East Meets West Real Estate Connect


Date: Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Time: 9-5 PM

Venue: The New Yorker, 481 8th Avenue, New York, NY 10001

East Meets West is an all-day conference that includes a welcome breakfast, keynote luncheon, speaker sessions, and a closing reception. Sessions will cover a broad spectrum of timely topics in both the residential and commercial sectors of the real estate world.

We are anticipating a bigger turnout than ever – higher attendance, more speakers, more booths, and more sponsors – as real estate professionals all over the country have heard about our successful annual conference and want to be part of the action.

As in the past, participants at the conference will include CEO’s of Real Estate Firms, Luxury Real Estate Brokers and Associates, Commercial Brokers, Developers, Attorneys, Lenders, Accounting Firms, Architects and Design Professionals, Interior Designers, Economists, Media, and many others.

Don't miss this year's East Meets West when Real Estate Gets Real!


Early Bird Pricing Now Available



George Benakis

George Benakis is a Director and Relationship Manager for Commercial Real Estate Finance Team at Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, New York Branch (“ICBC”). George originated and structured $900 million in new balance sheet CRE loans. Property Sectors include multi-family predevelopment, hotel, office and mixed use properties.  Previously George was a United State government employee, serving financial regulatory roles at the Office of Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).  George was a Senior Vice President at GE Capital performing commercial real estate syndications and placements for the North American debt platform.  Prior to that George managed the syndications function at PB Capital, a subsidiary of Deutsche Post Bank.

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Eric Brody

As Chief Operating Officer/Partner of Wonder Works Construction Corporation, Eric Brody leads the operations of one of the New York area’s most highly respected construction management, general contracting, and real estate development firms. In addition to day-to-day operations, he is in charge of multiple projects execution, business development with partner Joseph Klaynberg and heads up the firm’s development division. Mr. Brody’s tenure at Wonder Works began in 2012 as Director of Construction. In 2015 he was named partner and took his current position. As a developer, Wonder Works has a long history of innovation and versatility. On Mr. Brody’s watch, the firm completed Spectra at Constitution Plaza, a much anticipated 190-unit luxury rental in Hartford, CT and 316 East 3rd Street on the Lower East Side, 540 West in Hell’s Kitchen, 357 West 17th Street ni West Chelsea and more on the way. 

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John Catsimatidis

John Catsimatidis is the Chairman and CEO of the Red Apple Group, which has holdings in oil refining, retail petroleum products, convenience stores, real estate, aviation, and supermarkets, with investments in both medical and industrial technology. John also hosts a #1 rated radio program. John’s Red Apple Real Estate has substantial investments in New York and New Jersey, with three housing and commercial development projects underway in Brooklyn and New York City, and a major development planned on the shore of Coney Island. Mr. Catsimatidis’ companies post annual sales of approximately $5 billion, with over 8,000 employees.

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Ronald Chua

Mr. Ronald Chua is a Director at China Overseas America. Ronald is based in New York City.  He is the head of the Investments Department and he is responsible for the firm’s acquisition efforts throughout the United States. Prior to joining China Overseas, he held similar roles with Credit Suisse, DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners and The Carlyle Group. Throughout the course of his career, he has completed $2 billion in real estate transactions. Ronald received a Masters in Real Estate from Cornell University.

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Debbie Hoffman

Debbie Hoffman is Founder & CEO of Symmetry Blockchain Advisors, Inc. where she works with clients in their endeavors related to education, strategy and development of blockchain solutions.  With her experience in financial services, law and technology innovation, Debbie brings a unique perspective in working with Symmetry’s clients. Debbie was previously the Chief Legal Officer at a financial services company where, in addition to overseeing all legal and compliance matters, she was an integral part of the executive team in the strategy and implementation of client solutions. She spent a decade of her career as a real estate finance attorney at the law firm of Thacher Proffitt & Wood in New York.  Debbie has also been a professor at the Florida A&M University College of Law and the University of Central Florida. In 2018 Debbie was named as a NAWRB Roaring Thirty Winner and named as “The Visonary.”


George Xu

As founder and President of Century Development Group, a real estate development company based in Flushing, Mr. George Xu, with nearly 20 years of real estate holding and development experience, has worked on over a million square feet of real estate developments; mixed-use developments including residential, hospitality, office, and retail. He has also worked in all phases of his projects - from assembly, acquisition, finance, design, construction, to marketing and sales. Mr. Xu’s projects have also involved close collaboration with the City of New York, as well as the State of New York on issues including zoning, land use, and environmental matters. In recent years, Mr. George Xu has expanded his business to include the EB5 international investor's immigration program. George is also the founder and the principal of the Century New York City Regional Center (CNYCRC), based in Flushing.