Housing Equity Expert Joins Gorman & Co.

William Towns, a leading scholar and advocate for housing equity among underrepresented communities, has joined Gorman & Co. as national market president for community revitalization and public housing. He will lead the firm’s partnership building efforts with local public housing authorities to advance comprehensive revitalization and redevelopment strategies.

William Towns
William Towns

“Will’s expertise in building public-private partnerships for the purposes of delivering more equitable, higher quality housing for our nation’s lowest income renters is outstanding,” said Brian Swanton, CEO of Gorman & Co. “The work we will be advancing together will transform communities and impact the communities we serve for generations. We are incredibly excited to have Will join our executive leadership team.”

Towns joins the firm from 4S Bay Partners, where he was the managing director of Chi-Town Impact, an equity fund focused on funding women and entrepreneurs of color. He has also held executive-level positions with the University of Chicago, Mercy Housing, and Pathway Senior Living, and holds teaching positions with both the University of Chicago and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School. Towns has advised and sat on boards of health, education, banking, and economic development organizations.

A leading affordable housing developer, Gorman & Co. revitalizes communities through innovative housing partnerships. Some of the catalytic investments it is making include the $200 million transformation of the Edison-Eastlake community through a federal Choice Neighborhoods Initiative grant with the city of Phoenix; redevelopment of over 600 units of former public housing in Little Rock, Arkansas; and the repositioning of 1,200 units of public housing in two large communities in Cincinnati.

Lacey to Lead Texas Development for Pennrose

Gary Lacey has joined Pennrose as regional vice president to establish and lead the company’s regional office in Dallas and to oversee and manage multifamily real estate development activities in Texas.

Gary Lacey
Judy Babinski Gary Lacey

He brings more than 30 years of experience with low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs), affordable housing developments, and commercial office, retail, and market-rate portfolios. Lacey will lead the execution and growth of Pennrose’s development pipeline within the Texas region, including all aspects of the real estate development process from initial conception through construction to lease-up and stabilized occupancy or sale.

Through a strategic partnership with Hunt Cos., Pennrose has developed more than 1,800 affordable housing units in Texas. Construction of 110 additional units at Patriot Place in El Paso is expected to begin in the next few weeks.

Prior to joining Pennrose, Lacey served as director of acquisitions and development for an affordable housing developer in Texas. In this role, he sourced investment and LIHTC projects and directed all efforts to secure acquisitions and new developments throughout the state. In addition to developing over 12,000 affordable housing units, Lacey’s career has also spanned responsibilities for construction, leasing, and property management.

WinnResidential Names West Region Executive

Oke Johnson has been appointed executive vice president at WinnResidential, the property management arm of multifamily industry leader WinnCompanies. He is based in the firm’s Fresno, California, regional office.

Oke Johnson
Oke Johnson

Johnson, a 25-year veteran of multifamily operations, is responsible for the company’s management portfolio and new business growth in California and Arizona. He is overseeing 197 properties, comprising 17,096 apartments, in all income categories throughout California and five communities totaling 457 units in Arizona. He supervises nearly 500 WinnResidential team members in the two states.

Johnson joined the company from Memphis-based Envolve, formerly LEDIC Management Group, where he worked for 12 years as senior vice president of operations and compliance. He also spent 10 years with Kettler Management.

Beacon Announces Executive Hires

Beacon Communities has appointed three new executives across the firm’s leadership team.

Nicole Clement
Nicole Clement

Nicole R. Clement has joined Beacon as general counsel and will lead the company’s legal function with primary responsibility for all legal and governance matters. She brings more than 20 years of experience practicing law in the areas of real estate and affordable housing finance and development. Clement most recently served as general counsel for Rhode Island Housing and Mortgage Finance Corp., an independent, quasi-public corporation and housing finance agency. She previously held positions at Klein Hornig and Holland & Knight, both Boston-based law firms specializing in affordable housing and community development. She replaces Kathleen Sheehan, one of Beacon’s founding partners, who retired from her role as general counsel Dec. 31, 2020.

Prabin Kanel
Prabin Kanel

Prabin Kanel has been named to the newly created chief information officer role. He most recently served as the chief technology officer at Framework Homeownership in Boston. Kanel will manage Beacon’s technology and information systems platforms, develop a formal IT strategy, and focus on technology innovation, cybersecurity, telecommunications, and more.

Sara Scarborough Graham
Ryuji Suzuki Sara Scarborough Graham

Sara Scarborough Graham has joined Beacon as senior vice president of marketing, following 11 years as head of marketing at The Dolben Co. She has more than 20 years of experience in the real estate industry and will lead Beacon’s marketing, corporate branding, and communications strategies. She serves as vice chair of the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC) Marketing Committee and is a member of the NMHC OpTech Planning Committee, Zillow’s Rental Advisory Board, and the Multifamily Social Media Summit Advisory Board.

Headquartered in Boston, Beacon Communities is a privately owned real estate firm that develops, acquires, invests in, and manages a wide range of multifamily housing. Their portfolio includes affordable, market-rate, and mixed-income housing.

Berkadia Expands Affordable Housing Platform

Johnathan Smith has joined the affordable housing platform at Berkadia as a senior director on the investment sales team. Smith has been involved in the sale of more than 300 multifamily assets amounting to more than 37,000 units with a total real estate value exceeding $3 billion.

Johnathan Smith
Johnathan Smith

Prior to joining Berkadia, Smith served as senior vice president of CBRE Affordable Housing for nearly 10 years. In this role, he facilitated the valuation and sale of affordable properties nationwide. His expertise includes the LIHTC program as well as numerous Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) programs.

Prior to CBRE, Smith spent six years in public accounting as a certified public accountant in various areas, including affordable housing.

CIC Names President and CEO

Stacie Young has been appointed president and CEO of the Community Investment Corp., becoming the fourth president in the 37-year history of Chicago’s leading multifamily rehab lender.

Young, a veteran affordable housing advocate who has led The Preservation Compact for the past 11 years, will succeed Jack Markowski, who is retiring after 14 years at the helm of CIC.

Stacie Young
Russell Ingram Stacie Young

CIC is the Chicago area’s top lender for the acquisition and rehab of affordable multifamily housing in low- and moderate-income communities. Since 1984, it has provided $1.6 billion to rehab and preserve 64,000 units of affordable rental housing throughout the Chicago area. Convened by CIC, The Preservation Compact is a policy collaborative dedicated to preserving affordable rental housing.

Young, a nationally recognized advocate for affordable multifamily housing, has led a number of joint policy efforts over the years, including driving property tax relief for affordable rental housing that recently passed the Illinois Legislature. She played a key role in coordinating federal rental relief with state and local programs to help keep families housed and landlords current on their mortgages. Addressing needs identified by her policy work, Young developed innovative financing programs to support investment and rehab of distressed one- to four-unit buildings and to provide access to affordable rental housing in strong markets.

Prior to her work at CIC, she consulted with MacArthur Foundation in developing The Preservation Compact, and she was assistant to the mayor on affordability at the city of Chicago.

CohnReznick Announces Tax Partner

Joshua Graham has joined CohnReznick as a tax partner in the firm’s commercial real estate practice.

Joshua Graham
Joshua Graham

Based in the Chicago metro area, he has extensive public accounting experience in the construction and real estate industries and significant knowledge of corporate, multistate, and international tax issues and tax law. He also has experience with the Opportunity Zone (OZ) program, including helping stakeholders understand the rules and how to best structure OZ funds.

Prior to joining CohnReznick, Graham was a tax partner in the market construction and real estate practice for a tax, assurance, accounting, and advisory firm. Graham also served as co-leader of the firm’s national OZ team. His work led to him being recognized as one of the top 25 most influential OZ tax specialists in the country two years in a row by Opportunity Zone Magazine.

Freddie Mac Names VP

Jason Griest has been named vice president of multifamily securitization. He will lead the structuring team, which includes managing the Multifamily loan pipeline and Multifamily credit risk transfer executions, including K-Deals, SB-Deals, ML-Deals, Re-REMICs, and PC REMICs.

A veteran of the financial services industry with more than 20 years of experience, Griest has been with Freddie Mac Multifamily since 2013 and previously held capital markets and securitization roles with Fannie Mae, Bank of America, and JPMorgan Chase. He has played a key role in the development of new and innovative Freddie Mac credit risk transfer products such as secured overnight financing rate bonds and impact offerings.

Centennial Mortgage Announces VP

Kevin Roach has been hired as vice president, origination, at Centennial Mortgage.
Based in the firm’s South Bend, Indiana, headquarters, Roach is responsible for originating and structuring multifamily and health care debt through the various HUD, Federal Housing Administration, and U.S. Department of Agriculture lending programs.

Kevin Roach

He began his career as an analyst at Centennial in 2010, before leaving in 2013 to serve as director of debt financing for a privately held multifamily real estate owner and operator in the Detroit area. While there, Roach sourced and closed all debt financing on over 90 apartment acquisitions totaling in excess of $650 million, as well as dozens of refinances totaling over $250 million. He also has led the disposition of more than 60 properties, including hundreds of millions of CMBS loan defeasances and agency and HUD prepayments.