Richard Byrne-Chair and Director
Richard Byrne is president of Benefit Street Partners and is based in our New York office. He is also the chairman and chief executive officer of Business Development Corporation of America and Benefit Street Partners Realty Trust, Inc. Prior to joining BSP in 2013, Mr. Byrne was chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc. He was also the global head of capital markets at Deutsche Bank as well as a member of the global banking executive committee and the global markets executive committee. Before joining Deutsche Bank, Mr. Byrne was global co-head of the leveraged finance group and global head of credit research at Merrill Lynch. He was also a perennially top-ranked credit analyst. Mr. Byrne earned a Masters of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts from Binghamton University. Mr. Byrne is a member of the board of directors of MFA Financial, Inc. and New York Road Runners.
Z. Jamie Behar-Independent Director
Jamie Behar, serves as one of our Independent Directors and as a member of the Audit Committee. Ms. Behar joined our Board in September 2019. From October 2005 through 2015, Ms. Behar was Managing Director, Real Estate & Alternative Investments for GM Investment Management Corporation, where she was responsible for the management of approximately $12 billion at peak portfolio value in real estate, energy, and timber investments on behalf of both General Motors Company and other unaffiliated clients. Ms. Behar currently serves on the boards of Broadstone Real Estate Access Fund (BDREX, BDRWX), Sunstone Hotel Investors, Inc. (NYSE: SHO), ARMOUR Residential REIT, Inc. (NYSE: ARR), and Shurgard Self-Storage SA (EBR: SHUR). Ms. Behar holds a BSE (magna cum laude) from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business, and the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, and is a member of the Real Estate Investment Advisory Council of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (Nareit). In December 2018, Ms. Behar was the recipient of Nareit’s E. Lawrence Miller Industry Achievement Award for her contributions to the REIT industry.
Lee Hillman-Independent Director
Lee Hillman has served as President of Liberation Advisory Group, a private management consulting firm, since 2003. Mr. Hillman has also served as Chief Executive Officer of Performance Health Systems, LLC, an early-stage business distributing Power Plate™ and bioDensity® branded, specialty health and exercise equipment since 2012, and its predecessor since 2009. From February 2006 to May 2008, Mr. Hillman served as Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Power Plate International (“Power Plate”) and from 2004 through 2006 as CEO of Power Plate North America. Previously, from 1996 through 2002, Mr. Hillman was CEO of Bally Total Fitness Corporation, then the world’s largest fitness membership club business. Mr. Hillman currently serves as a member of the board of directors of Lawson Products, Inc. where he serves as the lead independent director and member of its Audit Committee and Financial Strategies Committee as well as chair of its Compensation Committee. He also serves as a board member and member of the Audit, Compensation and Nominating/Governance Committees of HC2 Holdings, Inc. and as trustee and member of the Audit Committee of Adelphia Recovery Trust. Previously he has served as a member of the Board of Directors of HealthSouth Corporation, Wyndham International, RCN Corporation (where he was Chairman of the Board), Bally Total Fitness Corporation (where he was Chairman of the Board) and Professional Diversity Network. Mr. Hillman holds a B.S. in Finance and Accounting from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. in Finance and Accounting from the Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago. Mr. Hillman is a Certified Public Accountant and former audit partner with Ernst & Young.
Buford H. Ortale
Buford H. Ortale is a private equity investor based in Nashville, TN. He began his post-M.B.A. career with Merrill Lynch’s Merchant Banking Group in New York in 1987. He was subsequently a founder and Managing Director of NationsBanc’s High Yield Bond Group. He has served as the General Partner of numerous investment partnerships, and has been a principal as well as a board member for many private and public companies. Mr. Ortale is also i) the sole principal of Sewanee Ventures (personal holding company), ii) the chairman of The Enliven Partnership (a healthcare services firm currently working with over 400 hospitals), iii) a nonoperating financial partner in Armour, LLC, iv) a board advisor to Western Express, and v) the CEO of a technology development firm (PNQR). He received his B.A. from The University of the South in Sewanee, and his M.B.A. from Vanderbilt.
Amy L. Tait-Independent Director
Amy Tait co-founded Broadstone Real Estate in 2006, serving as its CEO from its inception to 2017, and as its Board Chairman from 2012 to 2020. Ms. Tait brings more than three decades of commercial real estate experience to her position. She started her real estate career with Chemical Bank in management training and commercial real estate lending before joining Home Leasing Corporation, the predecessor to Home Properties, Inc. (formerly a publicly traded company on the NYSE as “HME”). She then served as Executive Vice President of Home Properties from its IPO in 1994 to 2001, and as a Director and Chair of the company’s Real Estate Investment Committee until 2012. Ms. Tait’s responsibilities have included acquisitions, finance, capital markets, investor relations, legal, human resources, and strategic planning. Ms. Tait serves on the board of directors of Broadstone Real Estate Access Fund, Inc., as a trustee of the University of Rochester, on the Simon School Executive Advisory Committee and National Council, and has served numerous other community organizations. Ms. Tait has been recognized in Rochester, New York, with the D’Tocqueville Award, the Athena Award, and Business Hall of Fame induction. She holds a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering from Princeton University and an M.B.A. from the Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester.