Alumni Matters

We value our alumni, and each of you matter to the success of our program. We have dedicated this section of the Webster to highlight your accomplishments. Here are a few alums we have highlighted this month:

Tyler Hanson’s ’14 (BBA) passion for real estate kick-started after reading Robert Kiyosaki’s book Rich Dad Poor Dad the summer upon completing his high school education. During his freshman year at the University of Montana, Hanson learned about USD’s real estate program and quickly transferred. During the fall semester of his junior year, Hanson and three of his classmates eager to gain hands-on experience in real estate, took a leave of absence. Without any external support, they pooled funds and purchased a distressed residential property in Tacoma, Washington. Hanson led his team in obtaining a loan, negotiating acquisition/disposition, creating financials, managing rehabilitations and eventually selling the home for a profit in 85 days. Hanson then returned to San Diego to complete his degree. He was selected to participate on the USD team in the 2013 NAIOP University Challenge. Hanson currently works at Cushman & Wakefield where he is involved in a six-month training program with his sights set on tenant representation beginning in 2015.

Molly Jones ’11 (BBA) has made a shift from management and commercial real estate into the residential world as a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Salt Lake City, Utah. Jones graduated Magna Cum Laude from the undergraduate business program at USD with a double major in real estate and business. She was a Presidential Scholar and a recipient of the California Homebuilding Foundation/Ernest Hahn Scholarship and the Woodruff Scholarship. During her time at USD, Jones was actively involved in real estate activities, including the USC International Real Estate Competition and the NAIOP University Challenge. Molly is currently enrolled in Coldwell Banker’s Journey to Mastery program, an opportunity that is only available at two Coldwell office locations, which offers a comprehensive perspective of the transaction process and provides a myriad of unique tools for agents in creating the best experience possible for their clients.

Tony O’Neill ’07 (MSRE) has been actively involved in the distressed/opportunistic real estate-investing space for over seven years. Recently, he and current MSRE candidate Jon Mesa, partnered up under O’Neill’s "Wolverine Ventures, Inc." to continue the pursuit of opportunistic and value-add note and property acquisitions throughout the Western United States. O’Neill and Mesa recently closed on a joint-venture note acquisition involving a multifamily property in the Sacramento area. Wolverine Ventures pursues multi-family, retail and hospitality-related notes and REO assets with plans to continue acquiring unique real estate opportunities through channels not typically mined by mainstream real estate investors. In his current role, O’Neill oversees the organization’s asset management, acquisition and business development activities. Thanks in large part to strong real estate law and finance components of his MSRE training, O’Neill is able to analyze and price risk in situations not often embraced by traditional investors.

Justin Shifrin ’11 (MSRE), ’13 (MBA) recently joined Strata Equity Group, Inc. as an acquisition manager. Strata is a privately held real estate investment firm specializing in land development and multifamily acquisitions. As a key member of the acquisition team, Shifrin is tasked with sourcing, underwriting and conducting due diligence on future investments. While earning his MBA at USD, Shifrin worked for Interwest Capital Corporation and directly interfaced with investors and institutional capital providers, sourced investments and managed the due diligence process. Shifrin has also worked for two local real estate companies, Fairfield Residential and JMI Realty.

If you are a USD alum working in the real estate industry, we would like to hear from you. Please email Diane Ice with recent and significant career-related achievements and initiatives. All submissions will be considered for inclusion in the "Alumni Matters" sections of The Pipeline and our Webster.