Meet The Team
Michael Stein is a Founding Partner of Pensam.
With over 25 years of experience in the commercial real estate investment and structured finance sectors, Michael has been involved in over $6 billion of equity and debt real estate transactions. Prior to founding Pensam in 2009, Michael was a partner in Miami-based Aztec Group, which invested in commercial, multihousing, and hospitality transactions. He began his real estate career in 1990 with CB Richard Ellis in Miami.
Michael is an active member of leading industry groups and councils such as the Urban Land Institute (ULI), National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC), CRE Finance Council (CREFC), Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) and American Seniors Housing Association (ASHA). In addition to his business leadership. Michael is active in local and national community organizations and philanthropic causes. He was past chair of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation Commerce and Professions division, a member of the collector’s council at the Miami Art Museum, a Patron of the Contemporary Art Museum in Miami and a Founder of Mount Sinai Medical Center. Michael is on the Board of Directors of The Great Lakes Group, a Cleveland, Ohio based maritime company.
Michael holds a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration from Skidmore College and is an alum of Harvard Business School.
Gavin Beekman is a Founding Partner of Pensam. He manages the day-to-day operations, capital markets and its treasury functions of the firm.
Prior to founding Pensam Capital, Gavin was a partner at Cidel Financial Group. Cidel is a Canadian Private Bank that offers customized solutions through a vigorous platform including banking, asset management and fiduciary services.
Gavin is qualified as a chartered accountant and worked for Arthur Anderson in Cape Town, South Africa before moving to New York to work in private equity. He received a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a post graduate degree in Accounting from Rhodes University in South Africa. In addition, Gavin proudly serves as an active member of the Young President’s Organization (YPO).
Joe Ackerman is a Founding Partner of Pensam. He leads Pensam’s risk committee and, backed by his prior experience, assists and participates with capital market activities.
He is an active Board Member at Grupo Javer, the largest housing development company in Mexico, specializing in the construction and commercialization of affordable entry-level, middle income and residential housing. He is also a Director of Nexxus, a Real Estate Development Company of Industrial Parks in Northern Mexico.
Until July 2009, Joe was a partner at Cidel Financial Group (CFG), a Canadian-based financial group that owns in excess of US$13 billion in various global asset management and trust companies. He was responsible for portfolio management and client relations, with emphasis on those in Central and South America. Joe also worked at Merrill Lynch (New York) as a Vice President and Trader in Emerging Markets Fixed Income Securities from 1994 until 2000 where he gained broad experience with both private and institutional clients working in credit products.
Joe holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts.
Principal, Director of Investments
Hen Shoval, Principal and Director of Investments for Pensam, joined the organization in 2011. He is responsible for the firm’s acquisition and disposition activities, including sourcing, negotiation, underwriting, due diligence, and financing. Hen also leads the firm’s preferred equity business.
With over 14 years of experience in the multifamily and structured finance sectors, Hen has been involved in over $4 billion of equity and debt transactions. Prior to joining Pensam, Hen worked at JL Real Ventures, a real estate investment firm focused on value-add multifamily properties, where he led the acquisition and asset management of the property portfolio. He began his career as a financial analyst at BF Group, a private investor and developer of commercial real estate, where he underwrote and co-led the acquisition of over 10,000 apartment units across the United States.
Hen holds an MBA from ESADE Business School, and a B.A in Economics from Florida International University.
Dominic Rechichi is a principal of Pensam. Dominic leads Pensam’s design and project management teams in ensuring projects are designed and managed effectively to limit risk, maintain efficient schedules, and deliver quality product. Dominic and the Pensam development team concentrate their efforts on ensuring project success by focusing on efficient design, meticulous project management, and effective communication.
Prior to this, Dominic served as Director of Asset Management for Pensam.
In his role as Director of Asset Management, Dominic was responsible for the overall stewardship and performance of the firm’s property portfolio spanning over 10,000 multifamily units throughout the country. Previous to his tenure at Pensam, Dominic worked in multiple roles within the commercial real estate industry primarily focusing within the multifamily business. His experience includes acquiring, developing, rehabilitating, and building multifamily communities. Dominic started his real estate career working for SunTrust Bank in South Florida as a commercial real estate lender and portfolio manager.
Dominic is an active member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI), National Multi Housing Council (NMHC), and NYU Real Estate Institute. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and International Business from Florida State University and earned a graduate degree from New York University with an emphasis in real estate development and investments.
Principal, Head of Capital Markets & Lending
Principal, Head of Capital Markets & Lending
Ray Cleeman is a Principal at Pensam a multi-faceted private equity real estate fund that has a robust Credit Solutions Group. As a private, direct real estate lender, Pensam provides flexible and rapid capital solutions to real estate sponsors across the capital stack including first mortgages, mezzanine debt, subordinate debt and preferred equity with a focus on supporting value-add strategies, lease-ups, recapitalizations and transitional situations. Pensam can take leverage up to 90%. Pensam is also an approved buyer of Freddie Mac “B-Piece” Senior Debt Securities under the K-Series Program.
Ray spent the formative years of his career on Wall Street having worked as an investment banker at Credit Suisse, Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenerette, and Raymond James. He has been involved in the issuance of over $6 billion of high yield securities, the issuance of over $3 billion of private and public equities, arranged bridge commitments and senior loan facilities, advised on over $7 billion of global M&A transactions and advised on several merchant banking transactions. Previously, Ray was also SVP Finance & Treasurer of a publicly traded company.
Senior General Counsel
Nisha Bhatia serves as Senior General Counsel for Pensam. Nisha first joined the firm as an intern in 2009. Nisha’s responsibilities include: ensuring internal corporate regulatory compliance, drafting and reviewing loan documents, corporate structuring, and assisting outside counsel in transactional work, including conventional mortgage loans, mezzanine financing, loan assumptions, loan structuring, and real estate acquisitions.
Nisha is a graduate of Rutgers University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 2007. She earned a Juris Doctorate from the University Of Miami School Of Law in 2010. While at the University of Miami School of Law, Nisha served as a member of the Student Bar Association, the Admissions Committee and the Orientation Committee.
Nisha is a member of the Florida Bar.
Director of Capital Markets
Joseph Brennan serves as Director of Capital Markets for Pensam. He has been involved with Pensam since its founding, and is an experienced professional with a broad background in domestic and international sales and marketing of financial services and products involving capital markets, private banking, investment banking and international trade finance.
Prior to his role at Pensam, Joe was President of Brennan Caballero, Inc., a private family company where he was active in analyzing and monitoring investments, in addition to assisting and advising on marketing and sales efforts in the US, Latin America and Europe. Previously, Mr. Brennan was Senior Vice President of Wealth Management at HSBC Bank in Miami, FL, a group established to pursue large, complex, sophisticated opportunities by coordinating bank resources required to provide value-added products and solutions to clients and their companies.
Joe also worked as Vice President in the Private Wealth Management Group at Morgan Stanley, as Director of the Private Banking Group of UBS AG, as Vice President in Private Banking with Bankers Trust Private Advisory Services and at Citicorp Private Bank Capital Markets Unit where he was the Vice President/Manager of the Derivative Products Marketing Unit and in Citicorp’s Investment Banking Group in New York and Puerto Rico.
Joe received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Dartmouth College and is fluent in English and Spanish.
Director of Bridge Lending
Todd Cohen is a Director of Bridge Lending at Pensam. His focus is on implementing the strategic vision and business goals of Pensam’s bridge lending efforts while also originating financings across all Pensam lending platforms including debt, pref equity and mezz loans. Additionally, Todd participates in the daily workflow of the commercial lending department including underwriting and servicing.
Prior to joining Pensam, Todd worked with regional and national developers arranging debt and equity for a variety of CRE development projects with Multifamily as a specialty, as well as asset management. Since 2001, he has executed close to $3.0 Billion in financings and closings. Todd started his real estate career in Orlando as a commercial appraiser in 1992, and is a University of Florida graduate.
Galina serves as a Senior Analyst for Pensam, where she is responsible for the underwriting and due diligence of equity and preferred equity investment opportunities.
Prior to joining Pensam, Galina was employed at Lloyd Jones Capital as a Senior Acquisition Analyst responsible for identifying and underwriting multifamily investments as well as performing due diligence. In addition, Galina worked at Marcus and Millichap as an Analyst and Transaction Manager.
Galina earned her Bachelor of Business Administration in Management from Novosibirsk State Technical University in Russia. Following that, she earned her Bachelor of Business in Finance (Magna Cum Laude) and her Master of Business Administration from Florida International University. Galina also holds a Florida real estate license.
Alec Maz serves as a Senior Analyst for Pensam, where he is responsible for identifying potential investment opportunities, underwriting debt and equity transactions, and assisting in the due diligence process.
Prior to joining Pensam, Alec was employed at Jones Lang Lasalle in New York City, where he assisted in the structuring of debt and equity products across a variety of asset classes and markets. Alec started his career at Barclays Investment Bank within the Leverage Finance group, he participated in the underwriting of debt issuances to fund leveraged buyouts, capital expenditures, and other transactions. Alec earned his Bachelors of Science in Mathematics at New York University, with a concentration in Applied Mathematics and a Minor in Finance.
Felipe Montes de Oca serves as an Acquisition Analyst for Pensam. He is involved in underwriting acquisition, debt, and preferred equity deals as well as facilitating in due diligence and broker relationships.
Prior to joining Pensam, Felipe worked at a tech startup Worklayer where he worked on tax compliance issues, building a gig-labor force of CPAs, and maintaining relationships with investors and clients. Felipe received his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Alexander Keenan serves as an Acquisition Analyst for Pensam. His responsibilities include identifying potential investments, underwriting equity and preferred equity deals, and assisting in the due diligence process. Prior to Alexander’s career at Pensam, Alexander was engaged in the insurance industry, working at Allianz Life Insurance in their actuarial product development team. Alexander obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, with concentrations in Statistics and Actuarial Science.
Vice President of Portfolio Management
Victor de Zárraga serves as Vice President of Portfolio Management for Pensam. His responsibilities include identifying areas for financial growth within properties, monitoring leasing and operating activity, reviewing property-level financial statements, providing property rehabilitation administrative support, and leading the investor reporting process. Victor works in constant collaboration with Pensam’s strategic partners to effectively manage the multihousing portfolio. Victor oversees Pensam’s assets in Florida and the Midwest. Prior to his placement on the Asset Management team, he worked as an Analyst within Pensam’s Acquisitions group.
Prior to joining Pensam, Victor worked as a Real Estate Analyst intern at Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, LP, focusing on multihousing investments sales with additional experience in retail, industrial, and office products. Victor graduated from Babson College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with concentrations in Finance and Global Business Management.
Vice President of Asset Management
Matthew Neufeld serves as Vice President of Asset Management for Pensam. His responsibilities include identifying areas for financial growth within properties, monitoring leasing and operating activity, reviewing property-level financial statements, providing property rehabilitation administrative support, and aiding in the investor reporting process. Matthew works in constant collaboration with Pensam’s property management teams to effectively oversee the multihousing portfolio, with a main focus on Texas.
Prior to joining Pensam, Matthew worked as an Assistant Property Manager at Delma Properties, focusing on and managing Office and Multihousing investments in the Ft. Lauderdale and Boynton Beach area. Matt graduated from Stetson University, where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and also earned a Master of Business Administration in Real Estate from Florida International University.
Joseph Menendez serves as an Asset Manager for Pensam. His responsibilities include preparing financial reports on property and portfolio performance, identifying areas for financial growth within properties, monitoring leasing and operating activity, reviewing property-level financial statements, providing property rehabilitation administrative support, and aiding in the investor reporting and distribution process. Joseph works in constant collaboration with Pensam’s property management teams to effectively manage the multihousing portfolio. Joseph’s primary focus is on Pensam’s assets in Florida.
Prior to joining Pensam, Joseph worked as a Real Estate Analyst Intern for CFH Group, a development and property management company located in Coral Gables, where he assisted in the valuation and due diligence of multifamily properties for potential acquisition. Joseph graduated from Babson College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance.
Senior Asset Manager
Michael Verdeja serves as a Senior Asset Manager for Pensam. His responsibilities include identifying areas for financial growth within properties, monitoring leasing and operating activity, reviewing property-level financial statements, providing property rehabilitation administrative support, and aiding in the investor reporting process. Michael works in constant collaboration with Pensam's property management teams to effectively manage the multihousing portfolio. Michael’s primary focus is on Pensam’s assets in Florida and Houston. In addition, he assists in the asset management of the firm’s preferred equity and JV equity portfolios, working with Pensam’s strategic partners in order to enhance value and ensure financial success.
Prior to joining Pensam, Michael worked as an Assistant Property Manager at Franklin Street with a main focus on Office and Industrial investments in the Aventura and Miami area. Michael graduated from Saint Louis University, where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in Finance.
Director of Development and Construction
Dirk serves as the Director of Development and Construction. In that role, he is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the construction and development activities for commercial and multifamily housing projects for Pensam. His responsibilities include: budgeting, scheduling, construction & design coordination, permitting, and entitlement. Having a diverse background in various construction types and products, along with experience in estimating, purchasing, and field operations; Dirk provides the resources required to deliver successful projects from concept to completion.
Before joining Pensam, Dirk served as the Vice President of Construction, in a similar capacity, for a regional commercial and residential developer with a portfolio of over 5 million square feet of real estate, and approaching $1 billion in total volume. Prior to his multifamily tenure, he operated a Florida-based construction firm that specialized in commercial tenant improvements for several national branded clients. He started his career with a national home builder in the estimating and purchasing department. After several years in the office he transitioned to field operations, then project management, and eventually becoming responsible for over $85 million worth of residential construction annually.
A graduate of Purdue University, Dirk holds both his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Construction Management. He has held his Certified General Contractor license for the State of Florida for the past 11 years and is actively involved in the NAHB, Florida Home Builders Association, and maintains involvement with his alma mater in furthering the development of curriculum for professional constructors.
Brand and Experience Asset Manager
Catherine Dermody serves as Brand & Experience Manager for Pensam. Her responsibilities have included developing and implementing the lease-up strategy for Airie Denver as well as develop/enhance the resident experience program relating to TAVA Waters, both located in Colorado. Catherine’s role also supports the marketing and leasing efforts of the Pensam Capital multifamily portfolio through assistance within the asset management team, providing insights, guidance, and training relative to industry marketing trends and best practices. An ongoing goal in her role is to elevate the resident experience through identifying areas for improvement through the monitoring of online reviews and resident surveys, analyzing digital marketing performance, ensuring the brand guidelines are followed and adhered to, and measuring effectiveness of current marketing strategies in place to provide any necessary recommendations to the asset management team. Catherine works in collaboration with Pensam’s property management teams to effectively manage the branding, marketing strategies and resident experience platforms within the multifamily housing portfolio.
Catherine holds a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies with a Business and Communication Emphasis from Arizona State University.
Servicing Associate & Asset Manager
Mathew Burke serves as Servicing Associate and Asset Manager for Pensam. He is responsible for conducting Pensam’s commercial loan servicing operations and supporting the Asset Management team.
Prior to joining Pensam, Matthew worked as a Servicing Associate at Ocwen Loan Servicing, focusing on CMBS loan servicing and REO asset management; and as an Associate at Situs where he focused on CMBS loan underwriting and commercial real estate due diligence. Matthew attended the University of Miami, obtaining Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Business Administration.
Vice President of Construction and Renovations
Will Van Rensburg is Vice President of Construction and Renovations for Pensam's Development Team. In this role, he supports Pensam’s construction & renovation activities as the Project and Asset Manager for some of the firm’s more complex renovation-related investments.
Will first joined the firm in 2014 as an Acquisitions Analyst and soon thereafter expanded his responsibilities to include the oversight of assets in the firm’s multifamily portfolio. Will works in constant collaboration with Pensam’s property management teams to ensure optimal property operations by focusing on leasing efforts, expense management, and capital projects.
Prior to joining Pensam Capital, Will worked as an Analyst at Kayne Anderson Real Estate Advisors. He was responsible for underwriting and analyzing potential equity investment opportunities in support of the property acquisitions and development efforts for the real estate private equity platform.
Will is originally from Pretoria, South Africa, and was also a full time touring tennis professional for five years. Will earned a BA in Business Management from Dowling College where he was on a full tennis scholarship and received his Master’s Degree in Real Estate Finance from New York University.
Vice President of Originations
Josh Richards serves as Vice President of Originations for Pensam. He is focused on identifying new business opportunities within the Multifamily segment for the Preferred Equity, Whole Loan and Bridge Loan platforms that Pensam offers. Josh works closely with the capital markets and analytical support teams to review opportunities as they come in and also collaborates with the construction management team on transactions that include a significant capital improvement program.
Prior to joining Pensam, Josh was Founder/CEO of Arx Capital Partners, where he raised capital for all types of Commercial Real Estate for a handful of select clients. Prior to this entrepreneurial role, Josh was Director of Debt of a large commercial real estate and development firm in Denver, CO, where he managed all the debt for the company. Josh helped bring institutional capital to grow the company, was part of the Executive Committee, and was successful in closing 100% of loans placed under his management over the 4 years of his employment totaling approximately $1.2 billion over 22 loans. Preceding this role, he spent the first 15 years of his Mortgage Banking career in various roles ending up at Vice President of the Orlando office for GMACCM/Capmark/Berkadia. This included originating bridge loans for the company balance sheet program, securing Agency/HUD loans, and working to cultivate the Life Company relationships that the Company also used as quasi-exclusive capital relationships for loans for clients. Josh has an extensive background in structuring capital in all types of CRE deals and takes pride in being creative when looking at deals that include a “heavy lift.” Josh has successfully closed over $2.5 billion of capital for CRE deals over his 20-year career.
Josh holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from University of Central Florida, with a focus in international business and real estate.
Vice President of Operations
Alejandro Muelle serves as Vice President of Operations.
As the firm’s Financial Officer, Alejandro’s responsibilities include managing the firm’s accounting and financial operations.
Prior to joining the firm, Alejandro was the Vice President of Operations for a statewide real estate developer and subsequently a senior accountant for a local CPA firm specializing in foreign and domestic real estate investments. Alejandro earned two Bachelor degrees (1997), a Juris Doctor (2000) from the University of Florida, and a Master of Accounting degree (2014) from Florida International University. Alejandro is a member of the Florida Bar and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Regional VP of Asset Management
Katie Vanderveen serves as Regional VP of Asset Management for Pensam. Her responsibilities include identifying areas for financial growth within properties, monitoring leasing and operating activity, reviewing property-level financial statements, providing property rehabilitation administrative support, and aiding in the investor reporting process. Katie works in constant collaboration with Pensam’s property management teams to effectively manage the multihousing portfolio. Katie’s primary focus is on Pensam’s assets in Colorado.
Prior to joining Pensam, Katie worked as VP of Asset Management for Capital Real Estate overseeing a 3500-unit multifamily portfolio in three states. Preceding that she held multiple roles at Laramar, including Regional Property Manager overseeing 2,900 units, Property Accountant, Trainer, and Business Applications Support. Her extensive background in property management includes onsite management, multi-site management, value-add renovations, new construction lease-up, condo conversion, acquisitions & due diligence, client relations, and property accounting.
Katie holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Grand Valley State University.
Lena Martinez, CPA serves as Financial Controller for Pensam.
In her role as Pensam’s Financial Controller, Lena’s responsibilities include creating and maintaining a standard chart of accounts for Pensam, documenting all transactional data, preparing financial statements, and managing the firm’s accounts receivable and accounts payable. Prior to joining Pensam, Lena worked as an accountant for a statewide real estate developer and subsequently as a senior accountant at an international wholesale company.
Lena earned Bachelors and Masters of Accounting from Florida International University.
Yusleidy Arrojo is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). Yusleidy serves as Staff Accountant for Pensam.
Her responsibilities include: creating and maintaining a standard chart of accounts for Pensam, preparing financial statements, and overseeing the firm’s accounts payable and receivable. Prior to joining Pensam, Yusleidy worked as accountant for an international wholesale company, where she oversaw all internal and external operations for the company. She has over 10 years’ experience in the accounting field.
Yusleidy holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Finance from University of Matanzas, Cuba and a Masters of Accounting degree from Nova Southeastern University.
Agustin de Goytisolo serves as Operations Analyst. His responsibilities include: standardizing accounting records, preparing financial statements, and managing the firm’s accounts receivable and accounts payable processes.
Prior to joining Pensam, Agustin worked at Medical Care Consortium. He is originally from Miami, FL.
Ivonne serves as Paralegal for Pensam Residential, working directly with the General Counsel.
Ivonne’s responsibilities include title and survey management for real estate investments, entity management and legal items relating to investor relations and compliance.
Prior to joining Pensam Residential in 2018, Ivonne worked at a reputable Miami law firm for ten years. Her law firm experience included coordinating residential and commercial real estate closings and assisting with a high volume of complex international corporate matters and transactions, including offshore trust and entity management and mergers and acquisitions. Having handled hundreds of closings in her over two-decade career, she conducts extensive due diligence, title examinations and survey reviews.
Ivonne is fluent in Spanish.
Office Manager & HR Coordinator
Viviana Angulo serves as Office Manager & HR Coordinator for Pensam.
Her responsibilities include day-to-day operations of the Pensam office as well as administrative assistance. She provides technical and logistical support for special projects, meetings, conferences, and events. Additionally, she completes administrative duties for the human resources department including recruitment, maintaining employee records, and provides administrative support to all employees.
Viviana graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Lynn University. Prior to joining Pensam, she worked in the Hospitality industry as an Event Manager. Viviana’s past roles include organizing facilities and managing all event details such as décor, catering, entertainment, transportation, location, guest lists and equipment.
Jacobo Fernandez serves as the Staff Accountant for Pensam. His responsibilities include: creating and maintaining a standard chart of accounts for Pensam, preparing financial statements, and overseeing the firm’s accounts payable and receivable. Prior to joining Pensam, Jacobo worked as a Staff Accountant for Printing Press, where he oversaw all internal operations for the company. He has also worked with many corporations on a contract basis, providing operating and accounting services.
Jacobo completed his Associates Degree in Accounting in 2014 from Miami Dade College, and is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree from Florida International University. He is also working towards completing an MBA in Business and Accounting.
Assistant Construction Manager
Jesstin Beauchamp serves as Assistant Construction Manager for Pensam.
As Assistant Construction Manager, Jesstin’s responsibilities are to assist the construction and development team in the renovation and construction of various multifamily real estate assets and new development projects.
Jesstin proudly served in the United States Army/National Guard successfully completing his training in Fort Benning, Georgia. After receiving his honorable discharge, Jesstin began his construction career working for a contractor performing underground telecommunications work. After his tenure in telecom, he transitioned into the fire protection industry and spent 13 years involved in all facets of the business where he gained valuable project management skills.