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15 Things You Need to Know This Morning

15 Things You Need to Know This Morning
What You Don't Know About David Kessler

Photo: Taken in BVI this summer. 
Title: Partner, CohnReznick.
Job: Leads commercial real estate practice. Joined in 1985 when firm had two offices. Works with private equity funds, developers, institutional investors, asset managers, and lenders, providing audit tax and financial advisory services. Served on executive board 4 years and co-managing partner of Bethesda office for 7.
Company: Launched in 1977, CPA firm is 10th largest in US with 26 offices, over 2,500 employees, 280 partners, and over $500m in revenue. Bethesda office has 400 employees and firm’s real estate practice is 30% of overall business. 
Typical day: Works on client assignments, speaks at industry conferences, and sits on committees with industry organizations, such as ULI. Travels weekly to New York, Florida, Boston, Houston, and LA.
Memorable project: Advised public company on sale of 107 multi-family properties – worked with exec team and investment bank to create structure that was ultimately used. Also worked on conversion of Boston Jail to a hotel.
Current project: Working with several first-time private equity funds, launched by investment professionals who left larger shops and are setting up fund management businesses.  
Why CRE career: Purely an accident. Had no idea firm specialized in real estate. 
Grew up: Adelphi, Md.
Current home: Kentlands, Gaithersburg. “It’s almost like 14 and U but not quite – that would be my second choice.”
School: University of Maryland.
First job: Dishwasher at Bob’s Big Boy.
Greatest fear: Missing a deadline.
Daily habit: Run or bike ride. Can’t do it everyday but usual bike ride is 25-30 miles and typical run is 3-4 miles.
Talent most wanted: To sing and play guitar at the same time. “Love my Gibson Hummingbird – best gift I ever got.”
Favorite app: Waze.
Favorite movie: High Fidelity (2000).
Favorite restaurant: L’Arutsi (NYC) and Food Wine Company (Bethesda).
Favorite book: Other People’s Money by Charles V. Bagli.
Favorite vacation spot: Rome, BVI, and family condo in Ocean City, Md.
Guilty pleasure: Massage therapy.
Bucket list: Travel through Italy, Spain, and France.
Family facts: Married to Kim; two active teenagers, Nathan and Robby; two dogs, Napoleon and Kip; and three birds, Vakita and Fahita and their child, Ovee.
Hobbies: Beach and cycling. Bike on quiet side roads in Potomac and Poolesville. 
Startling fact: Met wife on 600-mile bike ride in upstate NY, while on 200-person tour. “She was the first person I saw and I asked her out on the last day of the ride.”


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