Judges

The Judging Panel has been selected to achieve a diversity of industry specialization within the commercial real estate industry and includes amongst the most accomplished leaders in Orange County. In addition, two Members of the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW-OC) Board are also represented on the panel.


Al Warot
Associate Vice President, Michael Baker International

Mr. Warot is Associate Vice President with Michael Baker International, an engineering and planning consulting firm founded in 1940 with 6,000 employees working out of 90 offices across the United States and elsewhere, including a regional headquarters in Santa Ana. He previously served as Director of Planning for Anaheim-based Willdan Engineering. Mr. Warot has 46 years’ experience as an urban and environmental planner assisting cities and counties across California. He has served as contract planning director and in other senior advisory capacities for numerous Southern California cities and managed the delivery of planning services to various Orange County jurisdictions including the Cities of Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Dana Point, Fountain Valley, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach, Irvine, Laguna Woods, La Habra, Lake Forest, La Palma, Los Alamitos, Orange, San Juan Capistrano, Seal Beach, Stanton, Westminster, and the County of Orange. Mr. Warot has spoken at local, state, and national planning conferences and has received a Distinguished Leadership Award from the American Planning Association.

Anna Pehoushek
Assistant Community Development Director, City of Orange

Anna Pehoushek, AICP is the Assistant Community Development Director for the City of Orange, overseeing internal coordination of the Planning, Building, and Code Compliance divisions of the Community Development Department.  She regularly works with property owners and developers to provide early input on project and business concepts to ensure that development occurs in a manner that is consistent with the City’s long-term land use and quality of life goals for the community.   Plan implementation, the pursuit of quality development, and internal coordination among City departments are also central to her role with the City.

Anna joined the City of Orange Community Development department in 2000.  Prior to becoming the Assistant Community Development Director in 2015, she served as Principal Planner for the City, managing its Comprehensive and Advance Planning program for over 10 years.  She has been responsible for a wide array of long-range planning projects at the City, with key projects in recent years including the City’s award winning 2010 General Plan and 2012 Santa Fe Depot Specific Plan Update.  Other work has involved Code Amendments aimed at streamlining the development review process at the City, which received recognition in 2015 from the Orange County Business Council.  In her capacity as Assistant Community Development Director, Anna has continued to focus her efforts on maintaining the City’s focus on simplifying and streamlining the entitlement process for the development community, achieving high quality projects, and pursuing the City’s vision for re-positioning key areas of the City for property reinvestment and establishment of new land use dynamics that better serve the community into the future.

Over her 30-year career, Anna has worked in the public and private sectors in Southern and Northern California.  Anna holds a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Occidental College, and Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Cornell University.  She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners.

Celeste Brady
Attorney, Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth

Celeste Stahl Brady is a shareholder and member of the Public Law Department of Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth. Stradling is a full-service law firm of 130+ attorneys with its main office in Newport Beach and other offices in San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Reno, Denver and Seattle.  Celeste Brady is an outstanding woman in commercial real estate throughout her career.   She has blazed the trails for many women and serves as a role model for many women in real estate.

Mrs. Brady’s entire legal career has been devoted to public law. Mrs. Brady graduated in 1980 from the University of San Diego, School of Law after receiving her bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from San Diego State University with highest honors Phi Kappa Phi.  Celeste received excellent municipal law training, in advisory, litigation and transactional practice areas, in-house with the cities of San Diego and Costa Mesa. She joined Stradling in 1986 and has been a shareholder for more than 25 years. Celeste is a member of the League of California Cities, including appointments to the League Housing, Community and Economic Development Policy Committee, the Post-Redevelopment Working Group, and recently with the Brown Act Standing Committee; and, she was a member of the former California Redevelopment Association and CalED post-dissolution technical committees

Celeste Brady is now counsel to successor agencies and continues to represent cities, housing authorities, school districts, other public agencies and private development entities in various types of real estate public/private partnerships. Some of her clients include the cities, successor agencies, and housing authorities of: Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Garden Grove, Fountain Valley, Mission Viejo, Tustin, South Gate and Chula Vista.  Mrs. Brady also has served as special counsel to for-profit and non-profit development entities including: Skid Row Housing Trust, Miracle Mile Properties, Century Quality Management, Province Group, Shea Properties, LAACO, Beachfront Construction and KEBE Corp. for affordable housing and economic development matters

Jeff Moore
Sr. Managing Director, CBRE, Inc.

Jeff Moore is a 29-year veteran of CBRE with leadership responsibilities for both the Orange County, California region, as well as for Retail Services for all Southern California offices.

As a Senior Managing Director for the Orange County Region, a role he assumed in 2007, Jeff is responsible overseeing operations, business development and client relations for all lines of business in the Newport Beach and Orange Central offices, which total over 360 people including 110 sales and leasing professionals in addition to the Property Management, Project Management, Valuation & Appraisal and Debt & Structured Finance groups.

Under Jeff’s leadership, CBRE has maintained its long-time standing as the market leader in Orange County year after year. In 2015, the Orange County Region completed more than $6.6 billion in sale and lease transaction value, and is the leading commercial real estate services firm in Orange County in terms of revenue and marketshare.

In September 2009, Jeff, who spent much of his commercial real estate career building one of the top producing retail teams in the country, also added responsibility for Retail Services for all Southern California offices. In this role, he is responsible for deploying CBRE’s platform of services to provide overall strategy and consultative real estate solutions for the firm’s retail clients. He also works closely with the business line leaders of Asset Services, Brokerage, Investment Properties/Capital Markets and Valuation & Appraisal to create client specific, integrated retail teams.

Jeff’s initial transition from brokerage to management came in 2005 when he took on the role of Managing Director for the Anaheim office. The next year, he was promoted to Senior Managing Director for the Inland Empire Region, considered one of the fastest growing markets in the country at the time. During his leadership tenure, he successfully led the Inland Empire Region to new heights, growing the business by 20-25 percent annually.

As a retail broker, Jeff consistently ranked among the Company’s best performing retail professionals nationally, specializing in tenant representation and shopping center development. He is a graduate of CBRE’s first Emerging Leaders Program, which identifies and develops future market and line of business leadership in the United States.

Jinger Tapia
Principal, Design, Ware Malcomb

Jinger Tapia is Principal, Design for Ware Malcomb, a leading design firm providing planning, architecture, interior design, civil engineering and branding services for clients around the world. Established in 1972, the firm has 22 offices located across the United States, Canada, Mexico and Panama.

A California Licensed Architect, Jinger has over 20 years of architecture and design experience. She started her career with Ware Malcomb in 1996 as a Designer in the firm’s corporate Irvine office. After several years with Ware Malcomb, she left briefly, re-joining the firm in 2002 as Senior Designer. Jinger demonstrates exceptional design ability, strong leadership and outstanding client management skills. In 2006, she was promoted to Director, Design where she is responsible for training, management, and operations for the Design Studio. As Principal, Design Jinger is responsible for leading and managing Ware Malcomb’s Design Studio, client communication, and overall firm design direction. Jinger’s vision helps to define the firm’s design standards of high quality and strong character. She has been instrumental in building and transforming Ware Malcomb’s Design Group into an international studio.

Jinger is one of five women on Ware Malcomb’s senior leadership team. She is an extremely talented designer and is commended by her team for her ability to effectively bring resolution to any sort of design challenge. She is committed to ensuring her client’s satisfaction and project’s success. Jinger has led the design effort for many significant projects throughout her career.

Jinger received her Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Arizona. She was selected by Real Estate Forum Magazine as one of “Tomorrow’s Newsmakers” in their July 2007 issue, “Real Estate: The Next Generation.” Jinger was also among 35 rising stars profiled in the publication – selected from a group of over 225 nominees. Jinger participates in commercial real estate industry events including serving as a panelist for CREW Orange County’s “Anatomy of a Deal” event, and speaking at the national Tilt Up Concrete Association Convention about Design Trends in Tilt-up Construction.

Jinger volunteers at various industry organizations, currently serving as an active member of ULI (Urban Land Institute) with a previous leadership role in the Places of Commerce Initiative Council. Jinger has recently been selected to serve as a judge for the Tilt Up Concrete Association’s Annual TCA Achievement Awards from 2017-2020.

Maria Kutscher
Sr. Vice President, Institutional and Private Client Advisor

Maria Kutscher is a Senior Vice President, Institutional and Private Client Advisor with U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management. She represents U.S. Trust’s suite of philanthropic consulting and advisory services to nonprofit organizations, and comprehensive wealth management solutions to high net worth individuals, families and business owners.

Philanthropic services include endowment investment management plus ongoing strategic consulting in areas such as mission advancement, donor development, governance and leadership development. Maria also serves a select group of high net worth and business clients who require sophisticated analysis, tailored strategy, and intensive service. She facilitates sound decision making in multiple areas, including wealth structuring, trust and estate planning, investment management, philanthropy, and custom credit/lending.

Maria draws on more than 27 years of financial experience with U.S. Trust and associated firms. Prior to U.S. Trust, Maria served as a Regional Director at TIAA, Chief Investment Officer at Pension Advisors, Institutional Consultant at American Century, and Senior Relationship Manager at INVESCO. She started her career at PaineWebber as a Wealth Management Advisor.

Maria received an M.B.A. from St. Mary’s College and a B.S. in Finance from CSU Long Beach. She is a Chartered Financial Analyst® charterholder, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional, and holds the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor designation. A native of Southern California, Maria is active in the community, serving on the boards of the Boys & Girls Club, and Women Investing in Security and Education (WISE). She is a member of the Chapman University Endowment Council, the Financial Planning Association, NAWBO and CalCPA. Maria lives in Huntington Beach, California with her husband and their two sons.

Peter Weitzner
Editor, OCBJ

Pete Weitzner ran the broadcast-journalism program at Chapman University since 1997. He received a Master’s degree from Northwestern University in 1987, and is a thirty-year veteran of broadcast journalism.

In June 2017, Pete became the fourth editor in the history of the highly acclaimed Orange County Business Journal. He continues to teach as an adjunct at Chapman, this fall the popular “Journalism in the 21st Century” class.

In his news career Pete has interviewed three U.S. Presidents, and has reported, anchored and hosted the news from Yuma, Arizona to Los Angeles, California. Pete is a former CPA, and specializes in covering business and politics. He has anchored the business news on PBS SoCal, hosted local election coverage, and serves as a media, business and political analyst for KTTV-Fox 11.

Steve Jones
President, Olympia Capital Corporation & Mayor, City of Garden Grove

Steve Jones is the elected Mayor and previously served as a Councilmember for the City of Garden Grove since 2007. He spent eight years prior on the Planning Commission, with three terms as Chair.  He studied abroad at Kings College, Cambridge University, England and then went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree from USC in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Marketing.  He later returned to USC and earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree with a dual emphasis in Finance and Real Estate Development, graduating with a 3.9 GPA and receiving honors for high scholastic achievement. Steve is President of Olympia Capital Corporation, specializing in real estate investment, development, asset management, and equity capital syndication. In addition to being a founding Board Member and President of the Association of California Cities, Steve also serves on the Boards of Directors for the Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA), the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD), as Past President of the Garden Grove Community Foundation (GGCF), and is currently President of the Town & Country Estates POA and Treasurer of the Monterey Villas HOA. Steve has been married to his wife, Manivone, for twelve years and has two boys, named Jaden and Ashton, ages eleven and nine, respectively.

Victor Van Zandt
VP of Planning and Construction, Irvine Campus Housing Authority

Victor Van Zandt is the Vice President of Planning and Construction at Irvine Campus Housing Authority. For the past 18 years, he has directed the development of University Hills, the largest workforce housing planned community in the nation. University Hills currently consists of 1066 for-sale homes and 360 rental units on 300 acres located on the campus of University of California, Irvine. An additional 56 units are under construction and 230 are in various stages of planning.

Victor received a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) from the University of California, Irvine in 1999. As a ULI member, he has served on the Housing, Sustainable Communities, and Public Spaces Initiative Councils at the Orange County/Inland Empire district council. He is a founding member of the Council of Academic Workforce Housing, founded in 2006, as well as President of the UC Irvine MURP Alumni Council. In his free time, Victor enjoys speaking at local university planning classes, mentoring students, mountain biking, travelling to National Parks, and spending time with his wife, a professor of teaching at UC Riverside.