Douglas Abbey is Chairman of Swift Real Estate Partners, a San Francisco based real estate operating company focused on value add office properties on the west coast. He previously co-founded two investment management organizations: AMB Property Corporation (merged with Prologis:NYSE) formed in 1983 and now the largest global industrial REIT and IHP Capital Partners formed in 1992, a provider of equity to the single family homebuilding industry. He is a past trustee and Vice Chairman of the Urban Land Institute and serves on the board of Bridge Housing, the leading non-profit affordable housing developer on the west coast with over 13,000 units under management. He also serves on the real estate committee of the UCSF Foundation. Since 2005 he has taught the real estate class at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Mr. Abbey holds a B.A. from Amherst College and an MCP from UC Berkeley.
Aaron J. Axton is a Managing Director in KBW's highly ranked Depositories Investment Banking Department serving banks in North America and Europe. Mr. Axton has been providing strategic advice to West Coast banks, thrifts and financial institutions for over 17 years. Mr. Axton joined Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, Inc., in 2000 in the New York office. Shortly thereafter, he assisted in the successful opening of the San Francisco office where he remains today specializing in M&A and capital solutions for the banking industry. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (KBW) is a full-service, boutique investment bank and broker- dealer that specializes in the financial services sector. We operate in North America and Europe, providing institutional & private investors and financial services companies with research, equity sales & trading, capital raising, and strategic advisory services. We have built our reputation for excellence in financial services on the basis of our research platform, our senior professionals, track record of market innovation, and the strength of our execution capabilities.
On September 11, 2001, our headquarters in the World Trade Center was destroyed and 67 employees perished. In the years that followed, we committed ourselves to rebuilding, while preserving and nurturing the spirit of teamwork, employee participation, and individual initiative that has underpinned the firm's resilience and success throughout its history.
In February 2013, after fifty years in operation, we entered into a merger agreement with Stifel Financial. Our combined strengths have allowed us to continue to grow and fortify our company, leveraging Stifel's robust global wealth management capabilities and contributing the strength of KBW's market brand as the specialized financial services platform of choice.
Hon. Ben Bartlett is a fifth generation Berkeley native, environmental lawyer, and respected community leader. Ben’s mission is to leverage industry and government to deliver innovation, expand opportunity, and protect the environment.
Ben is the son of community activists, and at a young age he learned the value of community and the necessity of progress. Those values of innovation and inclusion continue to inform Ben’s policies. Ben advocates raising the minimum wage, prioritizing senior and affordable housing, effective mass transit, job creation, promoting entrepreneurship, and protecting older homeowners.
Ben’s policy work is focused on 21st century economic development with job opportunities for all Californians: creating public wi-fi to conquer the digital divide and reduce the achievement gap; solving homelessness, implementing community solar and green infrastructure; extending cross bay ferry service to Berkeley, and leveraging market-rate development to fund affordable housing.
Ben has served on numerous boards and commissions, with a commitment to making the City more responsive to the needs of residents.
Ben also gives back to his community through non-profit and charity work, serving on the capital committee for the Berkeley Food and Housing Project, a first-of-its-kind a regional resource hub for homeless veterans. He led efforts to rebuild the South and West Berkeley Library branches, and mentors the youth of his neighborhood. As a board member of the Earth Rights Institute, Ben partnered with the World Diamond Council to fund the repatriation of Soldier Children in Africa.
At the Bay Area Council, Ben developed a Social Impact Fund and drafted the Pacific Clean Air Partnership, a clean tech trade agreement signed by Governor Brown and the Chinese Minister of Commerce. Ben also worked on the implementation of Cap and Trade securities and Environmental Justice protocols at the California Air Resources Board and California Energy Commission.
Now at the California Clean Energy Fund, Ben is advancing clean energy and social equity goals on an international scale. Ben also serves on the corporate board of Y Strategies, a private equity fund delivering large scale technology transfer.
Ben has relationships with thought leaders, the business community, local neighborhood activists and the elected officials of Berkeley, Oakland, Richmond, and San Francisco. This allows Ben to serve as a trusted partner and coalition builder on regional issues impacting the entire region.
Ben is married to two-time SuperLawyer and committed women’s advocate, Yelda Bartlett.
John Chiang was elected on Nov. 4, 2014, as California’s 33rd State Treasurer. As the state’s banker, he oversees trillions of dollars in annual transactions, manages a $75 billion investment portfolio, and is the nation’s largest issuer of municipal bonds.
In addition, he chairs financing authorities that help provide good-paying jobs, better schools, improved transportation, quality health care, more affordable housing and a cleaner environment. He handles those duties while sitting on the governing boards of the nation’s two largest public pension funds with combined assets exceeding $496 billion.
Co-Chairman of the Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics, holder of the Maurice Mann Chair in Real Estate, University of California at Berkeley, Dr. Edelstein joined the University of California at Berkeley in 1985 and is active in the fields of real estate economics, finance, and property taxation; energy and environmental economics; public finance; and urban financial problems. He is a prodigious researcher and writer with work that addresses the major issues facing the real estate industry today. He has been published widely in prestigious economics and business journals on such topics as residential financial analysis and real estate markets. He has testified before the United States Congress on many occasions. Dr. Edelstein has served as consultant to both private and public entities. Most recently, he was a consultant to the Bi-Partisan Housing Commission. He also has been a member of the Board for AMB, CapitaLand, and Lend Lease Global Properties. Dr. Edelstein received a B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University.
Bill Falik has practiced land use, real estate, mediation, and environmental law in Northern California for the past 42 years and has been active as attorney, mediator, expert witness, real estate developer, and professor in all aspects of land-use planning and real estate acquisition, finance, negotiation, and development. He graduated magna cum laude from Cornell University in 1968 and from Harvard Law School in 1971, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review.
Mr. Falik has been the managing partner of numerous land development partnerships involving entitling, planning, and developing masterplanned communities in the San Francisco Bay Area and the greater Sacramento region. Currently, he is a Managing Partner of Westpark Community Builders, which developed a 1,483-acre masterplanned community in the City of Roseville. After successfully entitling over 4,300 residential units and creating a precedent-setting open space funding mechanism for Placer County, Westpark was sold to three of the largest builders in the United States in 2005. Together with his partners, Mr. Falik repurchased approximately 45% of the Westpark property in December 2009, as well as an additional 400 acres of contiguous property for developing Solaire, another masterplanned community.
Mr. Falik also serves on the Policy Advisory Board for the Fisher Center for Real Estate and Urban Economics, the Board of Trustees for the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, and he has served on the Board and chaired the Facilities Committee of KIPP San Francisco Bay Area. In addition, for the past ten years, Mr. Falik has been a Visiting Professor and an Adjunct Professor at Berkeley Law School and a member of the Professional Faculty of the Haas School of Business where he teaches an interdisciplinary course to law, business, planning, public policy, and civil environmental engineering students which he developed, entitled An Interdisciplinary Approach to Land Development and Investment.
Susan Friedland became the Executive Director of AHA in 2006, and was named ED of SAHA in 2012. During her time at AHA, the organization doubled its housing portfolio, significantly grew its net worth and won numerous local and national awards. Previously, Susan was the Director of Housing Development with Fifth Avenue Committee, a community-based development corporation in Brooklyn, NY. During her tenure there, she developed 15 housing developments, 10 retail spaces and two community facility projects. She holds a Masters of City Planning degree from U.C. Berkeley and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in Urban Studies from Brown University. She received the National Award for Women in Planning from the American Planning Association and was recently honored by the Girl Scouts for her work promoting green building. Susan served on the Board of Directors of the Nonprofit Housing Association of Northern California (NPH), and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Enterprise's Community Leadership Committee.
Ed Glazer is a member of Goodwin's Tax Practice and its nationally recognized Real Estate Capital Markets Group. He focuses principally on structuring and implementing tax-oriented commercial transactions of all types, including real estate and venture capital transactions, mergers and acquisitions, pension investments in real estate involving issues of unrelated business taxable income, leveraged financings, and workout and debt restructurings. Mr. Glazer regularly advises clients in structuring collective investment vehicles, structuring real estate securitizations, forming and operating public and private REITs, and forming real estate funds. He is annually recognized as one of the nation's leading attorneys in the REIT industry by Chambers and The Legal 500.
Stephen E. Heaney joined Stifel in 2011 through its acquisition of Stone & Youngberg. In 2013, Mr. Heaney was appointed Director of Public Finance for Stifel assisting with the growth and operation of the public finance banking group, with particular attention to developing the firm's capabilities, systems and responses addressing regulatory changes in the municipal market following adoption of SEC and MSRB rule changes. Mr. Heaney continues to focus, as he has for the past 30+ years, on development-related financings as well as directing issues for transportation, utilities, schools, and local government. Over his career, Mr. Heaney has led managed several billion dollars of municipal bond issues, primarily in California and Nevada, pioneering many financing techniques for use with large and small scale development and redevelopment projects.
From 2009 to 2013 Mr. Heaney served on the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board and was the Vice Chair of the Board in the 2012-13 year. He is the past Chair of the California Public Securities Association and a past Trustee for the California City Management Foundation.
Mr. Heaney earned a B.A. from Texas Tech University, an M.P.A. from the Maxwell School of Citizenship at Syracuse University, and maintains Series 50, 52, 53 and 63 licenses.
Patrick Kennedy is the owner of Panoramic Interests, a development firm that has been building housing, live-work space, and commercial property in the Bay Area since 1990. The firm has focused on dense, mixed-use, mixed-income, infill developments, typically financed with private funds. All of the multi-family housing projects include below market rate units.
Since 1995, Panoramic Interests has built 689 units of housing in several mixed-use projects in and around downtown Berkeley and San Francisco. The firm’s projects incorporate the Smart Growth principles designed to discourage auto use, mitigate sprawl, encourage local business, and enhance the pedestrian streetscape.
In April, 2007 Panoramic Interests sold its rental portfolio of 7 buildings to the Equity Residential Apartment REIT of Chicago for $146,000,000, the largest real-estate transaction in Berkeley’s history.
Panoramic is now focusing exclusively on CITYSPACES®--small, stylish, efficient dwellings, in walkable neighborhoods. In August of 2015, the firm completed The Panoramic: the first high-rise micro- apartment in the U.S.; the 160-unit car-free project is one block from the Twitter headquarters.
Mercedes Kerr is Executive Vice President of Welltower Inc. and leads the company’s domestic and international deal origination and relationship management, Outpatient Medical portfolio management and Asset Management. She is responsible for identifying, building and managing relationships with health systems, seniors housing operators, real estate developers and financial institutions to grow the company’s health care real estate portfolio.
A well-recognized health care real estate professional, Ms. Kerr has established strong and enduring partnerships across the industry and is working to advance the company’s strategy to promote innovative care delivery models designed to improve wellness. In addition to her leadership of Welltower’s business development team, Ms. Kerr also directs many of Welltower’s strategic business relationships.
Prior to joining Welltower in 2008, Ms. Kerr served as Vice President, Acquisitions at HCP, Inc. and before that was a member of the consulting division of Ernst & Young LLP, previously known as E&Y Kenneth Leventhal.
She began her career in real estate development in her native Mexico. Ms. Kerr graduated from the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara in Mexico and obtained a Master of Real Estate Development degree from the University of Southern California.
Michael is a Managing Director at Green Street Advisors, currently leading coverage of the health care and net lease sectors. Michael recently held the title of Director of U.S. REIT Research, where he helped lead the entire research department before returning to company coverage in 2016. Michael continues to play a key role in strengthening the firm’s research offerings and mentoring other team members, as well as occasionally publishing reports on macro topics. He has been with the firm for 15 years. Throughout his tenure, Michael has led coverage on or been closely involved with most real estate property types. This includes 10+ years in the office and self-storage sectors, initiating coverage for Green Street in the lab space and data center sectors, as well as coverage of industrial, diversified REITs, and lodging. Michael is a two-time recipient of The Wall Street Journal's "Best on the Street" award for the real estate category. Prior to joining Green Street in 2002, Michael worked in REIT investment banking at A.G. Edwards. He earned a B.A. in Economics with Distinction from Indiana University and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder.
On February 29, 2016, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr. appointed Mr. Metcalf as Director of the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD). HCD provides leadership, policies, and programs to preserve and expand safe and affordable housing opportunities and promote strong communities for all Californians. This includes ongoing direct oversight of approximately one thousand multifamily affordable properties, more than 3,600 mobilehome parks and review of housing element plans for 539 California jurisdictions. In addition, HCD is responsible for revising and updating the CalGreen building standards and awarding approximately half a billion dollars per year to support new affordable housing.
In addition, an in-depth Statewide Housing Assessment titled “California’s Housing Future: Challenges and Opportunities” was also released under Mr. Metcalf’s leadership. This draft report was the first of its kind in more than 15 years and revealed California’s far-reaching housing challenges and offered a full suite of possible policy responses.
Prior to HCD, Mr. Metcalf worked at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in Washington, D.C., where he served, most recently, as an appointee of President Barack Obama in the role of Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Multifamily Housing Programs. Prior to HUD, Mr. Metcalf worked with BRIDGE Housing Corporation, a California-based real estate development company that focuses on affordable housing and public/private partnerships.
Mr. Metcalf was a Center for Redevelopment Excellence Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania, and in 2006 was named “Young Leader of the Year” by Affordable Housing Finance. Mr. Metcalf earned his Bachelor of Arts in history from Amherst College and his Master in public policy and urban planning from Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government. Mr. Metcalf serves on the board of directors of the California Housing Partnership Corporation, the California Housing Finance Agency, and the California Housing Consortium.
Michael Novogradac is the managing partner of Novogradac & Company LLP. He has more than 25 years of experience specializing in affordable housing, community development, historic preservation and renewable energy. Mr. Novogradac’s focus is in real estate taxation and accounting. He is the author of numerous real estate-related tax and accounting articles and books, including the New Markets Tax Credit Handbook and the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Handbook. A frequent speaker at tax credit conferences and forums throughout the country, Mr. Novogradac is very active in advocating for the inclusion of affordable housing, historic, new markets and renewable energy tax credits in federal and state policy and broadcasts a weekly podcast that focuses on tax credit issues. In addition, he serves as advisor on industry and governmental affairs for the NMTC Working Group and the LIHTC Working Group. Mr. Novogradac also serves on the executive committee of the Housing Advisory Group and the boards of directors of the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition, the National Housing Conference, the NMTC Coalition and Historic Tax Credit Coalition, as well as being an original member of the National Multifamily Housing Council’s Affordable Housing Committee. Mr. Novogradac graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He received an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley. He is licensed in California, Oregon, Maryland and Texas as a certified public accountant. You can follow Michael on twitter @novogradac and his blog at www.novoco.com/blog.
Christopher Palmer is an Assistant Professor of Real Estate at the University of California at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, where he teaches courses on real estate finance and is a Barbara and Gerson Bakar Faculty Fellow. Professor Palmer is also a Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and a Faculty Associate with the Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics. His research focuses on how real estate, credit, and labor markets respond to periods of significant upheaval. He frequently speaks to government agencies, the media, and industry groups about emerging trends in real estate. Professor Palmer earned a PhD in Economics from MIT, where he was also a Harriss Fellow at the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy and a Visiting Fellow at the Boston Federal Reserve. Prior to his time at MIT, he consulted with Compass-Lexecon. He received a BA in Economics and Mathematics from Brigham Young University. He and his wife live in Moraga, California with their three children.
Denise Pinkston has over 30 years of experience in real estate including acquisitions, asset and construction management, marketing, leasing, planning/entitlements, transit and green building program development, and public affairs. Ms. Pinkston was named one of the Bay Area’s Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business by the San Francisco Business Times in 2012 and 2013 and was named to their Forever Influential Honor Roll in 2014. Ms. Pinkston teaches real estate at the Lorry I. Lokey Graduate School of Business at Mills College.
Prior to TMG: Ms. Pinkston directed Current Planning, Code Enforcement, Housing, and Redevelopment as the Marin County Planning Services Coordinator. She has also served as a planning commissioner, chamber of commerce board member, and instructor at San Francisco State University.
Ms. Pinkston attended the University of California at Berkeley where she earned a B.A. in History, and a Masters in City and Regional Planning.
Larry A. Rosenthal JD MPP PhD is Assistant Adjunct Professor at the Goldman School of Public Policy. After several years of affiliation with the Center on Civility & Democratic Engagement, he assumed a formal leadership role starting in the 2013-2014 academic year. A product of the masters and doctoral programs at the Goldman School, Rosenthal served as the long-time Executive Director of the Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, working closely with the late Professor John Quigley. Rosenthal was Managing Editor of “The Mortgage Meltdown, the Economy, and Public Policy” (2009), a special issue of The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy. He is co-editor, with John Quigley, of “Risking Housing and Home: Disasters, Cities, Public Policy” (Berkeley Public Policy Press, 2008), a collection of symposium papers commemorating the centennial of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire. Earlier he coauthored, with David Kirp and John Dwyer, “Our Town: Race, Housing and the Soul of Suburbia” (Rutgers University Press, 1995), an award-winning social, legal and policy narrative of the historic Mt. Laurel housing rights cases in New Jersey. Rosenthal has also written a variety of articles, book chapters, and research reports.
Rosenthal’s current research focuses on municipal fiscal distress, civic engagement and participatory budgeting, the intersection between population aging and housing need, and land-use regulatory impacts, among other topics. At GSPP, Rosenthal has taught law and public policy, quantitative methods, introductory and advanced policy analysis, housing and the urban economy, cities and their citizens, and seminars on policy practice and public-private-nonprofit collaboration.
Originally trained as an attorney, Rosenthal served as law clerk to the late Justice Marcus M. Kaufman at the Supreme Court of California and was Governor George Deukmejian's appointee to California's Dispute Resolution Advisory Council. He later was an associate at the San Francisco law firm of Hanson, Bridgett, and acted as statistical consultant to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in its implementation of the Civil Justice Reform Act. He has served in research and advisory capacities for such clients and funders as the MacArthur Foundation, US HUD, the American Institute of Architects and the Association of Bay Area Governments. Rosenthal also served as policy analyst for the National Park Service's Presidio Transition Team, studying redeployment of the Presidio's housing stock.
Rosenthal holds doctoral and masters degrees in public policy from UC Berkeley, a law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an AB from Oberlin College.
Elizabeth (Libby) Seifel has focused her professional career on creating high quality infill developments, structuring successful public-private partnerships and encouraging the revitalization of communities. As president of Seifel Consulting, a strategic economic consulting firm, Libby has advised public and private clients on how to plan, fund and develop a broad variety of mixed use and mixed income communities. Libby actively promotes best practices in real estate and sustainable development, urban redevelopment and affordable housing through her teaching and writing activities, serving as the editor and author on a number of publications for the Urban Land Institute and other professional associations. She received her Bachelor of Science and Master in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is an elected member of Lambda Alpha International, the Honorary Society of Land Economists, and is a certified planner with the American Institute of Certified Planners. She was recently honored for her positive influence on real estate development, joining the Hall of Fame for Northern California Women of Influence in Real Estate.
Tim Sullivan is a major influencer in the field of market research and community development. He has formulated creative supply and demand methodologies, driven new product designs for conventional and active adult living spaces and helped re-define community development programs all over the country. He began his career with industry pioneer Sanford R. Goodkin in the early 1980s with a focus on creating New Towns (the precursor to Master Planned Communities). From there he spent nearly a decade with the National Real Estate Consulting Group at KPMG where he established and expanded their Residential Services. From KPMG, Tim joined Jeff Meyers and helped transform the nascent Meyers Consulting team into a nationwide practice best known for optimizing product designs for maximum absorption rates. Each organization that Tim has worked with has realized elevated levels of success because of his contributions, positive energy, and joie de vivre.
Tim just completed his 34th year in the real estate development industry, and is focused on helping define consumer preferences and design great places. He was inducted in to the California Homebuilder Hall of Fame in June 2016 and has been a District Council Chair and National Residential Council Chair for the Urban Land Institute. Tim is committed to continuously improving the quality of his organization and takes tremendous pride in the fact that many of his key team members have worked with him for 20 or more years, regardless of the nameplate on the door of the business.
Dennis Williams has been a mortgage banker with the San Francisco office of Northmarq Capital since 1988. His company arranges permanent, construction, bridge, mezzanine and equity financing for income property. Currently a Managing Director, Dennis has arranged over $6 billion of financing with institutional capital sources and has consistently been one of Northmarq’s top originators. Property types financed include office, retail, multi-family, hospitality and industrial real estate.
Dennis received his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth in 1988 and his AB from U.C. Berkeley in 1984. He currently lectures at the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley, where he has taught a semester long MBA course entitled Real Estate Development since 2004.
Dennis served as president of the Bay Area Mortgage Association from 1997-98, and as President of the SF Chapter of NAIOP (1995 & 2002). He has acted as a moderator and guest speaker at multiple presentations to BAMA, NAIOP, MBA, ULI, the Fisher Center RE Conference, Stanford University, AICPA and Northmarq Capital.