Board of Directors
MARTIN E. STEIN, JR., age 68, has been our Executive Chairman of the Board since January 1, 2020, having served as a director of the Board since 1993 and its chairman since 1998. Mr. Stein served as Chief Executive Officer from our initial public offering in 1993 until his retirement on December 31, 2019. He was our President and Chief Executive Officer from 1993 until 1998 and President of our predecessor’s real estate division beginning in 1981 and Vice President from 1976 to 1981. He is a director, member of the Compensation Committee and chair of the Corporate Governance Committee of FRP Holdings, Inc., a publicly held real estate company. He served as director of Stein Mart, Inc. from 2001 until June 2014. Mr. Stein is a graduate of Washington and Lee University and has an M.B.A. from Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business. Mr. Stein has led our Company since prior to it being a public company. In addition to his leadership skills, he has extensive experience in the real estate industry. He is a past chair of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (“Nareit”) and a member of the Urban Land Institute (“ULI”), the International Council of Shopping Centers (“ICSC”) and the Real Estate Roundtable. Mr. Stein is a former trustee of Washington and Lee University and ULI.
C. RONALD BLANKENSHIP, age 71, has served on our Board since 2001 and has been our Lead Director since 2019. He also currently serves as a director of Civeo Corporation, a provider of work-force accommodations. Mr. Blankenship has not held any other public company directorships during the past five years. Mr. Blankenship served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Verde Realty from January 2009 and as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from January 2012 to December 2012 when Verde Realty merged with Brookfield Asset Management. Upon completion of the merger, Mr. Blankenship continued as the Chief Executive Officer of Verde Realty until August 2013. Prior to 2009, he served as Co-Chairman of Verde Group beginning in 2003. From 1998 until 2003, he was Vice Chairman of Security Capital Group Incorporated, which was sold to GE Capital Corporation in 2002. He was Chief Operating Officer of Security Capital from 1998 to 2002 and Managing Director from 1991 until 1998. Prior to 1997, he was the Chief Executive Officer of Archstone Communities Trust. Mr. Blankenship was formerly a trustee of Prologis Trust and was formerly a director of Archstone Communities Trust, BelmontCorp, InterPark Holdings Incorporated, Storage USA, Inc., CarrAmerica Realty Corporation and Macquarie Capital Partners, LLC. Mr. Blankenship serves as a director of Pacolet-Miliken Enterprises, Inc., a private investment company, Berkshire Residential Investments, a private real estate investment management company, and Merit Hill Holdings, LP, a privately held owner and operator of self-storage facilities. While he was with Security Capital Group, Security Capital Group had controlling interests in 18 public and private real estate operating companies, eight of which were listed on the NYSE. Prior to joining Security Capital, Mr. Blankenship was a regional partner at Trammell Crow Residential and was on the management board for Trammell Crow Residential Services. Before Trammell Crow, Mr. Blankenship was the Chief Financial Officer and President of office development for Mischer Corporation, a Houston-based real estate development company. Mr. Blankenship is a certified public accountant and a graduate of the University of Texas. Mr. Blankenship has extensive experience in the REIT industry including cross-border experience. He is an expert in real estate development, acquisitions, financing and operations. He also has extensive experience in public company governance, capital allocation, human capital management and executive compensation.
JOSEPH F. AZRACK, age 73, has served on our Board since March 2017. He served as director on the Board of Equity One, Inc. from 2016 until its merger with us. Mr. Azrack is the Principal of Azrack & Company, a real estate investment and advisory firm located in New York City, which he founded in January 2015. He also serves as a director of Safanad, a global principal investment firm, and previously served as their Executive Chairman. Since June 2014, Mr. Azrack has also served as a director of the Berkshire Group, a private real estate investment management company focused on the ownership of multifamily properties and venture investing. Mr. Azrack is a director of Forest Trends, a non-profit company focused on the environment and biodiversity. From 2008 through 2014, Mr. Azrack was the Managing Partner, Chairman and Senior Advisor at Apollo Global Real Estate Management. In this capacity, he served as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Apollo Commercial Real Estate Finance, Inc., a publicly traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and a director of Atrium European Real Estate Ltd., a leading real estate company that owns, operates and develops shopping centers in Central and Eastern Europe, the shares of which are dual listed on the Vienna and NYSE Euronext Amsterdam Stock Exchanges. Prior to Apollo, he was Chairman and CEO of AEW Capital Management, a leading global real estate investment management company, where he was also a member of the Taubman Centers Inc. operating partnership committee from 1985 to 1999. He is a member of, and for many years chaired, the Business School’s Millstein Center Real Estate Advisory Board. Mr. Azrack is a member and past Chairman of the Pension Real Estate Association (PREA), and a member and former trustee, officer and director of the Urban Land Institute. Mr. Azrack is an adjunct professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Business where he has taught real estate entrepreneurship since October 2014. Mr. Azrack received a B.S. from Villanova University and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University. Mr. Azrack has extensive real estate and capital markets, and as an investor in and executive of real estate companies.
BRYCE BLAIR, age 62, has served on our Board since October 2014. Mr. Blair currently serves as Chairman of Invitation Homes, Inc. and Chairman of PulteGroup, Inc., one of the largest home builders in the U.S. He serves as the Principal of Harborview Associates, LLC, a company which holds and manages investments in various real estate properties. He previously served as Chairman, from 2002 through 2013, and Chief Executive Officer, from 2001 through 2012, of AvalonBay Communities, Inc., a real estate investment trust focused on the development, acquisition and management of multi-family apartments throughout the United States. He is the past Chairman of Nareit where he also served on the Executive Committee and Board of Governors. He serves on the advisory board of the Boston College Real Estate Center and Urban Action and the advisory board of Home Start, a non-profit focused on ending homelessness in the greater Boston area. He previously served on the advisory board of the MIT Center for Real Estate. He received an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and an undergraduate degree in civil engineering from the University of New Hampshire. Mr. Blair has substantial experience in real estate development and investment, including more than ten years as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of a public real estate investment trust. In such capacity, Mr. Blair was responsible for day-to-day operations and was regularly involved in the preparation and review of complex financial reporting statements. He is a past member of ULI where he served as a Trustee and was past Chairman of the Multi-Family Council. Mr. Blair is a past member of the Young Presidents Organization and a former member of the World Presidents Organization.
DEIRDRE J. EVENS, age 57, has served on our Board since 2018. Ms. Evens has been Executive Vice President and General Manager, Records and Information Management, North America of Iron Mountain Incorporated since July 1, 2018. Prior to that, she served as its Chief of Operations from January 2018 to June 30, 2018 and as its Chief People Officer and Executive Vice President from July 21, 2015 to January 2018. Prior to her service with Iron Mountain, Ms. Evens served as an Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Clean Harbors, Inc. from 2011 to July 2015, overseeing all aspects of human resources and employee development for a global workforce of more than 13,000 employees. From 2007 to 2011, Ms. Evens served as Executive Vice President of Corporate Sales & Marketing for Clean Harbors. Prior to her service with Clean Harbors, Ms. Evens served as Senior Vice President, Member Insight at BJ’s Wholesale Club from 2006 to 2007, responsible for strategy, member analytics, market research and segment marketing. Before that time, Ms. Evens held a series of positions of increasing responsibility at Polaroid Corporation from 1986 to 2006, including her role as Senior Vice President of Strategy. Ms. Evens holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University. She has a strong background in corporate strategy, global risk, addressing technological change, cyber issues, sales, general management, marketing and human capital management.
THOMAS W. FURPHY, age 54, has served on our Board since May 2019. Mr. Furphy serves as Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Consumer Equity Partners, a venture capital and venture development firm. Prior to that, Mr. Furphy served as Vice President of consumables and AmazonFresh at Amazon from 2005 to 2009, where he was responsible for the underlying strategy, development and execution of the company’s grocery and health and beauty businesses. Prior to Amazon, Mr. Furphy was the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Notiva, a leading provider of web-based trade settlement software for retailers and their trading partners. Prior to Notiva, from 1991 to 1999, he held various senior management roles at Wegmans Food Markets. Mr. Furphy also serves as Chairman of Ideoclick, Inc., a private full service ecommerce agency. He previously served as a board member of Fairway Group Holdings Corp, a private parent company of Fairway Market, a grocery store operator, and BevyUp, a digital retail-selling platform, which was acquired by Nordstrom in March 2018. Mr. Furphy is a graduate of Hartwick College. He has extensive experience in retail, addressing technological change, cyber issues, marketing, finance and leadership.
KARIN M. KLEIN, age 49, has served on our Board since May 2019. Ms. Klein is the founding partner of Bloomberg Beta, a venture capital firm which invests in technology companies that help businesses work smarter, with a focus on machine intelligence, since 2013. Prior to launching Bloomberg Beta, Ms. Klein was responsible for strategy and business development for Bloomberg L.P. from 2010 to 2013, including serving as head of new initiatives. Prior to Bloomberg, from 2000 to 2010, Ms. Klein served in various roles at Softbank Corp., a multinational telecommunications and technology company, including the role of director of corporate development. Before Softbank, she also held investing and operating roles at several investment companies and co-founded a children’s education business. She serves as a director of Paramount Group, Inc. She previously served as a member of the board of trustees of Harvey Mudd College. Ms. Klein is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and holds an M.B.A from the Wharton School of University of Pennsylvania. She has extensive experience in media, addressing technological change, cyber issues, investments, finance, accounting, strategy and leadership.
PETER D. LINNEMAN, age 70, has served on our Board since March 2017. He served as director on the Board of Equity One, Inc. from 2000 until its merger with us. From 1979 to 2011, Dr. Linneman was a Professor of Real Estate, Finance and Public Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, Wharton School of Business and is currently an Emeritus Albert Sussman Professor of Real Estate there. Dr. Linneman is currently a Principal of Linneman Associates, a real estate advisory firm, and a Principal of American Land Funds, a private equity firm. Dr. Linneman is currently serving as a director of AG Mortgage Investment Trust, Inc., Paramount Group, Inc. and Equity Commonwealth. He previously served as director of Atrium European Real Estate Ltd., Bedford Property Investors, Inc. and JER Investors Trust, Inc. and was Chairman of Rockefeller Center Properties. Dr. Linneman holds both a masters and a doctorate degree in economics from the University of Chicago. Dr. Linneman has significant experience in financial and business advisory services, investment activity and as member of numerous public and private boards, including many real estate companies.
DAVID P. O’CONNOR, age 56, has served on our Board since August 2011. Mr. O’Connor is a private investor and serves as Managing Partner of High Rise Capital Partners, LLC and non-executive Co-Chairman of HighBrook Investment Management, LP, a real estate private equity firm. He was the cofounder and Senior Managing Partner of High Rise Capital Management, L.P., a real estate securities hedge fund manager which managed several funds from 2001 to 2011. From 1994 to 2000, he was Principal, Co-Portfolio Manager and Investment Committee Member of European Investors, Inc., a large dedicated REIT investor. Mr. O’Connor serves as director of Prologis, Inc., a global leader in industrial real estate and previously served as director of Paramount Group, Inc., an owner-operator and manager of high-quality office properties. He has not held any other public company directorships during the past five years. He serves on the Board of Trustees of Boston College, the investment committees of endowments for Boston College and Columbia University (Teacher’s College), serves on the executive committee of the Zell/Lurie Real Estate Center at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, and is a National Trustee of PGA REACH, the charitable foundation of the PGA of America. He is a frequent speaker at REIT investment forums and conferences and has served as an Adjunct Instructor of Real Estate at New York University. Mr. O’Connor is a graduate of the Carroll School of Management at Boston College and has an M.S. degree in Real Estate from New York University. Mr. O’Connor is an experienced and successful real estate securities investor as well as hedge fund manager. He has extensive knowledge and experience in real estate securities and capital markets.
LISA PALMER, age 53, has served on our Board since 2018. Ms. Palmer became our Chief Executive Officer on January 1, 2020, and has served as our President since January 1, 2016 to date. Previously, she served as our Chief Financial Officer from January 2013 to August 12, 2019. From 2013 to 2015, she was our Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; and prior to that, served as Senior Vice President of Capital Markets from 2003 until 2013. She served as Senior Manager of Investment Services in 1996 and assumed the role of Vice President of Capital Markets in 1999. Prior to joining Regency, Ms. Palmer worked with Accenture, formerly Andersen Consulting Strategic Services, as a consultant and financial analyst for General Electric. She is a director, chairperson of the compensation committee and member of the audit committee of ESH Hospitality, Inc., an owner/operator of hotels and the subsidiary of Extended Stay America, Inc., and a director of Brooks Rehabilitation, a private healthcare organization. She is also a director for the Jax Chamber, a board member of United Way of Northeast Florida, an executive board member of Nareit, a member of ULI, and a member of the ICSC. She was previously an advisory board member for the Florida Institute of CFOs. Ms. Palmer is a graduate of the University of Virginia and holds an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Palmer has extensive knowledge of the shopping center and real estate industries and has extensive experience in finance and capital markets, operations, public board strategy and governance.
JAMES (‘Jim”) H. SIMMONS, III, age 56, has served on our Board since June 1, 2021. Mr. Simmons currently serves as Chief Executive Officer and Founding Partner of Asland Capital Partners, private company that owns and operates multifamily, mixed-use and retail assets in New York City, New York since 2019. He also serves as head of Asland’s Investment Committee, which is responsible for the strategic direction and investment strategy of the firm. Prior to Asland, Mr. Simmons served as Managing Partner – Real Estate of Ares Management, a global alternative investment manager operating three integrated businesses across credit, private equity and real estate from 2013 to 2018. Prior to Ares, he served as Partner of Apollo Real Estate Advisors from 2002 to 2013. Prior to Apollo, Mr. Simmons served as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone Development. He has served as director of Apollo Strategic Growth Capital (NYSE: APSG) since 2020. Mr. Simmons serves as director and vice-chair of Princeton University National Annual Giving Committee and vice-chair of the Real Estate Executive Council. Mr. Simmons is a graduate of Princeton University and holds a M.S. from Virginia Tech and a M.B.A. from Northwestern University. He has extensive experience in real estate transactions, investments, finance, marketing, strategy and leadership.
THOMAS G. WATTLES, age 69, has served on our Board since 2001, and currently serves as a director of Columbia Property Trust, a publicly held office REIT. Mr. Wattles served as Executive Chairman of DCT Industrial Trust, a publicly held industrial property REIT, from 2003 to May 2016, and then served as Chairman Emeritus from May 2016 to August 2018. Mr. Wattles was a principal of both Black Creek Group and Dividend Capital Group LLC, each a real estate investment management firm, from 2003 to 2008. He served as Chief Investment Officer of Security Capital Group from 1997 to 2002. Mr. Wattles was Managing Director, then Co-Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of ProLogis, Inc. from 1992 to 1997. Mr. Wattles has previously served as a director of Prologis, Inc., Interpark Holdings Incorporated and Security Capital European Realty. At Security Capital Group, he oversaw capital deployment and investments in multiple public and private operating platforms with focus on retail, industrial, parking, manufactured housing and European office sectors. While Mr. Wattles was with Security Capital Group, Security Capital Group had controlling interests in 18 public and private real estate operating companies, eight of which were listed on the NYSE. Mr. Wattles became a director at The Ground Lease REIT in 2020. Mr. Wattles is a graduate of Stanford University and has an M.B.A. from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Mr. Wattles has extensive experience in the REIT industry, including cross-border experience. He is an expert in real estate development, acquisitions, finance and operations. He has significant knowledge of capital allocation, strategic planning and accounting.