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By Conor O’Neill ’17
The Columbia Business School Real Estate Association (REA) is pleased to announce the co-presidents and vice presidents elected for the 2016–17 academic year. The officers, all in the class of 2017, were elected by the REA membership. Assistant vice presidents will be elected from the incoming class in the fall.
Alumni interested in working with the REA or who would like to be included in any REA-led alumni activities should contact the REA co-presidents or the VPs of alumni relations using the e-mail links below.
Durrell Mack worked as the Head of Research in the Jones Lang LaSalle Tianjin office. He was responsible for managing market research production in several cities in the Bohai Region. Before joining the Tianjin Research team Durrell worked as a senior analyst and senior consultant on the Jones Lang LaSalle Beijing Research and Retail teams, producing quarterly market research studies and advisory reports on Beijing and several Tier II cities in northern China. Durrell received his undergraduate degree from Middlebury College, where he majored in International Politics and Economics.
Eric Liang will join Brookfield Property Partners as a Summer Associate in acquisitions. A CFA Charterholder and Real Estate Circle Fellow, Eric most recently served as an Investment Associate in the Global Real Estate group of Aviva Investors where he underwrote investments in real estate funds, joint ventures, and co-investments on behalf of a $10 billion platform. Eric was previously an Associate with RREEF Real Estate / Deutsche Bank where he assisted capital deployment and fundraising in the US and China. He is a 2009 graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park, where he majored in finance and accounting.
Co-VPs of Careers
Alex Cemaj received his Bachelor’s degree in economics from Brandeis University in 2010. He began his post-collegiate career in the Corporate Solutions department at JLL servicing two large international accounts—Iron Mountain and DirecTV. He later went on to work at Prudential Capital Group, investing in over $1 billion worth of Credit Tenant Leases throughout the U.S. This summer, he will interning with Long Wharf Real Estate Partners’ acquisitions team, a Boston-based real estate value-added investor.
Morgan Mann graduated from the University of Washington with degrees in Architecture and Construction Management. Following her undergraduate studies she relocated to San Francisco and joined McCarthy Building Companies, Inc. a General Contractor specializing in healthcare and institutional buildings. She worked on the Li Ka Shing Biomedical Facility and Lower Sproul Student Center at UC Berkeley and several student housing projects for Stanford University as a Project Engineer, Estimator and Preconstruction Manager. She came to CBS to gain a more comprehensive view of the Real Estate industry and to learn about life and business on the East Coast. She will be working for Allianz in their Real Estate of the Americas division over the summer.
Co-VPs of Alumni & Mentorship
Originally from Seattle, Alec Maghami graduated from the University of Washington in 2011 with degrees in finance and political science. Before enrolling at Columbia, Alec spent over 4 years in Prudential’s San Francisco office, first with Prudential Mortgage Capital’s National Origination group and most recently as an Acquisitions and Development Associate with Prudential Real Estate Investors. This summer he will be interning with Silverstein Properties’ New York City–based development team. After graduation, Alec plans to return to the West Coast to pursue a career in real estate development.
Brian Feldman hails from Seattle and is a graduate of the University of Washington with degrees in environmental studies and environmental science. While in Seattle, Brian worked as a consultant on large public and private infrastructure and transportation projects. His professional experience also includes three years at Amazon.com as an Instock manager in the retail organization. This summer he will be interning at Trammell Crow in Philadelphia working on several industrial, multifamily and office developments throughout the northeast region.
VP of Case Competitions
Joe Noon is a Chicago native and a first-year student focusing on real estate investment and development at Columbia Business School. After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis with a BA in Mathematics and Economics, Joe worked in the financial economics practice of Charles River Associates, a global economic consulting firm. He later completed a Master’s of Science in Economics and joined the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation as an economist. This summer, Joe will be working at Hines in their Chicago office.
VP of Communications & Technology
Conor O’Neill graduated with his Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from Lafayette College. Prior to business school he worked for Maida Engineering, an engineering design firm in Philadelphia. At Maida, he designed and oversaw construction of mechanical and electrical systems for clients including Boeing, Johnson & Johnson, Disney, and others. After four years of managing engineering projects, Conor came to Columbia Business School where he sits on the boards of the Real Estate Association and the Columbia Student Investment Management Association. This summer Conor will be working at Hughes Development Corporation in South Carolina.
Co-VPs of Education
Daniel Liu graduated from Cornell University in 2008 with a concentration in Real Estate Finance. Immediately prior to business school, Daniel spent the four years investing on behalf of Glenmont Capital Management, an institutional real estate private equity fund, where he focused on distressed and opportunistic equity investments. Daniel also worked for Wells Fargo’s Real Estate Banking Group and PricewaterhouseCooper’s advisory practice. This summer, he will be joining KAUST Investment Management Company’s real estate team.
John Pollock graduated from Boston College with a B.S. in Finance and Accounting. After graduating, he worked at Cambridge Associates, an investment consulting firm primarily serving non-profit institutions, pension funds, and high net worth families. After four years with Cambridge Associates, John spent two years in an Associate role at HarbourVest Partners, a multi-billion dollar private equity services firm. As a member of the primary investment team, he conducted due diligence and helped make investment decisions on buyout, venture capital, and credit fund investments. This summer, John will be working at Spear Street Capital, focusing on acquisitions and asset management in the firm's New York City office. John is a CFA Charterholder.
VP of EMBA
An experienced professional with deep expertise in real estate, Sandeep Vardhan manages an Inland Empire homebuilder backed by one of the largest family-owned real estate development groups in India. His responsibilities include land acquisition and entitlement, financing, construction operations, marketing, and business development. Sandeep earned a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from UCLA and holds 11 patents related to wireless sensor networks.
Co-VPs of Events
Greg Pearson is a Los Angeles native and a first-year student focusing on real estate investment and development at Columbia Business School. After graduating from the University of Southern California with a degree in Real Estate Development, Greg worked at the middle market investment bank Duff & Phelps covering the real estate sector. Soon thereafter, he moved over to CBRE’s industrial platform where he focused on institutional portfolio sales, recapitalizations, entity sales and joint venture structuring. This summer he will be interning for Invesco.
After graduating from Bentley University, Sophie Haas began her career in real estate at Jones Lang LaSalle in Argentina. She represented P&G for three years across Latin America and then moved to New York where she continued working in tenant representation for accounts such as ADP and Ipsos. Sophie is now a first year student at Columbia Business School focusing on real estate development.
VP of Finance
Will Noyes double majored in finance and economics while at the University of Massachusetts. While there he was also a member of Army ROTC and commissioned as a Signal Corps officer upon graduation. Over his military career he lived and worked in South Korea, Savannah, Georgia and Wiesbaden, Germany. Throughout his time in the military Will led teams that provided voice and data communications across platforms with multiple classification levels. In addition to being the VP of Finance he is also a member of the Military In Business Association and the MicroBrew Society. This summer Will is interning at Equity Residential in their NYC office.
VP of International
Fei Gong worked as the Strategic Operations Manager at Vanke’s headquarters in Shenzhen, China before business school. He was responsible for developing and implementing operational strategies for the company’s 350 ongoing residential/commercial development projects. Before joining the headquarters, he worked in Vanke Beijing office as a management trainee and a marketing manager for a luxury residential development project. Fei graduated from Peking University in 2010 with a B.S. in Computer Science and a B.Econ. in Economics. This summer, he will be interning at Macquarie Capital NYC office in the real estate investment banking team.
VP of J-Term
Prior to Columbia Business School, Nicole Atoyan spent four years at IDS Real Estate Group—a boutique real estate investment fund headquartered in Downtown Los Angeles. Her role as a Senior Associate included financial reporting, preparation of budgets and reconciliations, property management, marketing, leasing and construction management for a portfolio of institutionally-owned retail, medical office and industrial assets. Upon completing business school, Nicole plans to pursue a role in real estate capital markets.
VP of Site Tours
Born and raised in LA, Brian Hwang is a Californian living in New York. Brian graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Economics. After Penn, he spent four years working at CBRE in the Valuation & Appraisal Group specializing in the valuation of institutional office and industrial real estate. Brian holds a Certified General Appraisal License and appraised $1.3 billion worth of assets during his time at CBRE. Brian served as a Young Leader Board Member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) from 2013 to 2015 and is a member of the Gay Real Estate Group of New York. This summer, Brian will be interning at M&T Bank in the NYC Real Estate Debt Group focusing on construction financing.
Co-VPs of Trips
Brian Hinds graduated from Rutgers University with a B.S. in Accounting and a M.S. in Financial Accounting. After graduating, he worked at J.P. Morgan Chase, in their Corporate and Investment Banking Division focusing on Debt Capital Markets. After 3 years with J.P. Morgan, Brian spent two years in an Associate Director role at UBS Wealth Management, advising clients in Puerto Rico and Canada on how to best position themselves for future growth. This summer, Brian will be working at Colony Capital, focusing on acquisitions in the firm’s New York City office.
Seema Hirsch graduated from Michigan State University with a B.A. in Finance. After graduating, she worked at J.P. Morgan Chase for over ten years. At JPMorgan Chase she worked on an internal retail bank consulting team and was later promoted to manage this team for the Manhattan market. Seema was later promoted to become a VP Lending Manager in the residential lending department, covering Midtown Manhattan, where she managed a team of 22 originators for the last five years. Seema is completing her MBA in the expedited J-term program, and will be taking classes full-time this summer.
Conor O’Neill ’17 is the REA’s newly elected VP of Communications and Technology.