Paul J. Everson Center for the Study of Real Estate Agency/Brokerage and Markets

2012 Conference
The Sustainability of Cleveland's Residential & Commercial Revitalization

Speaker Biographies

David Oakes
Senior Executive Vice President and CFO, DDR CorpDavid Oakes DDR

David J. Oakes is the Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, a position he assumed in February 2010. Prior to that, he served as Senior Executive Vice President of Finance and Chief Investment Officer since December 2008. Mr. Oakes joined DDR as Executive Vice President of Finance and Chief Investment Officer in April 2007.

Mr. Oakes oversees the Company's capital markets, transactions, budgeting, tax, investor relations, funds management, property and corporate accounting, audit, external reporting, corporate governance and employee compensation and benefits functions. He serves on the Company's executive, compensation, enterprise risk and management committees, and chairs the investment committee. Mr. Oakes is also a member of the Sonae Sierra Brasil Board of Directors.


Dr. Lawrence Yun
Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at the National Association of Realtors®Dr. Lawrence Yun

Lawrence Yun is Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at the National Association of Realtors® . He directs research activity for the association and regularly provides commentary on real estate market trends for its 1 million Realtor® members. Dr. Yun creates NAR's forecasts and participates in many economic forecasting panels, including Blue Chip and the Harvard University Industrial Economist Council. He appears regularly on financial news outlets and is a frequent speaker at real estate conferences throughout the United States. In 2008, USA Today listed him among the top 10 economic forecasters in the country.

Dr. Yun has been with the Realtors® since the year 2000. Prior to that, he worked as an economic consultant to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and the U.S. Department of Education. From 1995 to 1998, while a research associate at the University of Maryland, he was based in the former Soviet Union where he developed economics programs at several universities to help in the transition from communism to a market based economy.

Dr. Yun received his undergraduate degree from Purdue University and earned his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland at College Park.


Joe MarinucciJoe Marinucci
President and CEO, Downtown Cleveland Alliance

Mr. Marinucci's career encompasses more than 30 years of economic development experience. Mr. Marinucci, who currently serves as President & CEO of Downtown Cleveland Alliance, has expertise in strategic planning, real estate development, business retention and attraction, commercial and retail investment, economic development financing, business development marketing, and regional and national policy development.

Working closely with neighborhood based partners as well as strategic partners, the Alliance oversees numerous initiatives designed to improve the pedestrian experience and attract new investment to Downtown Cleveland. Programs include business development and marketing initiatives, major festival events and managing 55 Ambassadors who keep downtown clean and safe on a daily basis. Prior to being named DCA's President in 2006, Mr. Marinucci served as President and Executive Vice President of Downtown Cleveland Partnership, DCA's predecessor organization, and managed the creation of the largest downtown special assessment district in the state of Ohio.


Guy J. Totino
President and Principal, Polaris Real Estate Equities

Guy TotinoAs the Principal and founder of Polaris Real Estate Equities, Mr. Totino's primary responsibility is developing and implementing a pipeline of real estate opportunities. Mr. Totino oversees and manages the development and construction operations for Polaris Real Estate Equities including site selection and acquisition for future developments. Mr. Totino brings over 25 years of experience as a visionary with a focus on the core business. He seeks opportunities that will lead Polaris Real Estate Equities forward in the development of student housing projects in high-barrier growth markets throughout the United States.

Prior to forming Polaris Real Estate Equities in 2001, Mr. Totino spent 16 years building relationships and gaining hands-on experience while working for national real estate development companies completing over $750 million of projects including multi-family, retail and office properties throughout the United States.

Mr. Totino is a graduate of Duquesne University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business.


Jill V. Akins
Owner, Van Auken Akins Architects LLC

Jill AkinsJill, a University of Notre Dame alumna, is a Registered Architect with over 25 years of experience in architectural design, programming, project management, interior design, and construction management. As Principal and sole owner of VAA since its inception in 1992, Jill has managed the firm’s design efforts on numerous projects spanning the public and private sectors. Outside of VAA, Jill’s focus in community and civic involvement includes children, education, hunger and women’s advancement. She is an alumna and past board member for Beaumont School and has served as a member of the Cuyahoga County Harvest for Hunger Campaign Cabinet since 2004.

Jill provides senior management and oversight on all firm projects, including: Cleveland Medical Mart and Convention Center, Cleveland Waterfront Redevelopment Plan, Burke Lakefront Airport Master Plan, Akron Core City Plan, St. John Medical Center Master Plan Implementation, University Hospitals Ahuja Medical Center Risman Pavilion Interior Build Out, The Ohio State University OARDC Plant and Animal Agrosecurity Research Facility, and Laurel School Alice Lehmann Butler Center for Fitness & Wellness.


Nathan ForbesNathan Forbes
Principal, Rock Gaming

With his significant design and development credentials, Nate Forbes plays a critical role in Rock Gaming’s urban casino developments. Nate is also the managing partner of The Forbes Company, a nationally recognized developer, owner and manager of luxury shopping destinations throughout Michigan and Florida. These landmark retail properties include the highly acclaimed Somerset Collection in Troy, Mich., and three developments in Florida: The Mall at Millenia in Orlando; The Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens; and Waterside Shops in Naples. Nate is also vice chairman of the NBA Cleveland Cavaliers.


engaged learning
Mailing Address
Cleveland State University
Nance College of Business Administration
Department of Finance, BU 321
2121 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44115-2214

Campus Location
1860 East 18th Street, Rm. 321
Phone: 216.687.4716
Fax: 216.875.9725

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