Jeffrey Kohn is a Real Estate affinity group leader for Wharton So Cal. He is a Partner with UBM Law Group LLP in Los Angeles.
Jeffrey Kohn has significant experience with transactional law matters including acquisitions/dispositions, equity and debt financing, real estate, technology, energy and general commercial contracts. Mr. Kohn has represented a wide variety of clients including publicly traded companies, private companies and family offices. Prior to joining UBM Law Group, LLP, Mr. Kohn worked as an attorney with Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP and Halling Meza LLP as well as serving as in-house counsel.
Mr. Kohn earned his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania and his MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He earned his undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA. Mr. Kohn is also a licensed California real estate broker.
Jeannie Vu is a Real Estate affinity group leader for Wharton So Cal. Jeannie is Chief Financial Officer for JRK Property Holdings in Los Angeles. JRK Property Holdings is a real estate investment and management firm that has amassed a commercial portfolio throughout the United States valued in excess of $5 billion. The company’s portfolio consists of over 35,000 multifamily units, luxury and flagged hotels, and over 2 million square feet of office, industrial, and storage space. JRK’s time-tested ability to identify attractive investment opportunities has allowed them to deliver tremendous returns to investors and outstanding products for residents. In 2013, JRK was recognized as the 20th largest owner of apartment properties according to 2013 NMHC rankings.
Nicholas Benedict is founder and current leader of the C Circle, an invitation-only group within Wharton So Cal for CEOs, direct reports, and their equivalents who have P&L responsibility over at least $2M in revenue. Its focus is on peer advising and problem-solving as opposed to business development or supporting executives in transition. Nick is an experienced C-level executive with deep expertise in marketing, strategy, and managing disruption across industries. He is passionate about the impact of digital technology and about systems to manage and hold digital marketers accountable. He is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Heaven Tea Co., and a current Advisory Board Member of several companies including The Classic T-Shirt Co., awarenow, and BRP Pharmaceuticals.
Nick is Managing Director at King, Edward, First, a Board and C-Level advisory firm focused primarily on marketing and strategy. He has led a strategy offsite and catalyzed a consumer products company’s successful US market entry, redesigned a digital products company’s pricing and product strategy, leading to a 31% revenue increase. He has also served as interim Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for a consumer products client and interim Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) for a pharmaceuticals client. He also has additional expertise in finance and operations.
Simona Shao is the Wharton Club of Southern California Media & Entertainment Affinity Group Leader. Simona, an LA native musician, graduated from Wharton in 2019. While at Penn, she was the Director of Events for the Wharton China Business Society and a Global Marketing Strategy department research assistant. In her free time, Simona is a professional recording artist, singer-songwriter, and studio musician. A classically trained pianist, she began studying music at the age of 4. As a studio musician, she has recorded demo tracks produced for Rihanna by John Feldmann. In 2015, Simona was invited to participate in The Voice of China. Simona is also a Pasadena Tournament of the Roses Royal Court Princess, reigning during the 2014-2015 year.
She is currently a banking analyst in the J.P. Morgan Los Angeles Private Bank, specializing in the development of client relationships as part of an integrated team that helps clients reach their financial goals through banking services, lending, investments, and trust and estate planning. Prior to joining the Private Bank, Simona worked at Morgan Stanley Shanghai and the Hurun Report, China’s equivalent to Forbes.
As a member of the Programming Committee for The Wharton Club of Southern California, Jason Breeman WG02 is responsible for finding and interviewing great speakers for many of our events as well as providing guidance on programming policies and procedures. Jason is based out of Los Angeles, and is a Co-Founder of the The New Amsterdam Group B.V. The firm consults to GP’s who are looking for expertise to build and grow their firms. The team, based on prior extensive professional experience, can work with GP’s active in PE, RE & HF, and the team has experience in working with LP’s globally. With senior team members in Amsterdam, Hong Kong and Los Angeles, the firm can cover the needs of both investors and GP’s across North America, Europe and Asia.
Previously, he was a Managing Director at Everstone Capital. This position encompassed fundraising and IR, working with investors from around the globe; Jason joined the firm in March of 2008, and during his tenure as Head of Business Development, the firm successfully raised USD 1.9 Billion across four funds; two in PE and two in RE.
Prior to that, he was at UBS in New York in the Capital Introductions Team for six years, initially building up the family office practice, and then covering Asia; during his time there, the prime brokerage team grew the balances at UBS by 350%, taking the book from USD 40 Billion to USD 140 Billion between 2002 and 2008.
Before his time at UBS, he received his MBA from the Wharton School in 2002 (he was the inaugural recipient of the Paul Green Award for Knowledge Creation), and prior to that, he spent seven years working in Germany (Munich Re, AIG and FM Global), after graduating from Kenyon College, cum laude, in 1991.
As an active Wharton alum, Jason has served in a variety of positions, as Vice President of Business Development for the Wharton Club of NY (’05-’08), where he was also a co-founder of WHFN (the Wharton Hedge Fund Network) in ’05, and was a member of the Executive Committee of the Wharton Alumni Association of India (’08 – ’11).
As Vice President of Legal for The Wharton Club of Southern California, Michael Rosenblum W’83 is responsible for assisting the club with all legal matters. With over 30 years of experience, Michael has considerable expertise in structuring, negotiating and drafting complex corporate and real estate transactions. As an attorney, Mr. Rosenblum has represented diverse business entities, from manufacturers and service providers to well-known athletes and entrepreneurs. Additionally, Mr. Rosenblum has represented clients in purchasing remnant assets from large companies that are in bankruptcy and has assisted bankrupt companies to collect upon remnant assets. He is committed to public service and bar association activities, while continuing to provide clients with high quality legal representation. Mr. Rosenblum has been quoted in Forbes, Bloomberg Magazine, Canadian publications and the PIPES Report (Private Investment in Public Entities), and is a trustee of the Washington Institute.
As Vice President of Marketing for The Wharton Club of Southern California, Dan Smith is responsible for all club communications including the newsletter. Dan is an expert creator of profitable online content and retail businesses. He uses creative content, social media and clever branding to connect fans to new products and keep them coming back for more. He has launched successful online businesses within large international companies and as a Kickstarter-funded solo entrepreneur. Dan has substantial expertise as a TV and digital creative executive and can build and grow content studios or web stores from scratch. With his business education (Wharton undergrad ’86, UCLA MBA ’90) and Hollywood executive experience, Dan is a dynamic builder and manager of creative enterprises with strong analytics and financial management expertise. He is the founder of JIMMYCASE.
As Vice President, Finance and Treasurer of The Wharton Club of Southern California, Warren Wang is responsible for making sure that club finances are accounted for properly, that periodic reporting is completed, and that our bills are paid. Warren joins us in Southern California again after being away in Northern California and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, working for Navigant (now Guidehouse) and raising a family. Welcome aboard once again, Warren!
Prior to joining PPV, Cessna spent the majority of her professional career working in management consulting at EY-Parthenon in New York City. She has also served as a public school teacher with Teach For America in the Bay Area.
Cessna holds a MBA from The Wharton School and an A.B. from Harvard University. She is passionate about building community through health and wellness, enjoys teaching and practicing yoga, and is a proud dog mom.
Antonio Di Cristo is an investor and executive in several businesses that are predominantly focused in the blockchain technology space. Antonio has a strong interest in entrepreneurship, having built a successful company of 60+ employees and exited this company in the past.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree from American International College. Later, he was invited to attend the Advanced Management Program through the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, which he completed in 2017.
In 2010, Antonio co-founded Pacific Associates, a strategic consulting firm with branches in Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, and the Philippines. He was President of its Healthcare Division for more than two years. After negotiating the sale of the company with a Japanese private equity fund in 2016, he remained on the Board for an additional two years as President of Pacific Associates to help with the integration process.
Antonio moved back to Orange County, California, with his wife and daughter in 2019 after spending almost 15 years in Asia.