FIU Business attracts prominent business leaders to advise its real estate programs.

Inaugural meeting of advisory boards for the Hollo School of Real Estate and Jerome Bain Real Estate Institute.

Inaugural meeting of advisory boards for the Hollo School of Real Estate and Jerome Bain Real Estate Institute.

FIU’s College of Business has established two advisory boards for its specialized real estate programs, bringing together an impressive roster of individuals representing different sectors of the real estate marketplace.

The Hollo Real Estate Advisory Board and the Bain Real Estate Council will promote collaborations between the business community and students as well as increase awareness of FIU Business’ undergraduate real estate program and the Master of Science in International Real Estate (MSIRE). The two boards met for the first time on January 25, 2019 to share ideas and set goals.

“Miami is real estate and FIU is Miami,” said Eli Beracha, associate professor and director of the Hollo School of Real Estate. “The Hollo School bridges FIU, Miami and real estate.”

The board and council members will share guidance and insights on issues of importance in the industry and will work with the program faculty to ensure that students are prepared for the job market. Each board has three subcommittees – engagement, student success and development.

“Students need to have a broad base of knowledge and strong ability to work across multiple facets of the business,” said Rod Castan (BBA Finance ’85), president, Leasing and Management Services at the Courtelis Company, a retail, multifamily development and retail property leasing firm and a member of the Hollo board. “Developments today are larger and more complex.”

Dean Joanne Li speaks to Hollo board members

The board members will provide professional support for students – mentoring, internships, and, ultimately, jobs.

“When you get out of college, you don’t know how the world works,” said Hollo Board member Diego Procel, principal and co-founder of Global City Development, which focuses on projects with a social impact in Florida, Texas and Washington, D.C. “You can design a plan and put it on paper, but how do you get it done? What does it take? How do you finance a project?”

He pointed to due diligence and project financing as two important skills that students must master. “That’s where mentors and internships come in, to give you a good understanding of what it takes,” said Procel. “We will be happy to create as many internships as possible.”

Many of the Hollo Real Estate Advisory Board and the Bain Real Estate Council members describe Miami as a “lab for real estate projects.”

Expanding on the concept, several of those at the inaugural meeting suggested a project for students: a challenge where they present themselves and make an elevator pitch before the advisory boards.

“We’re going to put ourselves out there and engage with the students, and help them create those connections from the moment they enter the school,” said Castan, chair of the Hollo board’s student success committee.

Michelle Gonzalez (BBA ’01, MSIRE ’16), past president of the FIU chapter of the Real Estate Alumni Affinity Council (REACC), will co-chair the the Bain Real Estate Council’s engagement subcommittee.

“As mentors, we will give students real opportunities to learn, to meet with their peers and those who may be their bosses,” said Gonzalez, broker at Coral Gables-based Floridian First Realty. “The board is really a complement to what students are learning.”

Hollo Real Estate Advisory Board:

  • Malcolm Butters – Butters Construction & Development
  • Wayne Hollo – Florida East Coast Realty
  • Diego Procel – Global City
  • Victor Ballestas – Integra Investments
  • Rod Castan – The Courtelis Company
  • Jose Juncadella – Fairchild Partners
  • Andres Korda – Avantiway Realty
  • Roberto Ordorica – ALIGNMEX Real Estate
  • Enrique Teran – Avantiway Realty

Bain Real Estate Council:

  • Juan Alvarez – Brown Harris Stevens
  • Eli Beracha – director, Hollo School of Real Estate at FIU Business
  • Martin Bravo – Metro 1
  • John Crossman – Crossman & Company
  • Jason Galbut – Crescent Heights
  • Alexandra Goeseke Cervera – Cervera Real Estate
  • Michelle Gonzalez – Floridian First Realty
  • Nicolas Guemes – Exan Capital
  • William Hardin – associate dean, Chapman Graduate School at FIU Business
  • Areya Keshvari – Leste
  • Jonathan Lay – Fairchild Partners
  • Jacob Levin – Stackhouse Capital
  • Michael Lisanti – Coldwell Banker
  • Adam Lotterman – Bluerock Real Estate
  • Andres Lozano – ZOM
  • Lorenzo Perez – Premier International Properties & I3 Technology, LLC
  • Miguel Pinto – Apex Capital Realty
  • Jose R. Del Rosal – The Allen Morris Company
  • Adam Tiktin – Tiktin Real Estate Investment Services
  • Wesley Ulloa – LUXE Properties
  • Eduardo Valdez – Logroval
  • Arturo Vinueza – AXAN Capital

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