An integral component of The Lakewood Fellowship experience is the remarkable access Lakewood Fellowship Interns have to high-level business leaders. Throughout the summer Lakewood Fellowship Interns are given opportunities to meet, ask questions of and learn from some of the most accomplished people in NYC. At private dinners, business panels and other informal settings Lakewood Fellowship Interns have the ability to engage in lively question and answer sessions, build their professional networks and gain valuable career insight from leading company executives, entrepreneurs, attorneys and more!

In previous years, Lakewood Fellowship Interns were privileged to meet:

Benjamin Berger is a Partner at Bernath & Rosenberg, a midtown Manhattan CPA firm. Benjamin is a CPA with close to 20 years of public accounting experience. He is responsible for the day-to-day operations of our staff as well as the firm’s technological enhancements. In addition to his own management responsibilities, Benjamin spends a significant portion of his time advising clients on management strategies, performance measurement, tax planning, and tax compliance. His specialties include real estate, health care, not-for-profit, and government audit representation.

Aaron Birnbaum is co-founder and Executive Vice President of Meridian Capital. He is responsible for managing the firm’s commercial, conduit and structured finance platforms. Under his stewardship, Meridian has financed more than $35 billion in commercial transactions across the country. Mr. Birnbaum also assumes a direct leadership role in managing relationships with a broad array of conduit and construction lenders, multifamily and commercial property owners.

Sander Gerber is Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer of Hudson Bay Capital Management LP. He is responsible for the firm’s risk management function. Mr. Gerber has over seventeen years experience in developing and trading securities and derivatives across a broad range of investment strategies. Mr. Gerber is an honors graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with degrees in finance and humanistic philosophy.

Ralph Herzka is Chairman and CEO of Meridian Capital. Herzka has nearly 30 years experience in real estate advisory work, and has personally negotiated more than $60 billion in real estate financing transactions. Mr. Herzka’s stature has been consistently recognized by local and national media, including by The New York Observer as one of the “Power 100: The Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate.”

Avrohom J. (“A.J.”) Kess is a Partner at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP, where he is a member of the Firm’s Corporate Department and the Head of the Public Company Advisory Practice. A.J. advises clients on public and private offerings of securities and a wide range of general corporate and securities law matters. A.J. also regularly advises boards of directors and their committees regarding governance-related matters.

David Lichtenstein is the CEO of The Lightstone Group, which he founded in 1988 and is one of the largest privately held real estate companies in the United States. Lichtenstein directs all aspects of the acquisition, financing and management of a diverse portfolio of multi-family apartments, in addition to office, lodging, retail and industrial property in 24 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada.

J. Jay Lobell joined Meridian Capital in 2009 and has served as its President since 2011. In that capacity, he works alongside CEO Ralph Herzka in charting the strategic course of Meridian, including in the development and implementation of new products and business activities. Mr. Lobell also is a co-founder of Beech Street Capital, an Agency and FHA lender closely aligned with Meridian, and currently serves as Beech Street’s Vice Chairman and a member of its board of directors.

Andrew Rabinowitz is chief operating officer at New York-based distressed investment specialist Marathon Asset Management, LP. Founded in 1998, the firm has 150 professionals worldwide with headquarters in New York City and investment offices in London and Singapore. Marathon is a global alternative investment and asset management company with $10 billion in capital under management and core businesses that include hedge funds, private equity, structured finance, emerging markets and real estate.

Jonathan Rikoon Partner in Loeb & Loeb practices in the areas of trust and estate planning, administration and litigation. He engages in sophisticated estate and tax planning for wealthy individuals and families, preparation of wills and trusts and the administration of trusts and estates. He helps to establish various tax-efficient multi-tier family, business and investment vehicles, such as partnerships, limited liability companies and closely held corporations with trust ownership, and he structures third-party business transactions to facilitate tax and estate planning. Mr. Rikoon has pioneered the development of estate planning techniques customized for private equity fund principals and hedge fund managers, and he has written and presented on that topic for the NYU Institute on Federal Taxation and the University of Miami Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning.

Richard Roberts MD is the former Chairman and CEO of URL Pharma – a privately-held pharmaceutical company headquartered in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. URL Pharma was acquired by Japanese company Takeda in 2012 for $800 million.

Stephen Rosenberg is President and CEO of Greystone & Co., Inc. with its affiliates and the principal shareholder in Greystone Bank. He founded Greystone in 1988 as an independent investment banking firm and has since developed it into a mature investment firm with a national reputation. The Greystone financial companies’ umbrella now includes 18 companies in 12 states, including a mortgage entity with a loan portfolio of approximately $7 billion.

Jeff Schachter joined Crawford Lake as President and Chief Operating Officer in 2015.  Prior to joining Crawford Lake, Mr. Schachter was the cofounder and Managing Partner of Avet Capital Management, a long/short biotech equity hedge fund partially seeded by Julian Robertson of Tiger Management, a Managing Director at Helios Advisors LLC, a $580 million New York based multi-strategy hedge fund and Head of Marketing for Greystone, Inc., a real estate company with approximately $10 billion in assets.  Mr. Schachter also co-founded and build Cedarview Capital Management into a $680 million alternative asset manager focusing in the high yield bond and leverage loan markets.  Mr. Schachter received a Juris Doctor degree from Boalt Hall School of Law at University of California at Berkeley, and a B.A. degree in Economics from the University of California at Berkeley, where he graduated with Phi Beta Kappa honors.

Henry Swieca is a former partner and founder of Highbridge Capital Management. In 2011 Mr. Swieca launched Talpion Fund Management which focuses on long-short equity with the capabilities to deploy a variety of other strategies. Swieca began selling out of Highbridge in 2004 when JP Morgan Chase purchased a 55% stake for $1.3 billion.

TabakEli Tabak is a seasoned veteran of the commercial real estate industry with more than 15 years in the business. Just prior to co-founding The Bluestone Group, Eli was a Managing Director at investment sales firm, GFI Realty Services. Over the course of his career he has successfully negotiated numerous high profile sales, as well as consulting and advising his clients during transactions. As co-founder of The Bluestone Group, Eli oversees the sourcing, acquisition, litigation, workouts of non-performing debt, real estate acquisitions, as well as complex bankruptcy litigation and settlements./p>

Sol Werdiger founded Outerstuff Ltd in 1983 as a children’s outerwear company, Outerstuff Ltd has grown into the preeminent manufacturer and marketer of “sports youth apparel” to the North American retail market and beyond.

Howard (“Chaim”) Wietschner is a private investor and retired partner from Goldman Sachs. In his 18 years at Goldman Sachs, Howard helped form Goldman Sachs’s Hedge Fund Industry Group (HFIG), serving as head of HFIG, which is responsible for strategic and advisory services for alternative asset managers. Howard also served as co-head of the US convertibles desk and ran the relative value sales and trading group. He retired from Goldman Sachs in 2012. /p>

Carey Wolchok is a Co-Founder and Managing Director of The Perilune Group, a New York based private investment partnership which manages a portfolio of investments in commercial aircraft, distressed debt, private equity, and real estate. Wolchok co-founded a business jet manufacturer with Israel Aerospace. Prior to this, he was a Principal at Aero Equity, a Savannah, Georgia based private equity firm founded by leading executives of General Electric and Gulfstream Aerospace.