Executive Management Team
NEIL BROWN, CHAIRMAN
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 minimill 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, PRESIDENT, 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.
RICHARD L. HIGGINS, PRESIDENT, NORSTAR USA
Mr. Higgins served as the New York State Housing Commissioner for 12 years from 1978-1990. 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 theColumbia 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.
AARON BROWN, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT
Over the last 13 years as Executive Vice President, Aaron has worked on every facet of the group’s business portfolio. Mr. Brown has extensive experience in land acquisition, development and leasing, and has also been involved in the rezoning of various parcels of land for high density residential condominium development.
Mr. Brown is responsible for pioneering Norstar’s foray into the renewable energy sector and has successfully established Norstar’s renewable energy business. With the advent of Ontario’s Green Energy and Economy Act and its Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) Program, Mr. Brown saw the opportunity for Norstar to incorporate into its corporate mandate a commitment to green energy and reducing our carbon footprint for future generations. Under Mr. Brown’s leadership, Norstar has established a new company within the group which focuses on the construction and implementation of roof-top solar photovoltaic systems (Solar PV), a reliable and sought after technology for clean and relatively maintenance-free power production.
Prior to joining the Norstar Group of Companies in 2000, Mr. Brown had established a successful career in the financial services industry as an Investment Advisor spanning over 12 years.
Mr. Brown holds a Bachelor’s Degree from York University and various securities certifications from the Canadian Securities Institute including for Canadian securities, options and futures.
MITCHELL BROWN, VICE PRESIDENT
Mr. Brown commenced work at the Norstar Group in 1979 and since that time has played a key role in a number of significant projects and has carried increasing levels of responsibility.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Mr. Brown was responsible for monitoring and co-ordinating on-site construction work at a number of sites for the Group.
In the early 1980s, the Concordian Group (affiliated with the Norstar Group), acquired an extensive portfolio of more than 40 industrial properties. Mr. Brown assumed the key role of managing all in-house maintenance, tenant relations and improvements and all contracts related to this property portfolio.
In 1993, Mr. Brown relocated to Buffalo, New York, to manage Norstar USA’s construction gentrification of eight high-rise residential towers and 20 townhouse complexes. Mr. Brown oversaw and managed the construction process.
In 1994, Mr. Brown relocated to Texas for a period of 4 years to manage and oversee the construction of more than 1,500 residential townhouse units in Dallas, Texas.
Upon his return to Canada, Mr. Brown managed the development and construction of a large single family unit residential subdivision in Oakville. Mr. Brown also managed the sales process.
Mr. Brown is currently involved in a number of the Group’s construction projects in the GTA and the identification of future projects.
PERRY H. SILVER, VICE-PRESIDENT, PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT
Mr. Silver is responsible for the recovery of all financial securities used to secure commitments with various municipalities and regions.
In the United States, Mr. Silver oversees and reports on all leasing and occupancy activity within the Norstar Group’s U.S. rental properties portfolio including across Texas, New York, Michigan and Florida.
Prior to working for the Norstar Group of Companies, Mr. Silver worked as a policy analyst at the Canadian Industrial Transportation League (CITL), a national lobby group representing industrial shippers across Canada and incidental to the deregulation of transportation in Canada.
Mr. Silver holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons.) in Public Policy and Administration from York University and Bachelor of Laws (L.L.B.) from the University of Windsor.
CHRISTOPHER D’CRUZ, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
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 hisprofessional 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.
LINDA L. GOODMAN, VICE PRESIDENT, NORSTAR USA –BUFFALO, NEW YORK
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, VICE PRESIDENT, NORSTAR USA –ALBANY, NEW YORK
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.
SAMUEL J. FINLAY, VICE PRESIDENT, NORSTAR BUILDING CORPORATION, USA
Since joining Norstar in 1996, Mr. Finlay has successfully supervised commercial and residential development and re-development projects in the aggregate of more than $350 million in Texas, Florida, and New York.
As a veteran of more than 50 years in the construction industry, Mr. Finlay has managed construction projects throughout the United States. Mr. Finlay is a member of the American Institute of Constructors and provides extensive expertise in the area of construction to all Norstar USA projects.