Benjamin Gianni teaches courses on housing and urban history. He leads the housing studio in the 4th year of the BAS program and coordinates the school’s urbanism major. His research interests focus on housing and urban development. In particular, Public housing constructed in the decades following the Second World War in Europe and North America, and its redevelopment from the 1990s onward; Urbanization, suburbanization ,and the study of large-scale housing ensembles in contemporary China, questioning the legacy of modernism and its transposition to different cultural and temporal contexts; Redevelopment of informal settlements in China, India, and Africa, using design as a form of research to explore adaptable, culturally resonant, and market-friendly approaches to redevelopment. Gianni is currently finishing a book on pre-Second World War suburbanization in Pittsburgh, PA. He is a former director of both the Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism and the School of Information Technology at Carleton University.
Dr. Pallavi Swaranjali is a full-time faculty in the Bachelor of Interior Design Program, Algonquin College, Ottawa. She has a B.A. in Architecture, M.Design in Industrial Design from India, and a PhD in Architecture from the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism, Carleton University, Ottawa. She is presently an intern architect with the Ontario Association of Architects, Canada. Her research centers on the relationship between architecture and storytelling, looking at non-conventional modes of architectural representation that combine the normative and the fantastical, and the ways in which they meaningfully transform architectural making and experience. Her areas of teaching include residential and corporate studio, senior project, foundations of design as well as the history and theory of design. She is a coordinator of Carleton Research | Practice of Teaching | Collaborative (criptic.org) and one of the founder members of Canadian Centre for Mindful Habitats (mindfulhabitats.ca).
Evan Garfinkel is the Manager, Land Development at Regional Group, Greater Ottawa Metropolitan Area.
Chris van Popta
Chris is the founding partner and Creative Director of Fineline Perspectives, an end-to-end marketing and communications agency for multifamily developers and operators. He believes that to optimize multifamily occupancy (whether during initial lease-up or when stabilized), your marketing platform must be able to predictably generate and control the flow of qualified customers to your apartments and also allow prospects to tour them from anywhere. Chris’s ability to think creatively combined with his highly technical experience in the world of multifamily marketing has been the driving force behind the marketing platforms that have leased up and continue to operate the properties involved in Canada’s largest multifamily real estate transactions.
Dan Dixon is Senior Vice President, Project Finance and Investor Relations for the Minto Group of Companies. Dan has over 25 years of operating, management and investment experience in the real estate industry and is responsible for the development and execution of Minto’s debt financing strategy for all of its business activities in Canada and the United States. Dan also leads the investor relations function for Minto Apartment REIT, a real estate investment trust traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Dan is a member of the Investment Committee at the Ottawa Community Foundation and is Chair of the Programming Committee for the Ottawa Chapter of the Urban Land Institute. Dan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics degree from Queen’s University and Masters of Business Administration degree from York University.
Saide Sayah is a Principal in Fotenn’s Ottawa office with over 20 years of experience in development and community planning, including over a decade of management experience working with multiple sectors in government and both private and not for profit sectors. Saide has held various roles including Director of Housing Services for the City of Ottawa and has extensive experience developing, coordinating, and implementing affordable and supportive housing projects and programs.
Mushtaq Kazani is Chief Executive Officer at Habitat for Humanity Greater Ottawa. He has 20+ years of Businesses Administration / Non-profit organization Management experience nationally and internationally. His consistent success at turning around the organizations is a combination of his ability to lead from vision development, strategy formulation to impeccable implementation. Problem solving and creativity in business is his forte. He is a C-Level executive with skill-sets of Strategy development, Financial Management, Strategic Marketing, and Leadership. He has multi potentiality in Business, Non-profit organizations and Education Management settings. During his current role at ITREB Pakistan, he has developed quality programs to satisfy the constituency needs, streamlined HR to make it lean (35% reduction), highly engaged and productive (four-fold increase in programs per employee) workforce and developed efficient monitoring system using the best practices including the World Bank Guidelines. In his International exposure at Akamba Kenya, he is accredited for the financial turnaround in 6 months and converting the loss-making situation to awards of ‘Distinguished Tax Payer’, ‘Best Transportation and Courier Company’ by the Authorities. In his earlier role at the Industrial Promotion Services (IPS), a part of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), as CFO for Kampala Pharmaceuticals, Finance Controller for Uganda Fishnet and Group Financial Controller for IPS Zaire SARL, he was successful in relationship building with financial Institutions and suppliers, Improving working capital, and heading Production Planning Committee, 3x increase in sales revenue and increased market share. He also served with PwC as Audit Manager between 1991 to 1993. Mushtaq is a keen social worker and has served various Institutions within and outside community and Ministries in the countries he worked. He speaks on topics for Youth development, Leadership and Lifelong Learning. He believes in Life Long Learning and contributing to society and follows advice from Jack Welch, Robin Sharma, Stephen Covey, and Benjamin Hardy.
Jennifer Tsao is a Senior Specialist in CMHC’s Housing Finance Policy team. She launched her career at CMHC in 2017 in Market Insights, where she published forecasts, authored research, and provided commentary on local market trends. She first became interested in housing while working as a co-op Research Associate at Royal LePage’s corporate head office. Jennifer holds a MA in Economics from Queen’s University.
Joe Berridge is an urban planner and city builder who has had an integral role in the development of complex urban planning and regeneration projects in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Europe and Asia. He has been strategic advisor for the development of the city centres of Manchester, Belfast and Cardiff and for the waterfronts of Toronto, Singapore, Sydney, Cork, London and Governors Island in New York City. He has prepared campus master plans for the University of Manchester and Waterloo, Queen’s and Western in Canada and is now planning the new hub for Toronto Pearson International Airport. Joe teaches at the University of Toronto and is a Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy.