Spotlights

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Arden Karson, MRED+U Board Member

Arden KarsonOctober 2020

Arden Karson, MRED+U Advisory Board member, recently launched her own firm, Karson & CO –– where she serves as Managing Principal. Arden has a diverse background in acquisitions, sales and marketing, asset management, leasing, development, and financing of commercial and residential properties in all asset types. Throughout her career, she served in executive and leadership roles at CBRE, Related Group, Lennar, Bank of America, and PWC. Ms. Karson is active with many industry organizations and has been acknowledged by the media as a Power Real Estate Leader and a Top Business Woman. 

Following three and a half years of serving as Senior Managing Director at CBRE and leading three South Florida CBRE offices (Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Boca Raton), she decided it was time to launch her own firm. “I felt it was time to take my 25+ years of South Florida real estate experience and my national and global contacts, and put them to work to help build a real estate venture focused on South Florida”, says Arden. “One of my goals for Karson & CO is to be at the top of the list when companies are looking to invest in commercial real estate in South Florida. As new capital enters the Miami market, my plan is for Karson & CO to facilitate those transactions while leveraging the contacts I have cultivated throughout my career”, added Arden.

Arden enthusiastically enjoys being a mentor to young entrepreneurs. When asked, what she would recommend for aspiring graduate students who desire to immerse themselves in the real estate industry she replied, “get a real estate license, join a young professionals networking group, be persistent, prepared, have a story, and everything matters”.

Steve Cohen, MRED+U Board Member

Steve CohenSeptember 2020

Steve Cohen, MRED+U Advisory Board member, recently commenced a new position with Synovus in Miami, Florida. In his new role, he will serve as Senior Director. Steve is responsible for the management of the team and clients based in Southeast and Southwest Florida, within the Synovus Commercial Real Estate Line of Business. Steve has spent 35 years in the Real Estate commercial banking industry in various leadership roles throughout north, south, and central Florida. He has developed this wealth of experience working for Sun Trust Bank, American Momentum Bank, Iberia Bank, and now Synovus. He credits his prosperity throughout his career to, “doing the current job really well and being in the right place at the right time for the next opportunity”, says Steve.

The Synovus opportunity came about through an industry friendship that he developed with a competitor while he served as Senior Vice President for American Momentum Bank in Orlando. Synovus is in the midst of evolving to serve future clients and Steve looks forward to helping transform the company from a strategic direction and a client management standpoint. He strives to help Synovus, “create the brand where we are known for creative financing solutions in South Florida”.  

For new MRED+U students who are looking to make the most out of their time in the program, Steve renders invaluable advice. “It is essential to build relationships with classmates and Advisory Board members. Those relationships will propel them to great success in the future”, says Steve. Covid-19 has brought upon us unprecedented times ­–– forcing students to adapt. Steve advises students to, “Take advantage of every opportunity to be exposed to information. Nobody has all of the answers, but with information you can be pointed in the right direction. That information can be shared with prospective employers. If a prospective employer sees a candidate who is well informed through their own initiative, they will want to hire that person”.

Andrew Samonas, MRED+U '20

Andrew SamonasAugust 2020

“Not only did the world literally change when I was at UM, UM changed the way I view the world.” Recent MRED+U graduate Andrew Samonas has thrived living out our program's lessons on resiliency and perspective as we all transition into a new age of real estate development.

Sam Herrera, MRED+U '20

Sam HerreraJune 2020

"The past year has been terrific for learning extensively about real estate development and making connections in development circles in Miami. Through the site visits to projects under construction, the immersive courses at school, trips to real estate conferences, networking with Advisory Board members and making new friends in a new city, I have truly enjoyed and maximized my MRED+U experience."

 

Troy Gulec, MRED+U '19

Troy GulecMay 2020

"The impact of buildings on society fascinate me... thanks to the MRED+U program, I was able to realize this passion and had the tools at my disposal to make it a reality." Troy is also a graduate of the UM Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Urban Design. Troy is currently the VP of Development, Planning and Design at Redevco Management.

Ariel Fraynd, MRED+U '17

Ariel FrayndMarch 2020

As a graduate from our 2017 class, Ariel has a Corporate Develpoment Internship with Florida East Coast Industries and a Development Coordinator position with Housing Trust Group under his belt. He was recently promoted to Development Manager at Housing Trust Group. "I'm grateful to the MRED+U team for everything they do to make our program a success and one of the top real estate development programs in the country."

Elena Alvarez, MRED+U '19

Elena AlvarezFebruary 2020

Thanks to our program, Elena met several influential industry leaders who gave her the tools to apply for the Starwood Property Trust Summer Internship. After eight weeks, she was offered a position as a rotational analyst through Starwood's 2.5-year training program. Now, she is a full-time senior analyst at Starwood Mortgage Capital's CMBS originations segment.

David Martinez-Delgado, MRED+U '19

David Martinez-DelgadoJanuary 2020

"The high level of networking and real access to leading experts and players in the fields of Real Estate and Construction is an incredible asset to all attending the MRED+U program. Continued support from faculty and staff keeps all students and alumni connected, like a renewed family, throughout the year and semesters."

Emran Ally, MRED+U '15

Emran AllyDecember 2019

"For me, the most beneficial aspect of MRED+U was the focused curriculum and exposure to major participants in the development world in Miami." Emran now teaches "Retail Placemaking" to MRED+U and Architecture students.

Charlo Jenkins, MRED+U '11

Charlo JenkinsNovember 2019

"Being an alumni member has not only provided an excellent opportunity to work with former graduates as the advance their careers, but also the inside track to hiring the best upcoming talent."

Karim Fayaz, MRED+U '19

Karim FayazOctober 2019

"The MRED+U program has been a remarkable learning experience for me, and the most enjoyable one that I have been a part of here at the University. The faculty have been very helpful and accommodating, and always look for the students' best interest. Just the network of diverse and educated classmates that I have met are enough reason to take the program. The amount of netwroking that the program provides is extremely valuable; including the mentroship program, various conferences, or casual outings. In addition, I have not seen another program at the University put this much effort in helping students land jobs and internships. Looking forward to pursuing my last semester.”

Stefanie Tarud, MRED+U '19

Stephanie Tarud

September 2019

Stephanie Tarud shines bright with several prestigious honors, including awards and certificates from big names in our industry like ULI SE Florida. With a Master in Real Estate development + Urbanism and in Construction Management, as well as a previous Master in Architecture, there's no stopping this diligent 'Cane grad. 

Chao Wang, MRED+U '19

Chao WangJuly 2019

Chao Wang, set to graduate duo MRED+U and MUD program this December. Chao is skilled in a multitude of related fields. After completing his intership from Fortune International Group last year, he has decided to expand his experience overseas by exploring more opportunities in real estate and urban design.

Erin Sutherland, MRED+U '18

Erin SutherlandMay 2019

Erin Sutherland, MRED+U Class of '18. During her time with MRED+U Erin brought an engaged spirit and unique industry knowledge to the classroom as she worked full-time at Akerman. Her success at MRED+U earned her an internship with Starwood Property Trust and ultimately a full-time position with Terra Group. This shining star is an active MRED+U alum, participating as a mentor to incoming students.