VIRTUAL: ALUMNI FORUM (UPENN, CORNELL, NYU, COLUMBIA)
As Senior Managing Director in our New York office, Bob leads the New York Private Capital Group.
Bob was Chairman and Founding Partner of Massey Knakal Realty Services, New York’s #1 building sales firm. He started his real estate career in 1984 at CB Richard Ellis where he met Paul J. Massey Jr. They both left CB in 1988 to form Massey Knakal.
From 1988 through 2014, Massey Knakal closed over 6,000 transactions with an aggregate value in excess of $23 billion. To date, Bob has been personally responsible for the sale of over 2,000 buildings (generally considered to be the highest total ever for a single broker in New York) and over $18 billion in sales.
In 2014, Cushman & Wakefield acquired Massey Knakal. At Cushman & Wakefield, Bob acted as Chairman of New York Investment Sales. He was ranked the top originating investment sales broker at Cushman & Wakefield, globally, in 2014, 2015 and 2016. Bob joined JLL in September of 2018.
Since 2009, Bob has written a weekly column on the New York City Real Estate Market called Concrete Thoughts for the Commercial Observer.
Brett Rochkind recently joined SoftBank Investment Advisors as Managing Partner in the Vision Fund.
Prior to SoftBank, Brett led General Atlantic’s Silicon Valley office and was the Global Co-Head of the
Technology sector. He also led Charles River Ventures (CRV) growth investing efforts. Brett has invested in leading technology companies globally including Alibaba Group, Altair Engineering, AppDynamics, Appirio, Airbnb, Better, Box, Despegar, Grove Collaborative, IHS, Lenovo, Linx, Meituan, MercadoLibre, Nubank, Philz Coffee, SignalFX, Slice, Sonder, SSA Global, Tanium, Tipalti, TripActions and Uber. Prior to GA, Brett was an investment banker with Morgan Stanley in New York and Silicon Valley and helped to establish their presence in Israel. Brett serves on the New York University Board of Trustees, NYU Stern School of Business Executive Board and the Tipping Point Community’s Leadership Council, which works to fight poverty in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Danielle Schmelkin is Chief Information Officer for J.Crew Group (J.Crew, Madewell, and J.Crew Factory). Prior to J.Crew Group, Danielle was the Head of IT for Coach, part of the Tapestry family of global brands. She previously held leadership positions at Barnes & Noble, Campbell Soup Company, and Pepperidge Farm with additional experience at PepsiCo. Danielle started her career at Andersen Consulting focusing on statistics, Business Intelligence and Data Management, and overall Technology enablement. She holds her B.S. in Statistics and Biometry from Cornell University.
As a leader in her field, Danielle has been instrumental in advancing digital innovation,
spearheading significant changes in systems, operational models, and corporate culture.
Her initiatives prominently feature the integration of AI technologies to enhance business strategies and operational efficiency.
Danielle loves bridging her career in Tech with mentoring and supporting the next generation of women leaders. She has co-sponsored Kode with Klossy (KwK) summer camps, providing young women with opportunities to explore and grow in the tech field. Her mentorship extends to programs like GOALS for Girls, where she has positively influenced the next generation.
Danielle is a member of the Society for Information Management and also serves on the
board of URJ Eisner and Crane Lake Camps.
Uri Geiger is the founder & Managing Partner of Accelmed, a leading HealthTech Private Equity firm based in Miami, FL (www.accelmed.com). Dr. Geiger brings extensive entrepreneurial, management and investment know-how, having created and built many successful medical device enterprises.
Prior to founding Accelmed, Dr. Geiger founded served as CEO of Exalenz Bioscience Ltd. (TASE:EXEN), developer of an innovative breath-based technology for diagnosing liver and gastrointestinal disorders which Dr. Geiger took public in 2007 and later sold to Meridian (NASDAQ: VIVO). Prior to Exalenz, Dr. Geiger co-founded and was the CEO of GalayOr Networks, a developer of optical components, sold in 2003 to MEMSCAP (EuroNext: MEMS). Dr. Geiger is also the founding partner of Dragon Variation Fund, one of Israel’s first hedge funds, which was sold to Migdal in 2007. Dr. Geiger worked on Wall Street during the 1990s, where he gained a broad understanding of capital markets and significant experience, which he put to use after returning to Israel in 1999.
Dr. Geiger was formerly an adjunct professor at the Recanati Business School at Tel Aviv University, where he lectured on private equity and venture capital. He is the author of the books: Startup Companies and Venture Capital (Tel Aviv University Press, 2001) and From Concept to Wall Street (Financial Times – Prentice Hall, 2003). He earned his doctorate from New York’s Columbia University Center for Law & Economics, where he majored in global equity markets. Dr. Geiger served as a major in the Israeli Air Force.
Dr. Geiger is also involved in an extensive philanthropic activity and is the Founder & Chairman of Friends of Poriya Medical Center in the US.
Jeffrey S. Stein is an accomplished corporate executive and director, including leadership and committee positions, of both public and private companies. Mr. Stein has served as an Executive Chairman, Chief Restructuring Officer and Liquidating Trustee and as a director on audit, compensation, corporate governance, finance, restructuring and risk committees (including as Chairman of those committees). Mr. Stein has been engaged as an executive and director to support companies experiencing significant challenges, including complex contract renegotiation and litigation, increased regulatory oversight, financial restructuring and emergence from bankruptcy. Mr. Stein has substantial transaction experience, as several of the companies on which he has served as an executive and director were sold at attractive prices generating positive returns for investors.
Mr. Stein provides the perspective of a successful investment professional with over 29 years of experience in both the debt and equity asset classes. Mr. Stein has substantial experience investing in the biotechnology, cable television and telecommunications, consumer products, electric utility, energy, environmental services, financial services, insurance, merchant power, paper and forest products, real estate, retail and shipping industries. Mr. Stein has actively participated in the restructuring of numerous companies both in and out of bankruptcy.
Mr. Stein has strong relationships with leading institutional investors and has developed a deep understanding of capital allocation and capital structure optimization, operating and financial performance, risk management and investor communications. In addition, Mr. Stein has been actively involved in developing corporate strategy, evaluating corporate and asset financing alternatives, analyzing the costs and benefits of various capital investment programs, managing complex contract renegotiation and litigation and assessing asset acquisition and disposition opportunities. As a result of this experience, Mr. Stein has offered companies a unique perspective as an executive and director by explaining exactly how institutional investors evaluate performance and interacting directly with investors when requested to do so by company management.
Mr. Stein currently serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Restructuring Officer of GWG Holdings, Inc., and Chairman of the board of Ambac Financial Group, Inc. Mr. Stein previously served as Chief Restructuring Officer of Liberty Steel Group Holdings Pte. Ltd., Whiting Petroleum Corporation, Philadelphia Energy Solutions, LLC and Westmoreland Coal Company. Mr. Stein currently serves as Liquidating Trustee for the bankruptcy estate of Ditech Holding Corporation and Litigation Trustee for the African Minerals Ltd. Creditor Recovery Vehicle.
Mr. Stein is Founder and Managing Partner of Stein Advisors LLC, a financial advisory firm that provides consulting services to public and private companies and institutional investors.
Previously, Mr. Stein was a Co-Founder and Principal of Durham Asset Management LLC, a global event-driven distressed debt and special situations equity asset management firm. From January 2003 through December 2009, Mr. Stein served as Co-Director of Research at Durham responsible for the identification, evaluation and management of investments for the various Durham portfolios. Mr. Stein was a member of the Executive and Investment Committees at Durham responsible for oversight of the management company and investment funds, development and execution of the investment strategy, portfolio composition and risk management. Launched in 2003 with $50.0 million in assets under management Durham successfully grew to $1.5 billion in total assets under management across its core hedge fund and collateralized loan obligation strategies.
From July 1997 to December 2002, Mr. Stein served as Co-Director of Research at The Delaware Bay Company, Inc., a boutique research and investment banking firm focused on the distressed debt and special situations equity asset classes.
From September 1991 to August 1995, Mr. Stein was an Associate and Assistant Vice President at Shearson Lehman Brothers in the Capital Preservation & Restructuring Group.
Mr. Stein received a B.A. in Economics from Brandeis University and an M.B.A. with Honors in Finance and Accounting from New York University.
Mr. Stein is a Certified Turnaround Professional (CTP) as designated by the Turnaround Management Association (TMA).
Jon Dorfman is a Managing Principal and CIO of Napier Park Global Capital (“Napier Park”). Napier Park separated from Citigroup’s alternative investment arm, Citi Capital Advisors (“CCA”), in February 2013. Jon was previously Co-CEO and CIO of CCA. He was a co-founder of Carlton Hill Global Capital ("CHGC"), a specialized asset management firm that was acquired by Citi in 2007. Prior to establishing CHGC in 2005, Jon spent 20 years at Morgan Stanley in the Fixed Income Division. He worked in Tokyo and London for 17 years and served as a Managing Director for 8 years. While at Morgan Stanley, Jon held numerous senior management positions including Co-Head of the Global Investment Grade Credit Group and Head of Global Credit Derivative and Asset Swap Trading Group. Among the innovators and early risk takers in the credit default swap, credit index (Tracers and CDX) and tranched risk credit markets, Jon served as an ISDA committee member responsible for the first standardized credit default swap contract. Jon earned a BSE degree, magna cum laude, from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
As Founder and President of The Berman Group, Sarah works to identify challenges and develop creative communications programs that increase business and reach new audiences. Sarah works with the firm’s clients—from Fortune 500 companies to trade associations, government agencies and nonprofits—to develop winning publicity and marketing strategies based on her philosophy that successful campaigns are based on strong relationships.
Sarah has built a firm rooted in the construction and real estate industries and known for its vast network of construction, design and real estate connections. Sarah works actively with major mass media outlets as well as with regional and trade publications serving business-to business markets.
Sarah earned her Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University in Urban Planning and Master of Urban Planning from the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service of New York University.
Walter Isenberg is an award-winning hotelier, restauranter, and placemaker with a deep understanding of how to
create places people go to, not through. As co-founder and CEO of Sage Hospitality Group, Walter directs the
efforts of Sage’s four companies – Sage Hotel Management, Sage Restaurant Concepts, Sage Investments, and
Sage Studio. Since starting the company in 1984 with Zack Neumeyer, Walter has led Sage with heart and has truly
become the embodiment of loving what you do and loving who you do it with.
Over the last four decades, Walter’s leadership has helped shape and grow Sage into a company known
throughout the industry as a leader in hotel and restaurant operations, real estate investment, development,
placemaking, strategic design and brand building. Walter’s career in hospitality includes not only a long history of
successfully operating hotels across the country but also dozens of major adaptive reuse projects that have
transformed neighborhoods, like the complete renovation of Denver’s historic Union Station. Now, he is leading
Sage forward into its next chapter with a focus on significant urban mixed-use developments and continuing to
build Sage’s brands while furthering the company’s purpose of enriching lives, one experience at a time.
A graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, Walter is a member of the American Hotel
Lodging Association (AHLA) Board of Directors Executive Committee and has served on several brand Owner
Advisory Boards. Among his many accolades, he was honored with the 2023 ULI Colorado Legacy Award for
Lifetime Achievement, 2020 Most Admired CEO Pinnacle Award by the Denver Business Journal, and the 2017
Hospitality Design Platinum Circle Award. He and his wife Christie received the 2019 Community Enrichment
Award from Denver’s Mizel Institute, honoring their many outstanding contributions to the local community.
Walter was also inducted into Denver & Colorado’s Tourism Hall of Fame, which is the highest award given by
Denver’s travel industry. Passionate about giving back to the community and teaching the next generation of great
leaders, he currently serves on the boards of Visit Denver, The Downtown Denver Partnership, and Colorado
Jeff Feinstein is a principal with KBK Wealth Management. He provides independent advice to both private clients seeking wealth management resources, and to corporate clients requiring benefits management. His vast knowledge and experience help him provide clients with comprehensive, holistic guidance across a broad spectrum of investment, allocation, and risk management, as well as tax, retirement, and estate planning services. Jeff specializes in educating his clients on generational planning and gifting, as well as wealth distribution. He holds his FINRA Series 7 and 63 securities registrations, is life and health insurance licensed in several states, and is licensed for securities transactions.
Prior to KBK, Jeff spent seven years as a financial advisor with Lenox Advisors in New York City. Before that, he worked as a sports agent for SFX Baseball Group (now ISE Worldwide), one of the country’s premier baseball agencies. In this capacity, Jeff managed the on- and off-the-field careers of several perennial All-Stars and a current Hall of Fame inductee.
Jeff earned his bachelor’s degree in business from George Washington University School of Business and his MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business, giving him the technical skills, business acumen, and extensive networks of two highly regarded universities.
Jeff has been mentioned in various media outlets in the wealth management industry, including Forbes, US News & World Report, CNBC, HudsonMOD, Newsweek, and Crain’s New York Business. He has also appeared on many speaker panels at various universities including NYU Stern School of Business and GWU School of Business. Jeff makes a conscious effort to give back to both the financial industry as well as his own community.
Accordingly, he volunteers his time and serves on various boards and committees with:
-United Jewish Appeal – Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, Inc. (UJA)
-Israel Association of Baseball
-New York University Alumni Council
A resident of Short Hills, NJ, Jeff spends days when he’s not in the office with his wife, Alexandra; young children Gemma and Casey; as well as the family dog Hank. He enjoys playing a good game of golf or squash, as well as traveling with the family and rooting for his GW collegiate basketball program.
Noah Bilenker is a partner in the Real Estate Department, and a member of the firm's Real Estate Finance practice group. His experience includes all aspects of real estate finance including development, sales and acquisitions, leasing, land use, distressed debt sales and financings, joint ventures and workouts. He has additional experience in fund-level work, including financings, subscriptions lines, acquisitions and joint ventures.
Prior to joining Willkie in 2021, Noah was Director and GC at Mesa West Capital, the real estate debt platform for the investment management division of Morgan Stanley. At Mesa West, he led transactional management and strategy for the firm, as well as helped to drive operational and investor matters and compliance. With significant real estate finance and legal experience, Noah's role as GC helped strategically guide transactions for the organization including the successful acquisition by Morgan Stanley of Mesa West in 2018.
Prior to Mesa West, he was a member of the real estate department of two different international law firms, and also served as Vice President and GC of Zamir Equities, a real estate investment firm.
Noah is a member of the Real Estate and Allied Trades Division, Real Estate Council and is Co-Chair of the Real Estate Finance Committee of the UJA Federation of New York, and he earned his Bachelors in Arts from the University of Pennsylvania, Juris Doctorate from Columbia Law School and Masters of Science in Real Estate Finance from the New York University Real Estate Institute.
Russell Yankwitt is one of Westchester County’s most highly respected attorneys, known for his impressive track record of case wins in the courthouse, in private arbitration and at the settlement table. Unlike many litigators, Russell is not afraid to take cases to trial, which he leverages at mediations and during settlement negotiations to secure the best outcomes for his clients.
His thorough preparation and ability to assess his adversaries’ tipping points are key factors in his exceptional success at settling cases favorably.
One of Russell’s standout qualities is his unwavering commitment to his clients. He deeply cares for them personally and advocates for them with unyielding determination and dedication. In addition, he always gives 100 percent, standing resolute and Yankwitt Tough until the case is fully resolved. For all these reasons, clients regularly turn to Russell for sophisticated yet sympathetic legal counsel.
Russell is an active member of the Westchester County community, serving on multiple not-for-profit boards and the Executive Board of the Westchester County Board Association. He also serves on the Executive Board of the Federal Bar Council. His leadership roles in the state and federal bar associations and his reputation for integrity and trustworthiness have earned him the respect of his peers and the judiciary, as well as regular recognition and inclusion in Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, Chambers and Partners, and Benchmark organizations.
Prior to founding Yankwitt LLP in 2009, Russell worked at the prestigious New York City law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP and served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York and a federal law clerk in the Eastern District of New York, where he fostered relationships with the bar and bench that he draws on to this day.
Online Zoom Conference
This virtual roundtable is part of our University Affinity Groups initiative, aimed at building a network of Young Jewish Alumni from various universities, enabling them to connect with other alumni and business leaders. This particular session is intended for current YJP members and alumni of Cornell, UPenn, NYU, and Columbia. The forum will consist of breakout rooms with top business leaders, also alumni of these institutions, discussing topics such as combating antisemitism on campus and in the workplace, Israel advocacy, and philanthropy.
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