Ask: Mentors Members
CEO and Co-Founder
Ajax Union
Joe Apfelbaum, brings more than thirteen years to the online business, technology and marketing community. Serving as CEO and Co-Founder of Ajax Union,, he has been featured on Fox Business Network and Fox Business News and was selected by Google as a Certified Google Trainer. Using his humor and candor to address a wide range of topics that cover Online Marketing & Business Development including Search Engine Optimization; SEO, Pay-Per-Click; PPC, Social Media and Web Development, Joe has educated thousands to improve upon their business and online success. Follow Joe on twitter at @joeapfelbaum»
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President and CEO
Klein Steel Service Inc
John Batiste joined Klein Steel Service in November 2005 after 31 years of service in the US Army. He retired from active duty on November 1st, 2005 and transitioned to Klein Steel in Rochester, New York the same month. He and his wife Michelle were married in 1977 and have five children. Michelle has been a strong advocate for military families through multiple extended deployments.

John was commissioned as an infantry officer in 1974. Over the next 31 years, he served in a variety of leadership and staff positions, to include platoon, company, battalion, brigade, and division command. His major combat and peace enforcement experience included deployments to Saudi Arabia and Iraq during Operations Desert Shield and Storm from August 1990 to April 1991, to Bosnia-Herzegovina during the Implementation Force mission from December 1995 to November 1996, and again to Kuwait and Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom 2 from January 2004 to February 2005.

John’s final assignment in the Army was commanding general of the 1st Infantry Division from August 2002-June 2005. During this timeframe, the “Big Red One” conducted successful peace enforcement operations in Kosovo and combat operations in Iraq. The division combat team was deployed to north-central Iraq from February 2004 until February 2005 and included 22,000 soldiers from active and reserve component units from throughout the United States.

John is a graduate of the United States Military Academy and the Army War College. He earned a masters degree in financial management from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He serves on the executive committee and board of directors of the Metals Service Center Institute, the executive committee of Raffles Insurance Ltd, and the board of advisors of the Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School. In support of veterans and their families, he is a board member of the Rochester-based Veterans Outreach Center, chair of the CDS Monarch Warrior Salute Advisory Board, past president of the Rochester Regional Veterans Business Council, and a member of the board of advisors of the First Division Museum at Cantigny.»
Benhar Office Interiors
Mark is responsible for the overall leadership and management of Behar Office Interiors. Since 1985, his industry experience has taken him from account executive for a small dealership to Executive Vice President of one of the country’s largest dealerships. Mark has become one of the leading professionals in the New York market and is recognized for his solid and professional reputation with vendors, clients and competitors. Having managed over 10 million square feet of projects throughout his career, Mark prides himself on his honest approach to business partnering, his knowledge of the industry and the relationships he has built. As a pro-active principal, Mark is keenly involved in managing day to day operations, contract negotiations, client communications and all aspects of project development.

Mark lives in Long Island with his wife and 2 children. Mark is an avid golfer, skier, sports fan and traveler.»
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President and Chief Executive Officer
Acadia Realty Trust
Kenneth F. Bernstein is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Acadia Realty Trust, which he co-founded in 1998. Acadia Realty Trust is a real estate investment trust specializing in the acquisition, redevelopment and management of open air retail properties. Acadia owns, or has ownership interest in over 100 properties totaling approximately $2.5 billion dollars in value. For the 10 year period ending December 31, 2011 Acadia achieved annual shareholder returns of 18%.

Acadia executes its growth initiatives through a series of discretionary institutional acquisition funds. Acadia recently launched Fund IV which is capitalized to acquire $1.5 billion dollars of retail properties.

Mr. Bernstein served as Chief Operating Officer of RD Capital until its merger with Mark Centers Trust in 1998, creating Acadia Realty Trust. Prior to that, Mr. Bernstein was an associate with the New York law firm of Battle Fowler, LLP.

Mr. Bernstein received his BA from the University of Vermont and his JD from Boston University School of Law. Mr. Bernstein sits on the Board of Trustees of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), and he is co-chair of the Open Air Center Committee. He is an active member of National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT), Urban Land Institute (ULI), and the Real Estate Roundtable. In addition to being a member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO), where he was the founding chairman of the Real Estate Network and currently sits on the Board of Advisors, he also sits on the Department of Real Estate Advisory Board at Baruch College. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of BRT Realty (NYSE:BRT) as well as Golub Capital (NASDAQ:GBDC).»
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President, CEO, and Founder
Blumenfeld Development Group
Edward Blumenfeld is President, Founder, and the creative force behind Blumenfeld Development Group ("BDG"). Under Mr. Blumenfeld's direction, BDG has become an industry leading Development firm that specializes in converting underutilized real estate into vibrant, innovative, progressive space that meets the economic and social needs of the community.
Mr. Blumenfeld has sought to improve the quality of life within his community by bringing his energy, insight and personal commitment to a broad range of charitable efforts. He is a founding member of the Association for a Better Long Island (ABLI) and has been returned by his peers for a third term as its President and also serves as a member of its Energy and Environmental Committee. He remains a strong and effective advocate on issues relating to education, the environment, child healthcare, responsible government and sustainable development.
As a founding member of the Schneider Children's Hospital, Mr. Blumenfeld has worked over three decades to sponsor a unique brand of care based on the special needs of young patients, care that has won international recognition. He has been an ardent supporter of the hospital since its inception and further confirmed his commitment to its continued success by spearheading the expansion of the Hospital campus to include the Blumenfeld Center for Pediatric Medicine.
Mr. Blumenfeld has also taken a leadership role in honoring the region's veterans and active duty military personnel through his philanthropic support of the award winning American Airpower Museum at Republic Airport.
Through his many undertakings, Ed Blumenfeld has literally and figuratively built a better Long Island.
Mr. Blumenfeld created BDG in 1978, when he undertook the redevelopment of the North Shore Atrium, a 300,000 square foot building that BDG converted from a Grumman aircraft manufacturing plant to the first office facility on Long Island to incorporate a restaurant, conference area, fitness center, and retail shops on premises. Mr. Blumenfeld has carried the same innovative and pioneering vision to every BDG project since.
A dramatic example of this approach toward redevelopment involved the expansion and conversion of Bulova Watch Corporation's 250,000 square foot manufacturing plant into a 480,000 square foot Class A office facility, anchored by British Airways' corporate headquarters. Renamed Bulova Corporate Center, this project won numerous design awards and with its art deco details rescued and restored by Mr. Blumenfeld, it is considered BDG's flagship project.
In the early 1990's, BDG expanded into the retail sector, largely in historically disadvantaged communities such as east Harlem that had long been ignored by his development peers. These projects have been satisfying financially and sociologically, as the increased choice and lowered costs that these operations generate have raised standards of living in neighboring communities. Gotham Plaza and East River Plaza are two examples of BDG projects that helped energize and revitalize communities. Mr. Blumenfeld feels a moral obligation to improve BDG's communities, and does so by supporting local charities, donating playing fields, and producing artistic, cultural, and educational events. Mr. Blumenfeld continues to bring his expertise and creativity to new neighborhoods through an array of Sustainable Projects such as The Arches in Deer Park, that remain sensitive to the communities they serve while strengthening local economies.
Mr. Blumenfeld attended Hofstra University, Uniondale, New York

Founder and President of the Board of Directors, Association for a Better Long Island
Member of the Board of Directors, RPS Realty Trust
Member of Planning Board, Village of Roslyn Estates
Member of Advisory Board, University of Pennsylvania- Wharton Real Estate Center
Founder/Past President, Children's Medical Fund- Men's Division, Schneider Children's Hospital
Trustee of Long Island Jewish Medical Center»
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Taconic Capital Advisors
Kenneth D. Brody is a co-founder of Taconic Capital Advisors, a multi-strategy, event-driven hedge fund, founded in 1999. He is primarily involved in management and risk control. Taconic currently manages approximately $7 billion and has offices in New York, London and Hong Kong.

Mr. Brody spent 20 years at Goldman, Sachs & Co. where he co-headed the firm’s long-term principal investing activities and was a general partner and member of the firm’s management committee. Mr. Brody served as President and Chairman of the Export-Import Bank of the United States from 1993 to early 1996. He formerly served as chair of the University of Maryland investment committee and on the Boards of Directors of Quest Diagnostics Incorporated, Alex Brown Incorporated, Federal Realty Investments Trust and Telerate Incorporated. Mr. Brody is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Mr. Brody received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering with high honors from the University of Maryland in 1964 and an M.B.A. with high distinction from Harvard Business School in 1971, where he was a Baker Scholar.»
Co-Founder and President
As Co-founder and President of appssavvy, Michael is rethinking the delivery and reception of advertising. He spearheads the product strategy and leads the company’s Business and Engineering teams.

Michael’s efforts have led to the adtivity by appssavvy platform, which enables leading web, social and mobile publishers to unlock and create new, display advertising reaching people as they perform activities. adtivity by appssavvy offers scalable, center-of-the-experience, display ads, thus creating the most effective way to deliver and receive advertising.

In 2012, he was named to the Techweek 100, recognizing the most innovative names in Chicago technology. Michael is a member of the Social Media Advertising Consortium, a mentor at Excelerate Labs, contributing author at outlets such as iMedia and MediaPost, and has spoken at many events including ad:tech, digiday, Digital Hollywood, IAB, OMMA, Adweek Social Media Strategies and Techweek, to name a few.

Prior to appssavvy, Michael was an early employee at, before it was sold to Yahoo!. He led large-scale sales teams at Yahoo! for seven years and eventually made his way to Freewebs, where he got his start in applications and the social media space.

Michael has a Marketing Degree from Boston College. You can find him at and follow him on Twitter @micburke27.»
Founder and Chairman
Midtown Equities
Joe Cayre is a lifelong entrepreneur and philanthropist. He is the founder and Chairman of Midtown Equities, a diversified real estate investment company whose portfolio consists of residential and commercial properties throughout the country and abroad. A selection of notable holdings include The World Trade Center, the Barney's buildings in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, and Midtown Miami, a 56 acre development in the heart of Miami. With his experience in the real estate sector, Joe has become aware of the importance of efficient Title Insurance and has since acquired Boston National Title for its value in servicing a growing need in the field of real estate.»
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Managing Director and Global Head
RREEF Real Estate
Pierre Cherki is a managing director and global head of RREEF Real Estate where he is responsible for the management and strategic direction of RREEF's global real estate business. Prior to his appointment as Global Head, Pierre was responsible for managing RREEF's investment managing business in Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific with approximately €20 billion of assets under management across 10 offices. Since joining RREEF in 1997 (then Banker's Trust, acquired by Deutsche Bank in 1998), Pierre has completed numerous transactions in France, the UK and Belgium, and was responsible for the development of RREEF's business in Central and Eastern Europe. PIerre graduated from Tel Aviv University with a BA in Management and Economics and hold an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management of Northwestern University. RREEF is a global real estate investment management business of Duetsche Bank's Asset Management Division.»
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Owner, President, and CEO
Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation (CBRC)
As owner, president and chief executive officer of Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation (CBRC), Charles S. Cohen has achieved an enviable national reputation for his exceptional business acumen, innovation and creativity at every turn. An entrepreneurial real estate executive in the truest sense, Mr. Cohen, one of the country’s legendary commercial real estate owners/developers with a portfolio of over 12 million square feet of prime properties located in New York, Texas, Florida and Southern California, is one of the rare breed of developers with a vision that is clearly and ultimately defined by design. Beyond his mastery of business transactions, he has brought his impeccable--and innate--taste and style to a wide range of high-profile projects, from office skyscrapers to corporate parks to his newest passion--Design Centers.

Perhaps the best illustration of this is Mr. Cohen’s remarkable revitalization of the D & D (Decoration & Design) Building in New York City, which has been universally hailed as an unequivocal triumph. In repositioning this once proud specialty building into a true showcase property, Mr. Cohen turned a seemingly outdated structure into the premier luxury home furnishings center in the country. He has done the same in three different sectors of the country-- in Texas at the Decorative Center Houston, in Florida at the Design Center of the Americas (DCOTA) in Dania Beach, and on the West Coast at the Pacific Design Center in West Hollywood, where perhaps his most spectacular ground-up development to date -- Caesar Pilli’s breathtaking Red Building -- represents the final phase of this award winning 14-acre design and office campus.

While breathing new life into commercial properties, Mr. Cohen has essentially refined the role of the “re-developer”; his ability to reposition and maximize the potential of underutilized buildings has allowed him to carve a special niche within his industry. No better example of those talents was his remarkable transformation of the vacant 39-story million square foot former Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield office building in Manhattan into a fully leased Class A office tower housing the world headquarters of McCann Erickson, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce and HypoVereinsbank. More recently, he has successfully repositioned and redeveloped the world class Manhattan office building at 623 Fifth Avenue, formerly known as Swiss Bank Tower, into a dynamic multi-tenanted corporate center for elite financial firms and service providers including Merrill Lynch, UBS Securities, and Cargill.

Mr. Cohen’s rare mix of business savvy and design sensibilities has been instrumental in CBRC’s extraordinary record of success and achievement. Since purchasing the company outright in 1988, he broadened its horizons and, at the same time, significantly increased its profitability. These results can be attributed to Mr. Cohen’s unparalleled expertise in all phases of building development--from construction to leasing, to financing, marketing and managing. At CBRC, he has scrupulously assembled a team of more that 400 employees who share his passion for and commitment to achieving the highest standards of excellence in the real estate field. The CBRC team finances, assembles, constructs and manages its own properties. An exacting dedication to detail and superior leadership skills are hallmarks of both CBRC and Mr. Cohen himself.

Throughout his career, Charles Cohen has worked in collaboration with a remarkable lineup of architects and design professionals on many prominent projects built for an array of Fortune 100 companies. In transforming the former General Foods Headquarters in White Plains, NY, into a Class A multi-tenanted business center, Mr. Cohen worked with legendary architect Philip Johnson. He has completed projects with architects Helmut Jahn and Allan Greenberg and interior designers Adam Tihany and Jacques Garcia. Mr. Cohen has acquired buildings designed by the architectural firms of Kohn, Pederson & Fox and Cesar Pelli.

Mr. Cohen’s broad business and legal backgrounds stood him in good stead early in his career. An attorney admitted to practice law before the New York State Bar and the Southern and Eastern Districts of the U.S. Federal District Court, he served as an officer in Chemical Bank’s Real Estate Division from 1977 to 1979. Following that he acted as vice president and General Counsel for CBRC until 1983 when he was installed as the company’s president.

Despite his inordinately busy schedule, Mr. Cohen has always found the time to pursue other interests--both professional and personal. In 2008, Mr. Cohen joined the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles. He is also the former chairman of the Metro New York Chapter of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), the international business organization’s largest chapter. Mr. Cohen is a trustee of The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, The Lighthouse International, The Public Theatre and Advisory Board for the Film Makers’ Cooperative and is a member of the Real Estate Board of New York, the Young Men’s and Women’s Real Estate Association, the American Bar Association and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. He is a board member of the Stella Adler Studio and The Film Society of Lincoln Center, and former chairman of the Federal Law Enforcement Foundation, a position that he held from 1991 to 1993. He is a licensed real estate broker in New York and New Jersey. In 2001, Mr. Cohen received the USO’s prestigious Gold Medal for a lifetime of patriotic service to his country and was honored on both coasts by B’Nai B’rith International for his humanitarian and community service. He received the prestigious Israel Peace Medal in 2002 at a luncheon event in his honor that raised an all-time record $52.4 million for the State of Israel Bonds.

In yet another arena, Mr. Cohen served as lead Executive Producer on the film, “Frozen River,” which was awarded the 2008 Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic. Juror and award presenter Quentin Tarantino described the film as “a wonderful depiction of poverty in America. It took my breath away and then somewhere around the last hour, it put my heart in a vice and proceeded to twist that vice until the last frame.” The film went on to win two Spirit Awards and received two Academy Award nominations in major categories. This film was released by Sony Pictures Classics. A lifelong film aficionado, Mr. Cohen is the author of the well-received TriviaMania (Zebra Books), a Q&A Quiz Book that is a veritable bible of movie-related information. He also created, directed and produced short, which was the recipient of a Kodak Movie Award.

Charles S. Cohen is a 1974 graduate of Tufts University and a 1977 graduate of Brooklyn Law School. He resides in suburban Connecticut (where his home has a movie theatre in it) and New York City. Mr. Cohen is married and has four children.»
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Colliers International NY LLC
Mr. Cohen is President of the Tri-State Region. When the firm operated as GVA Williams, Mr. Cohen was the
third generation of his family to head the firm, which was founded in 1926. He chaired GVA Williams’ Executive
Committee and was the founding partner and Chairman of GVA Worldwide Ltd., GVA Williams’ strategic
partnership of leading real estate firms serving 120 business capitals on five continents.

An expert real estate advisor, Mr. Cohen represents an elite clientele of the nation’s top companies, including
Broadridge Financial, ADP and General Motors. He specializes in representing corporations in the acquisition
and disposition of office space nationwide. Mr. Cohen is also a partner in the ownership of numerous New York
City office buildings, including 57 West 57th Street and 224 West 57th Street. In this capacity his responsibilities
include overseeing leasing, management, and, in some cases, the restoration, redevelopment and repositioning
of properties.

Mr. Cohen represents a wide range of clients regionally and nationally. He represents Broadridge Financial on
a global basis. On a national scale, he manages ALM’s real estate needs. Mr. Cohen handled Bank of New York’s
acquisition of both its primary and secondary 200,000- square-foot data centers. At 28 W 23rd Street, Mr.
Cohen represented the landlord in the disposition of 270,000 sf to Ecko. He has extensive experience representing
law firms and has represented Moses & Singer in the acquisition of 90,000 ad at 405 Lexington Avenue.
Mr. Cohen graduated from the University of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Cohen is on the Board of Directors of several organizations, including The Roundabout Theatre Company and the
Jewish National Fund of Greater New York. He is also a past Chairman of the Board of Housing and Services Inc.
and past President of Young Presidents’ Organization NY Metro Chapter.»
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Founder and CEO
Michael Ferdman is founder and ceo of Firstborn (, the award-winning digital creative agency based in New York City.  Working with agencies and brands alike on a full range of digital marketing services, Michael is responsible for managing Firstborn's internal business operations while maintaining the shop's high level of commitment to client relations.

Michael founded Firstborn in 1997, sitting just on the rise of the digital era. Early on Firstborn found its footing in the fashion industry, helping to bring the likes of Calvin Klein and Antonio Fusco to the Web. Fourteen years and now with over 70 employees, Firstborn’s digital strategies and unique design aesthetic can be seen across the automotive, beverage/liquor, retail, sports, entertainment, finance, and social responsibility categories.

Most recently, Michael and his company released groundbreaking work on behalf of: AT&T, Ford, IBM, Wrigley, Pepsi/SoBe, RMS Titanic, The Hartford, and more; securing over 30 industry awards in 2010 alone. Firstborn was named to Advertising Age’s 2009 industry A-List, and also hit the coveted 2010 Fast Company list of “50 Most Innovative Companies in the World”.

Michael is a founding member of SODA (Society of Digital Agencies) and remains an active participant of the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau). He has served as a judge for the Webby’s, The One Show, The Tokyo Interactive Awards, HOW and other industry competitions.

A Chicago native and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Michael currently lives in NYC with his wife Stephanie and his two children, Jordan and Cooper. Michael serves on the National Advisory Council of the North Shore Animal League and has spearheaded several non-profit events including Cycle for Survival and Hoops4Hope.»
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Founder, Chairman, and CEO
Avrett Free Ginsberg
Frank Ginsberg has led Avrett Free Ginsberg longer than any other CEO of a major advertising company. He has helped build Avrett Free Ginsberg from a $25 million creative boutique to a $400 million full- service advertising agency.
At the same time, Frank has originated advertising that is unfailingly fresh and distinguished by its differentiating power. He is a rare individual who is as comfortable with complex business issues as he is with creative challenges.
His award-winning iconic style has helped build brands for Financial Times, Thomson Reuters, U.S. Trust, Cat Chow, Meow Mix, Friskies, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, McKesson Health Mart, Bacardi Rum, Van Cleef & Arpels, Goya Foods, Zenith and many others.
Frank sits on the board of directors of The Children’s Hearing Institute, the AAAA Creative Committee, The Ad Council, The American Hospital of Paris Foundation and The Acting Company.
The Children’s Hearing Institute bestowed their highest honor, the Jule Styne Humanitarian Award to Frank for his contributions.
He has served as a judge for many of the industry’s creative award shows, including the ANDY, Cannes Lion, Art Directors Club, CEBA, AAF ADDY and AAAA O'Toole awards.
Frank earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree from NYU and a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Boston University»
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Founder and CEO
Founding partner and CEO of StyleCaster Media Group, Goldberg is responsible for all aspects of the company’s business operations and development. He is an innovative entrepreneur with multi-faceted expertise in marketing, strategy, pop-culture, consumer behavior, and business development.
Prior to launching StyleCaster in 2008, Goldberg served as Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for LeBron James and LRMR Marketing. During this time he worked closely with some of the world’s best-known brand equities including Nike, Coca-Cola, Wrigley’s and Microsoft. Previous to LRMR, Goldberg was Director of Business Development for Steve Stoute at Translation Consultation + Brand Imaging. The firm combines pop culture and strategic brand positioning to connect Fortune 500 companies to the mindsets of young adults.
In addition to StyleCaster, Goldberg is also the co-founder of Sociocast Networks, a leading real-time social intelligence platform. He has been instrumental in starting a number of successful new ventures including Last Pictures, Qwiki and SaveFans among others.
Goldberg holds degrees in both economics and political science from New York University, as well as a master’s degree in sports business from New York University. He currently resides in New York City.»
Co-founder and Chairman
Allied Partners
As co-founder and Chairman of Allied Partners, Eric Hadar has led Allied’s emergence as one of New York’s most dynamic privately held real estate companies. Since its formation in 1993, Allied has established a diverse portfolio of properties that have produced returns well in excess of the overall market. Allied continues to specialize in identifying unique investment opportunities where creative redevelopment strategies and intensive hands-on management provide significant upside potential.

Eric has been extremely supportive of numerous charities, particularly causes that benefit inner-city children from disadvantaged backgrounds. He has served on the board of many organizations including the New York Junior Tennis League (NYJTL), HEAF, Eyebeam and others. Eric was awarded the NYJTL Annual Civic Leadership Award. Eric was also awarded the Starlight Foundation’s “Man of the Year” award for his efforts on its behalf. Eric has been a member of The Board of Governors of REBNY since 2001.

Eric received his bachelor’s degree with highest honors from Hobart College in 1986 and earned an MBA from Columbia Business School in 1989. He remains very involved with Columbia University and Columbia Business School where he is a frequent guest lecturer. Prior to forming Allied, Eric worked for Sonnenblick Goldman Company in New York.»
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Creative Mega-Playground
With a laptop and some naivety Eitan Hakami founded Post Production Playground in 1994 as a two man operation, and developed it into what is today Mega Playground – a 50,000 sq ft facility and one of the most diverse post facilities on the east coast. Eitan`s wealth of knowledge spanning 20 years of experience as a Producer and Post Supervisor in feature films, commercials, and documentaries, has been implemented in every aspect of the business. Rebbeling against the classical business models, his casual, hands on, and down to earth approach ensures the facility maintains a boutique like enviroment for both clients and employees, while it produces endless hours of film and TV media with the efficiency of a well oiled machine. Ever developing, building, and innovating, he is Mega Playground’s conductor of the little train that could.»
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Partner (CEO)
Northview Hotel Group
Mr. Hallgarten has over 20 years experience in hotel and residential operations, feasibility, development, construction and asset management work in the U.S., Europe and Australia.

Since 1997, Mr. Hallgarten has been involved with all aspects of hotel and residential acquisitions, development and asset management, working as a consultant for The Bridgetown Group, The Alpha Group and as West Coast Vice President of Development for Hardin Capital. During this time, Mr. Hallgarten was responsible for the successful acquisition, development and asset management of close to $1 billion of hotel and residential assets, in California, DC, Florida, Colorado and Mexico.

Mr. Hallgarten began his career in Europe and Australia working as a chef and hotel manager before joining the London-based real estate feasibility groups at KPMG and then Deloitte and Touche. In 1993, Mr. Hallgarten joined the development group at Westin Hotels & Resorts, based in Seattle, Washington, where he remained during the sale of the company to Starwood Capital and Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Mr. Hallgarten has a BA Hons. from Bristol University (England), and a post graduate degree in hotel management from Manchester University’s Hollings Faculty.»
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Founder & CEO
Prime Real Estate New York City
Eric Hantman is the CEO & Founder of Prime NY. He started Prime NY at the end of 2008 after many years experience in the industry. Eric proved to be a huge asset to Homestead, running the office as Managing Director at Homestead NY and producing results as one of the top sales agents in 2007 & 2008. Hantman's vast knowledge of the inventory paired with his relationship building skills make the buying/renting process seamless from start to finish. Eric instills his energy and work ethic into all the agents at Prime NY, building a team of well-rounded professionals.

Prior to Eric's career in Real Estate, he excelled in the Commercial Printing industry, heading up Suniland Press' New York Office. Quickly, Hantman became a force in the NYC upscale catalog business, breaking into the Diamond industry with Kwiat Diamonds.

After Eric graduated with Honors from University of Maryland Business School in 2003, he pursued a 3 year career in the Wine & Liquor Industry. Eric's hard work and motivation always put him at the top of his sales team.

Eric prides himself on Prime NY being the next generation of Real Estate with the best team the industry has to offer.»
Stuart Herskovitz established his unique Qosina company in 1980 to serve medical device companies by providing stock components. Companies purchase from Qosina eliminate the cost of tooling their own components and receive immediate delivery from inventory.

This particular approach is useful to companies of all sizes, but has proven especially effective for small to mid-range manufacturing companies, as evidenced by Qosina's broad customer base cultivated over the years.»
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Jaguar Freight Services
Simon was born in London and studied accountancy and finance at the City of London University. With his father Percy Kaye, he founded Jaguar Freight Services in both London and NY in 1993, and was the inspiration behind CyberTrax™, Jaguar's proprietary TMS. He moved permanently to the U.S. and established Jaguar's headquarters there in 2002. A fellow of the British International Freight Association, Simon is a dedicated fan and life-long season ticket holder of Tottenham Hotspur, who to their fans are "the greatest team the world has ever seen," a passion he feels about Jaguar.»
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cofounder and CEO
Likeable Media
Dave Kerpen is the cofounder and CEO of Likeable Media, an award-winning social media and word-of-mouth marketing firm. Dave and his wife and COO Carrie have transformed theKBuzz (founded in 2006) into Likeable, one of Facebook’s Top 65 Preferred Developer Consultants. Dave’s first book, a New York Times bestseller, is “Likeable Social Media: How to Delight Your Customers, Create an Irresistible Brand, and Be Generally Amazing on Facebook and other social networks.” Dave has been featured on CNBC’s “On the Money," ABC World News Tonight, the CBS Early Show, BBC World News, and the New York Times, and is a regular contributor to The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, and Mashable. Within the past year, Dave has spoken in Athens, at SXSW and TEDx, and for the Wharton Club. Dave is proud of his Likeable business accomplishments but prouder of Charlotte and Kate, his two daughters at home in New York.»
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Executive Creative Director and President
Reed Krakoff / Coach
Reed Krakoff is an American designer with a career that spans over 20 years. His most recent fashion venture is an eponymous line of women’s ready-to-wear, handbags and shoes in the tradition of great American sportswear design. The Reed Krakoff collection juxtaposes utility with femininity; it’s both functional and poetic - a new look of sophistication, but one with an unequivocal American ease and confidence. The collection’s debut marks a new era of luxury in modern American fashion.

After receiving his degree in Fashion Design from Parsons The New School of Design in New York, Krakoff, a Connecticut native, entered the world of classic American fashion brands. He began his career at Anne Klein and Ralph Lauren, and soon rose to top creative positions at other prominent design houses. Krakoff became known throughout the industry for his eye, innovations and influence and was tapped by the iconic accessories brand, Coach, to be its President and Executive Creative Director. In his time at Coach, Krakoff has been recognized for revamping and revitalizing the brand’s image, as well as its heritage as a American fashion name. During his thirteen years at Coach, Krakoff has led design, store concept, marketing and worldwide positioning.

Krakoff’s contributions to the industry have been recognized with such distinctions as being elected vice president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) and the CFDA award for Accessories Designer of the Year (given to him in both 2001 and 2004 for his Coach designs). Reed Krakoff is also a photographer whose work has been exhibited in New York and Tokyo and has appeared in magazines like Elle Décor, Town & Country, and Interview. He has also published several books of his photography, including Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne, Fighter: The Ultimate Fighters of the UFC, and the forthcoming Mattia Bonetti. Krakoff is a passionate patron and supporter of the arts and is closely involved with the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He also serves on the board at his alma mater, Parsons The New School for Design, and is a mentor to young designers participating in the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. Krakoff lives in Manhattan with his family.»
Hudson Companies, Inc.
David Kramer is a principal with the Hudson Companies, Inc. ( which he joined in 1995 and currently runs with fellow principal William Fowler. Hudson has developed 4,500 residential apartments since 1986. Hudson’s projects range from market rate condominiums (J Condo, Riverwalk Court, Third + Bond, The Marais) to institutional housing (NYU Dormitory, staff housing for Memorial Sloan Kettering and Weill Cornell Medical College) to renovations (345 West 13th Street, Cobble Hill Tower, The Knick) to market rate rentals (Riverwalk Crossing, Hudson East, The Crossroads, The Clinton) to affordable housing (Atlantic Center, Dumont Green, Gowanus Green).

Prior to joining Hudson, Kramer developed affordable housing as the Housing Director of the Venice Community Housing Corporation in Los Angeles, and a project manager for the Skid Row Housing Trust. In 1989, David was one of the founders and the first Executive Director of People for Parks, a Los Angeles non-profit coalition of parks advocates.

David has a Bachelor Degree from Yale University and graduated from the Coro Foundation's Public Affairs Program. David serves on the Alumni Council of the Collegiate School and is a Board Member of the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation and the Coro Foundation. In 2008, David was elected to Chair the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, where he currently serves on the Board. David also founded the quarterly Brooklyn Real Estate Roundtable to benefit the Brooklyn Historical Society. He lives in Brooklyn Heights with his wife, three children and poorly trained dog. He is a long suffering New York Giants fan, has completed 5 New York City Marathons, 3 Century Bike Races and knows the lyrics to most Broadway musicals. At the 2006 New York Post Su Doku Grand Master Championship, David finished in the money in 6th place, and more recently, finished in the top 9 of the 2nd Annual KenKen tournament.»
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President & CEO
David Kutoff is the owner, president and CEO of MPC.

MPC (formerly known as Materials Processing Corporation) is an innovative asset disposition and risk management business setting the standard for secure, zero-landfill electronics recycling and remarketing. Founded in 1983, MPC is dedicated to ensuring that its clients maximize value, meet sustainability initiatives and mitigate risk in how they manage the disposition of IT assets, electronics and other equipment.

With facilities in Minnesota and Philadelphia, MPC proudly holds R2, e-Stewards, ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OSHAS 18001 certifications and is a member of NAID.

He attended the University of St. Thomas, with majors in entrepreneurship and finance.»
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Governing Dynamics
Alex is a Serial Founder & Angel Investor in 50+ startups.

Born into Communism, reared under Socialism, and now thriving under Capitalism, Alex Mashinsky has become one of the most recognized figures in the New York entrepreneurial scene. As the Managing Partner of Governing Dynamics, an early stage venture capital firm, Alex founded several companies including GroundLink in 2005, Transit Wireless in 2004, Elematics in 2000, and Arbinet in 1996. Combining the unique talents of business strategist and technological innovator Alex is continuing to invent new web & communications technologies. A featured speaker at over 120 international communications conferences and TV interviews, and the author of over 50 patents relating to exchanges, VOIP, messaging and communication.

Alex has received numerous awards for innovation including being nominated twice by E&Y as entrepreneur of the year in 2002 & 2011, Crain's 2010 Top Entrepreneur and the prestigious 2000 Albert Einstein Technology medal and the Technology Foresight Award for Innovation (presented in Geneva at Telecom 99).

Alex is considered to be one of the pioneers of VOIP, with foundational patents dating back to 1994 many of today's hardware and software designs originated from these early ideas. As the leading evangelist of web based exchanges alex authored patents that cover aspects of the Smart Grid , Ad exchanges, Groupon, Twitter, Skype, App Store and many other top performing web companies.

Alex has proven his ability to identify winning trends, build a powerful intellectual property portfolio and bring together winning teams to build world-class companies. He has raised over $250m in venture and private equity funds to help position his startups as leaders in their fields. Arbinet fundraising was documented in an HBS case study in 2001.»
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Founder and CEO
Rebecca Minkoff, LLC
Uri Minkoff is the Founder and CEO of Rebecca Minkoff, LLC a New York based fashion company. Uri founded the company in 2005 with Rebecca Minkoff when they debuted a women’s handbag collection and has carefully guided the label’s success. Today, the company distributes both accessories and apparel under the Rebecca Minkoff label and it has grown  into a full lifestyle brand. It is one of the fastest growing brands in fashion and is known for its social media expertise, which is carefully guided under Uri’s direction. Uri has also helped guide and curate the Ben Minkoff brand of accessories for men, which is the brother brand to the Rebecca Minkoff label. Uri  has more than sixteen years of experience as an entrepreneur and has successfully co-founded several health care and technology companies with a strong consumer focus prior to founding Rebecca Minkoff, LLC.»
Global Brokerage of Cushman & Wakefield Inc
Bruce E. Mosler is Chairman of Global Brokerage of Cushman & Wakefield Inc, the world’s largest independent real estate services firm. As CEO from 2005-2010, he secured IFIL Investments, S.p.A. (now EXOR) as the firm’s new majority shareholder.
As Chairman, Mr. Mosler advises major tenants and investors on strategic real estate matters, taking a senior role in managing and developing key client relationships on behalf of Cushman & Wakefield on a global basis. He continues to advise Vornado, Cohen Brothers, NYU University Hospital (The Langone Center), Madison Square Garden, among others.
Mr. Mosler first earned the prestigious Real Estate Board of New York “Deal of the Year” award in 1998 for the creation of the Reuters Building at 3 Times Square, a transaction that consolidated 14 separate locations for the global media giant and solidified the renaissance of Times Square. His second “Deal of the Year” award recognized his success in bringing the European retailer Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) to its United States flagship location on Fifth Avenue. In 2008 and 2009, he was chosen in a poll of his peers as Commercial Property News’ “Brokerage Executive of the Year” and was named CPN’s national “Property Services Executive of the Year.”
Mr. Mosler chairs the Wharton Executive Education Advisory Board and the board of BENS (Business Executives for National Security). He also serves on the Board of Governors of the Real Estate Board of New York. He is Vice Chairman of The Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum, and is a member of the boards of the Atlantic Council, Police Athletic League, Quinnipiac University, Duke University’s Trinity College and Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families, among other civic and charitable organizations. In addition, he serves on the advisory board for the European Combatant Command. In 2003, REBNY presented Mr. Mosler with its annual Kenneth R. Gerrety Humanitarian Award for his service to the community, and in 2008, REBNY’s Louis Smadbeck Broker Recognition Award.»
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Muss Development LLC
Jason Muss joined Muss Development LLC in 1996 and is Principal in charge of development, construction and marketing for the company. He is involved in all aspects of real estate development for MDL, including existing, under construction and planned projects.

Mr. Muss oversaw the development of Oceana Condominium and Club, a 1.5 million-square-foot, 865-unit condominium project. He has also recently completed the development of a 100,000-square-foot rental building with a retail component in upper Manhattan and helped oversee MDL’s 280-room expansion of the New York Marriott in Brooklyn, as well as the redevelopment of a 200,000-square-foot office building in Queens. In addition, Mr. Muss oversees a five-million-square-foot, multi-building commercial and retail portfolio for MDL and its affiliates.

Mr. Muss graduated Yeshiva University in 1993 and received his JD from the New York University School of Law in 1996. He is an active member of the Real Estate Board of New York and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce.

In addition, Mr. Muss just completed a three-year term as a board member of the Jewish Community Relations Council of New York. There, he was involved in planning council events and working with other religious groups on tolerance education initiatives. He also is active in the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a 100,000-member advocacy organization, where he rallies support for Israel among New York’s real estate community. And along with industry superstars Larry Silverstein, Steve Ross and Jonathan Mechanic, among others, Mr. Muss sits on the Board of Advisors for the Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy at New York University.

Mr. Muss was recently named one of Commercial Property News’ rising stars of Real Estate. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and three children.»
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Ted Myerson is the Founder and CEO of FTEN, a NASDAQ OMX Company. As CEO, Ted manages all strategic and operational functions from global business development to industry/regulatory relations to client services.

Ted began his career at Kaufman, Rossin, & Co. as an auditor for hedge fund clients. After learning what it took to manage a successful fund from the inside out, Ted set out to start his own hedge fund, Sterling Securities. As a Partner at Sterling, Ted was responsible for developing the firm's technology infrastructure. With his foresight and vision, Ted positioned Sterling as one of the earliest adopters of Direct Market Access (DMA) technology.

After Sterling, Ted Co-Founded ECN Access Europe, a first-to-market technology company in Europe that provided a robust Direct Market Access (DMA) platform for access to liquidity markets around the globe. As President, Ted's leadership drove the company to capitalize on the growing demand for electronic trading and international market access prompting many of Europe's banks to adopt their innovative trading technology.

Taking his deep experience in hedge fund management, DMA technology and global market access, Ted founded FTEN in 2001 with a focus on innovation, agility and client relationships. As a testament to FTEN's impact on the securities market under Ted's leadership, FTEN technology currently process millions of transactions globally, including over 20% of the entire US equities daily volume and over $100 billion in intra-day risk calculations. FTEN was recognized as a top fifty Inc 500 fast growing software company with revenue growth of 4,531% over the last three years. FTEN was acquired by NASDAQ OMX in 2010.

Ted Myerson received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with double majors in Accounting and Finance from the University of Miami. As a widely recognized expert in low latency, high volume order routing systems and risk management technology, Ted is a frequently featured speaker at leading financial industry conferences worldwide.

Ted is co-inventor of two granted United States patents and numerous pending United States and international patents: United States Patent Number 7,778,915 which relates to real-time risk management and surveillance was issued in 2010; United States Patent Number 8,010,442 which relates to cross-market systemic risk management was issued in 2011.

He resides in New York City with his wife and daughter.»
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President and Portfolio Manager
Paulson & Co. Inc.
John Paulson is the President and Portfolio Manager of Paulson & Co. Inc. (“Paulson”). Paulson is an SEC-registered investment management company specializing in global merger, event arbitrage and credit strategies. The firm was founded in 1994 and is headquartered in New York with offices in London and Hong Kong.

Mr.Paulson received his Masters of Business Administration with high distinction, as a Baker Scholar, from Harvard Business School in 1980. He graduated summa cum laude in Finance from New York University’s College of Business and Public Administration in 1978. Prior to forming Paulson in 1994, John was a general partner of Gruss Partners and a managing director in
mergers and acquisitions at Bear Stearns.

John serves on the Board of Trustees of New York University; Board of Trustees of the Spence School; Board of Trustees of the Central Park Conservancy; the Deans Advisory Board of the Harvard Business School; the Board of Directors of the 92nd Street Y; the Board of the Partnership for New York City; and the Chairman’s Circle of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.»
AWESTRUCK Marketing Group
Robin Potash is the President of AWESTRUCK Marketing Group, an experiential and event marketing agency that creates engaging consumer experiences for their clients – everything from street teams and sampling to mobile tours, product launches, food trucks, publicity stunts and much more.

After graduating from the University of Michigan, Robin got her start at Young & Rubicam’s Media Edge as a media planner. From Y&R she moved on to Sony’s Venture Capital/Incubator Group where she advised portfolio companies in different growth stages by developing and implementing branding efforts, marketing strategies and advertising campaigns. She later transitioned to Sony Corporation of America, where she was instrumental in launching the Wheel Watchers Club, the first loyalty program for a television program. This program also led to the development of additional affinity platforms and cross-marketing programs with Sony Pictures and Sony Music.

In 2003, Robin left Sony and co-founded TrashTalk, which later merged with LA based, FreeCar Media now known as AWESTRUCK Marketing Group. As President of AWESTRUCK, Robin oversees the agency’s sales, creative and operations teams in New York and Los Angeles. She is involved in all day to day client activities and manages the respective account teams throughout the US.»
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Founder, President and CEO
Nebraskaland and Omni Food Sales
Richard Romanoff is the founder of both Nebraskaland and Omni Food Sales. His family has been in the meat industry for four generations. Nebraskaland has grown to be the largest New York-based meat distributor, selling over 5 million pounds each week. Nebraskaland’s core business is to supply independent supermarkets and wholesalers in the surrounding seven states. Nebraskaland’s diverse product line includes beef, poultry, pork, seafood, veal lamb, imported meat, as well as fresh and frozen processed foods. Specialty and variety meats are among the top selling items used mostly by the diverse ethnic communities on the East Coast. Nebraskaland was ranked #68 in Crain’s 125 Top Privately Held Companies in 2011. Its continued growth is attributed to Nebraskaland’s steadfast commitment to quality and service.

A few years after the establishment of Nebraskaland, Richard realized there was a need for a protein food broker. Thus, Omni Food Sales was established. Omni Food Sales is a sales and marketing (Food Broker) agency that represents top national brands for retail sales. Omni Food Sales currently represents over $300 million in sales each year.

Nebraskaland and Omni Food Sales are the proud sponsors of many charitable organizations, including the Bronx Overall Development Corporation, Chrons & Colitis Foundation, City Harvest, Hunts Point Economic Development Corporation and Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Food Bank. Richard Romanoff personally serves on the Advisory Boards of New York Presbyterian’s Allen Hospital and as a Board Member and Vice President of the Tri-State Law Enforcement Foundation’s Honorary Deputy Commissioners. In addition, Richard is an Advisory Board Member of Samuel Gompers Vocational High School in the South Bronx.»
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Change is coming to the TV industry. Avner Ronen, with his company Boxee, is making sure of it.

Since 2008, Ronen has been forcing TV execs to reevaluate how they think about TV, standing up to industry giants Comcast, NBC, ABC and HDNet owner, Mark Cuban. Named one of Rolling Stone’s Top Agents of Change, Ronen is the Internet generation's everyman - fighting to make personalized, Internet-delivered TV a reality - bringing video from everywhere, to any device, at any time.

A serial entrepreneur, Ronen has spoken around the globe about the future of TV. His candid approach to rethinking TV has made him a sought-after presence for places like SxSW, CES, The Paley Center for Media, MIPcom and the World Economic Forum, among hundreds of others.»
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Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Founder
Related Companies
Stephen M. Ross is the Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Related Companies. Mr. Ross formed the company in 1972 and today the company includes over 2,000 professionals. Related has developed over $20 billion in real estate and owns real estate assets valued at over $15 billion made up of best-in-class mixed-use, residential, retail, office, trade show and affordable properties in premier high-barrier-to-entry markets. Mr. Ross is also the majority owner of the Miami Dolphins and Sun Life Stadium.

Mr. Ross began his career in Detroit, Michigan as a tax attorney. He later moved to New York where he specialized in real estate and corporate finance at two investment banking firms immediately prior to founding Related. Mr. Ross graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and from Wayne State University Law School with a Juris Doctor degree. He then received a Master of Laws in Taxation from New York University School of Law. In 2004, the University of Michigan renamed its business school the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and in 2011 the University of Michigan awarded Mr. Ross an honorary degree, Doctor of Laws.

Mr. Ross is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Equinox Holdings, Inc. and chairperson emeritus of the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY), the city’s leading real estate trade association. As a member of the Board of Trustees of the Guggenheim Foundation, Mr. Ross was involved in the planning of a major renovation of the Frank Lloyd Wright iconic building in New York and other new museums. He is a trustee of New York Presbyterian Hospital, the Urban Land Institute, the NY Chapter of Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, the Levin Institute and is a director of the Jackie Robinson Foundation and the World Resources Institute. He also serves on the Executive Committee and is a trustee of Lincoln Center.

Over the years, Mr. Ross has received numerous honors for his business, civic, and philanthropic activities. Most recently, he was named the Most Powerful Person in New York Real Estate by the New York Observer, Multi-Family Property Executive of the Year by Commercial Property News, and Housing Person of the Year by the National Housing Conference. In 2007 he received The National Building Museum Honor Award and in 2005, REBNY presented him with the Harry B. Helmsley Distinguished New Yorker Award. In 2003, he received the Jack D. Weiler Award from UJA. Crain’s New York named Mr. Ross one of the 100 Most Influential Leaders in Business and Mr. Ross was recognized by NYC & Company with their Leadership in Tourism Award.»
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CPX Interactive
Mike Seiman is the CEO & Chairman of CPX Interactive, a global digital advertising media company that he co-founded while still a college student at Hofstra University in the early 2000's. The company has grown quickly and is now a major player within the crowded online advertising landscape, serving over 90 billion ad impressions in more than 65 countries every month. CPX Interactive continues the rapid growth that led to its inclusion on Inc. Magazine’s list of fastest growing privately held advertising/marketing companies in 2008 and 2009.

Mike was selected as a semi-finalist in Ernst & Young's Entrepreneur of the Year initiative in both 2009 and 2010.

In his free time, Mike currently serves on the Board of Advisors of his alma mater, Hofstra University. He also focuses on numerous philanthropic initiatives including sitting on the boards of the H.E.S. (Hebrew Educational Society non-profit community center) and Children's International, where he spearheaded the development of a community center in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Also a fan of the arts, Mike has executive produced a feature length film distributed by Lionsgate.»
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Cellfish Media LLC
M. Sergent is a Media and Internet entrepreneur who founded Cellfish Media LLC in 2004, led multi-branded properties to market and launched the world’s first wireless record label, Blingtones (2005), all while generating over nine-figure revenue marks annually for the company.

In 1994 he founded one of the first web agencies in France, Studio Grolier and then launched Club-Internet, enrolling over 1 million subscribers and becoming the second largest Internet audience and second largest Internet company in revenue size in France by 2001.

M.Sergent is also a Member of the Board of the Mobile Giving Foundation, the first foundation enabling text to give programs in the US.»
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SideBAR, Hudson Terrace, the Village Pourhouse, and other NYC hot spots
Michael Sinensky is an entrepreneur and the owner of SideBAR, Vintage Irving, Dino's, Hudson Terrace, and the Village Pourhouse. Sinensky also owns two event planning companies, Corporate Event Management and Disco Sushi.

An entrepreneur at heart, Michael Sinensky became a business man at the age of eight with a school supply sales ring at his elementary school and then graduated to a candy ring with several students as his employees. Fast forward a couple of years and Sinensky had developed a reputation for event planning during his time in college which led him to a golden opportunity with NYC’s iconic Webster Hall owner and future partner, Sean McGarr. Webster Hall was one of the many businesses affected by the tragedy of 9/11 and their numbers had quickly dropped almost 75%. Sinensky was summoned to help increase business for the nightclub and in just over a week’s time was able to bring their numbers back to 90% from their peak. McGarr was intrigued by Sinensky’s tactic of under promising and over delivering and at that point a partnership between Sinensky and McGarr was created and Disco Sushi was born.

When Sinensky graduated from NYU’s Stern School of Business in 1997, instead of pursuing a career in investment banking per his educational track he followed his new passion of event planning and execution that he discovered during a spring break adventure in the Bahamas. His week-long spring break vacation turned into a four month stay to run the local resort bar, Bourbon Street, before returning to New York. The momentum Sinensky picked up in the Bahamas continued when he was appointed to execute 50 Cent’s first concert at the Mixshow Power Summit. His experience in the Bahamas allowed him to further explore opportunities within the nightlife and entertainment business including concert execution, event planning, promotions and bar/restaurant management. It was at that point that Sinensky fell in love with the nightlife hospitality industry.

Having heard about Sinensky’s success, nightlife veteran Sean McGarr approached Sinensky with the opportunity to open the first ever Village Pourhouse. Sinensky and McGarr joined forces and opened Village Pourhouse in the East Village in August 2006 which has since won several awards including “Best Beer Bar” by BlackBook Magazine and Time Out New York. The duo didn’t stop there.

In 2008 alone, they opened SideBAR, Vintage Irving and a second Village Pourhouse location on the Upper West Side. In March of that year, the team took their success to another level when Sinensky and McGarr opened the celebrity-favorite nightclub and opulent event space, Hudson Terrace. Since then, Sinensky and McGarr have opened two more Village Pourhouse locations, one on Restaurant Row in Times Square and anotheracross the Hudson River in Hoboken.

At the young age of 31, Sinensky’s impressive resume currently includes Hudson Terrace, Village Pourhouse (four Tri-State area locations), SideBAR, Vintage Irving, and Dino’s. The company maintains an active role in the execution of the best known pub-crawls in New York City including but not limited to the following: Cinco de Mayo Pub Crawl, Snuggie Pub Crawl, Halloween Pub Crawl and of course the biggest; St.Patty's Day Pub Crawl which made it to the Guinness Book of World Records for over 6,000 crawl participants. Sinensky also owns two event planning companies, Corporate Event Management and Disco Sushi, both of which were founded his freshman year at NYU. In addition, Sinensky is founder of,, and

Sinensky and his wife Dr. Irina Tsirulnik are the proud parents of two children and reside in Manhattan. Despite his demanding nightlife schedule, Sinensky manages to juggle all of his responsibilities and maintains an active role in his children’s lives.»
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Founder and CEO
Thor Equities
Joseph J. Sitt is the founder and CEO of Thor Equities, a multifaceted international real estate development company that specializes in value-added investments in shopping centers and mixed-use urban developments in the United States, Europe, and Latin America. Mr. Sitt, 47, was born and raised in Brooklyn, and from childhood was taught the value of hard work, entrepreneurship and social responsibility. His first business venture, as a New York University undergrad, was implementing a lucrative system of weekend parking lots at the flea markets at Aqueduct and Roosevelt racetracks.

Mr. Sitt developed a strong interest in retail at an early age. He founded Ashley Stewart (now part of Urban Brands) in 1991, which focused on serving the urban consumer, a traditionally underserved market segment overlooked by most national retailers. The company experienced considerable success in a relatively short period of time, growing to over 380 stores in 100 cities that generated approximately $400 million in annual sales. A key to Mr. Sitt’s success at Ashley Stewart and Urban Brands was identifying and leveraging the best urban real estate opportunities for its stores. In 1998, Sitt deaccessioned his interest in Ashley Stewart and focus his energy primarily on the development and acquisition of prime real estate in urban markets with his real estate company Thor Equities.

Today, Thor Equities has an international retail, office, hotel, and residential portfolio valued at more than $5 billion and totaling more than 15 million square feet, and is a leader in urban real estate development, leasing and management. Mr. Sitt also serves as Chairman and Managing Principal of the Thor Urban Property Funds whose investors include pension funds, investment banks, top-tier college endowments, and foundations. Notable developments under Thor’s umbrella include the award winning restoration and redevelopment of the historic Palmer House Hilton in Chicago, London’s historic luxury landmark Burlington Arcade, and the Takashimaya building in the heart of Fifth Avenue—one of the most heavily trafficked and valuable retail streets in the world. Thor is also one of the largest landowners on Fifth Avenue.

Thor Equities has invested heavily in key emerging markets, especially Latin America. Notable projects include the development of a stretch of luxury European boutiques, including Gucci and Ferragamo, on the Avenida Presidente Masaryk in Mexico City and the formation of Thor Urbana Capital, a recently launched partnership between Thor and GFA Grupo Immobiliaro, which focuses solely on maximizing investment and developments throughout Latin America and South America.

In addition to Thor Equities and Thor Urban Real Estate Fund, Mr. Sitt oversees Thor High Street Advisors, which provides tenant representation and advisory services to retailers seeking premier retail locations around the world, and TOWN Residential, a full service, tailored luxury residential brokerage service in New York City.

Mr. Sitt is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and various universities including Columbia University, New York University, and Notre Dame and is an active board member of The Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, one of the most renowned and respected community development organizations in the country. He also serves on the board of the Real Estate Roundtable in Washington D.C., the Department of Real Estate at Baruch College, and is a member of the Partnership for New York City. He was an honoree of Crain’s New York’s annual “40 Under 40” list in 2004 and has been named by the New York Observer in its annual list as one of the most powerful people in New York Real Estate. Harvard professor Michael Porter and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) have also honored him for his commitment to fostering healthy competitive business conditions and new opportunities in inner city neighborhoods. He is a graduate of New York University.

Mr. Sitt is also the president and founder of the Sephardic Heritage Museum (SHM) which is currently developing books, documentary films, and a museum chronicling the life and history of the Syrian Jewish community in effort to foster a broader understanding and increased dialogue between the United States, Syria and Jewish and Muslim peoples. Mr. Sitt received permission from the Syrian Government to restore and manage the historic Jewish temples and cemeteries in Syria including the great Synagogue of Aleppo—a 3,000 year old synagogue and cemetery established by Israel’s King David. He also serves as Vice President of the SFF Food Fund which helps feed over 2,000 people in need.

Mr. Sitt has spent much of his career in youth development and education. Mr. Sitt serves on the Boards of Brooklyn’s TAB High School and Flatbush High School and most proudly, through a teen program, has acted as an ongoing mentor and guidance counselor to wayward youth in various New York City communities.»
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President & CEO
Altrum Honors
Stephen A. Sokoler is the Founder, President & CEO of Altrum Group, the global market leader in the financial deal gift industry. He manages the day-to-day operations, strategy, and vision of the Firm.

Working in the award business began for Stephen in 2002 at The Award Group. While there, he successfully ran all four of the company’s divisions and increased sales by over 200% in 5 years. In October 2007, Stephen purchased the assets of The Award Group’s Financial Division and created Icon Recognition. Stephen grew Icon Recognition into the third largest company in its industry and spearheaded its acquisition of The Gifted Portfolio and Don McDonald. Through this consolidation, Stephen rolled up the second, third, and fourth largest companies in the financial deal gift space, creating Altrum Group, the global leader with over 35% market share.

Since it’s formation in December 2009, Altrum Group has grown over 50% and, to complement their New York and London offices, Altrum Group has opened offices in Montreal, Hong Kong, and Sydney. Stephen recently returned from Sydney, where he lived for several months while opening the Australia office and overseeing the development of the Hong Kong office.

Stephen is an entrepreneur whose business ventures began at a young age. He created many successful businesses growing up and in college co-founded Corporate Event Management, producing concerts, special events, and corporate functions. In 2006 Stephen was the Founder and Managing Partner of Society Bar & Restaurant in New York City’s Greenwich Village.

Stephen graduated with honors from New York University’s Stern School of Business with a degree in Finance and International Business. He was a Stern Founder’s Scholar, which provided him with business trips to England, France, and Italy, as well as a 5 months studying in Madrid. Stephen enjoys travel, reading, exercise, and basketball, and currently lives in downtown New York City.»
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Co-Founder and Co-President
Edward has over 15 years of entrepreneurial experience in the technology and services industry. In 1996, Edward co-founded Net@Work, offering a service oriented approach to IT and network support. Net@Work has since grown into the United States' largest SAGE Software reseller of accounting/ ERP, CRM, HRMS and business management software. Through organic growth bolstered by a number of strategic acquisitions, Net@Work fields a team of more than 150 employees including consultants, developers, and network engineers. In addition to business applications, Net@Work consults on IT infrastructure, custom programming, document management, ECM, and eCommerce solutions.

As an owner of an emerging business, Edward completely understands the value of executive level involvement-and its contribution to a project's ultimate success-from the earliest planning stages through completion and beyond. Edward has been personally involved in numerous large-scale deployments. In addition to providing leadership, Edward's involvement lets clients know they are always receiving Net@Work's fullest attention and best resources. Currently, Edward spends a majority of his time at business development and strategic planning. In 2003, Edward co-founded Docutrend, a document management software and hardware company. Edward received his MBA in Finance from Baruch College, NY.»
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Sorin Royer Cooper
David Sorin, a co-founding partner of Sorin Royer Cooper, primarily focuses his practice on privately- and publicly-owned emerging growth, technology, and life science enterprises, as well as the investors, executives, and boards of directors who support and lead them.

Dave has a long track record of successful representation of growth companies, having been repeatedly recognized by well-known periodicals for a unique combination of legal acumen and sound business judgment. He also brings to bear his broad range of knowledge and experience in counseling enterprises and investors in diverse emerging growth markets, technology industries, and life sciences.

Many of the companies he has represented are well-known names throughout the Mid-Atlantic region.»
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President and Chief Operating Officer
Hartz Mountain Industries, Inc.
Serving as president and chief operating officer of Hartz Mountain Industries, Inc. since 1997, Emanuel Stern oversees numerous and diverse development projects throughout the New York/New Jersey area and manages one of the largest privately held commercial real estate portfolios in the country. Totaling 38 million sq. ft., the Hartz portfolio includes over 200 office, industrial, hotel and retail buildings.

Mr. Stern leads the company with a combination of keen business judgement and respect for the organization's family tradition. Recent initiatives he has directed include the speculative development of 70 & 90 Hudson Street at Colgate Center, a major catalyst in the renaissance of the Jersey City waterfront. In downtown Manhattan, Mr. Stern created a market for posh hotels where none had previously existed by developing the SoHo Grand and Tribeca Grand hotels. Mr. Stern also recently embarked on a cutting-edge redevelopment project at the former Ford Motor Company Plant in Edison, NJ that will become a model for converting aging industrial facilities to higher and better uses. While moving forward with new projects, Mr. Stern has remained equally committed to continually improving existing properties within the Hartz portfolio, as demonstrated by the repositioning of the company's Harmon Meadow mixed-use development and by recent renovations of SoHo and Tribeca Grand.

Mr. Stern runs the company with a rare combination of sharp business sense and family tradition, while actively pursuing interests in New York public affairs and culture. Among many community affairs positions, he was recently named Director of the New York Historical Society. Mr. Stern also is a Trustee of the esteemed Citizens Budget Commission of New York City as well as a Board member of the Jewish Community of Manhattan.»
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TechStars NYC
David is the Managing Director of TechStars NYC. TechStars NYC has funded 23 companies, who have then went on to raise more than $50m in funding. David is also the Managing Member of Box Group, a New York City based seed-stage angel capital firm.

As an investor or advisor, David has worked with over 50 startups including GroupMe (sold to Skupe), Boxee,,, adStruc, CrowdTwist, Goodsie, OnSwipe, SkillShare and DataMinr. David was recently named to Mayor Bloomberg’s Advisory Council on Technology.

Prior to joining TechStars, David served as Executive Vice President of Interactive Strategies at kgb, a global information services company. While at kgb, David founded and lead, a social aggregation startup within kgb.»
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CEO and Founder
5W Public Relations
Ronn Torossian founded 5W Public Relations in 2003, and since then has guided the company’s growth to the Inc. 500 list. His PR firm is 1 of the 25 largest in the US, where he has worked on client campaigns for clients including Coca-Cola, Microsoft, McDonald’s, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Whole Foods Market, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, Evian, VeriSign, XM Radio, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and many others.
A New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as “The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist.” CBS National News said, “Ronn Torossian knows spin.” He was referred to by The New York Post as a “publicity guru,” by Fox News as a “high-powered PR CEO,” by Tyra Banks as a “crisis management guru,” and by CNN as “a leading PR expert.”  Ronn Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media.
One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Ronn Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities.
In 2010, Torossian was named a semi-finalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to PR Week’s “40 Under 40″ and Advertising Age’s “40 Under 40″ lists.  His book, “For Immediate Release” was released in October 2011 and is available at bookstores nationwide.  Additionally, he is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.»
InterFACE Talent Network
Roman is CEO of InterFACE Talent Network

Launched in 2007, InterFACE scouts potential new talent, and provides undiscovered models and actors with the necessary marketing tools to support their development.

InterFACE is not a modeling agency or modeling school. Roman and his team teach talent how to maximize their exposure to modeling agencies, managers, casting agents, and other industry professionals.

Entertainment, modeling, acting, talent, marketing, and development»
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Lee & Associates NYC
A passionate and deeply committed New Yorker, Jim brings more than 30 years of real estate experience to his role of Sierra Real Estate (formerly Sierra Realty Corp.) president. Jim oversees all facets of Sierra's business including development and acquisitions, residential and commercial property management, leasing and sales brokerage and construction management.

As a real estate attorney with the law firm of Bachner, Tally, Misher, Brinberg & Polevoy, Jim represented Sierra Realty in all aspects of its real estate activities and in 1989, at the invitation of its principals, Jim joined the company as vice president. Eleven years later, in 2000, Jim assumed his current position as president of Sierra Real Estate. During his tenure at Sierra, Jim has engineered the growth of the company from a small real estate management firm to the full-service real estate company that it is today. In 2010, Jim's achievements were recognized by Real Estate Weekly where he was named one of its "Industry Leaders."

A strong believer in civic and community involvement, Jim demonstrates his commitment to New York and the real estate industry through his active leadership and involvement in numerous charitable and civic organizations by:

- Serving on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of The Community Housing Improvement Program, an advocacy organization of owners of rent-regulated housing.

- Serving on the Board of Housing New York PAC, a political action committee formed to support local elected officials who favor sensible housing legislation.

- Serving as the Chairperson of the New York Council for The Appleseed Foundation, a not-for-profit organization comprised of 16 justice centers around the United States and Mexico.

- Serving on the Board of Directors of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance where Jim is currently spearheading its efforts to establish music programs in public schools throughout the South Bronx and in other underserved New York City communities.

- Serving on the Board of Directors of the Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Boston University School of Law, Jim has authored numerous articles on various topics, lectured regularly at The Stephen L. Newman Real Estate Institute of Baruch College and the National Real Estate Conference, and has been featured as a keynote speaker at several real estate conferences in New York. Jim currently resides on the Upper East Side of Manhattan with his wife and two children.»
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Two Trees Management Co. LLC
Jed Walentas is a principal of Two Trees Management Company. Jed began his career in real estate working for The Trump Organization after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1997, when the Giuliani administration agreed to rezone DUMBO, Jed came to work with his father, David Walentas, at Two Trees.

In recent years, Jed has assumed daily operating responsibility at Two Trees. Jed manages the company and oversees all aspects of the acquisition, development, construction, marketing and leasing of Two Trees’ properties. Under Jed’s leadership, Two Trees has transformed DUMBO from a gritty, underutilized industrial district into a vibrant, creative community that has preserved and built upon the existing local arts scene to create a world-renowned neighborhood. Today, DUMBO is a home to emerging and established arts and cultural organizations, as well as an eclectic mix of commercial and residential tenants. Two Trees leases space to approximately 400 commercial tenants including Etsy, Huge, Wireless Generation, West Elm, and scores of others who create one of the City’s most vibrant technology sectors in DUMBO.
Two Trees successfully spearheaded a campaign to wire the entire neighborhood making DUMBO NYC’s first truly wireless community. Continued cultivation of the neighborhood’s retail establishments create wonderful shopping opportunities for visitors, workers and residents alike and provide the neighborhood with its genuine feeling of authenticity. In addition, Two Trees gives away or heavily subsidizes close to 100,000 square feet of space every year for artists and arts-related organizations.

Current projects that Jed oversees include the design, construction and leasing of Mercedes House, an architecturally breathtaking, 29-story, green, mixed-use building with more than 900 residences on the West Side of Manhattan that will be fully completed in 2012. In addition to the residential uses, Two Trees built and sold a 350,000 square foot commercial condominium to Mercedes Benz to serve as their Manhattan flagship and also their pre-eminent service facility in the region.

Also in construction is Two Trees’ first foray into the hotel world – The Wythe Hotel will be a 72-room boutique hotel in the heart of Williamsburg. The project is a painstakingly executed gut renovation of an old cooperage that has maintained the building’s historic charms and will provide guests with tremendous service along with today’s modern conveniences. The project is scheduled to open in spring, 2012.

Last year, Two Trees also completed the conversion of Gair2, a 106-unit 80/20 rental building in DUMBO which provided the neighborhood with its first affordable housing units. Starting next summer, Two Trees will commence work on Dock Street Dumbo, a several hundred thousand foot mixed use project at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge that will feature a new 300-seat middle school, which will be donated to the City of New York. The project will also include more than 300 units of rental housing, plentiful parking and retail at the street grade.

In past years, Jed led the conversion of 110 Livingston Street from the headquarters of the NYC Board of Education into 300-uxury condominiums; the transformation of 70 Washington Street, a former industrial warehouse building, into 259-high-end residential condominiums; and the conversion of a Downtown Brooklyn parking lot into the Court House, the first and only 80/20 rental building in Brooklyn housing the 40,000-square foot acclaimed Dodge YMCA and 320-luxury rental apartments for mixed-income tenants. Across the street, Two Trees has also brought retailers Trader Joes, Barneys Co-op and Urban Outfitters to Atlantic Avenue.

Jed is a committed supporter of the arts and education. He is a member of the Executive Board of Directors of REBNY, the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, the Urban Assembly and Creative Time. He lives with his wife Kate Engelbrecht, a photographer, and their son, Theo, in Manhattan.»
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In 2009, young entrepreneur Matt Wiener started believing he could offer incredible deals every day.

We scour the world until we're very, very tired seeking the very best deals we can possibly grab so that you, the customer, get savings you never dreamed of! Our deals are so ridiculous you'll think we really did steal our items! (But we didn't! No matter what you hear about ear warmer smuggling rings or exotic waffle maker heists).»
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