Awards

John W. Koza Leadership Program

2020 John W. Koza Leadership Fellows


Purpose of the John W. Koza Leadership Program

Named in recognition of former chairman John Koza, a respected industry leader and exponent of investor education, the Leadership Fellows Program is designed to promote engagement in PREA among up-and-coming leaders in the institutional investor community. The objective is to familiarize investors with the organization early in their investment careers to ensure that they are fully aware of the educational resources available to them. The program will also be a source of the association's next generation of institutional leadership.

John Koza was a long-time PREA supporter, Board Director and, from 2003 to 2004, Board Chairman. He was a staunch advocate for the association's educational initiatives, including the PREA Institute, conferences and CEO Leadership Forum. We dedicate the Leadership Fellows program in recognition of his many important contributions.
 

Eligibility

Participation in the Leadership Fellows Program will be limited to representatives of member firms that fall within the "Investor" category.  Additionally, candidates for selection as future industry leaders must have an interest in becoming a more active participant in PREA and its investor initiatives.  There are no age limits or work experience requirements to be considered for the John W. Koza Leadership Fellow designation.

 

Nomination and Selection

Eligible individuals are encouraged to apply for the 2021 program. Nominations will be accepted starting in October 2020. However, supervisors may also nominate eligible individuals who work within their organizations. The Institutional Investor Council will select new Fellows each year from among the nominees, with an eye to maintaining balance by investor category.

 

Benefits

Fellows will receive a conference fee waiver and travel expense stipend of up to $2,000 per event (subject to the gift policy of the representative’s firm) to attend the Spring Conference, the Annual Investor Conference and the PREA Institute. Each leadership fellow will participate for a two-year period and is required to attend the PREA events during their Fellowship period.

 

Engagement

At the beginning of the two-year scholarship period, Fellows will be asked to contribute their time and skills to the association through participation in one of PREA's standing committees, affinity groups and/or select projects as determined by the PREA Institutional Investor Executive Committee. Experience within the leadership structure will give Fellows the opportunity to maximize the benefits of membership for their own firms as well as benefit the association at large. Additionally, their participation in PREA's educational forums will give them opportunities to expand upon their knowledge of industry trends and developments.

 

2020 John W. Koza Leadership Fellows

 

Christie Chen
Oxford Properties Group
Chen is an Investment Associate at Oxford Properties Group, where she is responsible for sourcing and underwriting both debt and equity investments. She joined Oxford in 2019 after earning an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining Oxford, Chen was with W.P. Carey, where she focused on hospitality, and the Blackstone Group, where she specialized in real estate debt capital markets. Chen started her career on BlackRock’s fixed income investments team after graduating summa cum laude from New York University in 2011. She is a CFA charterholder and a ULI New York member.

 

Karen Li
Oxford Properties Group
Li is an Associate on the Investments team at Oxford Properties Group. She joined Oxford’s New York team in 2019 and is responsible for evaluating investment opportunities across both equity and debt positions and covers various markets in the US. Prior to joining Oxford, Li was a Vice President at Deutsche Bank, working on large loan originations targeted for both CMBS and balance sheet executions in the commercial real estate group. Li holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Matt Meads
Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System
Meads is a Director within the Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS) Real Estate team. His responsibilities include sourcing and underwriting new private equity real estate investments as well as monitoring existing investments. In addition, Meads assists with asset allocation and risk management across the total plan. Prior to his current role, he served as a Senior Analyst across all asset classes within SERS and was an Asset Management Analyst at PFM. Meads earned a BS in Finance from Messiah College, holds the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst designation, and is a level three candidate of the Chartered Financial Analyst Program.

 

Eduardo Park
Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System
Park is an Investment Officer with the Los Angeles City Employees’ Retirement System Pension Plan and has held this position since 2014. As an Investment Officer, he has helped oversee various asset classes ranging from fixed income to private equity. In 2018, he was tasked with overseeing the private real estate portfolio for the plan. Prior to joining the City of Los Angeles, Park worked as an Analyst for Wedbush Securities, Inc., for eight years. He holds a Bachelor of Administration in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

 

Annie Haas SooHoo
Allstate Investments
SooHoo works in the Real Estate Equity group at Allstate Investments in Chicago, where she focuses on direct investments across asset classes in the United States. Her responsibilities include acquisitions analysis, new deal sourcing, joint venture structuring, investment strategy, and portfolio management. Prior to Allstate, SooHoo worked in the Real Estate and Infrastructure group at the Mubadala Investment Company in Abu Dhabi, and she started her career at Clark Construction in Washington, DC. SooHoo graduated with honors from the University of Virginia with a BS in Architecture and has an MBA from Columbia Business School.

 

Ben Walker
Utah Retirement Systems
Walker is a Senior Investment Analyst at Utah Retirement Systems (URS). His responsibilities include specialty sector investments, such as self-storage, timber, and agriculture. He also has been heavily involved with asset allocation and leverage strategy for the real estate portfolio. Prior to his time with URS, Walker earned an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. In addition, he holds BA and BS degrees from Westminster College in Salt Lake City. Walker is a CFA charterholder.

Previous John W. Koza Leadership Fellows:

2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
2010