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


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 40. 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 the relationship will be respected accordingly.

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 to June

Application window opens in early August. Mentees may apply to be a part of 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.

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

Thank You To Our 2017-2018 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

Marc Ehrlich
Chief Financial Officer
Rose Associates
Ted Flagg
Senior Managing Director
Hentschel & Company
Merrie Frankel
Managing PartnerAndover Associates, LLC
Alan Goodkin
Managing Director
Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group
Terri Gumula
Vice President
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
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


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.
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

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

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
Annie Wickstrom
Executive Vice President
Ramsfield Hospitality Finance
Kenneth Zakin
Senior Managing Director
NGKF Capital Markets
Ofer Zer
Vice President Oxford
Properties Group
 Simon Ziff
Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group LLC
Andrea Wong-Miller
Senior Investment Officer
AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust
 Jon Salony
Bayberry Advisors
Lauren Sanders
Vice President, Acquisitions & Development
Zeckendorf Development
 Richard Kessler
Chief Operating Officer
Benenson Capital Partners
Steve Kohn
President, EVP, Equity, Debt & Structured Finance
Cushman & Wakefield

2017-2018 Mentors Not Pictured

Jon Barkan | Vice President | Hudson Advisors
Justin Brown | Vice President, Venture Investment | Berkshire Group
Dino P. Christoforakis | Head of Transactions, North America | AFIAA U.S. Investment
Sheri Chromow
Alison Coen | Director – Real Estate | Barclays
Karim Demirdache | Founder & Managing Partner | Post Road
Aaron Gavios | President & CEO | Gavios Realty Group
John Gunther-Mohr | Head of Real Estate Group | Santander Bank
Lonnie Halpern | Partner | A.Y. Strauss
Rafi Hovsepian | Director of Asset Management | Starrett Companies
Steve Hurwitz | President | GFI Development Company
Leslie Jabs | Principal | Gensler
Steve Klein
Scott Leyton | Partner | Ornstein Leyton Company
Alan Miller | Managing Principal | ALDO Advisors
Rich Monopoli | Senior Vice President, Development | Boston Properties
Dominic Ramoz-Ruiz | Strategic Partnerships | International WELL Building Institute
Bill Scully
Philip Silverman | President & CEO | Blue Sky Real Estate Services
Gary Simonetti | Bank Portfolio Manager | TIAA
Michael Spies | Tishman Speyer
Jesse Terry | Director of Acquisitions | HUBB NYC Properties
Kevin West | Director-Leasing | Vornado Realty Trust
Michael Zampetti | Managing Director | Slate Property Group
Michael Zysman | Managing Principal | City Bay Capital

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.