Research Foundation Visionaries

Justin Basie

Justin Basie

Senior Vice President - Texas & Southern California, Mark IV Capital

Newport Beach, California

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Justin Basie joined Mark IV Capital in 2007 and is responsible for overseeing the asset management, development, acquisitions and dispositions in Texas and Southern California. Mr. Basie received an undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Southern California and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of California, Irvine. He is a member of the NAIOP Mixed-Use National Forum as well as the Dean's Leadership Circle for the UCI Paul Merage School of Business.

Laurel Casey

Laurel Casey

Investment Director, Prologis

Rosecrans, California

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Laurel Casey is an Investment Director for Prologis focusing on new acquisitions and development opportunities in Southern California. Prior to joining Prologis in 2018, she held several real estate related roles at Hines, Wells Fargo, and Goldman Sachs. Laurel earned her BA from Yale University and an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management. She is a member of the NAIOP Developing Leaders Forum 16, the UCLA Real Estate Alumni Group, and the 2020 NAIOP YPG Class.

Cassie Catania-Hsu

Cassie Catania-Hsu

Managing Director, CBRE

Las Vegas, Nevada

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Cassie Catania-Hsu is the Managing Director of CBRE in Las Vegas, NV. Cassie oversees all CBRE Advisory lines of business for the Las Vegas valley, including Advisory & Transaction Services, Capital Markets, Debt & Structured Finance, Property Management, and Valuation & Advisory Services. A nearly 30-year resident of Las Vegas, she has more than a decade of experience in local commercial real estate. Ms. Catania-Hsu has a Bachelor of Science in Real Estate from the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), a Commercial Real Estate Certification from the UNLV LIED Center for Real Estate and is a graduate of the 2018 Developing Leaders Institute from NAIOP Southern Nevada. Ms. Catania-Hsu also serves on the NAIOP Southern Nevada Board of Directors and CREW Las Vegas Board of Directors.

Michael Chukwueke

Michael Chukwueke

Vice President of Asset Management, BentallGreenOak

NAIOP SoCal

Santa Monica, California

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Michael Chukwueke is the Vice President of Asset Management at BentallGreenOak, located in Santa Monica, Ca. BentallGreenOak is a global real estate investment management advisor and a globally recognized provider of real estate services, and in his role Mr. Chukwueke is responsible for overseeing and directing operations, leasing and financing objectives for the Southwest Region. Mr. Chukwueke earned his MBA from Chapman University, BS from Pepperdine University and received certificates in Strategic Financial Analysis and Negotiation from Harvard Business School and the London School of Economics, respectively. He is the current co-chair of NAIOP SoCal’s Diversity Task Force and the Chair of the Young Professionals Group Alumni Association.

Phil Down

Phil Down

Vice President, Bentall Kennedy

Boston, Massachusetts

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Mr. Down is a Vice President in the Boston office of Bentall Kennedy, one of the largest global real estate investment advisors. Mr. Down oversees a diverse portfolio of real estate assets located throughout the United States with responsibilities including acquisition and disposition transaction structuring, asset/strategy management, value add and development oversight, and identifying new business opportunities for the firm’s various clients and fund strategies. In addition, Mr. Down focuses on the healthcare sector and works on identifying various real estate investments strategies to take advantage of the aging demographics and a shift to more convenient and cost effective outpatient services.

John Drachman

John Drachman

Co-Founder, Waterford Property Company

Newport Beach, CA

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John Drachman is responsible for Waterford Property Company’s commercial division and capital raising activities. Since starting his predecessor firm, Stillwater Investment Group, in 2014, Drachman has acquired and been a partner in over $750 million of office, retail, and apartment assets in Southern California. To acquire these assets, he has created and developed joint venture partnerships with high net-worth private investors, family offices and institutional equity funds while leveraging his strong relationships within the brokerage community to source opportunities.

Ryan Elazari

Ryan Elazari

Senior Director, Empire Management

New York, New York

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Ryan Elazari is the Senior Director at Empire Management, located in New York. He has extensive experience working directly with the CEO, Vice President of Acquisitions, and Director of Construction to establish strategies for acquisitions and development projects. As part of the team, he successfully sourced, underwrote, and closed over $100,000,000 of distressed asset transactions. In addition, he serves as an asset manager for their holdings, commercial and residential. He is also an Adjunct Professor at Baruch College, teaching real estate entrepreneurship to graduate students. He received a Master of Science degree in real estate from Baruch College and is a member of the NAIOP New York City chapter.

Megan Lantz

Megan Lantz

NAIOP Board of Directors
Vice President, Research and Development, HITT Contracting, Inc.

NAIOP Northern Virginia

Falls Church, Virginia

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Megan Lantz leads the strategy to push boundaries and drive change in the built environment at HITT Contracting, Inc. In this role, she has a wide range of responsibilities including developing strategies for growth and evolution of the business model, oversight of the Co|lab and R&D projects and developing strategic partnerships for the company. Lantz’s passion centers around strategic thinking and problem solving – identifying trends and developing strategies to support the growth of the business. She leads company-wide initiatives which are focused on changing the construction industry and finding new ways to build. Her key areas of focus are materials, methods, technology and performance. She works closely with a team of industry, product, material and testing experts utilizing groundbreaking and out-of-the box thinking to develop new products and processes. With her robust knowledge of commercial real estate and deep client relationships, she can bring the R&D projects to the market and turn research into reality.

Jeff Latier

Jeff Latier

Senior Vice President, Black Creek Group

NAIOP Colorado

Denver, Colorado

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Jeff serves as Senior Vice President of Fund Management and Debt Capital Markets at Black Creek Group. He is the portfolio manager for the firm’s build-to-core industrial funds, managing a national development portfolio aggregating over 23 million square feet across major U.S. industrial markets. Additionally, Jeff sources debt financings across the various Black Creek Group industrial platforms having closed over $5.6 billion of corporate-level, secured portfolio, and construction debt financings.

Kelsey Perrin

Kelsey Perrin

Assistant Vice President, Heitman

Chicago, Illinois

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Kelsey has been with Heitman for seven years and is currently an Assistant Vice President in the firm’s North American Acquisitions group. She is responsible for originating, negotiating, executing, analyzing, and valuing potential investments in direct equity real estate within the United States, focused in the western part of the country.

Marie Purkert

Marie Purkert

Director of Business Development, christopher consultants, ltd.

Fairfax, Virginia

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Marie Purkert is a Senior Associate and serves as Director of Business Development for christopher consultants, a civil engineering, surveying, land planning and landscape architecture firm founded in 1982. Ms. Purkert started her career at the firm in 2004 and has been an active member of NAIOP Northern Virginia since 2011.

Mike Riopel

Mike Riopel

Assistant General Counsel, Northwestern Mutual

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

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As Assistant General Counsel for the Northwestern Mutual, Mike Riopel represents the company (including Northwestern Mutual Real Estate Investments and its subsidiaries) in all aspects of managing its $49 billion international real estate investment portfolio (composed of approximately 80 percent fixed income and 20 percent equity investments), including permanent and construction financing transactions, equity and joint venture development projects, acquisition and disposition of real estate assets, asset management, and leasing transactions.

Daniel Vickerman

Daniel Vickerman

Associate Vice President - Investment Research, Heitman

Chicago, Illinios

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Dan Vickerman is an Assistant Vice President in Heitman’s Investment Research group. He is responsible for analysis of the office and industrial property sectors for Heitman, researching trends in macroeconomics, capital markets and property market fundamentals in order to form investment strategies. At Heitman, he also co-chairs a disruptive technology-related committee. Dan is also currently an Adjunct Professor at Roosevelt University, teaching Real Estate Financial Modeling to a mix of undergraduate and graduate students. Previously, Dan was an analyst in the corporate finance department at Equity Office Properties. Dan received a BBA in Real Estate & Urban Land Economics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2012.

Raymond Zavalla

Raymond Zavalla

Business Development, United Construction

Reno, Nevada

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Raymond Zavalla is responsible for building, retaining, and maintaining successful customer and other business development relationships as needed for the company. He identifies, locates and generates new potential business leads and pursuits while understanding and implementing market concepts, positioning, planning and customer relationships.