Urban Edge Names CEO

Frank Shea has been appointed CEO of Urban Edge, a Boston-based affordable housing and community development organization.

Frank Shea
Frank Shea

He joins the firm from Olneyville Housing Corp. in Rhode Island, where he served as executive director for 15 years.

Shea takes over the top post from Chrystal Kornegay, who recently became undersecretary of the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development.

Michaels’ Goldman to Become Consultant

Ava Goldman, president of The Michaels Development Co. (MDC), has announced she will transition to the role of executive consultant, beginning in January.

She has been with The Michaels Organization for 22 years, the last three as MDC’s president.

“Ava Goldman is absolutely the best at what she does, and she has always been one of our hardest working and most prolific developers,” said John J. O’Donnell, president of The Michaels Organization. “We are grateful for all that she achieved as MDC president and appreciate that she has agreed to stay on as an executive consultant to help us through this time of transition.”

Conifer Announces Promotions

Cheryl Stulpin and Mark Benotti have been promoted at Conifer Realty, a leading affordable housing developer and owner.

Cheryl Stulpin
Cheryl Stulpin

Stulpin has been promoted to senior vice president. In this role, she will lead real estate development operations for New York and Pennsylvania. Stulpin worked at Conifer for several years earlier in her career and then rejoined the company in 2013 after a tenure with WinnCompanies.

Mark Benotti
Mark Benotti

Benotti has been promoted to vice president of human resources and risk management. In his new role, he will assume responsibility for the human resources group, in addition to his already existing portfolio, overseeing the risk management, learning, and information technology departments.

Rochester, N.Y.–based Conifer owns and manages more than 14,000 multifamily units in more than 220 apartment communities in five states.

BRIDGE Launches Community Development Initiative

BRIDGE Housing announced it is starting a new community development initiative to integrate holistic community development practices into how BRIDGE plans, implements, and manages affordable housing.

Emily Weinstein will lead the initiative as director of community development, a newly created position. For the past five years, she has served as director of Potrero, a large-scale, mixed-income, mixed-use public housing revitalization effort BRIDGE is undertaking in San Francisco. As part of the Potrero effort, she led the development of Trauma Informed Community Building, a nationally recognized model for strengthening high-poverty, challenged communities and readying them for long-term, positive change.

San Francisco-based BRIDGE will leverage its role as a leading affordable housing developer to partner with and improve neighborhood institutions and communities, focusing on the social determinants of health that affect residents’ quality of life and long-term health and success.

WNC Announces Promotion

Wendy Yan has been promoted to vice president of underwriting at WNC, a national investor in real estate and community development initiatives.

Yan joined WNC, a longtime LIHTC syndicator, in 2011 as a senior project manager of underwriting and was later promoted to a director of underwriting. Throughout her career, she has been involved in land acquisition and entitlement, due diligence review, financial underwriting/structuring, and public and private financing.

VOA Adds to Team

Sharon Wilson Geno, Volunteers of America
Sharon Wilson Geno

Sharon Wilson Geno has become senior vice president of legal affairs at Volunteers of America (VOA). She will serve as senior in-house corporate counsel and will provide advice and counsel to the organization on housing operations and housing development matters.

Prior to Volunteers of America, Geno was a partner at the Ballard Spahr law firm in Washington, D.C., where she advised governmental entities, for-profit, and nonprofit organizations on issues related to housing and community development projects.

John Kirkland
John Kirkland

John Kirkland has also joined the VOA staff in Alexandria, Va., as development director for the mid-Atlantic states.  Previously, he worked as a development manager and consultant for William C. Smith and A&R Development corporations in Washington, D.C. He also has been on the faculty of Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, and Westwood universities.

HUD Administrator Moves to New Post

Bill Block, HUD’s Northwest regional administrator, is stepping down to assume another key role.

In his new role as senior adviser on homelessness, Block will assist HUD’s national efforts to end homelessness, continuing and expanding on his work in the field to end chronic and veteran homelessness.

For the past two years as regional administrator, he was the agency’s point person in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

Donna Batch, deputy regional administrator, will serve as acting regional administrator.

Lancaster Pollard Hires SVP

David Bonomo has been named senior vice president at Lancaster Pollard. The move expands the firm’s investment banking and mortgage banking finance activities for market-rate, income-restricted, and subsidized rental properties.

David Bonomo
David Bonomo

Bonomo will be responsible for clients in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, and will establish a new office for the firm in New Jersey.

He joins Lancaster Pollard from the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (NJHMFA), where he served as CFO since 2010. In this role, he presided over the agency’s $4 billion balance sheet while managing the capital markets and finance divisions.

Prior to his time at NJHMFA, Bonomo was the founder and managing member of Shore Road Capital, a middle-market financial advisory firm.

Ballard Spahr Hires Attorney

Christopher D. Bell, a real estate attorney whose broad transactional experience includes more than 10 years at Fannie Mae, has joined Ballard Spahr as a partner in the Washington, D.C., office.

Christopher D. Bell
Christopher D. Bell

He had practiced at Fannie Mae since 2004. As the agency’s associate general counsel of housing and community development, he was Fannie Mae’s lead attorney for affordable housing transactions and for secondary-market construction loan participations and syndications. He advised on Fannie Mae charter and regulatory matters, as well as on complex real estate finance transactions, including those involving mortgage-backed securities, bond credit enhancement, mezzanine debt, senior housing, and pool purchases. He assisted in revisions to form loan documents and the Delegated Underwriting and Servicing Guide. In addition, Bell served as lead counsel for Fannie Mae’s corporate charitable arm, the Office of Community Investment and Engagement.

Ballard Spahr’s housing practice is one of the largest in the country, with more than 70 attorneys in offices throughout the United States.

Greystone Adds to Team

Aaron Hargrove and Eric Taylor have joined Greystone as managing directors and will provide sales and lending consultation to clients in the affordable housing multifamily sector.

Hargrove has focused on affordable housing investment sales since 1994, having sold more than 20,000 units and closed on over $1 billion in transactions in the last decade. He joins Greystone from Berkadia, where he most recently served as a managing director of the Affordable Housing Group.

Taylor also joins Greystone from Berkadia, having served most recently as a senior director within the Affordable Housing Group. He brings over 15 years of affordable housing experience to Greystone and has led more than $1 billion in multifamily sales throughout his career.

Both have experience in transactions involving low-income housing tax credits and Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Department of Agriculture Rural Development programs.

Grandbridge Adds to National Accounts Team

Grandbridge Real Estate Capital has hired Edward M. Coco as senior vice president, director of national accounts, and Matthew B. Casey as vice president.

Based in the company’s Atlanta office, Coco brings almost 30 years of experience in commercial real estate to his new role. Prior to joining Grandbridge, he was with GE Capital Real Estate, serving as senior managing director, national sales leader.

As Grandbridge’s national accounts director, Coco will leverage existing client relationships while establishing new relationships in offering the firm’s capital platform. Grandbridge's offerings include a broad array of advisory, placement, and principal solutions in permanent, construction, bridge, and mezzanine capital to owners of commercial and multifamily properties.

Casey is also based in Atlanta. Prior to joining Grandbridge, he was a senior associate director, debt originations, with GE Capital Real Estate. In that role, he structured and closed more than $930 million in balance sheet and commercial mortgage-backed securities loans.