DCRE HOST COMMITTEE

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MICHAEL NYAMEKYE

Development Director, Dantes Partners

As Development Director at Dantes Partners, Mr. Nyamekye is primarily responsible for leading all aspects of planning, financing and implementation of the current New York pipeline. He serves as the day-to-day contact and liaison with applicable housing finance agencies and other key stakeholders within the communities where the developments are located. He is also responsible for leading community meetings; overseeing construction of preservation and new construction developments; and actively engaging in business development efforts.

 

Mr. Nyamekye graduated from the University at Albany, SUNY in Albany, NY with a degree in Economics. Prior to accepting this position, he served as a Project Manager and Senior Project Manager for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development where he was primarily involved in the implementation of Inclusionary Housing, in both private and subsidized, new construction and preservation affordable housing developments.

EDWARD FAUSTIN

Co-Founder, Managing Principal, AreaProbe, LLC

Lisa Gomez oversees the day-to-day operations of L+M Development Partners and its affiliated companies. Lisa has more than 25 years of experience in real estate finance and development. Prior to joining L+M, she was in senior management at the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC), overseeing $1 billion annually in bond financing and mortgage insurance.

 

At HDC, she was also responsible for developing and executing policy and financing programs to stimulate the creation of affordable housing for Mayor Bloomberg’s successful New Housing Marketplace Plan. Lisa also held various positions at JP Morgan Chase Bank, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) and Silverstein Properties, among others. Lisa is a Board member of Center for the Urban Future as well as the Stella and Charles Guttman Community College Foundation. She is a past Chair of the New York State Association of Affordable Housing (NYSAFAH), the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center, and was also a Commissioner of the New York City Planning Commission from 2004 to 2007. She is a graduate of Louisiana State University and has completed coursework through the New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate.

DESIREE THOMAS

Owner, Operator, DPJ World LLC

Desiree Thomas, is currently the Owner and Operator of DPJ World LLC. She is recognized  in the industry as an astute finance professional with experience in real estate investing,  corporate and investment banking, and business development. Prior to launching DPJ World  LLC, she was Vice President, Operations with Wilder Balter Partners focused on affordable  housing development. She previously served as Deputy Director with New York City Housing  Preservation and Development where she was responsible for executing Mayor de Blasio's  affordable housing plan.  

She owns and manages a portfolio of residential and mixed-use properties in New York.  Formerly, she was a member of the Business Development and Investor Relations team at Archimedes Alpha LLC and served as Senior Vice President of the Financial Institutions  Group at J.P. Morgan. In addition, Desiree owned and operated two Little Caesars franchises  where she was responsible for site selection and operations. 

In addition to her professional career, Desiree serves on the board of Unique People  Services and the Bronx YMCA. She holds an MBA from The Wharton School where she was a  Robert Toigo Fellow. She is also a graduate of the General Management Program at Harvard  Business School and is a 2017 graduate of Project REAP. She was also selected as a participant in the 2021 Inaugural Open Access Fellowship Program where she is working  with TruFund Financial Services with a focus on New Market Tax Credit Financing.

NORBERTO VELAZQUEZ

Principal, Chief Operating Officer, JGV Inc

Norberto Velazquez is the Principal and Chief Operating Officer of JGV Inc. Norberto is a well-established real estate professional, with over two decades of experience in all facets of real estate. Norberto's wealth of experience includes, but is not limited to, acquisition, property management, and redevelopment of residential, multi-family, commercial and mixed-use properties throughout New York City and abroad. In 2015, Norberto graduated from New York City Housing Development and Preservation, M/WBE Building Capacity program.

 

Norberto holds an ARM certification from IREM. He also holds the EDFP and HDFP certifications from the National Development Council. In addition, Norberto holds the TaCCs Certification from Quadel.

 In his spare time, Norberto volunteers. In that capacity, Norberto is the Vice-President of the Executive Board of Samaritans of New York. 

DONNELL SELBY

Managing Director, Sprinrock Property Grouop

Donnell Selby has several years of experience working in commercial real estate. His overall background includes leasing, property management, fund management, risk management, market research and analysis. At the firm, he plays a pivotal role overseeing the daily operations of mixed-use and co-op assets. Additionally, Donnell is responsible for the allocation of all funds under management.  

 

Donnell is a New York State licensed broker and holds a RAM designation from the National Associated Builders and Owner Inc. Furthermore, he has a certificate in Real Estate Economics & Finance from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is a Project REAP fellow and has completed HPD’s Building Capacity Program for M/WBE Developers in Affordable Housing. Donnell graduated from Hampton University, with honors, holding a degree in Political Science.

STANLEY OKOYE

Market Director of Real Estate, JP Morgan Chase & co

IZU EMEAGWALI

Vice President and Assistant General, J.P. Morgan

Izu Emeagwali is a Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at a multinational investment bank and financial services company.

Izu’s expertise focuses on the intersection of technology and law. At J.P. Morgan, Izu counsels the various global businesses and data scientists of the Corporate and Investment Bank on their data use initiatives, including projects using big data, artificial intelligence and other emerging technologies. Primarily, Izu advises on and oversees projects and negotiates agreements involving the sharing and use of J.P. Morgan’s proprietary information. She opines on and helps to implement the legal strategies and processes for sound data use and sharing practices and artificial intelligence initiatives. 

In addition, Izu advises business partners on the development or enhance of new products and services that leverage emerging technology. 

 

Prior to joining J.P. Morgan, Izu was a Senior Associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen and Hamilton LLP. There she focused on intellectual property, commercial and antitrust litigation. Izu also advised on intellectual property rights in technology focused M&A deals and drafted agreements to help clients protect their intellectual property. She led pro bono teams in advocating for issues impacting women in Africa. Izu also volunteered with Lawyers for the Arts and advised pro bono clients on intellectual property matters.
 

G. Lamont Blackstone is the principal of G. L. Blackstone & Associates LLC, a commercial real estate consulting firm specializing in urban markets. His clients include municipal agencies, non-profit organizations, real estate investors, and developers of commercial and mixed-use properties. Prior to launching his consulting practice, Lamont was Chief Investment Officer of The Retail Initiative, Inc. (“TRI”), the first national commercial real estate equity fund to target inner-city retail development. Prior to TRI, he held commercial real estate positions with the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), the New York State Urban Development Corporation, Pan Pacific Development Corp., and Cadillac Fairview Shopping Centers.

 

Blackstone was recognized as a leader in the promotion of public-private partnerships (P3) between the commercial real estate industry and local governments. Working on assignments that would incorporate healthcare facilities into multifamily projects. Whether it's assisting multifamily housing developers to integrate ground floor retail components into their projects or guiding urban shopping center developers in maneuvering multi-ethnic markets, He complement the executional capabilities of development and investment organizations.

OFO EZEUGWU

Founder, CEO, Whoseyourlandlord (WYL.CO)

Ofo Ezeugwu is Founder and CEO of WhoseYourLandlord (WYL.co), WYL a web platform that's empowering and informing the rental community through landlord reviews, housing literacy content, and subscription SaaS software for owners/operators and lenders to better engage the needs of their residents. He graduated from TempleUniversity, where he was the VP of the student body and also the youngest alumni convocation speaker in the school's history.

 

He was recently recognized as the Young Professional of the Year by the African American Chamber of Commerce (2018), he's a Techstars' Risingstar, one of BET's #30Under30, a Black Enterprise: Modern Man, and his work has been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, Newsweek, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Blavity, The New York Post, and more. Ofo is also a professional actor and model who's walked in NYFW (5x), been featured on the Today Show (7x), and worked with Nike, ESPN (2x), and Alfani. 

Ofo is very actively plugged into the community and speaks with local high schools and middle schools on leadership, college planning, entrepreneurship, and life skills. He's a Big in the Big Brothers Big Sisters entrepreneurial program. And, he's also given lectures on tech - entrepreneurship - and leadership at prestigious locations and universities such as The White House, Harvard, Princeton, Columbia, Wharton, Temple, Villanova, etc. He lives by the motto, "No steps backward; just forward progress."

BABATUNDE P. ODUBEKUN

Commissioner, Newark Housing Authority

Babatunde P. Odubekun currently serves as a Commissioner on the Newark Housing Authority, the largest public housing authority in the State of New Jersey, and the eleventh largest in the United States.

In addition to his board service, Babatunde is associated with the Newark based law firm Genova Burns LLC, where he is a member of the firm's Corporate Law & Business Transactions, Intellectual Property, Commercial Real Estate & Redevelopment, Cannabis and Corporate Political Activity practice groups.

Babatunde holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Rutgers University, and a Juris Doctor from Rutgers Law School, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Rutgers Computer and Technology Law Journal.Babatunde also serves as Trustee and Corporate Secretary of the Newark Print Shop, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the fine art of printmaking.

BABATUNDE P. ODUBEKUN

Commissioner, Newark Housing Authority

Babatunde P. Odubekun currently serves as a Commissioner on the Newark Housing Authority, the largest public housing authority in the State of New Jersey, and the eleventh largest in the United States.

In addition to his board service, Babatunde is associated with the Newark based law firm Genova Burns LLC, where he is a member of the firm's Corporate Law & Business Transactions, Intellectual Property, Commercial Real Estate & Redevelopment, Cannabis and Corporate Political Activity practice groups.

Babatunde holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Rutgers University, and a Juris Doctor from Rutgers Law School, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Rutgers Computer and Technology Law Journal.Babatunde also serves as Trustee and Corporate Secretary of the Newark Print Shop, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the fine art of printmaking.

BABATUNDE P. ODUBEKUN

Commissioner, Newark Housing Authority

Babatunde P. Odubekun currently serves as a Commissioner on the Newark Housing Authority, the largest public housing authority in the State of New Jersey, and the eleventh largest in the United States.

In addition to his board service, Babatunde is associated with the Newark based law firm Genova Burns LLC, where he is a member of the firm's Corporate Law & Business Transactions, Intellectual Property, Commercial Real Estate & Redevelopment, Cannabis and Corporate Political Activity practice groups.

Babatunde holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Rutgers University, and a Juris Doctor from Rutgers Law School, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Rutgers Computer and Technology Law Journal.Babatunde also serves as Trustee and Corporate Secretary of the Newark Print Shop, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the fine art of printmaking.

JAMES CUNNINGHAM

Managing Broker, Wellington Real Estate Professionals

ATY BISWESE

Real Estate Private Equity, Bespoke Real Estate

James Cunningham is the Managing Broker of Air Realty Brokerage (Commercial) and Wellington Real Estate Professionals (Residential) real estate brokerages formed in an effort to serve the needs of small to medium size business owners and clients in the Atlanta area. James has worked in commercial and residential real estate for the past 12 years, serving as a consultant to clients seeking expertise in multifamily acquisition/disposition, land brokerage, office tenant representation and residential acquisition/disposition.

 

James is a graduate of Morehouse College where he received a B.A. in Psychology 06’ and Georgia State University where he received his masters degree in real estate 15’. He’s actively involved with the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors where he’s served as partnership committee chair for the diversity mentorship program and received accolades as Member of the Month September 2016 and July of 2017. Mr. Cunningham was also recognized by the Atlanta Business Chronicle as Atlanta real estate’s potential future leaders in May 2016. His passion for serving his community is shown through his involvement with the Emerging 100 of Atlanta where he mentors young men from Best Academy in Atlanta. 

MAURICE ROBINSON

Managing Mediator, MQR Enterprises, LLC

Maurice Q. Robinson is an active alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) professional who currently holds adjunct professorships at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law’s Kukin Program in Alternative Dispute Resolution, as well as Seton Hall School of Law’s Conflict Management Program. Awarded a New Jersey Legislative Proclamation for Pro Bono and Skills Based/ Service Oriented Legal Pedagogy, Mr. Robinson’s courses include Negotiation Theory and Practice, Family Law and Mediation, as well as a client driven practicum in the SDNY Federal Court. He has coached successful ADR competition teams on the national and international circuit. 

 

Mr. Robinson is also the EEO Officer | Executive Agency Counsel for New York City Housing Authority’s (NYCHA) Department of Equal Opportunity. Prior to his position at NYCHA, he served the NY community as a Senior Administrative Law Hearing Officer, Queens County Mediation Manager, and Housing Court Program Supervising Pro Bono Attorney. Mr. Robinson serves as an approved mediator for the New York Peace Institute, Manhattan Civil Court, Housing Court and Small Claims Court.  Mr. Robinson has also participated in arbitrations and mediations with EEOC, FINRA, and other private organizations.  

MYRON ADOTEYE

Founder, Principal, Aya Enterprises, LLC

Myron Adoteye is the Founder and Principal of Aya Enterprises LLC, a capital markets firm sourcing debt & equity for middle market real estate developers. To date, he has completed $10M in affordable housing transactions with another $90M in transactions currently in pipeline. He is a Venture Fellow for Rebel One Ventures (RBL1), a venture capital syndicate firm focused on investments in climate, education, and healthcare. In his tenure, he was the Managing Partner of Eye Street Capital, an exempt reporting advisory firm focused on multifamily and residential real estate development in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, he co-founded Eye Street Investments, a firm focused on equities markets, residential real estate investment, and venture capital.

 

He also worked for REIS (now acquired by Moody’s), consulting banks, REITS, and developers and institutional investors across the country on property and market intelligence in all sectors of commercial real estate.  He is certified in REIS 2.0 Subscriber Edition Data Analysis and acquired his Life, Accident & Health, Series 7 & 66 licenses. He also serves as a guest venture capital judge and business mentor for the Georgetown University Law School Entrepreneurship Practicum and a member of the Diversity in Commercial Real Estate Conference Host Committee which runs the largest diverse commercial real estate conference in the country. Myron received his MBA in Management & Entrepreneurship, as well as his Bachelor of Science in Marketing & Communications at Fordham University.    

ADE ADENIRAN

CEO, Brooklyn Holding Group

As a Brooklyn native, and a seasoned real estate professional, Ade is known for excellent client service, strong work ethic, wide-range of knowledge and a vast network of resources. With over 15 years of service, Ade continues to fulfill his passion of hearing client stories and navigating the New York real estate market, ultimately finding them the ideal match. Kind, eager and a notably creative problem solver, Ade has managed to build relationships resulting in referrals from satisfied clients and repeat business.

 

Prior to real estate, Ade worked in corporate accounting for more than a decade, a role which developed his razor-sharp financial expertise and listening skill sets. Earning a standout reputation as a “people person” with a closer’s drive, he has launched a number of successful businesses as an entrepreneur. Through his experiences, Ade has a fond appreciation for the work that it takes to be successful in the real estate industry. Raised in Coney Island by his Nigerian family, Ade now resides in Clinton Hill, which he loves for its beautiful architecture and friendly neighborhood vibe. He is an avid runner and a devoted Board Member of FaceAfrica.org, which supplies clean water to 200,000 people in Liberia.

LAUREL DJOUKENG

Founder, Sparc & Catalyst Network Foundation Inc.

Laurel Djoukeng was born in Washington, DC, and raised in the Metropolitan area. He earned his MBA at Duke University – The Fuqua School of Business in 2020, where he was a Management Leadership for Tomorrow Fellow (MLT). In 2008 he received his Bachelor's in Accounting from Hampton University.

 

At Duke University, he served on the Cabinet of the Private Equity Club and Tech Club - Trek Committee. He was a part of the Program 4 Entrepreneurs at Fuqua; through the program, he launched a tech start-up called Sparc, a people-centric marketplace that connects and arranges live engagements with people that have complementary interests. During his two years in the program, he assembled 12 other Duke students, four of which were MBA students, and eight were undergraduate students (Computer Science and Economics majors).

 

DOUGLAS GILES

Douglas “Doug” Giles is the CEO of Five Points Abstract, LLC, a service-driven Title Insurance Agent, that provides title insurance and escrow services to the real estate industry. With more than a billion dollars in complex residential and commercial real estate transactions throughout his career, Mr. Giles has worked alongside some of the largest corporations and organizations in the Tri-state area, where he has developed innovative strategies focused on market growth, elevating brand awareness and providing inventive solutions to get deals closed more efficiently.


 

As a New York City and New York State-certified Minority-Owned Business Enterprise, Mr. Giles focuses many of his business efforts on corporate responsibility and raising awareness for communities around the city. He is affiliated with Northside Charter High School in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, as a Trustee; The Borough Development Group in Brownsville, Brooklyn; Board Member of The Mortgage Bankers Association of New York; he is a member of New York State Association for Affordable Housing; he previously served as EVP of the Council of Urban Real Estate "C.U.R.E."; and he served on the Board of the Young Mortgage Bankers Association of New York.