ULI New York Chairman
Marty Burger, Silverstein Properties, Inc.
Marty Burger is Chief Executive Officer of Silverstein Properties, Inc. He leads the company’s day-to-day activities, and focuses on its acquisition, development and financing efforts in the United States and abroad. Prior to joining Silverstein, Mr. Burger was President and Chief Executive Officer of Artisan Real Estate Ventures, a company he founded in 2006. Prior to Artisan, Mr. Burger spent 15 years at Related, including serving as President of Related Las Vegas and Executive Vice President of The Related Companies, L.P. From 1994 to 1997, Mr. Burger was a Vice President at The Blackstone Group working on acquisitions for its first three real estate opportunity funds. From 1993 to 1994, he worked for Goldman Sachs’ Whitehall Real Estate funds, also on the acquisition side. Prior to that, Mr. Burger spent five years at The Related Companies where he was a Vice President of Development and Acquisitions.
Mr. Burger received a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Trustee and a Governor of the Urban Land Institute, a member of the Executive Committee of the Americas, the former Chairman of his Urban Development Mixed-Use Council nationally, and is the current Chairman of the New York District Council. Mr. Burger is on the Executive Committee of the Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and is an active member of the Real Estate Roundtable in Washington, DC. Mr. Burger is also on the Directors’ Advisory Council and the New York City Mortgage Committee of the M&T Bank.
Mr. Burger is involved with Habitat for Humanity in Westchester with his sons, helping to create quality housing for those in need. He is a board member of The Catalog for Giving, a charitable organization providing funds to multiple programs benefiting underprivileged inner city children. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Battery Conservancy. In addition, Mr. Burger helps oversee the activities of the Downtown Division of the UJA Federation.
Robert C. Lieber is the Executive Managing Director of the Island Capital Group and the former Deputy Mayor for Economic Development in the administration of New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg. As a longtime ULI leader, Mr. Lieber has been actively involved with the organization since 1992 and is a Trustee, a member of the Board of Directors for ULI and a Governor of the ULI Foundation, the philanthropic extension of ULI that supports the Institute’s program of work. Prior to joining Island Capital Group in 2010 and the Bloomberg administration in January 2007, Mr. Lieber held executive positions at Lehman Brothers for 23 years, including the Global Head of Real Estate Investment Banking. Mr. Lieber holds a BA from the University of Colorado and an MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
Dale Todd is currently a Vice President at J.P. Morgan Asset Management Global Real Assets. Since joining the firm in 2007 he has worked in the group’s portfolio valuations and asset management teams, where his current responsibilities include management of office and industrial assets in throughout the U.S., as well as valuation oversight of maritime assets. Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, Dale was a commercial real estate appraiser with Samuel D. Koon & Associates of Columbus, Ohio. Dale holds a B.S. in Economics from Ohio Wesleyan University and a M.S. in the Real Estate Finance from the New York University. He also holds the Certified Financial Analyst® designation and is a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. Dale is a member of Urban Land Institute New York, where he sits on the District Council Management Committee, and is also the President of Jamaica Impact, Inc., a non-profit organization focused on the development of early childhood education in the nation of Jamaica.
Jenni Luthman is a senior manager in Ernst & Young’s (EY) New York Real Estate practice. Jenni has over 14 years of public accounting experience and has spent the past thirteen years at EY, including almost nine years in Atlanta and four years with the New York practice. Ms. Luthman has been involved in audits of different types of real estate entities, including public REITs, opportunity funds and private joint ventures. Ms. Luthman is co-chair of the New York Real Estate practice’s Professional Women’s Network and has been involved in the presentation of real estate training courses at EY. Ms. Luthman earned a BS in Accounting from Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia, and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Jenni is a Certified Public Accountant in New York and Georgia.
Aaron Block is an early stage investor with a passion for building high growth real estate and technology businesses. Aaron is Co-Founder and MD of, MetaProp NYC, the world’s premier real estate technology nexus. Based in the heart of Manhattan’s Silicon Alley, the MetaProp NYC 22-week Accelerator and 8-week Pre-Accelerator at Columbia University are the leading programs for high growth PropTech startups. Founded in 2015, the accelerator boasts 100+ mentors, 10 renowned corporate partners and widespread media coverage. MetaProp NYC’s team and strategic seed stage funds have invested in 60+ technology companies across the real estate value chain. The companies have raised more than $2 billion and employ 1,500+ people globally. MetaProp Advisors provides strategic advisory services, growth consulting, communications, event management and market research for real estate companies that are serious about innovation.
Previously, Aaron served as CEO of Chicago-based BayRu, LLC, a US-Russia ecommerce shopping and shipping specialist and eBay.com’s exclusive drop shipping partner for Russia/CIS consumers. Prior to BayRu, Aaron was an executive with commercial real estate services firm Cushman & Wakefield and oversaw more than 270 professionals as leader of the Chicago region. Aaron received numerous honors and awards during his real estate career including Top Producer, Most Creative Deal, Agency of the Year and Most Promising Brokerage Professional. Notably, Aaron completed the largest leasing deal in Russian history and the largest leasing deal of the year in Ukraine (2007).
Outside of work, Aaron has served as a board member of numerous organizations including Young Presidents Organization (“YPO”), the Tech:NYC Leadership Council, New York City Community Board Five, and Friends of the Chicago River. Aaron speaks English, Spanish and Russian.
Melissa Cohen joined Boston Properties in 2011 as a development project manager and was promoted in 2015 to a senior project manager for the New York region. She collaborates on all of the company’s development and acquisitions activities in New York City. Melissa worked on the construction and lease-up of 250 West 55th Street, and currently oversees the development of Dock 72 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard – a 675,000 SF commercial office building for tech tenants, and is actively involved in all new business efforts for the region. Prior to Boston Properties, Melissa worked for Urban Partners, a real estate development company in Los Angeles specializing in mixed-use projects at transit oriented hubs. She focused on the development of a 450-unit multifamily project above a subway station, a 1600-bed student housing project at USC and a 400-unit suburban rental project in a master planned community. Melissa received a BA in Urban Studies from Brown University and an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business.
Brian Collins joined Fisher Brothers as head of acquisitions and development. A 30-year real estate professional, Brian has extensive development experience of all types of real estate. Prior to joining Fisher Brothers, Brian was hired by Fortress Investment Group as President of Intrawest, one of the largest resort owner/operators and real estate development companies in North America. As President, Brian oversaw all real estate activities including development, residential sales & marketing, hotel management, and timeshare sales and management. Prior to joining Intrawest Brian was founder of Colgate Development, a development company which specialized in the development of luxury hotels and condominiums. Under Brian’s leadership, Colgate developed the Andaz (Hyatt) Hotel on Fifth Avenue in New York, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Charlotte, NC, the Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Philadelphia and was a partner in the W Hotel & Residences, Hollywood.
Brian was previously a principal and COO of Millennium Partners, one of the premier developers of mixed-use projects. Overseeing all of the non-residential components of Millennium’s projects, Brian was responsible for the development of The Ritz-Carlton hotels in New York, Boston and Washington and the Four Seasons hotels in San Francisco and Miami as well as five Sport Club/LA facilities, office space, movies theatres and parking garages. Brian is an active member of the Urban Land Institute and was on the board of directors of The Sports Club Company from 1997 to 2003. He is also active in numerous New York real estate groups and councils.
Joseph A. DeLuca
Joseph A. DeLuca, Inc.
Joseph A. DeLuca is the principal of Joseph A. DeLuca, Inc. (1998), engaged in commercial and multifamily real estate debt and equity investment advisory, capital advisory and restructuring.
Mr. DeLuca has been responsible for institutional portfolios totaling over $20 Billion in debt and equity assets as well as many prominent residential and commercial property transactions and business initiatives for both public and private entities. Mr. DeLuca’s senior real estate positions include: EVP/ Managing Director and Group Head of Real Estate Finance and Real Estate Investment Banking for Chemical Banking Corporation and the successor Chase Manhattan Bank; Director of Real Estate Investments for Equitable Life Assurance Society of America (under an advisory contract); senior advisor to Gramercy Capital Corp. He is a director of One Liberty Properties, Inc., a NYSE REIT; has served as a Member of the Board of Managers of Wrightwood Capital LLC, a private commercial real estate lender and investment manager; and also has served as a member of Capmark Bank’s Board of Directors during its FDIC oversight period and the successful return of principal and interest to its depositors and return of capital to its shareholders. Mr. DeLuca is a former member of the Board of Governors of the Real Estate Board of New York; a former Senior Vice Chairman and current member of the Real Estate Roundtable in Washington D.C. and its’ Capital Advisory and TAX Policy Advisory committees. He has served on the National Capital Consortium task force to advance securitization of real estate debt and equities during the 1990s real estate depression. Mr. DeLuca is a former Chairman of the Advisory Board of New York University’s SPS Schack Real Estate Institute and has been a member of its’ Executive Committee through early 2016. He is currently a member of the Management Committee for ULI NY, the local ULI Council for New York City and since 1995 continues as a “National Trustee” of “National Jewish Health” hospital.
SL Green Realty Corp.
As an associate at SL Green Realty Corp., Krystyn Gatto is part of a team responsible for leasing a portfolio of 15 office properties totaling close to ten million square feet. Krystyn joined the team at SL Green after moving to New York in 2015. Prior to that Krystyn was a Senior Leasing Associate with Colliers International in Calgary, Alberta for seven years. During that time Krystyn co-founded Alberta’s District Council for the Urban Land Institute. She intends to leverage her experience with the organization to elevate the operations, and impact of the Young Leaders Group here in New York. Krystyn graduated from the University of Mount Royal with a Bachelor of Applied Business and Entrepreneurship, and studied abroad in San Antonio, Texas and Melbourne, Australia.
Peter Liebowitz, AICP, is head of AKRF’s Planning group within the New York City office. Mr. Liebowitz has more than 25 years of experience working on planning, economic development, and environmental analyses. His practice involves a wide range of assignments, including directing and managing environmental impact statements for large-scale development projects, economic and market analyses for public and private investments (including Moynihan Station and the American Airlines terminal at JFK International Airport), and a wide range of development and planning services, including planning and zoning reviews, expert testimony, and economic development initiatives for municipalities and counties throughout the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region. Mr. Liebowitz is a full member of the Urban Land Institute and serves in leadership roles on both the national and district council levels. Mr. Liebowitz has an undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis and a master’s degree in urban planning from Columbia University in New York and attended Franklin College in Lugano, Switzerland. He is also a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.
Bethany Logan Ropa is an Executive Director in the Real Estate, Lodging & Leisure Group at UBS, focusing on strategic advisory and corporate-level debt and equity financing assignments for real estate and lodging companies. During her career at UBS, Ms. Ropa has completed over $50 billion in M&A, equity capital markets, debt capital markets and financing transactions. Ms. Ropa has experience working across multiple sub-sectors in real estate including office, industrial, retail, multi-family, lodging, net lease and healthcare. Notable recent advisory transactions include Select Income REIT’s $3 billion acquisition of Cole Corporate Income Trust and NorthStar Realty Finance’s $4 billion acquisition of Griffin-American Healthcare REIT II. Ms. Ropa received an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management, where she concentrated her studies in corporate finance and real estate.
With nearly 20 years of experience in the real estate sector, Tara specializes in developing and implementing transformational marketing and communication strategies that drive business growth.
As Vice President Global Brand Strategy, she leads the development of brand positioning and building of brand equity to achieve market differentiation and foster competitive advantage for AECOM, an $18- billion integrated firm active in the development, design, planning, construction and investment in real estate and infrastructure assets in over 150 countries. Prior to this role, Tara served as Chief Marketing Officer for Tishman Construction and AECOM’s construction services practice, directing marketing teams in market planning, brand building, marketing communications, business development, market research and win strategies. The division achieved 15 percent year-over-year organic revenue growth annually during her tenure as CMO.
Before joining AECOM, Tara was Senior Vice President Marketing for Lend Lease Americas, a subsidiary of the international development firm. A diversified property group active in public/private partnerships, real estate development, construction/project management and investment management, she led strategic marketing and communications to drive business growth. In previous roles, she led marketing and communications for architecture, planning and engineering entities, all marked by periods of record growth for the firms. She earned a B.S. from Boston University and did postgraduate work at Columbia Business School. Tara is a member of the Urban Land Institute and serves as co-chair of the organization’s NY District Council Programming Committee. She is based in New York City.
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.
Mr. Sigman is an Executive Vice President and Principal of LCOR and a member of the company’s Executive Committee, with responsibility for originating, developing and managing mixed-use and office projects, including many of LCOR’s transportation-oriented developments, in the New York region. Mr. Sigman joined LCOR in 1994. Since then, he directed the redevelopment of Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, a $1.4-billion facility representing the largest airport terminal ever developed as a result of a public/private partnership. Previously, Mr. Sigman was associated with Washington, D.C. developer Hoskinson & Davis; he served the firm from 1985 through 1988 as its first commercial real estate project manager responsible for the development of various office and industrial projects in Northern Virginia. Mr. Sigman received his bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Princeton University.
Two Tress Management
Marina Trejo is a Senior Project Manager at Two Trees Management, having joined the firm the day the company closed on the 11-acre Domino Sugar Factory site. Much of her role is related to the project’s large scale redevelopment including the entitlement process of securing four new building permits for the proposed high-rise mixed-use buildings and interim use programming on the site’s undeveloped waterfront acreage. Since joining the firm, Marina has overseen the build-out of the NYPD Horse Stables, a 35,000 sf precinct located on the ground floor of the Mercedes House, a 33-story mixed use building; established Certificates of Occupancies on existing and new buildings within the company’s DUMBO portfolio – most notably the Clocktower Apartment; producing Brooklyn’s highest residential condominium sale to date, and has managed a number of capital improvement projects within the company’s residential and commercial portfolio, ranging from landscaping to entire building transformations.
Marina has also worked for the Hudson Companies, the Related Companies, The Kessler Collection and John Simpson and Partners in London.
She holds three masters degrees: one from Columbia University in Real Estate Development, an MBA from Rollins College and a B. Arch and Masters in Architecture from the University of Notre Dame.
Belinda leads Gensler’s financial services practice in the Northeast region and brings particular expertise to the design and management of the boutique financial workplace. Belinda moved to New York after graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Curtin University in Perth, Australia. She continued her education at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, where she received a Master of Architecture degree. Belinda is a regional leader for Gensler’s Northeast region financial services practice area, with a focus on the private investment sector. Her leadership within the financial services sector is reinforced by a broad experience across many industries and project types ranging from building adaptive re-use to high-end retail, including the relocation of Christie’s to Rockefeller Center and the development of the 57th Street Burberry Store. She applies her knowledge of evolving workplace trends to building repositioning projects and new commercial ventures. She is currently Co-Vice Chair of the ULI Women’s Leadership Initiative.