Leadership

Regional Leaders

Northern California

John Chen (MS '08)

Development Manager

Hines

John Chen (MS '08)

Development Manager

Hines

John is responsible for expanding the Hines multifamily platform in the Bay Area. He is currently managing a 223-unit multifamily high-rise in Uptown Oakland. John previously delivered the 75 Hawthorne St. EPA Lease Project, a $90M office renovation of 300,000sf with major base building upgrades, securing a 15-yr lease renewal.  He attended graduate school at Stanford and undergrad at Brown.

Meris Ota (MS '04)

Vice President, Commercial Division

Sares Regis

Meris Ota (MS '04)

Vice President, Commercial Division

Sares Regis

Meris is a versatile and effective development manager who excels in navigating complex projects by listening, strategizing, motivating, and executing.  With over 12 years of experience in the design and development fields, she leads projects through the entire development process, from initial analysis, entitlements, consultant selection, design, and permitting, through construction and occupancy.  Meris is motivated by identifying and implementing synergistic opportunities to optimize project outcomes.  Currently, Meris is the lead development manager for NVIDIA’s new building in Santa Clara.    8.18.17

Southern California

Jonathan Cheng ('00, MBA '07)

CEO

Tourmaline Capital

Jonathan Cheng ('00, MBA '07)

CEO

Tourmaline Capital

Jonathan Cheng is the CEO of Tourmaline Capital, a real estate investment firm focused on acquiring and operating retail properties across the West Coast. Before starting Tourmaline Capital in 2011, Jonathan was responsible for acquisitions at Merlone Geier Partners, which is an investment company focused on purchasing and redeveloping retail and mixed-use real estate on the West Coast. Prior to Merlone Geier Partners, Jonathan was an Associate at Cruzan Monroe, a real estate investment firm that targets office and industrial acquisitions and developments in Southern California. He also was previously a financial analyst in the investment bank division of JPMorgan. Jonathan is on the Board of Directors of Sunwest Bank and holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Loryn Dunn Arkow (JD '95)

Partner

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP

Loryn Dunn Arkow (JD '95)

Partner

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP

Loryn Dunn Arkow is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP. A member of the Real Estate Practice Group, Ms. Arkow has handled a broad range of acquisition, disposition and development transactions; joint ventures, lending and other finance transactions; recapitalizations and workouts. She has represented a diversity of clients, including large public pension funds, pension fund advisors, private equity funds and other investors, lenders, developers and sponsors in a variety of sectors, including retail, office, industrial, multifamily, condo development, homebuilding, medical and mixed use projects. Ms. Arkow has particular expertise in structuring complex transactions and entities and also in finding creative solutions to get deals done. Ms. Arkow received her JD from Stanford Law School and her undergraduate degree from Harvard College. She is active in a number of charities, served as a Los Angeles Regional Director of SPIRE, and currently serves on its Board of Directors.

Jason Lopata ('17)

Consultant

Craig Lawson & Co., LLC

Jason Lopata ('17)

Consultant

Craig Lawson & Co., LLC

Jason joined Craig Lawson & Co. Land Use Consultants in 2016. He focuses on understanding trends in city politics and planning, in addition to conducting zoning research and preparing entitlement applications. Jason also writes regularly for the website Urbanize.LA, evaluating LA’s evolving culture and built environment. Previously, Jason served on the Business Team of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Jason earned a B.A. degree in History, with Honors, from Stanford University. While at Stanford, Jason founded and led the student real estate group affiliated with SPIRE, completed graduate coursework in real estate and civil engineering, and authored a Senior Thesis on Downtown Los Angeles development patterns over the past 30 years. He has also engaged in programs of study at the University of Oxford and at UCLA's Anderson School of Management. He is a member of the Urban Land Institute Young Leaders Group Executive Committee, and sits on the Board of Contributors for the geopolitical analysis company Stratfor. 11.22.18

Chicago

Shallene Cua Gross ('06, MBA '10)

Senior Vice President, Investments

Equity Commonwealth

Shallene Cua Gross ('06, MBA '10)

Senior Vice President, Investments

Equity Commonwealth

Shallene Cua Gross is responsible for sourcing and executing investment opportunities for Equity Commonwealth, a commercial office REIT (NYSE: EQC) based in Chicago. Prior to joining EQC in 2014, she was an investment professional at Equity Group Investments, where she focused on opportunistic real estate investments. Earlier in her career, she was a member of the investment teams at Dune Real Estate Partners and Walton Street Capital. Her experience includes roles in acquisitions, restructurings, asset management and fundraising. In addition to the management takeover of CommonWealth REIT (now EQC), she has been involved in over $1 billion in acquisitions and over $1.9 billion in refinancings and dispositions across a variety of real estate sectors. Shallene holds an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in Economics with Distinction from Stanford University.

William Griffiths (MBA '04)

Finance

Equity Commonwealth

William Griffiths (MBA '04)

Finance

Equity Commonwealth

William H. Griffiths is the Senior Vice President – Capital Markets at Equity Commonwealth, where he is responsible primarily for the company’s debt and equity financing. Mr. Griffiths previously served in a similar role as part of the asset management and investment teams at EQX Real Estate Partners and Equity Group Investments since January 2014. Prior to joining EGI, Mr. Griffiths had similar responsibilities for Helix Funds, where he financed over $2.2 billion in real estate assets and participated in the acquisition, management and disposition of those assets. Prior to joining Helix Funds, Mr. Griffiths worked at Equity Office Properties Trust, where he served as Director of Business Development and was actively involved in more than $12 billion of investment activity that included Equity Office’s mergers with Cornerstone and Spieker, as well as various preferred stock investments in service companies. Earlier in his career, Mr. Griffiths was an Associate in the Real Estate Investment Banking group at J.P. Morgan in New York, where he was involved in a wide variety of M&A, equity and debt financing, and asset sale assignments. Mr. Griffiths holds an MBA from Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business and BA from Northwestern University. 8.24.17

Christian Lane ('93)

Senior Division Underwriting Counsel, Vice President

First American Title

Christian Lane ('93)

Senior Division Underwriting Counsel, Vice President

First American Title

Christian Lane has been National Counsel at First American Title Insurance Company since April 2007. Prior to First American, he served as an Associate in the real estate practice at Burke, Warren, MacKay & Serritella, P.C. from 2005 to 2007. He served as an Associate in the real estate practice at Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP from 2004 to 2005. He served as an Associate in the real estate practice and the restructuring practice with Kirkland & Ellis from 1999 to 2004. He served as the law clerk to the Honorable Robert D. Martin, Chief Bankruptcy Judge for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Wisconsin from 1998-1999. Mr. Lane holds an AB in Urban Studies from Stanford University and a JD from the University of Minnesota School of Law.

Richard Klawiter (JD '90)

Partner

DLA Piper LLP (US)

Richard Klawiter (JD '90)

Partner

DLA Piper LLP (US)

Rich Klawiter is a real estate development and finance lawyer with particular experience in the areas of land use and zoning, municipal finance (including tax increment and other public sector financing), landmarks and historic preservation matters and other public-private financing transactions. Rich also has extensive experience in domestic and international infrastructure financings and alternative energy development and finance. Rich's practice focuses on representing developers and municipalities in annexation, zoning and public sector related matters for complex commercial, retail, residential, hotel and office developments. He also concentrates on public-private development transactions, including the establishment of industrial, commercial, retail and residential tax increment financing projects; the creation of special service areas; and the structuring of sales tax sharing agreements, property tax abatements and government grants. Rich has secured more than $1 billion in economic incentives for his clients. Richard is a member of DLA Piper's North American Pro Bono Committee. 8.18.17

New York City

Peter Ciganik (MBA '07)

Managing Director

GTIS Partners

Peter Ciganik (MBA '07)

Managing Director

GTIS Partners

Peter Ciganik is a Managing Director at GTIS Partners. He leads the Investor Relations and Client Services functions across the Firm's investment vehicles. In addition, Mr. Ciganik is responsible for the Firm's macro and investment research, global strategy and new business development. Prior to joining GTIS in 2007, Mr. Ciganik worked with Morgan Stanley Real Estate Funds (MSREF) in London, and with Lehman Brothers Real Estate Partners (LBREP) in New York. He has approximately 15 years of real estate experience. In his prior engagements, Mr. Ciganik was responsible for the evaluation, financial modeling and due diligence of equity and mezzanine debt investments, participating in the acquisition of over $800 million of individual and portfolio assets. Before LBREP, Mr. Ciganik worked with Lehman’s Corporate Strategy and Acquisitions group, and as a business analyst with McKinsey & Co. in Frankfurt and New York. Mr. Ciganik graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College and received an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is a member of Urban Land Institute (ULI) and Pension Real Estate Association (PREA).

Emily Jones ('11)

Vice President

CBRE

Emily Jones ('11)

Vice President

CBRE

Emily Jones is a Senior Vice President in CBRE’s Midtown Manhattan office specializing in both landlord and tenant representation. Working tirelessly on behalf of a roster of noteworthy clients in New York City, she has been involved in more than three million square feet of transactions since joining the firm. In addition to advising prestigious corporate occupiers such as Bank of America, City National Bank, Misys, Dun & Bradstreet, and Oliver James Associates, Emily represents some of the city’s most highly respected owners and landlords. Her agency work includes the leasing of Grand Central’s newest office tower—One Vanderbilt Avenue for SL Green—and assignments for Paramount Group, Ivanhoe Cambridge, Callahan Capital and Tamares Real Estate. Most notably, Emily works on behalf of the Related Companies and Oxford Properties in the marketing and leasing of Hudson Yards, the game-changing complex on Manhattan’s West Side that is considered one of the largest private real estate developments in U.S. history. In 2016, Emily was recognized as one of the Commercial Observer’s “30 Under 30." She was also recognized as the CBRE Manhattan "Top Associate" in 2014 and as the Midtown Manhattan “Rookie of the Year" in 2013. Emily is actively involved in the industry and supporting young real estate professionals. She is Membership Chair of CBRE’s Tri-State Women’s Network and has been a board member since 2012. Since 2013, she has been a New York Regional Leader for Stanford Professionals in Real Estate. In addition, Emily serves as a board member of the Good Dog Foundation and on the advisory board of Animal Haven. 08.24.17

Mardi Schecter (JD '86)

Partner

Younkins & Schecter, L.L.P.

Mardi Schecter (JD '86)

Partner

Younkins & Schecter, L.L.P.

Mardi J. Schecter received a Juris Doctor degree from Stanford University School of Law in 1986 and received an Artis Baccalaureates (A.B.) Degree in Political Science with highest distinction from the Honors Program at the University of Michigan in 1982. Prior to founding the Firm, she was associated with Kramer, Levin, Nessen, Kamin & Frankel (now known as Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP) and Battle Fowler (now part of Paul Hastings), where she practiced in the real estate departments and then served as Vice President and Counsel for First Winthrop Corporation for four years prior to the Firm's establishment. 8.18.17

Angel Olvera ('16)

Design Consultant

Olvera, Inc.

Angel Olvera ('16)

Design Consultant

Olvera, Inc.

Angel is a tech enthusiast interested in innovation for the built environment. He works as an independent design consultant for startups, helping them grow through the design of their brand, products, and pitch decks. Currently, he is working with United Technologies Advanced Projects division on a seamless buildings project, thinking about how the next industrial revolution will affect the way buildings operate. In addition, he is involved with the Smart Cities New York Conference and other various urban tech initiatives in NYC. Angel earned a B.S. in Product Design from the Stanford School of Engineering. To see some of his work, check out: www.angeljolvera.com

Pacific Northwest

Mark Hefner ('81)

Managing Partner

Mohr Partners, Inc.

Mark Hefner ('81)

Managing Partner

Mohr Partners, Inc.

Mark Hefner, Managing Partner at Mohr Partners, Inc. (Mohr Partners), leads the Portland market office. He has more than 30 years of experience representing occupiers and investors. Prior to joining Mohr, he served in Portland as a senior leader at a major international real estate services firm, At Mohr Partners, Mark delivers end-to-end real estate services, strategies and solutions to occupiers and investors in commercial real estate worldwide. Upon graduating from Stanford in 1981, Mark began his brokerage career in Sacramento at a regional multi-disciplined commercial real estate brokerage firm, where he was a partner for over 20 years. Additionally, Mark has started and led two other brokerage firms from 2003 to 2009. In 2009, Mark became Senior Vice President at Cushman & Wakefield (formerly DTZ) where he was lead broker on a national contract representing the US Government. In that role, Mark advised many high-security agencies, including the FBI, Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Mark advises both private and public sector occupiers of real estate. Over his career, Mark has successfully closed more than 1,000 sales and lease transactions valued at more than $1.5 billion. His investment work ranges from land acquisition to technology campuses to high-rises. Mark holds Principal Broker real estate licenses in Oregon, Washington, California, and Nevada.

Washington D.C.

Melanie Domres ('86)

Senior Vice President, Asset Management

Bentall Kennedy (US) LP

Melanie Domres ('86)

Senior Vice President, Asset Management

Bentall Kennedy (US) LP

Melanie Domres joined Bentall Kennedy (US) LP as SVP and National Sector Head of Multi-Family Asset Management in May of 2018. Prior to Bentall Kennedy, she was Executive Vice President of Novus Residences LLC, the multi-family subsidiary of Cafritz Interests LLC from 2007 to 2017.  In her career, she has overseen the operations of more than 25,000 apartments in 15 states and the District of Columbia. Ms. Domres has worked at the institutional level, managing apartment operations for the Goldman Sachs subsidiary Archon Group, as well as turning around a distressed portfolio owned by Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette (now Credit Suisse First Boston). Additionally, she has worked for private developers, including managing more than 8,000 apartments for DC-based Kettler and developing 2,000 apartments for a Philadelphia-based Berman Companies. With experience in all property types, Ms. Domres has directed multiple acquisitions and dispositions; served as project manager for numerous large rehabs; and has overseen all aspects of construction, lease-up, and sale of properties. She received her M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1995 and a B.A. in Political Science from Stanford University in 1986.

Cary Kadlecek ('99)

Attorney

Goulston & Storrs

Cary Kadlecek ('99)

Attorney

Goulston & Storrs

Land use, zoning, development, historic preservation and municipal law in the District of Columbia are the focus of Cary Kadlecek's practice. Cary is an Associate with the firm. Prior to law school, Cary worked in the Criminal Division of the US Department of Justice as a paralegal specialist in the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section. He also worked as an information technology consultant assisting state and local governments with integrating technology into their procedures. Represents clients in a variety of land use and zoning issues relating to the development of mixed-use, residential, commercial, and institutional projects. Assists clients seeking reasonable accommodations under the Fair Housing Act. Cary is a regional director of SPIRE. Stanford University, B.A., 1999; University of Southern California Gould School of Law, J.D., 2007; University of Southern California, M.PL., 2007 8.18.17

Philip Porter ('91)

Vice President

Enterprise Community Investment, Inc.

Philip Porter ('91)

Vice President

Enterprise Community Investment, Inc.

Philip Porter is a vice president for syndication at Enterprise Community Investment, Inc. He originates investments primarily with sponsors based in Alaska, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Northern California, Northern Virginia, Oregon and Washington. Since joining Enterprise in 2001, Philip has managed the investment of over $1.6 billion of Low-Income Housing and Historic Tax Credit equity in 240 developments with over 16,500 homes. Philip’s involvement with multifamily housing began in 1992. He managed market-rate housing with Oxford Management Company in California, underwrote HOME loans with the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, and developed and managed affordable housing with Woodland Associates, Inc. in North Carolina. Philip has a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and holds master’s degrees in regional planning and business administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a Housing Credit Certified Professional, an associate member of Urban Land Institute, and a regional director for Stanford Professionals in Real Estate (SPIRE).