Founder & Chief Executive Officer
As Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Michael Sorochinsky is the visionary of CEI and the driving force behind the company’s $5 Billion real estate portfolio. Michael’s investment strategies, business philosophy, and transaction execution diligence has brought about substantial annualized returns to equity.
From 2001 through 2005 Michael focused CEI’s investments in the value-add multifamily space, purchasing over 70 properties comprising of 3,500 apartment units and retail.
In late 2006, Michael began to notice significant stress on the credit markets and by 2007 advised his partners to start selling properties. Under Michael’s leadership, CEI successfully sold approximately 80% of its portfolio for significant gains prior to the crash of 2008. In 2008 through 2010, Michael focused CEI’s investments on purchasing blocks of distressed single family homes in some of the hardest hit areas in the country as well as investing in real estate related operating companies.
In 2010, before large numbers of developers jumped into the multifamily development game, Michael saw an opportunity to build Class A apartments in top cities around the US and led CEI to amass a development pipeline of over 5,100 luxury apartments with projected value in excess of $5 Billion in ten top Markets.
Prior to 2001, Michael practiced law at two international law firms – Perkins Coie and Milbank Tweed – representing creditors in distressed real estate debt and equity reorganizations. Michael’s background gives him a unique perspective into real estate finance and an in-depth understanding of real estate cycles, which he has successfully timed since 2001. Michael was also heavily involved in restructuring debt & equity relationships for clients, and repositioning distressed projects across both commercial and residential asset classes. Michael received his JD from the UCLA School of Law.
Managing Director & Chief Financial Officer
As Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer of CEI, Alla Sorochinsky oversees the execution of the CEI vision. Heading finance, asset management and development, she ensures that CEI functions at the highest level of efficiency, integrity and quality.
Between 2001 – 2010 Alla managed the company’s 3,500 unit value-add portfolio, adding significant value through heavy renovation, effective financing strategies and top notch asset management. When the company shifted its focus to ground up Class A development, Alla became instrumental in creating an asset management platform for new development assets.
Previously, Alla was the financial controller of several publicly traded technology companies. Alla graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, with a degree in International Economics and received a Master’s degree from the University of Southern California.
Chief Operating Officer
Bruce Fairty joined Cypress Equity Investments as Chief Operating Officer with thirty-five years of multifamily real estate development experience and investment background as a principal. Immediately prior to joining CEI, Bruce was active as a developer in the San Francisco Bay Area, first as a partner with the Castle Group Company and then as a partner with Thompson-Dorfman Partners. At Thompson-Dorfman and the Castle Group Bruce oversaw the acquisition, entitlement and development of approximately 4,400 units in San Francisco and the Bay Area. At Castle he led the company’s efforts in the use of modular construction processes
for multifamily projects.
Prior to moving to San Francisco Bruce was a developer in Florida and founded Heritage Development Company in 1996 in partnership with Chicago’s Pritzker family where he oversaw all aspects of the development process for over 5,600 units. Between 1990-1995, he acquired over 6,000 REO and distressed debt units as Co-founder of Bailey Capital Company in partnership with the Whitehall Fund and Apollo Real Estate Advisors.
Previously, Bruce was CFO of Trammell Crow Residential’s Central Florida Division and later Area Partner, responsible for overseeing the development of 8,500 multifamily units across four regional divisions. Mr. Fairty received his undergraduate degree from Drew University and MBA from Rutgers University.
Senior Vice President
As Senior Vice President of Acquisitions, Adrian is responsible for sourcing and analyzing new investment opportunities, including real estate acquisitions and equity co-investments across the US; as well as fostering and growing CEI’s network of equity partners, lenders and brokers.
Adrian’s acquisitions focus includes: (a) land for multifamily development, (b) value-add retail, office and multifamily properties, and (c) GP and LP Equity co-investments with sponsors and operators.
Adrian brings over 15 years of business development experience in roles in New York, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. Prior to joining CEI in 2015, Adrian lived in New York where he grew a successful real estate brokerage business focused on investment sales and retail leasing.
Adrian is originally from Sydney, Australia and completed his MBA at the Macquarie Graduate School of Management in Sydney in 2004. He also has an Advanced Diploma in Telecommunications Engineering from the Lidcombe College of TAFE in Sydney.
Senior Vice President
Min Zavarella is Senior Vice President of Construction for Cypress Equity Investments, and brings over 40 years of experience in various sectors of the construction industry including nuclear, petrochemical, water treatment, commercial, hospitality, entertainment, and residential. In his role at CEI, Min is responsible for the oversite and management of all projects during the preconstruction and construction phase; developing and nurturing contractor relationships; exceeding expectations throughout the construction process; and achievement of ownership financial goals.
Previously, Min served as Vice President and COO of Suffolk Construction’s Los Angeles division, where he managed considerable growth of field and ops support staff as well as project pipeline from 2014 to 2017. In addition to his many years in operations, as a former Director of Preconstruction for Bernards Construction, Min also offers valuable project preplanning expertise.
Min’s career experience includes major projects such as The Hotel and Residences at LA Live, Symantec Corporation R&D in Culver City, Interactive Corp HQ in West Hollywood, Santa Monica Public Service Facility in Santa Monica, Howard Hughes Center, Sunset LabCienega (residence/hotel towers) in West Hollywood, Grand Hope Lofts in Los Angeles, Park Fifth in Los Angeles, 11 x 12 in Los Angeles, Rolling Hills Country Club in Rolling Hills Estates, The Meridian Condominiums in Newport, G12 in Los Angeles, Olin HallbSchool of Engineering at USC, Uytengsu Aquatic Center at USC, as well as projects for Disney and Universal Studios.
Min is a graduate of the College of Steubenville and received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Business Management and his Bachelor of Arts in English. He is also a LEED® Accredited Professional (AP).
Senior Vice President
As Senior Vice President of Development, James Puleo oversees development activities on the east coast for CEI. Previously at BNE Real Estate Group for 13 years, he oversaw the entitlements, design and construction of over 4,000 apartments and helped raise BNE to be one of the premier development groups in the state of NJ.
Prior to BNE he worked in NYC and Miami with Plaza Construction for 10 years. James has his BA in Economics from Colgate University.
Senior Vice President
As Senior Vice President of Development, Greg Goldman oversees development activities on the West Coast. Prior to joining CEI, Greg was a Vice President with Century West Partners, responsible for the development and construction of Multifamily and Mixed Use projects in Southern California with a concentration in Santa Monica. Prior to Century West Partners, Greg spent seven years with Suffolk Construction both in their West Coast and Boston Offices. He is a graduate of Gettysburg College with a BA in Business Administration.
Senior Vice President
Strategic Marketing &
As Senior Vice President of Strategic Marketing & Creative Director, Claudia Ross oversees corporate branding strategy, project positioning, creative direction, integrated marketing, digital design & development and social media for CEI.
Previously, Claudia was Director of Marketing Services at Disney Interactive Studios, the video game division of The Walt Disney Company. She received an MBA from The Anderson Graduate School of Business at UCLA, a BS in Business from The Haas School Of Business at UC Berkeley, and is an accomplished photographer.
As Vice President, Investments, Zach is responsible for joint venture equity and debt origination, cultivating CEI’s capital markets relationships, structuring project capitalizations, and closing transactions. Additionally, Zach supports Cypress’ acquisition and development functions with underwriting new investment opportunities, managing development and construction projects, and transaction due diligence.
Prior to joining the CEI team, Zach worked as an Analyst with BlueGate Partners, a real estate advisory firm in New York City specializing in structured finance and institutional brokerage. Zach graduated from Northeastern University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Business Administration with a concentration in Finance.
As Controller, Josh supervises the CEI’s financial reporting and cash management functions. His responsibilities include construction and property management accounting, construction draws, financial reporting, financial projections and cash management. He also provides support in acquisitions, loan origination and deal closings.
Prior to joining the team, Josh worked as Controller at Fortress Builders, a real estate developer in Atlanta specializing in single family home development projects. Josh graduated from Georgia Southern University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and a Master’s degree in Accounting. Josh has also been a Certified Public Accountant since 2014.
As VP of Acquisitions, Mike is responsible for the sourcing and closing of acquisition opportunities. Mike also manages the due diligence, project management and entitlement process.
Prior to joining CEI, Mike worked as a broker for Land Advisors Organization in Irvine. Mike spent 3 years representing investors, developers and homebuilders in the acquisition of off-market, residential land within the Southern California marketplace. Mike graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning.
As VP of Acquisitions, Tim oversees all new property acquisitions on the East Coast. His responsibilities include sourcing, underwriting, closing of acquisition opportunities and managing the due diligence, project management and entitlement process.
Prior to joining CEI, Tim worked as the Director of Acquisitions for prominent real estate investor R.A. Cohen & Associates in New York. Tim spent 6 years effectually acquiring multifamily assets throughout New York City and executing on their value-add strategy. Tim has his Masters in Real Estate Development (MSRED) from NYU, and graduated from the University of Washington with his Bachelor’s degree.
As Vice President of Construction, Rudy Valeros oversees construction projects on the West Coast. Rudy brings over 20 years of experience in various sectors of the construction industry including commercial, hospitality, retail, entertainment, and residential
Prior to joining CEI, Rudy worked as a Senior Project Manager at Swinerton on several large mixed-use projects in downtown Los Angeles. Rudy’s career experience includes numerous multi-family residential projects throughout California. He has also worked as a construction manager on a variety of entertainment and tenant improvement projects.
He received a BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Southern California and a MS in Construction Management from California State University, Long Beach.
Assistant Vice President
As Assistant VP of Construction, Aleksandra’s role for CEI involves oversite and management of projects during the preconstruction and construction phase; developing and nurturing contractor relationships; exceeding expectations throughout the construction process; and achievement of ownership financial goals.
Previously, Aleksandra served as Project Manager for WE O’Neil and DPR Construction. She has experience in multiple phases and aspects of construction such as: pre construction, value engineering, BIM coordination, estimating, buyout, managing project budget, cost reports, pay applications, change order review, scheduling & pull planning, phased turn over, site logistics, project safety, project controls and documentation, close out, and LEED project certification.
Aleksandra’s career experience includes residential apartment projects such as UDR Los Alisos Apartments in Mission Viejo and Shea Oakbrook Village in Irvine. She has also worked on a variety of advanced technology, higher education, life sciences, and office space projects such as: UCLA Montecito Medical Automated Parking Structure Retrofit in Santa Monica, Shire Lawrence offices in Thousand Oaks, Aerospace tape storage rooms and offices in El Segundo, DTV/ATT data equipment rooms in Los Angeles, HRL Lab tenant improvements in Malibu, and Occidental College Hameetman Career Center in Los Angeles.
Her BS in Structural Engineering from USC Viterbi lends to her attention to detail, quality, and integrity in all aspects of her work.
Assistant Vice President
As Assistant VP of Construction, Will oversees projects on the East Coast, focusing on the greater NY metropolitan area. Prior to joining CEI, Will oversaw the predevelopment and construction of over 200,000 sf of luxury residential condos, 115,000 sf of mixed commercial and retail office space, and the rehabilitation of 400,000 sf of hotel and restaurant space in New York City.
Previous to his work in New York, Will worked at RPM Development and Construction, building high quality, LEED certified affordable housing in Newark, Orange and Franklin townships. Will received his BA from The College of New Jersey in English.
Assistant Vice President
As Assistant Vice President, Miranda focuses on asset management of the CEI portfolio. Her responsibilities include overseeing the operations, launch and lease-up of recently delivered projects, maximizing value and cashflow of stabilized deals, and assisting senior management with the sale, recapitalization, and refinance processes.
Prior to joining CEI, Miranda worked in the New Jersey office of PGIM Real Estate and was responsible for asset managing a collection of multifamily and office properties. Miranda graduated from Rutgers University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics.
As a Construction Manager, Chonghui is responsible for implementing construction projects, working closely with both internal and external parties to ensure construction delivery.
Before joining CEI, Chonghui worked as project manager of Seazen Captial Partners to oversee the construction of multifamily projects in Texas and Nevada. Prior to Seazen Capital Partners, Chonghui served as an assistant project manager with Miller-Valentine Commercial Construction, focusing on industry and commercial type of construction.
Chonghui’s career experience includes multifamily projects such as Citadel Apartments in Houston, TX, and student housing project Echo 1055 in Las Vegas, NV. She has also worked on Fuyao Glass America Renovation and Expansion in Moraine, OH, Enerfab office building renovation in Cincinnati, OH, and St. Elizabeth Neurology Clinic fitout.
Chonghui graduated from the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Management. She is also an accredited LEED AP BD+C.
As a Senior Associate, Tim focuses on underwriting new investment opportunities and analyzing development capitalization strategies. His responsibilities include financial modeling to support acquisitions and the CEI pipeline, assessing capital markets and project financing, and transaction due diligence.
Prior to joining CEI, Tim worked as an Analyst in the New Jersey office of HFF, a real estate advisory firm specializing in structured finance. Tim graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a minor in Urban Real Estate & Development.
As a Legal Associate, Natalie assists in all legal aspects of the company. Her responsibilities include the formation and maintenance of limited liability companies in various states and assisting the CFO in the review and drafting of legal contracts and real estate agreements. Natalie also acts as our real estate closer. She manages the process and ensures the accuracy of closings on our land acquisitions, construction loans, and debt and equity raises.
Before joining CEI, Natalie worked as a legal analyst for a private equity firm focused on developing operating companies for a variety of markets including esports and video gaming, and digital content production. Natalie specialized in contract review, legal agreement drafting, entity management, and sports, production and labor law. Natalie has also worked as a defense litigation paralegal for major medical and pharmaceutical class action lawsuits.
Natalie has been a certified paralegal since 2017. She received her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley.
As an Associate, Aaron focuses on underwriting new investment opportunities and analyzing development capitalization strategies. Prior to joining CEI in 2018, Aaron worked as an Analyst at Silverpeak Real Estate Partners, a New York City-based private equity firm, specializing in real estate acquisitions.
Aaron graduated from New York University with Honors and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and Management.
As an Associate, Shane’s responsibilities include the underwriting of new investment opportunities in markets across the US, contributing to the due diligence and management of active projects, and supporting the marketing of deals to equity and debt investors. Shane specializes in financial modeling, creating detailed project budgets and evaluating capitalization alternatives.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Shane attended Northeastern University in Boston, graduating with honors. Shane holds a BS in Business Administration, concentrating in Finance and Accounting.