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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.

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.


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.

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.

Ernest L. Marcus

Ernest Marcus has a 35-year history of real estate development, investment, appraisal, and advisory experience in the Washington, D.C. area, including redevelopment and new construction of multi-family, retail, mixed-use, industrial and office properties. Ernest established Marcus Asset Group in 1991 and, with partners, was an early investor and developer in emerging areas such as Columbia Heights in the District of Columbia. Typical investments involved some level of rehabilitation and engaged management of the assets. Public-private ventures were also pursued with partners, including DC Government and WMATA owned parcels.

Ernest is a Certified General Appraiser and Real Estate Consultant and has appraised numerous complex multi-family, mixed-use, commercial and industrial projects over the past 22 years with a particular focus on emerging neighborhoods. Ernest graduated from Kogod with an MBA in Real Estate & Urban Development.

Jay Shah

Jay Shah is responsible for new property development by examining markets and searching for viable projects and provides oversight of development through to the opening of the hotel. In this role, Jay implements all hotel-operating programs and ensures maximum franchise support as well as develops Shamin's community outreach programs by getting properties involved with the local community. Jay studied Hotel-Restaurant Management and Business Administration at James Madison University and serves as Chairman of the North Carolina Hotel and Motel Association and sits on the board of the American Hotel and Lodging Association. Jay is a graduate of the Kogod MSRE in 2015.

Andrew Bon Salle

Andrew Bon Salle is Executive Vice President – Single-Family Business at Fannie Mae, a leading source of liquidity in the U.S. residential housing market. Andrew is responsible for all aspects of the Single-Family business, including engagement with customers, managing the performance of the credit portfolio, and overseeing all capital markets activities. Andrew also leads the company’s efforts to integrate with the Common Securitization Platform. During his tenure at Fannie Mae, Andrew has held many positions within Capital Markets including Senior Vice President, where he managed the Single-Family Products Group, providing lender execution services such as mortgage-backed securities (MBS) and structured product sales and trading, whole loan acquisition and conduit activities, and early funding transactions. Andrew has a BSB and an MBA in finance from Kogod.

Phil Mudd

Phil Mudd leads Cushman & Wakefield’s Debt and Equity group within Capital Markets. Phil’s special areas of expertise include capital markets investment sales, bond financing and numerous joint ventures involving domestic and foreign funds. Phil also has 20 years experience as a Principle with Morgan Stanley, where he was directly responsible for managing the activities of the firm’s Mid-Atlantic real estate office. During his career, he has completed more than $12 billion in sales, financing and joint venture transactions involving all types of real estate for national and international clients. Phil holds a BS in Real Estate and Economics from American University.

Ben Soto

Benjamin Soto is an attorney who practices real estate transactions and bankruptcy. He is the owner of Premium Title & Escrow, LLC, which is a full service title company servicing DC, MD and VA. In addition, he is the owner of Paramount Development, LLC, a commercial development company focused on the acquisition and ground-up development of commercial buildings and hotels in Washington DC.

Barak Sky

Barak Sky is an award winning realtor, licensed in DC, Maryland and Virginia. Barak a recent recipient of Realtor Magazine's prestigious "30 under 30" honor for 2013 – a national award given to 30 realtors under the age of 30, based on dynamic criteria including sales volume, innovation and community service. Barak began his real estate career in 2008 and has increased his annual sales volume by double digit margins each year. He's a master negotiator, tireless worker and dynamic problem solver.

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.

Robert (Bobby) Lipnick, MBA '06
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
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.

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.

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).