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The Club´s Exclusive Events & Speakers

They are both informative and effective at connecting the right people and enabling them to grow their business

A Sampling of Speaker Series Presenters

Frank Cohen

Senior Managing Director, Blackstone Group

Dr. Laurie Goodman

Co-Director, Urban Institute Housing Finance Policy Center

Gregg L. Schenker

President & Co-Managing Partner, ABS Partners Real Estate

Dennis Karr

Managing Director, director of China Initiative, Newmark Knight Frank

Patrice Derrington

Director of the Real Estate Development Program at Columbia University GSAPP. 

John Catsimatidis

Owner Red Apple Group​

Marc Weidner

Managing Director, Franklin Templeton Real Asset Advisors

Isaac Yeffet

World-Renowned Security Expert

Jeffrey Gural

Chairman, GFP Real Estate LLC

Sonny Kalsi

Founder and Partner, GreenOak​

Michael Haas

Co-Managing Partner for Jones Day Global Real Estate Practice

Sam Chandan

Economist and Associate Dean of NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate

Paul Massey

President, New York Investment Sales, Cushman & Wakefield and former NYC Mayoral Candidate

Jonathan Estreich

Founder, Estreich & Company

Shola Olatoye

NYC Housing Authority Chair and CEO ​

Frank Cohen

Senior Managing Director, Blackstone Group

 

Frank Cohen is a senior managing director with the Blackstone Group based in New York. He is the global head of Core+ Real Estate and a member of the firm’s real estate investment committee. Since joining Blackstone in 1996, Mr. Cohen has been involved in over $100 billion of real estate transactions.

Dr. Laurie Goodman

Co-Director, Urban Institute Housing Finance Policy Center

Laurie Goodman is co-director of the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute. The center provides policymakers with data-driven analyses of housing finance policy issues they can depend on for relevance, accuracy, and independence. Before joining Urban in 2013, Dr. Goodman spent 30 years as an analyst and research department manager at several Wall Street firms. Before that, she was a senior fixed income analyst, a mortgage portfolio manager, and a senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Dr. Goodman was inducted into the Fixed Income Analysts Hall of Fame in 2009. She has published more than 200 journal articles and has co-authored and co-edited five books.

Gregg L. Schenker

President & Co-Managing Partner, ABS Partners Real Estate

Gregg L. Schenker has more than 30 years of experience working in the New York City commercial real estate industry. After college, his first job was with Helmsley — at the time the largest privately held real estate company in the country and a very fertile place for learning. In 1999, after Helmsley began to unwind, he along with partners Earle Altman, Dan Burack, Peter Burack, and Steven Hornstock, formed ABS Partners Real Estate.

Dennis Karr

Managing Director, director of China Initiative, Newmark Knight Frank

Dennis Karr joined Newmark Knight Frank in 2002 as a managing director in the firm’s Manhattan headquarters, where he focuses on representing corporate and multinational clients in real estate sales and leasing transactions. Over the course of his career, Mr. Karr has completed many major leasing transactions and has represented many tenants on multiple occasions. As the director of NKF’s China Initiative and an associate (American) member of the China General Chamber of Commerce (CGCC), he is able to leverage the national capacity of NKF to assist international firms in their real estate requirements throughout the United States.

Patrice Derrington

Director of the Real Estate Development Program at Columbia University GSAPP. 

Patrice Derrington bridges the fields of education and real estate, and brings significant global experience as an executive and board director of numerous property companies to the critical tasks of educating students, integrating academe and industry, and building an innovative knowledge base for the real estate profession.

Her teaching career began at Carnegie Mellon University and MIT, and has been supplemented with over 12 years of real estate industry experience on Wall Street where she worked as an investment banker and advisor to major individual and institutional clients such as David Rockefeller, Keybank, and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.

John Catsimatidis

Owner Red Apple Group​

John Catsimatidis is the owner of the Red Apple Group and Gristedes Foods. As of 2017, Red Apple Group had approximately $800 million in real estate interests. In addition, Red Apple has evolved into a diversified corporation that has holdings in the energy, aviation, retail and real estate sectors and over 8,000 employees, with approximately 2,000 located in New York City. John owns the Hellenic Times, a Manhattan-based Greek-American newspaper. He is also a prominent political fund-raiser and donor.

Marc Weidner

Managing Director, Franklin Templeton Real Asset Advisors

Marc is a Portfolio Manager of Europe at Franklin Templeton Institutional. He is also the Managing Director of Global Real Estate Group and Head of Investments at Franklin Templeton Real Estate Advisors. Prior to joining the Franklin Templeton, he worked in the investment banking group at Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette and Credit Suisse First Boston, where he originated, structured, and underwrote real estate private equity funds. He has extensive investment experience in sourcing, valuing, structuring, and transacting global real estate.

Isaac Yeffet

World-Renowned Security Expert

​Mr. Isaac Yeffet has spent most of his career in the Israeli Secret Services in the field of anti terrorism. During his work with the Secret Services, he was responsible for security for Israeli embassies and other global assets. He currently works as a security consultant on major initiatives throughout the world.

Jeffrey Gural

Chairman, GFP Real Estate LLC

Jeffrey Gural is Chairman of GFP Real Estate LLC.  GFP Real Estate LLC has an ownership interest in 41 properties, almost all of which are located in Manhattan.  Mr. Gural, along with his son, Eric Gural and nephew, Brian Steinwurtzel are responsible for all future acquisitions and the managing and leasing of the 10 Million square feet that they have an ownership interest in.

Mr. Gural joined Newmark Knight Frank in 1972, and served as Chairman until 2017, after which he became Chairman Emeritus.  Prior to that, Mr. Gural was a member of the staff of Morse-Diesel Construction Co., for approximately six years where he was responsible for the supervision and construction of more than one million square feet of new office space in such notable buildings as 437 Madison Avenue and 645 Madison Avenue.

Sonny Kalsi

Founder and Partner, GreenOak​

Sonny Kalsi is a Founder and Partner of GreenOak, based in New York. Sonny has oversight responsibility for GreenOak’s US business and is a member of the firm’s investment committees globally.

Sonny Kalsi was previously the Global Co-Head of Morgan Stanley’s Real Estate Investing (MSREI) business and President of the Morgan Stanley Real Estate (MSRE) funds until his departure from the firm in early 2009. Prior to that, Mr. Kalsi was the Global Co-Head of MSREI from 2006 to 2008. At its peak, the MSREI platform had approximately $100 billion of assets under management in 33 countries. Prior to managing MSREI globally, Sonny Kalsi and his team led the formation of Morgan Stanley’s property business in Asia and built it into a leading real estate platform in the region. Sonny has been named one of the 100 most influential people in private real estate from the past decade by PERE, and most recently, Mr. Kalsi received recognition as a finalist for EY’s Entrepreneur of the Year.

Michael Haas

Co-Managing Partner for Jones Day Global Real Estate Practice

Michael Haas, who co-leads the global real estate practice for Jones Day, represents clients in real estate finance and real estate private equity. He negotiates joint venture agreements and large portfolio transactions and counsels clients in relation to distressed assets and workouts. He regularly advises clients regarding the acquisition, disposition, leasing, and management of multifamily, industrial, office, retail and hotel properties in the United States. He is a frequent speaker on real estate, has been a guest commentator on Fox Business News, and is regularly quoted in various publications.

Sam Chandan

Economist and Associate Dean of NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate

Sam Chandan, PhD is the Larry & Klara Silverstein Chair in Real Estate Development and Investment and Associate Dean for the NYU SPS Schack Institute of Real Estate. In addition, Dean Chandan is partner, global head of strategy, and a member of the investment committee at Capri Capital, a multinational investment management firm with approximately $3.8 billion of assets under management in the United States and additional interests in Sub-Saharan Africa and India. He is also founder of Chandan Economics, a provider of multifamily and commercial real estate mortgage data and risk analytics to banks and bank regulators, and co-host of the Real Estate Hour on SiriusXM Business Radio.

Paul Massey

President, New York Investment Sales, Cushman & Wakefield and former NYC Mayoral Candidate

Together with Partner Robert A. Knakal, he founded and was CEO of Massey Knakal Realty Services, the New York metropolitan area’s premier full service brokerage firm. With more than $2 billion in annual sales, Massey Knakal was ranked as one of the nation’s largest privately owned real estate brokerage firms. Cushman & Wakefield acquired Massey Knakal and Mr. Massey was appointed President, New York Investment Sales.

Jonathan Estreich

Founder, Estreich & Company

Since founding Estreich & Company in 1986, Jonathan Estreich has successfully placed over $55 billion in debt and equity secured by office, retail, residential, industrial and hotel properties.

Mr. Estreich along with Jeffrey Feil, Jay Anderson, Ramius Capital, and Morton Olshan is a founding partner in the RCG Longview debt and equity funds. The funds have raised over $3.5 billion and originated over 450 transactions.

Shola Olatoye

NYC Housing Authority Chair and CEO ​

Shola Olatoye was appointed chair & chief executive officer of the New York City Housing Authority on February 8, 2014, by Mayor Bill de Blasio. NYCHA is the largest public housing authority in the nation, providing decent and affordable housing for more than 620,000 New Yorkers with low and moderate incomes.

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