Lion Real Estate Group

Our Management Team

Jeff Weller
Managing Partner, Co-Founder

In his role at Lion, Jeff sources transactions and manages the firm’s investment portfolio alongside co-founder and partner Mory Barak. Jeff plays a significant role raising investment capital with high-net-worth individuals, family offices and institutional investors. Lion has over 300 investment partners that encompass over $423 million of equity investments since inception.

Jeff brings 20 years of real estate experience to Lion having previously worked at top brokerage firms CBRE and Cushman & Wakefield representing tenants, investors, and landlords in commercial real estate transactions. Most recently Jeff served as Co-Chief Executive Officer of EPMI and Bayside Communities, which own 3,097 units and manage an additional 3,500 units on the West Coast. Jeff is a board member of UC Berkeley’s Fisher Center for Real Estate and a graduate from Southern Methodist University.

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Mory Barak
Managing Partner, Co-Founder

Mory sources transactions and manages the firm's investment portfolio along with co-founder and partner Jeff Weller at Lion Real Estate Group. Mory applies his 20+ years of real estate investing expertise managing acquisitions and dispositions with a key role in sourcing acquisitions, structuring capital and overseeing operations of the firm. Lion has acquired over 10,000 units since inception. He previously served as Co-Chief Executive Officer of EPMI and Bayside Communities, which own 3,097 units and manage an additional 3,500 units on the West Coast.

Prior to co-founding Lion in 2007, Mory worked in the principal investments group at Buchanan Street Partners where he was part of an investment team that originated, structured, and closed investments on behalf of the firm’s discretionary opportunity funds. Before joining Buchanan Street Partners, Mory worked at Lazard Freres Real Estate Investors (“LFREI”), the real estate opportunity fund of Lazard Freres. Mory is a graduate of the Stern School of Business at New York University.

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Andreea Tofan
Asset Management

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.

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Chantal Berube
Human Resources

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.

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Chris Doscas
Acquisitions

Chris joined Lion Real Estate Group in 2021 as an Associate responsible for sourcing and underwriting multifamily transactions on a national scale. Chris brings ten years of experience to Lion and has worked in several different roles within the real estate industry. Prior to joining the team at Lion, Chris worked at Girona Ventures, a firm focusing on multifamily redevelopment in the Northeast. He oversaw the sourcing, acquisition, structuring and asset management of the 500,000+ square foot portfolio. Prior to Girona, Chris worked at one of the leading capital advisory firms in New York underwriting both debt and equity investments for leading developers on the East Coast. Chris graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and received his Master’s Degree in Real Estate Finance from New York University’s Schack Institute of Real Estate.

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Crystal Salas
Property Management

Crystal Salas joined Lion Real Estate Group in January of 2021 as Director of Property Management. Crystal comes with 15 years of extensive experience across all areas of property management/operations and multi-family managing a variety of assets, from value-add to stabilized to lease-ups across all different asset classes. Crystal demonstrates a strong ability to manage projects from conception through to successful completion with a strength to develop and motivate others to achieve goals.

Most recently, she was a Regional Manager with Greystar Real Estate Partners for 7 years where she worked with institutional third-party clients including Trammel Crow, The Carlyle Group, MetLife, and Invesco. Key achievements were successfully acquiring over 4,500 units and overseeing the disposition of 4,000 units. Crystal focuses on maximizing rent growth, occupancy and maintaining a positive NOI. She possesses a strong financial background consisting in budgeting, forecast projections. Prior to Greystar, Crystal worked in property management for JRK Residential and Monarch Properties.

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Grant Starrett
Acquisitions

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.

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Laurie Manley
Accounting

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 4 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.

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Madeleine Hasbrouck Martin
Investor Relations

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.

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