Instructors of the Certificate in Real Estate Development
Meet our experienced instructors and key note speakers.
Larry Beasley – Keynote Speaker
Founding Principal, Beasley and Associates
Larry Beasley is the founding principal of Beasley and Associates, an international planning and urban design consultancy, and the “Distinguished Practice Professor of Planning” at the University of British Columbia. He sits on the Board of TransLink, British Columbia’s integrated transportation agency, and on the Board of Ottawa’s National Capital Commission. For many years, he was the Chief Planner for the City of Vancouver. He is a Registered Professional Planner in Canada
After more than thirty years of civic service in which he led the planning and development management to transform Vancouver into a world model for contemporary sustainable and liveable cities, Larry Beasley now teaches and advises on urbanism around the world. He has been the Senior Advisor on Urban Design in Dallas, Texas, where he founded their Urban Design Studio; and, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, where he founded the Urban Planning Council, one of the most progressive planning agencies in the Middle East, and led the design of a number of cities and towns, including a new national capital. He has served as a member of the International Advisory Board for Economic Development in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He was the long-standing chair of the ‘National Advisory Committee on Planning, Design and Realty’ of Ottawa’s National Capital Commission. For several years, he was vice-president of a major Canadian development company, Aquilini Development, managing projects across Canada.
Initially studying architecture, Larry Beasley has degrees in Geography and Political Science (BA) and Planning (MA). He has also been awarded two Honorary Doctorate Degrees (Hon LLD), from Simon Fraser University and Dalhousie University. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Institute of Planners, an Honorary Member of the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects and has been recognized as an “Advocate for Architecture” by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. In 2007, he received the Kevin Lynch Prize from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2016, he received the Applied Sciences Dean’s Medal of Distinction at the University of British Columbia. He is a Fellow of the Dallas Institute and recently finished his term on the Board of the Canadian Urban Institute.
Larry Beasley is a Member of the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest civilian honour for lifetime achievement. In recognition of his national and international service, he has also received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
SVP, Project Finance & Investor Relations, Minto Capital
Dan Dixon is Senior Vice President, Project Finance and Investor Relations for the Minto Group of Companies. Dan has over 25 years of operating, management and investment experience in the real estate industry and is responsible for the development and execution of Minto’s debt financing strategy for all of its business activities in Canada and the United States. Dan also leads the investor relations function for Minto Apartment REIT, a real estate investment trust traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Dan is a member of the Investment Committee at the Ottawa Community Foundation and is Chair of the Programming Committee for the Ottawa Chapter of the Urban Land Institute. Dan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics degree from Queen’s University and Masters of Business Administration degree from York University.
Brandon Donnelley – Guest Speaker
Managing Director at Slate Asset Management & Founder of the Globizen Group
Brandon Graham Donnelly is a city builder and blogger based in Toronto. He is a Managing Director at Slate Asset Management and founder of the Globizen Group. Prior to this he held development positions at CAPREIT, TAS, and Morguard, where he managed urban-focused residential (condo & rental), office and retail projects. In 2013, he cofounded the condo review site Dirt / thedirt.co (acquired in 2018). Brandon studied architecture and fine art history at the University of Toronto. He also has a master’s in architecture and real estate development from the University of Pennsylvania, and an MBA from the Rotman School. In his spare time he loves the gym, snowboarding at a new mountain every year, photography, and local Ontario wines.
Associate Professor, Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism
Benjamin Gianni is an associate professor at Carleton University’s Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism and is the current coordinator of the Urbanism major. His research interests focus on the areas of housing and urban development. Of particular interest is public housing constructed in the decades following WWII in Europe and North America, and its redevelopment from the 1990s onward. His research also includes urbanization, suburbanization and a study of large-scale housing ensembles in contemporary China, questioning the legacy of modernism and its transposition to different cultural and temporal contexts. He teaches courses on housing and urban history, as well as leads the housing studio in the fourth year of the BAS program. He was a former Director of both the School of Architecture and the School of Information Technology at Carleton.
Partner, BLG’s Commercial Real Estate Group
Jamison Young is a partner in BLG’s Commercial Real Estate Group. His practice encompasses all aspects of commercial real estate including acquisitions and dispositions, financings, leasing, and related commercial advice. He has expertise in negotiating complex real estate acquisitions and commercial transactions and has significant experience working on mixed use developments involving public sector entities. He has professional membership in various professional organizations including Law Society of Upper Canada, Canadian Bar Association, and County of Carleton Law Association.
Vice President at Gemstone Corporation
Adam Zaret is a Vice President with Gemstone Corporation, an Ottawa-based, family-owned real estate development and investment firm. Adam recently joined the family business from Ernst & Young Orenda Corporate Finance Inc., where he led the firm’s coverage of the real estate sector in Ottawa. He has 10 years of diversified experience in the real estate industry as both an advisor and a principal with respect to a wide variety of transactions and advisory mandates including acquisitions, development, valuations and financings across land, office, multi-residential, retail, and institutional asset classes. Adam holds a Masters of Science in Real Estate Development from Columbia University in New York and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Ottawa.
Jeff Baysarowich, CFA
Director, Development Finance at Dream Unlimited
Jeff is a Director of Development Finance for Dream Unlimited and has 10 years of diversified experience in the real estate industry. In his current role, he is responsible for forecasting and securing various sources of financing for the $1.5B mixed-use Zibi development located in Ottawa. He has advanced financial modeling skills and provides timely and critical financial analysis to both senior management as well as lending partners. In his previous role with Windmill Developments as Director of Finance, Jeff worked on various multi-residential developments in both Ottawa and Toronto. Jeff has an MBA from Carleton University and is a CFA charterholder.
Chris van Popta
Principal Creative Director, Fine Line Perspectives
Chris is the founding partner and Creative Director of Fineline Perspectives, an end-to-end marketing and communications agency for multifamily developers and operators. He believes that to optimize multifamily occupancy (whether during initial lease-up or when stabilized), your marketing platform must be able to predictably generate and control the flow of qualified customers to your apartments and also allow prospects to tour them from anywhere. Chris’s ability to think creatively combined with his highly technical experience in the world of multifamily marketing has been the driving force behind the marketing platforms that have leased up and continue to operate the properties involved in Canada’s largest multifamily real estate transactions.
Founder and CEO of SVN Rock Advisors Inc. & Derek A. Lobo & Associates Inc
Derek Lobo is the founder and CEO of SVN Rock Advisors Inc. and Derek A. Lobo & Associates Inc. For more than 30 years, Derek has worked extensively in the apartment industry across Canada and the United States advising clients on all aspects of apartment ownership and development ranging from feasibility analysis, financial modelling, design and construction, asset management and leasing to dispositions and brokerage. Derek specializes in large and complex asset sales and has brokered transactions for some of the largest transactions in Canada.
Vanessa D’Sa – Guest Speaker
Manager of Education SVNRock advisors
Vanessa D’Sa is a registered nurse who completed her PhD in nursing from McMaster University in 2015. She has taught at McMaster, Conestoga College and the Canadian University of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. Her research has focused on a variety of Human Resources issues and staff well being. She has been involved in leasing apartments for over a decade and taught best practices both live and online to hundreds of managers and frontline professionals. Her passion is teaching and helping individuals to grow professionally and increase their impact.
Connor Shea, CPA, CMA
Director of Asset & Investment Management, Colonnade BridgePort
Connor Shea is the Director of Asset and Investment Management at Colonnade BridgePort. He is a dedicated real estate finance professional with 10 years of experience and a proven track record of success and leadership in commercial and residential real estate, focusing on developments, repositions, and value add opportunities. He has advanced skills in financial modelling and risk underwriting matched with an opportunistic view ensuring capital is deployed to achieve risk adjusted returns.
Connor holds a Bachelor of Commerce (BCOMM) from the University of Windsor and is a Chartered Professional Accountant.
Principal, Roderick Lahey Architects Inc.
As principal of Roderick Lahey Architects Inc., Mr. Lahey has successfully established a practice in the Ottawa market that has focused on providing exemplary architectural services to a select client group. Long-standing relationships with a number of the city’s biggest and best developers is testament to both Mr. Lahey’s design expertise and the firm’s capability to deliver complex projects on aggressive timelines and within budgets. As a recognized expert in intensification of the urban core, Mr. Lahey’s expertise is sought after by municipal planners, politicians, peers and private sector clients alike.
While Mr. Lahey has direct experience in all the aspects that lead to the successful completion of complex projects, and always provides oversight on the wide variety of projects undertaken by the practice, he has conscientiously retained both staff and specialized expertise that enhance the firm’s capabilities to respond effectively to meet the expectations of a demanding client group focused on budgets, schedules and quality of product.
Roderick Lahey is a graduate of the Carleton University School of Architecture and launched Roderick Lahey Architects in 1996. He is professionally accredited by the Ontario Architecture Association, is a Member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, and the Ottawa Regional Society of Architects.
Partner, URBAN STRATEGIES INC.
Joe Berridge is an urban planner and city builder who has had an integral role in the development of complex urban planning and regeneration projects in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Europe and Asia. He has been strategic advisor for the development of the city centres of Manchester, Belfast and Cardiff and for the waterfronts of Toronto, Singapore, Sydney, Cork, London and Governors Island in New York City. He has prepared campus master plans for the University of Manchester and Waterloo, Queen’s and Western in Canada and is now planning the new hub for Toronto Pearson International Airport. Joe teaches at the University of Toronto and is a Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.
Instructor, Sprott School of Business – Accounting
Rebecca Renfroe is an Accounting Instructor with the Sprott School of Business who teaches in both the undergraduate and graduate programs. A CPA with a Masters in Accounting and a passion for teaching, Rebecca is also still involved in private industry and has over 16 years’ experience as a CFO. Besides teaching at Sprott, Rebecca is also the National Lead Facilitator for CPA Canada in Management Accounting, and is involved in developing curriculum and exam materials for CPA.
David S. Renfroe – Guest Speaker
President, Renfroe Land Management
Renfroe Land Management provides land development, strategic planning, value engineering and financial cost management services to deliver successful and cost-effective real-estate projects. David has 22 years of land development and construction experience between Europe and North America. David is the Chairman of the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association’s Builder Developer Council, member of the City of Ottawa’s Planning Advisory Committee and a member of the Canadian Homebuilders’ Association’s Urban Council. David holds a Bachelor of Science Degree, majoring in Architecture and a Master of Business Administration. David also teaches Advanced Design Economics at Carleton University’s Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism.
Miguel is a Partner at Fotenn. A bilingual Planner with over 17 years’ experience in land use, development and municipal planning within Canada and the US, Miguel provides strategic planning advice and comprehensive project management on a variety of private sector development projects. He has established a strong record of successfully guiding complex projects through to the approvals process. At all stages, Miguel skillfully manages project details, coordinates multi-disciplinary teams and negotiates issue resolution through to approval. Miguel also has a strong and successful record as an expert witness for the Ontario Municipal Board.