• Sun. Jun 23rd, 2024

Lee & Associates Expands, Meridian Names CEO, Colliers Elects Executive


Apr 7, 2023
Amy Broadhurst, left, Francesco Sergio and Caroline Muse are opening the new Western Pennsylvania office of Lee & Associates. (Lee & Associates)


North America’s largest broker-owned commercial real estate firm is opening an office in Pittsburgh.

Lee & Associates’ new Western Pennsylvania team will be led by Amy Broadhurst as president and principal, and will include Francesco Sergio as principal of debt and equity origination and Caroline Muse as a senior associate.

The team will initially specialize in office and industrial leasing and sales, with additional capabilities in debt and equity origination. The new office will be closely linked to existing operations in the Lee & Associates’ Eastern Pennsylvania office launched in 2015 by two founding principals, John Van Buskirk and Brian Knowles.

The group expects to recruit local teams to expand its capabilities in retail, multifamily and investment sales. In her new role, Broadhurst will focus on securing office space and begin the search for support team members and brokers looking for a fast-start opportunity.

Lee & Associates has established an emphasis on expansion, opening several new locations in the past five years including central California; Kansas City, Kansas; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Calgary, Alberta, Canada; Nashville, Tennessee; downtown Los Angeles; San Francisco; Omaha, Nebraska; Naples, Florida; Washington, D.C.; Boston; Toronto; Cincinnati, Ohio; Raleigh, North Carolina; Miami; and Seattle.

“We are always looking for markets that we can expand into to better serve our clients,” said Jeffrey Rinkov, CEO of Lee & Associates, in a corporate statement announcing the move. “Our expansion into the Pittsburgh market is an excellent representation of our roadmap for continued growth. We see the region as very strategic, and feel that with Amy we have identified the right leader to grow our presence.”

Broadhurst brings more than 15 years of commercial real estate industry experience in leasing and sales across industrial, flex and office property on behalf of both occupiers and owners, most recently as a vice president in the Pittsburgh advisory and transaction services division of CBRE’s occupier services group. Before that, she was a vice president at Hanna Langholz Wilson Ellis, where she focused on agency and occupier services for office and industrial users.

A licensed broker in Pennsylvania, Broadhurst holds a master of real estate degree from Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Duquesne University. She is a member of the Urban Land Institute’s women’s leadership initiative, holds the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors designation and served as past president of SIOR’s Western Pennsylvania chapter, and holds the Certified Commercial Investment Member designation from the CCIM Institute.

In his new role, Sergio will specialize in the placement of debt and equity across the hospitality, multifamily, office, retail and industrial sectors as well as new construction. He brings more than 20 years of management, business development and business operations experience.

In her new role, Muse will focus on landlord and tenant representation for industrial and office properties in the greater Pittsburgh region. Muse is a graduate of Bucknell University and has held previous roles at Hanna Langholz Wilson Ellis, McKnight Realty Partners and, most recently, CBRE.

Mike Conn

Full-service real estate owner, operator and investor Meridian has appointed Mike Conn to the position of chief executive officer. The Walnut Creek, California-based firm is celebrating its 25th year in business.

Conn joined Meridian in 2012 after more than a decade as a real estate broker and general contractor, quickly rising through the ranks and reaching the role of chief development officer in 2020. During his tenure, Meridian has grown from a local builder of healthcare build-to-suits into a full-service developer across the continuum of care in the U.S. West.

In his 25 years of experience in construction, real estate and development, Conn has led all aspects of development and investment, including site acquisition, entitlements, joint ventures, deal structuring and execution, sourcing and procurement of new projects and overall asset performance. Throughout his career, Conn has led the development or investment of over 5 million square feet of projects valued at nearly $2 billion.

Conn succeeds Meridian’s former CEO, John Pollock, who will remain a managing director and serve as the firm’s chief financial officer in addition to assisting Conn with key growth initiatives.

M. Neil Jones

Colliers | South Carolina’s board of directors has elected M. Neil Jones, senior vice president and chief financial officer, to serve as the firm’s executive vice president.

In his expanded role as executive vice president and CFO, Jones is responsible for the financial management and reporting for all four of Colliers | South Carolina’s offices as well as for LCK, Colliers’ project management partner.

Jones is a graduate of Clemson University with a bachelor’s degree in corporate finance and he earned his CPA designation in 2006. Prior to joining Colliers in 2013 as its chief accounting officer, Jones was a senior manager of audit and consulting for Bauknight Pietras & Stormer.

Dave Smith

Avison Young has hired Dave Smith as a principal and director of brokerage services in the firm’s Sacramento, California, office.

In his new role as a market leader, Smith will help grow the firm’s client base throughout the region and recruit top talent to expand its market share across multiple service lines.

Smith most recently worked at Cresa, where he was involved in all aspects of corporate occupier services including strategic planning, lease, sublease, building sale negotiations, financial analysis and consulting. Before that, he was a senior manager with Opus West Corp. and a leasing representative at the former Grubb & Ellis.

Heather Sharp

Progressive Real Estate Partners, a retail real estate brokerage firm in Southern California, hired Heather Sharp as a senior vice president of retail sales and leasing.

In her new role, Sharp will be leading the firm’s expansion into the Coachella Valley. In addition to providing regional leadership, Sharp will continue her brokerage activities, including the selling and leasing of retail properties across the region.

Sharp has more than 25 years of experience in real estate, with a specific concentration on the Coachella Valley’s retail industry. Her range of expertise includes investment property sales, landlord and tenant representation, land sales and owner/user transactions. Before joining Progressive, Sharp was a partner at Wilson Meade Commercial Real Estate in Rancho Mirage, where she led the retail division.

Rich Ricek

Cushman & Wakefield hired Rich Ricek as a director with its office agency leasing team in Nashville.

In his new role, Ricek will work alongside Crews Johnston and George Mullowney in representing landlords in marketing office properties for lease throughout Tennessee.

Rieck most recently worked at Colliers in Nashville, where he represented local and national office tenants and landlords in the city’s urban core and surrounding areas. He also has a background in commercial real estate law, having practiced at Maynard Cooper & Gale and Chapman & Rosenthal Title for nearly seven years. Rieck earned his Juris Doctor degree from Belmont University’s College of Law.

Ciana Carpenter

CBRE hired Ciana Carpenter as a senior transaction manager in Chicago.

Carpenter is a licensed attorney and will join the tenant representation team of Brad Serot, Paul Reaumond, Ian Murphy and Tony Coglianese, who together have leased over 10 million square feet since 2020.

Carpenter brings nearly 10 years of commercial real estate and legal experience, most recently as a senior relationship manager and senior transaction manager at Charles Schwab. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from Chicago-Kent College of Law.

CoStar’s People of Note is a national column published each Friday covering the latest personnel moves in the commercial real estate industry. Send new executive hires and promotion announcements to

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