Mr. Schlank is a Founder and Managing Partner of Savanna. At Savanna, Mr. Schlank sits on the investment committee and is in charge of construction and redevelopment and shares responsibilities for asset management, sales and marketing and acquisitions. Mr. Schlank has overseen the acquisition and redevelopment of more than 70 real estate assets, comprising over 20 million square feet of space and nearly $3.8 billion of total capitalization, including raw land development sites, apartments, office buildings, industrial to residential conversions, retail and warehouse/distribution properties. Prior to founding Savanna, Mr. Schlank was a project manager for the Westside Federation for Senior Housing, a New York-based developer of low-income housing. Mr. Schlank received an MS in Real Estate Development from the Columbia School of Architecture and a BA in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Schlank is an Assistant Adjunct Professor at Columbia University where he teaches a seminar in Real Estate Finance to graduate students in the Columbia Architecture School’s Real Estate Master’s Degree Program.
Publications: Columbia Business School CaseWorks Case Study, Bryant Park Tower.
Mr. Bienstock is the Co-Managing Partner of Savanna. At Savanna, Mr. Bienstock has developed relationships with institutional lenders, third-party capital partners, and fund investors as well as identified acquisitions and structured transactions. Mr. Bienstock has worked on the acquisition, financing, redevelopment, restructuring and sale of over $5 billion of real estate throughout the United States. Mr. Bienstock sits on the investment committee and supervises the ongoing marketing and leasing of Savanna’s investments. Prior to joining Savanna in 1998, Mr. Bienstock worked at Capital Trust, Inc. in New York where he worked on a wide variety of real estate principal investment and advisory transactions, including the purchase of equity interests in various properties, the negotiation and structuring of mezzanine loans, single asset and portfolio sales, asset management, debt and equity private placements and REIT IPO advisory work. Prior to Capital Trust, Mr. Bienstock worked for Chemical Bank’s Real Estate Investment Banking Group. Mr. Bienstock received an MBA from the Columbia Business School, an MS in Real Estate Development from the Columbia School of Architecture and a BA from Harvard College where he graduated cum laude. Mr. Bienstock has served as an Assistant Adjunct Professor at Columbia University where he taught case studies in Real Estate Finance to graduate students in the Columbia Architecture School’s Real Estate Master’s Degree Program and at the Columbia Business School. Mr. Bienstock also serves on the Advisory Board of The Paul Milstein Center for Real Estate at The Columbia Business School, and on the Board of Trustees at The Brearley School, where his daughter attends school.
Columbia Business School CaseWorks Case Study, Bryant Park Tower
“Real Estate” in Selling Your Business: The Transition from Entrepreneur to Investor by Louis P. Crosier
Ms. Adamaviciene is a Cost Controller at Savanna Project Management where her responsibilities include tracking vendor invoices and preparing cash flow projections as well as anticipated cost and budget reports. Prior to joining Savanna in 2016, Ms. Adamaviciene was an accountant at Brack Capital Real Estate where she managed all accounting functions for residential and development projects, including financial and investor reporting. Ms. Adamaviciene received a Bachelor’s of Mechanical Engineering and a Certificate of Post Graduate Economic Studies from Kaunas University of Technology in Lithuania.
Ms. Chen is an Assistant Project Manager at Savanna, where she assists in the daily supervision of the development and construction within Savanna’s portfolio to ensure on-time and on-budget delivery. Some of her responsibilities include scheduling, job cost analysis, contract administration, punch-list management, warranty review, procurement and closeout. Prior to joining the Savanna team, Ms. Chen gained her experience from working with Thor Equities as an Assistant Tenant Coordinator in the Construction/Tenant Coordination department. She was responsible for surveying new/potential acquisitions, developing test fit schematics, creating lease outline drawings (LODs) depicting potential tenant spaces using the Real Estate Board of New York’s (REBNY) guidelines, maintaining and updating CAD documentation of all the office and retail assets in New York, Florida, Chicago, Texas and Canada, as well as reviewing architectural/MEP drawings for conformance to the Design/Construction Rules and Regulations. Ms. Chen is an OSHA certified professional and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Architecture with a Concentration in Construction Management from New York Institute of Technology.
Ms. Corash is a Project Manager at Savanna Project Management, where she is responsible for the oversight of construction projects at several of Savanna’s Manhattan assets, with a specific focus on interior renovations and tenant built-to-suit projects. Her primary responsibility is to work with designers, consultants, contractors and tenants’ vendors to ensure the successful completion of projects on schedule and within budget. In her previous role as Assistant Project Manager, Ms. Corash assisted on a variety of interior construction and infrastructure projects, including budget management, bid leveling, contract preparation and insurance tracking. She was also responsible for Savanna Project Management’s invoicing process and quarterly cash flow projections. Prior to joining Savanna in 2011, Ms. Corash managed an independent café in Chicago where she was responsible for day-to-day operations, staff scheduling and human resources. Ms. Corash graduated with a BA in Psychology from The University of Chicago.
Mr. DeSimone is the Director of Construction at Savanna, where he is responsible for managing the execution of development and construction projects within Savanna’s Manhattan portfolio. Mr. DeSimone has a diverse background and experience encompassing multiple disciplines in the real estate and construction industries, having managed large scale development and construction projects, and successfully completing over $300 million of development nationally. Prior to joining Savanna, Mr. DeSimone was a Senior Project Manager with Jones Lang LaSalle’s Project and Development Services in New York City, managing various Manhattan projects including the Uniqlo World Retail Flagship Store, Ally Financial Trading Floor expansion project, and multiple full building capital upgrade projects for Savanna. Before joining Jones Lang LaSalle’s PDS Account, Mr. DeSimone worked in a similar role with the company’s Bank of America Account, managing various capital projects in the Tri-State Area. He has also served as a Retail Project Manager on the Bank of America Account at CB Richard Ellis, and as a Project Executive at a Miami-based commercial development and construction company. Mr. DeSimone is a PMP Certified Project Manager and CMAA Certified Construction Manager with an MS in Construction Executive Management from New York University and a BA in Business Management from Pace University.
Ms. Eljach joined Savanna as Leasing Associate in 2017. Ms. Eljach’s responsibilities include negotiating and drafting leases, letters of intent and service contracts. Prior to joining Savanna, Ms. Eljach practiced law as an associate attorney at a real estate law firm. Her practice focused on representing purchasers of luxury residential condominium and cooperative units in New York City and borrowers in commercial lending transactions. Ms. Eljach received her J.D. from Emory University School of Law and B.A. from Hunter College. At Emory, Ms. Eljach served on the executive board of the Emory Developments Bankruptcy Journal and the Real Estate Practice Group.
Mr. Farrell is a Managing Director at Savanna where he is a member of the investment committee and is responsible for acquisition sourcing, underwriting and structuring as well as asset and project management. In addition, Mr. Farrell coordinates Savanna’s fundraising efforts and oversees ongoing communications with Savanna’s institutional investor base. Mr. Farrell joined Savanna in 2008 following four years as an Associate at K. Backus & Associates (KBA), a real estate development consulting firm in New York City. Prior to KBA, Mr. Farrell spent two years at the Mayor of the City of New York’s Office of Operations. Mr. Farrell received a BA in Political Science from McGill University and an MS in Real Estate Finance from New York University, where he graduated with honors.
Mr. Fichte is a Managing Director at Savanna where he is a member of the investment committee and is responsible for new investments and asset management. Mr. Fichte’s responsibilities include acquisition underwriting and due diligence, financial modeling and deal structuring. In addition, Mr. Fichte manages Savanna’s debt portfolio. Prior to joining Savanna in 2007, Mr. Fichte worked as a financial analyst in the Capital Markets Group at Cushman & Wakefield. There, Mr. Fichte focused on advising investors on the real estate investment markets as well as participating in the underwriting and due diligence on buyside advisory assignments for both domestic and cross-border investors. Mr. Fichte graduated with a BA in Psychology from Harvard College.
Mr. Hunter is Director of Valuations and Operations at Savanna, where his responsibilities include valuations, operations and finance. Prior to joining Savanna in 2016, Mr. Hunter worked in lending as a Vice President at Sumitomo Mitsui Bank, underwriting and originating corporate and mortgage-secured loans to REITs and REOCs. Previously, he was an Associate Analyst in Equity Research covering REIT stocks at Oppenheimer & Co. and Bank of America. Prior to this, Mr. Hunter was responsible for rating securities backed by commercial real estate assets as an Associate Director in the CMBS group at Fitch Ratings. Mr. Hunter received an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University and a BA from Southern Methodist University. Additionally, Mr. Hunter is a CFA® (Chartered Financial Analyst) charterholder and regular member of the CFA Institute.
Mr. Jaffe is a Project Manager at Savanna Project Management, where he manages developments from the initial stages of design through completion and sign off. He plays an integral role in budgeting, contract negotiation, value engineering and coordinating construction operations with design, sales and marketing teams. He draws on his experience at Cauldwell Wingate Company, where he worked on multiple projects including major infrastructure upgrades, multiple corporate interior fit outs, and most notably 388 Bridge Street, a ground up, 378 unit residential tower. Mr. Jaffe also gained additional hi-rise exposure from his time at Magnum Real Estate Group where he managed the redevelopment of 385 First Ave., 114 units, and 389 East 89th Street, 156 units, in their conversion from residential rental units, to condominiums. Mr. Jaffe received his Bachelor’s degree from Union College and his Master of Business Administration from Union Graduate College.
Ms. Kitay joined Savanna as General Counsel in 2015. She is responsible for providing and/or 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.
Mr. Kramer is a Managing Director at Savanna where he is a member of the investment committee and is responsible for new investments and managing assets in Savanna’s portfolio. Mr. Kramer’s responsibilities include acquisition underwriting and due diligence, financial modeling and deal structuring. In addition, Mr Kramer oversees and coordinates the development, leasing and repositioning of Savanna properties. Prior to joining Savanna in 2006, Mr. Kramer was an Associate Director at Fitch Ratings in the Commercial Mortgage Group. In the Commercial Mortgage Group, Mr. Kramer was responsible for rating securities backed by commercial real-estate assets. Prior to the Commercial Mortgage Group, Mr. Kramer worked in the Residential Mortgage Group at Fitch Ratings. Mr. Kramer graduated with a BA in Economics from Brown University.
Ms. Krefsky is an Assistant Project Manager at Savanna, where she assists in the daily supervision and management of the development and construction within Savanna’s portfolio to ensure on-time and on-budget delivery. Some of her responsibilities include scheduling, job cost analysis, contract administration, punch-list management, procurement and closeout. Prior to joining the Savanna team, Ms. Krefsky gained her experience from working with Perkins Eastman Architects within their Corporate Interiors and Mixed Use Residential Studios on the design of the Consulate for the Republic of Turkey in New York (Turkevi Center) and 99 Hudson, Jersey City. She then joined Plaza Construction as an Assistant Project Manager in the Core and Shell Building Division, on most notably, the ground up construction of 99 Hudson in Jersey City. The 1.1M sq ft, 79 story luxury high rise is comprised of 781 units and will be New Jersey’s tallest tower. She acted as a liaison between the clients, design team, subcontractors, inspectors and other job staff to ensure proper project management. She played an integral role in the preparation of scope work documents, procurement, contract enforcement, and implementation of continuous document flow. Ms. Krefsky is an OSHA certified professional and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Architecture from Roger Williams University.
Mr. Kurd is a Director at Savanna where he is responsible for new investments, refinancings, dispositions and asset management. Mr. Kurd’s responsibilities include acquisition sourcing, underwriting and structuring. In addition, Mr. Kurd manages and oversees the financing, development, leasing and repositioning of Savanna properties. Prior to joining Savanna in 2010, Mr. Kurd worked as a financial analyst in the Commercial Real Estate Group at Deutsche Bank in New York. At Deutsche Bank, Mr. Kurd provided financing to public corporations, private equity groups and individuals owning or acquiring commercial real estate assets in all property types within the United States. Mr. Kurd received a Bachelor of Sciences in Economics with concentrations in Finance and Real Estate from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania.
Mr. Liang is an Associate at Savanna where he focuses on acquisition underwriting and asset management. Mr. Liang’s responsibilities include analyzing new acquisitions, due diligence, financial modeling and deal structuring. Prior to joining Savanna, Mr. Liang worked as an investment banking analyst in the Global TMT group at Citigroup in New York. At Citigroup, Mr. Liang worked on various transactions including capital markets offerings and advisory assignments for public and private companies within the telecommunication and media sectors. Mr. Liang graduated magna cum laude from the Stern School of Business at New York University with a Bachelor of Science in Finance.
Ms. Mallory is the Administrative Coordinator at Savanna where she is responsible for ensuring the smooth operation of the office by providing a wide variety of administrative, secretarial, and clerical support to staff members. In addition, Ms. Mallory monitors staff needs, and assists in day-to-day inter-departmental operations. Prior to joining Savanna in 2015, Ms. Mallory worked at the Corcoran Group in Manhattan as an Administrative Assistant to several real estate agents. She graduated from the State University of New York at Oneonta in May 2013.
Ms. McCafferty is the Executive Assistant at Savanna where she directs the organization and administration of the office, including human resources, benefits, payroll, as well as a variety of accounting and accounting support functions. In addition, Ms. McCafferty is in charge of the coordination of the various accounts associated with Savanna’s ongoing projects, and the accounts pertaining to Savanna Investment Management, LLC and other internal Savanna entities. Ms. McCafferty has been with Savanna since 1998, prior to which Ms. McCafferty worked for Capital Trust, Inc. where she performed many similar functions. Ms. McCafferty attended the University of Massachusetts Boston.
Ms. Miller is an Associate on the investor relations team at Savanna, where her responsibilities include managing investor communications, materials, and requests. Ms. Miller also coordinates marketing and public relations across Savanna’s portfolio of assets and supports the firm’s compliance team. Prior to joining Savanna, she worked at a New Jersey law firm, where she aided attorneys and staff with trial preparation, business development initiatives, and administrative duties. Ms. Miller graduated cum laude from Villanova University with a Bachelor of Business Administration.
Mr. Moore is an Associate at Savanna where he is responsible for acquisitions and asset management. Mr. Moore’s responsibilities include acquisition underwriting and due diligence, financial modeling and deal structuring. Prior to joining Savanna in 2013, Mr. Moore worked at The JBG Companies, a real estate private equity and development firm in Washington, D.C., as an analyst in the Investments Group. At JBG, Mr. Moore was responsible for acquisitions, asset management, and development. Mr. Moore received a BA in Urban Studies from the University of Pennsylvania with a concentration in Real Estate & Development in the Wharton School of Business.
Ms. Ng is the Financial Operations Coordinator at Savanna, where she is responsible for the smooth operation of the finance department by organizing financial, accounting, and treasury functions. In addition, Ms. Ng coordinates legal, insurance, and IT related matters to ensure interdepartmental communication and workflow. Prior to joining Savanna, Ms. Ng was responsible for facilitating finance and accounting activities for three office locations at amfAR. Ms. Ng attended Hunter College, where she graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Political Science.
Mr. Nielsen is a Senior Analyst at Savanna where he focuses on acquisition underwriting and asset management. His responsibilities include analyzing new acquisitions, due diligence, financial modeling, and deal structuring. Mr. Nielsen graduated from the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a concentration in Finance and Marketing.
Ms. Powers is an Associate at Savanna where she works on acquisitions and asset management. Ms. Powers’ responsibilities include acquisition underwriting and due diligence, financial modeling, deal structuring, and closing transactions. Post closing, Ms. Powers works on managing the execution of the business plan and ongoing asset management. Prior to joining Savanna, Ms. Powers was a Senior Associate at CBRE Group, Inc. where she worked representing commercial real estate owners in the marketing, sourcing, structuring and negotiation of commercial leases in Manhattan. Ms. Powers received an MBA from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas and a BA from Bucknell University. At McCombs, Ms. Powers served as the Co-President of the Graduate Real Estate Society, Portfolio Manager on the REIT Fund and Co-Founder of the McCombs Private Equity Fund.
Mr. Reiver is Director of Leasing at Savanna where he is responsible for leasing across Savanna’s office portfolio. Mr. Reiver directly handles renewal transactions with existing tenants and also oversees efforts in securing new tenants in conjunction with third party brokers. Additionally, he is responsible for tenant relations, advancing Savanna’s strategy in the market and supporting asset management and repositioning initiatives. Prior to joining Savanna, Mr. Reiver was a Vice President at Jones Lang LaSalle, where he worked in both the landlord agency and tenant representation business units. Mr. Reiver began his career at The Staubach Company where he was instrumental in opening the firm’s Lower Manhattan office, before shifting focus to Midtown Manhattan subsequent to Jones Lang LaSalle’s acquisition of The Staubach Company. Mr. Reiver received a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in finance from Boston University and a M.S. in Real Estate with a concentration in finance and investment from New York University, where he graduated with distinction.
Mr. Richardson is a Project Manager at Savanna Project Management, where he is responsible for day-to-day oversight of construction projects at Savanna properties. He plays a key role in project planning, budgeting, bidding, award and execution, and is responsible for coordinating the efforts of all parties involved in the projects, including architects, consultants, contractors, and direct owner vendors. His experience on large projects with challenging logistical conditions and a thorough knowledge of construction will be beneficial to Savanna’s most notable upcoming projects. Mr. Richardson joined Savanna after having worked for Turner Construction Company as a superintendent in New York City. He has worked on multiple projects in the tri-state area, most notably, the Madison Square Garden Renovation ($1.2B) and the Rudin Greenwich Lane project ($700M) in the West Village. Mr. Richardson obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Construction Management from Roger Williams University and is a LEED accredited professional.
Ms. Rodiger is an Assistant Project Manager at Savanna Project Management, where she assists in coordinating the financial and logistical aspects of the development and construction of Savanna’s assets. Her responsibilities include managing project budgets, administering and reviewing and construction contracts, and supervising project schedule adherence. Prior to joining Savanna in 2013, Ms. Rodiger worked at the General Electric Corporation in the Tax Department, where she performed both analytical and administrative tasks in corporate taxation and compliance. Ms. Rodiger received her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and Mathematics from Union College, and completed a post-baccalaureate Business Bridge program at Dartmouth College.
Mr. Rosenthal is a Principal and Director of Development of Savanna where he oversees the design, construction and redevelopment of Savanna’s projects and assets. Prior to joining Savanna, Mr. Rosenthal founded JDR Associates in 2005 after 20 years in the real estate industry. His project experience includes commercial high-rise construction, hotel construction, interior fit-outs, institutional, industrial, residential and public works projects. Prior to JDR Associates, Mr. Rosenthal was a senior member of the design and construction management team at Boston Properties where he was involved with the development of over 3.0 million square feet, including the design and construction of Times Square Tower, a 1.2 million square feet ground-up high rise in Manhattan. Prior to Boston Properties, Mr. Rosenthal held various field and management positions at Turner Construction, including Preconstruction Manager for the New York office. Mr. Rosenthal received an MBA in Management from Hofstra University and a BS in Electrical Engineering from SUNY Buffalo, New York.
Mr. Schulman is the Chief Financial Officer at Savanna where he is responsible for coordinating financial and tax reporting, budgeting, treasury functions, monitoring of asset performance and maintaining controls. Prior to joining Savanna in 2000, Mr. Schulman’s previous experience included 10 years in public accounting, including eight years with Deloitte & Touche LLP where he was a manager in the firm’s retail and distribution group. In addition, Mr. Schulman held the position of Director of Operations at the Washington Square Capital Fund LLC as well as an affiliated consulting group where duties included financial reporting, monitoring of portfolio companies and performing due diligence on potential acquisitions.
Mr. Schulman received an MBA in Finance and Operations Management from the Stern School of Business at New York University, and a BS in Accounting from the State University of New York at Albany.
Ms. Sokhar is a Vice President at Savanna where she is in charge of financial and investor reporting, as well as tax and compliance matters. Prior to joining Savanna in 2010, Ms. Sokhar was a senior accountant at Morrison, Brown, Argiz and Farra, LP (“MBAF”), a public accounting firm based in Miami, FL, where she specialized in providing accounting, tax and advisory services. Prior to joining MBAF, Ms. Sokhar was an associate in the Audit and Accounting Services division of EisnerAmper, LP, a national public accounting company. While at EisnerAmper, she conducted audits for both private and public companies. Ms. Sokhar received a BS degree in Accounting from Rutgers University, where she graduated with high honors and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Mr. Taylor is an Associate at Savanna, where he focuses on new investments and asset management. Mr. Taylor’s responsibilities include acquisition underwriting, due diligence, financial modeling, and deal structuring. Following acquisition, Mr. Taylor works on the development, repositioning, and management of assets. Mr. Taylor also supports Savanna’s fundraising and investor relations activities. Prior to joining Savanna, Mr. Taylor worked at A.T. Kearney in New York, where he advised retail, industrial, and private equity clients. Mr. Taylor received an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School with concentrations in Real Estate, Finance, and Economics and a B.A. from the University of Michigan.
Mr. Temel is an Analyst at Savanna focusing on acquisition underwriting and asset management. His responsibilities include analyzing new acquisitions, due diligence, financial modeling, and deal structuring. Prior to joining Savanna, Mr. Temel was an Analyst in the Commercial Real Estate Finance group at Wells Fargo, where he underwrote and managed construction and acquisition loans for New York City-based institutional and private developers. Mr. Temel graduated Summa Cum Laude from Cornell University with a B.A. in History.