The Team

 
  Christopher Bledsoe     Co-Founder

Co-Founder & CEO: CHRISTOPHER BLEDSOE
Chris is Co-founder & CEO of Ollie, leaving behind his finance career in 2011 to focus his full time and energy on his passion for the development of micro-suites. Chris’ prior experience as both an institutional investor and an angel investor in the consumer sector, and more specifically his observations of insight-driven segmentation strategies pursued by branded consumer goods companies, led him to re-imagine how the multi-family housing sector could, and should, be very different if only real estate developers would segment and innovate their product as a consumer category rather than as a commoditized asset class or an investment vehicle. Before making the entrepreneurial leap, Chris was a consumer staples analyst with Chicago-based hedge fund Citadel Investment Group. He joined Citadel in 2009 following six years as a sell-side equity research analyst, including an initial stint as a Junior Analyst covering packaged food stocks for JPMorgan; then as an Associate at Lehman Brothers, Inc., where the team was consistently awarded Wall Street’s top ranking by Institutional Investor (I.I.) magazine and Greenwich Associates; and finally, as Vice President with Senior Analyst coverage responsibility for the Agribusiness sector. As a Senior Analyst with Lehman Brothers and subsequently Barclays, Chris was designated Wall Street’s “Best Up and Comer” in the Food/Agribusiness sector according to the annual investor survey published by I.I. magazine. Likewise, based on tracking by Bloomberg Professional Services, his investment recommendations produced the highest total returns among Wall Street analysts in his sector group, outperforming the S&P 500 index by over 40% in the period measured. Chris’ entrepreneurial roots pre-date Ollie. He co-founded the online education company Essay101.com, LLC, out of his dormroom in June 2000. The company has been profitable and cash flow positive since its inception, and is currently staffed by a fulltime employee base and a network of over 60 editors who collectively service and support a wide range of client partnerships, from well-established industry players like Sylvan Learning Centers to online startups like TestRockercom. Separately, Chris is one of the initial seed investors in the organic baby food manufacturer, Happy Family Brands, which boasts nationwide distribution in most major grocers, including Whole Foods, Target and Wal-Mart, and was acquired by global food giant Groupe Danone in 2013. He also serves as an informal advisor to other food startups, including popsicle maker Ruby’s Naturals as well as egg substitute manufacturer Beyond Eggs. Additionally, Chris helped to incubate Fit For Good, LLC, a style-oriented rewards program providing personal fashion consulting and deep apparel discounts to individuals who experience a transformation in their figure due to the achievement of a meaningful fitness or weight loss goal.

Christopher Bledsoe
Co-Founder & CEO
 Janice Ward

FOUNDING PARTNER: ANDREW BLEDSOE
Andrew is a founding partner of Ollie. In 2011, Andrew left his career after seven years in investment banking to join his brother Chris in their shared goal of proliferating micro-housing units throughout New York City and beyond. After first conceiving of the idea for a microsuite in 2005, the brothers designed a prototype unit which successfully operated for five years in New York’s Financial District. The lessons learned from living in and operating the prototype formed the foundation for the rollout strategy of Ollie’s modern day, fully code compliant microsuite. Before 2011, Andrew served as Managing Director for Oppenheimer Investments where he advised multi-national industry leaders on how to access the capital markets using a proprietary non-recourse structured finance mechanism. While at Oppenheimer, and for a nine month period leading up to the 2008 Summer Olympics, Andrew relocated to Beijing where he was tasked with originating a first-of-its-kind cross border transaction for a public/private joint-venture with a Chinese State Owned Entity. The $241 million offering included the financing of the first phase of construction of an eventual 1.2 million tonne polyvinyl chloride and related facilities plant in the Xinjiang region of the PRC. Prior to joining Oppenheimer Andrew was an Analyst with Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. in the office of Alan D. Schwartz, the final CEO at the time of JPMorgan’s acquisition in 2008. While at Bear Andrew worked under Mr. Schwartz’s Senior Advisor, Jonathan S. Barnett, where he participated in a number of global private placement advisories including the financing of a $925 million offering for a to-be-built $15 billion megacity in the Sultanate of Oman. Andrew holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Finance from the University of Central Florida.

Andrew Bledsoe
Co-Founder & COO
 Jennifer Sharma

PARTNER: JONATHAN SIMON
Jonathan H. Simon is a partner in Ollie and the Founder & CEO of Simon Baron Development LLC. He has been investing in, asset managing and renovating real estate since 1988. He first entered the real estate business with The Donald Zucker Company and then formed the predecessor to Simon Baron in 1990. Mr. Simon began as a general contractor and subsequently commenced the acquisition and renovation of both residential and commercial spaces for his own account. Mr. Simon takes a long term ownership view with respect to the real estate investment. In addition, Mr. Simon believes in creating an alignment of interests and incentive to perform. Mr. Simon currently sits on the Board of Trustees of BRT Realty Trust, which is a New York Stock Exchange listed mortgage REIT (NYSE: BRT). Mr. Simon graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1987 and attended the Real Estate Institute at New York University.

Jonathan Simon
Partner
 Harold Alexander

PARTNER: MATTHEW BARON
Matthew M. Baron is a partner in Ollie and the President of Simon Baron Development LLC. He has substantial experience in the financial valuation and structuring of real estate transactions and as a financial intermediary has financed over $2 billion of real estate transactions across a broad range of property types including multi‐family, office, hospitality, commercial and industrial. In addition, Mr. Baron has also raised capital for traditional lending institutions, as well as for private funds. Mr. Baron graduated with a B.S. in Finance from New York University’s Stern School of Business and an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.

Matthew Baron
Partner
 Wayne Turner

DIRECTOR OF PROJECT DEVELOPMENT: DON (YUKI) TOMITA
Prior to joining Ollie, Don worked for RTKL Associates. He has experience on the design side of the real estate industry, having worked on national and international projects, including healthcare, residential and commercial work. Don holds a Master’s of Architecture and graduated with distinction from Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Architecture from Miami University.

Don Tomita
Director of Project Development
 
 
 Wayne Green

DIRECTOR OF DESIGN: JACQUELINE SCHMIDT
Jacqueline is Director of Design for Ollie. She brings years of experience designing both conventional and compact spaces in both commercial and residential settings. Her interiors have been featured in numerous publications, including Dwell Magazine, Elle Decoration, Readymade, Tiny House Hunting, The Design Sponge at Home book, Page Six Magazine, Coastal Living, Domino, and Casa de Abitare, with one of her spaces being voted Best of NY Interiors by New York Magazine. Her expertise in small space living was also showcased in the number one documentary of 2016, "Minimalism." In addition to her interior work, Jacqueline is an accomplished graphic and product designer. In 2007, she founded the paper goods company, Screech Owl Design, whose products are carried worldwide in over 1000 stores including Anthropologie, ABC Carpet and Home, The MoMa Store and others. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Vogue, New York Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens, and more. Jacqueline is the author and illustrator of two children’s books in “The Patchwork Adventures” (POW!) and two adult coloring books, Dream Dresses and Birds on Bikes, published by the Quercus imprint of Hachette Books. Jacqueline holds a BFA from SUNY Purchase and an MFA from the Pratt Institute where she graduated with distinction. She is also a licensed real estate broker.

Jacqueline Schmidt
Director of Design
 Wayne Liu

DIRECTOR, REAL ESTATE PARTNERSHIPS: ANDY LEVIN
Andrew is Director of Real Estate Partnerships for Ollie, where he is responsible for sourcing and closing strategic partnerships. Prior to joining Ollie, he spent 7 years at Lehman Brothers & Barclays Capital, where he was a Vice President on the institutional equity sales desk, and most recently worked at The Ackman-Ziff Real Estate Group underwriting debt and equity transactions on behalf of developers. He has led fundraising efforts for the Camp Cedar Scholarship fund which provides underprivileged children scholarships to attend camp, and is a mentor with Year Up. Andrew graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Andy Levin
Director of Real Estate Partnerships
 Fred James

CHIEF OF STAFF, COO: LUIS PARDILLO
Luis is the Director of Operations for Ollie. He is primarily responsible for construction project management, resident on-boarding and vendor relationships. Before Ollie, Luis worked in telecom operations with at&t mobility, managing the Real Estate portfolio in the South Central and Northeast United States. Luis received a Bachelor of Science from Universityof Central Florida from the Rosen School of Hospitality Management.

Luis Pardillo
Chief of Staff, COO
 Mark Zhao

CHIEF OF STAFF, CEO: TANIN PAISARNSRISIN
Tanin currently serves as Chief of Staff at Ollie. He joined Ollie as an Analyst in 2016, looking to apply his experience in financial engineering to disrupt and optimize an industry he grew up in -real estate development and construction. As Chief of Staff, Tanin was responsible for the Series A financing round and now focuses on the strategic development and institutional fundraising activities for the rapidly-growing company. Tanin holds a M.S. degree in real estate development from Columbia University and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering with a minor in Economics from Purdue University.

Tanin Paisarnsrisin
Chief of Staff, CEO
 Peter Bastien

DESIGN ASSOCIATE: CATHERINE LEUNG
Prior to joining Ollie, Catherine has worked in home goods and accessories design. She also has experience in high end event design and planning. She is interested in the psychology of design, and the relationships that people create with their objects and environments.
She holds a BS in Industrial Design from New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Catherine Leung
Design Associate
 
 
 Margaret Ward

DIRECTOR OF REAL ESTATE PARTNERSHIPS: ELLEN PARRY
Ellen joined Ollie in July 2016 to lead the expansion strategy for the co-living platform on the West Coast. Ellen’s experience in urban development, specifically on key projects in the Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA) renaissance, confirmed her belief in the future for micro-unit development and coliving in the residential sector. Before joining Ollie, Ellen served as associate development manager for Mack Urban’s DTLA multifamily high-rise development. Prior to her work in project management, Ellen played a key role on the JLL Development Asset Strategy team, a national land and development brokerage group. As a senior analyst, Ellen focused on complex multi-phase redevelopment feasibility, including the $6 billion, 8,000-unit master plan for Treasure and Yerba Buena Islands in San Francisco, California. In 2014, Ellen received a Community Impact Award from the Los Angeles Business Council for her work supporting revitalization of the Los Angeles River and river adjacent neighborhoods. Ellen began her career as a sustainability associate with Krout & Associates, a Southern California strategic planning group, advising on climate adaptation and mitigation strategies for West Coast cities. Her core value system remains rooted in sustainable development, informing her support for the future of coliving. Ellen Parry holds a Master’s of Planning with Deans Merit Scholar distinction from the University of Southern California (USC) and a USC Bachelor’s degree in International Relations.

Ellen Parry
Director of Real Estate Partnerships

COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER: MEGHAN DAVEY
Meghan joined Ollie as the communications manager in July of 2016. Prior to this role, she served as the Digital Marketing Strategist for Eason, Ireland's largest chain of retail bookstores, where she specialized in content creation, SEO, and paid advertising campaigns. Meghan achieved her master's degree in Digital Marketing from University College Dublin in 2014 and holds a bachelor's degree in Applied Psychology from Boston College.

Meghan Davey
Communications Manager

ASSOCIATE: LEO YU
Leo is currently an Associate at Ollie. Trained as an architect, he worked at Los Angeles-based award-winning firm, Lorcan O’Herlihy Architects, as well as an internationally acclaimed architecture office in Rome, Studio Fuksas prior to joining the team. His past professional experience involved working on residential complexes, mixed-use developments and cultural institutions from schematic design to construction phases. Leo received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from University of Southern California with high honors; and a Master of Science in Real Estate Development from Columbia University, where he was awarded the distinctive Glascock & Van Beuren Graduate Fellowship and served as a Research Fellow at the Center for Urban Real Estate at Columbia University during school.

Leo Yu
Associate
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DIRECTOR OF PEOPLE & CULTURE: SADAF CHOUDHRY

Sadaf Choudhry
Director of People & Culture
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ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR, HOSPITALITY: KELLEY BAINE
Kelley Baine is the Operations Manager at Ollie. She works with the corporate team and local teams to open new properties and keep existing properties operating efficiently. Kelley previously worked at Handy Technologies, the household services platform, in a variety of roles prior to and during the company's massive growth stage. Her most recent and relevant work was facilitating the construction build-out and design of the new Handy office. Kelley holds a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Sciences from Denison University.

Kelley Baine
Associate Director, Hospitality
 
 
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REGIONAL PROPERTY CONTROLLER: PAUL SALVESEN
Paul is the Regional Property Controller at Ollie, where he is responsible for the day to day financial operations across the real estate portfolio. With more than 10 years of experience in real estate management, Paul has served a vast array of companies and clients, ranging from apartment developers and national banks to large corporations. Paul is a graduate of Monmouth University where he remains an active supporter of the Leon Hess Business School's Kislak Real Estate Institute.

Paul Salvesen
Regional Property Controller
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DIRECTOR OF OLLIE SOCIAL: ELENI GILMAN-HARTS
Eleni serves as the director of Ollie Social. Prior to this role, she was the head of operations for a membership-based hospitality and events startup, where she was primarily responsible for business and marketing operations. Eleni holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Syracuse University.

Eleni Gilman-Harts
Director of Ollie Social

EVENTS MANAGER: RYAN MURPHY
Ryan is the event manager for Ollie Social, bringing memorable experiences to the Ollie community and beyond. Ryan comes from a theater background having majored in Theater Studies at Duke University and working at Serino Coyne, one of NYC's top Broadway advertising agencies, in both account management and events.

Ryan Murphy
Event Manager
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ASSOCIATE: JOHN HOHOS
John currently holds the position of Associate at Ollie. Prior to joining the company, John worked for JPMorgan Chase in the commercial term lending group, having participated in financing over $500 Million in multifamily and mixed use properties in the New York City area. While in law school, John worked with the US Court of International Trade and in the New York City Civil Court – Landlord Tenant Division. Prior to JPMorgan, John worked for Pinnacle Derivatives in energy commodities trading and was an Analyst for MF Global on their Sales & Trading desk.
John received his Bachelor of Science in Economics from St. John’s University and his Juris Doctor from New York Law School.

John Hohos
Associate
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DIRECTOR OF BRAND EXPERIENCE: JEFFREY ZUROFSKY
Jeffrey brings 15+ years of experience in both executive and advisory capacities to his role as Ollie's Director of Brand Experience. As co-founder and former CEO of ‘wichcraft, he oversaw the expansion of the franchise to fifteen stores, including locations in San Francisco and Las Vegas and over four-hundred team members. Jeffrey serves on the boards of various organizations and companies, including GrowNYC, the Tufts’ Nutrition Council and Venture for America. He received his bachelor's degree from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Jeffrey Zurofsky
Director of Brand Experience
 
 
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ASSOCIATE: KATIE KNIPFING
Katie is trained as an architect by background. Prior to joining Ollie, Katie was employed at Equinox where she worked alongside the real estate team to determining deal feasibility as it related to architecture and design. Her past professional experience involves both international and domestic projects in commercial, residential and hospitality architecture and planning. Katie holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture degree from Miami University.

Katie Knipfing
Associate

ANALYST: ALYSSA COUGHLIN
Alyssa is an Acquisitions Analyst for Ollie and is responsible for the underwriting of potential Ollie developments. Alyssa has over 6 years of real estate experience and previously held the role of Director of Real Estate Valuation at NewTower Trust Company, a subsidiary of Bentall Kennedy. In her role she oversaw the valuation and reporting for over 90 commercial real estate assets valued at approximately $1.3B. She also brings commercial real estate debt experience to the team having spent over 2 years on the Mortgage Asset Management team at Sun Life Financial. Alyssa received a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Connecticut with a major in Finance and concentration in Real Estate.

Alyssa Coughlin
Analyst
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DIRECTOR OF PROPERTY OPERATIONS: DELIGHT MERRILL
Delight brings over fifteen years of property management experience to the Ollie team. She began her career in H.O.A. management before moving into the student housing niche market, where she held roles in leasing, marketing, accounting, general and startup management, regional leasing and marketing, and training departments. Her background spans purpose-built to adaptive reuse and retail, scattered-site to mid-rise, third party to owner managed assets in both site level and regional platform roles. Her extensive sales and customer service experience has been utilized in 30+ diverse real estate markets. Delight's passions in property management have always been on the development of high-functioning, results-oriented teams and in the keen, savvy operation of assets to maximize growth and revenue.

Delight Merrill
Director of Property Operations