Jeff Weller is Co-Founder and Managing Principal of Lion Real Estate Group, LLC. In his capacity he is involved in sourcing transactions, raising investment capital, and managing the firm’s investment portfolio. Mr. Weller previously served as Co-Chief Executive Officer of EPMI and Bayside Communities. EPMI and Bayside Communities are headquartered in Walnut Creek, California. Bayside owned approximately 3,000 affordable housing units and EPMI manages approximately 6,500 units on the West Coast.
Prior to founding Lion Real Estate Group, Mr. Weller spent 10 years representing tenants, investors and landlords in commercial real estate transactions, most recently as Vice President in CB Richard Ellis’ headquarters in Los Angeles. In his capacity at CB Richard Ellis, he completed over 200 real estate transactions in excess of $600 million. Jeff represented large institutional clients such as Accenture, Acosta Sales & Marketing, Charles Schwab, Herman Miller and Nestle, USA. In addition, Mr. Weller is a member of both UC Berkeley’s Fisher Center for Real Estate & Urban Economics and The Folsom Institute for Real Estate at Southern Methodist University.
Mory Barak is Co-Founder and Managing Principal of Lion Real Estate Group, LLC. In this capacity, he is involved in sourcing transactions, structuring capital, and managing the firm's investment portfolio. Mr. Barak previously served as Co-Chief Executive Officer of EPMI and Bayside Communities. EPMI and Bayside Communities are headquartered in Walnut Creek, California. Bayside owned approximately 3,000 affordable housing units and EPMI manages approximately 6,500 units on the West Coast.
Prior to founding Lion Real Estate Group, Mr. Barak worked in the principal investments group at Buchanan Street Partners where he was part of an investment team that originated, structured and closed joint venture investments on behalf of the firm’s discretionary opportunity funds. While at Buchanan, Mr. Barak was involved in the acquisitions of approximately $200 million of real estate including 1,500 apartment units.
Before joining Buchanan, Mr. Barak worked at Lazard Freres Real Estate Investors (“LFREI”), the real estate opportunity fund of Lazard Freres. Mr. Barak was a part of a team that ran an $800 million assisted living portfolio comprised of 3 companies and over 125 assets across the United States.
Laurie Manley joined Lion Real Estate Group in July of 2016 as the controller and has since been promoted to Chief Accounting Officer. She is responsible for overseeing operations/property accounting, corporate accounting, and financial reporting. Laurie currently has 3 direct reports.
Laurie brings 15 years of experience as a CPA/Controller managing all aspects of real estate accounting including operations/property accounting, lease administration, corporate accounting, financial reporting, internal audit and REIT compliance.
Laurie started her career at Price Waterhouse Coopers as an audit associate and is a graduate of both Occidental College with a BA in Economics and USC with a Masters of Accountancy. In her previous role at Chambers Street Properties, Laurie led the transition of the accounting department through the company's change from a non-traded REIT to a publicly-listed reporting company. This transition included shortening the monthly close process, restructuring the department, redrafting financial reports, and implementing technological upgrades resulting in the company’s ability to meet the investment community's established deadlines. Laurie led a department of 12 until Chambers Street Properties was acquired by a New York-based REIT in December 2015.
Andreea Tofan joined Lion Real Estate Group in August of 2014 as the Director of Operations and has since been promoted to Vice President of Asset Management. At Lion, Andreea focuses on employing strategic initiatives and overseeing property business plans to maximize the portfolio's performance.
Andreea possesses a demonstrated history of working in the real estate industry. Prior to joining Lion, Andreea spent over 10 years in the market rate and affordable multifamily industry maximizing operating performance.
Most recently she was an Asset Manager with JRK Residential where she oversaw 96 employees and a portfolio of 27 properties encompassing 4,300 units across 9 states. Andreea is skilled in Operations Management, Asset Management, People Management & Leadership. Her expertise includes strategic planning, financial management, forecasting and profit growth, new market analysis, due diligence and customer development, large portfolio and turn-around management of multifamily properties. Key achievements include implementing a physical inspection protocol across 70 properties that reduced maintenance costs by 18% and increasing rent revenue by 32% at properties within her assigned portfolio.
Grant Starrett is Vice President and Special Counsel at Lion Real Estate Group. He currently leads Lion's team in Tennessee. Grant is responsible for Asset Management and Acquisitions for the Tennessee Market. Previously, Grant has led Lion's research on new markets demographics and regulations for expansion markets.
Grant is a graduate of Stanford University and Vanderbilt Law School and is a licensed attorney in the state of Tennessee.
Chantal Berube joined Lion in January of 2017 as the company’s first in-house Human Resources Manager and is responsible for all HR functions including recruitment, payroll, benefits, employee relations, policy implementation and labor law compliance. Chantal started her HR career in 2011 at the Kennebec Valley YMCA in Augusta, Maine. Most recently, Chantal was HR Generalist at JRK Property Holdings, where she specialized in payroll and employee relations for over 1600 employees across 23 states. Chantal is a graduate of the University of Maine at Farmington with a BA in Business and Music Administration and earned her PHR certification in December 2017.
Chris Dommert joined lion in November of 2020 as Director of Construction. Chris has over 20 years in the multifamily business. Prior to Lion, Chris held various positions within the real estate and construction fields. Chris has most recently served as Regional Maintenance Director and Construction Manager for companies such as AMLI, Pegasus, BH Management and Greystar.
Crystal Salas joined Lion Real Estate Group in January of 2021 as Director of Property Management. Crystal comes with a great deal of experience in managing multifamily assets, from value-add to stabilized to lease-ups across all different asset classes. Most recently, she was a Regional Manager with Greystar Real Estate Partners where she worked with institutional third-party clients including Trammel Crow, The Carlyle Group, MetLife, and Invesco. Prior to Greystar, Crystal worked in property management for JRK Residential and Monarch Properties.
Madeleine Hasbrouck Martin joined Lion Real Estate Group in 2019 as Investor Relations Associate. In her role she is responsible for client services and communication to potential and existing investors. Madeleine started her career at Christie’s Art Auction House in Beverly Hills. Most recently she worked in Asset Services at Cushman & Wakefield in Downtown Los Angeles. She is a graduate of Lafayette College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art and holds a CA Real Estate License.
Damian Lim joined Lion Real Estate Group in 2020 as an Acquisitions Analyst and has since been promoted to Senior Acquisitions Analyst. In this role he is primarily responsible for analyzing new acquisition opportunities, performing due diligence, conducting market research, and preparing investment memoranda. Damian graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and English.