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Ryan Bailine, MRED+U Board Member

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Shareholder at Greenberg Traurig, LLP, Ryan Bailine, has been an active member of our Advisory Board since 2017 and says that he "enjoys being part of the board and meeting with people in the industry; we do it not for business purposes but to give back."
Ryan spends a lot of his own time mentoring our students. As one of two lawyers on our board, he can’t hire students directly, so he wants to provide value through his relationships. He looks to help students find placements and open opportunities, going above and beyond just meeting for coffee or grabbing lunch.

Jessica Younis, MRED+U’17

October 2022

spotlight-jessicay.jpg"I graduated from the MRED+U program in 2017. Upon graduation, I began working as a project coordinator at Lynx Construction Management. I worked at the company for 2 years, gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience in the construction field/industry. I had been interested in transitioning my career path and construction didn’t seem to be the right fit for me. During my time as a student in the MRED+U program, I did internships in real estate marketing and healthcare which allowed me to have a diverse background. After some time and research, I found a great place to transition to at Starbucks -- not only for my love of coffee but for the unique opportunity. I started working at Starbucks in April 2019 in the Store Design and Development Department with the goal to grow within the company." - Jessica Younis, MRED+U Class of 2017 and Store Design Administrator at Starbucks

Joe Furst, MRED+U Board Member

 spotlight-joef.jpgSeptember 2022

Our Board Member Joe Furst is the Founder and Managing Principle of Place Projects. Place Projects is a Miami-based real estate investment firm, operating partner, and placemaker focused on reimagining the real estate landscape through development, planning, and content curation.
Joe hosted our students during Orientation Week as he gave us a tour of his project Nora, an adaptive reuse and new development which will be home to best-in-class hospitality, retail, and wellness, as well as hotel, office, and residential development that will change the future of West Palm for the better.

Ben Besunder, MRED+U’17

spotlight-benb.jpgSeptember 2022

Ben is a Development Coordinator at Housing Trust Group, LLC, a proud annual Bronze Sponsor of the ULI Southeast Florida/Caribbean. Earlier this summer, Ben and the rest of the HTG team celebrated the completion of the Father Marquess-Barry Apartments, an $18.5 million affordable housing community for seniors located in historic Overtown, which is a finalist for an AHF 2022 Readers' Choice Award! Residents of the property have access to a long list of amenities, as well as free on-site programs including literacy training, assistance with light housekeeping / grocery shopping, and other community events and activities.

Toby Cobb, MRED+U Board Member

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Toby Cobb is a Co-Founder and Co-Managing Partner at 3650 REIT and Co-CEO of Grass River Property, a 3650 REIT affiliate. Toby graciously hosted our students in his offices during last month's orientation week -- and then they headed on a site tour of Grove Central, one of Grass River's exciting new properties!

Nicole Ferrarini, MRED+U’16

 spotlight-nicolef.jpgSeptember 2022

Today’s Alumni Spotlight is Nicole Ferrarini, MRED+U Class of 2016. After graduation, Nicole joined Fortis Design + Build as a Project Engineer and has since become an integral part of their team as a Development Executive. Nicole has experience in boutique & luxury hotels, multifamily condominium & rental developments, and high-end custom residences. She’s the recipient of the Addison Mizner Medal for Excellence and was selected as Who’s Who in America.

Samuel E. Herrera, MRED+U’20


September 2022

Sam is a co-founder of REDconnect, a networking group for those involved in and around our MRED+U program, and is currently working as an Associate at Grass River Property. Grass River is a part of the Project Team for CocoWalk, which is a finalist for the Project of the Year at this year’s ULI Southeast Florida/Caribbean Vision Awards taking place in September.

Michael Tillman, MRED+U Board Member

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Michael Tillman, Co-Founder and CEO of PTM Partners is an integral part of our Board and comes into the classroom from time to time as a guest speaker to discuss all things South Florida real estate, which our students always enjoy. He also employs not one but two MRED+U alumni at his firm, as a full-time employee and as an intern. We hope to see Michael up at the podium in one of our lecture halls again very soon!

Steve Owens, MRED+U Board Member

July 2022

spotlight-steveo.jpgToday's Board Member Spotlight is Steve Owens, former President of Swire Properties Inc. (USA). MRED+U Program Director Charles Bohl shared some insight into Steve's involvement with our program.

"Steve was instrumental in moving the Board from a passive advisory role into active engagement with our students. The example he set, and his willingness to share his experience with the students at Board meetings, set the bar for his peers on the Board and led to the adoption of mentorship as a requirement set down in our bylaws for all future Board members. Steve was the first to endorse the request for financial support of the MRED+U students, supporting the initial scholarship request and then branding the Annual Student-Board Luncheon at the Annual Impact Conference. Today, we count 230+ alumni working in all manners of real estate careers throughout the United States and abroad thanks in no small part to Steve and his fellow Board members."

David Schulwitz, MRED+U’20

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Former US Air Force Nuclear Missile Combat Crew member & MRED+U alumnus David Schulwitz grew up in Michigan inspired by a full house of self-employed architects, engineers, real estate agents, and brokers. He moved to Florida's east coast and joined our MRED+U Program in 2020 to pursue his second master’s degree.
“MRED+U... it's a path to many doors. The relationships, the networking experience, building trust, and the courses are what attracted me to join this program. I’m excited to see how my colleagues develop along their journey. I want to be able to reconnect with them again to eventually create and build something together."

Matthew Rieger, MRED+U Board Member

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President & CEO of Housing Trust Group, LLC, Matthew Rieger. Matt recognizes the need for affordable housing in Miami. Housing Trust Group's latest affordable housing community, Father Marquess-Barry Apartments, was designed to provide senior citizens with affordable housing in Overtown.

Meg Daly, MRED+U Board Member

spotlight-megd.jpgJune 2022

Today’s MRED+U Board Member Spotlight is Founder & President of Friends of The Underline and member of the Miami-Dade Citizens' Independent Transportation Trust, Meg Daly. Since its founding, Friends of The Underline has been committed to transforming the underutilized land below Miami’s Metrorail — from the Miami River to Dadeland South Station — into a 10-mile linear park, urban trail and public art destination.
The development of this 120-acre park in Miami’s urban core celebrates building a world-class city with: Diversity and Inclusivity, Innovation, Health and Wellness, Sustainability, Safety and Mobility, Connectivity, and Fun!

Tanya Rivera, MRED+U’21

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Tanya Rivera, Class of ‘21, made the most of her time in our MRED+U program as a Research Assistant for one of our professors on campus & as an intern at PMG. Now, Tanya is an Associate Project Manager at Claro Development Solutions! She's also an artist -- creating one-of-a-kind pieces, some of which were displayed during Art Basel last year!

Mallory Baches, MRED+U Board Member

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Mallory Baches, an urban designer with over twenty years of experience working at the intersection of urban planning and community development. Mallory will be at the forefront of New Urbanism education, working with CNU members, University of Miami School of Architecture faculty, and leading New Urbanism experts to update and enhance the CNU-Accreditation curriculum and exam content.

Samuel Herrera, Michaela Senior, and Nick Nicola, MRED+U’20

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Founders Samuel Herrera, Michaela Senior, and Nick Nicola, three MRED+U Alumni that found themselves asking, "Why isn't there a networking group to mingle and connect?" after graduation -- so they came together and founded REDconnect, a networking group for MRED+U alumni, Advisory Board members, faculty, students, mentors, and more.

Lissette Calderon, MRED+U Board Member

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Lissette Calderon is the President & CEO of Neology Life, a lifestyle-driven residential and commercial real estate firm that is synonymous with redefining urban neighborhoods in South Florida for over a decade. “Nothing makes me prouder than to see the evolution of Miami’s riverfront and communities like Allapattah knowing that I’ve played a role in enhancing these neighborhoods,” she says.

Anthony Graziano, MRED+U Board Member

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Anthony Graziano, Chairman and CEO at Integra Realty Resources.The University of Miami School ofArchitecture hosted its first Spring Term Salon series back in February 2022 where Anthony was a special guest panelist. The guiding question for this Salon was: “What has been the impact of COVID on South Florida real estate, and what does the future hold in the ‘Post-Pandemic’ era?”

Kathy Moorman, MRED+U Board Member

April 2022


Kathy Moorman is Corporate VP of Real Estate at Baptist Health Enterprises. 

Kathy has been in the healthcare real estate division with Baptist Health since 2006 and brings an interesting perspective to

ourreal estate board, as healthcare is the primary focus of their real estate decisions. One of the things that she tells students who are unsure if they are starting in the right field is that she didn’t begin in

Medical Real Estate. “You can go anywhere, even if you don’t start there,” she tells them.

Chloe Pereira, MRED+U '18

Chloe PereiraFebruary 2021

As a dual graduate of the MRED+U and MCM programs, Chloe is skilled in all phases of real estate development. Today, she uses her industry experience as a BIM Coordinator for Coasta Construction to provide insight to potential buyers in the residential real estate realm.

Amanda Bonvecchio, MRED+U '15

Amanda BonvecchioFebruary 2021

Since graduating, Amanda has nurtured a variety of industry segments including historic preservation, new construction, adaptive reuse, and interior design. She works as the Director of Design and Construction for Vagabond Group and remains an active member of our MRED+U alumni network.

Celeste Desiano, MRED+U '20

Celeste DesianoJanuary 2021

MRED+U was founded to provide students with hands-on education and effective tools to further their futures in real estate. "The University of Miami is not only a place to study and learn, but a place where opportunities happen," expressed Celeste Desiano, MRED+U class of '20.

Darwyn Kelly, MRED+U '21

Darwyn KellyJanuary 2021

This exemplary MRED+U student works hard, gets involved, and stays engaged to maximize his efforts through our program. Since day one, Darwyn has contributed to multiple interdisciplinary projects to better our community. Some of his engagements include working with the Urban Land Institute to advise the City of Deerfield Beach, generating industry research, and publishing industry insights through his platform: True Works Publications.

Hunter Holtz, MRED+U '21

Hunter HoltzJanuary 2021

"I have always wanted to live in Miami – I love everything about this city. Once accepted into the MRED+U program, which combines both of my passions (Miami and real estate development), choosing to come here was a no-brainer," said current MRED+U student Hunter Holtz.

Tanya Rivera, MRED+U '21

Tanya RiveraDecember 2020

Congratulations to current MRED+U student Tanya Rivera on her contributions to PMG Development, the full-service real estate development company, through our Mentorship program! 

Spencer Sorfleet, MRED+U '21

Spencer SorfleetDecember 2020

Why do students choose MRED+U to further their real estate education? "I chose this program to make connections with like-minded individuals and hopefully [to] make an impact in the world through these opportunities," said Spencer Sorfleet

Nonyelum Ogbodo, MRED+U '20

Nonyelum OgbodoDecember 2020

“Walking into the MRED+U program, I didn’t know what to expect — especially being my first time in Florida ever. All of the hands-on experiences, travel, events, conferences, and top-tier networking with South Florida Who’s Who of Real Estate was unmatched! I’m excited to tap into the world of sports venue development and architecture after my time at UM!” said MRED+U graduate Nonyelum Ogbodo

Krystal Sheppard, MRED+U '21

Krystal SheppardNovember 2020

Meet Krystal Sheppard: the stellar MRED+U student taking all elements of real estate by storm! With a background in interior architecture and design, Krystal is more than equipped to add real estate development to her dynamic portfolio.

Nicholas Nicola, MRED+U '20

Nicholas NicolaNovember 2020

"The MRED+U program was great. I enjoyed meeting people starting out in the industry and the current leaders in the Miami market." - Nicholas Nicola (MRED+U class of '20)


Jackie Gonzalez Touzet, MRED+U Board Member

Jackie Gonzalez TouzetNovember 2020

Today, we're recognizing long-time MRED+U Board Member Jacqueline Gonzalez Touzet for her contributions to our industry! As the Co-Founder of @touzetstudio, Jacqueline shares her passion for livable and sustainable design through professional and personal projects. In fact, she recently won three AIA Miami 2020 Design Awards, further cementing her impact on our community.

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.”

Stephanie 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.