Featured Speakers & Advisors
President Executive Board, Residence Hall Association (RHA), SFU Residences
MASON H. AILSTOCK
Partner – HR&A Advisors; Founder – Convergent Consultants, President & CEO – Rowen Foundation
Haydar Al Dahhan
President & CEO, Design Works Engineering Ltd.
Director of Housing Services, York University
Real Estate Investment Advisory, Stormont Partners
Director - Student Housing and Strategic Partnerships, Toronto Metropolitan University
Partner, Capital Markets & Securities, McMillan LLP
Interim President & CEO, University of Calgary Properties Group
Manager, Community Housing, Queen’s University
Director, Head of P3 Business Development, Fengate Asset Management
Anthony (Tony) Cupido, Ph.D., P.Eng.
Research Chair, Sustainable Building Technologies, Mohawk College
Managing Partner, Real Estate, Forum Asset Management
Construction Manager, EllisDon
Principal, Teeple Architects Inc.
Managing Director - Real Estate, University of Toronto
Assistant Vice President and Team Director Commercial Financing, First National Financial LP
Founder & CEO, Harrington
Canadian Commercial Banking, BMO Financial Group, Senior Director, Business Property Finance
Principal, Canadian Hospitality Lead , Avison Young
Directrice Bureau des grands projets immobiliers (Director of the Office of Major Real Estate Projects), École de technologie supérieure
David Ian Gray
Founder & Strategist, DIG360 Consulting Ltd
Director and Senior Economist, BMO Financial Group
Professor of Real Estate | Columnist, Ryerson University | The Financial Post
VP - Managing Director - Team Leader London Office, CMLS Financial
Vice President - Students and Institutional Planning, Humber College
Vice President - Investments, Woodbourne Capital Management International, LP
President & CEO, The University of British Columbia Properties Trust
CEO & Broker of Record, SVN Rock Advisors Inc.
Senior Vice President - Development, C R E A T I V E N E R G Y
Director, Together Design Lab; Director, +city lab; Associate Professor, School of Urban + Regional Planning, Toronto Metropolitan University
Principal , PM Strategies Inc.
Senior Vice President and Head of Acquisitions, Blue Vista Capital Management, LLC
Development & Asset Manager , Podium Developments
Transfer Pricing - Partner, Ernst & Young
Senior Vice President, Investments, Fitzrovia Real Estate
Partner & Senior Vice President | Strategy and Transactions - Real Estate , Ernst & Young Orenda Corporate Finance Inc.
Manager - Business Development, Snaile
Vice President – International, Advisory Services, The Scion Group
Partner, Urban Strategies
President, Reid's Heritage Properties
Director, Strategic Initiatives & Business Enterprise Office of the Vice-President, Finance and Operations, University of Windsor
Co-Chief Executive Officer, Stonebridge Financial
Chief Administrative Officer, The DMS Group
President & CEO, TRU Community Trust, President | Project Manager, Stites Consulting Inc.
Director - Sustainable Infrastructure, Johnson Controls
Real Estate Business Development Director, BONARD
Director, York University Development Corporation
Real Estate Development, York University Development Corporation
My name is Emmanuel Adegboyega. I am a Political Science major with an International Studies and Criminology minor. I am the current Residence Hall Association (RHA) President at SFU and a councillor on the Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS). My passion is to advocate for students and to be a voice for the voiceless. I am currently in my third year of my degree and I aspire to go to law school after my undergraduate studies.
Mason comes to the Rowen Foundation from his service with HR&A, a globally recognized leader at the intersection of real estate and economic development. In his role as President and Chief Executive Officer of Rowen, Mason is responsible for the real estate development, public-private-university partnerships, and investment activities of the 2,000 acre multi-use knowledge community ultimately comprising over 22 million square feet of space and housing over 80,000 employees. Prior to leading Rowen, Mason served as the Vice President of Operations at The University Financing Foundation (TUFF), a non-profit financing organization based in Atlanta, Georgia, where he advised on a wide variety of local and international university projects.
As President, Chief Executive Officer, and co-founder of Design Works Engineering, Haydar Al Dahhan has been instrumental in taking the firm from a small, two-person operation in Northern Alberta to a highly respected, multi-national engineering powerhouse in just eight years. Under his leadership, the company has grown to employ over 120 experts in various fields, becoming known for its innovative and integrated approach to engineering and its focus on human-centric teams.Haydar was born in England and raised in several major international cities, which have provided him with a unique perspective and understanding of the global engineering industry.
Experienced, results-oriented, and strategic professional with over 20 years of experience in leading and building Housing and Conference operations in various institutions and provinces. A successful leader of diverse and achieved teams; and an effective driver of institutional change initiatives that enhance the student experience and support the University’s academic mission. Proven ability to build community relations, collaborate with partners, increase service quality and value, and enhance business processes efficiency in an educational environment with a focus on student success.
Rudy is responsible for idea generation and execution of Stormont’s investment and advisory mandates. Since joining Stormont, Rudy has focused on the residential sector, both domestically and abroad, with coverage spanning: conventional multifamily, seniors housing, student housing, and land development. Prior to Stormont, Rudy spent four years at CPP Investments, where he focused on the US residential sector, including CPP’s national student housing investment program.
Valerie Bruce is the current Director, Student Housing and Strategic Partnerships at Toronto Metropolitan University. Over her 14 year career at TMU, she has advanced housing operations and administration through a variety of initiatives and protocols. She is very involved within the great student housing community including holding the previous role of President of OACUHO (Ontario Association of College and University Housing Officers) and avid involvement within ACUHO-I (Association of College and University Housing Officers International). She holds a MBA with a focus in organizational change management and public private partnerships in student housing within Canada.
Alex Bruvels is an experienced capital markets lawyer with a practice focused on corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions. He provides advice in various industries including real estate investment trusts (REITS), private equity with a focus on real estate funds, technology, resources and energy, cannabis, and health care. Alex also acts for investment funds. As part of his securities and corporate finance practice, Alex advises private and public clients in connection with venture capital financings, initial public offerings, private placements, public equity and debt financings, mergers and acquisitions, stock exchange listings, corporate governance, securities regulatory matters, contested shareholder meetings, and other services.
Gregg spent six years as the University of Calgary Properties Group’s (UCPG) Vice President & Chief Financial Officer before assuming the role of Interim President & Chief Executive Officer in March 2023. He has played an integral role in building UCPG’s strategic financial growth plan and leading the organization’s operational mandate. Gregg has more than 40 years of financial and leadership experience and has served on both public and private companies in a wide range of industries, including commercial, residential, land development, real estate, manufacturing, leisure, and construction.
Jensen Clarke is a senior Fengate Infrastructure investment team member responsible for P3 partnering and project development across Canada and the US. As the firm’s business development and teaming lead, Jensen is focused on a strategic roster of high-profile P3 pursuits across North America. His most recent resume includes the LAX Consolidated Rent-a-Car Facility, Macdonald Block Reconstruction project, Prince George’s County Public Schools project, and Gander and Grand Falls-Windsor Long-Term Care Homes project.
Aly leads the Real Estate business at Forum. Aly is focused on originations and overseeing real estate investments. He leverages his exposure to a broad range of asset classes as an urban developer, institutional asset manager, and operator of value add/opportunistic investments, to drive growth for Forum and its partners. Prior to joining Forum, Aly was EVP, Investments & Asset Management for Hullmark. Aly co-led direct acquisitions and led the firm’s asset management and operations functions. In his 7 years at Hullmark, Aly drove significant growth for the company, helping to increase AUM 15x to just under $1B, and co-led the development of partnerships with large-scale institutional partners including a REIT and a Toronto university.
As a Principal at Teeple Architects, Tomer leads projects in higher education including on-going Student Housing projects at uWindsor and uWaterloo, performing arts, residential and mixed-use development. Since joining the practice is 2008, Tomer has helped guide the design and implementation of award-winning projects including Tyler Hall, Morgan State University’s new 140,000 SF Student Services Center (Baltimore), and Langara College’s 130,000 SF Science and Technology Building (Vancouver).
On June 19, 2023, University of Toronto announced Sonya Donovan joined the OREP team as Managing Director, Real Estate. Previously, Ms. Donovan worked as Director of Real Estate at the University of Guelph. Sonya is leading a team responsible for the creation and implementation of a new real estate entity that will allow for the active management, investment, and development of the University’s extensive land holdings. At Uof T, she is also leading the strategy and masterplan that will guide the development of these land holdings once the new entity is in place. Sonya has held progressively senior roles in commercial real estate, many with Oxford Properties Group, focusing on investments, leasing, and development.
As First National Financial's Assistant Vice President and Team Director in the Commercial Financing division, Andrew is focused on cultivating deep relationships by providing an unparalleled array of value-add advisory services. These services are catered to mitigate risks and maximize opportunities for his stakeholders. Often described as one of the most trusted individuals in a dynamic industry, Andrew’s clients seek him out not only for financing solutions but also for his depth of knowledge and experience. Andrew brings this experience to both term and construction financing across several asset classes including apartment, student housing, retail and industrial.
Curtis Gallagher has been a lead hotel broker in Canada since 2003 completing over $3 billion in investment sale and financing transactions on some of the most prolific hotels in the country such as Westin Bayshore Hotel Vancouver, Fairmont Empress Hotel Victoria, Hyatt Regency Montréal and Westin Harbour Castle Toronto to name a few. He joined Avison Young in October 2021 as Principal and Canadian Hospitality Lead. His client list ranges from large institutional investors such as Ivanhoe Cambridge, bcIMC and Cadillac Fairview to private equity groups including Starwood Capital Group, KTB Asset Management, TPG Capital, Barney River Investments and Geolo Capital.
Julienne is a dynamic and passionate manager, working on construction megaprojects, recognized for her strategic thinking, her mobilizing teamwork, and focused on anticipating issues and finding solutions. She knows how to take advantage of the strengths of the multidisciplinary teams that support her.
Sal Guatieri is a Senior Economist and Director at BMO Capital Markets, with three decades experience as a macro economist. With BMO since 1994, his main responsibilities include analyzing and forecasting the U.S. economy, Canadian and U.S. housing markets and commercial real estate markets, and he is responsible for the Department’s economic forecasts prepared for regulatory and stress testing requirements. Prior to joining BMO, Sal worked at the Bank of Canada and received his master’s degree in Economics from Queen’s University in 1990.
Murtaza Haider is a professor of Data Science and Real Estate Management at Toronto Metropolitan University. He also serves as the research director of the Urban Analytics Institute. Professor Haider holds an adjunct professorship of Engineering at McGill University. In addition, he is a Director of Regionomics Inc., a boutique consulting firm specializing in the economics of cities and regions. Dr. Haider is the author of Real Estate Markets: An Introduction (2020) and Getting Started with Data Science: Making Sense of Data with Analytics (2016).
CMLS Financial is one of Canada’s largest independently owned mortgage lenders, with ten locations nationwide. Founded in 1974, the company provides various commercial lending services, advisory services, residential mortgages, and institutional services. Sandy has a long history of providing clients with trusted advice and successful strategies for their real estate investments across the asset classes for both construction and permanent debt, including CMHC. Sandy has financed hundreds of properties in Ontario and across Canada, with project financing for new developments, and acquisition financing and is recognized with particular expertise for student rental properties with many successful financings from $5M- $130M over the
Jason Hunter has more than 30 years of experience in the postsecondary sector including a combined twelve years as Dean of Students at the University of Toronto and Humber College. Jason was appointed Vice President Student and Community Engagement at Humber in 2013, and into his current role as Vice President, Students and Institutional Planning in 2018. Jason holds an MBA from the University of Alberta as well as a MEd in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration from the University of Vermont. Jason has broad responsibility for Institutional Research, Strategic Enrolment Management and a range of student services including housing and residence life.
Ian Husted joined Woodbourne in 2014. He serves as a vice president on the real estate investment team focusing on underwriting and structuring student housing and apartment transactions. He also leads Woodbourne’s student housing asset management team and oversees the strategic operations of this portfolio. Ian holds a B.A. in Economics and a B.A. in Mathematics from the Occidental College, and is a CFA charterholder.
Our mission at UBC Properties Trust is to build a financial legacy and create innovative spaces for learning and living at UBC. We have been active for over 30 years and are a private company wholly owned by UBC. UBC Properties has built over 12 million square feet of space for UBC in Vancouver and Okanagan and have become one of the largest developers in the province. We have created 32 residential rental buildings providing 1700+ homes for UBC faculty, staff, students, and the general public. Our team develops highly complex and innovative projects for UBC, including Pharmaceutical Sciences, UBC Health Sciences, Life Sciences, Student Union Building (The Nest), UBC Aquatic Centre, Tall Wood and The Exchange Residences.
With nearly 20 years dedicated to advancing technology solutions across North America, Gary has been pivotal in bridging the gap between complex tech challenges and practical applications. His involvement with many high-tech organizations, ranging from startups to large corporations, showcases Gary's commitment to innovation and the evolution of technology. In 2014, he co-founded Cloudwifi, quickly establishing it as Canada's go-to Managed Wi-Fi provider in the student housing market. Under his leadership, Cloudwifi has expanded its portfolio to now service over 100 student residences, ensuring reliable connectivity for thousands of students across the country.
Over twenty five years of experience in design, development, municipal planning approvals, public policy, community engagement, media relations, and housing. Positions including:
* Ontario Minister of Housing
* Toronto City Councillor
Chair, Planning & Growth Management
Vice-Chair, Toronto Transit Commission
* Etobicoke City Councillor
* Executive Director, Tatry Non-Profit Housing Corp.
* PZM DESIGN, Principal
Brian Minnehan is a Senior Vice President at Blue Vista and Head of Acquisitions for the firm’s student housing strategies. In this role, Brian is responsible for sourcing, underwriting, structuring and closing residential equity investments. Since joining Blue Vista, Brian has participated in the financing, acquisition, and development of over $1.5 billion of student housing transactions. Prior to joining Blue Vista, Brian worked in the Structured Equity Investments Group for Eagle Realty Group, a subsidiary of Western & Southern Financial Group; while at Eagle, he participated in the closing of $400 million in commercial real estate assets. Prior to that, Brian worked as an Asset Manager for Boston Capital.
New challenges call for new solutions. As an EY Canada partner, Edward works with public and private sector clients to design and implement novel transaction structures to address today’s infrastructure needs. Edward has been involved in dozens of infrastructure transactions with a combined value of over $30 billion across all types of asset classes. He focuses on providing the kind of robust transaction support and lead advisory services that enable clients to achieve leading-class infrastructure solutions through effective public-private partnerships and alternative service delivery models. Edward is a Chartered Financial Analyst and FINRA Series 79 registered representative.
Zach leads the Real Estate Transactions and Valuations practice for EY Canada. He specializes in helping clients make strategic real estate decisions to address their biggest challenges and capitalize on their biggest opportunities. Having over 15 years of experience, Zach’s been involved in real estate transactions worth over $15 billion over the past five years for both private and public-sector clients. His global experience includes running sales and marketing processes for clients and assets in North America and Europe. Zach is passionate about how technology will change real estate.
Mike Porritt has 15 years of Executive Director or Director level experience in student housing at institutions in the United States and Canada as well as purpose-built off campus student housing in Waterloo and London, Ontario. His work includes the development of academic integration programs now in place today within residential programs at McGill University (Quebec), Trent University (Ontario), Winona State University (Minnesota) and Appalachian State University (North Carolina). Combined with his experience in market analysis, planning for new construction and major renovations, he contributes a wealth of knowledge both in the Canadian higher education and residential landscape and the US student housing sector.
Warren Price, an Urban Designer and Partner at Urban Strategies, is trained as an architect and has 25+ years of professional experience in urban, campus and community design and planning. This includes all aspects of project development such as; facilitation and coordination, site contextual analysis, detailed design and vision concepts; master plans; transportation oriented development plans; and urban design and streetscape design guidelines. Warren has a thorough understanding of the design and planning issues facing post-secondary educational institutions today. He helps institutions define planning directions and realize development priorities.
One of the principals of Reid’s Heritage Homes, Scott Reid is the founder and President of Reid’s Heritage Properties. Throughout his 20+ years with Reid’s Heritage Group, Scott has been involved in multiple aspects of the business. He previously served as Vice-President, Construction for the group’s Reid’s Heritage Homes division, which builds new homes in communities across Ontario, with product ranging from single detached homes, townhomes and mid-rise condominiums, to custom estates and active adult communities. Thanks to his experience and industry insight, Scott identified an excellent growth opportunity by leveraging Reid’s expertise into the underdeveloped new rental property industry.
Charlie leads the University of Windsor’s business enterprise and alternative revenue generation strategy, including oversight of real estate and development, capital project procurement, commercial deal negotiation and risk management. Charlie brings a diverse background from the private sector, having held progressively senior roles at A.C. Nielsen in Montreal and Movati Athletic in Toronto. As a Senior Analyst at A.C. Nielsen, he led a client service team that supported consumer packaged goods manufacturers in eastern Canada and the northeast United States, including MolsonCoors, British American Tobacco and L’Oreal.
Paul Smith is a real estate professional with over 30 years of experience in design, construction and management of large facilities and property portfolios. His background includes Consulting Engineering, Contracting and Property Management in various roles leading to his current position as Co-Founder and Chief Administrative Officer with The DMS Group, one of Canada's leading Property Management organizations focused on delivering innovative solutions to clients in the private, not for profit and public sectors. Paul has co-led the growth of DMS over 20 years in service lines including: Multi-Residential Property Management; Student Housing Management; Commercial Property Management; Land Management; and Project Management.
Jennifer is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with 15 years' experience in the design and construction industry. Her experience includes healthcare, transportation, institutional, and community development, having held roles as owner’s representative project manager and design team project manager. Through effective communication and the application of process driven project management principles, Jennifer has successfully led multi-disciplinary project teams, including major projects, delivered through both traditional and alternate project delivery methods.
Paul Tawfik serves as Director at Johnson Controls. Paul has more than twenty-five years of business and project development experience with an outstanding track record in helping governments renew their real estate assets and optimize their building maintenance, rehabilitation and energy budgets. Under the leadership of Paul Tawfik, Johnson Controls has successfully contracted for an excess of $1 billion dollars of infrastructure service work across North America. His extensive experience in energy retrofits enables him to bring innovative ideas to lower the total cost of ownership of facilities. He also brings knowledge of renewable technologies, such as biomass, solar thermal, solar photovoltaic and geothermal.
Chris is a respected real property, planning and development executive who works on wide-ranging transformative initiatives that strengthen York University as a GTA community builder. He recently led a process to create a new Keele Campus Vision and Strategy that positions York with an unprecedented opportunity to develop new transit oriented neighbourhoods on its campus over the coming decades. Previously, he provided key strategic and project management support in York's successful bid to establish a new campus in Markham Centre, and worked on other pivotal projects includes the delivery of purpose build private sector student housing, a new athletics stadium, and a subway extension that serves the university and surrounding community.
I am a Project Finance Professional who has provided Real Estate and Infrastructure consulting services to Government and Public Sector Entities and worked for a Development Firm investing in Real Estate and Infrastructure Assets and Public-Private-Partnership (P3) Projects.My passion lies in early stage development of Real Estate and Infrastructure/P3 Projects working with Project Partners, building Bid Documents, and conducting due diligence of Project Documents to mitigate Investor or Equity Provider risks.