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Stephen Riffee is retiring as EVP and CFO from Elme Communities, to be replaced by Steven Freishtat as CFO.

Nation’s First REIT Reveals Succession Plan, Unveils New Company Name

Washington, DC-based Elme Communities (formerly Washington Real Estate Investment Trust or WashREIT) has announced the planned retirement of Stephen Riffee, EVP and CFO, at the end of February 2023.

Steven Freishtat, currently VP, finance, is expected to succeed Riffee as CFO. Drew Hammond, currently VP, chief accounting officer and treasurer, is expected to be promoted to SVP, chief accounting officer. Kelly O’Shields, currently director, real estate accounting is expected to be promoted to VP, finance.

Freishtat has been with Elme Communities since 2015 and brings extensive knowledge of capital markets, strategic transactions, capital allocation, public company operations and financial planning. His experience includes financial planning and analysis for Marriott and as a banker with CapitalSource.

The name change to Elme Communities (short for “elevating home”) reflects the organization’s transformation into strategy-led, business-to-consumer, value-driven multifamily company and subsequent geographic expansion into Sunbelt markets. The company was established in 1960 as the first-ever REIT.

Photo, l-r: Riffee, Freishtat

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About Lisa McDuffie

Lisa McDuffie arrives at ConnectCRE via REALTOR® world, where she served for nearly two decades as communications director for one of the nation’s largest REALTOR® organizations. She supported two membership-elected presidents who were commercial real estate practitioners, and managed the communications initiatives of the organization’s commercial special interest group. When not following the latest commercial real estate news, Lisa is zeroed in on her charismatic off-the-track thoroughbred as she makes the transition from an utterly failed racehorse to a lovely show hunter.

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