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Stephen G. Schmitz
Mr. Schmitz has held the positions of Chief Executive Officer and Chairman since our formation in May 2012. In October 2008, with our President and Chief Operating Officer, Ms. Hawkes, Mr. Schmitz co-founded ARP LLC, a private investment firm formed to capitalize on the extraordinary price deterioration in the single-family housing sector following the collapse in the housing and mortgage industries. The two founded Phoenix Fund, a fully committed private investment fund that owned 609 single-family homes as rental properties as of December 31, 2013, and ARM, the entity from which we acquired our real estate acquisition and management platform, in early 2010. In 2007, Mr. Schmitz was the Managing Partner of Grayhawk Capital Partners, a private real estate investment firm. In 2006, he served as Chief Executive Officer of AutoStar Realty, L.P., an automobile dealership financing firm. From 2001 to 2005, Mr. Schmitz was an Executive Vice President at GE Franchise Finance, which acquired Mr. Schmitz’s prior employer, FFCA, in 2001. Mr. Schmitz served as FFCA’s Chief Investment Officer for 15 years from 1986 to 2001, during which time it was a publicly traded REIT and one of the nation’s largest providers of mortgage and sale-leaseback financing to the chain restaurant, convenience store and retail auto parts industries. From 1982 to 1986, Mr. Schmitz was a commercial lender at Mellon Bank. A specialist in sale-leaseback acquisitions and mortgage financing on a programmatic scale, Mr. Schmitz has spent the majority of his finance career creating and managing teams of professionals that generate high volumes of small asset size real estate transactions, resulting in the production of transactions exceeding $2 billion in new investments on an annual basis. He attended the University of Wisconsin and received a BS from Franklin University and an MBA from Pennsylvania State University.
Laurie A. Hawkes
Ms. Hawkes has held the position of President since our formation in May 2012 and the position of Chief Operating Officer since March 2013. As described above, Ms. Hawkes co-founded ARP LLC, Phoenix Fund and ARM with Mr. Schmitz, our Chief Executive Officer. From 1995 to 2007, Ms. Hawkes worked at U.S. Realty Advisors, a $3 billion real estate private equity firm, becoming a Partner in 1997 and serving as President of the firm from 2003 to 2007. In the fifteen years prior to joining U.S. Realty Advisors, Ms. Hawkes was a Wall Street investment banker specializing in real estate and mortgage finance. From 1993 to 1995, Ms. Hawkes was a Managing Director in the Real Estate Investment Banking Division at CS First Boston Corp., and, from 1979 to 1993, was a Director in the Real Estate Investment and Mortgage Banking Departments at Salomon Brothers Inc. During her investment banking career, she structured and negotiated more than $16 billion in real estate acquisitions and securitized mortgage debt transactions for all property types utilizing many types of financing, including private equity, capital markets, financial institutions and institutional investors. She received a BA from Bowdoin College and an MBA from Cornell University.
Mr. Koumriqian has served as our Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer since October 2012. Mr. Koumriqian served as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer of MPG Office Trust, Inc. (NYSE: MPG) from December 2008 to March 2012, as Senior Vice President, Finance and Chief Accounting Officer from January 2008 to November 2008 and as Vice President, Finance from July 2004 to January 2008. Prior to joining MPG Office Trust, Mr. Koumriqian spent a total of nine years in real estate practice groups, first at Arthur Andersen LLP and then at Deloitte & Touche LLP, where he was a senior manager, serving public and private real estate companies. Mr. Koumriqian received a BA in Business Administration, cum laude, from California State University, Los Angeles.
Lani B Porter
Ms. Porter has been our Senior Vice President, Operations since October 2012 after joining us in July 2012 as Vice President, Operations. She has been an executive in the Real Estate Industry since 1995, when, as a founding executive serving as Senior Vice President of Operations, she helped create the first online marketplace for mortgage lending at Getsmart.com. In 2000, after Providian Bank’s acquisition of Getsmart.com, she joined nCommand as Co-Founder, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer, where she developed an end-to-end virtual loan process for residential lending. After the acquisition of nCommand by Ellie Mae in 2002, she served as Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Operations at Accruent, a company whose products are used in managing over 1 billion square feet of commercial space for many Fortune 500 companies and large retailers. In addition, beginning in 2005, Ms. Porter served as Director of Operations for Hometown, where she developed the systems technology and processes to underwrite, fund, manage, securitize and sell more than $2 billion in assets. Ms. Porter has served on the Mortgage Bankers Association-sanctioned Governance Board of MISMO (Mortgage Industry Standards Maintenance Organization), attended Arizona State University, and completed the Oracle RDBMS Master’s program for Database Administrators.
C. Jay Byce
Mr. Byce has served as our Senior Vice President, Investments since January 2014. Mr. Byce brought 15 years of experience in the real estate industry and joined us from Colony American Homes, LLC, where he served as Managing Director responsible for leading asset acquisitions for five regions in Colony Capital’s single-family rental REIT. In addition to managing underwriting, acquisitions and disposition activities for Colony, he was responsible for pioneering a Build-to-Rent strategy, resulting in a substantial acquisition pipeline of new properties. Mr. Byce also served as a Portfolio Manager for Colony AMC Opco, LLC, where he was responsible for managing more than $1 billion in distressed commercial debt and REO assets. Prior to joining Colony, Mr. Byce founded and managed Redcoat Inc., a commercial and residential property development company, and also served as a Vice President in the Atlanta Real Estate Division of Regions Bank. Mr. Byce has a B.B.A. degree in International Business Finance from the University of Georgia.
Patricia B. Dietz
Ms. Dietz joined our company in July 2014 as our General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Secretary. Ms. Dietz brings 15 years of broad legal experience, with significant involvement in real estate, debt and equity financing, corporate governance, and commercial and regulatory matters. Ms. Dietz joined us from GE Capital, Franchise Finance where she served as Senior Counsel, Vice President and Assistant Secretary. While there, she served as lead in-house counsel for over $500 million in hotel lending transactions and asset management of $2 billion sale-leaseback restaurant portfolio. In addition, she supervised corporate governance and licensing matters for dozens of entities. Prior to joining GE Capital, Franchise Finance, Ms. Dietz served as Vice President, Legal Services at Fidelity National Information Services. She also practiced at the law firms of Quarles & Brady and Squire Sanders (now Squire Patton Boggs). Ms. Dietz earned a juris doctor, with distinction, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Iowa.