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California  + Bay Area  + Finance  | 

California People & Company News for Dec. 1, 2023

  • Global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP expanded its real estate practice in California with the addition of shareholder Vivek K. Chavan, who returns to the firm after four years at DLA Piper. Chavan works on complex acquisitions, joint ventures, financings and other real estate related transactions, and is based in the firm’s Silicon Valley and San Francisco offices.  
  • Walnut Creek-based Mechanics Bank has hired 10 additional wealth management professionals from First Republic Bank, now part of JPMorgan Chase & Co. They include Hamilton Kipp, director of real estate and unique assets, and Tracy Yeakle, real estate asset manager as well as chair of CREW San Francisco’s membership committee. Both are based in San Francisco. The other new hires are based in San Francisco, Walnut Creek and Palo Alto.  
  • Chika Sunquist has been appointed Commissioner at the California Department of Real Estate, succeeding longtime Commissioner Doug McCauley, who will retire at year’s end. Sunquist has been Assistant Commissioner of Enforcement at the Department of Real Estate since 2020 and has served in several roles there since 2006, including Supervising Special Investigator, Special Investigator, Senior Deputy Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner.  
  • Build Group, a Bay Area-based general contractor, has appointed Tony Rango to its board of directors. Based in Los Angeles, Rango brings a wealth of industry experience and insights to the team, underlining his longstanding connection with the company’s founders. 
  • General contractor McCarthy Building Companies promoted Naomi Whitesel to VP of preconstruction. During her time at McCarthy, she has developed multiple design phase processes and played a significant role in the project team structure. In her new role, Whitesel will oversee the preconstruction team in the Roseville Business Unit. 
  • Premier Workspaces, a provider of flexible office space solutions, has expanded its presence at the 2121 Avenue of the Stars (formerly known as Fox Plaza) office space in Century City. At the Irvine Company’s office tower, which served as Nakatomi Plaza for the 1988 movie Die Hard, Premier Workspaces will add an additional 32 turnkey offices for a total of 86 to complete its full-floor space. 
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About Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny serves as Senior Content Director for Connect Commercial Real Estate, a role to which he brings 16-plus years’ experience covering the commercial real estate industry and 30-plus years in business-to-business journalism. In this capacity, he oversees daily operations while also reporting on both local/regional markets and national trends, covering individual transactions across all property types, as well as delving into broader subject matter. He produces 7-10 daily news stories per day and works with the Connect team and clients to develop longer-form content, ranging from Q&As to thought-leadership pieces. Prior to joining Connect, Paul was Managing Editor for both Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com at American Lawyer Media, where he oversaw operations at both publications while also producing daily news and feature-length articles. His tenure in B2B publishing stretches back into the print era, and he has served as Editor in Chief on four national trade publications. Since 1999, Paul has volunteered as the newsletter editor of passenger rail advocacy groups (one national, one local).

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