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Principal and Co-Founder Connect
Principal and Co-Founder Connect
David SchererPrincipal and Co-FounderxDavid SchererPrincipal and Co-Founder
David is principal of Origin, co-chairs the Investment Committee and oversees investment analysis, acquisition and asset management. He has more than 20 years of experience in real estate investing, finance and asset management and believes that real estate is the best asset class for long-term wealth protection and growth.
As a child of two teachers, David witnessed the daily challenges facing middle-income families. David received 100% financial aid from Harvard and played on the Harvard varsity football team, where he learned the value of team building and goal setting.
Upon graduation, David spent eight years at a privately financed hedge fund, where he opened and managed offices in New York and London and served as company president. His success in this role allowed him to focus on his passion: real estate. David earned his MBA from the University of Chicago to explore the intersection of real estate, financial modeling, and investment structures.
David has dedicated much of his time towards giving back to others. In 2006, he co-founded One Million Degrees, which has raised $20 million to help low-income community college students graduate and successfully enter the workforce. He has served as the organization’s Board Chair for the past 12 years, as the organization has grown from 30 to 1,000 students served per year. He also serves as the President of the Harvard Club of Chicago and is on the Advisory Board of Invest for Kids.
David is married, has two children, and is a youth basketball coach. David is a passionate but below-average guitar player and is currently learning Spanish.
Michael EpiscopePrincipal and Co-FounderxMichael EpiscopePrincipal and Co-Founder
Michael is principal of Origin, co-chairs the Investment Committee and oversees investor relations, marketing and company operations. Michael brings 25 years of investment and risk management experience to the company and believes that calculated risk-taking in inefficient markets is the key to building wealth.
He frequently shares his knowledge with individual investors on Origin’s blog, Forbes, TheStreet and Huffington Post, and his expertise has made him a frequent speaker on real estate investment panels and podcasts.
Michael learned about the physical aspects of real estate in his youth as he helped his grandfather manage his apartment buildings on Chicago’s west side. He began college at DePaul University and a year later was introduced to the floors of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He continued to work full time on the trading floor for the next sixteen years while attending night courses to complete his undergraduate degree. After rising from runner to broker, Michael was given an opportunity to become a floor trader by a Chicago based hedge fund, Tradelink, LLC and then had a prolific nine-year trading career, twice named one of the top 100 traders in the world by Trader Monthly Magazine.
With two kids and another one on the way, Michael cashed in his chips and retired from trading in late 2005. His new focus was on managing the wealth he accumulated and enrolled in the Real Estate master’s program at DePaul.
Michael is the former president of the DePaul Real Estate Alumni Alliance and a sustaining sponsor of the DePaul Real Estate Center. He has been a Vistage member for more than six years and lives in Chicago with his wife and three children. He enjoys traveling with this family, snowboarding, and frequents ski resorts all over North America.
Marc TurnerManaging Director of Investment ManagementxMarc TurnerManaging Director of Investment Management
Marc is a senior commercial real estate investment professional with 20 years of experience in asset management, acquisition, disposition, underwriting and valuation, leasing, and due diligence. As Managing Director of Investment Management at Origin, Marc is responsible for overseeing the company’s real estate portfolio and executing Fund and property-level business plans.
Before Origin Investments, Marc served as Vice President of Asset Management at Lightstone, a New York investment firm with $2 billion of assets under management. Prior to Lightstone, he was involved in the HSBC Amanah Global Properties Income Fund ("GPIF"). As Head of Asset Management for the U.S. portfolio, he held responsibility for the investment performance of a 36 building national office, R&D, and an industrial portfolio containing 7 million square feet. Earlier in his career, Marc performed in various asset management and acquisition roles at Equity Office Properties Trust, previously the nation's largest publicly traded office building owner and REIT. During his decade long tenure at Equity Office, Marc was involved in the underwriting and valuation analysis on corporate acquisitions with a total value in excess of $15 billion and conceived investment strategy for assets with an aggregate value over $2 billion.
He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. Marc lives with his wife and two daughters in a north suburb of Chicago. He is a faithful Cubs fan who also enjoys travel, the beach, and history.
Michael McVickarGeneral CounselxMichael McVickarGeneral Counsel
Michael serves as Origin Investments’ in-house general counsel.
Prior to joining Origin Investments, Michael was the Vice President and Senior Associate General Counsel at General Growth Properties, a $3 billion publicly-traded REIT. Earlier in his career, he worked the Associate General Counsel and Assistant Secretary at APAC Customer Services. Michael also worked at Corporate Express as their Assistant General Counsel.
He received his Bachelor degree in Chemistry from Hope College and his JD from Valparaiso University School of Law. Michael is admitted to the Illinois Bar and the Northern District of Illinois. He is an accomplished French horn player, contemporary art collector and competitive recreational cyclist. Michael and his husband have been residents of the city of Chicago for over twenty-five years.
Dave WelkManaging Director of AcquisitionsxDave WelkManaging Director of Acquisitions
Dave is directly responsible for investment activities across the firm’s target markets and collaborating with the Investment Committee to shape the firm’s investment strategy.
Over the past 13 years, Dave has been involved with the sourcing, closing and execution of more than $1.1 billion of commercial real estate acquisitions, dispositions and development. During his six-year tenure with Origin, Dave has completed nearly $300 million of direct and joint-venture investments including acquisitions, ground-up development, physical and operational repositioning of multifamily and office assets throughout Chicago and the Southeast U.S.
Prior to joining Origin Investments, Dave spent six years at Deutsche Bank’s global commercial real estate investment and advisory division known as RREEF. During his tenure, he was involved with the acquisition of more than $500 million of multifamily, office, industrial and retail assets throughout the U.S. on behalf of the firm’s pension fund clients. Additionally, Dave was a member of the Portfolio Management group that oversaw the investment management and strategic direction for two separate account pension fund clients that had a combined asset value of more than $2 billion and comprised over 10 million square foot of multifamily, office, retail and industrial assets throughout the U.S.
Dave is married, has two sons and lives in the Cotswold neighborhood of Charlotte. He enjoys trying to keep up with the ever-changing restaurant scene, travel, a round of golf, an occasional bird hunt, Iowa Hawkeyes athletics and Blackhawks hockey.
Tom BrineyDirector of Acquisitions — Denver and ChicagoxTom BrineyDirector of Acquisitions — Denver and Chicago
Tom joined Origin Investments in early 2011 and is responsible for sourcing office investments across Chicago and Denver. Before his current role, he served as Vice President of Asset Management for Origin Investments, overseeing the firm’s portfolio assets. Tom has worked with the Origin team for over five years and has ten years experience in the commercial real estate sector.
Prior to joining Origin Investments, he performed underwriting commercial real estate investments at Equity Office Properties. Before Equity Office Properties, Tom worked as a commercial credit analyst at JP Morgan Chase.
He received his Bachelor degree in Finance from The University of Connecticut. Recently, Tom relocated to Denver with his wife and children. He is a competitive cyclist and loves to travel.
Matt OzeeVice President of Acquisitions —TexasxMatt OzeeVice President of Acquisitions —Texas
Matt is responsible for acquisitions across Austin, Dallas and Houston. He has over eight years of experience sourcing, evaluating and executing investments on behalf of Dallas-area real estate firms. Prior to joining Origin, Matt served as the Vice President of Acquisitions at Behringer Harvard. Earlier in his career, he was an Analyst for Goldman Sachs & Co. Matt holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Finance from the University of Arkansas. In 2014, he was selected as one of "Tomorrow’s Leaders: Texas’" on behalf of Real Estate Forum Magazine. He holds an active Real Estate License in the State of Texas and is an active member of the Real Estate Council. Matt is married and he and his wife live in Dallas. He enjoys all things outdoors and the Arkansas Razorbacks.
Brady DawsonManaging Director of Debt FinancingxBrady DawsonManaging Director of Debt Financing
Brady joined Origin Investments in 2017 and is responsible for leading loan origination and portfolio management activities for Origin’s Income Fund. He is a senior commercial real estate lending professional with over 17 years of experience within global structured finance companies. Throughout his real estate career, Brady has actively led, or was involved in more than $1 billion of bridge loan financings and has overseen the portfolio management of ~$1.8 billion of debt and equity investments.
Most recently, Brady was a Senior Vice President within Wells Fargo’s Real Estate Merchant Banking team. Prior to Wells Fargo, Brady spent 15 years at GE Capital where he was primarily dedicated to the origination of floating- and fixed-rate bridge loans for value add and core property types throughout the county.
Brady holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from DePaul University. He currently lives in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood with his wife and two young sons, Andrew and Elliott. He enjoys traveling, live music, golf, skiing and various water sports.
Melissa GillhamVice President of MarketingxMelissa GillhamVice President of Marketing
Melissa joined Origin in early 2017 after spending nearly a decade at Morningstar, Inc., a leading provider of independent investment research. At Morningstar, Melissa set the marketing communications strategy to drive demand for an extensive line of products for financial advisors, including software, events and investment management services. Her career at Morningstar began as a marketing associate for the company’s most widely-used financial advisor software system and, prior to that, she worked in marketing at Merrill Lynch Capital.
She received a Bachelor’s degree with a major in Strategic Communications from the University of Kansas and a Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from Northwestern University. She also serves on the board of the Chicago Chapter of the American Marketing Association.
Melissa is a life-long resident of Chicago and lives with her husband and dog in Forest Glen. She is an avid reader, traveler, yoga practitioner and concert-goer.
Victor AbecassisVice President of TechnologyxVictor AbecassisVice President of Technology
Victor is responsible for creating the technology department at Origin Investments. He and his team of engineers are building tools that will help Origin grow. His team architects and implements internal tools as well as external products that improve our customer support, enhance analytics and extend Origin’s reach.
Victor has over 4 years of coding and 2 years of management experience. He’s been a part time coder while managing teams from the architecture of projects to successful releases. He has delivered products for large companies such as Microsoft and Facebook.
Victor graduated from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He loves to read, travel and play guitar. You can find him playing basketball around Chicago any time of the year.
Priya VenkataramanControllerxPriya VenkataramanController
Priya is the controller of Origin Investments and joined the team in June 2009. She has over 12 years of accounting and financial experience in commercial real estate with a portfolio of assets totaling over $900 million. In her current role, Priya oversees Origin’s fund and corporate-level financial operations, executes year-end audits, interfaces with the tax team, tracks corporate performance, and manages reporting requirements of lenders, general partners and other stakeholders.
Prior to joining Origin, Priya was the controller of a privately financed real estate development company where she managed a team of accountants, and was responsible for building and managing accounting systems, internal controls and overseeing the financial reporting and operations of the firm.
Priya is a licensed CPA, Certified Internal Auditor and a Chartered Accountant. She lives with her husband and son in Hinsdale. Intrigued by countries and cultures, she enjoys traveling, live music and spending time with friends.
Nick TannCreative LeadxNick TannCreative Lead
Nick joined Origin late 2015 after spending two years as presentation editor for the Chicago Tribune's business innovation section, Blue Sky. Covering startup culture, entrepreneurship and tech-focused companies in the Chicagoland area quickly introduced him to the diverse technological landscape surrounding Origin's Chicago headquarters.
An Iowa native, Nick's design foundations were laid at Iowa State University, where he majored in graphic design. While in Iowa, he produced and co-hosted a podcast and led the web design team for an anime company for six years.
Nick's love for journalism evolved after joining the Baltimore Sun's interactive media team as the design and technology manager in 2012. In addition to data visualization, Nick's love of photography led him to design, build and report on The Sun's most successful blog to date, The Darkroom.
Nick is married and has two cats and two collies. He owns two Dysons (see previous mention of pets), has a love/hate relationship with the gym and enjoys an occasional game night in with friends.
Benjamin HarrisSenior AssociatexBenjamin HarrisSenior Associate
Ben is responsible for raising investment capital and servicing the firm’s investor base. He joined Origin Investments in early 2015 as an Acquisitions Associate and underwrote $1.25 billion of office and multi-family assets.
Before joining Origin, Ben served as a Financial Analyst for Starwood Retail Partners, a division of Starwood Capital Group with more than $7 billion in assets under management.
Ben received a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He lives in the River North neighborhood of Chicago. He regularly participates in local recreational sports leagues, is an avid traveler, and loves to see live music.
Kyle VerhasseltSenior AssociatexKyle VerhasseltSenior Associate
Kyle is responsible for the execution of property level business plans and asset and portfolio level strategy including refinancing and dispositions at Origin Investments.
Prior to Origin Investments, he completed the Risk Management Leadership Program at GE Capital. In this role, he was a part of GE Antares Capital where he managed a $460mm portfolio of distressed senior secured loans. Kyle began his career as an intern at GE Capital Real Estate where he completed valuation models for all assets.
He received a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Kyle lives in the West Loop neighborhood of Chicago. Originally from the Wisconsin, he is an avid Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers fan.
Ashley FoghtExecutive AssistantxAshley FoghtExecutive Assistant
Prior to joining Origin, Ashley was a Personal Assistant/Office Manager for Jessica Abernathy, who owns Professional Pet Sitters, Chicagoland Cat Sitters, and Chicago Canine Concierge. There she managed all client care, employee performance, and social media marketing. Before working as an office manager, Ashley worked as a manager at Nordstrom, where she specialized in employee sales development, client relationships, and merchandising.
Ashley received her degree in Apparel and Textile Merchandising from Eastern Michigan University. There she was active as a member of Delta Zeta Sorority and the Fashion Forum club. Originally from Ohio, Ashley currently lives in the Lincoln Park area of Chicago where she enjoys running, yoga, and rooting for the Ohio State Buckeyes.
Emily MillerMarketing AssociatexEmily MillerMarketing Associate
Emily joined the marketing team in spring 2017. She works alongside the VP of Marketing and Creative Lead by producing integrated marketing campaigns.
Prior to Origin, Emily worked as the Marketing Coordinator and Transactions Manager for the Marcus & Millichap Healthcare Real Estate Group. The group has an exclusive focus on advising physician practices, health systems, investors, and developers on the disposition and acquisition of healthcare properties nationwide. She was responsible for creating all marketing collateral, managing every transaction from start-to-finish, and streamlining the group's pipeline. During her tenure, she initiated multiple marketing initiatives that directly increased business revenue and the group's online presence.
Emily graduated from the University of Missouri where she received a Bachelor of Journalism in International Strategic Communications and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. She lives in the Noble Square neighborhood of Chicago. She is an active member of the Junior League of Chicago, an avid rock climber and loves to travel.
Grace LiAccounting AssociatexGrace LiAccounting Associate
Originally from China, Grace came to the U.S. in 2011 to pursue a Master of Science in Accounting degree, which she received in 2013 from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Previously she studied accounting as a undergrad at Capital University of Economic and Business in China.
After graduating from UIC, Grace worked as a staff accountant at the food industry consulting firm Technomic, Inc. (now part of Winsight), in downtown Chicago. Two years later, she took a role as a Property Accountant at SLM Realty, LLC., where she was first exposed to the real estate industry. Then in April 2016, she joined the Origin family.
Grace enjoys cooking, singing, painting and traveling. During the summer, Grace enjoys biking along Lakeshore Drive and makes the most of the big city by exploring new places, museums, parks, restaurants and festivals. During the unpredictable Chicago winters, she tries to stay active and has found skiing and skating in the park to be her favorite wintertime activities.
Vince DeCrowInvestor Relations AssociatexVince DeCrowInvestor Relations Associate
Vince joined Origin Investments in 2017 and is responsible for investor communications at Origin Investments.
Prior to Origin Investments, he served as a Senior Associate at Duff & Phelps, a leading global valuation and corporate finance advisor. In this role, he was a member of the Valuation Advisory group where he was responsible for conducting business enterprise and intellectual property valuations for use in the corporate acquisition process.
Vince holds a Master’s of Science in Finance from Ohio State University with a focus in Corporate Finance and Real Estate. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration from Kent State University and currently lives in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago. In his free time, Vince enjoys traveling, fishing and skiing. Originally from Ohio, he is a fan of the Cleveland Indians and Ohio State football.
Chris NeumannDebt AssociatexChris NeumannDebt Associate
Chris is responsible for underwriting prospective financing opportunities and modeling property/loan cash flows for Origin's Income Fund.
Chris has over four years of experience in commercial real estate financing. Prior to joining Origin, he served as an Investment Analyst for NorthMarq Capital. While there, he underwrote and closed over 40 transactions exceeding $500 million in debt financing. He also assisted in marketing and pitching NorthMarq's debt offerings to targeted lending sources within the firm's correspondent network. Because of his work, he was selected as a member of NorthMarq's ten-member Analyst Council and served as a resource for other analysts across the firm's national platform.
Prior to serving as an Investment Analyst, Chris was a Loan Portfolio Analyst within NorthMarq Capital's servicing department. While there, he managed and analyzed a portfolio of 180 CMBS loans and fielded borrower and lender requests to determine their cash flow implications to each property.
Chris received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting/Finance from St. John's University (MN) and is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree in Real Estate from DePaul University. He is an active member of the Urban Land Institute and the American Cancer Society's Associate Board of Ambassadors (ABOA).
Annamarie BjorklundAnalystxAnnamarie BjorklundAnalyst
Annamarie is responsible for underwriting Origin’s potential commercial real estate investments, as well as maintaining operating and capital improvement information on existing assets within the funds. Annamarie also works with the team to draft and successfully implement property-level business plans for portfolio assets.
Before joining the team at Origin, Annamarie was an associate on the real estate valuations team at RSM. During her tenure there, she analyzed and reviewed over 200 different properties across all asset classes, developed financial analysis models used by the entire firm and wrote research reports on markets across the U.S. Annamarie began her career in real estate as an intern for Harrison Street Capital, where she helped to underwrite and analyze various student housing, senior housing and medical office assets.
Annamarie received a Bachelor of Business Administration with majors in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics, Spanish and a minor in Chinese Professional Communication from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Annamarie now lives in the Lincoln Park neighborhood and enjoys running, skiing, hiking and cheering for the Cubs and Badgers.
Phil SchuholzAnalystxPhil SchuholzAnalyst
Phil is responsible for underwriting commercial real estate investments, conducting quarterly valuations for portfolio assets and executing upon property level business plans.
Prior to joining the Origin team, Phil began his career as a Development Analyst for General Growth Properties, a Chicago-based REIT specializing in high-quality retail properties. In this role, he underwrote development projects, provided asset management support on the ± $2 billion West / Seritage portfolio and prepared monthly project reports on an income and cost basis.
Phil received a Bachelor of Science with a major in Finance from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He currently resides in the River North neighborhood of Chicago and is originally from Ohio. Phil loves to travel, participate in sports leagues and cheer on the Cincinnati Reds and Bengals.
"We believe that investors deserve the most talented and disciplined team to actively manage their real estate investing portfolio."
- David Scherer, Principal of Origin Investments