Team Members

Co-Founders

Richard H. Chase – Primary focus on investment strategy, acquisitions and client relations.

Richard H. Chase
Principal – Acquisitions

Richard is responsible for all company activities with a primary focus on investment strategy, acquisitions and client relations. His current focus is strategy execution for Penwood’s four closed-end value creation funds.

Previously, Mr. Chase worked as Managing Director of Acquisitions for CIGNA Realty Investors (CIGNA). He was responsible for originating, underwriting, structuring, and closing new equity investments. Mr. Chase joined CIGNA in 1983 and his team acquired $1.8 billion of equity investments, produced $3.7 billion of debt investments and sold $250 million of equity investments. Previously, Mr. Chase was a real estate investment team leader with Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Company and prior to that an investment analyst with Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company. Mr. Chase received an M.S. in Finance from the University of Massachusetts and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University. He is a member of the Pension Real Estate Association and Urban Land Institute.

John M. Hurley – Primary focus on investment strategy, product development, portfolio management, compliance and client relations.

John M. Hurley
Principal – Portfolio Management

John is responsible for all company activities with a primary focus on investment strategy, product development, portfolio management, compliance, and client relations. His current focus is strategy execution for Penwood’s four closed-end value creation funds.

Previously, Mr. Hurley worked as Managing Director, Head of Product Development for CIGNA. He was the portfolio manager in charge of value-creation and separate accounts and a member of the Executive Committee. He managed portfolios in both value-creation and core real estate funds for large public and corporate pension plans. Mr. Hurley joined CIGNA’s real estate group in 1993, and was responsible for originating new commercial mortgage transactions, including construction/permanent loans, construction take-outs and permanent financings. Mr. Hurley is a member of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, Urban Land Institute, Pension Real Estate Association and Cornell University’s Real Estate Council. Mr. Hurley is also a member of NAIOP’s Investment Management II Forum. He received a B.A. from Bowdoin College and an M.B.A. from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management.

Karen A. Nista – Primary focus on investment strategy, asset management, financing, and client relations.

Karen NistaKaren A. Nista
Principal – Asset Management

Karen is responsible for all company activities with a primary focus on investment strategy, asset management, financing and client relations. Her current focus is strategy execution for Penwood’s four closed-end value creation funds.

Previously, she was a Managing Director at CIGNA where she was in charge of individually managed separate accounts. Prior to that, Ms. Nista was Head of Asset Management for CIGNA’s value creation and separate account strategies. Ms. Nista joined CIGNA from Henderson Global Investors, Inc. where she held positions within the Asset Management and Portfolio Management divisions. Her asset management experience includes all commercial and multi-family property sectors in various geographical areas of the United States. Portfolio management activities include both separate accounts and commingled funds. Ms. Nista is a member of the Real Estate Exchange and the National Network for Commercial Real Estate Women (NNCREW). Ms. Nista received her B.S. in Real Estate Finance and Urban Economic Studies from the University of Connecticut.

Other Professionals

Joseph J. Koziol – Chief Financial Officer responsible for all accounting functions.

Joseph J. Koziol
Chief Financial Officer

Joseph is responsible for all fund and company accounting functions. Mr. Koziol most recently worked as an Assistant Director for CIGNA managing the accounting and reporting functions for all CIGNA managed real estate assets, including the oversight of the preparation and review of unaudited and audited financials for CIGNA’s real estate investment portfolios. Mr. Koziol was also responsible for the review and implementation of procedures and documentation to ensure overall compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley regulations and internal control policies. He joined CIGNA in 1997 after gaining significant accounting and financial analysis experience at Mutual of New York and prior to that Cushman & Wakefield. Mr. Koziol is well versed in GAAP, SEC, NCREIF and STAT accounting and reporting. He received a B.S. in Finance and an M.B.A. in Accounting from the University of Connecticut.

Susan Babcock White – General Counsel, is responsible for the legal affairs of the company and its funds.

Susan Babcock White
General CounselPrior to joining Penwood, Ms. White was in private law practice specializing in commercial real estate acquisitions, dispositions, development, property repositioning, leasing and financing. Ms. White previously served as General Counsel of FirstLight Power Resources, a GDF SUEZ energy generation company, and was responsible for regulatory compliance, land management, contracting, litigation management and general legal services for all company facilities and corporate office operations. Prior to her position with GDF SUEZ/FirstLight, Ms. White served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel to Realty Finance Corporation (formerly CBRE Realty Finance, Inc.) a publicly-traded commercial mortgage finance company. Ms. White received a B.A. in English from Colgate University and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law.

Howard Freeman – Managing Director primarily responsible for transaction origination and the analysis of investments located on the East Coast.

Howard Freeman

Howard Freeman
Managing Director – East Coast Acquisitions

Howard is primarily responsible for transaction origination and the analysis of investments located on the East Coast. Previously, Howard served as the Senior Vice President, Investments and established the East Coast office of Los Angeles based Cohen Asset Management, Inc. where he was responsible for transaction origination and the execution of the business strategies for a portfolio of industrial assets. Prior to joining Cohen, Howard served as the Senior Regional Director and the Senior Investment Officer for the Eastern Region of First Industrial Realty Trust, Inc. where he was primarily responsible for the company’s acquisition, development, redevelopment, repositioning, disposition, leasing, operation and asset management activities in select markets along the East Coast. Over the course of his career, Howard has completed over $2 billion in single-asset and portfolio acquisitions and dispositions, land and vertical developments, sale-leaseback transactions, joint ventures and operating company investments.

Mr. Freeman is an active member of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP). Mr. Freeman received a B.S. in Applied Economics from Cornell University and an M.B.A. in Finance from Columbia University.

Lawrence A. Cox
General Counsel

Larry is responsible for the legal affairs of the company and its funds. Prior to joining Penwood, Mr. Cox was Special Counsel to the law firm of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP, specializing in real estate development joint ventures and real estate investment funds, including representation of Penwood and its two closed-end value creation funds. Mr. Cox previously worked in the real estate investment law group of CIGNA Corporation for 20 years, where he held the title of Assistant General Counsel, managed a team of lawyers and legal assistants, and negotiated and documented commercial real estate transactions. Prior to his position with CIGNA, Mr. Cox was an associate attorney with the law firm of Robinson & Cole and prior to that was an engineer with Pratt & Whitney Aircraft. Mr. Cox received a B.S. in aeronautical engineering from the University of Illinois, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and a J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Christine M. Kubas – Senior Vice President responsible for ongoing analysis of assets under management.

Nicholas Pellico – Senior Vice President primarily responsible for sourcing, analyzing and performing due diligence for the company¹s prospective acquisitions of income producing industrial/warehouse/distribution real estate investments in Southern California.

Zachary H. Flynn – Vice President primarily responsible for sourcing, analyzing and performing due diligence for the company’s prospective acquisitions in Penwood’s target markets.

Zachary FlynnZachary H. Flynn
Vice President

Zack is primarily responsible for sourcing, analyzing and performing due diligence for the company’s prospective acquisitions in Penwood’s target markets.  In this capacity he works with the Head of Acquisitions to establish and verify the assumptions used in the underwriting cash flow models. Prior to joining Penwood, Mr. Flynn worked for Hartford Investment Management Company’s private real estate group where he was actively involved in the origination, underwriting and closing of commercial mortgage loans. He received his B.S. in Finance – Real Estate and Urban Economics with a minor in Environmental Studies from the University of Connecticut.

Elisabeth C. Fortuna – Fund Controller primarily responsible for the accounting and reporting requirements for the real estate investments and their respective partnerships, investor reporting and compliance.

Elisabeth C. Fortuna
Fund Controller

Prior to joining Penwood, Ms. Fortuna worked as an Assistant Portfolio Controller at Cornerstone Real Estate Advisers. In this position she was responsible for the property and portfolio level accounting requirements, managing the audit process and the preparation of investor reports. Prior to that, she was a senior financial analyst for real estate investments at CIGNA, which she joined in 2002. Ms. Fortuna received a B.S. in Finance from Central Connecticut State University and an M.B.A. from the University of Massachusetts.

Nicholas Balkun
Investment Analyst

Nick is primarily responsible for analyzing and performing due diligence for the company’s prospective acquisitions, along with ongoing analysis and valuation of assets under management. In this capacity, he works with the Acquisitions and Management teams to support underwriting and ongoing management of assets. Mr. Balkun received his B.S. in Finance with a minor in Psychology from the University of Connecticut.

Donna Lucente works closely with the management team to support all areas of Penwood’s operations with a focus on administrative functions, insurance coverage for portfolio properties, quarterly report research, compliance reporting, and client service.

Donna Lucente
Investment Associate

Donna works closely with the management team to support all areas of Penwood’s operations with a focus on administrative functions, insurance coverage for portfolio properties, quarterly report research, compliance reporting, and client service. Prior to joining Penwood, Ms. Lucente worked at CIGNA as an Investment Operations Senior Associate in Commercial Mortgages. While at CIGNA, she held various positions, including client service associate and administrative assistant.

Nicholas PellicoChristine M. Kubas
Senior Vice President

Christine is responsible for ongoing management, analysis and valuation of assets under management. Prior to joining Penwood, Ms. Kubas worked for CBRE Capital Markets Debt & Equity Finance group where she was actively involved in the origination, underwriting and closing of over $950 million of mortgage loans across the United States. Previously, Ms. Kubas was an investment analyst at UBS Realty Investors in the acquisition unit underwriting apartments, office, industrial, retail equity and participating mortgage investment opportunities in the northeast region.  Prior to that, she was an acquisition analyst with CIGNA Investment Management, which she joined in 1999. Ms. Kubas received her B.S. in Finance from the University of Connecticut. Ms. Kubas is a member of the Real Estate Exchange (NNCREW) and the Real Estate Finance Association (REFA).

Nicholas PellicoNicholas Pellico
Senior Vice President

Nicholas is primarily responsible for sourcing, analyzing and performing due diligence for the company’s prospective acquisitions of income producing industrial/warehouse/distribution real estate investments in Southern California. In this capacity, he works with the Head of Acquisitions to establish and verify the assumptions used in the underwriting cash flow models. Prior to joining Penwood, Mr. Pellico worked on the Southern California acquisition team for KTR Capital Partners, where he was actively involved in the sourcing, underwriting, structuring and closing of equity investments totaling $1 billion in gross asset value. Previously, he was an Associate Director at CB Richard Ellis: Capital Markets – Financial Consulting Group.

Mr. Pellico received his Bachelor of Science, Business Administration – Emphasis in Investments and Financial Markets from the University of Southern California.

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