BRIDGE Housing Announces Head of Development

Sierra Atilano has joined BRIDGE Housing as executive vice president–head of development and Southern California. BRIDGE is a leading nonprofit developer, owner, and manager of affordable housing on the West Coast.

Sierra Atilano
Sierra Atilano

Atilano will be responsible for the strategic direction and oversight of BRIDGE’s real estate development activities across all regions and will provide day-to-day leadership in Southern California.

During her 25-plus-year career, Atilano has developed more than 3,130 apartment homes in 17 cities across three states as well as 1 million square feet of commercial retail. Prior to BRIDGE, she was CEO of Skid Row Housing Trust, a respected developer, manager, and operator of permanent supportive housing in the Los Angeles area.

Atilano began her career at Lincoln Property Co., where she gained a foundation in leadership and portfolio oversight, and then joined a construction company specializing in multifamily new construction and rehab projects. During her career, she has worked at several development firms, including Cabrillo Economic Development Corp., Watt Residential, and AMCAL.

Berkadia Adds Managing Director to Tax Credit Division

Chris McGraw has joined Berkadia’s low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) syndication team as managing director of acquisitions.

Chris McGraw
Chris McGraw

McGraw is responsible for identifying and managing new developer relationships, primarily on the East Coast. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, he brings over 17 years of LIHTC experience with varying functions throughout that tenure, including syndication, underwriting, and originations. McGraw has originated, structured, and closed approximately $2 billion of LIHTC investments involving over 175 properties and has an established record of building territories and growing tax credit investments.

Prior to joining Berkadia, McGraw was the regional manager of LIHTC originations for the East Coast for PNC Bank. Before that experience, McGraw learned the LIHTC business while working at Wachovia/Wells Fargo Bank and was a regional equity manager for the Mid-Atlantic region.

In September, Berkadia and Freddie Mac announced the creation of a LIHTC syndicator fund, aiding the agency’s effort to invest up to $850 million in equity annually to create and preserve affordable housing across the country. Berkadia is the first new syndicator named by Freddie Mac since the company restarted making LIHTC equity investments in 2018. The establishment of the new fund will be a key part of Berkadia’s LIHTC equity growth in 2022 and the years ahead.

NeighborWorks Capital Names CEO

Jim Peffley has been appointed CEO of NeighborWorks Capital, where he will oversee capital raising, risk management, communications, and relationship management.

Jim Peffley
Jim Peffley

He is also responsible for implementing the organization’s strategic plan, which includes a goal of doubling its lending impact to $700 million, doubling capital to $250 million, and launching a consulting business by 2023.

Peffley joins NeighborWorks Capital with more than 30 years of experience in community development, affordable housing, and impact investing. He recently served as chief strategy officer for Cinnaire, a regional community development finance institution and LIHTC syndicator in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic.

Brightview Senior Living Announces Leadership Change

Doug Dollenberg has succeeded Marilynn Duker as CEO of Brightview Senior Living, which owns and operates 46 senior living communities along the East Coast.

Dollenberg joined Brightview as president five years ago. Duker, who has been with the company for 40 years, will continue to be serve the organization as co-chair.

Duker joined The Shelter Group, Brightview’s former name, in 1982 as a developer. She became president of Shelter Development and Shelter Properties in 1995 and Brightview Senior Living in 2008.

“As I reflect on my 40 years at Brightview and its predecessor company, The Shelter Group, I feel incredibly fortunate,” Duker continued. “I had the opportunity to work with so many truly amazing people and have been privileged to work for a mission that I believe in deeply.”

Before joining Brightview, Dollenberg served on the executive leadership team at Tessco in Hunt Valley, Maryland. He began his career as an engineer at Whitman, Requardt, and Associates before joining strategy consulting firm McKinsey & Co., where he worked across many different industries and functional areas.

Steven Giovangelo
Steven Giovangelo

Alliant Capital Adds to Originations Team

Steven Giovangelo has joined Aliant Capital, a Walker & Dunlop company, as a director on the originations team. He is responsible for the acquisition of LIHTC properties in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

Giovangelo has over 10 years of real estate experience, with five years concentrating on affordable housing. Prior to joining Alliant, he worked at TAG Associates, focusing on management consulting for public housing agencies. Most recently, he held a similar position at PNC Bank, covering the Gulf Coast region.

Merchants Capital Opens Boston Office

Merchants Capital has opened its sixth regional office in Boston. The expansion doubles down on the firm’s commitment to growth, particularly in the affordable housing and tax credit equity space, according to company leaders. Merchants closed $7 billion in debt financing and raised more than $248 million in tax credit equity in 2021.

Located in the Prudential Center in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood, the new office will expand to 20 full-time employees, with a primary focus on the firm’s tax credit equity syndication division.

“Since our equity platform launched in late 2020, we’ve made key investments in talent in the Boston market and established our platform as an emerging national leader in tax credit syndications with over $335 million in equity raised in 18 months,” said Julie Sharp, executive vice president. “The success we’ve enjoyed in our equity division is a complement to our robust and nationally ranked debt platform and has positioned us as a leading full-service financing provider for affordable housing.”

The firm also has offices in Chicago, Indianapolis, Minneapolis-Saint Paul, New York, and Washington, D.C.

BOK Financial Names Senior Housing Group Leader

Taylor Russ has been promoted to senior vice president and managing director for the national senior housing group at BOK Financial.

Russ has been with BOK Financial since graduating from the company’s Accelerated Career Track program in 2007. He began working in the commercial real estate division in 2008.

In 2012, the firm established the national senior housing group, which provides construction and bridge/acquisition financing for private-pay independent-living, assisted-living, and memory-care communities throughout the United States. Since its first full year of operation in 2012, the senior housing group has aided in financing more than 17,000 units and generated over $3 billion in new loan production.