Ermelinda Berberi, Sr. Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer, Paramount Group
Lena Chin, Real Estate and Infrastructure, FTI Consulting Inc.
Lena Chin joined FTI Consulting’s Real Estate & Infrastructure group in February of 2016. She provides Tax Advisory and Compliance services to support her clients in safeguard of International, Federal, State and Local regulations. Lena applies best practices to help clients navigate the complexities of tax rules within the Real Estate industry. FTI’s Real Estate practice includes expertise in due diligence, tax structuring, consulting, REIT compliance, planning, tax strategies & modeling. Prior to joining FTI Consulting, Ms. Chin’s experience includes five years at PricewaterhouseCoopers as an expert in Taxation within the Asset Management and Banking & Capital Markets industries. Her experience includes being a trusted tax advisor to General Atlantic, Onex Corp, JP Morgan, Centerbridge, & Fortress. Ms. Chin holds dual Bachelor of Science in Finance & Accounting from The Peter J. Tobin College of Business at St. John’s University.
Melissa Graffeo, Corporate Accounting, Paramount Group
Laurie Grasso, Partner, Hunton & Williams LLP
Laurie Grasso is a real estate partner at Hunton & Williams LLP. She has 20 years of experience as a real estate dealmaker, representing real estate owners, developers, private equity funds and REITs in all aspects of commercial real estate. While Laurie does deals all over the country, she concentrates her practice on the exciting deals that happen in her beloved city of New York and its surrounding boroughs. Laurie has been recognized as a “Woman of Influence” in Real Estate Forum, named a “NYC Power Women in Real Estate” by Bisnow, named among the “Top Women in Real Estate” by New York Real Estate Journal and recognized as a leading lawyer in her practice area by a number of ranking publications including Chambers USA, New York Super Lawyers and The Legal 500.
Amy Herman, Nest Seekers International
A leader in New York City’s residential real estate market since 2002, Amy Herman has committed herself to providing personalized service to all of her clients. Whether it’s presenting unique and well-researched information, or maintaining a constant, hands-on presence with her clients, from first connection to closing, Amy has established herself as a highly dependable advocate and negotiator and leader in one of the most competitive real estate markets in the world. Amy is a native New Yorker, and moved to Manhattan in 2000 after graduating from Emory University in Atlanta. Dedicated to building a significant following among home buyers and sellers, she is inspired by helping her clients find their dream sanctuary. Amy believes that home is where the heart is, and she is grateful that her clients trust in her to help find their perfect home. Amy has handled high-profile transactions all over the city from SoHo, the Village, Union Square, Flatiron, Chelsea, Gramercy, the Upper East Side, to the Upper West Side. It’s this tenacity and drive that lead to Amy being named one of New York City’s Top 100 Real Estate Agents in 2015. By the age of 30, Amy sold nearly $100M of real estate, leading to her reputation as a resolute professional. She has been quoted in The New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post and Crain’s New York Business. Whether Amy is selling a $30M townhouse, a $4M condominium or a $1.8M cooperative, she is committed to working with all price points that suit her clients needs. She believes in maintaining long lasting relationships, and will do whatever it takes to get the job done. Amy’s goal is to deliver quickly for her clients, and she consistently exceeds their expectations. Amy resides in Manhattan with her husband Matt and daughter Alessandra.
Maggie Hui, Chief Accounting Officer, SL Green Realty
Maggie Hui serves as Chief Accounting Officer of SL Green Realty Corp. Ms. Hui joined the Company in September 2004 as Vice President, and in 2007 was promoted to Senior Vice President and Corporate Controller. Before joining SL Green, Ms. Hui was Vice President and Controller at Acadia Realty Trust, where she was a key member of the financial management team at the time that company became a real estate investment trust. She had previously held positions at a public accounting firm and a private real estate investment firm. Ms. Hui is a graduate of Binghamton University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.
Helen Hwang, Senior Executive Managing Director, Meridian Investment Sales
Helen Hwang is Senior Executive Managing Director at Meridian Investment Sales and is head of the Institutional Investment Sales Group. Ms. Hwang has executed over 70 institutional sales and recapitalization transactions exceeding $25 billion in value. Prior to joining Meridian, Ms. Hwang spent 16 years at Cushman & Wakefield as an Executive Vice President, where she worked on several unprecedented complex assignments. Ms. Hwang was honored with the Real Estate Board of New York’s highest achievement, the 2012 Most Ingenious Sales Deal of the Year (Robert T. Lawrence Memorial Award). Ms. Hwang has marketed significant New York assets for clients such as Ashkenazy Acquisitions, Bank of America, Dermot Company, Five Mile Capital, Paramount Group, Rockrose Development, SL Green, Vornado, and Macklowe Properties. She has been a trusted strategic advisor to numerous prominent New York institutions, including American Bible Society, St. John’s University, Children’s Aid Society, MTA, Verizon, and Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York.
Laura Jackson, Managing Director, FTI Consulting
Laura Jackson joined the Board of Rebuilding Together NYC as Treasurer in January 2014 and was elected Vice President in 2017. She volunteers her time as a way to give back to the community and help provide a comfortable place to live for residents of NYC. Laura is a Managing Director in FTI Consulting’s Real Estate Solutions Practice. Laura specializes in the REIT and partnership area of real estate taxation at FTI providing expertise in due diligence, structuring, REIT compliance, and partnership taxation complexities for numerous public and private real estate clients. She graduated first in her class and summa cum laude with a B.S. in Business Administration and concentration in Accounting from Monmouth University and holds an M.S. in Taxation degree from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Valerie Kitay, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer, Savanna
Ms. Kitay joined Savanna as General Counsel in 2015. She is responsible for supervising all of Savanna’s legal activities, including ensuring that all investment vehicles and transactions are structured and documented appropriately, with particular attention to business objectives. She also provides legal support and guidance with respect to fundraising, investor relations and corporate governance matters. Additionally, Ms. Kitay serves as the firm’s Chief Compliance Officer. Prior to joining Savanna, Ms. Kitay practiced law as an associate in the real estate departments of King & Spalding LLP and Goodwin Procter LLP, and most recently as counsel at Hunton & Williams LLP. Her practice focused on representing sponsors in the formation of private real estate debt and equity funds, including Savanna, and representing institutional investors, real estate investment managers, fund sponsors, REITs and other public and private real estate companies in a broad range of complex commercial real estate transactions, including purchases and sales, joint ventures, financings, restructurings, recapitalizations, and development projects. Ms. Kitay received her J.D. from Emory University School of Law and her B.A. from Trinity College.
Lesley Lisser, Director, Invesco Real Estate, Director
Lesley Lisser joined Invesco Real Estate as a Director, Senior Asset Manager in June 2012. As the Northeast Regional Head of Invesco’s national multi-family platform, Lesley oversees approximately 3,000 units from Washington D.C. to Boston. Her responsibilities include managing the Instrata Lifestyle Portfolio, consisting of five properties located in NYC and one in Washington, D.C. Prior to this appointment in July 2016, she ran an office, industrial, multifamily and retail portfolio in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She has over 24 years of real estate asset management experience, including asset management positions at Lehman Brothers Holdings LLC, Wafra Investment Advisory Group, Brookfield Opportunity Fund and Emmes Asset Management. Ms. Lisser received a Master’s of Science in Real Estate and Diploma in Construction Management from New York University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Syracuse University. She is a LEED AP and holds a New York State salesperson license and BOMA RPA designation. Ms. Lisser is a member of CREW NY and ICSC. She has previously held the position of Vice Chair, Volunteer Committee, UJA Federation of New York’s Real Estate and Allied Trade Division.
Rachel Loeb, Director of Development, World Wide Group
Rachel Loeb, Director of Development at the World Wide Group, is a senior executive member of this NYC-based private real estate development company, spearheading acquisitions and development. She serves as Project Executive overseeing all aspects and phases of the development process. Before joining WWG, Ms. Loeb was a Senior Director of Development for AvalonBay, where she was responsible for the development of over 1400 apartments. Ms. Loebworked in Boston for GLC Development and began her career in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam where she worked on the Saigon South development, an 8000-acre new town community. In 2016, Ms. Loeb was named one of Bisnow’s Power Women of New York Real Estate and one of Crain’s NYC 2011 40Under40. She received the Spirit of the City Award, given by the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Ms. Loeb is a graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in History and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where she earned a Masters in City Planning. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons.
Shallini Mehra, Associate Broker, Investment Sales, Besen and Associates
Shallini Mehra is a Senior Director at Besen & Associates, a full service commercial real estate brokerage firm where she specializes in investment property sales in New York City. Over the past fifteen years, Ms. Mehra has successfully transacted in all different asset classes including multifamily, mixed use, commercial, retail, SRO’s, development, affordable housing, note sales, air rights, residential coops and condos. Prior to joining Besen, Ms. Mehra spent three years in investment banking at J.P. Morgan, where she worked in various groups including Real Estate & Lodging, Syndicated Finance and Telecom, Media & Technology. Before at J.P. Morgan, Ms. Mehra spent four years with Arthur Andersen in its Audit & Business Advisory Practice working with Financial Institution clients. Ms. Mehra graduated from Binghamton University with a B.S in Accounting and received her MBA from The Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University. Ms. Mehra is a member of The Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), Community Housing Improvement Program (CHIP) and the Young Men’s / Women’s Real Estate Association of New York (YMWREA).
Amy Nielson, Regional Marketing & Business Development Manager, Hunton & Williams
Amy Nielson has over 15 years of experience in strategic marketing, business development and public relations. Mrs. Nielson currently serves as the regional marketing manager at Hunton & Williams where she supports a dynamic team of over 100 talented lawyers. Prior to joining Hunton & Williams, Mrs. Nielson served as a marketing manager in the New York office of Greenberg Traurig. She also honed her marketing skills at AT Kearney Consulting and Arizona State University. Mrs. Nielson currently serves as the chair of the membership committee for the Legal Marketing Association and has enjoyed many other positions within the organization throughout her career. In her free time, she loves hiking in the woods around her home with her husband and two daughters.
Jessica Sherman, Project Manager, Douglaston Development
Jessica Sherman is a Project Manager on the Affordable Housing team at Douglaston Development. Prior to joining the company, Mrs. Sherman worked as a Leadership Fellow at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, focusing on regional infrastructure management and development, and as a Senior Product Manager at Amazon. Mrs. Sherman holds a M.B.A. from Columbia School of Business, a M.Sc. in Social Policy from the University of Oxford, and a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania. In addition to working with Rebuilding Together NYC, Mrs. Sherman is a member of the Advisory Council for the Fund for Public Housing.
Amy Sole, Senior Vice President, Emmes Asset Management
Over 20 years of asset management experience in both suburban and urban commercial real estate, including office, residential and retail. Currently, Amy Deacon Sole oversees the New York City office for EMMES Asset Management Company Limited, LLC, a private real estate investment, management and redevelopment firm that focuses on principal investment, fund management, and asset/property level services. Previously to joining EMMES, Ms. Sole was the VP of Asset Management and Investor Relations for Vision Equities, LLC and Vision Real Estate Partners, LLC, both real estate investment and development firms that primarily focus on acquisitions and development along the eastern seaboard. Prior to Vision RE Partners, Amy spent 12 years at EMMES Asset Management Company, LLC, concentrating on acquisitions across the country and asset management of several portfolios. Throughout her tenure, she has been a point person on over $630 million in acquisitions, coordinated over $760 million in financing, and oversaw the dispositions of approximately 30 properties totaling over $600 million in value. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Philadelphia University and a Master of Science degree from New York University’s Real Estate Institute. In addition, Amy is an active volunteer for many non profit associations. She co-chairs numerous events annually for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation (PDF), a leading national presence in Parkinson’s disease research, education and public advocacy.