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Real Estate News & Analysis: May Edition


Choice Properties names new CEO; Washington REIT picks new chairman

This feature presents a weekly rundown of recent significant management and board changes and personnel moves in the North American real estate industry, including U.S. real estate investment trusts and real estate operating companies, homebuilders and gaming operators.

C-suite changes

* John Morrison will step down as CEO of retail REIT Choice Properties Real Estate Investment Trust after the completion of the company's merger with Canadian REIT. Morrison will become nonexecutive vice chairman of the combined company, and Stephen Johnson will become president and CEO of Choice Properties. Rael Diamond and Mario Barrafato will serve as COO and CFO, respectively, of Choice Properties.

* Self-storage REIT Public Storage tapped President Joe Russell to replace Ronald Havner as CEO, effective Jan. 1, 2019. The REIT also named Tom Boyle its new CFO, replacing John Reyes, and promoted Steven Lentin to COO, John Sambuco to president of asset management and Pete Panos to president of third-party management. Joe Russell and John Reyes will also join the board of trustees.

* Cannabis-industry service company General Cannabis Corp. named former chief marketing officer for Dixie Brands Inc. Joe Hodas as its first COO.

Board shuffle

SNL Image

Fred Vandercook, president of Tampa division
Source: KB Home

* Diversified REIT Washington Real Estate Investment Trust selected Paul McDermott as chairman of the board effective May 31, replacing Charles Nason, who will become lead independent trustee if re-elected to the board.

* Multifamily REIT Investors Real Estate Trust added Emily Nagle Green, an independent director at Casella Waste Systems Inc., and Mary Twinem of Valvoline Inc. to its board as independent trustees.

* Real estate services company CBRE Group Inc. named Brandon Boze, a partner and member of the management committee of ValueAct Capital, to replace Raymond Wirta as chair of the board. Wirta will remain a board member.

* Medical Properties Trust Inc. elected Elizabeth Pitman, an attorney with Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP, to the board of the healthcare REIT.

* Former Sen. Paul Kirk Jr., D-Mass., will retire from the board of retail REIT Cedar Realty Trust Inc. at its annual meeting.

* DDR Corp. board member Robert Gidel will not stand for re-election to the board of the retail REIT at its annual meeting of shareholders May 8.

Other news

* The board of diversified REIT STORE Capital Corp. appointed Stacy LaFrance senior vice president and chief accounting officer.

* Investment bank JMP Group LLC tapped Ryan Abbe to serve as managing director and head of real estate investment banking at JMP Securities LLC.

* KB Home named Fred Vandercook president of the homebuilder's Tampa, Fla., division.