The Rooftops Conference

The Rooftops Conference NYC 2015
Friday, April 24, 2015

Registration Now Open!

The Rooftops Conference NYC 2015, to be held on Friday, April 24th, will be our fifth annual symposium for the not-for-profit sector focused on the role of real estate — owned, leased, or hosted physical space — in the operations, financial performance, and achievement of mission by not-for-profit organizations of all sizes and mission types.

Panelists from the not-for-profit sector, the real estate industry, and the professions will explore themes illustrating how not-for-profit executives, staff, and board members can collaborate in addressing real estate and space needs in achieving their organizations’ core objectives. The Conference is a forum for meaningful discussion and also a chance to interact with peers in the social sector and the real estate industry. Whether you are involved in real estate and space decisions every day or once in a while, you’ll hear something new that may validate, challenge, or even change your approach. We hope you will join us!

The Conference will again be held at New York Law School, 185 West Broadway, New York.


Registration is required and open now. Space is limited and early registration is encouraged. Please register online by clicking here. For questions you may call 212.431.2306.

Who Should Attend?

  • Not-for-Profit Executives and Staff ~ Board Members ~ Volunteers ~ Lawyers
  • Real Estate Industry and Social Sector Professionals ~ Donors and Funders
  • Government Officials and Staff


Friday, April 24, 2015  *  8:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.


New York Law School  *  185 W. Broadway, New York, NY 10013
(at the intersection of West Broadway and Leonard)


8:30 a.m. Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m. Welcome and Introductory Remarks

Conference Moderator:

James Hagy, Distinguished Adjunct Professor and Director of The Rooftops Project, New York Law School

9:15 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. The Trades Talk

What can not-for-profit organizations do to enhance the operation of the facilities that they own and occupy? How can they anticipate upcoming maintenance and repair needs, including major upgrades or replacement of building components and systems? What are the merits of preventive versus reactive maintenance? What about those 3 a.m. emergencies? What if you are a tenant? And how can organizations make good selections and promote relationships with service providers across the necessary building trades? Our panel of senior professionals in the trades will share their perspectives on what works and what doesn’t.

Michael Doherty, President, Building Maintenance Service LLC

Mike Kahwaty, Senior Inspector, Bell Environmental Services

Ernie Scerbo, PE, CEA, LEED AP, Associate, Jaros Baum & Bolles

9:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Incorporating Sustainability in Not-for-Profit Spaces

How can not-for-profit organizations incorporate sustainable technologies into new construction and renovation projects? What are the benefits and costs of seeking LEED or other industry designations? How can organizations implement “green” concepts in existing building operation and renovation? How can the trend toward sustainability affect not-for-profits as tenants? What first steps can be taken by smaller organizations and those with resource constraints?

Brad Molotsky, LEED — Green Associate, Executive Vice President & General Counsel, Brandywine Realty Trust

10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. In Site: Occupancy Strategies in a (Relentlessly) Upward Real Estate Market

How can not-for-profits approach both new project site selection and leased space searches in a competitive real estate market where property prices and effective rents are relentlessly on the rise? In this interactive session, two teams of NYC professionals will be given occupancy scenarios posed by two fictional – but realistic – not-for-profit organizations, one in the arts and one in social services. The teams will reveal their suggested approaches to guest moderators representing the mock clients and engage in a dialogue about the paths forward!

Guest Co-Moderators:

Susan Sack, Managing Director, Real Estate, The Robin Hood Foundation

Meg Ventrudo, Executive Director, Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art

Team One (Arts Organization Scenario):

Alan J. Horwitz, AIA, LEED AP BD + C, Director of Architecture Firmwide and Managing Director, New Jersey Office, G3 Architecture

Richard Warshauer, Senior managing Director, Colliers International NYC LLC

Team Two (Social Service Organization Scenario):

Robert Shansky, Of Counsel, Scarola Malone & Zubatov LLP

Stephen Powers, Director of Transactions, Denham Wolf Real Estate Services

11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. A Funding Toolbox for Physical Space Projects

What is the menu of funding alternatives for real estate capital projects for the not-for-profit sector? What considerations are relevant in making a selection? How do institutional funders think about organizations’ infrastructure needs and costs? What resonates with donors? Looking beyond capital campaigns for new buildings and expansions, what about ongoing facilities operations and building repairs and refurbishments?

Guest Moderator:

Michael J. Horvitz, Chairman, Parkland Management Company

Paula Park, Vice President, BankUnited

Kevin Quinn, President, Wye River Group, Incorporated

Ronald F. Ries, CPA, Partner, WeiserMazars LLP

Houman B. Shadab, Professor of Law, Co-Director, Center for Business and Financial Law, New York Law School

12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Luncheon Program: Communicating Through and About Your Space

How can you craft an effective message for funding physical space projects, large or small? In what ways does physical space express your mission, your messages, and your brand? What are the opportunities? Our experienced panel will explore techniques for communicating about your space, and for using your space to communicate.

Thomas Kaufman, Video Producer/Director/Author

Larry Mufson, Principal, The Mufson Partnership, a Nelson Company

Amy Sananman, Founder and Executive Director, Groundswell

1:30 p.m. Reception

Our reception offers a chance, over dessert and beverages, to meet peers and to chat with our speakers, panelists, faculty, and students involved in The Rooftops Project.

More information about this and other Rooftops Project programming can be found by visiting: