"Our mission, what we need to keep at the heart of everything, is an unwavering and uncompromising focus on customer service." - James Asher, President of Weston Inc.
The Weston Team
Edward P. AsherPresident of Business Development
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Competitive Spirit: A former hockey player, cycler and triathlete, he also raised horses. Today for recreation, he enjoys a round of golf in the summer and curling in the winter. Ed admits to being a fanatical Cleveland sports' fan, following the Browns, Indians and Cavaliers. He is also a fantasy baseball enthusiast.
What you Might not Know About Him: He holds dual citizenship with the U.S. and Lebanon.
Passions: He has a love for learning and reading non-fiction, especially Malcolm Gladwell and Michael Lewis. The owner of a seven-acre horse property, Ed enjoys the outdoors.
His Role at Weston: Ed has identified attractive acquisition and development opportunities to expand Weston's footprint. He has worked on multiple complex debt and financing transactions including over $200 million of Federal and State Government loans, and conventional bank, insurance company and conduit loans and Port Authority Bond financings. He has also raised over $50 million from various equity sources including Federal and State Historic Tax Credits and private and institutional investors.
A Cleveland native, he resides in Russell, Ohio with his wife, Becky and their three children.
James AsherChief Executive Officer, Weston Inc.
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
He's a Collector: Ask about his collection of over 200 bobble heads and concert posters.
He's Talking Sports: Jamey has climbed Mt. Rainier and mountains in New Zealand, walked the Appalachian Trail, enjoys a round of golf and is a self-proclaimed baseball enthusiast.
What you Might Not Know About Him: He's proud of his extensive knowledge of baseball stats.
His Role at Weston: Tasked with positioning the company for the future, James focuses on the company's overall revenue and profit performance and oversees Weston's 8-state footprint of over 11 million feet of industrial and retail space and 550+ tenants. He developed the company's current strategic focus of 50/90/BLT (50 million square feet, 90 percent occupied and Best Landlord in Town).
A Cleveland native, James, his wife, Wendy and their two young children, live in Bainbridge, Ohio.
TJ AsherPresident, Weston Acquisitions/Development Group
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Passions: TJ loves everything about the great outdoors from camping and fishing to snow skiing. A boat owner and avid water-skier, he enjoys spending time on the 360-acre family property in northeast Cleveland.
His Role at Weston: Today, as President of Weston Acquisitions/Development Group he is instrumental in securing financing and finalizing each project through to its closing.
Recognizing downtown Cleveland's potential for residential development, TJ is leading Weston's efforts in the redevelopment of the historic Standard Building transforming the architectural gem into housing and upscale retail for the growing market. He is also changing Cleveland's footprint by developing and transforming two city blocks into a brand new mixed-use neighborhood.
A Cleveland native, he and his wife and three children live in Gates Mills.
Suzanne Asher BroadbentDealmaker
Hometown: Cleveland, Ohio
Passions: A lover of country music, Suzanne knows her way around the kitchen creating outstanding Lebanese delicacies.
Activity: She enjoys keeping fit by exercising, playing tennis and eating healthy. She is an avid reader of all genres, including fiction, non-fiction, and self-improvement. She also travels frequently to visit her out of state children.
What you Might not Know About Her: Suzanne holds dual citizenship with the U.S and Lebanon.
Her Role at Weston: Suzanne is responsible for both the national leasing and marketing of Weston's portfolio. She manages leasing department personnel, handles new lease negotiations and renewals, markets properties, increases revenues and coordinates activities with brokers while developing relationships with customers, brokers, tenants, vendors and others.
A graduate of Ursuline College, Suzanne is a Cleveland native. She and her husband, Dan have three children and live in Bainbridge, Ohio.
Brian CavesUtilities Administrator
Hometown: Bedford Heights, Ohio
He's Got a Sense of Humor: A movie/tv pop culture fanatic, Brian has a ‘very' extensive GI Joe collection.
What you Might not Know About Him: He played baseball and soccer and wrestled in the past. He was named Soccer America Magazine's Player of the Month in October, 1996.
Brian's architecture background contributes to his success working on space planning and design and project management. He serves as the company's Roof Program Manager and Utilities Administrator in addition to being its Asbestos Program Manager with an Ohio license as an Asbestos Hazard Evaluation Specialist.
A graduate of Kent State University, Brian is a 12-year veteran employee at Weston. He is certified as both a BOMA Real Property Administrator and a Facilities Management Administrator.
Brian, his wife Amanda and two children live in Austintown.
Paul DowneyDirector of Finance/Treasurer
Hometown: Dublin, Ireland
He Loves Sports: A native of Ireland, Paul played hurling at the highest level for a number of years. In the past, he sailed competitively and played representative field hockey and squash. More recently, his activities have included golfing and cycling. Paul is also an avid reader and book collector, with a particular interest in political history (1930-2000).
What you Might not Know About Him: He and his wife, Aisling, have sailed throughout the Greek Islands and the spectacular and challenging southern coast of Ireland.
His Role at Weston: With a background in commercial banking and 15 years providing crisis/turnaround management consulting services to borrowers and lenders, Paul Downey brings a wealth of expertise to Weston.
His primary responsibility is the placement and internal oversight of debt, equity and risk management. Paul is involved with acquisitions, the organization and execution of deal structure and the development of corporate strategy, portfolio and balance sheet management.
Paul is married with three daughters.
Nadine EzzieGeneral Counsel
Hometown: Canton, Ohio
She's bilingual: Nadine speaks Arabic.
She loves to travel: She's visited Paris, Italy and Lebanon and is looking forward to expanding her portfolio.
What you Might not Know About Her: She's got a domestic side that loves cooking, decorating and entertaining.
Her Role at Weston: As General Counsel, Nadine oversees all of Weston's legal functions including but not limited to drafting and negotiating leases for all commercial and industrial tenants as well as overseeing the property acquisition process from drafting and negotiating real estate purchase agreements to negotiation of financing agreements and managing related due diligence and the post-close process.
In addition to advising Weston's corporate team on various legal issues, she also assists property management with the interpretation of leases and eviction proceedings.
Nadine lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio but loves all of Cleveland.
Ted HicksConstruction Project Manager
Hometown: St. Marys, West Virginia
Passions: An avid gardener, Ted used to run a 36-bed community garden, donating much of the produce to a community church. He enjoys cooking and cans a good deal of the produce he grows in his garden. He has developed a passion for exercise the last few years and continues to try and find new ways to keep in shape.
What you Might not Know About Him: He was in Boy Scouts in his youth and has been an Eagle Scout since he was 17 years old.
When it comes to tenant improvements, coordinating General Contractors, facility management, construction project management, troubleshooting building issues or ensuring safety, Ted is the go-to person.
Ted, his wife and three children live in Lorain.
Jeff KennedyDirector of Transactions
Hometown: Mantua, Ohio
Passion: With strong ties to the community, Jeff is an ardent member of the Kiwanis Club of Independence. He assists the volunteer organization in their diverse calendar of events and fundraisers specifically designed to improve the lives and opportunities of children and their families.
What you might not know about him: Jeff is a certified PADI Open Water Diver, and enjoys scuba diving with his wife throughout the Caribbean Sea.
His Role at Weston: Jeff's role at Weston includes the marketing, showing and leasing of Weston's expanding portfolio. He accomplishes this by developing strong relationships with Weston's existing tenants, economic development directors and other community leaders, and the brokerage community.
Jeff, his wife, and two children live in Independence.
Rob NamyChief Operating Officer
Hometown: Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Activities: As a baseball enthusiast he played the game for years and now coaches. He has competed in many triathlons and today stays in shape by boxing (he is the Secretary of the USA Boxing Association) and is a CrossFit junkie.
Passion: A world traveler, he's visited Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Jamaica, the Bahamas, Mexico, Greece, Turkey and England.
What you Might not Know About Him: Watch for him riding down the highways and byways on his Harley or cruising the blue waters of Lake Erie on his boat.
His Role at Weston: As Chief Operating Office Rob is responsible for driving the company to achieve the most efficient and optimal net operating results on the entire Weston portfolio. Specific functions include collaborating with the management team to develop and implement plans for the operational infrastructure of systems, processes, and personnel designed to accommodate the rapid growth objectives of Weston. Rob’s ability to motivate and lead a high performance team, attract, recruit and retain required members of an executive team are the cornerstone of fostering a success-oriented and accountable environment within the company.
Rob, his wife Julie, and three children live in Cleveland Heights.
Kathy PrestonRegional Asset Manager, Louisville
She Loves Animals: In addition to having a houseful of pets, Kathy is involved with animal rescue, finding good homes for thousands.
What you Might not Know About Her: She's a grandmother and admits to be a "good one", at that! Part of her calling? Cooking family breakfast every Sunday.
Her Role at Weston: Kathy leases and manages Weston's two million square foot industrial flex portfolio in Louisville, Kentucky.
She is married with one daughter and two grandchildren. She and her husband Billy make their home in Louisville.
Cathy SchulzProperty Manager
Hometown: Winter Park, FL though she moved to Jackson, MS when she was young.
Activity: Cathy runs and is currently on two summer U.S. Tennis Association leagues. She also plays singles.
Hum Along with Her: A huge fan of old school RAP, Cathy also loves ‘80's music.
What you Might not Know About Her: She collects flamingo items.
Her Role at Weston: As the manager of approximately 3.3 million square feet of industrial properties on Cleveland's west side and downtown, Cathy prepares and monitors operating budgets and expenses, oversees and monitors property repairs, maintenance and renovations and is the point person for tenant relations.
She is also in charge of capital projects for Weston.
Cathy, her husband Dave and two children live in Westlake.
Allen ShemaDirector of Property Operations
Hometown: Avon Lake, Ohio
Passion: He loves all kinds of music from classical to heavy metal.
What you Might not Know About Him: Allen has been bowling since he was five. He boasts one 300-game score as well as two 800 series. He's also bowled two 299's in the same evening.
His Role at Weston: As manager of the Operations Department, Allen is in charge of maintenance and customer service as well as project and construction management. He also works with third party, out-of-town management.
Allen, and his wife of 25 years, Stacy, have two college-age sons and live in Avon.
Jeannine SosterProperty Manager
Hometown: Painesville, Ohio
Passion: She's a foodie who enjoys cooking with her husband Kevin and traveling to wine tastings to learn the art of wine-making.
What you Might not Know About Her: You might find her and her husband with their summer trailer and pontoon in Marblehead where she serves as Secretary and her husband as Commodore on this year's Bridge of Marine City Yacht Club.
Her Role at Weston: With a territory of 38 buildings encompassing nearly three million square feet, Jeannine develops and maintains relationships with all tenants, establishes a regular tenant visit schedule, conducts regular property inspections, move-ins, close-outs and deals with litigation concerns.
Jeannine's eye is on the budget as she attempts to reduce expenses while increasing revenues and controlling bleed. She assists the Construction Project Manager in the preparation of the capital budget and approves bills, classifies expenses and abstracts leases in preparation of the operating budget. She also analyzes and reviews Accounting Department generated reports from rent rolls and utility billing packages to rent increase letters and more.
She dons a general contractor hat on small jobs, acting as a liaison between the General Contractor and tenant and coordinates all snowplowing and landscaping contracts for Weston's entire portfolio.
Jeannine holds a Real Estate License and is a Licensed Notary in the State of Ohio. She and her husband live in Painesville and their four adult children live throughout Lake County.
Kurt Updegraff, PE, PS, RPADirector of Development
Hometown: New Castle, PA
Passions: Kurt’s passions are listening to just about any kind of music and playing the slide trombone at every opportunity that presents itself. Kurt’s current standing gig is with the Sophisticated Swing Big Band. He also enjoys reading about local history and visiting historic sites wherever he travels.
His Role at Weston: Kurt’s responsibilities include overseeing the Development Department through staffing, managing and directing all of the functions of the department. He will assist the Acquisitions Department with performing due diligence which includes reviewing plans and documentation as it pertains to buildings and construction.
Kurt is a registered engineer and registered surveyor in Pennsylvania and Ohio, and also is a Real Property Administrator through the Building Owners and Managers Institute.
He has one adult daughter who lives in Istanbul, while Kurt calls historic Burton, OH, his home.