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Real Estate Advisory Council

Dedicated to advancing Kogod's real estate programs at the graduate and undergraduate level, the Real Estate Advisory Council is comprised of practitioners from across the industry with an interest in advancing and educating tomorrow's leaders. 

From career opportunities to program development, the council works closely with faculty and program leadership to provide students with the most up-to-date tools the real estate market demands. From building development tours, to enhanced classroom experiences the council members are intimately engaged with the students and the program.

The council represents the diversity of the real estate field, with members from brokerage firms to community and real estate developers.


Robert (Bobby) Lipnick, MBA '06 – Chair

Investor, South Decatur Inc.

Robert Lipnick is both a graduate of the Kogod School of Business (MBA '06) and an adjunct professor with the school. A LEED accredited professional, Dr. Lipnick is a real estate investor with Washington, D.C. South Decatur Inc. and a physician formerly specializing in rheumatology, the treatment of diseases that affect joints and connective tissue.


Rod Lawrence, MBA '89 – Vice Chair

Partner, JBG Companies

Mr. Lawrence works as a Partner at JBG, an investment and development real estate firm in the Washington metro area. Mr. Lawrence has over 20 years of experience at JBG in all areas of commercial real estate investment and development. He started working at JBG after receiving an internship there as a MBA student at Kogod. He is a member of the Executive Committee for the National Board of Directors of NAIOP and is the Vice Chair for the Sustainable Development Committee. He received his BA in Economics from The College of William and Mary.


James (Jim) G. Blumenthal, MST '86

Executive Vice President and CFO, First Washington Realty, Inc.

A Certified Public Accountant, Jim Blumenthal earned a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting from George Washington University and a Master's of Science in Taxation from the Kogod School of Business ('86). He currently serves as executive vice president and chief financial officer with First Washington Realty Inc. Mr. Blumenthal was also the former Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer of First Washington Realty Trust, Inc., a public NYSE-traded REIT from 1994 through 2001. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and a member of the George Washington Business School Board of Advisors.


Christopher J. Donatelli, MBA '91

President, Donatelli Development

Christopher Donatelli, an MBA graduate of the Kogod School of Business ('91), is president of Bethesda, MD-based Donatelli Development (formerly Donatelli & Klein). He is heavily involved in affordable housing efforts through his positions on the boards of Victory Housing, a Bethesda-based nonprofit, and Sarah's Circle, a nonprofit in Adams Morgan that provides services to economically disadvantaged senior citizens.


John Katkish, P '08

President, First Management Group Inc.

Professor Katkish is an executive-in-residence in the Finance Department, and teaches finance and real estate courses at the Kogod School of Business. He is the Founder and President of the asset management firm First Management Group Inc., where he is responsible for the direct supervision of all client real estate and investment accounts totaling over $1 billion. Mr. Katkish has extensive experience in acquisitions, dispositions, property management, building development, lease portfolio management, debt placement and restructuring. In the past, he has worked with various firms on arranging financing and site acquisition, identifying and directing regulatory approval process and managing project completion. He received his MBA from New York University.


Charles Nulsen, MSRE '85

President, Washington Property Company

A graduate of the Kogod School of Business (MSRE '85) Charles K. Nulsen, III serves as President at Washington Property Company. Mr. Nulsen has over 25 years of experience in commercial real estate and has been responsible for the acquisition and development of eight million square feet of commercial space in the Washington Metropolitan Area. Mr. Nulsen's expertise and focus is on development, acquisitions, sales, joint ventures and equity capital. He provides primary oversight to numerous development and redevelopment projects throughout VA and MD, and works closely with the mortgage community in construction and permanent loan placement.


Berkeley (Berk) M. Shervin, Jr., '88

President & Owner, The Wilkes Company

Berkeley M. Shervin is President, Chief Operating Officer and co-owner of The Wilkes Company, a commercial real estate development company in Washington, D.C. He has been actively engaged in the site selection, acquisition, development and management of commercial real estate development projects for the past twenty-five years. Mr. Shervin has also served as chief executive officer and director of a number of affiliated companies. Mr. Shervin is a director of the District of Columbia Building Industry Association, a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and the U.S. Green Building Council. Mr. Shervin is a graduate of American University's College of Arts and Sciences ('88).


Albert (Sonny) H. Small, Jr.

President, Renaissance Centro

Sonny is currently President at Renaissance Centro, a real estate and construction firm that operates in DC and Virginia. It is affiliated with Southern Engineering Corporation, which his grandfather, Albert H. Small, founded in 1950. Sonny received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Tulane University and studied Real Estate and Urban Development at Kogod School of Business at American University. Sonny is heavily involved with the Jewish Historical Society in Washington, DC and is on the Board of Advisors for the Tulane School of Architecture. Sonny is the proud father of two young men; one of whom is attending the University of Virginia and the other Tulane University.

Past Real Estate Advisory Council Members

Gary W. Day, '01
Principal, DB Capital Management

Gary Day is co-founder of DB Capital Management, a boutique investment firm based in Rockville, MD. DB Capital Management houses its offices in the Wire Hardware Store, a historic landmark dating back to 1895. Mr. Day also works with both public and private sectors to foster the Rockville community's economic growth as a member of the board of Rockville Economic Development, Inc. He has two young children.