Movers & Shakers: November 2023

5 minute read

Margaret Salazar     CEO     REACH Community Development      Portland, Ore.

The REACH Community Development Board of Directors announced the appointment of Margaret Salazar as the organization’s new CEO. Salazar comes to REACH from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) where she served as the Northwest Regional Administrator. Before her role at HUD, Salazar served as the Director of Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS). Salazar first joined HUD in 2006, helping to finance the development of multifamily rental homes. She later served as Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Multifamily Housing at HUD headquarters in Washington, D.C. In 2016, Salazar was appointed Director of OHCS before rejoining HUD in January 2022.

Vessel Technologies, New York 

Tom Sharpin      Vice President of Franchise Sales

Jonathan Buck      Franchise Sales Director

Scott Wolfe      Franchise Sales Director

Vessel Technologies, Inc. has added three experienced franchise development professionals to its growing team. The team is charged with identifying talented local entrepreneurs who would become housing providers to their communities. Tom Sharpin joins Vessel as Vice President of Franchise Sales, where he will be responsible for managing the existing sales team in addition to opening new markets throughout the nation. His initial focus will be on states in the Southeast and the Southwest. Sharpin previously served as Regional Vice President of Franchise Development for Choice Hotels International. Jonathan Buck, most recently Regional Director at BWH Hotel Group, will oversee franchise sales throughout New England and New York. He previously was a Director of Franchise Sales at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. Scott Wolfe was previously Regional Vice President at Sonesta Hotels & Resorts in the Mid-Atlantic, Great Lakes and Southeast regions and will lead franchise sales efforts in Delaware, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Washington D.C., and West Virginia. 

Ama Romaine      General Counsel     Progress Residential      Atlanta

Progress Residential announced Ama Romaine has joined the company as General Counsel. Based in Atlanta, Romaine will serve as a member of Progress’ executive leadership committee, providing insights as a counselor and resource on business direction and strategy, particularly around housing stability and affordability. Romaine replaces Ariel Amir who is retiring from this role, although Amir will remain at Progress as a Senior Advisor. Most recently, Romaine was Managing Director and Global General Counsel in real estate asset management for Blackstone, where she advised multifamily and affordable housing companies while implementing strategic priorities across the 40+ real estate portfolio companies. 

Howard Hughes Holdings, Columbia, Md.

Kristi Smith      President, Maryland Region

Greg Fitchitt      Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and Business Development     

Howard Hughes Holdings Inc. announced Kristi Smith has been named President of the company’s Maryland region, where she will lead the continued growth and revitalization of Downtown Columbia. Smith brings 20 years of experience with a focus in the Washington, D.C., metro. Smith previously served as Executive Vice President in charge of Development for JBG SMITH. She oversaw the company’s mixed-use multifamily and commercial projects in top submarkets. Smith assumes the role of Regional President from Greg Fitchitt, who has been with Howard Hughes since 2013. Fitchitt brings his expertise to his new role as Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and Business Development at Howard H.

Lisa Yeh      President     Sentral     Los Angeles

Sentral announced its Board of Directors has promoted Lisa Yeh to President, effective Aug. 1. In this expanded role, Yeh will oversee Sentral’s day-to-day operations, in addition to her current responsibilities as Chief Operating Officer. Jon Slavet stepped down from his role as Chief Executive Officer to pursue other opportunities as of July 31. Yeh has served as Sentral’s COO for more than two years and brings over 20 years of multifamily experience to her role as President. As COO, she has been instrumental in delivering and optimizing Sentral’s unique business model. In her career, Yeh has held senior roles with multifamily companies including Essex Property Trust, AvalonBay Communities and CityView.

Laura Rodriguez     Regional Vice President of Operations      RKW Residential     Miami

RKW Residential strengthened its leadership team in Florida with the arrival of new Regional Vice President of Operations Laura Rodriguez. The industry veteran comes to RKW with nearly three decades of property management experience covering all asset classes. Rodriguez previously held important roles with numerous developers and management firms including Housing Trust Group, Alliance Residential, ZRS Management and Equity Residential. At RKW, she is responsible for the day-to-day operational oversight of the Florida region.

Tina West      Executive Vice President     SRG Residential      Newport Beach, Calif.

SRG Residential, an affiliate of Sares Regis Group, expands its executive ranks with the addition of Tina West as Executive Vice President of its Client Advisory Group. West will lead the Client Advisory Group’s efforts to develop strategic, third-party management relationships nationally while also focusing on growing SRG Residential’s property management footprint in existing markets such as Texas, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and Nevada. A 35-year multifamily veteran, she joins SRG Residential after serving as Executive Managing Director at Cushman & Wakefield, where she oversaw operations in the western region, including 110,000 units in 13 markets.

Julie Shannon      Senior Vice President of Human Resources      The Bainbridge Companies     Wellington, Fla. 

The Bainbridge Companies announced Julie Shannon has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Human Resources. The promotion comes as Shannon celebrates 25 years with The Bainbridge Companies. She is responsible for leading all of Bainbridge’s human resources disciplines including compensation and human resources systems, labor and employee relations, benefits and compliance. Shannon has served in multiple roles since joining the company in 1998 including leading labor and employee relations, state and federal regulations compliance, and payroll and benefits administration. Prior to joining Bainbridge, Shannon served in various roles within the multifamily industry including supporting pre-leasing for new construction, marketing outreach and accounting functions.