Alumni Spotlight is pleased to announce The Top 50 University Alumni in Real Estate of 2022. These individuals are graduates of top universities across the country and have demonstrated exceptional skill within the real estate field as leaders of organizations, groups, and teams. They are a diversified set of individuals representing investment corporations, builders, brokerages and beyond. This year’s awardees have faced challenging economic cycles and are currently navigating through an unprecedented set of conditions.
Among this year’s awardees are Chris Porter, Chief Financial Officer of Landsea Homes, who is responsible for guiding the company’s financials with sustainable master-planned communities in some of the nation’s most desirable markets; Dan Gilbane, President and Managing Director of Gilbane Building Company, who leads the sixth-generation, family-owned business toward continual success year after year; and Vincent Cozzi, Chief Investment Officer and Chief Operating Officer of NexCore Group, who uses his decades of experience in real estate guiding the national healthcare real estate investment and development company.
It is our distinct honor to recognize such an accomplished group of industry professionals. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of The Top 50 University Alumni in Real Estate of 2022.
1. Gary Malin
Chief Operating Officer, The Corcoran Group
University of Michigan
With more than two decades of real estate experience, Gary Malin is one of the industry’s most prominent and well-respected executives. As Chief Operating Officer of The Corcoran Group, Malin is actively engaged in the day-to-day operations of New York City’s leading brokerage firm. He ensures company departments function at the highest level while seeking innovative solutions to conducting business smarter and more efficiently. Malin leads Corcoran senior sales executives in the recruiting and nurturing of top talent and builds alliances with key real estate entities and professionals. Malin believes providing agents with comprehensive training and continuing education programs is key to their professional growth and future success. He ensures agents at the firm have unparalleled learning opportunities, through his involvement with Agent Studio, the company's state-of-the-art education experience facility.
A true industry insider, Malin is a go-to source for the real estate media. His expertise has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg News, and Forbes as well as myriad other local and national news outlets. Malin is a graduate of the University of Michigan and Tulane Law School and is a licensed attorney. He currently serves on the Residential Board of Directors for The Real Estate Board of New York.
3. Gregory Farhat
AVP of Corporate Real Estate, Jackson
Michigan State University
Gregory Farhat began his professional career over 17 years ago. Today, he is the Assistant Vice President of Corporate Real Estate of Jackson. Jackson is committed to helping clarify the complexity of retirement planning. Their range of annuity products, ﬁnancial know-how, history of award-winning service and streamlined experiences strive to reduce the confusion that complicates retirement plans. In his roles, Farhat leads and oversees the corporate real estate functions for Jackson and its subsidiaries/affiliates nationwide. His responsibilities cover everything from real estate transactions, development, property/project management and facilities, to workplace, security equipment and technology integration.
Farhat first got his start in 2005 as a project manager at The Christman Company. He graduated from Northwood University - DeVos Graduate School with an MBA and from Michigan State University with an undergraduate degree in construction management.
5. Dan Gilbane
President & Managing Director, Gilbane Building Company
Dan Gilbane began his professional career over 21 years ago. Today, he is the President and Managing Director of Gilbane Building Company, a global integrated construction, real estate, and facility management services firm with continual family ownership since 1870 and over $6.5 billion in revenue for 2020. Headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, the company has more than 50 offices at home in the United States and abroad in Japan, Afghanistan, Ireland, and the UAE. Gilbane Building Company has been honored as a three-time member of the Fortune 100 “Best Companies to Work For” list and was twice listed in Crain’s New York “Best Places To Work in New York City.” In 2017, the company was named on the Crain’s Largest Construction Firms list for New York for a second year in a row, a testament to the company’s strong focus on client satisfaction and reputation for quality.
Dan first got his start in 2001 as an associate at ABN AMRO. From there, he went on to Morgan Stanley Real Estate. Gilbane graduated from Harvard Business School with an MBA and from Brown University with an undergraduate degree in international relations.
6. Sumit Roy
President, CEO & Director, Realty Income Corporation
University of Chicago
Sumit Roy is the President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director of Realty Income Corporation. He first joined the company in 2011. Realty Income, The Monthly Dividend Company, is an S&P 500 company and member of the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats index. They invest in people and places to deliver dependable monthly dividends that increase over time. The company is structured as a REIT, and its monthly dividends are supported by the cash flow from over 11,100 real estate properties owned under long-term net lease agreements with their commercial clients. To date, the company has declared 620 consecutive common stock monthly dividends throughout its 53-year operating history and increased the dividend 114 times since Realty Income's public listing in 1994.
Previously, Roy was an executive director at UBS Investment Bank and before that a manager at MeadWestvaco. Earlier in his career he worked with Cap Gemini America as a principal. Roy earned an MBA in finance and economics from University of Chicago.
9. Chris Porter
Chief Financial Officer, Landsea Homes
The University of Texas at Austin
Chris Porter began his professional career nearly 31 years ago. Today, he is the Chief Financial Officer of Landsea Homes. Landsea Homes Corporation is a publicly traded residential home builder based in Newport Beach, CA that designs and builds best-in-class homes and sustainable master-planned communities in some of the nation’s most desirable markets. The company has developed homes and communities in New York, Boston, New Jersey, Arizona, Florida, Texas and throughout California in Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, and Orange County. Porter is known for being a strong finance professional skilled in corporate strategy, M&A, and cash flow forecasting.
In 1991 Porter served as a VP and assistant treasurer at Associates First Capital. From there, he went on to Crescent Real Estate before eventually founding Cubed One Advisors, LLC where he served as a managing director. Porter graduated from the University of North Texas with an MBA in finance and from The University of Texas at Austin with an undergraduate degree in economics.
11. Jeff Moeller
Managing Principal & President, Lee & Associates
University of California, Los Angeles
Jeff Moeller is the Managing Principal and President of the San Francisco Lee & Associates office. He has been in commercial real estate brokerage since 1997 in the San Francisco Bay Area, with a focus on advising Bay Area-based companies in technology, financial service, and biotech/life science. He provides unique and comprehensive strategies that help plan for steep growth trajectories, relocating headquarters, and streamlining operations. Moeller represented over 20 buildings in the San Francisco Bay where he has been the exclusive leasing advisor. In total, he has executed transactional volume in excess of $2 billion, comprised of over 2.7 million square feet of overall leased or purchased space.
Previously, Moeller was a senior managing director at Transwestern and before that a senior vice president and senior director at Cushman & Wakefield. Moeller earned an undergraduate degree in political science from University of California, Los Angeles.
12. Vincent Cozzi
Chief Investment Officer & Chief Operating Officer, NexCore Group
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Vincent Cozzi is the Chief Investment Officer and Chief Operating Officer of NexCore Group. He first joined the company in 2021 and is the first to fill these roles. NexCore Group is a national healthcare real estate investment and development company that focuses on acquiring, developing, owning, and managing healthcare facilities including medical office buildings, wellness facilities, ambulatory surgery centers, single and multi-specialty physician buildings, life sciences facilities, senior living communities and transitional rehabilitation centers. They partner with top healthcare systems, hospitals, physician groups, and assisted living, memory care and post-acute care operators, and reputable institutional and high net worth investors to develop, acquire, and own high quality assets that serve their communities through significant job creation and the provision of quality healthcare services.
Previously, Cozzi was a principal at BlackDuck Real Estate Investment and Advisors and before that a president and chief investment officer at NorthWest Healthcare Properties REIT. Earlier in his career he worked with Kemper Insurance as a portfolio manager. Cozzi earned an MBA in finance from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and an undergraduate degree in economics from University of Wisconsin-Madison.
View the complete list of awardees.
15. Conor Flynn
CEO, Kimco Realty
Conor Flynn is the Chief Executive Officer of Kimco Realty. Kimco Realty Corp. is a real estate investment trust headquartered in Jericho, NY. The company is North America’s largest publicly traded owner and operator of open-air, grocery-anchored shopping centers and mixed-use assets. The company’s portfolio is primarily concentrated in the first-ring suburbs of the top major metropolitan markets, including those in high-barrier-to-entry coastal markets and rapidly expanding Sun Belt cities, with a tenant mix focused on essential, necessity-based goods and services. Kimco is also committed to leadership in environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and is a recognized industry leader in these areas. Publicly traded on the NYSE since 1991, and included in the S&P 500 Index, the company has specialized in shopping center ownership, management, acquisitions, and value enhancing redevelopment activities for more than 60 years. Flynn has over 19 years of experience. He began his career in 2003.
Flynn graduated from Columbia University in the City of New York with an MD in real estate development and from Yale University with an undergraduate degree in economics.
16. Yayu Lin
COO, Commercial Division, Sares Regis Group of Northern California
University of California, Berkeley
Yayu Lin is the Chief Operating Officer of the Commercial Division of Sares Regis Group of Northern California. She first joined the company in 2021. Sares Regis Group of Northern California and its affiliates, Regis Homes Bay Area and Regis Contractors Bay Area, bring an expansive range of expertise, evident in all of their properties. Since their founding in 1992, SRGNC has developed and acquired 7 million square feet of office/R&D and industrial assets, built over 1,500 apartments, and sold over 2,000 homes. They’re privately held and personally dedicated to building a sustainable future for Northern California communities.
Lin earned an MS in construction engineering and management from Stanford University and an undergraduate degree in civil and environmental engineering from University of California, Berkeley.
19. Nate Johnson
President, Lyon Living
University of California, Los Angeles
Nate Johnson is the President of Lyon Living. At Lyon Living, they are more than just a builder or a property management company. They specialize in transforming regular apartment living into a lifestyle that is rooted in incomparable design and memorable experiences. Headquartered in Newport Beach, CA, they have properties all over the West Coast, Rocky Mountains, and Southeast. Together, they set the industry bar in lifestyle concepts for multifamily property operations. Johnson has over 22 years of experience. He began his career in 2002.
Before joining Lyon Living, Johnson was a senior vice president of development at Clearwater Senior Living and before that a vice president of development at Irvine Company. Earlier in his career he worked with Swinerton Builders as a project engineer. Johnson graduated from UCLA Anderson School of Management with an MBA and from University of Southern California with an undergraduate degree in civil engineering and building science.
23. Moina Banerjee
Chief Financial Officer, JBG SMITH
Moina Banerjee is the Chief Financial Officer of JBG SMITH. She first joined the company in 2010 as vice president. JBG SMITH is the largest, publicly traded, pure-play real estate company focused on the Washington, DC market. Their mixed-use portfolio is diverse and curated and their assets span classes, including urban-infill office, multifamily, and retail. Their most prized possession is their 50+ years of experience. They leverage their scale, deep knowledge of the market, and vast network of relationships to invest, develop, lease, and manage top-quality properties. Their size also allows them to act as placemakers, impacting entire communities. Their collaborative, creative culture not only attracts top talent, but also drives the innovations that have become the hallmark of their brand.
Previously, Banerjee was an associate of real estate private equity at The Blackstone Group. Banerjee earned an MBA in finance and real estate from The Wharton School and an undergraduate degree in international economics from Georgetown University.
24. Robert Kochansky
VP of Development & Construction, PeakMade Real Estate
Georgia Institute of Technology
Robert Kochansky began his professional career over 28 years ago. Today, he is the Vice President of Development and Construction of PeakMade Real Estate. PeakMade Real Estate, based in Atlanta, GA, is a diversified real estate services company, offering property management, development, and consulting services for conventional multifamily and student apartments. Kochansky is an experienced real estate professional with a demonstrated history of working within the student housing and market rate apartment industries. He enjoys the entire development process, from partnering on a deal, to creating and working within high performance teams that tackle the ever-difficult tasks of dreaming up, creating, and constructing the new built environment. Kochansky is a strong entrepreneur with deep practical design and construction knowledge.
Kochansky first got his start in 1994 as an assistant project manager at Shawmut Design and Construction. From there, he went on to Diversified Contracting before eventually rising to become a project executive at Mill Creek Residential Trust, his most recent position prior to joining PeakMade Real Estate. Kochansky graduated from Georgia Institute of Technology with an MBA and from Wentworth Institute of Technology with an undergraduate degree in construction management.
26. Steve Cho
Chief Operating & Credit Officer, Blue Vista Capital Management
Steve Cho is the Chief Operating & Credit Officer of Real Estate Credit for Blue Vista Capital Management. Blue Vista is a leading investment management firm focused on helping investors maximize returns through best-in-class real estate equity and credit strategies across the risk-return spectrum. Blue Vista offers investors the benefits of a vertically integrated platform, complementary strategies managed by experienced teams, and deep expertise as an owner, operator and lender across all property types and various markets in the U.S. and Canada. Since its inception in 2002, the firm has invested over $12 billion in total capitalization across traditional and niche property types, with the goal of challenging the status quo, setting high standards and bringing a relationship-based, client-focused approach to real estate investing. Cho has over 25 years of experience. He began his career in 1997.
Before joining Blue Vista Capital Management, Cho was an executive director of loan originations at MC-Five Mile and before that a managing director of real estate finance at
Royal Bank of Scotland Group. Earlier in his career he worked with Fortress Investment Group as a financial engineer. Cho graduated from Harvard University with an undergraduate degree in biology.
27. Barbara Jones
VP of Marketing, Drees Homes
Barbara Jones is the Vice President of Marketing of Drees Homes. She first joined the company in 2006. Drees Homes’s mission is to be America’s leading private home builder. Drees Homes, family-owned and operated for nearly 95 years, is ranked as the 36th largest home builder in the country by BUILDER media brand as well as the 19th largest privately-owned home builder in the country. In her role, Jones oversees all marketing for the company including advertising, social media, public relations, online sales, and company-wide sales training initiatives. The company builds in Cincinnati, Northern Kentucky, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Nashville, Raleigh, Jacksonville, Austin, Dallas, Houston and the Washington, DC metro area.
Previously, Jones was the president of the Home Builders Association of Northern Kentucky. She earned an MBA from the University of Cincinnati and an undergraduate degree in marketing from Miami University.
View the complete list of awardees.
28. Cindy Clare
Chief Operating Officer, Bell Partners
University of Virginia
Cindy Clare is the Chief Operating Officer of Bell. Established in 1976, Bell Partners is a privately held, vertically integrated apartment investment and management company focused on high-quality multifamily communities throughout the United States. Bell is a best-in-class apartment operator, with nearly 70,000 homes across 13 states and the District of Columbia and is one of the largest apartment renovators in the industry. The company has over 1,600 associates and 11 offices and offers an extensive and full-service operating platform containing expertise in acquisitions and dispositions, financing, property operations, accounting, risk management and all other related support functions. Bell Partners is led by a senior management team with an average of over 20 years of experience that has invested throughout all phases of the real estate cycle and has helped the company complete over $22 billion of apartment transactions since 2002. Clare has over 37 years of experience. She began her career in 1985.
Before joining Bell, Clare was a president at KETTLER and before that a VP at The Mark Winkler Company. Earlier in her career she worked with Charles E. Smith as a senior regional property manager. Clare graduated from University of Virginia with an undergraduate degree in international relations.
30. Benjamin Lantos
Co-Founder & CRO, Rhino
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Benjamin Lantos is the Co-Founder and Chief Revenue Officer of Rhino. In the midst of the housing affordability crisis, Rhino is charging into the real estate space to unlock over $45 billion in cash security deposits. They are building products, like their affordable insurance policy, to put money back in renters' pockets. The Rhino team is passionate about improving the quality of life for people everywhere by providing simple solutions for humanity's modern-day problems. Lantos has over 16 years of experience. He began his career in 2006.
Before co-founding Rhino, Lantos worked in investment banking at Goldman Sachs. In addition to his roles with Rhino, he is an active investor in various ventures and an operating partner of Kairos. Lantos graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology with an undergraduate degree in mathematics.
31. David Roodberg
CEO & President, Horning Brothers
David Roodberg is Chief Executive Officer and President of Horning Brothers, a real estate development and management company based in Washington, DC. The company focuses primarily on multi-family and mixed-use projects in the region. During his 20-year tenure, the organization has been recognized for the impact of its projects on communities within Washington DC.
In addition to his role as CEO of Horning Brothers, Roodberg is active in housing issues in the DC region. He is Chair of the Board of Washington Housing Conservancy which has an innovative model to preserve workforce and affordable housing in the path of growth. He also has board roles with Wesley House, Greater Washington Community Foundation, and Martha’s Table. Prior to Horning Brothers, Roodberg served as EVP of Combined Properties. He earned an MBA from University of Michigan and graduated from Duke University with an undergraduate degree in computer science.
33. Bob Oakes
Founder & President, Village Realty
University of Virginia
Bob Oakes is the Founder & President of Village Realty. He formed the company in 1993, purchasing the assets of a former employer, Capitol Dominion Corporation from Dr. Craven Williams. Village Realty has grown to serve over 1000 vacation rental property owners on the Outer Banks, Ocracoke, and Carolina Beach. Village Realty also manages over 70 property owners associations and holds the AMO designation from the Institute of Real Estate Management. Village is the only firm on the Outer Banks to earn this designation. In 2016, they recapitalized Village and partnered with Tregaron Capital, a private equity firm from Palo Alto, CA, retaining equity in the company. Tregaron provides the resources and financial know-how for Village to expand its footprint and culture in partnership with additional local vacation rental companies in the Southeast.
Oakes graduated from University of Virginia with an undergraduate degree in American studies.
34. Duane Stiller
Founder & CEO, Woolbright Development
Duane Stiller is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Woolbright Development. He first founded the company in 1987. Based in Boca Raton, Florida, Woolbright Development is one of the largest acquirers and top 10 private owners of retail real estate in Florida. They are dedicated to making places better by focusing on redeveloping commercial shopping centers into more desirable places to do business and more inviting places to shop, dine, and play.
Their goal is to bring out the best in every project they touch to create the ultimate shopping/retailing experience and investment opportunity. Since 2000, Stiller and the company have completed 78 retail developments, totaling 12.5 million square feet and worth over $2.6B. They have partnered with Prudential, Principal, Morgan Stanley, Blackrock, Heitman, DRA Advisors, Lone Star, and Stockbridge.
Previously, Stiller was a director of property management at Travelers Asset Management International Corporation. Stiller earned an undergraduate degree in engineering from Cornell University.
39. Daryl Smith
SVP & Chief Marketing Officer, KETTLER
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Daryl Smith is currently a Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer with KETTLER, where his current focus is to build a fully integrated omni channel marketing platform, while growing the KETTLER brand in the markets they serve. With over 20 years of experience, Smith is a highly-driven innovative marketing executive adept in consumer acquisition, retention, customer experience, digital marketing and brand, and corporate communications strategy. He has worked with some of the nation's largest and top multifamily companies in transforming marketing operations to next generation platforms. An advocate for the consumer, he is passionate about brand connectivity and positioning through digital technology and data centricity with customers.
Smith is an inspirational leader, whose passions and philosophies are inspired by the talent and commitment of the teams he leads. A committed driver of diversity, equity, and inclusion, he has a deep appreciation for brands who share values around inclusivity and equitable access to competitive opportunities. Smith is a thought leader who enjoys sharing best practices at national conferences annually, as well as in advisory capacities with diverse industries. Smith graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with an MS in journalism and from Southern University and Agricultural and Mechanical College at Baton Rouge with an undergraduate degree in broadcasting.
41. Mike Mraz
President, Real Estate Development, Rockford Construction
Mike Mraz began his professional career nearly 11 years ago. Today, he is the President of Real Estate Development of Rockford Construction. Rockford Construction has been serving the commercial, multi-unit, educational, industrial, healthcare and retail markets for more than 30 years. Licensed in 45 states and ranked by Engineering News Record as one of the Top 200 construction management firms in the nation and third in Michigan, Rockford offers construction management, development, and property management services, bringing a comprehensive perspective as owners, builders, and operators. From small-scale renovation work to highly technical construction efforts, Rockford has completed more than $5.5 billion in projects across the nation.
Mraz graduated from Cornell University with an undergraduate degree in real estate finance and development.
View the complete list of awardees.
42. David Levy
Partner, Baird Holm
University of California, Berkeley
David Levy is a Partner and Real Estate Section Chair of Baird Holm. He first joined the company in 2006. Baird Holm’s integrated team of 96 attorneys, licensed in 22 states, is committed to connecting each of its valued clients to the positive outcomes they seek. With extensive and diverse expertise, Baird Holm leverages each attorney's skills to respond efficiently to its clients' local, regional, national, and international legal needs. Rooted by the promise to constantly evolve in anticipation of its clients' rapidly changing needs, Baird Holm has enjoyed steady and measured growth since its founding in 1873. Levy is responsible for representing developers and municipalities in all aspects of land use planning, zoning, permitting and litigation, including environmental review and natural resources permitting. Additionally, he represents developers of renewable energy facilities.
Previously, Levy was an attorney at Morrison & Foerster and before that an attorney at Landels, Ripley & Diamond. Levy earned a JD in law from University of California, Hastings College of the Law and an undergraduate degree in urban studies from University of California, Berkeley.
44. George Harmanis
Chief Financial Officer & SVP, Schottenstein Real Estate Group
George Harmanis is a Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Schottenstein Real Estate Group. Schottenstein Real Estate Group is respected as one of the leaders in the real estate industry. They are dedicated to creating exceptional communities for living, working, shopping, and entertainment. Their key personnel have developed, built, marketed, and managed more than 10,000 for sale homes or condominiums, more than 25,000 rental units, and a variety of commercial, retail, land, and office projects throughout the Midwest and Florida.
Harmanis is an experienced financial executive with operations orientation and a passion for creating and maintaining efficient, high-quality business solutions. He has developed project models used to secure over $500.0 million in both construction and permanent financing for the company's properties. Prior to joining Schottenstein, Harmanis was the SVP and CFO of Premier Properties and before that, the VP and controller for Glimcher Realty Trust. He first got his start in 1984 as a senior audit staff member with Ernst & Young. Harmanis graduated from The Ohio State University with an undergraduate degree in accounting.
46. Joan Brothers
CEO, Manhattan Boutique Real Estate
Joan Brothers began her professional career over 17 years ago. Today, she is the Chief Executive Officer of Manhattan Boutique Real Estate. Manhattan Boutique Real Estate differentiate themselves in the New York City condominium, cooperative and townhouse markets by how they work with their buyers, sellers, renters, and landlords. They also do real estate consulting and development. Utilizing their global knowledge and real estate expertise, they personalize their service to each of their client’s specific needs. They have represented individuals and corporations from over 20 states within the U.S., and over 50 different countries. 50% of their clients are international and 50% are considered local. Their team has 75 years of experience and has completed over $500 million in real estate transactions.
Brothers first got her start in 2005 as a president at Manhattan Global Properties, before eventually rising to managing partner at Quinton Properties, her most recent position prior to joining Manhattan Boutique Real Estate. Brothers graduated from University of Hartford with an MBA in international business and from Boston College with an undergraduate degree in economics.
48. Rick Kirk
Principal, Madison Marquette
The University of Texas at Austin
Rick Kirk is co-leader of Madison Marquette’s Office and Healthcare Investment Management teams. Prior to the June 2018 merger of Madison Marquette and PMRG, Kirk served as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of PMRG, a privately owned national real estate investment and property services company. Under his leadership, PMRG completed more than $2B in ground-up development projects and expanded capabilities into a broad range of successful investment activities in the office, multifamily, and medical office sectors. As an experienced leader in the commercial real estate industry, he brings a focused and metrics-driven approach to strategic investment management and development planning.
Kirk came to PMRG after an 18-year career with Prentiss Properties. There he was responsible for directing all aspects of management and leasing for the firm’s 42 million square foot national portfolio. Kirk graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with an undergraduate degree in business administration.
View the complete list of awardees.