ULI Philadelphia: Spring 2023 Recap
Spring brought the return of more in-person gatherings, tours, and regional events.
ULI NEXT Philadelphia is designed to champion the ULI mission through a compelling avenue of engagement for mid-career professionals. The goal of ULI NEXT Philadelphia is to actively engage members in meaningful leadership, educational, and a network building activities. Meet the fourth ULI Philadelphia NEXT Flight.
Mayva Donnon, KSS Architects (NEXT Co-Chair)
Mayva has been drawn to architecture as it presents opportunities to tackle a breadth of challenges that demand both creative and practical solutions. Her love of the design process and the rigors of architectural practice make her adept at balancing technical aspects with the human side of design. Mayva has experience leading projects from large-scale institutional master planning to detailed design documentation. As a principal, Mayva leads project teams in translating the needs and desires of clients into thoughtful architecture that empowers learning and community. She holds architecture degrees from the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Pennsylvania. Raised in California, she now considers Philadelphia her home where she resides with her husband and three small children.
Martha Cross, City of Philadelphia (NEXT Co-Chair)
Martha Cross is the Deputy Director of the Division of Planning and Zoning within the City of Philadelphia’s Department of Planning and Development. Since December of 2017, she has worked with the City Planning Commission, Historical Commission, Art Commission, and the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Previously, she lead development activities for a non-profit real estate company in Baltimore, MD and NJ, and worked as an urban design and planning consultant in eastern PA and NJ. Martha holds a Bachelor of Architecture from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. She is also currently an MBA Candidate at the Villanova School of Business.
Ethan Genyk, Jacobs
Ethan is a consultant in Jacobs’ Advance Planning Group and based in the company’s Philadlephia office. His work focuses on strategic advisory for large-scale infrastructure, urban development, and master planning projects across a wife rand of end markets, including Cities & Places; Sports & Entertainment; Transportation; and Water. Although physically based in Philadelphia, Ethan’s work spans the globe, covering projects in the U.S., Middle East, Europe, and South America. In addition to his project work, Ethan also contributes to major pursuits, business development, and internal strategic initiatives within Jacobs’ Cities & Places business.
Ethan has a background in urban planning with previous work experience in airport planning, transportation planning, and industrial real estate. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Romance Languages and a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. Ethan is a Philadelphia native and currently resides in Center City.
Cynthia Cottrell, Brandywine Realty Trust
Cynthia is an assistant property manager at Brandywine Realty Trust. She is also a certified LEED Green Associate, Fitwel Ambassador, and Pennsylvania Real Estate agent. Cynthia holds a B.A. in Mass Communications from Delaware State University as well as a M.S. in HR Management from Wilmington University.
Chris Glinski, The GreenBench Companies
Chris leads the Portfolio Services Group at The GreenBench Companies and is responsible for the management of design consultants, contractors, and other project participants during project planning, permitting, and construction phases for complex retail and office driven developments and operating assets. He has direct involvement in leasing and planning efforts related to future landlord and tenant construction projects, bringing with him an in-depth knowledge of historical retail space requirements and costs.
Chris is a LEED Accredited Professional. He served as a past Washington Building Congress Hammerheads Committee Chair and member of the Board of Governors. He spent 14 years in the Washington DC market and has since relocated back to his original home city of Philadelphia where he is focused on growing GreenBench’s involvement in the region while still overseeing and supporting GreenBench’s mid-Atlantic initiatives.
Kenny Starr, SEPTA
Kenny Starr is a native Philadelphian, working to improve the city and its surrounding suburbs. A passionate real estate leader, Kenny, Manager of Joint Real Estate Development for SEPTA, focuses his work on public-private partnerships and transit-oriented development opportunities. Kenny has enjoyed working at every level of real estate development, all the way from the grant-writing to the ribbon-cutting. Kenny hopes to better serve the people of Philadelphia by pioneering development initiatives for the creation of public transit-oriented, mixed-use communities and businesses. Kenny lives locally with his wife, daughter, and son. They always take SEPTA to the Eagles games.
Michael Danko, MidAtlantic
Michael is the Director of Business Development at MidAtlantic Engineering Partners. In this capacity, he is dedicated to facilitating meaningful connections among industry professionals while championing the improvement of the built environment. Michael’s professional journey began in environmental consulting, with an expertise encompassing environmental remediation, environmental due diligence, regulatory compliance, land development, project management, business development, and strategic marketing.
Michael is active in a number of professional associations, including his role on the Executive Board of the Southern New Jersey Chapter of the American Society of Highway Engineers. Furthermore, he actively contributes to the NJBA Environmental Committee and is a valued participant in the ULI Young Leaders Group.
Michael holds a dual bachelor’s degree in Environmental Planning and Geographic Computer Applications from SUNY Binghamton and is currently pursuing his Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Villanova University. Originally from New Jersey, Michael has resided in southeastern Pennsylvania for the past decade, currently living in Philadelphia with his wife Valerie and dog Zoe.
Stuart Hean, CEI-Boulos Capital Management
Stuart is Vice President of Investment at CEI-Boulos Capital Management. He is a private equity real estate professional with 10 years of experience supporting creative impact investing initiatives, using real estate development as a tool to promote and advance racial equity, public health, environmental remediation and measurable community benefit.
Glenn Gray, Gardner Capital
Currently, at Gardner Capital, Glenn is a Development Associate on the Southeast region team where he reports to the VP of Development and supports the overall functions of LIHTC multifamily development. Glenn earned his B.S. in Communications from Clark Atlanta University and a Master of Real Estate Development degree, (Phi Kappa Phi), from the Harbert College of Business and the College of Architecture, Design and Construction at Auburn University. He is a member of the Commercial Real Estate Development Association (NAIOP); Urban Land Institute (ULI) Philadelphia Small Scale & Impact Developer Council, and an Urban Plan volunteer facilitator. Glenn is an active member of Project REAP and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. where he is a chapter officer and committee chairman.
Ben Willis, Union Studio Architecture & Community Design
Ben is a licensed architect who helps create dignified, delightful, and durable places that empower communities and ecosystems to thrive. Since 2014 he has been a part of Union Studio, drawn to their mission-driven work at a variety of scales, their commitment to the civic & environmental responsibility of buildings, and their dedication to bringing traditional & regional building practices into contemporary times. He has worked on community planning initiatives, existing building retrofits, and affordable, modular, multifamily, student, and Living Community Challenge housing projects across the country. He is actively involved in expanding the office’s culture of mentorship and inclusive sustainability. In the fall of 2019, he and his husband relocated to Philadelphia, where Ben now leads Union Studio’s mid-Atlantic satellite office.
An occasional writer, he has contributed essays to the Common Edge Collaborative, a national website that connects the public to pressing issues in the built environment. When not behind a computer screen, he’s a runner, an a cappella muscian, and an active community volunteer, serving with the Community Design Collaborative and as a vestry member at St. Peter’s Church, a progressive Episcopal parish in Philadelphia.
Jewelle Kennedy, Ensemble Real Estate Investments
At Ensemble, Jewelle manages the design and construction process for the company’s multifamily pipeline. She currently manages the Chapel Block project, the first residential complex to be built at the Philadelphia Navy Yard. She was previously on the development team at AvalonBay Communities, Inc. Prior to AvalonBay, she was an urban planner for the City of Atlanta.
Jewelle received her Bachelors in Real Estate at Georgia State University and Masters of Science in Real Estate Development at Columbia University. She has been an active member of the Urban Land Institute since 2005 at various District Councils, serving as Co-Chair of the Young Leaders Group Programs Committee and ULI NEXT for the Los Angeles District Council prior to relocating to Philadelphia.
Alireza (Ali) Bahramirad
Ali Bahramirad is the Director of Credit at National Equity Fund whose work focuses on affordable housing development risk assessment and evaluation, working with internal stakeholders to ensure that NEF is maintaining investor requirements while furthering the company mission of creating and delivering innovative, collaborative financial solutions to expand the creation and preservation of affordable housing. Prior to his work as a credit risk assessment Director, he was working with developers to bring transactions to a close and start construction, closing over $450MM in equity, and delivering 3,700 units of affordable housing.
Loc Lam, Rittenhouse Communications Group
Loc is an Integrated Technology Engineer at Rittenhouse Communications Group, a leading smart building company in the Mid-Atlantic providing integrated building management systems in a wide range of offerings to builders and building owners. He is also CEO of USVTA and Vet Industry Career Partner.
Damond Massado, Guaranteed Rate
Damon Massado is a appraisal manager for a national residential mortgage firm. His primary focus area is to serve as primary liaison to resolve appraisal valuation disputes to align with CFPB regulations. Damon joined the firm’s most profitable division in 2020 and advises senior managers on the redesign of the regional appraisal management system. He works with 50 loan officers and appraisers providing policy and situational advice to support the division. Damon holds a BS in Institutional and Hotel management from the University of Delaware and is currently working on a specialized master’s degree in Innovation Management from The Fox School of Business at Temple University in Philadelphia. He is also a current board member on Sync Recovery Foundation.
Thomas McInerney, OTH Capital
Thomas is Director of Workforce and Affordable Housing at Old Three Hundred Capital (OTH), an investment group with operations in Austin and Philadelphia. They manage a multifamily portfolio in Central Texas and develop affordable & workforce housing in TX, PA and NJ, and are currently raising an impact fund with major focus on affordability, sustainability and tenant services.
Chiragi Raval, Upper Merion Township Zoning Hearing Board
Chiragi is a Pennsylvania Real Estate agent and member of the Upper Merion Township Zoning Hearing Board. She is a creative, enthusiastic, energetic, and reliable member of the community whose passion and desire for real estate and interior decorating drives her to pursue my career in real estate.
James (Jim) Rodgers, Vanderweil Engineers
Jim is an Associate and Vanderweil Engineers in Philadelphia. He is a graduate of Penn State University, a Licensed Professional Engineer, and serves as a Project Manager with over eleven years of experience across multiple disciplines including Health Care, Science and Technology, Academic, Commercial, and Mission Critical. His responsibilities include providing senior level oversight to the technical design team while advocating for and ensuring client needs and architectural visions are met. He is responsible for the implementation and supervision of the project from conception, detailed designed documents, specifications and conducting field construction reviews. Jim started his career in Washington DC and moved back home to Philadelphia in 2017. He currently lives in Conshohocken with his wife and two children.
Doug Robbins, AECOM
Douglas Robbins, AICP/PP, is a senior urban designer and our Philadelphia office and city lead. With degrees in architecture and city planning, Doug looks for creative design solutions within large infrastructure projects. He has created a visualization practice in Philadelphia that pushes the boundaries of how projects are communicated to clients and the public. He also leads a cross-disciplinary group in the Philadelphia office to pursue innovative and transformative projects in the city. Doug has more than 15 years of experience incorporating context-sensitive and multi-modal solutions into a wide range of projects and environments.
Elan Sippel-Feldman, Raider Hill Advisors
Elan Sippel-Feldman is a Managing Director at Raider Hill, with over 13 years of real estate experience in both the private and public real estate markets. Mr. Sippel-Feldman leads Raider Hill’s Development and Construction team, which focuses on unlocking the highest and best use for properties across North America and is a member of the firm’s Executive Committee.
Mr. Sippel-Feldman oversees the execution of redevelopment, asset repositioning and value-add opportunities across the company’s various portfolios. Additionally, he leads Raider Hill’s development and construction advisory services, assisting clients building development platforms, repositioning portfolios to include mixed-use and non-retail uses, restructuring operational departments, implementing governance and risk-adjusted return thresholds, reprioritizing capital pipelines and preparing contingency plans.
Mr. Sippel-Feldman received a BA in Economics from Claremont McKenna College and an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management
Christopher Porto, SmartGrowth, Inc.
Christopher Porto is the President & CEO of Smart Growth, Inc. which is a real estate investment and development firm based in Oakland, CA. The company’s mission is to catalyze sustainable development of residential and commercial properties that enable people to thrive.
Kevin Selger, Gilmore & Associates, Inc.
As Director of Landscape Architecture & Planning, Kevin provides the overall direction of the Landscape Architecture Department. Previously, Landscape Architecture was a division of the Land Design department but due to overall company growth repositioning of this group is essential.
Kevin has 16 years’ experience providing site design/planning, landscape architecture, and sustainable/LEED® design services. His clients have included local, national, and international corporations, developers, architects, institutions, and governmental agencies.
Dan McCauley, The Martin Architectural Group
Dan focuses his efforts at The Martin Architectural Group on Multi-Family Residential and Mixed-Use work and Green Studio specialist. Prior to joining The Martin Architectural Group, Dan led a twelve person team as Studio Leader at Toll Brothers, where he worked for 12 years primarily on residential and clubhouse projects.
Daniel is a graduate of Drexel University’s Architecture program. He is involved with a number of professional organizations including ULI, ICSC, NCARB, and Delaware Valley Green Building Council.
Rob Reeves, Kinsley Construction
With over 20 years of experience in the construction and real estate industry, Rob Reeves currently serves as the Development Executive for Kinsley Construction, a Mid-Atlantic multifaceted construction firm. Rob has served as a board of directors for a few associations and is involved in a wide variety of business related organizations. Rob is a 2002 graduate of University Miami and currently resides in Center City Philadelphia with his wife and family.
NCARB, and Delaware Valley Green Building Council.