Mentor Program

The mission of the ULI New York Mentor Program is to foster an exchange of ideas between experienced executives and young real estate professionals. Mentors have the opportunity to gain a fresh perspective and additional experience as an advisor, supporter, and coach, while mentees forge relationships and gain wisdom from experienced industry players.

Mentor Program

Thank You To Our 2016-2017 Mentors

Christopher M. Bellapianta
Managing Principal
Camber Capital

Lola Belini
Vice President of Acquisitions
Wafra Investment Advisory Group

Lauren Cahill
Senior Development Director
AvalonBay Communities, Inc.

Chris Caltabiano
Senior Vice President
Shorenstein Realty Services

Vishal Chawla
Partner, Real Estate Mergers & Acquisitions
Ernst & Young LLP

Joanne Douvas
GreenOak Real Estate

Marc Ehrlich
Chief Financial Officer
Rose Associates

Ted Flagg
Senior Managing Director
Hentschel & Company

Merrie Frankel
Managing Partner
Andover Associates, LLC

Alan Goodkin
Managing Director
Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group

Terri Gumula
Vice President

Gary Gutterman
SVP for Affordable Housing
HAP Investments LLC

Heidi Hannah
Vice President
Clarion Partners

Dan Hollander
Managing Principal
DHA Capital LLC

Michael Horst

Helen Hwang
Senior Executive Managing Director, Institutional Investment Sales
Meridian Investment Sales, LLC

Linda Isaacson
SVP, Director of Business Intelligence
First American Title Insurance Co.

Young Ji
VP of Asset Management

Jason Kaufman
Vice President
Silverstein Properties, LLC

Jonathan Kohan
Managing Director/First Vice President

Steven LaBold
Manager of Underwriting
The Hampshire Companies, LLC

Bob Lieber
Senior Managing Director
C-III Capital Partners LLC

Kevin Lillis
Chief Executive Officer
Hospitality Alliance

Alan Liu
Head of Alternative Investments
Lightstone Group

Jeff Mandel
Managing Director – Acquisitions

Stephen Muller
Chief Investment Officer
Kuafu Properties

Arndt W. Nicklisch
American Eagle Capital Partners

Mehul J. Patel
Chief Operating Officer
Midwood Investment & Development

Sujan Patel
Managing Director and Co-Head of Investments
NorthStar Asset Management Group Inc.

Laura Yablon Rappaport
Senior Vice President
L&L Holding Company, LLC

Michael A. Ritz
Senior Vice President, Acquisitions & Development
Albanese Organization, Inc.

Scott Sambade
Appian Real Estate, LLC

Sujohn Sarkar
Ruben Companies

Ellen Sinreich
Principal and Founder
The Sinreich Group

Michael Strug
Vice President

Dale Todd
Vice President
J.P. Morgan Asset Management

Christopher D. Turner
Capital Markets & Investment Services
Colliers International

Mat Wambua
President, RHR Funding & Managing Director, Richmac Funding
The Richman Group

Margaret A. Waters
Principal/Director of Real Assets
Bessemer Trust

Annie Wickstrom
Executive Vice President
Ramsfield Hospitality Finance

Susan Wright
Managing Principal – NYC
IBI Group, Gruzen Samton Architects

Kenneth Zakin
Senior Managing Director
NGKF Capital Markets

Ofer Zer
Vice President Oxford
Properties Group

Simon Ziff
Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group LLC

2016-2017 Mentors Not Pictured

Tanner Campbell | Managing Director | Spring Place
Rafi Hovsepian | Director of Asset Management | Starrett Companies
Scott Leyton | Partner | Ornstein Leyton Company
Steve Rooney | Director of Acquisitions | Norvin Properties
Michael Zampetti | Managing Director | Slate Property Group

2016-2017 Mentor Program Co-Chairs

lola_beliniLola Bellini, Vice President of Acquisitions
Wafra Investment Advisory Group, Inc.

Ms. Bellini joined the Acquisitions Group within Wafra’s Real Estate Division in 2015 with more than 20 years of experience working in the real estate sector. During her career, she has closed acquisitions and joint ventures with a gross value of over $ 4 billion. Prior to joining Wafra, Ms. Bellini founded her own boutique investment and advisory businesses. Ms. Bellini was a Vice President and Senior Acquisitions Officer at JP Morgan Investment Management for eight years and, prior to that, she was with ING Clarion Partners. Ms. Bellini began her career in Real E1) the acquisition, financing, day-to-day management, leasing, and disposition of a 1.3 million square foot office portfolio in New Jersey and; (2) financing, pre-development, and implementation of the development of a 64-unit assisted living project in Danbury, CT. In December of 2005, 7 of the 8 buildings in the NJ portfolio were sold with the final building selling in May of 2006. The returns to the investors and the summary of the transactions listed are under success stories at From mid-1998state Asset Management at Jones Lang Wootten Realty Advisors and, subsequently, at The Blackstone Group. Ms. Bellini holds a dual B.S. in Finance and International Business from NYU Stern. She is a member of WX (Women Executives in Real Estate) and Co-chair of the ULI Mentoring Program.

scott_sambadeScott Sambade, President
Appian Real Estate, LLC

Prior to forming Appian Real Estate in January of 2006, Mr. Sambade joined Allegiance Realty Corporation as a Director in early 2004 focusing on acquisitions and finance and made the transition from investment banker to investment principal. In that two-year period, he was involved in two transactions, ( through early 2004, Mr. Sambade was an investment banker for Carlton Advisory Services and APC Realty Advisors. During this period, he was responsible for originating transactions for the two firms as well as raising debt and equity on over $500 million in real estate assets. From 1997 through mid-1998, Mr. Sambade was a manager in the Construction & Real Estate Division of Itochu International, Inc., a Japanese trading company, where he was responsible for the origination of mezzanine debt on a variety of institutional property types. From 1992 through 1997, Mr. Sambade worked as a senior underwriter for Cantor Fitzgerald in their Institutional Property Group, a consultant for Deloitte & Touche, and on an independent basis where he evaluated over $2.0 billion in transactions. It was during that time where he met Christopher Smith, President & CEO of Allegiance, and Greg Smith, currently President & CEO of Maplewood Communities. With these two partners he closed three deals with the two brothers including the acquisition of 65 Willowbrook Avenue in Wayne, NJ. Mr. Sambade received his undergraduate degree in Liberal Arts from the University of Massachusetts in 1990.

2016-2017 Mentor Program Guidelines


The mission of the ULI New York Mentor Program is to foster an exchange of professional ideas and mentorship between experienced executives in the industry (“Mentors”) and young real estate professionals (“Mentees”) under the age of 35. Mentees will have the chance to learn from experienced industry players and bounce career-related ideas off someone they might not have otherwise met. In order to gain the most out of this program, it is crucial that Mentees approach the program as an opportunity to learn from a seasoned professional, not as an opportunity to land your next job. Mentors volunteer their time to make a connection with the younger generation and there is an expectation that you will respect the relationship. One of ULI’s primary functions is to promote the highest level of professionalism and as we head toward greater specialization in our industry this program will give Mentees the opportunity for a broader range of professional experience than offered in their current positions. This program also offers Mentors the opportunity to strengthen ties with future leaders of the local real estate community and the opportunity to gain a fresh perspective on real estate while gaining additional experience as an advisor, supporter, and coach.

Program Duration – October 2016 to May 2017

Mentees may be accepted into the Mentor Program for a maximum of three consecutive years at which point they will be ineligible to participate for one year before reapplying for admission to the program.


Every participant must be committed to the Mentorship Program in order to create the atmosphere necessary for success. Missing more than one meeting may disqualify you from further participation.

Mentor Program Guidelines

Building a professional and social relationship between Mentor and Mentee is accomplished by meeting together on your own time. The more committed the Mentor and Mentees are to the relationship, the more satisfaction gained by all.  The following guidelines have been established to provide all participants the most satisfactory experience.

  • Meet with your Mentor/Mentee once per month.
  • Establish guidelines for telephone calls, means of contact. Return calls and emails.
  • Confidentiality is required.  Breach of confidentiality will result in dismissal from the Mentor Program.
Roles and Responsibilities in Mentoring Relationships

Mentor: Building a professional and social relationship between Mentor and Mentee is accomplished by meeting together on your own time. The more committed the Mentor and Mentees are to the relationship, the more satisfaction gained by all.  The following guidelines have been established to provide all participants the most satisfactory experience.

  • Work with Mentee to set clear goals and objectives for the term of the program by asking questions of your Mentee.
  • Provide guidance based on past business experiences.  Share stories of your career trajectory, including mistakes.
  • Take time to help Mentees learn more about your area(s) of expertise.
  • Create a positive counseling relationship and a climate of open communication.
  • Help Mentees identify problems and encourage problem solving for a variety of situations.
  • Refer Mentees to other business associates if appropriate.

Mentee: As a Mentee, you will benefit from personal interaction with an experienced real estate professional.  You will be given an opportunity to create and foster a relationship that you may keep for years past your involvement in the program.  Specifically, a Mentee should:

  • Initiate contact with your Mentor. Try to use email as a mode of communication for scheduling rather than in place of one-to-one contact either in person or on the phone.
  • Help shape the nature of the relationship—know the kind of mentoring you want and communicate your goals to your Mentor.
  • Establish realistic and attainable expectations for yourself and Mentor and respect your Mentors time and schedule.
  • Solicit feedback from your Mentor on your professional demeanor and presentation.
  • Come prepared to discuss issues at each meeting.
  • Do not expect to find employment through your Mentor.

Mentor/Mentee Together:

  • Schedule regular, formal meetings.
  • Solicit feedback from your Mentor on your professional demeanor and presentation.
  • Develop an action plan to achieve agreed upon goals.
  • Determine the level of structure in the relationship.

Meeting Ideas:

  • Share a meal or meet for coffee
  • Discuss how to make decisions for the next step in your career
  • Attend a Program  – attend a ULI program together and debrief following the event
  • Site Tours – Explore a case study in person by visiting a recent project
  • Professional and Personal Growth – Five and ten year plans, life map, etc.
  • Share news stories – Email each other thought-provoking news stories.Examples of topical issues you may discuss:
    1.  The Real Estate Development Process
    2. International Real Estate (you can choose an area of focus)
    3. Real Estate Policy
    4. Comercial/Residential Real Estate Transactions
    5. Capital Flows
    6. Real Estate Operations

The application period for the 2016-2017 Mentor Program has closed.

For more information about the Mentor Program or if you are interested in becoming a future Mentee or Mentor please contact Sofia Guerrero