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Stephen G. Schmitz
Mr. Schmitz has held the positions of Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors 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 sector following the collapse in the housing and mortgage industries that began in late 2005. The two founded Phoenix Fund and ARM 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, Franchise Finance Corporation of America, or 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 provider 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 basis, 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 Degree from Franklin University and an MBA from Pennsylvania State University.
Laurie A. Hawkes
Ms. Hawkes holds the positions of President and Chief Operating Officer, and has been a Member of the Board of Directors since our formation in May 2012. In October 2008, along with Stephen Schmitz, Ms. Hawkes co-founded the Phoenix Fund and ARM in early 2010, as well as ARP LLC in October 2008. 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 seventeen 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 holds a BA Degree 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 holds a Bachelor of Arts degree 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. 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 to 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 MBA-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 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.
Paul R. Ladd III
Mr. Ladd has been our Vice President of National Field Operations & Quality Assurance since November 2012, bringing with him 25 years of broad-based consulting experience focused primarily on due diligence for multi-family and commercial real estate acquisition and refinancing. Before joining our company, he was a principal with Criterium Engineers, a nationwide building inspection and construction quality assurance firm. Previously, Mr. Ladd served as Director of Risk Management with Hometown, where he was responsible for environmental and engineering due diligence and pre-closing inspections on all assets. Prior to Hometown, Mr. Ladd held senior management positions with several large consulting firms including Jacques Whitford (now Stantec) and Vertex Engineering, where he provided program management for national clients including GE Capital, Verizon, Hertz, CVS Pharmacy, BJ’s Wholesale Club, and BP Oil Company. Mr. Ladd received his BA from the University of Rhode Island.
David J. Sliwicki
Mr. Sliwicki joined our company in March 2013 as the Vice President of Private Mortgage Financing. From 2008 to early 2013, Mr. Sliwicki was Senior Vice President within the Special Assets Group at Bank of America where he was responsible for a portfolio of troubled commercial real estate loans and properties throughout the central United States, with a focus on implementing permanent resolutions for troubled loans and the asset management and disposition of other real estate owned properties. From 2005 until 2008, Mr. Sliwicki was a Managing Director with Deerfield Capital Management, an alternative asset manager based in Chicago, where he was responsible for the acquisition/origination and portfolio management of commercial real estate debt and equity investments. Prior to joining Deerfield Capital, Mr. Sliwicki was the Vice President – Midwest Region for National Equity Fund, a syndicator and asset manager of affordable housing investments. At National Equity Fund, Mr. Sliwicki oversaw a team of professionals dedicated to the origination, structuring and asset management of equity investments in multi-family, affordable housing projects via the Low Income Housing Tax Credit. Mr. Sliwicki also spent six years originating and structuring commercial real estate loans on value-add properties with a team of professionals first employed by Sanwa Business Credit and later with Transamerica Commercial Real Estate Finance. Mr. Sliwicki began his career with Citicorp Real Estate, Inc, having completed Citicorp’s credit training program in New York City, and later being placed in New York, Boston, and Chicago. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Marquette University and a Master of Science in Real Estate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.