Amy Tait – Founder & Chairman of the Board
Chris Czarnecki – Chief Executive Officer, President, & Director
Shekar Narasimhan — Lead Independent Director
James H. Watters — Independent Director
Laurie Hawkes – Independent Director
Thomas P. Lydon – Independent Director
Josh E. Fidler – Independent Director
Agha S. Khan – Director (Appointee of Asset Manager)
Shekar Narasimhan, Lead Independent Director, is the Managing Partner at Beekman Advisors which provides strategic advisory services to companies and investors involved in real estate, mortgage finance, affordable housing and related sectors. He also serves as Chairman of Papillon Capital, focused on sustainable infrastructure investing, and is Co-founder of the Emergent Institute in Bangalore, India. Prior to Beekman Advisors, Shekar Narasimhan was a Managing Director of Prudential Mortgage Capital Company, one of the nation’s leading providers of commercial mortgage financing. Immediately prior to Shekar’s time at Prudential, he was Chairman & CEO of the WMF Group, a publicly traded, commercial mortgage financial services company.
Shekar currently serves on the boards of Broadstone Net Lease, Inc., Broadtree Residential, Inc., Enterprise Community Investment, Inc., and Democracy Alliance. Shekar is also a Member of the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. In his industry roles, he is a member of the Board for Housing and Community Development for the State of Virginia, a member of the Board for the Virginia Housing Development Authority, a Senior Industry Fellow at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University, and a member of the Economic Advisory Council for the Center for American Progress. He has served on many boards, including the Low Income Investment Fund, the Community Preservation and Development Corporation, the National Housing Conference and the National Multi Housing Council. He is a sought-after speaker on housing finance and affordable housing and is considered a leading expert on rental housing issues in the United States.
Shekar has served several terms on the Mortgage Bankers Association of America (MBA) Board of Directors, was the first Chair of the MBA’s Commercial/Multifamily Board of Governors, and founded its Multifamily Steering Committee. He was elected as the first Chair of the Fannie Mae DUS Advisory Committee. Shekar has received numerous awards and recognition in the real estate industry including the MBA’s highest honor in 1999 and the Fannie Mae Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003. In 2010, he was the recipient of the Dean H.J. Zoffer Distinguished Service Medal from the University of Pittsburgh. Shekar holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, India and an MBA from the Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has earned the designation of Certified Mortgage Banker (CMB).
James H. Watters, Independent Director. Jim is Senior Vice President and Treasurer, Finance and Administration, for Rochester Institute of Technology. He has held this position since 1997 where he is responsible for the direct investment of $ 140 million of working capital, the administration of the investment process for $ 640 million of endowment assets, and the management and issuance of $ 300 million of public debt. Jim serves in the senior leadership role to over 750 full-time staff charged with responsibility for the financial, physical, human capital and information assets of the university. Jim is vice chairman of RIT’s global subsidiary where he negotiates business models and real estate transactions for RIT’s global campuses. He has instructed various graduate business courses during his tenure in the College of Applied Sciences and the E. Philip Saunders College of Business. He serves on Fidelity Investments H.E. Advisory Board and on various profit and not for profit boards throughout Rochester.
Prior to joining RIT , Jim spent 16 years with the University of Pittsburgh in positions as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Finance and Business, and Assistant Vice Chancellor for Real Estate and Management. He began his career in higher education administration assisting in the management of off shore insurance captives for the University of Pittsburgh. Jim holds a BS, MS and Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.
Laurie Hawkes, Independent Director, served as the President and Chief Operating Officer and as member of the Board of Directors of American Residential Properties, Inc. (“ARP”) until February 2016 when ARP merged with American Homes 4 Rent. Ms. Hawkes had held the positions of President and Director since ARP’s formation in May 2012 and the position of Chief Operating Officer since March 2013. Ms. Hawkes co-founded American Residential Properties, LLC, ARP Phoenix Fund I, and American Residential Management, Inc. 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. Throughout her career, she structured and negotiated more than $18 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. Ms. Hawkes is a former principal of the NASD, former member of ULI, and trustee Emerita for Bowdoin College where she served on the governing boards for 22 years. She received a BA from Bowdoin College and an MBA from Cornell University.
Thomas P. Lydon, Independent Director. Since 2003, Tom has been President of The City Investment Fund, L.P., a real estate opportunity fund. Since 2015, Mr. Lydon has served as an Advisory Board Director of Madison Marquette. Prior to that, he served as President and Chief Executive Officer of SSR Realty Advisors Inc. He is a Director of Lowe Enterprises Investors, where he serves as a member of the Audit and Compensation Committees. From 2011 through its acquisition by an affiliate of Lone Star Funds in October 2015, Tom served as a Director of Home Properties, Inc., where he was a member of the Compensation and Real Estate Investment Committees. He was a member of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Managers from 1998 to 2004 and served as its Chair from 2000-2002. Tom is a graduate of Syracuse University with a Bachelor in Business Administration degree with a major in Real Estate.
Josh E. Fidler, Independent Director. Josh is Co-Chairman and COO of Chesapeake Realty Partners. He is responsible for project acquisition, design and development, contracting, operations, leasing, finance, legal affairs and administration. He was formerly a practicing attorney with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison in New York, specializing in general corporate and federal securities matters. From 2003-2011, Mr. Fidler served on the Board of Directors of Home Properties, Inc. (NYSE: HME). He is Chairman of Private Client Resources and serves on the Boards of Johns Hopkins Medicine, AgriFiber Holdings and ClipCall. Mr. Fidler is a Founding Partner of Boulder Ventures, Ltd. Mr. Fidler received his law degree from N.Y.U. School of Law in 1980, where he was an editor of its Law Review. He received his B.A. from Brown University in 1977.
Agha S. Khan, Director (Appointee of Asset Manager), is a Senior Principal of Stone Point Capital. He joined Stone Point in 2002. Previously, Mr. Khan was an Analyst in the Financial Institutions Group at Salomon Smith Barney. Mr. Khan is a director of Access Point Financial, Inc., The ARC Group, LLC, Auction.com, LLC, Home Point Capital, Inc., Lancaster Pollard Holdings, LLC, the New Point entities, Prima Capital Advisors, LLC and Situs Group Holdings GP, LLC. Mr. Khan holds a B.A. from Cornell University.