ESG & DEI in Commercial Real Estate Forum

October 10th, 2023
New York

We are thrilled to announce that the ESG & DEI forum has now been incorporated into the Global Leaders in Real Estate Summit, scheduled for October 10th, 2023, in the vibrant city of New York.

The summit commences with captivating plenary sessions in the morning, laying the foundation for insightful discussions on various topics. In the afternoon, the agenda unfolds into three distinct forums, each dedicated to a specific theme. The ESG & DEI forum, a crucial part of the summit, aims to delve into the significance of these factors in real estate finance.

The ESG & DEI in Commercial Real Estate Forum is distinct in its dual emphasis on ESG and DEI in commercial real estate and its insights into the capital markets perspective. It takes a closer look at how the commercial real estate industry can leverage opportunities and surmount challenges linked with ESG and DEI initiatives.

Network with leading:

  • Real Estate Private Equity Firms
  • Real Estate Owners & Developers
  • Pension Plans & Insurance Companies
  • Endowments & Foundations
  • Mezzanine & Private Debt Providers
  • Investment Banks & Senior Lenders
  • Hedge Funds & Asset Managers
  • Family Offices & HNWIs
  • Consulting Firms

Kindly find below the comprehensive agenda for the ESG & DEI forum. To explore the detailed summit agenda, please click here.

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12:15 pm - Luncheon Workshop: The Political Climate of Real Estate: How to Get Things Done in NY

As one of the world’s most vibrant business hubs, New York City has a lot of real estate development opportunities, but getting things done can be complicated. From community boards and City Hall to Albany, the regulatory processes can be onerous and complex. Legislative and political affairs can stand in your way of investment, development, entitlements and permitting, or they can be strategically leveraged to your project’s benefit. 

  • A holistic approach that includes lobbying and urban strategy can save resources and keep your project on track. 
  • Cover how to successfully build support for your project from elected officials and community stakeholders, secure zoning and land use approvals, and navigate the complex rules and regulations of City, State and governmental agencies.   

Travis Terry

President Capalino

Travis Terry was named President of Capalino, the largest urban strategy firm in the United States, in November 2020, after serving as the firm’s Chief Operating Officer for nearly a decade. In his role as President, Travis oversees the firm’s operations and execution of its corporate purpose of helping clients succeed in the New York region and playing a key role in spearheading the successful future of the region. In his career, Travis has been a vital strategic advisor to some of New York City’s most recognized corporate and non-profit brands such as Macy’s, UPS, Times Square Alliance, Rudin Management, Industry City, Friends of the High Line and the Museum of the Moving Image.  His efforts and those of the firm have changed the landscape of NYC—creating public parks, raising hundreds of millions of dollars in public-sector funding, creating impactful laws and securing project approvals for major land use projects.  Travis has worked closely with hundreds of businesses to help them successfully expand or enter the New York City market. Travis sits on the Board of Directors of the Friends of the QueensWay, Coro New York and is on the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors of the Regional Plan Association.  He also is the Chair of the NYC Board of Advisors of PowerMyLearning, sits on the Steering Committee of the Association for a Better New York (ABNY), the Dean’s Advisory Council of the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Queens Chamber of Commerce Tech Council and the Executive Leadership Forum of BritishAmerican Business.

1:15 pm - Chairperson’s Opening remarks

1:30 pm - Sustainability and Benchmarking: Reports, Metrics & KPIs

  • What are the key metrics and KPIs used to track progress in ESG and DEI initiatives?
  • How can companies ensure their ESG and DEI reports are accurate, transparent, and credible?
  • How can companies leverage ESG and DEI data to improve decision-making and drive positive impact?
  • The future of ESG data collection and analysis: the role of cutting-edge technologies and strategies to keep you ahead of the curve.
  • The role of technology in ESG & DEI benchmarking
  • From an investor perspective, what are the most important elements of the ESG due diligence process?
  • How can companies effectively communicate their ESG and DEI efforts to stakeholders, including investors, customers, and employees?
  • What role do regulatory bodies play in ESG and DEI benchmarking and reporting, and how can companies stay compliant with evolving regulations?
  • What are the “must haves” and “nice to haves” from an ESG data perspective?

Randy Hoff

Principal, Financial Markets & Real Estate PwC US

Anne Peck

Vice President and Head of ESG+R TA Realty

Linda J. Isaacson

Partner ACRE

Linda J. Isaacson is Partner and Head of ESG & Impact at ACRE. She is responsible for leading the firm’s environmental, social, and governance (ESG) practices and ensuring that ongoing investment decisions, operational actions, and overall business philosophy reflect its core principles and those of its investors.  

Isaacson is a leader in sustainability practices, focusing on strategies accelerating progress towards setting and achieving net zero by 2050. A thought leader in Corporate Sustainability and activating ambitious action to achieve the SDGs, Linda is at the forefront of unlocking business value, building resilience, and enabling long-term growth.


Katie Cappola

ESG Manager Madison Realty Capital

Ms. Cappola serves as ESG Manager on the Portfolio & Asset Management team, with primary responsibility for Madison’s ESG initiatives. Prior to joining Madison, Ms. Cappola held positions including Sustainability/ESG Manager at Empire State Realty Trust,  Sustainability Manager at Jones Lang LaSalle, and Associate Sustainability Project Manager at Jones Lang LaSalle.  Ms. Cappola graduated from Freeman College of management at Bucknell University, where she received her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration.

Nicole Wilson

Principal, Sustainable Investing KKR

Yorick Starr is Senior Director of Structured Investments with Invesco Real Estate ("IRE"). Based in New York, Yorick is primarily responsible for loan originations covering the East Coast region, with an emphasis on the primary and gateway markets. Loan products are focused on non-recourse, floating-rate, transitional senior and subordinate loans (including mezzanine loans and B-notes) secured by institutional quality real estate. Prior to Invesco, Yorick worked at Wells Fargo for 15 years in Real Estate Merchant Banking division, with experience ranging from opportunistically acquiring commercial real estate loans (single notes & pools) in the secondary market and providing leverage on commercial real estate loans acquisitions (performing loans through NPL pools) as well as leveraging direct originations by debt funds (A/B, senior/sub, note-on-note, & repo structures).

Yorick is a graduate of the University of San Diego (BBA, Finance, Accounting, IT, Computer Science).

2:00 pm - Panel Discussion: Utilizing C-PACE Financing for Carbon Emissions Reduction

The Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy program offers fixed-rate, long-term financing for projects in commercial buildings that improve water and energy use.

  • With interest rates rising and debt funding scarce, does it make sense to include C-PACE in your financing plans?
  • How do you qualify for C-PACE funding?
  • How does C-PACE funding fit into the capital stack?
  • What are the benefits and potential drawbacks of utilizing C-PACE financing?

Michele Pitale

Managing Director Counterpointe Sustainable Real Estate

Prior to focusing on sustainable energy finance, Dr. Pitale was an Assistant Professor of Surgery and Otolaryngology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Dr. Pitale also was a post-doctoral research fellow, in the Laboratory of Clinical Investigation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and a surgeon in the Critical Care Medical Department at the National Institutes for Health in Bethesda, MD. After receiving her medical degree from Temple University, Dr. Pitale completed her surgical residency at SUNY-Downstate and served as the Chief Resident at Georgetown University Hospital. Dr. Pitale holds a BS in chemistry from Juniata College in Pennsylvania. Dr. Pitale has authored a number of peer-reviewed research articles and surgical chapters in textbooks. Dr. Pitale's background provides a unique perspective on the scientific and business needs of sustainable real estate markets.

Susan C Morth


SUSAN MORTH is the CEO of the Energy Improvement Corporation, a NY State C-PACE program administrator. Ms. Morth leads overall operations, including the development and implementation of OPEN C-PACE, a public/private partnership that provides commercial property owners innovative financing for energy efficiency and renewable measures. Ms. Morth is the Founder and Chair of the EIC Advisory Committee, a national C-PACE working group which includes large commercial property managers and specialty finance companies. Ms. Morth has over 20 years of capital markets experience including the development of new financial products. Prior to EIC, Ms. Morth was a Partner at Empirical Research Partners and Sanford C. Bernstein & CO LLC.

Curtis Probst


Curtis Probst is CEO of New York City Energy Efficiency Corporation: a green bank that finances energy efficiency and clean energy projects in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, with a focus on disadvantaged communities. Before joining NYCEEC in 2018, he was a Managing Director and the Head of Sustainable Finance for RMI, a global clean energy think tank. Previously, Curtis worked in investment banking for over 24 years, most recently, as a Managing Director and the Head of Corporate Structured Finance at Goldman Sachs. Curtis received a BComm from University of Calgary, an MPA from Columbia University, an EdD from University of Pennsylvania, and is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Aundre Oldacre

Founding partner AoRa Development

Aundre, Managing Partner at AoRa Development, is a construction disruptor with expertise in offsite construction and sustainable development. He oversees the firm's portfolio, from identifying undervalued acquisitions to raising capital. His visionary approach to architectural design and holistic view of deal-making have positioned AoRa as a leader in efficient, sustainable development. His commitment to innovation is evident in his use of cutting-edge technologies, ESG friendly building materials, creative financing and acquisitions strategies. AoRa's strategic use of renewable energy, PropTech solutions, and PACE financing not only benefits the environment but also boosts investor returns.

Aundre has certifications from Cornell’s Commercial Real Estate and Columbia’s Construction Finance Management. He also chairs the Offsite Construction Council with the National Institute of Building Sciences and the finance committee for EIC NY PACE. His innovative prowess was recognized when he won the NYC DOB "Hack the Building Code" contest, creating a solution to expedite permit approval and generate significant revenue for NYC. Aundre's disruptive approach and holistic perspective make him a valuable voice in ESG discussions and a key player in the future of sustainable development.

Ian McCulley

Director Enhanced Capital

2:30 pm - Panel Discussion: Setting Up the First 90 days, 6 months and 1 year of Your ESG & DEI Journey

Identify the different actions you need to take based on where you are in your ESG and DEI journey. Discussion will include:

  • Establishing appropriate goals
  • Implementing proven strategies for faster and smarter adoption
  • Overcoming obstacles and challenges
  • Ensuring alignment of expectations

Elsa Yih

Associate Portfolio Manager Lendlease Americas

Elsa Yih is the Associate Portfolio Manager at Lendlease. She oversees the multifamily build-to-core and core strategies, managing a ~$3 billion build-to-core portfolio across US gateway cities. She joined Lendlease in 2019 to entitle and develop Downtown West, a transit-oriented masterplanned development in San José, CA, as part of Lendlease’s real estate partnership with Google in Silicon Valley.

Prior to joining Lendlease, Elsa worked for SunCal Companies, a family-owned land developer. She was responsible for acquisition and asset management of the company portfolio, including circa 22,000 units and lots across ~30 projects under development. Elsa has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from University of Southern California.

Lizzie Adams

Head of ESG, Americas Real Estate Investing, Goldman Sachs Asset Management Goldman Sachs

Lizzie is a Vice President in Real Estate within Goldman Sachs Asset Management. She works in the ESG team and specifically focuses on reducing energy, water, and carbon emissions. Prior to joining Goldman Sachs, Lizzie led the R&D team at Carbon Lighthouse, a company that combines tech and retro-commissioning. Lizzie is a Professional Engineer with over 10 years of experience in HVAC design, sustainability consulting, and energy analysis. Lizzie earned a BS summa cum laude in Chemical Engineering from Northeastern University in Boston.

Randall Drain

Managing Partner & Chief Investment Officer ReedsBay

Daren Moss

Principal, ESG - Real Estate Lead Ares Management

3:00 pm - Closing Keynote Interview

Brooke Guven

Head of ESG & Sustainability & Managing Director Cerberus Capital Management

Ms. Guven serves as the Head of Environmental, Social, Governance & Sustainability for Cerberus. In her role, Ms. Guven coordinates the Firm’s Environmental, Social, Governance (“ESG”) and sustainability efforts across all desks and investments.

Prior to joining Cerberus in 2022, Ms. Guven was a Senior Legal Researcher at the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment (“CCSI”), a joint center of the Law School and the Earth Institute at Columbia University, which she joined in 2016. Her work at CCSI focused on aligning the legal and normative frameworks governing global investment activities with sustainable development objectives and outcomes. From 2011 to 2015, Ms. Guven was a senior associate in the banking group at Hogan Lovells US LLP, where she represented public and private financial institutions and borrowers in multi-jurisdictional financing transactions. Earlier in her career, Ms. Guven served as a legal advisor to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare of the Government of Liberia, and as an associate in the banking group at McGuireWoods LLP.

3:30 pm - Roundtables

Choose your topic for an interactive discussion with fellow attendees on the most pressing issues facing the industry. Network at small tables and participate in lively topical conversation. This format provides an excellent opportunity to meet your industry peers in a unique setting.


4:30 pm - Cocktail Reception & One-to-One Networking


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