Movers and Shakers Week Ending 11.13.20
Walker & Dunlop Investment Partners Expands Capital Formation Team with New Director
Walker & Dunlop Investment Partners, Inc., Walker and Dunlop’s wholly-owned alternative investment manager focused on middle-market commercial real estate investments, has hired Michael Link as Director on WDIP’s Capital Formation team. Mr. Link will be based out of the firm’s Denver headquarters and will be responsible for marketing and fundraising efforts as WDIP continues to build a diversified suite of private equity and debt strategies.
“Mike’s skills, established relationships, and experience working with institutional investors – including pensions, endowments, foundations, consultants, fund of funds, and family offices – will be an invaluable addition to the team,” said Sam Isaacson, president of WDIP. “We are pleased to have him on board as we continue to pursue our mission of matching the diverse investment needs of our investors with the capital needs of commercial real estate owners.”
“I was drawn to WDIP’s investment approach, recent growth, and reputation as a widely recognized leader in the middle-market real estate finance arena,” Mr. Link said. “The firm’s access to proprietary resources and market intelligence help to provide real-time insights into market movements, valuation, pricing, and underwriting. As WDIP has grown its presence in the space, it is increasingly seeing attractive investment opportunities and driving value for its clients.”
McWhinney Hires Michael Ray as Executive Vice President & General Counsel
McWhinney, announced that Michael Ray is now serving as executive vice president and general counsel for the company. The firm has also promoted Beth Johnson to the role of senior vice president and deputy general counsel.
Ray is serving as chief legal advisor for McWhinney’s enterprise portfolio working closely with ownership and the internal legal team, and providing strategic legal direction on complex negotiations, joint venture opportunities, and corporate growth initiatives.
Prior to joining McWhinney, Ray served as a partner of Pircher, Nichols & Meeks LLP in Los Angeles, where he primarily focused on the representation of private equity funds and real estate operating companies in connection with the sponsorship and formation of real estate investment vehicles and the execution of real estate joint ventures.
“Mike’s passionate leadership and decades-long expertise navigating complex legal and business matters will make him an integral member of our senior team,” said McWhinney COO and President, Ray Pittman. “Mike has extensive legal experience in advising clients – including McWhinney – across various sectors in connection with commercial transactions and business ventures, including mergers and acquisitions, private offerings of securities and compliance matters.”
Since early 2019, Johnson has served as vice president & associate general counsel and most recently filled the role of interim general counsel at McWhinney for the past six months. She has been instrumental in helping McWhinney execute complex deals and has served as an integral piece to McWhinney’s operational side during the current pandemic.
In her new role as Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Johnson will continue to lead McWhinney’s internal legal function in support of McWhinney’s real estate development and operational business lines, as well as advising the senior leadership and executive teams on real estate transactions and business operations matters. Johnson will also continue to directly support McWhinney’s Commercial, Mixed-Use and Multifamily Development teams.
Colorado’s Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa Names Kris Furniss Managing Food & Beverage Director
The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa Avon, has hired Kris Furniss to serve as managing Food & Beverage director.
Furniss brings more than 26 years of hospitality industry experience to the Vail Valley. In 2008, he co-founded and served as CEO of Caviar & Bananas, a gourmet market concept in Charleston, S.C. that grew to five locations before Furniss brokered its acquisition. He also previously served as a senior operations manager for Dean & Deluca.
In 2018, he started The Furniss Group, which consulted on franchise start-ups as well as on luxury resort F&B outlets, including for the prestigious Kiawah Island Club. He has served as a guest speaker and mentor for the College of Charleston’s School of Business.
Furniss holds a degree in Economics from New York’s Hobart College and has studied at the French Culinary Institute in New York City. He began his career in the financial industry with positions at Maverick Capital and Morgan Stanley.
“We are excited to have Kris’ entrepreneurial spirit and industry expertise during this challenging time,” said Westin Riverfront General Manager Kristen Pryor. “He has a dynamic background that includes high volume, fine dining and catering & events and he brings a new energy to help us continue to offer top tier experiences for our guests in a thoughtful way.”
Owned and managed by Colorado’s East West Hospitality, the award-winning Westin Riverfront offers 230 guest residences, each featuring a custom kitchen, five-piece bathroom, gas fireplace and Westin Heavenly Bed. Amenities at The Westin Riverfront include Spa Anjali, an Athletic Club offering 45+ group exercise classes weekly, Ski Valet service and a year-round outdoor pool and three infinity hot tubs. Skiers & snowboarders can enjoy direct access to the Beaver Creek Mountain terrain via the Riverfront Express Gondola.