, he worked to establish the multifamily investment sales platform and identified retail & residential land development opportunities for urban developer and brokerage, Fralin Commercial Inc.
His professional real estate career officially began in Los Angeles as a Sales Agent with Investment Real Estate Associate (IREA), winning the firm’s “Rookie of the Year” Award. Julian’s transaction and development expertise includes performing market analytics for income producing and development properties, financial valuations, purchase and sale negotiations, and asset marketing. He is guided in business by three principles: integrity, persistence, and a positive ‘can-do’ attitude.
Mr. Curry is a licensed California Real Estate Broker (DRE# 01925848) and has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing - Sales from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. As a husband and father of two, Julian enjoys spending quality time with his family.
Taylor Kay is an Assistant Planner for the City of Inglewood where she serves as a project manager as well as a land-use policy author and advisor. She processes land use entitlements and permits for residential, commercial, and mixed-use projects according to federal, state, and municipal laws. She also identifies and presents actionable mitigation measures for both development teams and elected officials when proposed real estate projects have foreseeable impacts. Taylor also conducts research and recommendations for City-wide land use entitlements, land use policies, and economic development programs. Previously, she interned for an elected official, a public opinion research center, an affordable housing firm, and a redevelopment agency.
Taylor earned a dual master’s degree in Urban Planning and Public Administration, with an Economic Development concentration, at USC. There she earned honors on her Comprehensive Exam with City of Long Beach as the client. Previously, she earned a B.A. in Urban Studies from LMU. She most recently completed the REAP program in Los Angeles. She is a member of ULI, NAIOP, ICSC, and APA. She is on track to receive her AICP credential as well. Her priority is to improve urban quality of life through a triple bottom line approach, produce projects that create a unique sense of place within communities, and ensure the highest and best use of land.
Taylor resides in Los Angeles and loves traveling as well as curating and attending arts and culture events.
Stephen Lambert is the Principal of Lambert Investments, LLC. He educates owners of residential and multifamily properties how to acquire and manage their assets. Stephen started investing in Real Estate in 2017, when he realized a large number of property owners didn't allow their properties to reach their full potential. He then founded Lambert Investments, with a mission to bridge the wealth gap through the acquisition of Real Estate.
Lambert is also a licensed Realtor with Sovereign Enterprises and Real Estate Investments in Upland. He's represented clients across the Greater Los Angeles area since 2017.
Stephen completed his B.A. in Kinesiology with Cal State Dominguez Hills University in 2016. He has been passionate about Real Estate since he was about eight years old. His long term goal is to develop a housing complex in the community he grew up in. Stephen currently lives in Los Angeles.
Isaiah Madison is an area representative for Empowerment Congress West Area, the neighborhood council of Leimert Park, Baldwin Hills, & Crenshaw. He is the chair of their Planning, Land Use, and Beautification Committee. In 2019, Isaiah graduated from UC Berkeley’s Urban Studies program focusing on land use and real estate finance, while there he helped reestablish the undergraduate real estate club. After graduating, he worked briefly for a Southern California homebuilder in land acquisitions.
Isaiah aims to utilize his passion for community engagement and knowledge of the planning process to bring transparency and community voice to projects in gentrifying South Los Angeles. He hopes to find solutions to development induced displacement while facilitating the growth of high-quality jobs, retail, and middle-income housing and is dedicated to ensuring voices in South Los Angeles are considered in proposed state legislation involving land use and redevelopment. Isaiah is lives in the Crenshaw district and is a SoCal native.
Thailin L. Martin currently serves as Economic Development Coordinator/Housing Associate for the City of Montclair. With over ten years of experience with the City, Thailin began her career in the Human Services Department and after completing her Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and Spanish from Whittier College, later working for Economic Development.
Her combined job description entails management of the Montclair Housing Corporation (MHC), the City’s nonprofit housing entity responsible for management of its affordable housing units, and the City’s economic development. She is involved in the daily operations of the MHC and construction management of its single-family and multifamily affordable rental properties, current development projects, long-term planning projects, the City’s General Plan update, works in close liaison with CIM Group’s Montclair Place (regional mall in the City), and the City’s Chamber of Commerce.
Thailin is also an active member of ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centers) and coordinates the City’s participation in ICSC events.
Thailin was born and raised in Southern California where she currently resides with her husband, daughter, and three dogs.
Nicholas McGrue is the founder and principal of Polymath Legal, a transactional law firm that focuses on business and real estate matters. In his practice, Nic has formed numerous businesses and guided them on legal and regulatory concerns. He works heavily in real estate-related legal matters and has handled various legal issues that occur in the real estate development timeline. He is also well-versed in syndication and other financing matters. To date, he has assisted clients in raising funds to purchase real estate assets totaling almost $500 million. Nic is also a tenured professor of law and real estate at El Camino College. Nic has taught and developed business and law courses at the undergraduate, graduate, and law school levels.
In addition to his bachelor’s degree, Nic possesses a Juris Doctor degree and an L.L.M. in Taxation and Financial Services. He is licensed to practice law in both California and Washington State. He also holds a California Real Estate Broker’s License. Nic is a Realtor, a member of California Association of Business Brokers, a board member of the John M. Langston Bar Association, and on the Diversity and Community Inclusion Committee of the A + D Museum (Architecture & Design).
The current major projects that Nic is assisting clients on are: the development of a brand new, 22-unit micro apartment building in Tacoma, Washington, and two senior living communities located in Punta Gorda, Florida and Williamsburg, Virginia.
Nicholas McGrue resides in Inglewood, California.
Kyle’s professional life quest is to create one-hundred millionaires through real estate investing – he’s at two so far! He’s the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Invictus Acquisitions Group, a multifamily investment firm with a portfolio of 449 units between California and Texas.
At Invictus, Kyle leads the firm’s investment strategy, operations, and investor relations, by leveraging his rich experience in leadership positions across multiple real estate asset classes.
Before working in the real estate industry, Kyle was entrusted as a Management Consultant at The Pentagon. His major life influence is his father, a retired Colonel in the USAF, which he attributes for his work ethic, discipline, integrity, and intuition.
Kyle earned his B.A. from George Mason University and is currently pursuing an M.B.A. from the University of Southern California.
A highly accomplished, results-oriented executive with over 26 years’ experience in the manufacturing and food industry, Mr. Medina has a successful record of domestic and international experience working in publicly traded and private companies to identify significant cost savings and additional revenue which resulted in EBIDTA growth.
He has held the President & CEO position at Ramonas Food Group LLC since 2014, having a powerful impact on improving processes, revenues, and the bottom line. He has been featured in Hispanic Executive Magazine and was a semi-finalist for the Los Angeles 2018 Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
Edward has always been involved in improving the local communities. He has volunteered with Junior Achievement and was on the Board of the USC Latino Alumni Association from 2018-2019.
Victoria Ann Montes is a Founder and Senior Executive of Acquisitions and Development for Cerius Group, a real estate investment advisor. Prior to Cerius, Victoria had the honor to serve our country with the U.S. Navy developing high-security Data Centers and was also with Edison designing Smart Buildings.
Victoria’s dream is to take her business to the next level. She attracts capital from private and institutional equity partners to invest in both commercial, new homes, and multi-family projects, with recent focus is repurposing of distressed assets.
Victoria is grateful for her education and opportunities to create profitable real estate ventures in the community. As a Native-American Apache Indian, Hispanic-American, single mom, and a female, she has experienced roadblocks being included in higher-level real estate’s inner circles and is hopeful that the renowned USC Ross Program will be a welcome gateway. Her passion for real estate and her work ethic was fueled alongside her grandfather at job sites as he led tract home, office, industrial, and retail projects. In homebuilding, for Toll Brothers, Lennar, and IHP Capital, she managed acquisitions and development for over 2000 acres in Southern California. She represented developer interests to cities, counties, state, federal agencies, and special interest groups with keen political sensitivity.
In commercial, for Equitable, ProLogis, Shidler, Koll, and Oaklink, Victoria managed acquisitions, asset management, pro-forma valuation, due diligence, and portfolio management of office, industrial, and retail investments. With her expert business development skills, she attracted equity partners and large credit tenants such as George Lucas and General Motors.
Victoria has attained an MBA in Finance from UCLA Anderson School of Management and a Bachelor of Science in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics and Accounting from UC Berkeley Haas Business School. In her spirit of continuous learning, she has also attained a Certificate in Land Development and Light Construction from University of California, Irvine, Paul Merage School of Management, and Certificate in Project Management. Victoria possesses Department of Defense Security Clearances.
Over the next three years, her learning roadmap includes a Certificate in Real Estate from USC’s Ross Program, a California Broker’s license, designations as Certified Energy Manager and LEED AP, CPA, and CFA. She enjoys the gym, running on the beach, golf, tennis, her faith, friends, family, and meeting new people. Victoria Montes is from Southern California, resides in Los Angeles, and is committed to growing prosperous communities.
Marisha Morris’ love for real estate began while living with her grandparents in a 1921 craftsman style home, and watching an addition being constructed in the early 80s. This love continues to inspire her academically and professionally.
Ms. Morris is the Owner and Principal of Land Baroness. She is a Licensed Real Estate Agent, a Commercial Real Estate Broker, a Land Use Consultant on P3, TOC/TOD, HPOZ and a ULI UrbanPlan facilitator.
As a Community Stakeholder she works closely with her Neighborhood Council reviewing land use projects, advising developers on their impact to the community, gaining neighborhood buy-in of projects, thereby qualifying the developers and builders for projects along thoroughfares and/or Historic Preservation Overlay Zones (HPOZ) in her community.
She earned a Transit Orient Development Certificate, while a member of Metro’s Transportation Business Advisory Council, and has consulted on projects such as Metro Expo Line, Crenshaw/ LAX, and most recently, the Purple Line Extension Phase 2B, LA River Project/Slauson Corridor, and Gold Line Extension to Pomona/Montclair.
Marisha volunteers with ULI UrbanPlan, a realistic, engaging exercise in which participants—high school students, university students, or public officials—learn the fundamental forces that affect development in our communities. She has facilitated UrbanPlan workshops for the City of Fullerton, the City of Huntington Beach, Councilmembers and Aldermen representing the State of Alabama, and students at Orange Coast College.
Her recent investments include several development projects in Houston that includes housing, commercial and retail space; a multifamily project in New Orleans; short term rental properties in Shreveport; “Tiny Homes” for purchase and rent in Memphis; and a co-working space in Atlanta.
Marisha also earned a Construction Management Certificate from Turner Construction’s Construction Management Program.
She is a member of:
- Metro Los Angeles Transportation Business Advisory Council (TBAC)
- Urban Land Institute (ULI) UrbanPlan Facilitator
- Land Use, Local Government and Global Committee for California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.)
Marisha’s motto is “Look down at the ground you are standing on. Someone owns it. It should be you."
Tiana Owens, the Founder and CEO of 21 DREAMS Inc., and currently partnered with REMAX MASTERS, is a licensed California Realtor serving Northern and Southern California in both residential and commercial real estate.
Tiana began her curiosity in the real estate world at the early age of 19 with loan origination and soon found that she was on the wrong side of the contract. A short few years later, she stumbled into development in Atlanta, GA prior to the economic crash of 2008, bringing her start to a halt. However, she had found her real, true passion: to build!
Tiana returned to real estate in 2015 with her second shot at development, this time with a real estate license. She teamed up with fellow Realtors in her local Brokers office, where they focused on the development of small multi -family properties. In this undefined position, Tiana found herself wearing many hats from scouting the land to selecting all design and esthetics from start to finish. Tiana, with no doubt, loves every aspect of the development process, minus the small heart attacks along the way.
With experience comes growth. Tiana decided to relocate to Southern California with bigger dreams in real estate and development. This time, to build and redevelop her own boutique hotels.
In addition to her business degree and multiple licenses, as a future USC Ross Minority Program Alumni, Tiana hopes to develop new amazing relationships and take in invaluable information that will begin her journey into this new market and adventure.
Whittier Trust Company is the oldest and largest multi-family office headquartered in the West, and we deliver comprehensive wealth management solutions to high net worth individuals and families. Wealth management solutions are customized for each relationship, often by incorporating one or more of the company’s five pillars: Investment Management, Trust Services, Real Estate & Energy, Philanthropic Services, and Family Office Services.
Dana’s role in the Real Estate department includes assets management and property oversight that may include property acquisition and disposition of commercial, industrial and residential assets. Dana is currently engaged in the department’s acquisition of a major multi-family asset located in Utah, and she has also been involved in numerous transactions in 2019 throughout Southern California, the Southwest and the Southeast regions.
Prior to working at Whittier Trust Company, Dana acquired 17 years of residential real estate experience specializing in initiating start-up real estate brokerages such as Trevino Properties, Carmona Real Estate, and Definitely Investments among others.
Dana is a native Angelino and has always felt a strong personal attachment to her beloved hometown. Following graduation from the University of Phoenix with a BA in psychology, Dana directed her energies to areas that would allow her to leverage her love of helping people and real estate. Her career began working for a Real Estate Investor at Sharma Developments in San Dimas, CA where she managed a portfolio of over 100 homes. Subsequently, she obtained a California Real Estate License and has been involved in closing over 300 real estate transactions which have ranged from low-income homes to multimillion-dollar transactions.
Following the completion of the Ross Minority Program, Dana plans to use her new knowledge to work toward a promotion to Vice President of Real Estate.
Jaclyn Rivera is the president of Alliance Construction Services Inc., a DBE/MBE/SBE/WBE construction firm based in Los Angeles, CA. She is the get-things-done management professional you want on your team. She believes in and practices pull planning and continuous improvement as a way of life.” With over 10 years on construction maintenance on facilities and property improvements, Jackie has repeatedly demonstrated her skills at managing resources to meet client goals. She has completed multiple projects in sensitive work locations where work safety, tenant relations, and protection of pedestrians during construction have been major factors.
Since 1999, her professional background has trained her in banking and finance, oil rig manufacturing, construction services on public works, commercial high-rises, retail spaces, educational facilities, and multi-unit structures. She is adept at planning and project management and her diverse experience has been developed across a broad range of projects with high-compliance requirements. Her completion of the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business and the SBA Emerging Leaders programs are a testament of her drive for continuous improvement,
Her affiliations with non-profits like IFMA Los Angeles, WCOE California, NAWIC Los Angeles, and NAMC Southern California speaks of her commitment to serve the professional community that has given her the opportunity to grow. She currently serves on the board of NAWIC LA and NAMC SC with the latter giving her the 2019 Champion of Change Award for her untiring service of advocating for minority contractors.
It has always been Jackie’s desire to elevate people whether by providing employment to her team or transforming spaces for their clients. She hopes to be able to grow her business in the real estate space and make housing affordable. At night she prays to be like the rising tide that she may lift all ships.
Roger Sanchez is the Founding Partner of Uncomn Projects (pronounced “Uncommon Projects”), a branding, integrated marketing, and consulting firm focused on multifamily and commercial real estate projects. Roger manages the creative, marketing, and advertising teams, and oversees the business strategy.
Founded in 2017, Uncomn is applying the concepts and strategies of consumer branding and marketing to the commercial real estate industry through a consumer-first approach. Uncomn activates the brand by working with the developer, architect, and interior designers to apply the brand identity to the project, ensuring a cohesive aesthetic and feel. From there, the brand story is used to craft the project’s online presence, developing the website, advertising creative, social media, and other digital marketing strategies. The goal is to achieve consistency across all touchpoints. Uncomn also provides events programming and tenant services to increase engagement and retention. We are placemakers.
Our clients include major developers, such as Mack Real Estate Group and Lowe Enterprises, and private equity firms, including The Carlyle Group and Rockwood Capital. Our work drives leasing, absorption, and retention. Our integrated approach is what sets Uncomn apart from the others. We understand marketing and real estate and how to integrate the two to drive returns for investors.
Before founding Uncomn Projects, Roger had several roles in the consumer and fashion marketing world. In fashion, producing consumer trend reports for MAGIC, North America’s largest fashion trade show, which was used by global fashion houses to design consumer products, and later consulting for e-commerce brands in digital marketing and advertising. Roger also raised venture capital and created a mobile app that brought “Uber for beauty services” into the homes, offices, and hotel rooms of Southern California’s social elites.
Roger received a Bachelor of Business Administration with an emphasis in fashion marketing from Woodbury University in Burbank, California. He is a member of ULI and enjoys speaking to marketing students at universities throughout Los Angeles. A native Californian, with a family history rooted in Southern California real estate, Roger resides in Santa Monica, CA.
Brenda Sanchez is a high-touch Construction Project Manager and Realtor based out of the Greater Los Angeles area. Currently, she’s employed by Jones Lang La Salle as an Associate Construction Project Manager.
Her current client is Bank of America. Her projects consist of High Scope Interior and Exterior Renovations and Financial Center Rebranding.
Previously, she was employed by CBRE as a Construction Project Coordinator assigned to the Capital Construction Group for projects valued over 5 million. She worked on a broad range of project types including newly built Substations, Service Centers and Data Centers.
Brenda’s educational background consist of an Associates Degree received from Santa Monica Community College. She also holds a host of certifications from various schools such as CBRE Foundations for Project Management from The University of Texas at Dallas, Construction Project Management Certification from Cal State Dominguez Hills, OSHA 10 Certification and Professional Property Management Certification from the California Department of Real Estate. Brenda is currently scheduled to take her Green LEED Associate exam July 2020.
Upon completion of the Ross Minority Program, Brenda aspires to work on her first development in Compton, CA. Compton is on the wave of gentrification, currently experiencing an influx of developments related to housing, healthy eateries, employment, warehouses and fitness. Compton is centrally located and one of the few neighborhoods that are still affordable in Los Angeles County. Her desire is to build a complex consisting of 20–25 modular smart building townhomes that promote sustainability and health. During the life cycle of the project, she will develop a program for the youth at Compton Early College High School, which will provide youth with the overall basis of Project Management and Real Estate Development. Through her efforts, she will begin a trend of promoting health, education and sustainability, all while continuously growing and broadening her skill set for future projects.
Christianne has more than 12 years of commercial real estate experience driving successful marketing and business development strategies. A strong believer in doing well by doing good, Christianne currently serves as Director of Marketing and Business Development for Sustento Group, a private consulting company working at the intersection of climate, policy, and real estate, developing solutions that prepare our communities for tomorrow, while making them more prosperous and equitable today.
Prior to joining Sustento in 2019, Christianne was the Marketing Director, US Capital Markets - Brokerage for Colliers International. At Colliers, she held multiple roles and was the marketing arm of over $1.5 billion in transactional value and over $50 million in estimated commissions. Before her career in real estate, she held management positions in both architecture and retail.
Impassioned about diversity in real estate, Christianne serves as Vice-Chair for US Green Building Council’s Women in Green Committee and is part of the Urban Land Institute Women’s Leadership Initiative GROW Mentorship Program 2020. While at Colliers, she was actively involved in its Diversity & Inclusion Program, serving as a mentor and in the Women’s Recruitment sub-committee.
She is also a member of International Council of Shopping Centers, Sierra Club, American Marketing Association, American Institute of Graphic Arts, and Toastmasters International.
Christianne earned her Bachelor of Science in Management degree from Pepperdine University, and has a certificate from the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, through its Ross Minority Program in Real Estate Development.
Shafeeq Shamsid-Deen Jr., is a Development Manager for Assurance Realty. He started his real estate career after having prior experience in politics and education. He worked as a field organizer for Barack Obama’s Campaign for Change; then went on to teach with Teach for America, teaching 5th grade in the Navajo Nation; worked as a policy advisor for New Mexico Public Education Department; and eventually founded and was principal of Laurel Oaks, a college preparatory charter school which provided unique experiences and laid a foundation for his work in real estate.
At Assurance Development, Shafeeq oversaw site acquisition for mobile telecommunications companies’ cell tower development overseeing leasing, entitling, and designing sites to meet shareholder regulations and radio frequency standards. He worked with AT&T, Sprint PCS, Verizon, and Eco-Site (a T-Mobile affiliate) to build out their networks throughout Orange, San Bernardino, Los Angeles, Mono, and Sacramento Counties, overseeing over 100 cell site builds in less than two years. Shafeeq was the top leaser for Assurance Development despite being new to the industry. Later he went to work for the Brooker Group, where he learned about construction lending and real estate finance. Shafeeq created and oversaw, the Regen or Urban Regeneration and Elevated Equity programs designed to help minority owners create the highest and best use of their property, with funding and support with their distressed properties to better position themselves for wealth creation.
Shafeeq graduated from Loyola Marymount University with degrees in History and Political Science, holds a California Real Estate License, pending certificate from Columbia University’s Construction Management Program and is obtaining his Broker’s and Mortgage Origination licenses. He is currently working on LebenHaus, an affordable micro-unit development and Higher, an urban regeneration program aimed at supporting minority property owners developing their properties to their highest and best use.
Jenny Song is a Principal with Navitas Capital, a venture capital firm focused real estate and construction technology. Jenny’s interests lie in urban innovation and the intersection of real estate and financial technology.
Prior to joining Navitas, Jenny was a fellow in the Broad Residency, a program that places leaders in business and management into high-impact urban education projects. During the Residency, Jenny founded Noble Forward, an education technology non-profit in the “hybrid college” space that helps non-traditional, first-generation college-goers re-engage in post-secondary education and earn Bachelor’s Degrees.
Jenny started her career at Bain & Company, the global management consulting company, where she advised clients on strategic projects across multiple sectors, spanning from industrials to retail.
Jenny holds a Bachelor’s of Science from Northwestern University, a Master of Public Policy from the University of Chicago and a Master of Business Administration from Stanford University. She resides in Chicago, where she lives with her husband and dog. She is a huge foodie and her hobbies include dining, wine, cooking, and anything delicious.
Joseph “Joe” T. Rouzan III leads VSEDC in navigating through the evolving and expanding needs for economic and small business development solutions in South Los Angeles. Prior to joining VSEDC, Mr. Rouzan held the position of Director for the City of Los Angeles Business Source program overseeing nine Business Source Centers throughout Los Angeles and operating a 4.5 million dollar annual budget.
Joe's 29 years of City Service includes 13 with the Economic and Workforce Development Department and 16 with the Los Angeles Police Department. Prior to his most recent city service, Joe served as the Vice President and Chief of Staff for the Brotherhood Crusade, General Manager of both the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza and Hawthorne Malls and owned and operated JTA Security Management and Investigations. Joe holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Administration, conferred by California State University, Dominguez Hills.
Khanh “Kelly” Tran has been a Real Estate Investment Advisor with KW Commercial since 2013, specializing in multifamily properties. As a 20-year San Gabriel Valley resident, Kelly concentrates on developing long-term relationships with local, national and international clients whose portfolios include investment grade properties in the San Gabriel Valley and surrounding areas. Kelly has completed several continuing education programs, holds three State licenses, and most recently certified as an International Property Specialist (CIPS®).
Kelly presently serves on the board as vice-chair of the Global Real Estate Committee of the Arcadia Association of Realtors (AAR). This committee focuses on growing investment opportunities in the international arena by learning different cultures and business transaction practices among international and domestic investors.
Prior to joining KW Commercial, Kelly's prior professional experience includes freelancing as a Certified Court Reporter, where she transcribed spoken or recorded speech for depositions and court proceedings. She also managed a successful family owned nail salon in Valencia, CA.
As a mother of two Eagle Scout boys, Kelly volunteered as a Parent Committee member for the Boy Scouts of America, Troops 228 and 365. In addition to participating with routine activity planning, she also served as the Eagle Advancement Chair and advised individual scouts on completing the requirements necessary to advance to Eagle Scout. She currently volunteers with a senior living community to identify fund raising opportunities to assist those residents who outlive their resources.
The Ross Minority Program in Real Estate will help Kelly further pursue real estate development in underserved communities. While there are many different ways to lend her skills and experience to help others, she is most interested in connecting developers with community leaders to invest and/or build multi-family buildings. The current emphasis in affordable housing is a long-term vision of both State and local governments, and as a real estate professional she wants to continue participating with identifying and implementing solutions for it.
Mari Zamora is a native Angeleno and is passionate about creating special places for citizens and visitors of Los Angeles.
Mari joined The Ratkovich Company as a property assistant after graduating from Loyola Marymount University with a bachelor’s degree in Communication and Fine Arts and worked her way through property management, accounting, operations, and construction. In her career with the company, she oversaw the redevelopment of The Bloc in downtown Los Angeles where she spent five years, the last three as Operations Manager. The Bloc is a mixed-use project consisting of a Sheraton Grand hotel, retail space, and 722,000 square-feet of creative-office space.
In 2018, Mari joined Skanska’s Commercial Development Business Unit. In this role, Mari is working with the local team to explore opportunities to expand Skanska’s real estate development business into Los Angeles. She will assist with the development and design of new projects, tenant leasing strategy and execution of future projects. Skanska USA Development invests in and develops customer-focused and highly sustainable office and multi-family properties.
Mari is an active member of the Urban Land Instituted and the U.S. Green Building Council. She is also involved with Fitwel and recently became a Fitwel Ambassador.
Taji D. Abdullah is a Senior Real Estate Officer for Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), which is the department within the City of Los Angeles that owns and operates Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Taji manages a portfolio of commercial leases at LAX. His daily duties range from drafting Requests for Proposals (RFPs) to negotiating leases.
Prior to working for LAWA, Taji worked as a Realty Specialist for the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) where he completed over 40 office & industrial leases, totaling over 1M building square feet and $200MM in total contract value. At GSA, Taji won a Special Act Award for using excellent negotiating skills to save federal taxpayers over $1M on a complex transaction.
Taji received his Bachelor of Science from California State University, Northridge, majoring in Real Estate, Business Law, and Finance. He also obtained certificates in Construction Management from UCLA Extension and Project Management from UC Berkeley Extension.
Additionally, Taji is a Certified Commercial Real Estate Investment Member (CCIM®); a Certified Professional Contracts Manager (CPCM®); a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Accredited Professional, Building Design and Construction (LEED® AP BD+C); a Project Manager Professional (PMP®); and a Real Estate Broker, licensed by the California Department of Real Estate.
Charlyn Bender is currently an attorney with an expertise in criminal law, prosecuting serious and violent felonies as a Deputy District Attorney in Orange County. She practiced law in with the OCDA from 2004-2008. In 2008, she joined forces with her mother, and took the reins of her family business Madison Paving Inc., becoming a general contractor and serving as the Vice President and General Counsel for the company. She oversaw the daily operations of the company as they completed paving projects throughout Los Angeles County, including work on the Metro Gold Line, paving for the Gas Company. During her tenure at Madison, she earned certificate in Construction Management from CSU Dominguez Hills.
Charlyn got involved in real estate in 2009 with the purchase her first home. She served as the general contractor on that project, overseeing a full renovation over 4 months. This home became her first rental property. She now manages a real estate portfolio of 4 residential rentals, 1 industrial office property and holds numerous parcels of land for future development.
Having long harbored a desire to increase her engagement in the process of public policy decision making, in particular as it related to development in urban areas, Charlyn completed the Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute in 2011. Not long after the completion of the program, Charlyn was appointed to the Medical Marijuana Task Force for the City of Long Beach. In this role, she served as the chair of the committee responsible for advising the City Council about proposed legislation for the development and regulation of cannabis farms and dispensaries in the City.
Charlyn is a graduate of Loyola Law School, where she earned her JD in 2003. She also holds a M.A. in Multi Cultural Education from CSU Dominguez Hills, and a B.A. in History with a Minor in Biology from the University of California, San Diego. Charlyn lives in the Los Angeles area. She hopes to use the knowledge gained from the Ross program to create a lasting family legacy while making a positive impact on the community.
Asia Abreu Bribiesca-Hedin serves as a strategic execution leader at City of Hope, a comprehensive cancer center in Southern California. Asia helps to manage the planning and delivery of strategic priorities. In her 7 years at City of Hope she has helped lead and execute on organizational priorities ranging from new fundraising programs and technology platforms to cutting edge medical service line expansions. Prior to joining City of Hope, Asia was a management consultant with Ernst & Young and also consulted independently for a broad range of clients seeking performance improvement. Past clients include Fortune 500 companies in entertainment, health care, automotive, and insurance industries.
Early in her career, Asia worked in residential real estate sales and finance and holds a California real estate broker’s license. She’s enthusiastic about learning every aspect of real estate development and participating in residential and commercial development projects. Asia intends to apply her Ross real estate development knowledge immediately as she and her husband are in the process of building a second unit on their lot.
At the top of Asia’s development project interests is her desire to build a series of successful co-housing communities in Southern California that intentionally bring people together. Based on the foundation that everyone should know and love their neighbors, Asia believes that a co-housing approach offers an end to isolation and allows the building of enduring human connections and lasting bonds that support successful communities and satisfying lives.
Asia earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Pepperdine University, and holds Master of Business Administration and Master of Public Administration degrees from the University of Southern California. She lives in Southern California with her husband, 3 kids, and 2 dogs.
Hiram C. Brown previously worked for Urban Housing Solutions, one of the largest non-profit developers of affordable/workforce housing in Nashville, as the Manager of Development Finance & Acquisitions. As a member of the organization’s development team, he was tasked with creating a capital markets platform that structured (and procured) over $60 million in capital commitments, tax abatements, and subsidy support for private/public real estate projects. Mr. Brown achieved this goal within less than a 2 year time frame. In addition, Mr. Brown also played a key role in pitching the concept of a $15 million revolving acquisition debt fund to ultra-high net worth individuals and local foundations, with an interest in social impact investing. To date, the fund has received soft commitments from local philanthropic organizations and individual investors.
As a former transactional/litigation attorney and corporate finance professional, Mr. Brown has an extensive 17 year background in the field of real estate and high finance (i.e. investment banking/mergers & acquisitions). He has been involved in everything from asset diligence and financial underwriting to institutional business development. During his legal career, he also stayed firmly rooted in social service, helping numerous at-risk youths and adults to successfully navigate their way through the juvenile and adult criminal justice process.
Mr. Brown graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree (in Philosophy) from Towson University, and then went on to obtain a law degree from the Vanderbilt University School of Law. He is currently licensed in the States of Tennessee, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
Lastly, as a proponent of higher education and a crusader for social justice, Mr. Brown has taught college courses as an adjunct college professor…and continues to support various social/educational causes through a Scholarship Fund (named after his late father).
Lynnelle Bryant is a Certified Interior Designer (CID), president and co-owner of Masbuild, Inc., a full-service design firm specializing in architecture, interior design and construction services – actively moving into RE Development. Masbuild’s motto is to positively impact the communities we serve.
Born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, Ms. Bryant realized she wanted to become an interior designer in the third-grade. She attended Drake University earning a BA in Interior Design, graduating with honors. She further honed her skills overseas the University of Seville and at the School of Applied Arts, both in Seville, Spain.
An experienced interior designer, project manager and construction manager, Ms. Bryant projects are concentrated in urban communities with a focus on commercial, education and housing. She is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) and understands universal and inclusive design.
Her first venture into real estate development was in 1994 when she purchased and rehabbed a duplex through HUD’s 203K program. In 2002, her firm acquired a vacant lot in Pasadena which was developed into a 12,000 sq. ft. commercial office building. In addition to housing her corporate offices, she leased office space to 4 other businesses.
Her latest project is a rehabilitation of a 5-unit commercial multi-family project in NW Pasadena. Future plans include tearing down the existing structure, and to design and build new townhomes or condos in the location. The goal is to provide affordable housing options for middle income and first-time home buyers.
Serving as Director at Large for the Pasadena Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), Ms. Bryant chaired the organizations’ Design Trend Design Expo for the last two years, increasing participation in, and exposure to, this event. She is a member of Southern California Association of Non-Profit Housing (SCANPH), the Multi-Cultural Real Estate Alliance for Urban Change, and served as president of the Pasadena Neighborhood Housing Services (PNHS). An active member of her community, is also a member of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and the Pasadena NAACP..
Ms. Bryant is an alumnus of Turner Construction Management Course, SBA’s Emerging Leaders, Goldman Sach’s 10K Small Business, and the Inner-City Capital Connections (ICCC) programs.
Ms. Bryant enjoys reading, gardening and watching tv/movies. She has been married for 27 years to her husband and business partner, Charles T. Bryant AIA, NOMA, NCARB. They have four children, and one granddaughter.
Christine Sanchez Caldwell currently serves as Assistant Director of Housing/Planning Manager for the City of Montclair. With over 30 years of experience with the City, Christine began her career as Assistant Planner and later worked for the Redevelopment Agency until its dissolution. During her tenure with the Redevelopment Agency, she worked in Economic Development and managed the Agency’s affordable housing programs that included acquisition, disposition, and construction management of its single-family and multifamily affordable rental properties. Christine transitioned back to Planning in 2016, and is currently involved in a variety of comprehensive transit-oriented development and commercial projects. She remains involved in Economic Development, Affordable Housing, and Planning projects for the City and continues to manage the Montclair Housing Corporation, the City’s nonprofit housing entity responsible for management of its affordable housing units.
Christine was born and raised in Southern California and graduated from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona with a Bachelor of Science in Urban and Regional Planning.
James co-founded a computer reseller company after graduated from the USC MBA program in 1991.
The experience provides him tremendous opportunities in personal growth and financial independency. In the true spirit of entrepreneurship, James started investing full time in real estate since 2013, mostly in private money lending and residential re-development. Recognizing the possibility Los Angeles has to offer in gentrification, he has been focusing in commercial and multifamily development in the past 12 months. He is looking forward to arming himself with more knowledge with the USC Rose program, and to becoming an outstanding developer in this space.
Alisa Elaine Cota is a licensed Real Estate Broker with over 13 years of experience in various avenues of the industry. Within these 13 years of experience she has gained knowledge in areas such as leasing, property management, apartments cash flow analysis and the disposition/acquisitions of investment properties just to name a few. She has recently decided to go independent with her licensing in order to open your ability to service a larger variety of clients. Prior to going independent Alisa worked with different private investors and investments companies such as Davlyn Investments, Turnstone Capital and Waypoint Homes who has since merge with and operating as Invitation Homes. Invitation and is currently the largest single-family home owner and management company in the United States. I was responsible for leasing their Southern California region.
Some notable achievements Alisa has been involved with throughout the years are first and the most notable in her opinion was her involvement with bringing the Boys and Girls Club to the City of Pico Rivera in 2015. Although she was successful in bringing the club to the city this project is still ongoing and she is in the process of evaluating options to expand within the city and possibly pursing other cities to expand to. Another notable achievements Alisa takes pride in is the acquisition and renovation of an adjacent apartment building she was managing in 2011 known as Sage Creek Apartments located in Simi Valley. This project entailed the purchase of adjacent 95-unit apartment building which was fully occupied and brought the unit count to 180. We successfully managed to relocate, renovate and re-lease all the units in both buildings in a matter of 3 years.
Alisa attended Cal State University Fullerton where She received a bachelors degree in American Studies and a minor in Spanish communication in the spring of 2008. Within her college experience she studied abroad at the University of San Jose in Costa Rica where she earned her minor in Spanish. Alisa also is currently an active member of the BNI Elite Partners Downey chapter.
Alisa’s is working on being part of buying a building a distressed 320 unit building in Houston Texas. The plan for the building will be to renovate and stabilize within five years. Alisa lives in Downey, CA.
Bernard Dory is currently an Sr. Field Representative for Assembly member Sydney Kamlager-Dove in Los Angeles, CA. He advises the assembly member in matters of economic, housing, public safety, cannabis industry, and the overall political climate from the stand point of multiple constitutencies within the 54th assembly district.
Bernard aims to be an energetic multi-task oriented critical thinker experienced in policy making, campaign management, and multi sector coalition building for community advocacy with emphasis in community economic development, workforce development, and public safety with skills and experience in strategic planning, personnel supervision, community organizing, and program development.
Lori Dynes is a marketing professional with over two decades of direct marketing experience, having worked at the some of the most valued brands including Wells Fargo and Pacific Gas & Electric Co. Her campaigns span all media – radio, TV, video, email, direct mail, social media, digital marketing, and all print formats. A true multi-channel marketer, she combines data and creativity to deliver effective campaigns while staying on strategy, schedule and budget.
While still active in marketing, Ms. Dynes has decided to pursue a greater interest – real estate development.
Her first foray into real estate took place in 1999 with the purchase of a duplex, which she still owns. In 2007, she purchased a commercial building in a redevelopment area. Working with an architect, interior designer and contractors, Ms. Dynes rehabilitated the building and reopened as a cocktail lounge and event space. This business was sold in 2010. And in 2013, she and her sisters inherited their childhood home in Los Angeles, CA. After making some updates, the property was fully rented until it was sold in December 2017.
Ms. Dynes is founding member of 1421 Fair Oaks LLC, a real estate development company, which just purchased a 5-unit residential building that is undergoing rehabilitation. She has been involved in every step of the process, from working with architects and contractors, securing financing for the project, and managing negotiations for a master lease of the building with local non-profit organizations.
Looking forward to a second career in real estate, Ms. Dynes wants to develop properties that are in harmony with the local and neighboring communities, providing options for affordable housing targeted to low- and moderate-income working adults and families.
In pursuit of her passion, Ms. Dynes is currently enrolled in the Construction Management continuing education program at California State University East Bay (Hayward, CA). She expects to complete the certification program in 2020.
Ms. Dynes attended San Jose State University where she earned a BA in Advertising. She is also a Project Management Professional (PMP), licensed through March 2021, and she is an active member of Toastmasters, serving as Sergeant-at-Arms for her local chapter.
When she isn’t studying or glued to a computer, she loves to spend time in the garden, reading books, hiking Bay Area trails, and exploring different neighborhoods and communities in Oakland and the greater San Francisco Bay Area.
William Elkins has a strong corporate background. After graduating from Morehouse College, he worked with institutions such as, American Express, Washington Mutual and Wells Fargo. He primarily was employed in management and analytical positions. William was drawn to the real estate industry after being laid off from American Express during the height of the 9/11 tragedy. While reflecting on his class in Entrepreneurship at Morehouse he decided to embark on the field of Real Estate. He got his license in 2002 and began his new career working as a loan officer for a mortgage bank.
After a couple years in the mortgage industry William decided to transition to the Real Estate side of the business. He started working for Keller Williams Realty, one of the world’s leaders in Real Estate. He always took a different approach than a typical agent. During the mortgage crisis he mastered short sales when the vast array of Realtors shied away from them. On one of his short sale listings he successfully negotiated amenable payoff terms with three lien holders and got a $15,000 relocation stipend for the homeowner.
William Elkins is currently a Residential Income/Multi-Family Advisor with Renaissance Realty Group. He is responsible for all the residential and commercial acquisitions & sales for the company. He prepares financial models for his clients so they have sound investment advice when buying and selling residential and multi-family Real Estate. He puts his clients in a position to earn substantial rental income while acquiring long term viable tenants that maintain their properties.
Mr. Elkins currently sits on the Board of Directors for Second Baptist Community Homes. The non-profit organization manages two assisted living senior citizen facilities consisting of 89 units. He was involved with restructuring the management of those properties. As a result, they were back in compliance with HUD guidelines and most importantly drastically improved the quality of life for the residents.
William recently got his Real Estate Probate Certification. He is always eager to learn and grow in this wonderful industry. He is looking forward to applying all his skills to the Ross Program and gaining insight on the next plateau of his Real Estate career.
Sheron Gresham, on the surface is an accomplished real estate investor, with 20 years of experience within the real estate field. Underneath however, Sheron has been working hard to develop her real estate experience in this challenging field. Weathering the perpetual ups and down cycles in the real estate market, Sheron has come full circle and is now a partner and CEO in a company that has funded millions in real estate closings—funding commercial and residential projects. Currently, she and her partner are taking their company Quora Holdings LLC, to new levels with their creative financing and strategic lending platform.
Growing up in Berkeley, California, Sheron took classes at Cal Berkeley, and eventually finished college at California State University, Hayward. Wanting to pursue a Law Degree, she moved to Los Angeles to pursue the law program at the University of West Los Angeles. During a Christmas break from her law program, Sheron attended Century 21 Real Estate School, completing the real estate course and getting her real estate license. She immediately began working within the finance and banking field, eventually landing at Globetrend Investments, in Culver City, where she became the lead loan officer, producer of the year, and eventually partner, until the company closure in 2010. Along the way Sheron, took the GSRE exam (Series 7), and worked with brokerage houses (interning), gaining more experience with lending and finance.
In 2012, Sheron formed Dulia Capital, and Investment Company, aimed on helping displaced communities. Dulia’s focus is rebuilding and lending to community redevelopment projects (veteran, homeless, and churches). This strong mission will help Dulia Capital to provide shelter solutions for those left behind.
In 2016, Sheron took her lending and finance experience, into formation of a new company—Quora Holdings, LLC. Sheron’s partnership with Yong (Paul) Chung, their company Quora Holdings LLC is jointly designed to have a global reach. Yong Chung’s Asian market contacts, and Sheron’s keen insight of investing, will help Quora grow small minority companies, helping them to purchase and restructure Commercial and Residential properties, here in California, and eventually in other markets across the states.
Sheron is active member of real estate organizations. AAREA (Asian American Real Estate Association), GLAAC, and the Los Angeles Real Estate Investors Club. She currently lives in the South Bay area with her two children.
Crystal Gutenberger is a well-rounded senior leader with strong capabilities in organizational transformation, program management, technology implementation, and business operations. With 20+ years of experience, Crystal has held various senior leadership positions in large, complex, and dynamic organizations in fields including energy/utility, aerospace, financial services, supply chain, technology, and big-four management consulting. Crystal’s success has been attributed to her strength in fostering collaboration, building trust, influencing change, and delivering results.
Crystal is passionate about social causes including children in education and community development. She is currently pursuing an entrepreneurial global project to build sustainable communities in under-utilized regions worldwide, starting with development in South East Asia. Working with her mentors, Crystal is also pursuing opportunities in urban development in emerging communities in Southern California. Crystal strongly believes such communities will help uplift many lives and positively impact people’s well-being for years to come.
Crystal had faced a number of life-changing transformations, including her immigration to the United States from being a refugee. The life-long lessons from these transformational events had helped Crystal gain deeper compassion for others, specifically to be of service to people to enhance their lives. As part of Crystal’s journey moving forward, she is pursuing the Urban Planning and Development field in striving to establish places for people to live, learn, work, play, connect, grow, and thrive.
While reading is Crystal’s favorite pastime, Crystal also enjoys many outdoor activities including gardening, tennis, hiking, and dragon boating. Crystal is an animal lover and has three four-legged kids - all dogs!
Crystal holds a multitude of credentials including Project Management Professional, Lean Six Sigma, Facility Management Professional, Professional Engineer, Executive Leader’s Edge, Leadership California, and FEMA Incident Command System. Crystal is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a Master in Business Administration.
Amaris Hernandez is a realtor at Olsen Realty. She services the Greater Area of Los Angeles as a Realtor who represents both sellers and buyers on the residential side. Amaris supports developers by scouting for investment opportunities, maintaining rapport with other realtors, establishing a network of connections with housing supportive services, and conducting research on real estate markets and development projects. She has an ambitious desire to help mitigate the housing crisis while generating wealth for people interested in investing in Real Estate.
Amaris is in the works of structuring measures to bridge the gap for organizations who are working hard to mitigate the housing crisis by finding people who can reform housing related policies and by utilizing the abundance of newly built homes her brokerage firm sells towards that purpose. She actively reaches out to and forms connections with multiple housing specialists, director’s, housing managers, and coordinators from various affordable housing programs. In the process, Amaris utilizes her connections to better understand possible barriers that need to be addressed to allow more people the opportunity to transition out of homelessness. She adopts collaboration along with organic, strategic methods and planning to accomplish benevolent and fruitful results.
Amaris is a graduate of the University of Southern California (USC), where she received a Bachelors of Science in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Studies. In the foreseeable future, she aims to take on a project of her own. The Ross Minority Program in Real Estate will provide Amaris with tools, knowledge, and a network that will help her realize a carefully-developed entertainment complex that celebrates the beauty of existing cultures through iconic cultural landmarks embedded in restaurant infrastructure, a global menu, and facets that will engage all senses to make it possible to experience different parts of the world without boarding a plane.
Senika Shields-Levias is an advocate who has committed herself by way of Registered Nurse, Realtor and Founder of Just Us MA’s – The A’Tierra Westbrook Project; a grass roots non-profit organization whose mission is to provide preventative and supportive services to victims of violence and their surrounding communities.
Senika has been keenly interested in Real Estate since she was a young child. Her parents own a small portfolio of properties in their community and taught her the basics of investing at an early age. She is determined to continue building on this foundation by further educating herself in the industry of Real Estate. Senika earned an Associate Degree in Nursing in 2010 from Solano Community College and obtained her Real Estate license in 2017.
She is currently employed as a RN Case Manager in Outside Utilization at Kaiser Permanente in addition to actively practicing Real Estate as an agent in a small, minority owned brokerage. Originally from the Bay Area, Senika moved to Southern California three years ago after being directly affected by senseless gun violence; her 21-year old daughter was murdered in August of 2015. Removing herself from the environment that caused the trauma has allowed her to make significant strides toward healing as well as made her more aware of the underlying problems in our communities that perpetuate violence.
As a survivor, she has vowed in her daughter’s honor, to seek out ways to combine her education as a nurse, realtor and non-profit founder to make a lasting impact on her community and the lives of others. Senika is hopeful that an elite educational experience like the Ross Minority Program in Real Estate will assist in putting the pieces of the puzzle together.
Senika’s most treasured role is mother to her remaining child, a 16-year old son who stands 6’4 and is the light of her life. She is reveling in the exciting journey of a student-athlete and finds pure joy in watching her son play basketball at the high school level.
Jenny Ngu is the principal for her family’s fund and is a practicing real estate agent. Jenny received her Master’s in Business Administration from New York University Stern School of Business and her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology/Biology from the University of California- Los Angeles.
Jenny’s professional career prior to real estate was in her family’s main form of business, bakeries. More specifically Mexican/ Salvadorean bakeries sprinkled throughout Los Angeles. She wore multiple hats including but not limited to human resources, operations, and accounting. Her real estate journey began five years ago when her family sold one of their bakeries and transacted their first 10-31. It was a difficult yet transformative experience that left Jenny a desire to deepen her knowledge about about the challenging real estate landscape here in Los Angeles. Soon after, she studied and sat for her real estate license.
Patricia Rhee is a Partner at Ehrlich Yanai Rhee Chaney Architects, and has been practicing architecture for 20 years. Patricia received her Master's degree in Architecture from Harvard's Graduate School of Design and received her Bachelor's degree from the University of Pennsylvania. She is a member of the AIA, DBIA and is a LEED Accredited Professional. She is currently a Board Member of the Culver City Chamber of Commerce and recipient of the 2017 Culver City Women in Business Council Visionary Award. Patricia was also a Founding Co-Chair of the AIA Los Angeles Women in Architecture Committee. In 2015, her firm received the 2015 National AIA Firm Award, one of the industry’s highest honors. Patricia has served as Lead Designer for several of the firm’s most challenging and award-winning projects including the John M. Roll United States Courthouse and the United Arab Emirates’ Federal National Council Parliament Complex. Patricia believes that architecture should facilitate community gathering, bringing people together, encouraging dialog and exchange. Her project experience ranges from civic to institutional and commercial developments of all scales and multiple delivery methods including design-build. She lives in Los Angeles.
Steve Richardson is a Development Consultant and CEO of the Los Angeles Clergy Development Council. He began his career in real estate and finance in 2003 as a mortgage banker with Novastar Home Mortgage. In his tenure as a mortgage professional, he grew to become a high producing mortgage banker and real estate investor. In 2008, he along with 4 partners opened an equity REIT which acquired distressed real estate assets. In 2010, he began providing consulting and developmental services for real estate developers specializing in urban infill properties.
With over 300 million in closed transactions; Steve has residential, commercial, land entitlement and development transaction experience. He has a career spanning over 15 years as a real estate practitioner.
Steve began his educational career at Hope International University with coursework in Human Development. He also attended Goldman Sachs for Business Management. He has attended and completed many academies and programs for real estate investment and sales. He is a licensed and ordained minister serving as senior pastor of Good News Church, in Long Beach Ca. He is a licensed realtor and current member of NAR, CAR, SWLAOR.
In the affordable housing sector, Steve, as part of a faith based development team, has begun planning and entitlement of over 150 units of permanent supportive housing, in Southern California. Steve is the author of one book: A Journey to Financial Freedom, a Guide to Flipping Houses.
Upon completion of the Ross Minority Program, Steve plans to complete the entitlement and development of over 200 additional units of affordable housing. Steve resides in Long Beach, Ca.
Every day, Dominique Veasey serves over 350 rising leaders across two school sites in Huntington Park and Maywood, California. As a Business Operations Manager at KIPP Comienza Community Prep she works to ensure students are learning in a safe and healthy environment that allows them to thrive academically. In her role, she manages several different functions such as emergency prep, school nutrition, student recruitment, procurement, and facilities. Additionally, she is the onsite project manager for school maintenance and works with district partners to complete needed projects. Dominique has worked with the Los Angeles Unified School District and the KIPP LA regional office to negotiate and finalize two facility agreements.
Dominique is a native of Bowie, Maryland and received her B.S. from Florida A&M University in Business Administration. She lives to serve her community and wants to work to ensure our students learn in an environment that is operationally efficient and conducive to learning for all. Dominique knows the next generations of leaders will soon take the world by storm.
Aaron Whitehurst currently works as a project manager/planner for USG Ceilings Plus and is an engineering consultant with Cooke and Assoc. Structural Engineering Co. Where he provides engineering designs on single family and multi-unit residential projects.
As a project manager with USG Ceilings Plus he has had the opportunity to work on many public projects. A few of his latest projects include the recent renovation of LAX USO at the Los Angeles International Airport and United Airlines Lounge also at the Los Angeles international airport. As an engineering consultant Aaron has worked on in-fill development and re-hab projects for over 20 years as an engineering consultant. Aaron has provided structural engineering designs for over 300 projects, ranging from single story additions to custom homes. He is now looking to take that experience and move to the development side of real estate.
Aaron graduated from the University of Central Missouri with a B.S. in Industrial Science (engineering) with and emphasis in Mechanical Design. Aaron also received a certificate of completion from Los Angeles Trade Technical College in Community Planning and Economic Development.
Aaron enjoys time with his family, USC Football, traveling, sports of all kinds, and being outdoors.
As Vice President of Land Development for Shea Properties, Ms. Cobb’s responsibilities include planning and program development for a wide range of projects located throughout California and Seattle, Washington. She has specific expertise in the fields of policy planning, land planning, transportation planning and affordable housing.
While at Shea Properties, Ms. Cobb has been instrumental in the development of several multifamily and mixed-use communities throughout California including Ascent in San Jose, Ilara in Milpitas, Vantis in Aliso Viejo, Alhambra Place in Alhambra, Eden Shores Industrial in Hayward, Bressi Ranch in Carlsbad, and industrial parks in Santa Ana, Corona and Norco. Currently, Ms. Cobb is working on the planning and entitlement of an 80-acre mixed-use master plan within the City of Dublin. Ms. Cobb is also working on the development of the company’s first properties in the state of Washington.
Prior to joining Shea Properties, Ms. Cobb was a Senior Associate with RBF Consulting in Irvine, California. While at RBF, she specialized in the development of master plans, general plans, subdivision processing, environmental analyses and project site design. In addition to her work in the private sector, Ms. Cobb worked for the City of Irvine, focusing on the areas of Current and Advanced Planning and Transportation Planning where she was responsible for providing technical and analytical review of major development projects.
Ms. Cobb earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban Planning and Design through the School of Social Ecology from the University of California, Irvine. She is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), American Planning Association (APA), and has served as Publications Director for the APA’s Orange County Chapter. She is also a member of Urban Land Institute (ULI), and served as Vice Chair of Places of Commerce Initiative Council.
PJ Gagajena is the Administrative Services Manager for the City of Indio, California. He supports the Economic Development Department and has been involved in real estate projects related to hotel construction, commercial and industrial development, college campus expansion, and downtown revitalization. He previously supported the City Manager’s Office to implement the city’s strategic plans, manage legislative affairs, oversee the City Clerk’s Office, and operate the Indio Performing Arts Center.
PJ has worked in state and local government since 1999. He began his career working in the Mayor’s Office in New York City and then served as an aide to former California State Assembly Member George Nakano. He spent 11-years working for the City of Los Angeles and specialized in budget, human resources, performance management, urban planning, sustainability, and community relations. PJ also taught at El Camino College in Torrance, California as an Adjunct Professor of Political Science for nearly a decade.
PJ acquired master’s degrees in Public Policy and Urban Planning from Harvard University where he served as Co-Editor of the Asian American Policy Review. He graduated with honors from the University of California, Los Angeles where he acquired a bachelor’s degree in Political Science and served as Internal Vice President of the Undergraduate Students Association Council. PJ is a graduate of the Public Policy and International Affairs Program, and New York City Urban Fellows Program.
PJ is a member of the California Association for Local Economic Development (CALED), International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), International City/County Management Association (ICMA), Municipal Management Association of Southern California (MMASC), and International Network of Asian Pacific Administrators (I-NAPA). He was selected by Cal-ICMA as a scholarship award winner to attend its West Coast Regional Conference in 2019 and will be a part of CALED’s inaugural Advanced Institute program to become an Accredited California Economic Developer.
Upon completion of USC’s Ross Minority Program in Real Estate, PJ plans to continue working to create livable communities, improve people’s lives, and develop the next generation of public service leaders. PJ lives in La Quinta, California, and grew up in Torrance, California.
Quinn Green is an Associate Broker and REALTOR ®/Real Estate Advisor with Century 21 Connect Realty in Roswell, GA. He is a graduate of Georgia State University (GSU) where he earned a BBA in Management and Marketing, with a concentration in Real Estate Development. During his tenure at GSU he worked on a tax credit senior housing projects through a cooperative learning program with H.J. Russell & Company. He received a scholarship following his completion of this program that was used to obtain his Georgia real estate agent license (2003).
Quinn has since worked with multiple privately owned residential real estate brokerages, including a Coldwell Banker franchise in Decatur/Stone Mountain and Southern REO in Roswell, GA. In addition to working in transaction sales with the Resale Division of Southern REO, he also worked with a sister company called House Connect (which was consolidated into a Century 21 Connect Realty franchise in 2015). His specialty is working with owner occupants and investors to acquire new construction, resale, and distressed asset properties (single and multi-family).
Quinn holds a real estate Brokers license and is a graduate of REAP (Real Estate Associates Program) Atlanta, the Leadership Academy (DeKalb Association of Realtors and Georgia Association of Realtors), Leadership DeKalb (c/o 2017), Leadership Buckhead (c/o 2018), Economic Development Fellow Program for DeKalb County, Small-Scale Property Redevelopment Community Builders Program (Invest Atlanta), and Center for Leadership (CFL) for the Urban Land Institute (ULI) – Atlanta. He has also served as President of the DeKalb Association of REALTORS (2017).
Professionally Quinn is a Planning Director for REAP (Real Estate Associate Program) Atlanta, State Director of the Georgia Association of REALTORS (GAR), Board of Director for the DeKalb Association of REALTORS (DAR), Empire Board of Realtist (EBR) Commercial Real Estate Council member, and Superintendent Advisory Committee member for the DeKalb County School District B.
Emmitt Hayes is a Broker and owner of Hayes Realty, a full service real estate company servicing Los Angeles and surrounding areas. Emmitt is one of two principal investors with So Southwest Holdings LLC, focusing on purchasing, rehabbing homes and then selling to first time homebuyers.
Prior to starting his own Realty and Investment Company, Emmitt was employed at JP Morgan Chase as Operation Specialist in the foreclosure Department. During his tenure with Chase, Emmitt authored the procedures for the Departmental Foreclosure processes.
Emmitt earned his real estate license in 2005 and began purchasing homes to rehab and resale. Then in 2007 began working as a real estate agent for Century 21 Excellence. Emmitt earned his Broker’s License in 2011 and opened Hayes Realty in 2014.
In 2002, Emmitt graduated from Park University located in Parkville, MO with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Finance. While attending Park, Emmitt received the Arthur Ashe award for exceptional academics while excelling in athletics.
Emmitt continues to buy and rehab houses while helping first time homebuyers find their dream homes. Emmitt also speaks at first time homebuyer workshops instructing potential homebuyers on the process of purchasing a home along with the ups and downs of the home buying process.
Emmitt’s goals after completion of the Ross Minority Program are to partner with an experienced developer, initiate and complete mixed-use development projects, build lasting relationships with like-minded people, and develop a mentor-training program to support minorities wanting to become real estate professionals.
Emmitt Hayes resides in Redondo Beach, CA.
Dionyá Jackson is currently a multi-family and residential realtor at Keller Williams Realty.
Jackson studied Business Marketing at Arizona State University. Prior to working at Keller Williams, Jackson performed data entry for Holst Brother’s, Inc. general contractors. Additionally, Jackson worked as an intern for Regina Vannicola. Jackson is well versed in the field of multi-family investing real estate market. Jackson epitomizes integrity, dedication, enthusiasm, and customer service in every aspect of your real estate transaction.
She is a member of The NCREA, Career Compass, Beverly Hills Commercial Board, Commercial Appliance, and YPN Southwest.
Jackson is also the co-founder of a non-profit titled, “The Impact Project,” where she helps serve over 500 families and children from underserved communities in the greater Los Angeles area. Jackson currently lives in Los Angeles.
Celeste Lawson is a Real Estate Developer with passion for education, and a profound interest in city renewal and redevelopment projects in blighted and impoverished inner-city areas. Ms. Lawson has over 20 consecutive years, both personally and professionally in the real estate industry.
Celeste launched The Lawson Business Group, LTD, a boutique real estate firm, in 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. She represents her firm as a Consultant, General Contractor, and Project Manager. By early fall, The Lawson Business Group, LTD will officially be certified as an MBE, FBE, DBE, and EDGE business with both the City of Cleveland and State of Ohio.
Ms. Lawson has received a Master’s in Business Administration (2016) and Masters in Urban Planning and Development (2017) from Cleveland State University. While attending her MBA program in 2015, Celeste had the opportunity to study abroad in London, England and Demark, Copenhagen. While abroad, Celeste was able to learn an international aspect of finance, purchasing of real estate, marketing and how international business with the United States is handled. In 2017, Celeste took another opportunity to study abroad and travel to Israel. While there she was exposed to Israel’s culture as it pertained to real estate development, and entrepreneurship. This is where Celeste found a sence of renewal, inspiration and a determination to take her company to the next level, while also providing families an opportunity for homeownership on an affordable basis.
Recently, Celeste was chosen to be amongst a small group of minority contractors to revitalize and rehabilitate vacant and abandoned homes in opportunity zones throughout the city of Cleveland, Ohio. Celeste has also taken the necessary steps to become a Lead Abatement Contractor to combat the devastation caused by lead paint related to small children and the aging population in the Cleveland, Ohio area. She has made it her goal to ensure every rehabilitation and or renovation project she does is fully abated according to the Ohio EPA standards.
As a 2015 graduate of the REAP Program, a real estate program whose primary focus is to assist minorities in breaking into commercial real estate, Celeste adapted a passion for commercial real estate and a mission to offer top-notch Real Estate services, while also putting her client’s needs at the forefront of her overall business. Ms. Lawson also completed the Turner Construction School of Management in May 2019.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Ms. Lawson has been surrounded by real estate professionals since infancy and comes from a family with a history of real estate property ownership. Celeste hopes to use the education she receives with the Ross Minority Program to create green and sustainable, but also affordable projects that will greatly impact her city.
Linda is an established Real Estate Broker and driven businesswoman, with nineteen continuous years of providing personalized service for the buying, selling and investment of real estate. Linda’s original entry into Real Estate came from her desire to build a ground-up business founded on hard work, creativity and the highest standards of professionalism. As a second-generation Real Estate professional, Linda is recognized as a top agent and represents a 30-year plus referral base. A dependable and excellent negotiator, Linda’s unique eye for quality in design, location, and architecture has led her clients and investors to purchase distinctive properties in Los Angeles.
Linda’s approach to real estate opportunities emphasizes strong analytical and communication skills, and integrates a wide variety of business leadership experiences. In such an evolving and demanding market as Real Estate, this approach has brought her tremendous success in securing clients investment properties and commercial spaces that as a result of expansions projects have netted an average of 30% increase in rents. She continuously achieves best client satisfaction ratings (99.16%) according to homeowner surveys.
Additionally, Linda has worked diligently to build her own real estate portfolio. Prior to embarking in a Real Estate career, Linda worked at IBM for many years in technical marketing and sales. Moreover, Linda grew up in Guadalajara, Mexico and in Southern California, graduating from Cal Poly Pomona University with a degree in Marketing. Through the Ross Minority Program in Real Estate, Linda is eager to create inroads for leadership roles in the industry, and as a result establish a broader network in the community.
Cesar Pacheco-Garcia is a real estate agent who works for a developer based in Beverly Hills with a mission to build more practical and affordable multifamily housing units across the Greater Los Angeles MSA and specifically along urban in-fill. He focuses on finding Transit-Oriented Communities (TOC) properties, locating and connecting with owners through traditional and creative means, and finally negotiating with these owners to sell or participate in joint-ventures by putting up their land at a predetermined cost basis.
Before this role, Cesar interned at Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Brentwood where he focused on researching the Santa Monica Seismic retrofit program. He also worked briefly for a small residential investment firm based in Burbank, CA that focused on flipping homes in the Los Angeles Area.
He received a Bachelor’s Degree of Arts in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles. During his time at UCLA and while he was member of the Bruin Real Estate Association, he enrolled in the real estate financial modeling (REFM) training course with the UCLA Anderson Real Estate Association (AREA). Since graduating in June 2018, he has completed Real Estate Market Analysis and Using ARGUS and Spreadsheet programs for Commercial Real Estate Analysis through UCLA Extension.
He is a member of UCLA Bruin Professionals, the UCLA Real Estate Alumni Group, the West Los Angeles Chancellor’s Society and the UCLA Latino Alumni Association as well as a Blue Member of the UCLA Alumni Association.
Mr. Pacheco’s most notable achievement includes putting together a $7 MM transaction. Currently, Cesar is working on an assemblage that will yield 40+ apartment units.
His most immediate goal is to keep enhancing his real estate acquisitions expertise and to sharpen his real estate acumen in order to propel him towards achieving his goals within the industry. His long-term goal is to keep gaining experience in real estate finance and development roles. Cesar hopes to one day build different product types across inner cities in SoCal and the Central Valley that are affordable multi-family housing as he believes that they will improve the lives of those who need the most help.
Cesar resides in Westwood, CA and grew up in Fresno, CA.
Sharron St. John is the managing broker at St. John Estates. SJE is a full-service real estate brokerage in Century City, California that specializes in repositioning and developing multifamily properties within high-demand US markets. From high-profile investors to local landlords, Sharron St. John is committed to helping her clients achieve their real estate goals.
She developed her tireless work ethic as an undergraduate student at UCLA, graduating class of 2012. Sharron is now pursuing a Masters in Real Estate Development at USC.
Sharron's goal is to create a lasting legacy for her family, and affect the world in a positive way through commercial real estate. Sharron is also a contributor to Inman News, covering real estate business, real estate investments, and wealth building for Millennials.
Sasha Werblin currently works as a Special Projects Manager on the Executive Staff Team at Self-Help Federal Credit Union, a community development financial institution with 17 branches across California. As a member of the Executive Staff Team, Sasha has worked on cross-functional teams and led a variety of projects from producing a video highlighting the history and impact of the West Oakland branch to updating the credit union’s checking account products in California and Illinois. She was recently assigned to help build Self-Help’s California real estate development strategy and team. In this new capacity, Sasha manages Self-Help’s first two real estate projects in Modesto and Oakland. Both projects will install a new flagship branch, credit union office space, a community center, and fair market office space for non-profits.
Prior to joining Self-Help, Sasha directed the economic equity program at the Greenlining Institute. In this role, Sasha was the bridge between local constituents, banks, and national policymakers toward improving access to credit and supplier contracts for minority businesses, people of color, and low-wealth individuals. She did this through organizing, facilitating, and advocating to collect market intelligence, communicate systemic barriers, and methodically address these complex issues to reach solid, sustainable solutions.
Sasha is an advocate at heart. She takes her commitment to overcoming systemic inequities to every institution and project in which she invests. Given the ebb and flow of the real estate market and its impact on pricing, and therefore access to office space and housing—it was important that she shift her lens to this critical industry. She is especially interested in how urban planning, development, and real estate drive much of our economy and our lived experiences. She understands that the impact of these drivers often depend on who is, and perhaps more importantly, who is not, at the table.
Sasha is a Board Member of the Oakland Community Land Trust, the Greenlining Institute and Chairs the Greenlining Academy Alumni Association. She received her BA in Sociology and Psychology from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts and is an MBA candidate at Mills College in Oakland California.
Sasha is proud Oakland native who still lives, works, and worships in her hometown. She enjoys estate sales, thrifting, and exploring the beauty that is California.
Myesha White-Taylor serves as Director of Acquisition/Resources for New Congregational and Xpand CDC. Myesha White-Taylor has over 25 years of service to her community. She serves as coordinator for a community resource fair “Unity in Our Community”. Myesha has been fundamental in a single and multi-family building project of 54 units in partnership with Investors Realty Partners. The development is expected to begin housing families in 2020. Project Xpand Hope is designed to bring hope and healing to her Los Angeles community. Her education background is in the area of business and child development.
Myesha has always believed in service and helping her community. Myesha began her service at the age of ten and became an entrepreneur at the age of fifteen. She serves as Leader to women, and teaches a weekly Effective Living workshop. This woman of purpose has strong interpersonal skills, resulting in exceptional rapport with people. Myesha deals professionally, tactfully, and courteously with people in a variety of circumstances. She has personal motivation, with proven ability to build; work collaboratively within a team, and independently.
Knowing she was here to make a difference, she can only look at advancement. Myesha has a certificate of completion for Financial Literacy-USC, Skill Builders Conference-West Ed, Early Head Start Conference, multiple areas of Early Intervention, and Getting to Know You- El Camino Compton College. Myesha is a woman committed to make a difference..
Myesha is a wife and mother to three precious and precocious young men.
Qiuana Williams is an experienced public servant skilled in long range policy planning, transportation planning, land use entitlements, community outreach and project management. Williams currently serves as a project planner in the Expedited Processing Section (EPS) of the City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning. In her current role, Williams works to provide the public with a faster alternative for processing entitlement applications, supporting the City’s objectives to promote development that enhances the built environment. Prior to her role in EPS, Williams focused on long range transportation and infrastructure planning to create and implement plans, policies and programs that help to realize a vision of Los Angeles based on a foundation of mobility, economic vitality and improved quality of life for all residents.
Williams’ career in public service spans 10 years and also includes a role as program manager of the Great Streets Challenge, a program of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Great Streets Initiative to envision, collaborate on, and build transformative street infrastructure projects while building strong partnerships between communities and the City of Los Angeles. Prior to joining the City of Los Angeles, Williams worked for Jerome E. Horton, Chairman Emeritus of the State Board of Equalization as the regional outreach stakeholder manager and Assembly Member Warren T. Furutani (ret) as a field deputy.
Williams is the owner of SIQ Investments, LLC, and the vehicle in which she intends to pursue a variety of land and real estate development projects, and is a member of the American Planning Association (APA). Williams previously served as a 2019 delegate representing Southern California at the 2019 American Planning Association National Conference, a Commissioner for the City of Carson Women’s Issues Commission, and Committee Member for the Clean Power Alliance Community Advisory Committee (CPA) representing the South Bay sub-region.
Born and raised in the South Bay, Williams completed her master’s degree in City and Regional Planning at Cardiff University in Cardiff, Wales, UK, holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business: Finance, Real-Estate and Law from California State University, Long Beach, and a certificate in Leadership and Public Policy Analysis from the Los Angeles African American Women’s Public Policy Institute.
Lizzet Alvarez has extensive experience managing and creating community engagement initiatives and programs for organizations interested in genuinely serving their constituents. She is a recent graduate of the Masters in Social Enterprise program at USC’s Marshall School of Business.
Upon completing the Ross Minority Program in Real Estate, Lizzet and her husband, Alejandro Martinez (RMPIRE class of ’04), who has been developing affordable housing for non-profit organizations for over 16 years, launched an independent real estate development company, Agave Investment and Development. They hope to push the envelope when it comes to developing innovative and beautiful affordable housing projects for Los Angeles and its surrounding communities.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Delland Bartlett currently works as a chemistry professor at Santa Monica College (SMC) and is the owner of Talawa Ventures, LLC, a seasoned California limited liability company, the vehicle in which he plans to pursue a variety of real estate projects.
Delland has had a lifelong fascination and interest in real estate development while having firsthand experience – and developing a keen sense – of how important housing is to the growth and stability of families and communities. He was raised in extremely humble circumstances and was an active participant in the building of a proper family house.
A graduate of Rutgers Business School (formerly Rutgers Graduate School of Management) where he earned the Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree in Finance, Delland also holds a doctor of philosophy (PhD) degree in chemistry from the University of the West Indies (UWI), Kingston, Jamaica.
Prior to his current role at SMC, Delland served as a professor of finance at St Edward’s University in Austin, TX. Before that, he was a stock-trader and Managing Director at Worldco, LLC, a Wall Street trading firm where he hired, trained and led a team of proprietary traders utilizing firm capital. Delland also has other management experience as he served as Deputy Plant Manager in a chemical complex producing sulfuric and sulfonic acids while leading a team of plant mechanics and operators.
A resident and recent import to Los Angeles (less than five years), Delland is firmly of the view that the chaotic Southern California housing market, while inherently challenging, presents many significant opportunities to make ample profits for investors and developers while doing good for the SoCal communities in which we operate.
An entrepreneur, Delland has an eye for real estate development and, arising out of the RMPIRE experience, hopes to build a team of associates, investors and developers with whom to develop quality real estate projects in the Greater Los Angeles Area.
Delland enjoys playing or watching cricket, golf and tennis.
Howard is a graduate of the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and later, earned a Masters of Business Taxation degree at Golden Gate University. Howard is also a certified public accountant in the State of California. Utilizing this accounting and finance background, Howard has been working in the real estate industry for 10+ years with particular focus on the affordable housing industry. Currently, Howard is the Controller of the Housing Division at Century Housing Corporation, which is responsible for a 27-acre site in Long Beach serving veterans, special needs population and low-income residents as well as rapid developments in new construction and acquisition and rehabilitation projects in Southern California. Prior to his current role, Howard spent close to 10 years in public accounting at KPMG LLP and Novogradac & Company LLP providing auditing, tax and consulting services to its clients. Howard also had worked at The Walt Disney Company, American Realty Advisors and Highridge Costa Investors.
During his time at Novogradac, Howard developed a passion for real estate and affordable housing. It is often profound to him that his work from an accounting perspective is adding value and indirectly contributing to the community and giving a helping hand to those in need. Howard resides in San Marino and enjoys spending time with the family with two vibrant young boys aged 6 and 3. Howard is an occasional golfer and a sports fan (especially baseball and college basketball). Go GIANTS!!! With the Ross Program, Howard looks to build on his network of colleagues while expanding his horizon in other areas of real estate development. His ambition is to one day utilize the skillset acquire from this program to successfully identify and develop a project factoring fiscal policy impacts, socioeconomic impacts, project development, appropriate sources of project financing, and taking it from start to completion.
Before transitioning to the Los Angeles area, Marteen was the former Director of Entrepreneurship Programming at Urban Innovation21 and economic development non-profit based in Pittsburgh. During her time there, she implemented community-based entrepreneurship support programs. Marteen managed the development of business education series and led Urban Innovation21’s work in Homewood cultivating entrepreneur development opportunities for Homewood residents, managing strategic relationships with Homewood stakeholders and implementing business district revitalization strategies including spearheading the development of the newly formed business association.
Prior to joining Urban Innovation21, Marteen was the Manager of Community and Economic Development Initiatives at the Homewood Children’s Village. In this role, Marteen worked on several community development projects, producing events promoting arts and culture, implementing school safety programs and identifying business development opportunities for Homewood business owners.
Marteen was born and raised in the Bronx, NY, receiving her BA in Africana and Metropolitan Studies from New York University, and her MS in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University, Heinz College. Marteen is an alumna of Coro Pittsburgh’s Women in Leadership program, the 2016 recipient of the Athena Young Professional award and a 2016 Pittsburgh Magazine 40 under 40 honoree.
Maggie specializes in the sale and leasing of retail real estate at Progressive Real Estate Partners. She has been actively involved in the commercial real estate industry for over 13 years. Her expertise includes real estate, finance, technology, and business development. Maggie possesses a diverse background in the commercial real estate industry including completing industrial, office, retail and residential transactions.
Recognizing the importance of being more focused, Maggie recognized that retail is her preferred product type and joined the PREP team so that she could focus on retail and take her career to higher levels. Prior to joining PREP, Maggie was a Sales Associate at D & G Capital Investments in Rowland Heights where she represented her clients in the acquisition and leasing of commercial properties to help them achieve their real estate goals. Previous to D & G Capital Investments, Maggie held positions as a Sales Associate at RE/Max Commercial in Ontario and as an REO Specialist at Century 21 Elite in Anaheim. Maggie started her career in real estate as an Account Executive at Metwest Commercial Lending. While at Metwest she handled the financing of all product types which has provided her with an excellent background in understanding leasing from a potential financing perspective. Although she loved the work she was doing at Metwest, the firm was a victim of the Great Recession.
Maggie earned her B.S. in Business Administration and a minor in Computer Information Systems from Cal State University in Hayward. She is an active member of the International Council of Shopping Center (ICSC). Maggie is constantly looking for ways to further expand her knowledge and education in the industry to be able to better serve her clients.
Kristen Gordon currently serves as an Economic Development Deputy for Los Angeles City Councilmember Marqueece-Harris Dawson. As a member of the Capital Projects team, she focuses on transportation policy, planning, and implementation. Previously, Ms. Gordon served as a Field Deputy for the Hyde Park, Angeles Mesa, and View Heights neighborhoods.
Prior to joining Council District 8, Kristen worked as a Planning Assistant for the Los Angeles Department of City Planning. As a Research Assistant for the UC Institute of Transportation Studies, she focused on transit-oriented development and transit ridership on Los Angeles Metro Rail. Kristen is an active member in the American Planning Association Los Angeles (APA-LA), and previously served as the Co-Director for the Young Planners Group. Kristen received a B.A. in Urban Studies from the University of California, Irvine.
By keeping her finger on the pulse of the latest trends and movements of the Los Angeles real estate market, Christine Ji is able to offer her clients top-notch guidance from start to finish, ensuring the entire process is seamless, efficient and rewarding.
Prior to joining the world of real estate, as a successful Human Resources Analyst in the one of largest engineering and construction industry (Jacobs Engineering & Parsons Corp.), Christine became an expert in figuring out how to provide customers with what they want and need. It starts with fully appreciating each customer and then finding creative ways to fulfill their needs-insight that informs how she approaches her work as a real estate representative. “I treat my clients’ needs and wants as my own when searching for the perfect property or helping them secure the best deal,” she says.
Following the completion of the USC Ross Minority Program, her goal is to take her expertise and knowledge of real estate and build lasting relationships within her local community and eventually, extend her influence to North and South Korea.
Originally from South Korea, Christine received a MA in education from Piedmont University and is fluent in Korean. She is a RE/MAX realtor and lives in Los Angeles.
With over 5 years of experience in the real estate field, Jason Lee has established a thorough and diverse knowledge base ranging from single-family transactions, to large-scale developments. Throughout his ever-expanding career, Jason has consistently identified and solved complex real estate issues by effectively utilizing his knowledge and large network of consultants. Jason Lee has received awards recognizing his strong work ethics and commitment to quality service including the Top Listing Agent award in his real estate firm.
Jason currently serves as the owner’s representative and project coordinator for all development projects of Panoptic Development.
Chris Lopez currently serves as a project manager for the Los Angeles County Community Development Commission. As part of their special projects unit, Chris has played an active role in the administration and management of large capital developments, economic development initiatives and special assignments directed by the County’s District Office’s. These projects include Vermont Corridor, Honor Ranch–Castaic, the Bioscience Cluster Development Initiative, and programming assistance at the County’s business incubator; the Business Technology Center.
As part of a small team, Chris primarily focuses on pre-development activities, contract administration, solicitation/procurement and assisting in ground lease negotiations. Chris has recently been assigned to assist with the County’s business loan program where he works in tandem with borrowers and underwriters to prepare loan packages for approval, closing and funding.
Prior to his employment at the Commission, Chris attended the University of Southern California where he received a B.A. in Psychology and placement on the Dean’s List each semester. During his studies at USC, Chris explored various interests, which led him to multiple business development internships and a position with a tech start-up based in Marina Del Rey.
By attending the Ross Minority Program in Real Estate, Chris looks forward to gaining new real estate knowledge, learning from his peers and seek out meaningful ways to make an impact in the community. By integrating the knowledge gained from the Ross program, Chris feels he will not only gain a new perspective that will assist him in managing capital and economic development projects but also position him for success as he continues his career.
Chris resides in Temple City and enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, watching sports and trying out new restaurants.
David Rodriguez is an aspiring Commercial Real Estate professional and an ambitious real estate investor that has focused on distressed residential properties. His interest in real estate was simply sparked by curiosity and it quickly became his passion, so much so that he became a licensed Realtor. Now he is focused on transitioning his career into the commercial real estate industry. A native of Los Angeles, David graduated from Pepperdine University with a degree in Business Management and completed graduate coursework at Sacramento State University and Fordham University. He has nearly 20 years of professional experience in sales, operations, and legislative affairs.
Early in his career, he was selected for one of the nation’s most prestigious and selective fellowships working at the State Capitol in Sacramento. Later, he was recruited by a Fortune 500 financial firm to join their team as a sales executive. He subsequently transitioned from sales into operations, working for two different national brands managing operations in California. David has been recognized for his accomplishments in leadership, sales, operations, and mentoring future leaders. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), Urban Land Institute (ULI), NAIOP, the National Association of Realtors, California Association of Realtors, and the Southland Regional Association of Realtors.
David recently completed Project REAP’s (Real Estate Associate Program) 10-week Commercial Real Estate training program in New York City. The REAP Program offers its student participants exposure to all aspects of commercial real estate through a combination of classroom instruction, taught by industry experts, and on-site commercial property visits. He has since relocated back to Southern California, where he hopes to launch his new career.
Mr. Fernando Sanchez is a Vice President with Kosmont Companies assisting public and private sector clients with market and economic analyses, strategic planning, and real estate development advisory. His recent work includes market supply and demand analysis, prioritization of strategic opportunity sites for retail and future development, analysis of potential development uses, and geospatial analysis of boundaries and funding and financing feasibility of new infrastructure financing districts such as Enhanced Infrastructure Financing Districts (EIFDs) and Community Revitalization and Investment Authorities (CRIAs).
Prior to joining Kosmont Companies, Mr. Sanchez also worked as an Analyst for Entertainment and Culture Advisors, a Los Angeles-based economic consulting firm specializing in the entertainment and attractions industry. Other previous experience includes working as an Analyst and Project Manager for JDT International Inc., a residential real estate developer in Philadelphia, and working as a Transportation Planner with the City of Philadelphia Mayor’s Office of Transportation and Utilities.
Mr. Sanchez is a member of the American Planning Association and the Urban Land Institute. He is also a Board Member of the Princeton Club of Southern California.
Mr. Sanchez holds a Master of City Planning degree from the University of Pennsylvania, where he focused on public and private real estate development. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with minors in Urban Studies, Latin American Studies, and Spanish from Princeton University.
Michael Vasoghi serves as the principal of Spectrum Realty Group Corp. (“SRG”), a Newport Beach-based commercial real estate brokerage firm, specializing in the representation of office and industrial tenants and investors. Michael’s background includes over 18 years of broad and diverse real estate experience. A proven track record in sales and marketing which includes leasing, land sales, building sales, development, built-to- suite, ground leases, project management, and zoning entitlements. As a proven and trusted real estate advocate, Michael calls upon the wisdom and experience gained during thousands of negotiations to advise his clients when making the important decisions required to control occupancy cost and avoid undue risk. Michael’s ability to cultivate relationships gives him unique access to the market and enable him to effectively negotiate on behalf of his clients.
A creative problem solver, Michael is committed to providing the best quality real estate service in the industry and strives to keep his clients aware of the changing trends through intensive market research and effective communication. Tenacity, creative problem solving, patience, accountability and a genuine love for the business gives Michael a uniquely competitive edge in the brokerage community. Michael’s methodology and philosophical approach to service incorporate the hallmarks of honesty, diligence, and professionalism through demonstration of the following attributes:
Reliability and consistency
Market knowledge and anticipation of trends
Creativity and implementation skills
Responsiveness and timeliness
Today having been involved in over 1,000 real estate transactions, Michael’s experience has provided him insight into the financial and operational aspects of companies to better understand the needs of owners, users and investors in commercial real estate. His clients spanning a spectrum of industries including, insurance, financial, professional services, printing services, architecture, engineering, manufacturing, technology, and medical services.
Michael holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance and a Bachelor of Science in Real Estate from University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He enjoys traveling, live music, going to the beach, and working out. He has been very active in the local community, supporting and volunteering his time for several organizations, including OC United Way, Project Access, and Youth Employment Services.
Joseph Williams has committed himself to serving disadvantaged communities for nearly 20 years. He currently serves as President of the San Bernardino Community College District Board of Trustees, and is the President of the African American Community College Trustees Association and is Principal Consultant for Brand You Inc.
Brand You Inc is an experiential lifestyle guidance, change management, and consumer advocacy firm located in Southern California.
Williams is the Founder of a youth services agency called Youth Action Project (YAP). YAP’s mission is to empower youth and young adults in the development of the skills and habits to experience economic and social success. YAP has hired and trained over 200 college students who have mentored over 2,000 high school students.
Williams wears several policy hats as an appointee of Governor Jerry Brown to the California Workforce Development Board and is a member of the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board.
Williams was profiled by California Forward as one of California’s “Forward Thinkers” and named an “Everyday Hero” honoree by Molina Healthcare and received the Black Rose Award from the Black Cultural Foundation.
Chase Yim is a Financial Analyst with Hunt Capital Partners (HCP), a syndication division of Hunt Companies, Inc. HCP specializes in the syndication of Federal and State Low Income Housing, Historic and Solar Tax Credits. Chase has 3 years of Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) experience and is responsible for acquisition of LIHTC equity investment and structuring of institutional funds. Chase collaborated with executive team to raise and deploy $200 million of investor equity in portfolios and to close on over 20 partnerships in both proprietary and multi funds. Chase oversees affordable housing portfolios of $1.4 billion in LIHTC investments across all States.
Prior to HCP, Chase was an Analyst at Venegas Capital, a boutique investment bank where he assisted in due diligence and processing of sell-side and buy side M&A transactions. Chase received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics/Economics with a minor in Statistics from the University of California Los Angeles.
Born and raised in Oklahoma; spent childhood fishing and playing baseball. Graduated early from Coweta High School to join the Marine Corps, then in 2001, after three he transferred to the Navy. Scheduled to retire in Feb of 2021.
Looking forward to pursuing a career in real estate development on the West Coast. Graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in 2013 and currently pursuing an MBA at The University of Southern California. Enjoy swimming, fishing, cooking, and spending time with my wife Melissa and two children.
Ron Duong is a highly-regarded top agent in the retail investment real estate industry. Over the years, Ron's reputation for his extensive market knowledge, comprehensive pricing analysis, and strategic execution in the marketing of retail real estate investments has made him a valuable resource to some of the top names in the retail space for commercial real estate. These factors have resulted in record prices for his clients as well as closings on some of the most challenging deals in the marketplace ranging from environmental contamination to substantial deferred maintenance.
Ron ranks amongst the top retail agents nationwide, having personally listed/closed approximately $1 billion in retail investments. Ron was a Top 10 Agent at his prior firm's Orange County office since 2008. and was a multiple recipient of the firm's highly regarded Chairman's Club Award. In 2017, Mr. Duong ranked 33rd firm wide amongst over 1,800 agents and $42 billion in sales.
As one of the most active and knowledgeable retail agents in the field, Ron is frequently interviewed and quoted by the leading publications including Globest.com, CoStar.com, and Real Estate Weekly. Ron’s track record of closings represents some of the highest prices and most aggressive cap rates in the marketplace. Most importantly, Ron prides himself on servicing his clients and working with them to achieve their short and long-term goals.
Ron received a B.A. in Finance from California State University Fullerton in 2001. His specialites include Anchored Neighborhood Shopping Centers, Unanchored Shopping Strips, Single Tenant NNN Leased Investments.
Ron has been honored by several Sales Recognition Awards over the years as well as a National Achievement Award and Chairman’s Club Award recently. He is a Senior Director, National Retail Group and a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) since 2004.
Daniel is a dedicated professional to affordable housing in California. Prior to his start in real estate development in 2009, Daniel conducted field studies in Peru for rural communities in consultation for local mining corporations. Being in the service of others with a desire to leave a physical impact on the places in which we live ultimately led him to become a Master in City and Regional Planning from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2012. Motivated by a desire to help reduce the high cost of housing for low-income, working-class individuals and families in California, Daniel is drawn to the mission of nonprofit affordable housing development.
He has worked in both Los Angeles and San Francisco building supportive housing for families and occupied rehabs of senior buildings. Presently, Daniel works for the Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation where in just over two years as a project manager, Daniel led the acquisition of more than 350 units from the San Francisco Housing Authority through the Rental Assistance Demonstration program, and closed $91 million of construction financing for three rehab projects.
At the moment, Daniel manages his time between obtaining entitlements and CEQA approvals to build 108 units of new construction for families and individuals, and a seismic retrofit of an existing 179-unit SRO in anticipation of the limited partner’s exit.
In his free time, Daniel enjoys the outdoors by exploring different neighborhoods by foot. He currently lives in Oakland with his wife and nine-month old.
Jordan was born and raised in Calabasas, California and attended high school in the Los Angeles metro area. After graduating high school, Jordan spent a gap year in Israel immersed in Middle Eastern culture and Judaic studies. In 2011, Jordan attended University of Arizona where he earned his bachelors in Business Finance.
Jordan has held several positions in Finance and Real Estate throughout his career. While going to school, Jordan worked for a language services company as a financial analyst, specializing in data management and financial modeling. After, he worked in Tucson for a family real estate trust focusing on property and portfolio valuation. In 2015, he took a position with City National Bank as a Real Estate Analyst. Jordan provides financial, property, market, and guarantor analysis for the bank. He also underwrites construction and bridge loans for the Real Estate lending group.
An avid sports fan, Jordan regularly plays and watches basketball. He is an active participant in philanthropic organizations such as the Israeli American Council (IAC).
Akintunde “Kin” Hardy is an emerging commercial real estate professional with over 15 years of professional sales, account management, and consulting experience. Most recently Mr. Hardy is very proud to be known as the “Mayor” of the 2017 Project REAP – Atlanta graduating class.
Prior to this professional development, Mr. Hardy worked as a consultant and top performer within multiple pharmaceutical companies such as Novo Nordisk and Johnson and Johnson. Other accomplishments include fund development and management of 1M+ for national non-profits including the National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA) - HQ, the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) New Orleans Region, and the American Heart Association (AHA) covering northern Louisiana.
Akintunde Hardy is a proud graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana located in New Orleans. Mr. Hardy is an active member of various commercial trade associations including: BOMA, ICSC, NAIOP, and the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB) - Empire Board of Realists.
Akintunde Hardy plans to fully transition into commercial real estate partnering on various public-private sector projects or a representative for client-based commercial real estate services. Akintunde Hardy currently resides in Atlanta, GA.
Lacey M. Johnson is a dedicated Community Development Professional who is guided by the principle that society can “build great people by building great places”.
Ms. Johnson currently works as an Assistant Deputy for Community Development to Los Angeles County Supervisor and Board Chairman Mark Ridley-Thomas, serving approximately two-million constituents throughout the greater South Los Angeles region.
In her role, Ms. Johnson aids in the management of a capital project portfolio of over 150 projects in excess of $2 Billion, and serves as a liaison between several County Departments and the Board including the Departments of Public Works, Parks and Recreation, Community Development Commission, Metro and others. She also leads the office’s community engagement efforts related to land use and community development.
Ms. Johnson is also a proud alumnus of several fellowship and professional programs including the UCLA Anderson School of Management’s Riordan MBA Fellowship, the Democratic National Committee’s Hope Institute, the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs, the Public Policy and International Affairs Fellowship at Princeton University, among others.
Born and raised in Bakersfield, CA, Ms. Johnson moved to Los Angeles to attend the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science with honors and with specialties in Public Affairs and Urban Planning. While at UCLA, Ms. Johnson’s research focused on political development and resource distribution in majority-minority suburban communities.
In her spare time, Ms. Johnson enjoys mentoring others, exploring new destinations by foot and reading the latest issues of her favorite print magazines.
Aaron Kohanim is from Los Angeles, CA and graduated from UCLA in 2015 with College Honors in Political Science and a minor in Public Policy.
After graduation, Aaron entered law school seeking a specialty in Business and Real Estate Transactions. During his time at law school, Aaron has been involved with multiple professional clubs, such as the Business Law society and seeks to obtain the Real Estate Law and Business Law certificate. To further this goal, Aaron obtained his Real Estate salesperson license and wants to pursue a broker’s license.
Outside the classroom, Aaron has been active with his Jewish community; he is the current vice-president of LedorVador (a young professional group) and sitting outreach director for several Jewish organizations in Los Angeles. Aaron won the Jewish Leadership Appreciation award for his outstanding service to his community. He hopes to pursue a career in Real Estate transactions for the next few years and then potentially transition to the development/investment side of Real Estate.
Joseph began his career at Marcus & Millichap in July of 1998 as an office assistant in the Long Beach branch where he began learning the basics of Investment Real Estate and the value of technology that Marcus & Millichap had to offer. In 1999 he became an agent of the firm where for the next 5 years he specialized in Retail Investment sales throughout Orange County with an emphasis on Northern Orange County and eventually transitioning to the Newport Beach Office of Marcus & Millichap.
He ventured out into working with other commercial real estate firms having spent 1 year with CBRE and 1 year with Hanley Investments learning and developing valuable leasing relationships before returning home to Marcus & Millichap. Before his return, he also spent some time discerning a vocation to the priesthood residing 2 years in Boston in prayer and contemplation as well living the monastic life with the Norbertines in Orange, CA.
In 2010 he rejoined Marcus & Millichap in Newport Beach as a Senior Associate successfully ranking in the top 30 Multi-Tenant Retail Agents nationwide by June of 2012. His strength in Investment Real Estate is combining art with science to produce innovative and viable solutions in helping his clients create and preserve wealth.
He holds his Bachelor's degree from the University of California, Irvine in Philosophy.
Ryan Oliver Torres is transitioning into the world of corporate real estate with a technology lens and focus. Ryan has spent his career as a software engineer at major US tech companies like Warby Parker and BuzzFeed, as well as several growing startups, focus on front end and design UX work.
In his time at Warby Parker, he focused on campaign launches, partnerships and supported the marketing organization and at BuzzFeed his team helped created a 3x faster mobile website used by over 200M people per month.
His passion for Puerto Rico and for technology have led him towards a project building a startup campus in his hometown of San Juan.
Ryan received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus and is an active member in the local tech community.
Fernanda Oppermann is a Brazilian architect practicing in California. Her work as an architect is rooted in the desire to rethink cities’ challenges through a contemporary design perspective centered in the human experience. Fernanda sees her projects as catalysts for positive change in neighborhoods and cities.
Fernanda received a Bachelor degree in Architecture and Urban Design from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and a Master degree in Architecture from the University of Southern California. She has worked for Eric Owen Moss Architects in Los Angeles and is currently a principal at Mutuo, a Los Angeles based firm that designs innovative contemporary architecture. Mutuo has been involved in a variety of architectural projects, including projects for social impact as well as its own real estate developments.
Roxley Pratt was born and raised in Sierra Leone where he received his primary and seconddary education in Sierra Leone. Toward the end of elementary school war broke out in the neighboring country; Liberia and spilled over to his country. While completing high school he saw an opportunity to start a business selling ice. This was a lucrative venture.
Pratt’s initial success encouraged him to look forward with plans to open a cab business, a fishing boat company and hopefully later a hotel chain. Unfortunatley, the continued conflict directly affected his family in May 1997 and forced them to flee to Gambia as refugees. Following a year of processing through the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) the family resettled to the United States.
Pratt realized his dream of enlisting in the US Marine Corps in 2000 after one year in the U.S. He was activated after the September 11 attack and was deployed for about two years in Iraq.
Upon his return from his tour, he completed an Associates degree at West Los Angeles College and a Bachelor’s degree at Western Michigan University. He returned to Los Angeles to pursue a career in entertainment and completed an Associates in Theater Arts at Santa Monica College. He was accepted to the University of Southern California (USC) in the Master of Business for Veterans program at the Marshall School of Business and has less than one semester to complete his graduate degree in business.
Pratt enjoys traveling to indigenous locations, acting, writing and business as well as the beach and adventurous activities. He has dabbled in stand-up comedy and hopes to do more in the future.
Pratt is enthusiastic about completing the USC Ross Minority Program in Real Estate as he has been searching for this type of real estate training for some time and looks forward to gaining as much knowledge as possible from the instructors and practitioners as well as from the networking opportunities. More importantly, he looks forward to completing the course and receiving his certificate to make a socio-economic impact in communities locally and nationwide.
Adrian was born and raised in Santa Barbara, California. He received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance, Real Estate and Business Law from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
He is currently a part of the Multifamily Finance Capital Group at Wells Fargo. Previous to that he was part of the Santa Barbara Community Bank’s commercial lending team, as a commercial real estate analyst. His duties are to underwrite commercial loan applications and make lending recommendation based on what is best for our clients while reserving the banks best interest.
He has gained a substantial amount of knowledge about the real estate industry throughout his academic and professional career. He has acquired analytical skills such as creating cash flow statements, pro-formas, amortization schedules, evaluating the value of various commercial property types, and analyzing various real estate market trends using historical data.
With his free time he enjoys traveling and playing golf. He has traveled through 3 continents, 8 countries, and has visited over 100 cities abroad.
Pamela Thornton is a Real Property Agent with Southern California Edison. Prior to her career within the utility industry, Ms. Thornton’s professional career was in local government, which spanned over 15 years combined, working within the County of Los Angeles and the District of Columbia jurisdictions. Ms. Thornton guided land use and planning activities, utilizing community and economic development concepts.
Over the last several years, Ms. Thornton has been a change agent, involved with the strategic and long range planning within the City of Los Angeles by serving as Board President of the Harbor Gateway North Neighborhood Council. In addition, Ms. Thornton serves as Chair of the Planning and Land Use Committee, where the focus is to advocate for sustainable planning and land use, with the emphasis on the environment, economic development and social equity.
Ms. Thornton holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from San Diego State University, a M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix.
Aron Angel is an entrepreneur in the world of residential real estate, taking undervalued and dilapidated properties in the Los Angeles and Denver metro areas and turning them into highly desirable, family-oriented homes.
Prior to working in real estate, Aron spent ten years managing marketing and editorial endeavors in the world of digital media and sports.
Following the conclusion of the Ross Minority Program in Real Estate, Aron is looking to become more involved in mixed-use development in the Los Angeles area. Aron lives in Studio City.
YP is a Singapore registered real estate professional and concurrently General Manager at Ohana Capital Management. The latter is a global property investment arm of a Japanese holding company with the intent to expand their global property investment portfolio overseas. The focus is to pursue the right opportunities to develop small scale multi-family homes in the East Coast of US.
As a real estate salesperson since 2011, YP has secured over $43mil worth of transactions, mainly from commercial and industrial sectors. His forte is in asset enhancement for commercial conservation shophouses. His passion in properties, reading and making strategic moves and acquisitions have earned him loyal clienteles.
Prior to real estate, YP had an industrious 20-year career in a few global multinational semi-conductor and telecommunications companies. It brought him to many places, many challenges. The progressive responsibilities range from industrial engineering, demand planning, strategic planning, customer fulfillment, account management, marketing and sales.
In 2002, YP earned his MBA in Strategic Marketing with distinction from the University of Hull, UK. A year later he was recognized by the Semiconductor Industry Association (USA) President Award with the implementation of his dissertation. Prior to this, he attained the Bachelor of Manufacturing Engineering with Honors in 1991 at the University of Birmingham, UK.
Through USC’s Ross Minority Program, YP hopes to garner strong friendships from fellow participants, industry experts and faculty members, and to familiarize on the intricacy with the real estate laws and regulations. Upon completion of the Program, YP intends to apply the acquired knowledge on real estate acquisition and development, implement debt structuring and equity partnership for opportunities in California. YP lives in Singapore, but hopes to move to Los Angeles one day.
Caitlan Cullen is an urban planner with a background in entitlements and resort master planning. Working in planning since 2013, Caitlan has helped to shepherd projects from their earliest conceptual stages through acquisition, design and entitlements. With experience on both national and international projects, she has been a part of efforts ranging in size from standard ministerial permitting to fostering the development of multi-million dollar projects.
Caitlan most recently worked for Walt Disney Imagineering as an associate predevelopment manager supporting the development Disney’s global portfolio of theme park properties. Prior to working for Disney, Caitlan served as an assistant planner for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency where she led the creation and implementation of a region wide commodity tracking system meant to facilitate movement of growth within the Tahoe Basin to more economically and environmentally sustainable areas. Caitlan’s professional passion lies in the nexus between economic and environmental sustainability particularly as it relates to urban development and tourism.
Caitlan holds a Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Southern California with a focus in transportation as well as Bachelors in Environmental Design from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is a member of ULI, is a licensed California real estate salesperson and a recipient of the California Planning Foundation Honorary Scholarship.
Caitlan is continually seeking opportunities to step into new situations and take on unique tasks to further the development of a project while contributing to efficient and effective teams. Caitlan currently spends her time between Los Angeles and Lake Tahoe.
Vahid Davoudi is currently an associate Broker Lic. #0188993 with the Soroudi Team, Charles Dunn Company Lic. #01201641 in Century City, CA specializing in the sale of multi-family apartment buildings in the prime West Side areas of Santa Monica, West Los Angeles, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades and Malibu. With over 10 years’ experience in commercial lending and real estate consulting, Vahid combines vast business acumen with the enterprise of a very strong and successful team to be an advantageous resource to his clients.
Committed to understanding his clients’ needs, Vahid works to develop and implement a strategic plan for each unique property situation and places a great emphasis on communication and follow-through. Able to offer the innovative, entrepreneurial creativity and individualized client attention expected from a commercial real estate professional, Vahid provides the accountability and reliability of a major commercial real estate service company.
Vahid is a graduate of USC Lusk Center for Real Estate’s Ross Program in Commercial Real Estate and award winner of the “Best Development Proposal”. Prior to joining Charles Dunn, one of the first commercial brokerage firms establishes in Los Angeles, Vahid was the in-house lender with for Coldwell Banker working with real estate partners as part of the RMR Financial family with First Capital in Santa Monica, CA. Additionally, Vahid worked as a Home Mortgage Consultant for Wells Fargo with bank locations in Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Brentwood and Santa Monica.
Vahid welcomes the opportunity to discuss how he can serve all of your specific real estate investment needs and with the Charles Dunn Company.
Luis Duran is a municipal planner with the Los Angeles County Department of Regional Planning. Prior to working for the County, Luis was an environmental consultant for a small environmental firm in Santa Fe Springs, CA. Luis Duran has been working with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and environmental documentation since 2012.
He received his B.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara and just recently completed his M.S. in Environmental Studies from California State University, Fullerton. He was an official scholarship recipient in the Association of Environmental Professionals (AEP) Scholars Program in 2014. He is a member of the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA). Luis hopes to use the skills he learns in the Ross Minority Program to make recommendations for development projects that will assist in affordable housing in minority communities.
He also would like to create and invest in a chain of family businesses with his brother in the South Bay area of Los Angeles. Luis Duran lives in Hermosa Beach, CA.
After graduating from Pepperdine University, he worked for the property developer in Los Angeles to develop medium size condominiums. After returning to Japan in 2006, he worked for Citibank’s Tokyo branch as an officer in charge of wealth management and from 2007, worked for one of the biggest independent property asset management firm in Japan, called Atlas Partners, to execute U$150 mil acquisition of Japanese properties for foreign institutional investors such as French bank, middle east pension fund and Singapore REIT. As an asset manager, he was also involved in a wide variety of assets classes such as office, residential, logistics etc. and managed U$180 mil investments by implementing a wide range of value-up strategies. Since 2010, he has been managing his family investments in various commercial properties in Japan.
Currently, he is based in Singapore and run OHANA Capital Management which is a global property investment arm of his Japanese companies to expand their global property investment portfolio as CEO.
Jessica Horrell is a real estate agent who works primarily in the South Bay area of Los Angeles at Horrell Realtors.
Prior to working at Horrell Realtors, Jessica worked at a real estate investment start up that found short term housing solutions for corporations in downtown Los Angeles. Jessica graduated from the University of Southern California in the Price School where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Real Estate Development. Shortly after graduation, she got her real estate license and joined her family’s real estate company.
She now works in residential and multifamily real estate, where she finds a particular interest in real estate investment with future development opportunity. Due to being involved in several multifamily deals, Jessica would like to gain a more thorough understanding of the development process through the Ross Minority Program.
Jessica currently lives in Redondo Beach, California.
Michael Julius possesses 25 years of residential mortgage trading and leadership experience. Most recently Michael was a Managing Director and Head of Agency Trading at Auriga USA, responsible for all CMO, Derivative, Collateral and ARM trading.
Prior to joining Auriga, Michael was a founding member of a team that purchased a controlling interest in CRT Capital Group in Stamford, CT and subsequently raised $225MM of private equity working capital. Michael was responsible for all fixed income trading focusing on: Non-Agency Fixed & Hybrid securities, Prime, Alt A, Pay-Options, Subprime, Agency CMOs and Derivatives. Michael identified, recruited and grew the sales and trading talent pool from 87 employees to 225 employees in 18 months.
From 1999 to 2008 Michael was an Executive Vice President and Head of Non-Agency Trading overseeing 25 traders and assistants at Countrywide Securities Corp. Michael managed all aspects of purchasing, hedging, marketing and selling of a $13 billion dollar position of fixed rate and adjustable rate non-agency securities comprised of: Prime, Alt A, Subprime, ABS, Pay Options and raw loans. Michael was responsible for coordinating the efforts of 45 sales people targeting banks, insurance companies, money mangers, hedge funds and mortgage originators.
Prior to Countrywide, Michael led various trading desks in NYC at Oppenheimer & Co., Mabon Securities and Yasuda Trust. Upon successful completion of the Ross Minority Program in Real Estate, Michael plans to pivot his career from residential mortgage trading into the commercial real estate arena.
Michael graduated from Duke University in 1989 and holds Series 24, 7 and 63 securities licenses.
Michael is also a member of the Board of Directors of The Children’s Fund for Glycogen Storage Disease Research.
Nick Kim is a vice president of WIN Realty & Properties, a full service commercial real estate firm in Los Angeles, where he specializes advising investment groups from Asia and supporting Landlords selling and leasing commercial real estate in Southern California.
Prior to working at WIN Realty, Nick had been working with Sperry Van Ness as a managing director of Korea town branch where he dedicated his efforts to Korean American landlords and international investment groups. His dedication and commitment to bringing new business has awarded him over $50 million in commercial real estate transaction.
Nick served as a planning commissioner in the city of Cerritos for many years where he has dedicated his efforts to the approval and advising of 500 units of multifamily projects and tens of million dollar shopping centers projects for the community. He also has been serving as an interpreter for the Apartment Association of Great Los Angeles.
Nick has earned a master’s degree in business administration(MBA) from Chapman University in 1987. He is a member of International Council of Shopping Center(ICSC). Among all his achievements, he has a passion in Marathon running, finishing the Boston Marathon and IRONMAN 70.3 in Oceanside in 2015.
Tyler Kim is an acquisitions analyst for Investors Management Group, Inc. that specializes in acquiring and managing multi-family assets on a national platform. In the role of acquisitions analyst, Tyler performs market analysis, financial modeling, and cash flow projections. Tyler also creates asset management reports that track actuals, budget, and proforma of current and future assets.
Tyler graduated from USC with a Master of Planning degree focusing on Economic Development which provided him an excellent foundation in urban planning, redevelopment, and finance. Following the completion of the Ross Minority Program in Real Estate, Tyler plans to utilize his increased knowledge in real estate finance and enhance valuation analysis of potential investments thereby improving investment decisions. He will also look to optimally structure debt and equity. Tyler Kim currently resides in Cypress, California.
Bridgett Miller is the Director of Business Development at Regional Investment & Management (RIM), a real estate investment firm that specializes in the acquisition of value-add multifamily communities through a vertically integrated owner-managed platform. With 1,500 units in RIM’s portfolio, Bridgett is charged with conducting market due diligence on new investments, and designing and implementing revenue enhancing solutions that diversify our investor base, drive occupancy, and decrease turnover costs.
Bridgett has played an active role in the acquisition and sale of 3 assets to date in San Antonio, Texas (328 units; 252 units; 293 units). In addition to preparing quarterly distributions and investor financial reports, she also is tasked with implementing RIM’s first crowd funding initiative and increasing resident retention. Her goal is to enhance investor returns and support the company’s vision, by creating an environment in which automation where appropriate, is ubiquitous and technical bottlenecks are scarce.
Bridgett earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from the Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University (SCU), located in the heart of Silicon Valley. Post-graduation, she earned a certification in Business Administration in the International Management Program at Fundação Getúlio Vargas in São Paulo, Brazil.
Simultaneously, Bridgett worked in the international startup arena at a seed and early-stage investment fund company, Bolt Ventures (formerly known as Mountain do Brasil) as a deal flow analyst.
Bridgett is a former Division I soccer player for SCU and an active member of the San Francisco-based Olympic Club.
Jacqueline Monterrosas has worked for East LA Community Corporation for over 8 years in different capacities. Jacqueline has served as ELACC's Project Manager for over 9 months, prior to joining ELACC’s Real Estate Development team; Jacqueline was ELACC’s Asset Manager for the past 6 years. As Asset Manager, she was responsible for all aspects of asset and property management including, leasing, marketing, compliance and maintenance working along with over 4 staff in-house and over 15 staff in 3rd party managed properties consisting in over 800 units of housing.
Prior to joining ELACC, Jacqueline worked for the National Farm Workers Service Center, Inc. in different capacities in affordable housing development and property management. Jacqueline’s passion for affordable housing and community development began in her teens as she volunteered with her mother in different community events to revitalize Hollywood, the community where she grew up.
Jacqueline holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Urban and Regional Planning with a minor in Geographic Information Systems from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, California. Jacqueline is currently working towards obtaining her LEED Professional Accreditation.
Ashley Ng has worked for Gaw Capital USA since its inception in 2013, assisting with capital markets, acquisitions and asset management.
Previously, she worked as an assistant to the Executive Vice President of Asset Management at Downtown Properties for two years.
She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of California, Berkeley. Ashley lives in the greater Los Angeles area.
Peter Noonan currently manages City of West Hollywood’s Housing and Rent Stabilization Programs. Peter works to get housing built by private developers using the City’s on-site inclusionary housing program, and by non-profit housing providers using low-interest loans from the City’s affordable housing trust fund. West Hollywood is committed to rent stabilization and Peter is exploring incentives to encourage landlords to reinvest in aging rent stabilized buildings.
Peter’s background is in land use planning, transit-oriented development, and housing policy. He has more than 12 years of experience in the public sector and close to 20 years of experience in community development. Peter has participated in several major land use projects, the purple line subway extension, and zoning code and comprehensive plan updates. Peter developed the City of Beverly Hills historic preservation ordinance and program, sustainability plan, and explored economic reinvestment options for different areas.
Peter holds a Masters in Urban Planning from the University of Washington and is certified as an environmental planner (AICP CEP) by the American Institute of Certified Planners.
Emmanuel Nwani is founder and CEO of Definitive Business Solutions International Inc.; a California based real estate investing company. Emmanuel Nwani holds a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communications and Public Relations from California State University, Los Angeles.
Mr. Nwani is an entrepreneur with a unique blend of business experiences ranging from property leasing and management, acquisition of distressed real estate, contract negotiations, business development, healthcare, and international business exports.
Prior to real estate investing, Mr. Nwani worked in the healthcare industry, starting and operating a nursing agency that provided over quarter of a million dollars’ worth of nursing services to hospitals throughout the Los Angeles county area. Some of his major clients included the Keck Hospital of USC and Dignity Health Systems.
Mr. Nwani’s leadership has enabled the company to extend its reach internationally, fulfilling vehicle orders for foreign clients including engineering firms and transportation network companies in Africa and the Middle East. Mr. Nwani hopes to invest in emerging communities and expand his business to include commercial real estate development upon completion of the Ross Minority Program in Real Estate.
Mr. Nwani looks forward to the opportunity to connect with other business professionals while broadening his knowledge and skills in real estate finance and development.
Gregory Preer Jr. is assistant coordinator at the Los Angeles Jim Gilliam Recreation Center in Baldwin Hills.
Previous to this, he was involved with sports promotion and played professional basketball in Latin America from 2012 to 2016. Gregory also Co-Founded Youth Strong an organization celebrating youth by encouraging and empowering them to be their best self.
His current real estate venture is the purchase and managing of a 4-unit apartment building. His future goals include redeveloping a single family lot into four small lot subdivisions in Los Angeles, and further developing Youth Strong into becoming one of the official sponsors and outfitters for Los Angeles City Parks and Recreation’s Seasonal Youth Programs.
Gregory will be receiving his Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from Whittier College in 2017. Gregory Preer Jr resides in Los Angeles, California.
Cynthia Rodriguez is a Real Estate Broker of City Lights Realty, Inc. Mortgage Broker of Heartland Mortgage, Inc. and an Insurance Agent for Farmers Insurance from 2007-2015. Her background is in both Residential and Commercial Property with a specialty in financing since 1996. Cynthia has helped hundreds of families realize the American dream to become homeowners by being a voice for Hispanic Real Estate and help Hispanic Communities achieve homeownership.
In 2007 Nationstar and Bank of America assigned Cynthia as a REO Specialist and handled hundreds of Distressed Bank Owned Homes. She was heavily involved in redevelopment of homes by renovating, re-constructing, upgrading, designing, pulling permits, obtaining occupancy certificates from various cities in order to make the homes financeable for FHA, VA, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac.
Cynthia’s biggest accomplishment and passion was by serving on the Board of Directors as the Director of Events for the National Association of Hispanic Realtors Montebello South East Los Angeles Chapter.
The monthly educational events were put together for hundreds of local real estate professionals serving Hispanic buyers and sellers. In addition, she helped put together Resource Fairs for consumers who were in danger of losing their homes through foreclosure. She worked side by side with the Montebello Housing Development Corporation along with Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase and Nationstar who handled on the spot Loan Modification approvals helping hundreds of Hispanic Families sustain homeownership and stay in their homes.
Cynthia’s passion is to help others and is continually seeking opportunities to do so by education and stepping into new developments that will help her achieve that.
Garen G. Srapyan is an Associate Planner in the Long Range and Mobility Planning Division within the Community Development Department for the City of West Hollywood in California. Garen handles a number of complex projects for the City, including working on changes to the City’s zoning ordinance, leading extensive community outreach efforts and developing projects and processes to improve workflow within and outside of City Hall.
Prior to joining West Hollywood, Garen worked as an Urban Designer with Perkins+Will in San Francisco. At P+W, Garen worked on a wide range of projects, including developing design guidelines for a large waterfront development in San Francisco and coordinating and managing a sustainability master plan for an airport in Dubai.
Garen earned with distinction his Master of Architecture in Urban Design from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He previously attended Woodbury University in Burbank, earning his Bachelor of Architecture degree.
Garen is currently leading a community process to develop an Eastside Community Plan which addresses economic development, housing, mobility, sustainability and other topics in a former Redevelopment Area. Additionally, Garen is supporting a major outreach program to identify community concerns around multi-family development projects in West Hollywood.
Garen hopes to use his experience in the Ross Minority Program to think critically about the complex social, technical and economic challenges associated with real estate development projects. Garen resides in Los Angeles.
Lanisha Stubbs, the Founder and Broker of Wesity, Inc. (Wesity), specializes in commercial and residential sales and consulting. She is an accomplished Realtor® with over 12 years of experiences, and has negotiated over $12M in sales transactions. Wesity offers educational resources, consulting, and sales services to new and seasoned investors.
For the past 10 years, Lanisha was a Realtor® with a private brokerage, A Job Well Done, where she specialized in short sales and pre-foreclosure sales and consulting. As a national investor, she has experience identifying emerging markets, increasing property values and accurately analyzing equity investments.
Lanisha is a Certified Distressed Property Expert, a Certified Commercial Real Estate Investment Specialist, and a Certified Short Sale/REO Specialist, and a Certified Women-Owned Business-owner. In 2001, Lanisha earned her B.S. in Accountancy from Loyola Marymount University. In 2006, she earned her Master’s Degree in Business Taxation from Golden Gate University.
For the past 15 years, she has been serving at the Department of Defense’s Defense Contract Audit Agency, where she oversees annual audits of Aerospace and Space Technology contracts to ensure compliance with federal regulations.
Lanisha is now channeling her experiences into improving the lives of urban families by sharing the wealth principles she’s learned. She is committed to sharing financial literacy tools and to leading urban development through strategic investments. Lanisha lives and operates predominantly in the Los Angeles market.
Sara Tsai is an attorney with Tsoi & Associates. She is currently involved with the General Plan Amendment and Rezoning of a 30+ acre parcel in San Jose, the entitlement of 13 properties in the City of Los Angeles, and the development of 3 multifamily apartment buildings in the City of Los Angeles.
She has been practicing law since 2005 and began focusing on real estate practice in 2014. She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 2000 and received her Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles in 2004.
Roland Wahlroos-Ritter is an architect and co-principal of the architecture firm WROAD. Interested in digital technologies, sustainability and design innovation, his professional and academic work focuses on collaborative environments between architects, engineers and fabricators. Current research, is directed towards the development of new, integrated design workflows.
In addition to his professional work, Prof. Roland Wahlroos-Ritter has been actively engaged in academic research, publishing and teaching over the past 14 years. He has taught at numerous academic institutions such as Cornell University, Bartlett School of Architecture, TU Vienna and SCI-Arc.
Based in Los Angeles, Terrence Watkins is Founder and Managing Principal of Watkins & Company, a boutique management consultancy firm, which offers comprehensive and cost effective interim and project based solutions in Finance and Accounting. A seasoned finance professional, Terrence has overseen Watkins and Company's growth for nearly ten years.
Terrence possesses a wealth of business experience having served in various managerial positions in the areas of Corporate Finance and Strategy. He has assisted both public and private companies, applying a diverse set of skills to improve performance, such as creating multi-national budgets and forecasts, developing complex business models and management dashboards to evaluate and monitor business performance; utilizing technology to improve overall management efficiency.
Terrence began his career working as a financial analyst with Motorola at their corporate headquarters based in Schaumburg, IL. From there, he went on to work in management consulting with Marsh & McLennan, transferring to their Los Angeles Office. While in Los Angeles, Terrence transitioned into fixed income securities working at Payden & Rygel and later with IndyMac Bank (now OneWest Bank). Soon after earning his M.B.A., Terrence went back to working in consulting at DLC Inc., and after years working there started his own consulting practice.
Terrence received his Bachelor's degree in Finance from Howard University and his M.B.A. in Finance from the Graziadio School at Pepperdine University.
Erica Alexis is a Principal for Dennis Holdings Inc., an asset management company that acquires, develops and manages commercial and residential real estate in the US.
Prior to becoming a developer, Erica managed Data Operations and Strategy for a real estate technology start up brokerage, where she gathered knowledge in aggregating real estate data, and implementing policies and procedures to operate in compliance of National Association of Realtors standards. She also worked as a project manager for a general contractor in Los Angeles. Erica recently formed a commercial real estate development partnership that focuses on new construction and rehabilitation projects in urban communities.
Erica graduated from UCLA, with a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology, she later earned a certificate in Hotel Revenue Management from Cornell University and became a licensed commercial associate of Coldwell Banker Commercial. Upon completion of the Ross Minority Program in Real Estate, Erica’s increased knowledge base in real estate finance will allow her to creatively structure development projects that benefit urban communities, on multiple levels: job creation/training; affordable housing; increased retail in economic deserts utilizing green technology. Erica Alexis currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
Anastacio Castillo III is a Project Manager with the San Diego Unified School District since 2014. He oversees as well as manages the Design & Construction for School Modernization Projects within the City of San Diego. Prior to working at the School District, Anastacio worked as a Development Project Manager for the Jacobs Center for Innovation for 6 years. During that time he worked closely on the Physical Redevelopment of Southeast San Diego’s Diamond Neighborhoods, also known as Market Creek. Here he gathered a deep understanding of Urban Planning & Development to increase the livability and quality of life in the community. Anastacio especially takes pride in this piece work since he grew up in the neighborhood and has been an integral part of the development as an industry professional.
Anastacio began his career studying Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Construction Management at San Diego State University. He also took courses including Architecture Design, Small Business Investing, and Real Estate Sales. He has continued his education and training in many areas related to Land Development, Environmental Planning, & Real Estate Investing. Currently Anastacio is working to obtain his Real Estate License.
Anastacio’s short term goal is to complete the USC Ross Minority Program in Real Estate and establish a pathway for success within the real estate industry. In the near future he plans to continue to be involved within Urban Community projects and form a business in Urban Real Estate Development with a focus on sustainability.
Chelsea Coleman graduated from The University of Virginia in 2008 with a joint degree in gender studies and Italian. She has been working as a chef and farmer for the past eight years and currently co-owns an organically-minded wine bar in the South Park neighborhood of San Diego. Along the way, she has sold organic ice cream sandwiches out of a pushcart as the "Cream Queenz", incorporated a restaurant-to-farm composting company called "Closing The Loop" and Chaired the San Diego chapter of Slow Food for two years. Her interest in emergent community development and real estate comes from her experience working in restaurants that were harbingers of neighborhood development and her sincerely held belief that development with access to good food in mind can transform communities for the better.
Tanner Cronenbold is a Realtor for John Aaroe Group who has actively been involved in real estate for over 10 years and has been licensed for 6 of those years by the Bureau of Real Estate. Tanner brings a multi-faceted approach to the real estate world having physically worked on multiple construction projects such as Hangar 25, the world’s first and only LEED Platinum Certified aviation facility, which is the highest environmentally friendly rating given by the U.S. Green Building Council. Not only has he been a part of projects such as the 60,000 square foot airplane hangar, he has also worked on the title and escrow side for Lawyers Title, giving him an understanding on all moving parts of the business. Tanner’s technology skills are unmatched having been the director of business development for Homestack, a real estate application that can be found and downloaded in Apple’s iTunes App Store as well as Android’s Google Play Store. He proudly joins USC’s Ross Minority Program in Real Estate with expectations to one day acquire the knowledge and expertise to eventually become a real estate developer himself.
Jennifer Dunbar is the head of Sales for the Western Division at Nestle Waters. She leads a sales team in the overall development of strategy and go-to market execution in the B2B channel. Jennifer has spent the last 20 years growing brands and market share in the consumer products industry with behemoths Pepsi and Kellogg’s all while deepening her knowledge of how to manage a P&L.
Jennifer has always had a passion for real estate and has cut her teeth in the residential market buying, rehabbing and selling single-family homes. She has also worked as a general contractor on residential development project and is seeking to bridge these experiences as a pathway to multi-family development in the greater Los Angeles area. Jennifer is elated to be a part of the USC Ross Program in Real Estate and is keen to gain the critical finance knowledge and skills to support her evolution to Real Estate Developer.
Jennifer graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.S in Public Policy. She is a very active member of her community and currently serves as a Board member of LA Pride/Christopher Street West organization.
Jéan Christopher Eason is a Real Estate Broker for Main Source Real Estate (MSRE), a boutique firm that Jéan created based in Oakland. MSRE’s focuses on both Commercial and Residential with an emphasis on Value add properties. Prior to MSRE, Jéan worked for a couple of Independent Real Estate Brokerages. Jéan also worked as a Case Mentor for The Mentoring Center in Oakland, CA. that provides services for both at risk youth and adults.
Jéan got started in Real Estate by accident. After originally purchasing vacant parcel in Oakland, with the intent to build a Recording Studio, Jéan took on the challenge to develop the parcel into a seven (7) unit Condominium project. He considers this experience as the primary factor in why he is still in the business. After receiving Entitlements and Approved CD’s for the project the Economy tanked, and he was not able to secure the financing for the project. This experience led Jéan to return to school to learn the fundaments for Real Estate and finish the requirements for a B.S. in Interdisciplinary Studies/Socio Economic Development from Cal State East Bay. He soon after received a Masters Degree, Constructive Urban Development, with the intent to eventually open up his own Real Estate firm.
Jéan is excited about attending the Ross Minority Program in real Estate to learn what the Pro’s do and continue on with his goal of participating in the Redevelopment in his hometown of Oakland, CA.
Neo Garibay leads project development management at David Mi & Partners, a real estate development firm.
An integral part of the team, Neo is deeply involved with every aspect of the real estate development process and strengthens performance by establishing goals with brokers, analysts, architects, and engineers through project milestones. Beginning at market research, Neo creates strategies and directs projects through: site review and feasibility, highest and best use, public agencies, due diligence, Pro Forma analysis, land purchase agreements and schedules, upfront cost control, site and building design, entitlements, construction cost planning, financing, and investment. Neo is also involved in mixed-use property management and directs maintenance crews, works with retail tenants, and leasing.
Prior to joining David Mi & Partners, Neo's experience includes luxury single family homebuilding and remodeling in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and the Hollywood Hills. Neo's experience also extends to commercial tenant improvements and design in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Neo earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture and is in the process of earning his architectural license with the California Architects Board. Furthermore, Neo's expertise in real estate development is reinforced with certification from the University of Southern California's Ross Minority Program in Real Estate and Finance.
Always goal oriented and an innovative problem solver, Neo expands his skills and passion for real estate development through recreational value-add projects, discussing investments, and philanthropy.
Deba Harper is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CHAMP Community Foundation, Inc. The CHAMP mission is to house homeless and at risk youth, ages 18 to 25, in healing homes where supportive intervention methods can change the trajectory of at risk youth toward productive adulthood.
Innovative solutions are required to close the gap on affordable housing. Deba is no stranger to pioneering innovative approaches to solving complex problems. Prior to engaging the efforts to end homelessness, she worked with various multinational corporations as a specialist advancing digital technology. She integrated systems and teams to improve efficacy in producing goods and services. Deba was a key contributor on the Warner Brother Home Video development team that launched the DVD industry. She uses her analytical insight to created practical solutions for improving the human condition.
As the Chairperson of the Antelope Valley Alliance to End Homelessness (AVAEH), she lead community volunteers to conduct the regional demographic survey for the national 2013 100K Homes Registry Week. Using the primary data gathered she wrote a literary review, “Los Angeles Homeless and Ethnic Disparities.” The quantitative data analysis of the study identified key factors contributing to long term homelessness. As a Project Manager contracted by Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA), she led the 2016 Unsheltered Homeless Demographic Survey for Antelope Valley.
As a 2016 graduate from California State University Northridge with a B.A. in Liberal Studies Interdisciplinary in Art and Urban Planning, she is on course to be a licensed real estate agent and to pursue a Masters degree in Urban Planning. Deba explains her motivation and commitment to ending homelessness, “I have looked in the face of homelessness, and there for the grace of God goes I.” The measure of a strong sustainable community is how we care for the weakest and most vulnerable among us, our youth.
Ricardo Hernandez is a Program Specialist with the Los Angeles County Housing Authority since 2015. He oversees as well as manages the profiles for a large group of homeless and low income families within the County of Los Angeles. Prior to working at the Housing Authority, Ricardo worked as a Fraud Analyst for East West Bank Corp and before that as a Customer Service Representative. During that time he gathered a deep understanding of both personal and corporate finance which he used to better serve his clients through the institution.
Ricardo began his career as he began his studies at a local community college where he further focused his interest in Finance and Business. He took courses in Accounting, Business Law, Personal Finance as well as Real Estate. He transferred to the University of Phoenix where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. He further continued his studies at UCLA where he earned a Green Belt Six Sigma Certification. Currently Ricardo is completing a Project Management Certification at Cal State Fullerton as well as completed his Real Estate Salesperson educational requirements.
Ricardo’s short term goal is to complete the USC Ross Minority Program in Real Estate and earn his real estate license. Perhaps in the future he plans on earning a Master’s in Real Estate Development, become a Project Manager and launch his own Real Estate Development firm focused on Minority centered Communities.
Jason brings close to a decade of finance and banking experience, worked in banking management, investment, as well as NSAD registered Program Manager dually-employed by a publicly-traded bank and a premium financial institute in the United States. Moving beyond the finance world Jason’s early entrepreneurial involvements include fund-raising for startup companies, business ownership, and his role as Business Director in a $40M private equity funded EV venture in China. An entrepreneur at heart, Jason founded BTMA Investment Consulting that led many large and small foreign investments into the United States that included acquisition of corporations and real estate. Jason now leads BT Corporate Development Center, with it’s own investment and incubator arms set up in Shanghai China. With his multi-cultural business background, he also oversees real estate investments with foreign capital partners here in Southern California.
Jason graduated from the University of Southern California, with a B.A. in Economics, and received his MBA from the California State University, Los Angeles with a degree in Entrepreneurship. He also currently serves on the Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Economic Development in the city of El Monte.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Michael Tessler is founder and principal of Responsive Homes, a real estate development company in Los Angeles that utilizes ecological design and building science to create beautiful, low-energy buildings. Michael is an alumnus of UCLA and currently pursuing a Master of Real Estate Development at the University of Southern California.
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.
Andy Chen is an investment broker at NAI Capital specializing in retail and industrial properties. Prior to joining NAI Capital, Andy has operated his own electronics recycling business, consulting clients on waste reduction and e-sustainability solutions. After his recycling venture, he found his passion in real estate. Presented with an opportunity to co-manage a property management firm in Las Vegas, he moved there to pursue the opportunity. During his time at that firm, he taught property investors how to effectively flip homes throughout the city of Las Vegas. Currently at NAI Capital, Andy represents equity investors wanting to purchase retail and industrial projects. His strong knowledge of investments in addition to his business acumen propels him to be a top producer at his company.
Over the course of his career, Andy has made multiple efforts to strengthen his analytical and investing skills. Some of his more prominent skills include running Argus Enterprise cash flows and building complex Excel spreadsheets.
Andy, himself, is also an avid real estate investor and holds a portfolio of a different property types including residential single family to multi-family homes, retail strip centers, and boutique motels.
Andy graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor’s in Marketing.
Upon completion of Ross Minority Program, Andy has goals to pursue a Masters in Real Estate Development, attain a CCIM certificate, and become Argus certified. His ideal goal is to partner with a commercial property developer and eventually run his own commercial asset management and consulting firm. Andy Chen lives in Chino California.
Connie Chung is a recent graduate from California Polytechnic State University, Pomona, also known as Cal Poly Pomona. During her academic career and after, she worked at Marcus & Millichap in Ontario as an executive assistant to two retail associates. Prior to working at Marcus & Millichap, Connie Chung assisted in retail property management for her family, in which she started in high school. Connie received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance, Real Estate and Law. During her time as a student in Cal Poly Pomona, she was the founding president of the Real Estate Association, a student organization focusing on real estate networking, education, and exploration. Through her leadership, she has created affiliations with NAIOP and ICSC, as well as brought in more student interest in real estate. Connie looks forward to continuing education through the Ross Minority Program, and hopes to find a more hands on and rewarding career in retail real estate following the program. Connie Chung currently resides in Stanton, Orange County.
Dr. BaoKim Coleman is a management, business strategy and integrated marketing communications consultant. He helps clients sharpen strategic focus, advance competitive distinction, and improve organizational performance. He designs and delivers a wide array of learning programs and services, along with assessments and decision support tools, which help clients, strengthen managerial leadership, optimize their business model, and improve overall performance.
Presently, Dr. Coleman is President and CEO of The Visionz Company, a strategic management consulting company and a Co-founder of the Global Institute of Innovative Leaderships (GIIL), a 501(c) (3) non-profit institutional organization specializing in leadership training and a think-tank focusing on all realms pertaining to leadership development. Prior to going out on his own, he has 20 plus years of experience in corporate management and marketing communications, particularly in the Automotive and Healthcare industry sectors working for Fortune 500 companies. Concurrently, in addition to his consulting ventures, Dr. Coleman is a full time Assistant Professor of Business Administration at Whittier College, as well as an adjunct professor at various institutions locally and online.
On a personal level, BaoKim is passionate about his social work of eradicating poverty and homelessness of women and children and human trafficking in the United States. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Spiritt Family Service. As for his other personal interests, he is a competitive Track and Field athlete, as well as a club soccer player.
David Dieguez is a Sales and Service Coordinator for US Bank. He has worked in the banking industry for 9 years and is a recent Bachelor of Science in Business Management recipient from the University of Phoenix. During his career in the banking industry, he served as liaison between the bank’s customers and the bank's team of mortgage and commercial finance officers. David feels it an honor that he has helped several customers over the years achieve their dreams of purchasing their first homes, finance their small business, re-finance high interest rate commercial real estate loans, and has helped numerous parents plan and save towards their children's college fund. He especially enjoys working in real estate projects, and has provided guidance to contractors in obtaining financing for different developments.
David’s goal is to utilize his education, experience, and contacts to launch his own Real Estate Development Company and serve the needs of underserved low income communities similar to the community he grew up in. David would also like to give back to his community by creating a non-profit organization that would empower youth in both financial literacy and real estate development. He believes both play a key role in the revitalization of low-income communities. Through hard work, education and persistence, David aspires to be an example to the inner city youth, demonstrating that no goal is out of reach.
A recent UCLA graduate, Matthew Gates comes to Ross with eleven years of retail and operations management experience. As an undergrad, Matthew, studied the unique challenges and opportunities related to stimulating long-run growth in urban communities. His two-year research project, which included thorough literature review, detailed proposal, interviews of local entrepreneurs, and analysis of growth opportunities, gave Matthew a unique insight into the important role Commercial Real Estate plays in facilitating urban economic growth.
Over the last year, Matthew has pursued opportunities to expand his industry knowledge. After graduation, Matthew interned for Boston Private Bank’s community investment division. In this role, Matthew worked with syndication funds and the bank’s credit committee on multiple LIHTC projects, underwrote both commercial and residential loans, and assisted in cultivating business relationships with public entities, as well as for profit and non-profit developers. Since then Matthew has continued to take Real Estate Finance and quantitative courses at UCLA extension, and participated in the Real Estate Associate Program’s (REAP) 2015 cohort.
Prior to returning to school in 2010, Mr. Gates enjoyed a successful eleven-year retail and operations management career, with Fortune 50 companies. Throughout which his success was predicated on the ability to think analytically, identify business opportunities, deliver impactful results. During his career, Matthew has gained significant experience with budget development and execution, long range forecasting, vendor negotiations, and operational analysis.
For Matthew, ROSS represents an opportunity to advance both his broad industry knowledge and cultivate the technical skills needed to successfully transition into the industry.
Lindsay Hagan is an Associate Planner with the City of Mountain View. Since 2009, she has worked on a variety of successful development projects, policy directives, and zoning initiatives. Some of her projects include new housing subdivisions, a hospital campus redevelopment, affordable housing projects, commercial developments, and the city’s first green building code.
Lindsay obtained a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, with a minor in Urban and Environmental Policy, from Occidental College in 2006. In researching and preparing her thesis, she discovered the “architects of neighborhoods” – City Planners. With her strong interest in people and the built environment, she pursued a Master in Planning degree from the University of Southern California’s Sol Price School of Public Policy in 2008 (previously School of Public Policy, Planning and Development). During her program, she worked for the City of Sierra Madre and the Culver City Redevelopment Agency. Since then, she has obtained her LEED Accredited Professional (LEED AP) credential in 2009 and her American Institute of Accredited Planners (AICP) credential in 2012.
With her experience in planning and recent work on city-funded affordable housing projects, her interest in real estate financing and feasibility has grown leading her to pursue additional education from the University of Southern California Lusk Center for Real Estate. Outside of work, Lindsay enjoys international travel, spending time with family and friends, and gourmet restaurants.
Pamela Huley is a skilled individual that is devoted to improving her community. Mrs. Huley has an extensive and varied professional work history that includes project management, business operations, health care delivery and real estate. Mrs. Huley is now an entrepreneur who is enthusiastically committing her skills, time and energy to advancing real estate projects.
Pamela earned a Bachelors degree from Howard University in Washington, DC and a Masters degree from the University of Phoenix. She also serves as adjunct Faculty for the University of Phoenix, teaching classes on Change Management and Informatics.
Pamela is looking forward to the future and applying the knowledge she will learn from USC’s Ross program. Her hobbies include blogging, women’s health and fitness advocacy, and following all sports, especially basketball. Pamela is married and lives in greater Los Angeles with her family.
Sarah Lewis graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a B.A. in Organizational Studies in 2010. While at CMC, she earned her California Real Estate Salesperson License and wrote her senior thesis about the Jordan Downs housing development in Watts. In college she was on the varsity track and field team and worked as a Student Program Manager for School on Wheels, an organization that sets up tutoring programs at homeless shelters.
Sarah has experience working as a Management Trainee at Homecoming at Terra Vista, a master planned community in Rancho Cucamonga with 868 units. In this position she was able to gain experience in various aspects of property management and leasing. She enjoyed planning and executing large events for residents, gained an understanding of basic accounting, and had the highest resident-retention rate at the property for four consecutive months. She also has experience working as an Admission Officer at Claremont McKenna College and as a hotline staffer on a crisis intervention hotline. Sarah is excited to be beginning her MBA program this fall after the Ross Program concludes. She looks forward to meeting and learning with all of you!
Brandie Lockett is an Urban Designer for Gensler Los Angeles. With a practicing background of architecture, planning and urban design, her core interest lies with public service and guiding developers through the rigorous process of constructing urban environments.
Her experience focuses on the relationship between the built environment and peoples quality of life through urban research -- applying empirical analysis to understand how urban dynamics can strengthen community sustainability, innovative design opportunities and capital benefits.
Ms. Lockett has influenced urban design guidelines for city planning municipalities both domestic and abroad. While in the Peace Corps she implemented master planning projects for Non-Governmental and Local Governmental agencies for the city of Gjirokaster in Albania. Her contributions were adopted by the cities municipality to provide safe and pedestrian friendly access between residential, educational and local facilities. In collaboration with Albanian government officials and local community stake holders, Ms. Locketts responsibilities included developing appropriate environmental planning strategies and regulations, conducting community assessments to identify strengths and needs, conducting land-use planning and zoning studies for inclusivity, planning and implementing affordable services that may increase local jobs and promotion of the site, determining how to use available energy resources and preparing proposals with relevant and supporting data to brand and market sites.
Ms. Lockett holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Tuskegee University and a Masters of Science in Architecture and Urban Design from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture Planning and Preservation. She is a member of APA, ULI, AIA, & LEED Certified.
Ms. Jengi Martinez is 19-year veteran and active Air Force Reservist, presently serving as a Major and a C-17 Pilot/Aircraft Commander. She has over 14 years of experience leading small to large sized teams with complex backgrounds and diverse disciplines. Her natural analytical skills and talent for logistical multi-level contingency planning is why she is entrusted with wide-ranging authority in a fast-paced, high stress environment where no day is ever the same. Having traveled to 72 countries, this international and diplomatic experience with multiple agencies has taught her the importance of knowing the “customer’s” needs and culture to better communicate and reach a common goal.
In response to having flown over 600 combat sorties, the majority of which were medical evacuation, she saw a need to reduce the effects of war on our service members and their families. Her entrepreneurial spirit and sense of social responsibility lead her to initiate the March Aviation Society (MAS) in 2011. This non-profit organization provides relief funds for southern California’s largest military air base and it’s military members.
A graduate and member of the Dean’s List at USC’s Marshall School of Business Master of Business for Veterans (MBV) program, Jengi seeks new challenges in the commercial real estate industry. As an enthusiastic member of the Ross Minority Program in Real Estate 2015 Summer Class, Jengi plans to merge this knowledge and experience with her passion for the real estate industry. Her long term-goals are to continue contributing to her community by employing and mentoring fellow veterans and minorities through her own profitable real estate ventures and businesses.
Vanessa is currently a Vice President at East West Bank. She has been in residential lending for the last nineteen years and has worked for major companies including Countrywide Home Loans, Wells Fargo and Bank of America. For the last fourteen years, she's managed loan officers, sales managers, and processors. Loans and insurance are her expertise. She is a proven coach, trainer, and motivator providing industry education on emerging markets with California Association of Realtors (CAR). Vanessa worked for JPM Chase as a Regional Business Development Officer for California. She oversaw the business development, CRA, REO, Short Sales, and Builder/Condo for CA. In her previous position she was number one BDO for CA in 2012. In addition, owns and operates a Farmers Insurance agency since 2008 and is a real estate investor.
Vanessa Montañez holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a MBA from Pepperdine University.
Mr. Riley received his B.A. in Public Relations from Columbia College in Chicago, IL. He has over 10 years management experience working as an Executive Manager for Walgreens. He has worked across multiple industries including retail, insurance, financial, real estate, and non-profit.
In 2003 he co-founded Baby Boomer Consulting, Inc., a non-profit organization which vision is to provide youth with the life skills and training essential for success in today’s competitive society. Odest has implemented plans to improve the academic achievement of South Los Angeles Inner City Schools by challenging students to meet higher academic standards. He donates funds to a variety of youth and community based organizations.
Odest also has a passion for improving the African American business and political climate throughout Los Angeles. He is a founding member of Black Los Angeles Young Democrats and the former political director for the Los Angeles County Young Democrats. He has worked on numerous political campaigns including newly elected Assemblyman Reginald Jones Sawyer. He was awarded The 2011 Franklin & Eleanor Roosevelt Democrat of the Year Award due to his achievements throughout multiple campaigns. He is also a 2015 REAP and African American Board Leadership Institute graduate.
Odest continues to strive for excellence as the CEO of the real estate and lending company WLM Financial. Through his company he seeks to provide urban development and financing opportunities in minority based communities.
Avni Shah is an architectural designer at William Adams Architects working on single family and multifamily projects. Prior to that, she has worked on senior living projects at Orcutt | Winslow Partnership in Arizona. Avni graduated from the University of Southern California with a professional degree in Architecture and a Minor in Social Entrepreneurship. She is currently producing a documentary on the role of mega-projects in transforming cities. Avni is passionate about combining architecture and development with urban and social initiatives. Avni Shah lives in Los Angeles.
Denise Ustariz is General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer at Westside Investments Group, Inc. Westside is a real estate investment and management company. Ms. Ustariz manages and maintains corporate compliance and oversees daily operations of several real estate entities including, a hotel, apartment buildings and commercial properties. Ms. Ustariz drafts, negotiates and reviews various types of real estate documents, including leases, purchase and sale agreements, partnership agreements and loan agreements. She coordinates entitlements and permits for renovations and tenant build-outs. She is in constant contact with the CEO, managers, partners and contractors to ensure projects are on schedule and at or below budget. Ms. Ustariz also handles and oversees employment issues and pending litigation.
Prior to working for Westside, Ms. Ustariz worked in the area of corporate transactional work. Ms. Ustariz earned her B.A. from University of California, Los Angeles and her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley Boalt Hall School of Law.
Ms. Ustariz is a member of the Urban Land Institute, the International Association of Shopping Centers, the Association of Corporate Counsel and the Los Angeles County Bar Association.
Ms. Ustariz is the 2015 recipient of the ICSC Foundation/Gap Inc. Fellowship for the USC Ross Minority Program in Real Estate.
Geraldine began her career as a real estate professional in 2003. At the young age of 17 she worked closely with the President of American First Mortgage. During this time she had the opportunity to learn, not only about the mortgage industry, but also the entrepreneurial environment of a small business with 150 employees. Her passion for Real Estate combined with helping the community led her to take a position as Property Manager at PK Management, Inc. During her time at PK Management, Inc. Geraldine earned the Leasing Agent of the Year award in 2010 and 2011. After many years of managing and leasing multi-unit properties, Geraldine earned the Excellence Award for Outstanding Achievement in Property Management at L’Abri Management, Inc.
In her most recent assignment, Geraldine supervised over 25 properties for Mosaic Student Communities where she held the title: Senior Property Manager. She led the Marketing and Leasing departments as well as Project Management at Mosaic Student Communities. While managing renovation projects at Mosaic, Geraldine took interest in real estate development in an effort to help the communities in Los Angeles County. She plans to continue this Real Estate path with purchasing, syndicating and managing multi-unit properties.
Geraldine completed the USC Ross Minority Program in Real Estate Development & Finance. Geraldine and her team were winners of the "Best Development Proposal" of the 2014 Winter Session.
Geraldine is a CPM Candidate and expects her Real Estate Salesperson License in summer of 2014, while she continues to further her education attending a leadership class, Mastermind. She is a member of IREM's Greater Los Angeles Chapter and a member of The International Council of Shopping Centers.
Geraldine is very family oriented and stays busy with her 8 year old son, Ruben.
Abraham Sandoval is Founder and Chairman of Immortelle Communities. Abraham began his career at Century 21 Beachside, a residential/commercial real estate brokerage while completing his undergraduate degree. Concurrently, Abraham was employed by ServiceLink FNF (NYSE:FNF) and Lender Processing Services (NYSE:LPS) to facilitate the closing of over two hundred loan transactions ranging from purchase and refinance transactions, to HELOC and reverse mortgages.
Mr. Sandoval was eventually recruited by one of California’s largest homebuilders to aid in the disposition of their acquired portfolio of foreclosed assets exceeding 200MM in sales. By 2011, Abraham founded Investor/Foreclose Corporation, a full service real estate firm wherein he personally oversaw the acquisition, redevelopment, and disposition of over one hundred foreclosed and redeveloped assets. As the markets strengthened post 2008, affordable housing opportunities diminished and Abraham established Immortelle Communities, a land development corporation dedicated to providing housing opportunities to underserved communities. At Immortelle, Abraham oversees the acquisition, development, and management of acquired projects.
Mr. Sandoval is a licensed Real Estate Broker, State & National licensed Mortgage Loan Originator, and LEED Green Associate. Abraham holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with a minor in Sociology from the University of California, Irvine as well as a Certificate in Real Estate with distinction from the University of California, Los Angeles Extension. Mr. Sandoval has also undertaken studies in Taxation/Taxation Law at Golden Gate University Ernst and Young Campus in Downtown Los Angeles. Abraham Sandoval is a alumnus of the Ross Minority Program in Real Estate at the University of Southern California and currently a Juris Doctor candidate at Loyola Law School.
Carlos Scarpett is an Entrepreneur and International Investment Analyst at Nexus Ventures LLC in Beverly Hills, CA. Carlos provides assistance to foreign real estate investors, specializing in the Latin American Investment firms. Mr. Scarpett is responsible for maintaining and updating a database of clients to help them reach their business goals.
Carlos is passionate about the real estate industry and has worked for various mortgages companies in California, Washington and Utah originating residential mortgages loans and refinancing and partnering with real estate investors to acquire distressed properties to fix and flip. Carlos attended the Universidad Veracruzana and studied economics in 1981. He is bilingual Spanish – English and believes in creative problem solving, coupled with laser focus for achieving goals. Carlos looks forward to working as a commercial real estate developer in the near future.
Carlos is a proud single father and loves his family. He enjoys traveling abroad and learning about different cultures.
Ms. Stepter has twenty years of experience managing various housing programs. Currently, she holds the position of Housing Programs Manager for the City of Anaheim. Her responsibilities include overseeing several federal programs including the Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) and the HOME Investment Partnership Program. These programs provide resources that are used to address varying housing and infrastructure and can be leveraged with other public and private resources to address community needs.
Ms. Stepter has a wealth of budgeting, grant writing and program management experience. She has worked for both large and small housing programs. She spent the first nine years of her career at the Housing Authority of the County of Los Angeles (HACoLA)/Community Development Commission (LACDC), a program that serves over 20,000 families. At HACoLA/CDC, she oversaw various functions including staff training, quality control, fraud prevent and budget development and monitoring. She was also responsible for the implementation of several programs to address the housing needs of special needs populations including the first several Shelter Plus Care grants awarded to HACoLA. Her last position with HACoLA/CDC was that of Intergovernmental Relations Manager. Ms. Stepter later joined Quadel Consulting Corporation. While with Quadel, she was the Managing Director for the Housing Choice Voucher Program at the Memphis Housing Authority (MHA) and was responsible for the daily oversight of the program, assisted with HOPE VI related tenant relocation efforts and was involved in administering the Katrina Disaster Housing Assistance Program (KDHAP). In this position, she led the team that transformed the MHA program from “Troubled” to a “High Performer”, both designations defined and awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to Public Housing Authorities (PHAs).
Ms Stepter earned a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of California at San Diego. She is affiliate with various industry related organizations and currently holds the position of Secretary for the Pacific Southwest Region Chapter of the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Organizations (PSWRC-NAHRO).
Efren Valdovinos is a community oriented individual with a professional background in government and non-profit organizations. Mr. Valdovinos’ work history includes serving as a Project Manager for the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office, as a Field Deputy for a U.S. Representative, and as a Field Representative for a California Assembly member.
Most recently he managed a wholesale business specializing in Mexican grocery and candy products. It was located in downtown Los Angeles, a thirty thousand square foot warehouse with an inventory in excess of one million dollars, before it and the property being sold.
A native of Los Angeles, Efren earned a Bachelors of Sociology from Long Beach State University and is pursuing his real estate license education. He is looking forward to honing his profession by utilizing the knowledge gained from USC’s Ross program. He is also an entrepreneur developing his own projects and plans to obtain a masters degree in the near future.
His personal time is spent with his sons Damian and Diego. His hobbies are golfing, snowboarding; following the business of fútbol and all Los Angeles teams, specifically the L.A. Galaxy.
Gabriel Vargas is an architectural consultant/designer who began his career at Walt Disney Imagineering. He has worked in large firms on complex institutional projects, owns his practice, and has a varied background in 3d design, high-end residential projects, and commercial/retail tenant improvements. His real estate experience includes having owned a multi-unit complex, bought as distressed property, rehabbed, managed tenants and positive cash flow for eight years before selling at profit in November 2005. He is experienced in extensive residential rehab ventures including repair/profit analysis, hard money loans and construction management.
A California licensed real estate agent since 2010, he works primarily with investors. He began at Prudential California, trained in commercial financial strategies (for evaluating cap rates, expenses, cash flow, etc.) and negotiating terms for lease contracts.
Gabriel completed the Ross Minority Program in Real Estate to strengthen his fundamentals in financial analysis and real estate development, while establishing strong relationships with fellow students and associates beyond the realm of architecture.
Mr. Vargas recently joined Mark H. Savel Architects, Inc. as a project manager.
Carlos Velasquez is currently an Associate Transportation Planner with KOA Corporation, a full-service transportation consulting firm in Monterey Park, CA. He specializes in transportation impact analysis and has largely focused on finding sustainable transportation solutions for his various clients.
Carlos has provided transportation expertise to some of the region’s biggest development projects. He conducted the transit and pedestrian impact analysis for the proposed Farmers Field project in Downtown Los Angeles and has also developed sustainable transportation mitigation strategies for numerous mixed-use projects.
Prior to KOA Corporation, Carlos worked as an Assistant Planner with the City of Huntington Park where he administered land use regulations and managed development projects through the entitlement process.
Carlos has also worked with local businesses in his hometown of South Gate, CA to explore economic revitalization strategies for its downtown district. He was also part of the Technical Advisory Committee that worked to develop City’s Bicycle Transportation Plan.
Carlos received a Master of Arts in City and Regional Planning from University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor of Arts in Geography/Environmental Studies and History from UCLA.
Grant & Savatovic is a commercial real estate firm located in Riverside, CA. Mike was exposed to the real estate industry at an early age as both his parents were active in residential real estate sales. Upon receiving his History degree from University of California in Riverside, Michael pursued a career in education. However, upon the advice of his father, Mike attained his real estate license. Mike received his California’s Broker’s license in 2008 and decided to start his own company. With the guidance of his mentor and his self-start mindset he began his commercial real estate career. Since then, Michael has gained experience in Site Selection, Landlord Representation, Tenant Representation, Construction Build-out and Site Work Development Management. Michael is completing his CCIM Coursework and is a member of ICSC, ACRE and The Pick Group (City of Riverside Young Professionals).