NYC Housing Partnership Appoints Chairman, Ashforth Plans Executive Transition, PA Commercial Fills CEO Slot

The NYC Housing Partnership Board of Directors in New York has appointed Jamie A. Smarr as President and CEO.

In his new role, Smarr will continue to expand the partnership’s role in creating and preserving affordable housing in the region, according to James HedenChairman of the Board of NYC Housing Partnership.

The nonprofit housing partnership has worked for four decades to bring together private sector developers and financial institutions with city, state and federal agencies, and has created and preserved more than 70,000 low- and middle-income housing units in the five boroughs, raising more than $7. billion in private funding and over $500 million in affordable housing grants.

Smarr joins the NHP Foundation Housing Partnership, where he ran the nonprofit Affiliate Program, which seeks joint venture affordable housing partnerships with other nonprofits and community organizations. He also participated in its acquisitions program and worked with the financial community, policymakers, equity funds and foundations to support the development of affordable housing.

Prior to that, Smarr worked for 11 years as executive director of the New York City Educational Construction Fund, which engages in public-private real estate development partnerships for the New York school system. While there, he was responsible for adding 3,000 new public school spaces and more than 1 million square feet of new residential and commercial space in New York City. Previously, Smarr served as Director of Tax Incentives and Zoning for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development.

Throughout his career in public service, Smarr has helped create more than 2,500 affordable housing units through various public-private partnerships.

Smarr holds graduate degrees from Columbia University and Harvard University and a bachelor’s degree from Duke University. He completed the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship in Public Policy and International Affairs at Princeton University.

Ryan Harvey

The Ashforth Co. and its Board of Directors have adopted an 18-month succession plan which includes the promotion of Ryan Harvey to the Chief Executive Officer, effective January 1, 2024. Until then, Harvey will serve as Co-CEO alongside Andrew Ashforth.

In his new role as co-CEO, Harvey will focus on investments, office operations and corporate strategic planning while serving on the company’s executive, investment, compensation and audit committees. .

The announcement was made earlier this month, as Darrell Harvey, who with Ashforth had been co-CEO of Ashforth Co. for over 20 years, became executive chairman of the board and Ryan Harvey was promoted from chief operating officer to co-CEO. In January 2024, Ashforth and Darrell Harvey will become co-chairmen and Ryan Harvey will become the sole CEO of the 126-year-old company headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut. Ashforth will also remain chairman and chief executive of AP Construction, the company’s construction management division.

“Knowing that less than 5% of family businesses survive to the fourth generation and beyond, we are especially proud that our family business is now in its seventh generation,” said Darrell Harvey, Executive Chairman of The Ashforth Co., in a press release. “Our succession plan has been an important corporate priority for many years.”

Ryan Harvey joined Ashforth Co. eight years ago, and before that he served as Associate Associate Counsel for the White House in Washington, DC. He began his legal career at Debevoise & Plimpton in New York before moving to Nashville and serving as Clerk to the Honorable. Gilbert S. Merritt of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, later joined the Federal Public Defender’s Office in Nashville and worked as an adjunct professor at Vanderbilt Law School.

After graduating from Brown University, Ryan Harvey earned his Juris Doctor and Masters in Legal History from the University of Virginia and an MBA from the Columbia Business School Executive Program. He is also Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer of the Foundation for Society, Law and Art in South Africa and is a member of the Connecticut and New York State Bars.

Matt Schiffman

The commercial real estate company PA Commercial has promoted Matt Schiffman to the CEO and managing member.

In his new role, Schiffman will guide the growth of the Southfield, Michigan-based company and expand its service offerings.

He succeeds Pierre Venturawho co-founded the company in 2008 with David Plumley, the company’s current chief financial officer. Ventura, who has more than 40 years of commercial real estate and development experience, plans to focus on his clients after stepping down from his previous role as CEO.

Schiffman joined the firm in 2011 and was promoted to Director of Broker Development in 2020. Throughout his tenure with the firm, Schiffman has mentored new team members, implemented new processes , helped grow the brokerage team by 25% and was one of the top consistent producers in the office transaction industry.

Lindsay Garner

Lindsay Garner Sear was promoted to General Manager of SVN | the Equity Group in Las Vegas, Nevada.

In his new role, Garner will oversee the property management department and assist with business development operations for the company.

Garner joined SVN as Director of Property Management in 2019 and currently serves on the SVN National Property Management Product Council. She brings over a decade of property management experience in the South West, having worked at CBRE, JLL, Gatski Commercial, Sperry Van Ness and Commerce TNP, a subsidiary of Cushman & Wakefield.

Ariel Sayani

Kidder Mathews hired Ariel Sayani as Senior Vice President with its Southern California office in Century City.

In her new role, Sayani will focus on multi-family real estate transactions in the greater Los Angeles area.

Sayani joins Kidder Mathews from BRC Advisors in Los Angeles, where he most recently served as Acquisitions Specialist. He started his real estate career in 2017 and has since closed over $30 million in completed deals.

Stephanie Graham

Stefanie M. Graham joined the ArentFox Schiff real estate practice group as a partner.

In his new role, Graham will continue to advise clients on all aspects of commercial real estate.

Graham brings over a decade of experience advising owners, investors, trusts, developers, managers, landlords and tenants on acquisitions, divestitures, development, financing and leasing transactions. She joins ArentFox Schiff from Rosenberg & Estis, where she was a member of the firm’s transactions department.

Daniel Digerness

Daniel Digerness joined JLL Capital Markets as a Principal in its Phoenix office.

In his new role, Digerness will focus on debt and equity advice for all types of properties in the South West.

Digerness brings over 20 years of industry experience, having advised over $3 billion in debt and equity transactions throughout his career. He joins JLL from Preferred Capital Advisors, where he worked for 12 years, most recently as Vice President. Prior to that, Digerness was with National Retail Development Partners, CEO America Shopping Centers and Marcus & Millichap, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Shawn Dortman

The Wisconsin Hotel & Lodging Association selected Shawn Dortman sit on its board of directors for a three-year term. The election took place at the council meeting this summer.

Dortman is currently the general manager of Lodge Kohler in Green Bay. During a career with Kohler Co. that spans 23 years, she most recently worked with Kohler Hospitality and also served as Resident Manager for the American Club and Inn on Woodlake in Kohler, Wisconsin.

“Shawn comes at a time when our industry is facing new challenges, and his leadership will be invaluable as we develop our plans to chart the course for the future of WHLA and Wisconsin’s lodging businesses,” said the President and CEO of the WHLA. Bill Elliot in a corporate statement announcing the move. Established in 1896, WHLA is a nonprofit trade association representing hotels and lodging establishments across the state.

Gene Mello

Matthews Real Estate Investment Services Hired Gene Mello as vice president of leasing at the company’s San Diego office.

In his new role, Mello will help grow the company’s rental division in Southern California.

Mello brings over 16 years of retail rental experience to a client list that includes Burger King, Ross Dress for Less, Aldi Food Market, Best Buy and Petco. After beginning his brokerage career at Phillips Edison & Co., Mello most recently worked as a broker at Enduring Real Estate, formerly Epsteen & Associates San Diego.

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CoStar’s People of Note is a national column published each Friday covering the latest staffing moves in the commercial real estate industry. Send new executive hires and promotion announcements to [email protected]

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