Maria Stamolis, Senior Managing Director and Head of Asset Management, Canyon Capital Realty Advisors
Maria Stamolis runs asset management for all Canyon real estate funds and separate accounts, and is also fund executive for the $200M Canyon Catalyst Fund--Canyon's JV with CalPERS, facilitating $400M in investment. She grew up in NYC's Bensonhurst neighborhood, went to Fordham and initially wanted to be a lawyer. To help pay for grad school, she worked in the admissions office at Fordham’s Graduate School of Business and was introduced to a developer who got her started as a project manager. But just 10 months later in 1987, the market crashed. It presented Maria with the opportunity to do her first project and loan restructure. She found out that she was good at problem-solving and creating new structures for troubled transactions, and used this experience to transition into her next job: workout specialist for the real estate group at Mutual Benefit Life. The die-hard New Yorker was offered the position to manage MBL's West Coast portfolio, and she's been in SoCal ever since. Maria, who was the first child in her family to go to college, received inspiration from her dad, who worked for the Post Office and was a constant support. Maria lives in Rancho Palos Verdes with husband Michael and sons Nick and Theo, 12 and 14. At Canyon, she enjoys melding the EQ (emotional quotient) and the IQ to ensure they're meeting investor goals. However, if she weren't doing this, she would have chosen a career as a professional dancer.