Meet Our Executive Team
Karney Properties is operated by an experienced team of executives, with extensive expertise in a wide range of real estate development initiatives. Our commitment to excellence is only possible by maintaining the utmost professionalism, which is the foundation for our well-earned reputation within the industry.
Aliza Karney Guren
ALIZA KARNEY GUREN
Chief Executive Officer
Aliza Karney Guren is the Chief Executive Officer and co-owner of Karney Properties. She assumed her position in 2003 and sets the overall strategy for the company. She is also directly involved in all key areas of the company’s activities, including development, finance, acquisitions and dispositions and asset management.
She has spent more than 20 years in the real estate industry, including related experience in law and mediation. Prior to joining the company in 1991, she was a practicing attorney and mediator, and founded and directed an independent nonprofit arts organization.
Aliza Guren, a California-licensed general contractor, is an active member of the Urban Land Institute and the National Association for Industrial and Office Parks. She is also a board member of the Center Theatre Group, one of the nation’s largest and most active theater companies. In 2014, she was named one of Bisnow’s top 60 women in Los Angeles commercial real estate. She is a member of ULI, RPO, POWRE, and Land Ladies.
Aliza Guren earned a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude from Harvard University, where she also earned a law degree cum laude from Harvard Law School. She is a member of the State Bar of California.
Susanna Karney Flaster
SUSANNA KARNEY FLASTER
Susanna Karney Flaster is Principal and co-owner of Karney Properties. She joined the company in 1991 and has been actively involved in management oversight, operational strategy and financial planning since 2003.
Active in San Diego civic affairs, Susanna Flaster serves on the boards of directors of the Jewish Community Foundation San Diego, San Diego Museum of Art and Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest.
Susanna Flaster earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Harvard University and a master’s degree in communication disorders from Northwestern University.
Matthew N. Burton
Matthew N Burton
Matthew N. Burton is the President of Karney Properties. He assumed his position in January, 2017. Mr. Burton is responsible for all major areas of the company business including development, property and asset management, finance, operations and human resources.
Prior to working at Karney, Mr. Burton was responsible for all equity and debt relationships and joint ventures at Mack Urban. Mr. Burton was actively engaged in the planning, development, marketing and lease-up of over 4,000 multi-family units and sourcing over $2.5 billion of debt and equity capital over his 11 years at Mack Urban and its predecessor company, Urban Partners LLC.
Before joining Urban Partners in 2003, Mr. Burton served for 8 years as Vice President with American International Group (AIG) and SunAmerica in Los Angeles. Mr. Burton ran the West Coast loan origination platform for Sun and AIG. In this capacity, Mr. Burton placed and managed hundreds of loans for over $3.5 billion for the companies balance sheets.
Mr. Burton holds his B.A. degree in Government at The College of Arts and Sciences at Georgetown University and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Chief Investment Officer
Gregg Young served as Chief Operating Officer at Karney Properties from 2011 to 2015. He is serving as Chief Investment Officer of the company since 2016. Gregg works on acquisition and disposition transactions, project and portfolio debt financing, and long-term portfolio and company strategy as well as partner relations.
Gregg Young began his real estate career in 1979 as a principal partner in the Dallas office of Trammell Crow Company. In 1994, he co-founded and served as chief executive officer of a privately-held Dallas-based investment and asset management firm overseeing a three million square foot portfolio. In 2003, he joined IDS, a Los Angeles real estate development and investment firm and led the acquisition of a two million square foot industrial portfolio. Later, he headed up the corporate services group for IDS.
Gregg Young earned a bachelor’s degree magna cum laude with an emphasis in urban economics from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is a life-time member of the Stanford Professionals in Real Estate alumni association.
Vice President and General Counsel
Lisa Laffer joined Karney Properties as Vice President and General Counsel in 2016. She is responsible for coordinating the provision of legal services for all aspects of Karney Properties’ operations. Her duties include direct participation in the company’s transactional matters, including acquisitions, leasing, property management, partnerships and financing transactions. Lisa Laffer also retains and manages outside counsel.
Prior to joining Karney Properties, Lisa Laffer was counsel at the law firm of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP. She has an extensive background in real estate transactions and development matters. She earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University, a juris doctor degree from UCLA Law School and clerked for the U.S. District Court, District of Hawaii. She is a member of the State Bar of California.
Vice President of Properties
Wendy Craggs is the Director of Property Management at Karney Properties, where she oversees all aspects of property management for the company. She joined the company in 2014.
Wendy Craggs has more than 15 years of experience in property, asset and construction management. She previously served as Senior Property Manager at SB Management Corporation, the in-house management company for Black Equities, where she managed a 20-state retail/commercial portfolio of approximately 1 million square feet. As Director of Asset Management at Black Equities, Wendy Craggs also managed more than 15 million square feet of industrial and commercial real estate in 38 states.
Wendy Craggs earned a bachelor’s degree in commerce from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Vice President of Development
As Vice President of Development, Mr. Yasmer has responsibility for all development and redevelopment projects within the portfolio. Prior to joining Karney Properties, Mr. Yasmer served 12 years at Forest City Realty Trust, a publicly-traded real estate investment trust that owns, operates and develops urban, mixed-use projects. His various roles included managing the acquisition, entitlement, design and construction of a $140 million mixed-use residential project in downtown Los Angeles, masterplanning, marketing, and developing commercial properties at the 4,600-acre redevelopment of the former Stapleton airport in Denver, as well as working exclusively and directly for the co-Chairman of the Board on corporate strategic planning and new site acquisition.
Mr. Yasmer received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and was a member of the Men’s Division I-A golf team.
Carl J. Wellinger
Carl J. Wellinger
Director – Head of Asset Management
Mr. Wellinger has overall responsibility of asset and portfolio management and strategic investments.
Prior to joining Karney Properties, Mr. Wellinger served as Vice President at CommonWealth Partners, a national, vertically integrated, real estate investment firm. During his tenure, he held positions in the investment transactions and asset management groups, while most recently overseeing all value add and core investments throughout the East Coast, Midwest, Utah and Texas. Mr. Wellinger was an integral member of the team which grew the investment platform from zero to over $7.5bn assets under management. Mr. Wellinger also held development and management roles at IDS Real Estate Group.
Mr. Wellinger received an Economics degree from the University of Michigan and his M.B.A. from UCLA Anderson School of Management.