The CREC Team
Over the prior two decades, CREC has assembled an experienced and cohesive cycle-tested team executing a disciplined approach to real estate investment. Our team’s collective depth of knowledge continues to deliver compelling investment opportunities across the real estate investment risk spectrum while remaining deeply committed to the investor experience.
Chairman and FounderView Bio
Chairman and Founder
Jeff directs strategy, investment sourcing and capital origination for CREC’s principal activities. With 40+ years of real estate experience, Jeff identifies value-oriented, institutional-quality real estate investment opportunities. Since its inception, Jeff has led CREC to become an investor focused firm that delivers proven performance through calculated risk management, forward thinking strategy and maximized returns.
Prior to founding CREC, Jeff was President of Distribution Centers (DCI), a warehouse developer and operator for Fortune 500 companies in the United States. Jeff also served as President & CEO of Directel and Triplefin—both direct marketing and direct distribution companies. Jeff is an author and was a frequent contributor to the Direct Marketing Association, Council of Logistic Management and Warehouse Education and Research Council.
Jeff earned his B.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his M.B.A. from The Ohio State University. An active member of his community, Jeff has served as Chairman of the Columbus Jewish Foundation, World Presidents Organization (Columbus chapter) and The Jewish Community Center of Greater Columbus.
Aaron oversees all operating components of CREC including finance, acquisitions, asset management and investor management. He has spent most of his career in the financial services industry developing infrastructure and improving operational efficiency for large organizations.
Prior to joining CREC, Aaron served as Senior Vice President of REO Operations for Albertelli Law, with prior appointments as Vice President of National Field Relations for Stewart Title, and Vice President of National Home-Builder Services for LandAmerica Financial Services. Aaron is a strong executive leader who consistently develops operational accountability, values partnerships, and possesses a unique ability to quickly assess and solve business challenges.
Aaron graduated Summa Cum Laude with a B.S. in Business Administration from Franklin University, and an A.A.S. degree in Technical Communications from Columbus State. An avid outdoorsman, Aaron devotes his extra time with his wife and kids skiing, wakeboarding, hiking, hunting, fishing, or camping.
Chief Compliance OfficerView Bio
Chief Compliance Officer
Tom joined the CREC team in 2020. In his role as Chief Compliance Officer, Tom ensures that CREC complies with all outside regulatory authorities, domestically and globally, as well as internal policies and bylaws.
Tom has over 20 years of experience as an attorney and compliance professional in the financial services industry. Prior to joining CREC, Tom served as a compliance manager at J.P. Morgan Asset Management in support of their institutional sales, U.S. mutual fund and ETF distribution, and global liquidity businesses. Tom also served as an enforcement attorney with the Ohio Division of Securities, and as a compliance attorney with a third party mutual fund service provider.
Tom received a B.A. from the University of Dayton and a law degree from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. In addition, Tom is a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve with over 28 years of active and reserve service. He was raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and enjoys fly fishing, reading, and spending time with his wife and children.
Senior Vice President of AcquisitionsView Bio
Senior Vice President of Acquisitions
Joe Bergman has been with CREC since the second half of 2013, when he was hired as Senior Analyst to help facilitate all acquisitions, refinancings and dispositions. Since joining the firm, Joe has played an increasingly instrumental role in all aspects of CREC’s investment activity, which has led to the successful deployment over $195 million of equity capital over Joe’s tenure.
In his current role as SVP of Acquisitions, Joe oversees all aspects of CREC’s acquisitions process, including new business development, deal underwriting/analysis, deal negotiation and structuring, and preparation of investor marketing materials. CREC’s acquisitions team, with Joe’s oversight, reviews 100’s of potential investment opportunities annually, performing thorough analysis, underwriting and due diligence to identify what it believes are the best deals to bring to CREC’s investors. Through effectively and efficiently reviewing this high volume of deal flow, Joe and his team are able to continually monitor trends in the various markets and asset classes, allowing CREC to stay on the front end of investment paradigm shifts.
Prior to joining CREC, Joe was Manager of Finance at Abercrombie & Fitch, where he oversaw the financial analysis of the company’s international expansion. Joe holds a B.A. in Finance from The University of Dayton. Joe also graduated in the top 15% of his class at Ohio State’s M.B.A. for Working Professionals program, which he attended nights and weekends while working full-time at Abercrombie & Fitch.
Brittany joined the CREC team in late 2014. As Controller, Brittany has worked across all departments and with external partners to improve processes and communication. She is a member of both the Investment and Valuation Committees.
Prior to joining CREC, Brittany worked in various asset management and accounting roles at Steiner + Associates. She began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers on the audit and assurance team.
Brittany holds a B.S. in Accountancy from Miami University Farmer School of Business in Oxford, Ohio. Outside of work, Brittany and her husband enjoy supporting the local Columbus music scene and cheering on two daughters at sporting and school events.
Vice President of AcquisitionsView Bio
Vice President of Acquisitions
Eric Henrickson joined CREC’s Acquisitions team in 2020 to focus on direct multifamily acquisitions. His 30 years of commercial real estate experience has encompassed multiple asset types with an institutional focus.
Prior to joining CREC, Eric served as Executive Vice President of Everest Healthcare Properties, in which he was responsible for leading the medical office building acquisitions, asset management, and research teams. Prior to Everest, Eric was the Director of Capital Markets for Equity, Inc. in which he was responsible for raising debt and equity capital, investor relations, research, and acquisitions. Eric also spent 17 years with Simon Property Group, Inc. in various roles, eventually serving as Vice President of Treasury and Capital Markets. In this role, Eric was responsible for closing multi-billion dollars worth of acquisition, financing, and hedging transactions.
Eric received a B.S. in Accounting and an M.B.A. in Finance from Butler University. In addition to enjoying spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren, Eric serves with various community and charitable organizations.
Vice President of Investor RelationsView Bio
Vice President of Investor Relations
Seth Porter joined CREC’s Investor Relations team in 2016. He serves as the primary point of contact for current and prospective investors. Seth utilizes his experience in finance and investment management to add an investor focused and advisory perspective to CREC’s team. Seth serves on CREC’s Investment Committee, which analyzes all potential real estate opportunities and provides approvals for all major decisions. Seth has an investor-first approach, and he actively seeks to educate investors about CREC’s strategy and conservative approach to real estate investment.
Prior to joining CREC, Seth held wealth management positions at The Bank of New York Mellon and JPMorgan in Columbus, Ohio. Seth carries a Series 63, Series 65 and Series 22 licenses, and he is an investment advisor on behalf Core Investment Advisors, LLC.
Seth graduated with degrees in Master of Financial Economics (MFE) from Ohio University and B.S. in International Business Administration from The Ohio State University (Fisher College of Business). In his free time, Seth enjoys spending time with his wife Chi and their three daughters.
Manager of Investor RelationsView Bio
Manager of Investor Relations
Mary works closely with CREC’s clients to create the best possible investor experience. She guides investors through the real estate investing process before, during and after a capital raise. Mary also manages the investor portal, important communications, and collaborates with Seth Porter to address investor requests.
Prior to joining CREC, Mary’s diverse experience included supporting wealth advisors at Legg Mason (now Franklin Templeton), Janney Montgomery Scott LLC and Capital Asset Management. Mary also built and directed all operations of a franchise business from the ground-up including construction, staffing, product inventory, marketing and sales.
Mary holds a B.A in Speech Communications with a concentration in Business from Geneva College in Beaver Falls, PA. She enjoys watching her two daughters play softball, gardening, and cheering on the Steelers and Buckeyes.
Senior Portfolio AnalystView Bio
Senior Portfolio Analyst
Austin Smith joined CREC as a Senior Portfolio Analyst in 2021. Using his considerable data and industry experience, he is responsible for providing valuable insight for the Asset Management team, along with providing helpful knowledge and support for the Acquisitions team.
Prior to joining CREC, Austin developed a deep understanding of the multifamily industry from his work as a property manager, project manager, and analyst at Link Real Estate Group and Urban Land Co. While there, he was integral in supporting growth from a five-person startup in 2017 to a reputable, medium-sized company in 2021 and helping the company win Columbus Business First’s award as Central Ohio’s fastest growing company in 2019.
Austin graduated from Cedarville University with a B.A. in Business Management and was captain and coach of his university’s rugby team. In his free time, Austin enjoys soccer, hockey, skiing, hiking, and hunting. He especially enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his wife and two golden retrievers.
Senior Vice President and General CounselView Bio
Senior Vice President and General Counsel
Christopher “Monty” Montgomery joined the CREC team in 2022 after serving as CREC’s outside counsel for many years. As the chief legal officer for CREC, Monty manages all legal processes relating to CREC’s acquisition, disposition, leasing, managing, construction and financing of real estate assets. Prior to joining CREC, Monty was a partner at the Frost Brown Todd LLC law firm, with a real estate practice focused on structuring joint ventures, direct acquisitions, real estate fund investments and syndications.
Monty holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University, and a law degree from The Ohio State University. Away from the office, Monty loves spending time with his wife Chelly and their three kids.
Director of Capital MarketsView Bio
Director of Capital Markets
Justin joined CREC in June of 2021, as Director of Capital Markets. Justin’s primary role with CREC is to create new investor relationships for CREC through HNW, Family Office and RIA channels and source equity capital for CREC’s closed-end investment funds.
Previously, Justin led Investor Relations at CA Ventures, a vertically integrated real estate investment manager based in Chicago. Justin was tasked with managing and overseeing an investor base of over 600+ HNW/Friends and Family investors. Chief among Justin’s responsibilities was to coordinate equity raises for CA’s various investment vehicles, including CA’s first GP Fund. The $100mm GP Fund-comprised of institutional investors, HNW investors, Family Offices and Wealth Managers- was CA’s first commingled, closed-end fund. Additionally, Justin was tasked with creating and coordinating all investor reporting pertaining to F&F investments as well as managing distributions and tax documents.
Before that, Justin managed Monroe Title, the REO/title company business of law firm Kropik, Papuga & Shaw. Monroe Title served as an agent of First American Title, Stewart Title and Chicago Title. KPS was a Chicago-based law firm that represented some of the largest banks and mortgage servicing companies in the country.
Justin is a graduate of the University of Miami (FL), earning his BA in Political Science and Psychology from the School of Arts and Sciences. Justin enjoys spending time with his wife and three children, traveling, and helping coach his kids’ various sports teams.