Biographies and information about our Advisory Board Members.
Principal, General Counsel, Head of Commercial Division of Lynx Mortgage Bank LLC
Mohammed Jafri has over 30 years of experience in the fields of real estate, law and mortgage financing. Since 1986 when Mr. Jafri formed Jafri Realty Group Inc., he has been, as principal and officer, involved in numerous ventures including renovating and value adding, obtaining zoning changes, multi-family development, investing, owning and operating multi family, mixed use, office and other types of properties. Mohammed Jafri has BBA from Pace University, Real Estate Certificate from New York University and JD from New York Law School.
In 1991, Mohammed Jafri, along with his younger brother, Reaz Jafri, founded the Law firm of Jafri & Jafri. As senior partner of the firm, Mohammed Jafri was in charge of and represented private clients in their purchase, sale, leasing of commercial and residential real estate transaction. Mohammed Jafri also represented some of the largest institutional lenders.
In 2004 Mohammed Jafri, along with Zahra Jafri, Shabana Rizvi and Andre Mitchell founded Lynx Mortgage Bank LLC a New York State Licensed Mortgage Bank. From 2004 until 2018 Lynx, both as conventional and FHA HUD approved lender, has been primarily focused on direct residential lending.
In 2018 Lynx decided to expand by launching its commercial Division under supervision of Mohammed Jafri. Lynx’s Commercial Division will act a consultant to broker and place both debt and equity financing for its clients.
Certified Public Accounts, Managing Partner, Gentile Pismeny Brengel LLP
As a Managing Partner in a medium sized CPA firm, Mr. Brengel has advised companies of all sizes on business problem solving, profit enhancement, organizational growth, cash management, treasury, compliance, mergers and acquisitions, and other financial matters. His areas of expertise include forensic and financial audits of governmental/not-for-profit/healthcare organizations, financial and credit negotiations, presenting results to senior management, establishing budgets, developing financial/operational forecasting and measuring systems, other forensic services, financial audits of companies, analysis of tax law and tax planning, due diligence projects, business valuations and internal control analysis.
In various client roles, Mr. Brengel has managed all aspects of financial reporting, accounting, cash management, tax, budgeting and forecasting, external audits, and bank relationships. Kyle is also the compliance and technology partner for his accounting firm. Kyle has successfully navigated his firm through eight unqualified peer reviews and the various technology conversions. As a partner in numerous diversified continuing ventures outside of his CPA firm, Kyle has been able to provide overall current financial leadership and strategic planning for the future.
Kyle is recognized as an expert in the forensic review and accounting for LOSAP programs. He is a participating member and the only accountant involved in responding to question and answer sessions with regard to the very popular Attorney’s Panel that is one of the staple forums at the Association of Fire Districts for the State of New York conferences. Kyle has also been a member and an instrumental contributor to the Board of Directors and audit committees of both St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, New York and Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre, New York where he was a member of the Board of Directors Audit Committee for both hospitals for fifteen years. Mr. Brengel also serves on the Board of American Community Bank.
Kyle received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Adelphi University in Garden City New York in May of 1988, He earned his Certificate of Public Accounting from the State of New York October 2, 1992 and has also obtained his designation as a Chartered Global Management Accountant on May 31, 2012.
John J. LaValle
Chairman John Jay LaValle is a life-long resident of Brookhaven, New York. In 2009, John was elected to his current position as Chairman of the Suffolk County Republican Committee–the largest weighted committee of New York’s 62 counties.
With a contagious energy and enthusiasm, coupled with years of noteworthy experience and accomplishment, Chairman LaValle evokes a winning spirit that has manifested itself in wins for various town, county, state and federal offices, including helping to recapture the New York State Senate Republican Majority in 2010 and Congressman Lee Zeldin’s upset win over Democrat Tim Bishop in 2014.
In 2016, Chairman LaValle was one of Candidate Donald Trump’s earliest and most vocal New York supporters. After the New York Primary and throughout the Presidential Campaign, Chairman LaValle became a trusted Media Surrogate, appearing on more than 160 major network television shows; primarily on CNN and also Fox, Fox Business, MSNBC, News12 and many other domestic and international networks. LaValle also raised more than $1.2 million towards the President’s campaign.
In total, the Republican Party has recaptured more than two dozen seats under Chairman LaValle’s leadership.
Prior to his election as Chairman, LaValle – at 33 years old – was elected in 2001 as the youngest Supervisor in Brookhaven Town’s history. Before that, he served five years as a Town Councilman, having first been appointed in 1996, and then elected in 1997 by a record-setting plurality. He acquired the Town’s State of the Art 120,000 sq. ft. office facility and consolidated the town government under one roof, saving millions of dollars other taxpayers’ hard earned money. In addition, LaValle proposed and enacted the largest Environmental Bond Act in local New York government history ($100 million). Amazingly, LaValle also delivered the largest tax cut in NYS government history. In 2003 – 100%, in 2005 – 98.5%.
As an attorney in practice for almost 25 years, Chairman LaValle has developed an expertise in commercial and residential real estate, in addition to land use and development. LaValle is a member of the Bar in New York and Washington D.C.. He is also admitted to practice in the Eastern, Southern, Western and Northern Districts of the New York Federal Courts.
LaValle is a graduate of the University of Maryland and he holds a law degree from Touro Law School. John has three sons – John Jr. (12), Jake (11) and Jackson (7). John resides in Port Jefferson, New York.
John V. Terrana
Attorney, Partner at Law Firm of Forchelli Deegan Terrana
John V. Terrana served as a Deputy County Attorney for Nassau County, where he practiced in the areas of tax certiorari, condemnation, tax lien litigation, and real estate. He later became the Glen Cove City Attorney, where he was general counsel to all of the city’s departments and boards and represented the city in its tax certiorari matters. He was also counsel to the Glen Cove Community Development Agency and the Glen Cove Industrial Development Agency, where he prepared tax, financing, and contract documents for complex real estate projects.
Mr. Terrana in 1993 joined the Law Firm now known as Forchelli Deegan Terrana . As partner-in-charge of the Tax Certiorari practice group, he has successfully obtained millions of dollars in real estate tax refunds and savings for clients, including national, regional, and local owners, and tenants of all types of commercial and residential property.
Mr. Terrana has a BS from St. Johns University and JD from St. Johns University Law School. He has been awarded an “AV” legal ability and ethics rating by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, the very highest rating this nationally recognized publication has established. This rating is based upon extensive confidential peer review surveys.
Mr. Terrana has published numerous articles and lectures on tax certiorari issues. He was selected for inclusion in the Long Island Business News’ “40 Under 40” (1999), listing of “Who’s Who in Tax Certiorari Law” (2007, 2014 and 2015), “50 Around 50 Award” (2011), “Leadership in Law” (2013), Long Island Pulse magazine’s Legal Eagle Award (2012) as Long Island’s Most unbeatable lawyer in real estate tax certiorari law, New York Real Estate Journal’s “Executive of the Month,” and New York’s SuperLawyers.
Attorney, Founder and President of The Nicolosi Law Firm, P.C.
A third-generation attorney, Ms. Nicolosi maintains a proud tradition started in Queens County in the 1930s. Currently Maura Nicolosi is the President and founding member of The Nicolosi Law Firm, P.C., a law firm located in Great Neck, New York. Prior to moving to Great Neck, the Firm maintained its main office in Manhasset, New York from 2003 to 2018. Ms. Nicolosi has been practicing law for over 25 years and she is highly regarded in her field. Ms. Nicolosi overseas all aspects of the firm’s active commercial real estate financing practice in addition to general civil litigation matters, leasing and residential real estate transactions. Client services include advice from entity selection and formation through due diligence to contract signing and closing. The Firm is also among the approved commercial closing attorneys for Flushing Bank.
Mentoring and providing pro bono legal services to the underserved in various matters is an important and rewarding component of her practice.
In December 2016, Ms. Nicolosi was named as a Board Member of The Child Center of NY, a powerful community presence throughout NYC, reaching more than 21,700 children and their families each year.
Ms. Nicolosi is also a member of the Queens County Bar Association and Chairperson of its
Women in the Law and Mentor Committees. She is also a member of the Queens County Women’s Bar Association, Catholic Lawyers Guild of Queens County, Columbian Lawyers of Queens County.
Ms. Nicolosi received her B.A. from the Catholic University of America in 1987 and her J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law in 1990.
Peter C. Puccio
Peter C. Puccio, a Certified Public Accountant, is retired from a forty-five year stellar finance and banking career. Mr. Puccio holds B.A., M.B.A., and M.S. degrees and is a member of Delta Mu Delta, the National Business Honor Society. He is currently President of L 2 Associates, a consulting firm with banking and real estate financing focus.
Mr. Puccio was a senior finance and operations executive, having experience in real estate and commercial lending, credit, strategic planning, asset acquisition/sales, and debt restructure. He has a proven record of attracting new business, servicing client/customer relationships, staff training, and development. His responsibilities included origination of new business as well as management of loan portfolios. His accounting experience includes auditing, financial statement preparation, consulting services and the preparation of individual, corporate and partnership income tax returns.
Mr. Puccio was on the Board of Directors of the Madison National Foundation, and the Board of Directors of the Real Estate Practitioners Institute of Long Island University, where he served as its Treasurer and a member of its Education Committee. He has served on the Advisory Committee of the Nassau Educators Federal Credit Union. He was an adjunct Assistant Professor at New York Institute of Technology, an instructor in the Real Estate Practitioners Institute School of Continuing Education at Long Island University, and an instructor in the Division of Continuing Education and Professional Development at Molloy College. He has also taught courses in finance, banking, and real estate investment. Mr. Puccio is a member of the Audit Committee of the New York City Housing Partnership Development Corporation.
A veteran of the United States Air Force, he is the author of two published crime drama novels, White Burgundy and Righteous Endeavors. He is married, has two married daughters and four grandchildren. He is an avid golfer, reader, and car enthusiast.
Owner operator and developer of commercial real estate, founder and owner of DiRusso Electric.
Anthony has over 30 years of experience in the field of real estate. Anthony has extensive back ground in acquiring commercial real estate, renovating and doing value add and/ or developing from ground up both residential and commercial properties. As principal of T&D Management, Anthony oversees management of numerous retail, residential, industrial and commercial properties throughout New York City.
Anthony founded, owns and is President of DiRusso Electric. DiRusso Electric, based in Middle Village, Queens, provides electric work to some of the large publically traded entities including banks and large institutional retail outlets.
Among the properties Anthony has developed and built from ground up are a 62 unit residential Condominium with retail and in indoor parking in Brooklyn, a 10 Story 28 unit Condominium residential with retail in Manhattan, a 12 unit residential also in Manhattan and numerous other properties in the 5 Boroughs.
For all his projects, Anthony is hands on with all aspects of design, budgeting, dealing with the municipalities to obtain permits and tax benefits, dealing with lenders to arrange financing ,and coordination and handling of the construction of the projects.
In addition to devoting his time to numerous businesses, Anthony still finds time to give to community by volunteering his time and resources. One of Anthony’s significant charitable contributions is serving as Trustee on the Board of Arch Bishop Molloy High School in Briarwood, Queens.
Matthew Smith, MAI, SRA, MRICS
Real Estate Appraiser | President – Standard Valuation Services
Matthew Smith oversees all of the operations and marketing of Standard Valuation Services. Standard Valuation Services is one of the most well respected appraisal companies and as such it is on many lenders’ approved appraiser lists. Mr. Smith is an active member of the Appraisal Institute, keeping current with market trends. Mr. Smith’s appraisal experience and involvement has encompassed over twenty-five states with concentrated expertise in the New York Metropolitan area and Long Island Counties of Nassau and Suffolk.
Throughout his impressive career, Mr. Smith has appraised various types of properties including single family residences, apartment buildings, schools, temples, churches, shopping centers, office complexes, residential subdivisions, large land holdings, restaurants, fast food chains, nursing homes, congregate care facilities, campgrounds, golf courses, industrial buildings, and cooperative or condominium conversions.
Mr. Smith is highly recognized and extremely sought after in the real estate industry to deliver expert testimony in certiorari and condemnation proceedings and multi-family and cooperative valuations. He has provided expert testimony in New York State Supreme Courts, United States Bankruptcy Courts, Village Courts and in Arbitration Hearings. Mr. Smith’s many accolades and achievements include being appointed by the Governor of the State of New York to be the Chair of The New York State Board of Real Estate Appraisers and to be the Chair of the New York State Licensed Services Advising Task force. In addition, Mr. Smith is a past President of the Appraisal Institute, Long Island Chapter. Mr. Smith has a B.S. in Business from St. John’s University , College of Business Administration.
Samuel B. Freed
Attorney, former counsel to the Law firm of Farrell Fritz
Samuel Freed is a well respected attorney who has been practicing law for over 50 years. In addition to the State of New York, Mr. Freed is admitted to practice law in the State of South Carolina. Mr. Freed’ s areas of practice includes representing clients in their purchase and sale of both commercial and residential real estate as well as commercial leasing. Mr. Freed specializes in advising clients in projects financed by Industrial Revenue Bonds. In addition, he has advised and represented clients in financing of businesses and numerous types of commercial real estate projects.
Mr. Freed has been an involved member of the New York State and Queens County Bar Associations for many years. For the past ten years, Mr. Freed has been the Chairman of the Real Property Law Committee. He is a renowned speaker having lectured at Continuing Legal Education seminars in the fields of real estate and commercial Law.
Outside his legal practice, Mr. Freed has dedicated a tremendous amount of his valuable time to charitable organizations. He has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Child Center of New York Inc. (CCNY) for the past 30 years, and more recently years has served as the Executive Vice President of CCNY. Over the years, Mr. Freed provided countless hours of pro bono legal services to CCNY and its predecessor entity Queens Child Guidance Center.
John P. Sheehan
Principal, Owner Operator Commercial Properties
For almost thirty five years John P. Sheehan, as principal and operator, has owned and managed numerous apartment buildings in New York. Born and raised in Manhattan, Mr. Sheehan has in depth knowledge of local commercial real estate. As a savvy investor, Mr. Sheehan’s real estate holdings are not limited to New York. Mr. Sheehan also owns commercial properties in the States of Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan and South Carolina.
Throughout his career Mr. Sheehan has participated in all aspects of Real Estate Management. He specialized in maintaining and providing safe, reliable, affordable housing. Over the years Mr. Sheehan has worked closely with nonprofit organizations to stabilize, reorganize and rehabilitate distressed properties in the City of New York. He has also participated in various governmental programs such as the private owner management program, participation loan program, J-51 Programs, and the Freddy Mack Program.
Mr. Sheehan is very involved in his industry, he is a member of the Bronx-Manhattan North Association of Realtors. He is a also member of “Community Housing Improvement Program,” and the Rent Stabilization Association.
Mr. Sheehan attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice and has a BA degree specializing in criminal justice. Prior to commencing his real estate career, Mr. Sheehan was a distinguished Detective in the New York City Police Departments, his specialty was in training and field tactics. Mr. Sheehan also has a diploma in Real Estate Finance from New York University.