“Embrace the challenge in 2009.”

Typically during the few days before Jan. 1, I look back on the year gone by and reflect on the positives. But 2008, unfortunately, had few, if any, at least from a business perspective. It was an incredibly difficult year. I had lunch with a client recently, and we agreed that in any other time, just one of the events of ’08 would have captured headlines as the catastrophe of the year: Lehman Bros., Detroit, Merrill Lynch, Madoff, Wachovia, Bear Sterns, WaMu, AIG, and that’s for starters, all fueling growing unemployment rolls. With this as a background, I have a suggestion for the New Year, quoting from Malcom Gladwell’s new book Outliers : “Embrace the challenge”. This is my suggestion for 2009. For sure it will be a challenging year, but embrace it, and it’ll turn out better than you expect!

Tony LoPinto is CEO of Equinox Partners, an executive search firm specializing in the real estate industry, and parent company of SelectLeaders. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.
Job Opportunities
CENTRO PROPERTIES GROUP Chief Financial Officer (NEW YORK CITY) Centro’s US CFO will be primarily responsible for establishing and implementing a US capital markets strategy associated with the company’s refinancing plan. The company expects to evaluate and potentially execute multiple transactions that may span both the equity and debt ladders. MILBANK REAL ESTATE Assistant Controller (LOS ANGELES) Milbank Real Estate is searching for an experienced construction accountant specifically with Timberline software experience. The initial focus will be on recreating the books (semi auditing) for the general contractor on two commercial/residential construction projects. CRONUS CAPITAL Analyst (NEW YORK CITY) The firm is currently seeking an analyst to join our acquisitions platform. The position will be actively involved throughout the acquisitions, asset management, and disposition processes. THE CARLTON GROUP Investment Sales Director (NEW YORK CITY) The firm is seeking a talented and seasoned real estate executive with a proven track record in transacting large commercial real estate deals. The individual will lead the development and expansion of the firm’s asset-sales business and will focus on large office and hospitality assets located in markets across the United States. HINES Leasing Director (NEW YORK CITY) Hines seeks a leasing director to facilitate the creation, design and implementation of marketing and leasing strategies for its New York Tri-State portfolio. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to: managing the entire leasing process including management of the broker team prospecting for potential tenants. SELECTLEADERS Managing Partner, Mid-Atlantic Region (WASHINGTON, DC) The client, a preeminent multi-family investment sales firm, has retained Equinox Partners to recruit and hire a DC-based managing partner. This highly collegial boutique firm specializes in the sale of institutional-quality apartment communities. The primary responsibility of the MP will be to develop and execute new high level multi-family transactions in Mid-Atlantic. AVALONBAY COMMUNITIES Regional Property Operations Director (SHELTON, CT) The company is searching for a regional property operations director to manage a portfolio of apartment communities and ensure that the company’s financial, business and customer service objectives are achieved. The portfolio includes approximately 1,500 to 2,000 apartment homes. PRUDENTIAL Senior Asset Manager (DALLAS) Prudential Asset Resources is seeking an experienced senior asset manager for its commercial real estate loan asset management group. This position will be located in Dallas and report to a director of asset management.
Promotions No more than one submission per company will be considered per week. Submissions with multiple names will be capped at three for coverage in Executive Watch.
SPERRY VAN NESS (IRVINE, CA) Sperry Van Ness International has named Kevin Maggiacomo as its new president of the company. Maggiacomo, has been with Sperry Van Ness for eight years and most recently was chief operating officer at the firm. FREDDIE MAC (MCLEAN, VA) Freddie Mac named Raymond Romano its chief credit officer. He was formerly the senior vice president of credit risk oversight and has been with the company since 2004. WINTHROP REALTY TRUST (BOSTON) Winthrop Realty Trust announced that Carolyn Tiffany is now the firm’s president, and Peter Braverman, the Trust’s current president, will become the company’s executive vice chairman. Tiffany previously served as Winthrop’s chief operating officer from 2004 to 2007. OAKWOOD WORLDWIDE (LOS ANGELES) Temporary-housing and apartment provider Oakwood Worldwide expanded the role of senior vice president and general manager Gavan James. In his new role, James will oversee all US-based operations, as well as continue managing the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) and the global affiliate program. PETER BASSO ASSOCIATES (TROY, MI) Peter Basso Associates promoted Michael V. Romano, PE, Christopher A. Young, Christopher J. Kennedy, and Daniel J. Yensch Jr., from engineers/designers to project leaders. CHARLES DUNN CO. (WEST LOS ANGELES) Susan Harris has been promoted to senior director at Charles Dunn Company, a partner of GVA Worldwide. Based in the West L.A. office, she was formerly director of its retail services group and continues to be one of the company’s strongest performers.
New Hires No more than one submission per company will be considered per week. Submissions with multiple names will be capped at three for coverage in Executive Watch.
CAMPUS ADVANTAGE (AUSTIN, TX) Campus Advantage announced that William F. Barkwell has joined the company as its chief operating officer. Barkwell is the former president of Ambling Management Company. ARBOR COMMERCIAL MORTGAGE (UNIONDALE, NY) Arbor Commercial Mortgage announces the appointment of Dan Gaylord to director in Arbor’s Austin, TX; office. Gaylord is responsible for originating Fannie Mae, FHA and Structured Transactions throughout the western United States. He formerly served as vice president, regional manager at Principal Financial Group. QUESTAR PROPETIES (BALTIMORE) Questar Properties, Inc., one of the leading developers of planned communities in the Mid-Atlantic region, announced that Aaron Liebert had joined the company as executive vice president. He comes to Questar after 11 years at JPI, a national developer of multifamily housing.

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