Richard J. Byrne-Chair and Director
Richard J. Byrne serves as our Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Byrne is President of BSP and serves as chairman and chief executive officer of Benefit Street Partners Realty Trust, Inc., Business Development Corporation of America and Broadstone Real Estate Access Fund. Prior to joining BSP in April 2013, Mr. Byrne was chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank Securities, Inc. He was also the global co-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, Co. He was also a perennially top ranked credit analyst. Mr. Byrne earned an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a BA from Binghamton University. Mr. Byrne is a member of the Board of Directors of Wynn Resorts Ltd. and New York Road Runners. Mr. Byrne previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of MFA Financial, Inc.
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 serves as one of our Independent Directors and is a member of the Audit Committee. Mr. Hillman joined the Board of Directors in February 2020. Mr. 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 serves as a member of the board of directors of Business Development Corporation of America where he serves as chairman of the Audit Committee. 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-Independent Director
Buford H. Ortale serves as one of our Independent Directors. Mr. Ortale joined the Board of Directors in February 2020. Mr. Ortale is President of Sewanee Ventures, a private investment firm he founded in 1996. He is a partner in NTR, a Los Angeles based private equity firm focused on the energy sector, as well as a partner in Armour Capital Management, LP, the external manager of a mortgage REIT based in Vero Beach, FL. He is on the board of and chairman of the audit committee of Benefit Street Partners Realty Trust, a commercial mortgage REIT. He also serves on the boards of Intrensic, an evidence based management software company and Remote Care Partners, a platform for remote health monitoring. He is a board advisor to Western Express, a privately held $700 million nationwide truckload carrier. Mr. Ortale is active in real estate development and acquisition, currently developing a 160 home subdivision, and recently acquired two industrial properties for use as terminals in the trucking space. He began his career with Merrill Lynch’s Merchant Banking Group in New York in 1987. He was subsequently a Founder and Managing Director of NationsBanc’s (Bank of America) High Yield Bond Group. He received his BA from Sewanee: The University of the South and his MBA from Vanderbilt University.