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- 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 25 years of experience in real estate investing, finance and asset management.
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 that focused on interest rate derivative arbitrage and was a top decile performer from 1995 to 2002. At the firm, 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 $30 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 15 years, as the organization has grown from 30 to 1,000 students served per year. He also served 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.
- 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, ValueWalk and HuffPost, 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.
- 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.
Since 2003, Dave has been involved with the sourcing, closing and execution of more than $1.5 billion of commercial real estate acquisitions, dispositions and development projects. Dave joined Origin in 2011, and, over that time, has completed over $600 million of direct and joint-venture investment comprising of a host of physical and operational repositioning strategies and ground-up development of multifamily and office assets throughout Chicago and the Southeastern 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 three sons and lives in the Cotswold neighborhood of Charlotte. He enjoys spending time with family, trying to keep up with the ever-changing restaurant scene, travel, golf, fly fishing, an occasional bird hunt and Iowa Hawkeyes athletics.
- Marc TurnerManaging Director of Investment ManagementxMarc TurnerManaging Director of Investment Management
Marc has 27 years of experience in asset management, acquisition, disposition, underwriting and valuation, leasing, debt structuring, risk management and due diligence for both public and private real estate investments. As Managing Director of Investment Management at Origin, Marc is accountable for the performance of Fund investments and execution of property-level business plans.
Before joining Origin Investments in 2015, Marc served as Vice President of Asset Strategy at Lightstone, a New York investment firm with $2 billion of assets under management. Prior to Lightstone, he performed as a trusted advisor to 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 industrial portfolio containing 7 million square feet. Earlier in his career, Marc directed various acquisition and asset management 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 performed underwriting and valuation analysis on corporate acquisitions with a total value in excess of $15 billion and developed and executed investment strategy for assets with an aggregate value over $2 billion.
Marc holds a Bachelor of Science in Business from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University. Marc lives with his wife Carey and two daughters, Rachel and Hailey, in a north suburb of Chicago.
- Tom BrineyManaging Director of AcquisitionsxTom BrineyManaging Director of Acquisitions
Tom joined Origin Investments in early 2011 and is responsible for sourcing multifamily investments across the Western United States. 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 ten years and has fifteen years’ experience in the commercial real estate sector.
Prior to joining Origin Investments, he underwrote and transacted 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. Tom currently resides in Denver with his wife and children, is a cyclist, skier and loves to travel.
- 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.
- 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.
Melissa 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 is a life-long resident of Chicago and lives with her husband, daughter, and dog in Forest Glen. She is an avid reader, traveler, yoga practitioner and concert-goer.
- Aaron MaasVice President of Multifamily OperationsxAaron MaasVice President of Multifamily Operations
Aaron is responsible for driving performance in the company’s multifamily portfolio. He oversees the strategy and execution of property-level business plans.
Before Origin Investments, Aaron worked at Steadfast Management Company, an owner and investor in over 40k units nationwide. There he led operations with his 11-years of experience in leasing & marketing, value-add construction management, property management technology, and training. In this assignment, he was able to capitalize on investments made in three REITs and ensure beneficial results. Prior to that, he managed an owner-operated portfolio concentrated in Atlanta (Avila Real Estate), and a vertically integrated firm sponsoring multifamily focused investment funds in the Southeast, mid-Atlantic, and Northwest regions (Merion Realty Partners).
Aaron studied Political Science and Economics at Emory University in Atlanta, GA. He is a member of the Atlanta Apartment Association, a Certified Apartment Portfolio Supervisor, and Certified Apartment Manager. Aaron lives with his wife and daughter in Alpharetta, GA. He is an avid outdoor hobbyist and ultramarathon runner.
- Kyle VerhasseltVice President of AcquisitionsxKyle VerhasseltVice President of Acquisitions
Kyle is responsible for sourcing, structuring, and execution of new acquisitions across Nashville, Central Florida, and Houston. Before his current role, he served as Senior Associate of Investment Management for Origin Investments, overseeing the execution and strategy of the firm’s assets, as well as an Associate in the Acquisitions group where he closed over $400 million of multifamily and office assets. Prior to Origin Investments, he completed the Risk Management Leadership Program at GE Capital.
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 Nations neighborhood of Nashville. Originally from Wisconsin, he is an avid Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers fan.
- Vince DeCrowVice President of Investor RelationsxVince DeCrowVice President of Investor Relations
Vince is a vice president in the investor relations department whose responsibilities include serving the needs of our advisor clients both before and after the investment process.
Prior to joining Origin, Vince worked at Duff & Phelps where he conducted business enterprise and intellectual property valuations for use in the corporate acquisition process. He earned a Master of Science Degree in Finance from Ohio State University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Kent State University.
- Tony SchirmangVice President of Investor RelationsxTony SchirmangVice President of Investor Relations
Tony is a vice president in the investor relations department whose responsibilities include serving the needs of our RIA clients both before and after the investment process.
Prior to joining Origin, Tony worked as a Director of Wealth Management at Polaris Greystone Financial Group, a San-Francisco-based RIA that managed about $2 billion in AUM. At Polaris, he was responsible for starting up the firm’s Chicago-based operations. Before that, Tony worked at Nuveen as a consultant to financial advisors, helping them with their fixed income portfolios.
Tony obtained his Bachelors of Business Administration from Miami University of Ohio in 2008 and holds a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification. He now lives in the suburbs of Chicago with his wife and four children. He enjoys fitness of all types, volunteering, and spending time with his family.
- Chris NeumannAssistant Vice PresidentxChris NeumannAssistant Vice President
Chris joined Origin Investments in 2017 and is responsible for executing property-level business plans as part of Origin’s Investment Management team. Within this role, he oversees the operational and financial performance of the firm’s multifamily assets in Colorado, Texas, and Arizona.
Prior to joining Origin, Chris served as an Investment Analyst at NorthMarq Capital. While there, he underwrote and closed transactions exceeding $500 million in debt financing. Chris was selected to NorthMarq's ten-member Analyst Council and served as a resource for other analysts across the firm's national platform. Chris began his career as a Portfolio Analyst within NorthMarq’s loan servicing department headquartered in Minneapolis.
Chris received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting & Finance from St. John's University (MN) and a Master of Science degree in Real Estate from DePaul University.
Chris is a big Minnesota sports fan and enjoys traveling and running along Chicago’s lakefront trail.
- Ken LodgeSenior AssociatexKen LodgeSenior Associate
Ken joined Origin in 2018 as an Associate on the Investment Management team. In this role, Ken is responsible for the execution of asset-level strategies and business plans utilizing operational and financial analyses.
Ken began his career in commercial lending as a credit analyst for MB Financial Bank in Chicago. While there, he completed the bank’s Leadership Development Program and was promoted to commercial banking officer, responsible for the development of new business relationships and the management of credit risk within a roughly $100 million loan portfolio consisting of both revolving industrial debt and real estate term facilities. Following his time at MB and prior to joining Origin, Ken worked as a project manager for Landmark Building Group. In that role, he was responsible for budgeting, scheduling, and executing the construction of custom-built single-family homes in Chicago’s suburbs.
Ken received a Bachelor of Science in Finance and International Business from Indiana University (Bloomington) and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Real Estate Finance and Investments from DePaul University. He is an active member of the Real Estate Investment Association as well as the Urban Land Institute. Born and raised in Chicago, Ken enjoys traveling, cooking, and cheering on the Cubs, Bears, and Indiana Hoosiers.
- Jonathan SpitzInvestor Relations Senior AssociatexJonathan SpitzInvestor Relations Senior Associate
Jonathan is a senior associate in the investor relations department whose responsibilities include serving the needs of our individual investment partners both before and after the investment process.
Prior to joining Origin, Jonathan was a commercial lender at Lakeside Bank where he focused on financing commercial real estate projects throughout Chicago. Jonathan began his career as an Acquisitions Analyst with Invitation Homes.
Jonathan received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance from the University of Central Florida and a Master of Business Administration Degree from DePaul University. He currently resides in the Old Town neighborhood of Chicago and enjoys playing basketball, running, and cheering for the Carolina Panthers.
- Phil SchuholzSenior AssociatexPhil SchuholzSenior Associate
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.
- Grace LiSenior Accounting AssociatexGrace LiSenior Accounting 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.
- Isabela CarrascoInvestor Relations AssociatexIsabela CarrascoInvestor Relations Associate
Isabela is part of the Investor Relations team at Origin Investments.
Isabela was formerly a Senior Financial Analyst with Pritzker Realty Group where she was responsible for providing underwriting support and market research in relation to PRG's acquisition, disposition, financing and asset management activities. Prior to joining PRG, she served as Financial Analyst for DBRS, a credit rating agency for commercial mortgage-backed securities, from 2015-2017. There she assisted in the evaluation of underlying commercial real estate loans within rated transactions, conducted site inspections of all major property types and composed Presale Reports distributed to investors.
She graduated from Marquette University with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Real Estate and Finance and was a member of the Marquette Women's Soccer Team. Isabela still enjoys playing soccer and staying active as well as volunteering, reading and traveling. She is on the Young Adult Board for Horizons for Youth, a Chicago non-profit, and is a member of CREW's Network Liaison Committee.
- James BormesAnalystxJames BormesAnalyst
Prior to joining the Origin team, James began his career as an analyst on the Development team at Brookfield Properties, formerly GGP. With a focus on Class-A retail, he underwrote development projects, offered project management support, and transitioned completed projects to asset management.
James received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from the Richard A. Chaifetz School of Business at Saint Louis University. In his free time, James enjoys woodworking, playing squash, and traveling.
- Jacob SojkaAssociatexJacob SojkaAssociate
Jacob is responsible for underwriting prospective commercial real estate investments across all property types and target markets.
Prior to joining the Origin team, Jacob worked at KPMG as a Real Estate EVS Senior Associate where he performed over $15.0 B in property and portfolio level valuations across all asset classes.
He received a Bachelor of Business Administration with majors in Real Estate & Urban Land Economics and Finance, Investment & Banking from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Jacob lives in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago and loves cheering on the Green Bay Packers and Wisconsin Badgers.
- Nicole SpentzosInvestor Support SpecialistxNicole SpentzosInvestor Support Specialist
Nicole joined the firm in late 2019 and serves as an investor support specialist.
Prior to Origin, Nicole spent nearly six years at Mario Tricoci Hair Salons & Day Spas, holding various management positions at different locations. In her most recent role of Assistant General Manager, she operated a full-service retail store consisting of 75 technicians and support staff. She was responsible for customer resolution, tracking and leading sales initiatives, and personnel management.
Nicole graduated from Eastern Illinois University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. In her free time, she enjoys exploring the city, spending time with her dog, making jewelry, and interior design.
- Gina LeeInvestor Support SpecialistxGina LeeInvestor Support Specialist
Gina serves as an Investor Relations Support Specialist.
Prior to joining Origin, Gina worked for some of the leading luxury hotel brands, including the Peninsula Chicago and Fairmont Grand Del Mar, San Diego. In her roles, Gina specialized in Front Office operations where she was responsible for managing guest feedback and supporting the team to deliver personalized service from arrival to departure.
Gina graduated from DePaul University with a Bachelor of Science in Business with a major in Hospitality Leadership. She enjoys hiking, trying new restaurants and coffee shops, and spending time with family and friends.
- Jonathan StarzykMarketing ManagerxJonathan StarzykMarketing Manager
Jonathan joined the Origin team in early 2021. He brings with him over 7+ years of digital marketing experience in both B2B and B2C marketing. Before joining Origin, he was the Digital Marketing Manager at Evolve Healthcare Marketing, which partnered with the nation’s leading private equity-backed healthcare businesses. At Evolve, he led the strategy, execution, and analysis of multi-channel, lead-generating campaigns for more than 30 clients across specialties.
Prior to Evolve, he was the Marketing Specialist at Cappex.com, which connects high school students to colleges and universities. There he coordinated, deployed, and measured lead-generating campaigns and promotions that led to YoY growth in core markets.
Jonathan is a Posse Scholar and received his Bachelor’s degree with a major in Media Studies from Pomona College in Claremont, California. He is a lifelong resident of Chicago and lives with his partner and dog in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. He is a runner, frequent traveler, amateur tennis player, and beach/pool enthusiast.
- Geoff AndersonMarketing ManagerxGeoff AndersonMarketing Manager
Geoff joined Origin in the spring of 2021 after spending two years at Centro, an advertising technology firm headquartered in Chicago. At Centro, Geoff focused on personalizing the company’s messaging strategies and expediting adoption of their proprietary software – a comprehensive solution for both brands and agencies. Prior to Centro, Geoff spent over a decade in marketing for higher education institutions, non-profits, and startups.
Geoff holds a Bachelor’s degree with a double major in Sociology and English from College of the Holy Cross and a Master’s degree in Strategic Marketing and Communications from DePaul University. A life-long Chicagoan, Geoff enjoys music, traveling, learning new skills, and spending time with his wife and son.
- Claire Potter-SchneiderMarketing AssociatexClaire Potter-SchneiderMarketing Associate
Claire Potter joined Origin’s marketing team after two years of helping current and prospective investors on the investor relations team.
Before Origin, Claire worked for some of the largest non-profit arts institutions in North America, including The Lyric Opera of Chicago and The Boston Symphony Orchestra. In these roles, Claire served as the main point of contact for VIP artists, managed auditions, and oversaw the strategic planning process.
Claire graduated with degrees in Arts Management, Business Administration and Anthropology from DePaul University. In her free time, Claire enjoys exploring the arts and the cultural scene in Chicago.
- Bill MaassSenior Graphic DesignerxBill MaassSenior Graphic Designer
Bill works alongside the marketing team to produce creative assets for digital marketing campaigns including blog graphics, email templates, landing pages, and other branded materials.
Before joining Origin in Fall of 2018, Bill worked as an independent graphic designer. His clients included agencies, startups, non-profit organizations in the arts, higher education, healthcare, social welfare, as well as entrepreneurial individuals.
Bill’s design practice emerged out of a fine arts background. He was formally trained as a multi-disciplinary artist with an emphasis on conceptual thinking at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Bill received his BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in partnership with Tufts University (SMFA at Tufts).
Bill lives in Andersonville. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, listening to music, and traveling.
- Marcus ClarkGraphic DesignerxMarcus ClarkGraphic Designer
Marcus works in sync with Origin’s other in-house designer, Bill, alongside the larger marketing team, to produce a variety of assets ranging from digital marketing campaigns, numerous email tactics, and aiding web-based clients through the development of landing pages.
Prior to joining Origin in Winter of 2020, Marcus worked as the Graphic Designer for Farmer’s Fridge, along with numerous other prominent Chicago startups, all focused in the food & beverage space. It was there that he lead many multi-channel initiatives to drive trial, engage with consumers through physical & digital content, and manage email campaigns on a national level. Throughout his tenure he elevated the brand’s messaging, unified design principals, and executed many mobile-focused strategies.
Marcus comes from a family of artists and craftsmen, and so his passion for the craft is well developed. He was formally trained at Columbia College Chicago, here in the Windy City, and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design with a concentration in print publication. Marcus lives in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. In his spare time, he enjoys baking, visiting antique furniture stores, or simply focusing on his indoor gardening skills.
- Hannah GryskaExecutive Assistant/Office ManagerxHannah GryskaExecutive Assistant/Office Manager
Hannah joined the firm in late 2020 as an executive assistant and office manager.
Prior to joining Origin, Hannah spent several years in the public sector, having both served in the U.S. Navy as an aviation mechanic, and later as the assistant to the commissioner of the Chicago Department of Aviation.
Hannah earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in Economics and International Business from Loyola University Chicago. She is originally from Kansas City and besides cheering on her hometown teams, she enjoys listening to live music, going to the theater, and traveling.
"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