Event Details

Thursday, February 25th, 2021
7:30 pm to 8:30 pm EST

In celebration of Black History Month, Mosaic is honored to host a panel discussion on “Building Intergenerational Wealth: Sustaining Black Legacy.” The program will speak to the racial wealth disparity, discriminatory lending practices such as redlining, and how to create an equitable ecosystem. Our esteemed moderator and panelists are the following : Valisha Graves ’85, Tammy Jones ’81 and Kirk Sykes ’87

Valisha Graves ’85

Valisha Graves is an Executive Director at Morgan Stanley in Wealth Management where she leads the Account Onboarding Fraud Control and Product Strategy team.
She joined Morgan Stanley’s ModelWare team in 2005 as a Fintech Product Manager responsible for Valuation, Supply Chain, Profitability Maps, Leveraged Buyout (LBO) and Cross Asset Analytics applications. She was also the Business Technology Officer for Investment Banking and Global Capital Markets. Her career includes a brief stint at an e-commerce start-up, experience in Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A) (Lehman Brothers) and Management Consulting (Ernst & Young).

In 2019, she was selected as a 92nd Street Y Women inPower Fellow. Valisha helped launch EDIT (Enhancing Diversity in Technology) at Morgan Stanley, the first Wall Street forum aimed at Black and Latino technologists. She is a Trustee at her high school alma mater, Suffield Academy, where she was an A Better Chance Scholar. She is a member of the Cornell University Council, Cornell Black Alumni Association (CBAA) and chairs the Development Committee of Cornell Mosaic and is a Vice Chair of PCCW (President’s Council of Cornell Women)

She earned an MBA from Columbia University and a AB in Government/International Relations from Cornell University. She currently teaches Communication Skills for Technology Professionals at Baruch College and has taught Fintech Strategy at Columbia, Case Western Weatherhead and UMass Lowell Manning business schools.

Tammy K. Jones ’81

Tammy K. Jones Ms. Jones has more than 20 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry. Over her entire career, Ms. Jones has invested in and loaned CRE assets on behalf of large pension funds and institutional investors, including Equitable Real Estate (largest pension fund advisor and investment management firm at the time), GMACCM (one of the largest CRE lenders, owned by GM) and CWCapital (the U.S. debt investment platform owned by Caisse de dépôt, one of the largest pension fund managers in Quebec). Ms. Jones is a seasoned veteran in CRE investments, capital markets, and structured finance. Since 2009, Ms. Jones has served as both Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Basis Investment Group (Basis), a multi-strategy commercial real estate investment platform she founded with JEMB Realty Corporation that acquires and originates a variety of senior and subordinated loans, preferred equity and joint venture equity positions on behalf of its investors. Under her leadership, Basis has succeeded in closing nearly $4.0 billion in commercial real estate debt and structured equity related investments across the United States. Prior to joining Basis, Ms. Jones worked at CWCapital LLC (CW) from 2004 to 2009, serving as head of CW’s fixed and floating rate Capital Markets Lending Division and closing approximately $6B in investments. Between 1997 and 2004, Ms. Jones was a Senior Vice President of Commercial Capital Initiatives, Inc., a GMACCM subsidiary (now Berkadia) (GMAC) and part of the leadership team responsible for creating GMAC’s Capital Markets lending division. Prior to her seven years with GMAC, she held various positions on the equity and asset management side of the business at commercial real estate investment companies including Equitable Real Estate and AMRESCO Management, Inc.

Ms. Jones is currently an Independent Director for Mack-Cali Realty Corporation (NYSE: CLI), is an Independent Director for KKR Real Estate Select Trust Inc. – Private (40 Act) REIT, is an Independent Director for Crown Castle International Corp. (NYSE: CCI), is the Chair of the Real Estate Executive Council (REEC), is a member of the President’s Council of Cornell Women (PCCW), is a member of the Executive Leadership Council, is on the Advisory Board for NYU’s Schack Institute of Real Estate and is the Vice-Chairman of Basis Impact Group Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to creating a pipeline of women and minorities in commercial real estate. Ms. Jones formerly served as an Independent Director for Monogram Residential Trust, Inc. (NYSE: MORE). Ms. Jones was recognized as one of The Network Journal’s 25 Most Influential Black Women in Business in 2017, received the Council of Urban Professionals (CUP) 2019 Finance Catalyst Award and received the 2020 Cornell Baker Industry Leader Award. Ms. Jones holds a BA in Economics from Cornell University and an MBA with a concentration in Real Estate Finance from the J. Mack Robinson College of Business at Georgia State University.

Kirk A. Sykes ’87
Managing Director, Accordia Partners, LLC.

Mr. Sykes currently serves on the following Boards; The Natixis Loomis Sayles Funds Board of Trustees, Apartment Investment and Management Company (NYSE:AIV), The Eastern Bank Board of Advisors & Risk Management Committee, The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston External Diversity Advisory Board, Real Estate Executive Council (Former Chairman & Emeritus), The City of Boston’s Civic Design Commission, The Urban Land Institute’s New England Advisory Board and NAIOP Massachusetts Board Management Committee.

Previously, Mr. Sykes served on the following Boards: Ares Commercial Real Estate (NYSE: ACRE) Board of Directors & Compensation Committee, The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Board, 2008-2014 (Chairman 2012-2014, Audit Committee, Business Practices Committee), Capital Crossing Bank Preferred REIT Board of Directors (Acquired by Lehman Brothers Bank), 2004-2009, Bank Boston & Fleet Community Bank Board of Directors 1994-2004, ICON Architects Board of Directors, 2004-2006, Mr. Sykes also served on the Board of Overseers for Beth Israel Hospital, Children’s Hospital, Boston University Medical Center and Brigham & Women’s Hospital Osher Center.

Mr. Sykes is Managing Director of Accordia Partners, LLC, a Boston based real estate investment and development company. Accordia executes large scale public-private real estate projects with a goal of financial and socially responsible investing success.

Mr. Sykes has been a speaker at Harvard University Business School & Kennedy School of Government, University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business, MIT Sloan School of Management and Center for Real Estate, Cornell University Real Estate Program and The League of Historical Cities of the World Conferences in Japan, Turkey and Australia.

Mr. Sykes attended the Harvard University Business School, Owners and Presidents Management Program, the MIT Center for Real Estate Development Commercial Development Executive Program and the L’Ecole Polytechnique in Paris, France. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University.