Neil Brown is the founder of and a principal partner in the Norstar Group of Companies and acts as Chairman of the Board for all of the companies within the Group. In his role as Chairman, Mr. Brown oversees the implementation of the Group’s business plans and investment strategies.
Mr. Brown founded Norstar in the late 1970s after a long and significant tenure as a senior executive and shareholder of Lake Ontario Steel Company, a division of Co-Steel Inc., one of the world’s largest mini mill steel producers.
Since entering the real estate field, Mr. Brown has been involved in the acquisition and development of millions of square feet of office, commercial, industrial and retail space, thousands of single family detached, semi-detached and multi-residential units as well as thousands of affordable housing residences. Mr. Brown has invested in several successful manufacturing businesses and has established the property management and construction companies which are affiliated with and provide service to the Norstar Group of Companies.
Mr. Brown has successfully steered the Norstar Group of Companies through several recessions and has overseen rapid growth within the Group and year-over-year profitability.
Gary B. Silver is a principal partner in the Norstar Group of Companies and is the President of Norstar Canada. In this role, Mr. Silver oversees all planning, development and construction processes for Norstar Canada.
Mr. Silver has an extensive background in real estate acquisition, land development, construction and land use planning across Canada and the United States. His experience, combined with formal training in architecture and planning, provides Norstar with unique real estate development leadership advantages that have put the Norstar Group at the forefront of the industry.
Mr. Silver leverages a pragmatic approach to business which ensures that Norstar’s new developments will obtain efficient and timely regulatory approval and attain competitive market appeal. Mr. Silver brings particular expertise in the area of medium rise luxury residential condominium development.
Mr. Silver’s scrupulous attention to detail and wide-ranging expertise are indispensable assets for all Norstar projects which incorporate cutting-edge technology and materials, energy efficiency and superlative design, assuring long-term project viability and value.
As the President of Norstar Development USA, L.P., Mr. Higgins is responsible for overseeing all of the Norstar Group of Companies projects and operations across the United States. Mr. Higgins brings a depth of finance, real estate, land development and construction experience to this role, with a unique combination of both public and private development expertise.
Mr. Higgins served as the New York State Housing Commissioner for 2 years from 1988-1990. During his term as Commissioner, Mr. Higgins was responsible for all of New York State’s affordable housing programs.
Prior to that, Mr. Higgins was general counsel to the Battery Park City Authority of New York and served as assistant counsel to the New York State Governor in matters of housing, economic development and finance.
Prior to joining the Norstar Group of Companies, Mr. Higgins was a partner in the law firm of Roemer and Featherstonehaugh in Albany, New York where he acted as counsel in connection with the development and financing of institutional, commercial and residential projects, specializing in state and federal housing programs, not-for-profit initiatives and community development.
Mr. Higgins is a graduate of the University of Michigan and holds a J.D. from the Columbia School of Law, where he served on the Columbia Law Review, one of the most highly recognized Law Reviews within the U.S. legal academic community. Mr. Higgins has also served on the boards of several not-for-profit housing organizations and has also served as an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Law at Fordham University, New York.
Mr. D’Cruz is the Chief Financial Officer for the Norstar Group of Companies.
Mr. D’Cruz joined the Norstar Group of Companies in 1991 in the capacity of Vice President Finance. Prior to this, he was a manager with the firm of Laventhal & Horwath, Chartered Accountants, for a period of 5 years.
Mr. D’Cruz obtained his professional chartered accountant designation in London, England.
Mr. D’Cruz holds a bachelor degree from the University of London and is a Chartered Accountant; he is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants, Ontario, as well as the Institute of Chartered Accountants, England and Wales.
Mr. Nickoloff joined Norstar Building Corporation in 2014, bringing over 30 years of construction management and ever increasing leadership experience. Mr. Nickoloff is responsible for all construction projects in the Norstar portfolio within New York, Michigan, and Alabama.
Mr. Nickoloff has extensive experience and success in estimating and bidding projects, establishing project budgets, while also managing the construction process to deliver completed projects on-time and within budgets. His hands-on experience allows him to be an innovative and effective problem solver.
Mr. Nickoloff is a graduate of the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He is also a member of the NAHB Association.
Linda L. Goodman is Norstar Development USA L.P.’s Senior Vice President, Buffalo Office, responsible for projects in New York State, including project proposals, financial applications, and government documentation relating to subsidized and low-income housing developments.
Ms. Goodman has over 20 years of real estate experience, 12 of which are with Norstar. She previously worked for a number of affordable housing finance firms in the private sector, including Lend Lease Real Estate Investments (formerly Boston Financial).
As a former Vice President with Boston Financial, Ms. Goodman was responsible for originating and evaluating multi-family tax credit investments.
Before joining Boston Lend Lease (Boston Financial), Ms. Goodman was a Senior Portfolio Manager with Edison Capital where she managed a portfolio of the Company’s affordable housing investments.
Prior to her tenure at Boston Financial, Ms. Goodman worked at Paine Webber Properties, syndicating market rate real estate products. She also provided asset management services in the areas of retail, commercial, and residential properties for Paine Webber.
Ms. Goodman is a member of the New York State Homes and Community Renewal (HCR) Multi-Family Advisory Council, which meets with HCR representatives and other industry participants to discuss HCR’s housing policy and how to improve the working relationship between HCR and the development community.
Ms. Goodman’s extensive financial, business and project management expertise is essential to Norstar’s project approach. Ms. Goodman is a graduate of Alfred University and received a Masters of Business Administration degree from the Executive MBA program at Suffolk University in Boston, MA.
Lori Harris is Norstar Development USA L.P.’s Senior Vice President, Albany Office, responsible for projects in New York and Michigan, including project proposals, financial applications, and government documentation relating to subsidized and low-income housing developments.
Ms. Harris brings over 18 years of development and planning experience to Norstar after working for many years in the public sector for State and local governments.
As the Assistant Commissioner for Community Development for the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal, she was responsible for various state administered programs including HOME and Weatherization Assistance.
In addition to her tenure with New York State, Ms. Harris was the Commissioner of Development and Planning for the City of Albany where she was responsible for all of the City’s planning and development activities. Ms. Harris’ extensive development, planning and project management expertise is essential to Norstar’s project success.
Ms. Harris is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University and holds a Masters of Science degree in Political Science/Public Administration from Illinois State University.
As the Florida Director of Affordable Housing Development for Norstar Development USA, Mr. Evjen is responsible for managing all aspects of the process of developing affordable housing in partnership with public housing authorities (PHAs) and other partners throughout the State of Florida.
Mr. Evjen brings over 12 years of experience in the area of real estate development and finance, and has developed a diverse blend of project types, including market rate and affordable multifamily, mixed use, commercial, education, and food service spaces. He has experience in the development of housing for the elderly, families, and homeless populations.
Mr. Evjen has successfully redeveloped urban infill sites, developed and rehabilitated multiple units in historic districts, and successfully achieved LEED Gold and Silver certification on three separate projects in Florida. In addition, he has been involved in the planning, development, and financing of more than 1,000 market rate and affordable housing units and has secured funding from multiple funding sources including LIHTC, AHP, CDBG, SHIP, HOME, and New Markets Tax Credits.
Prior to joining Norstar, Mr. Evjen served as the Vice President of Strategic Planning for Metropolitan Ministries, a Tampa-based non-profit organization, where he led the redevelopment and construction of over 150,000 square feet of transitional and affordable housing for homeless families, in addition to multiple other mixed uses. Prior to that, Mr. Evjen directed West Florida multifamily development for Colonial Properties Trust, a Birmingham, Alabama based REIT. Mr. Evjen received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia and his law degree from Stetson University School of Law.
Ms. Baker is the President, CEO and COO of Accolade Property Management, Inc. and is responsible for the general operations, development of procedures and policies, budgeting and value engineering, oversight of all departments including marketing, accounting and maintenance, and is directly responsibility for the strategic direction of the company. Ms. Baker has over 28 years experience in the property management industry. Ms. Baker’s direct responsibilities have included managing all classes of assets with a keen ability to reposition assets to take advantage of nuances in the marketplace.
Ms. Baker graduated from the University of Texas, Arlington with a Bachelor of Business Administration with a concentration in Real Estate/Marketing. Ms. Baker holds a Housing Credit Certified Professional designation and is a Certified Property Manager candidate. Ms. Baker is committed to leadership and education in the multifamily industry and serves on several boards including the Texas Apartment Association Education. National awards and recognition have been noted for which assets Ms. Baker had direct responsibility, including Pillar of the Industry Award for Best Loft and Best Property Website, DBCA, Obelisk Award-New Initiatives and Charles L. Edson Excellence in Affordable Housing.
With over 20 years of Property Management experience, Mrs. Matthews is the Vice President of Norstar Property Management – Buffalo.
Tina has held key management positions for CRM Rental Management, Inc and Center City Neighborhood Development Corporation. She specializes in affordable housing including, HUD Assisted Housing, Rural Development, Low Income Housing Tax Credit, PRAC 202 and has managed numerous Conventional Housing properties.
Tina holds a certification as a Certified Property Manager(candidate), Assisted Housing Manager, Accredited Residential Manager, Fair Housing, Certified Occupancy Specialist, Certified Manager of Housing, MOR Specialist, Certified Green Property Management and Tax Credit Specialist. She has also attended numerous Fair Housing trainings and courses.
Tina has experience in every aspect of portfolio property management operations of multiple properties including: asset management, lease administration, accounts receivables and payables, property maintenance, contract administration, budgets and other related functions while ensuring quality housing standards are met.
Tina is known for her strong leadership skills, out-of-the-box thinking, high-energy personality, and dedication. She has a proven track record with strong relationship building skills and industry knowledge in a fast-paced, cutting-edge environment. She believes that quality property management requires good service all the time — not just when it’s convenient — and it’s that responsive commitment that connects her to properties 24/7. It is that dedication that translates to Tina’s everyday work ethic, as well as to her team of property supervisors, managers, and support staff.