A new advisory board met Thursday to begin its mission to support the school's Real Estate program. The board's nine council members were hand-picked to provide valuable real-world insight based on their leadership in the business community.
"The Council includes leaders from across the real estate industry, who will work to create improved career opportunities and a sense of sustainability while ensuring the program is emphasizing up-to-date skills that the market demands," explains Professor Peter Chinloy.
The council members’ professional backgrounds range from positions with brokerage firms to community development to commercial real estate. Council Chair Peggy A. Brooks Smith, who was selected for the position by Chinloy, is director of National Multi Housing Group with brokerage firm Marcus & Millichap in Bethesda, MD.
"We will provide opportunities for students to observe new building developments, set up tours with developers and architects for projects in development and under construction, and identify areas where the classroom experience can be supplemented with real world experiences," said Brooks Smith.
"The council will be a huge benefit to students," said Priscilla Rawlins, Associate Director of Development. "Their industry expertise will ensure our students have critical advantages in the classroom and in the workplace."
Council members will work closely with Director of Real Estate Programs Pat Rudolph, a new Kogod executive-in-residence who brings hands-on experience running her own financial planning firm and serving on the board of directors of the American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association. The Real Estate Council will meet at least once per semester.
The Department of Finance and Real Estate at the Kogod School of Business has recently launched a MS in Real Estate, a graduate certificate and a revised real estate concentration in the MBA program.
Meet the members of the Real Estate Council
Peggy A. Brooks Smith, Chair
Peggy Brooks Smith has spent most of her career in real estate. Prior to Marcus & Millichap, she was previously a vice president at Shannon & Luchs and a principal with Rubicon Partners. She is also past president of the Alumni Council of American University, having earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of Arts & Sciences (’52).
James G. Blumenthal
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.
Gary W. Day
Gary Day is co-founder of DB Capital Management, a boutique investment firm based in Rockville, MD. 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 Rockille Economic Development, Inc.
Christopher J. Donatelli
Christopher Donatelli, an MBA graduate of the Kogod School of Business (’91), is president of Bethesda, MD-based Donatelli Development (formerly Donatelli & Klein). He’s 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.
Robert Lipnick is both a graduate of the Kogod School of Business (MBA, ’06) and an adjunct professor with the school. An LEED accredited professional, Dr. Lipnick is a real estate investor with Washington, D.C.-based South Decatur Inc. as well as a physician specializing in rheumatology, the treatment of diseases that affect joints and connective tissue.
Alvin J. Nichols
A former Fannie Mae executive, Alvin Nichols holds an MPA from the School of Public Affairs (’78) and currently runs his own business, Nichols Creative Solutions LLC. Mr. Nichols previously served as Prince George’s County, Maryland’s deputy chief administrative officer for business development.
David Leslie Orr
David Orr founded Orr Associates more than two decades ago, and in 2006, the company (now Orr Partners) was named to the Washington Business Journal’s Top 10 commercial real estate developers list. He has been involved in over 20 million square feet of construction projects during his more than 30 years in the industry. Early in his career he supervised construction of Marriott Headquarters in Bethesda, MD.
A graduate of the Kogod School of Business (MBA, ’80), Clark Rheinstein is a former Vice President with Penzance Companies, a real estate investment company that manages commercial properties. He was also Chief Financial Officer at Bethesda, MD-based Walker & Company LLP, a financial and consulting firm.
Berkeley M. Shervin Jr.
“Berk” Shervin has been active in commercial real estate development for twenty-five years. He is currently COO and President of The Wilkes Company, where he has been a partner since 1988. Mr. Shervin is a graduate of American University’s College of Arts and Sciences (’88).