OUR CULTURE FOSTERS GROWTHThe Forge & Foster team is committed to:
- High performance
The Forge & Foster Advisory Board
Partner and Chair
As Partner and Chair of Forge & Foster’s Advisory Board, Wenzel brings a wealth of experience as a proven leader, executive, and visionary in the real estate investment industry. At Forge & Foster, Wenzel provides guidance on the organization’s strategic direction, investment portfolio strategy, and asset management.
Wenzel’s past roles include CEO of TRIUVA, Managing Director, Real Estate Investments – Europe at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Vice-Chair of the Management Board of INREV, and Senior Manager and Head of Asset Management at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. He holds an MBA from the University of Regensburg, an Executive Post-Graduate Degree from the European Business School, and a Master of Science, Real Estate, from the University of Wisconsin.
Advisory Board Member
R. Scott Smith, B.A., LL. B.
Scott is a well-respected lawyer, business consultant, and HR and governance expert who works with senior executives and business owners to focus on progress, minimize corporate challenges and maximize Board functionality. Following 17 years as in-house counsel in the insurance, transportation and property development industries, Scott focused his attention on the consulting sector. As Senior Partner at Carlisle Strategies, he leads his team of professionals in all matters related to improving both the workplace environment and the “bottom line,” providing strategic and operational advice, as well as conducting workplace investigations. As an authority on corporate governance, he has chaired the boards of national industry associations, municipal corporations and is currently Second Vice Chair of the St. Joseph’s Hospital Foundation in Hamilton, Ontario.
Scott is excited to work with the team at Forge & Foster as they grow their impressive portfolio of assets. With other members of the Advisory Board, he will be relied upon to provide objective advice on strategic and operational matters, and act as a sounding board for the ownership group in their effort to maximize returns for their investment partners.
Advisory Board Member
Carolynn Reid has spent the majority of her career supporting Hamilton’s small businesses. For the last 20 years, she was a Business Development Consultant with the City of Hamilton’s Economic Development Division having held several key leadership roles that have been of great benefit to the City of Hamilton, its citizens and businesses. Carolynn managed and established the first Small Business Enterprise Centre in the City. She built programs and developed partnerships that assisted hundreds of Hamilton small businesses get off the ground. Carolynn also managed the City’s brownfield portfolio in its very early years and laid the foundation for the redevelopment of hundreds of contaminated sites. For the last 10 years, Carolynn put her efforts into managing the emerging economic sectors of Life Sciences and Digital Media for the City, helping stimulate investment interest, supporting community programs and champions working together to build a better Hamilton.
Carolynn has always and continues to call Hamilton home. Born and raised in this great City, a McMaster University Commerce graduate and community builder to the core, she is excited to join the Forge & Foster team and share her municipal experience.
Advisory Board Member
Sean’s career has been focused in the consulting engineering industry at Morrison Hershfield, a 1,000 person firm with offices in Canada, the US and India. He brings more than 2 decades of strategy development and execution, operations, and sales experience gained working in both the US and Canada. In addition to his work at Morrison Hershfield as Vice President of Business Development for the Data Center vertical, Sean recently started a Management Consulting practice and leverages his experience to help clients grow their businesses.
Sean is a Professional Engineer and holds an MBA from Georgia State University. He resides in Dundas with his wife and 3 kids, and spends his spare time exploring the local roads and trails on a bicycle.
Sean is passionate about the renaissance of the City of Hamilton, and is excited to assist Forge and Foster in their efforts in this regard.
Forge & Foster Partners
Partner & CEO
A passionate serial entrepreneur with a focus on bringing people together and a relentless energy in the pursuit of growth, Joe has built Forge & Foster to a proven track record of execution, profitable portfolio growth, and a compelling vision of the future in Hamilton and Southern Ontario. As CEO, Joe leads business development initiatives, strategy development, and leadership across the team. He fosters a business environment that embodies our values of high performance, collaboration, integrity, and entrepreneurship.
Originally from Toronto, Joe moved to Hamilton after recognizing the incredible spirit and opportunity in the city. He has been involved in a number of community groups and supports fellow entrepreneurs, young professionals, and economic development in Hamilton. Joe is driven by his team, passion for the city, and vision for the future.
Partner & COO
An experienced leader, entrepreneur, and impact investor, Mark thrives by raising people up around him. He began his career at the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board where he worked nationally and internationally, gaining deep institutional knowledge and experience in real estate investment management. Alongside his corporate pursuits, he supported his brother, Joe, laying the foundation for what would evolve into Forge & Foster Investment Management.
Mark leads the finance and investing portfolio at Forge & Foster, combining his past experience with an entrepreneurial drive to support the continued growth and pursuit of new opportunities. Passionate about empowering others, Mark has launched and currently runs businesses that support small business growth, personal financial management, and impact investing.
Partner and CIO
As Chief Investment Officer of Forge & Foster, Ben brings a keen understanding of value and vision to real estate assets and business development. Ben leads acquisitions and dispositions, and manages business development and asset management roles within the firm. He fosters creativity and technology automation across the team in order to continuously improve processes and ensure efficiency.
Ben started his career with Forge & Foster, took a 3 year hiatus to work in the technology industry in Toronto, before coming back to Hamilton. He is a big fan of the city of Hamilton, enjoys skiing, golf and hockey and believes in being outside as much as he can.
Partner & CFO
Dane joined Forge & Foster as a bookkeeper after completing a Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting degree from the University of Guelph. Demonstrating an entrepreneurial drive to continually learn, take initiative, and face challenges head on, Dane quickly developed into an essential member of the Forge & Foster team. Today, as Partner & CFO, Dane is responsible for executing on business strategy, managing the debt portfolio, and leading asset management initiatives.
Dane works tirelessly to continue to grow and develop, while serving as a role model and leader for the entire team – pushing them to a higher standard of performance and standing as an example of the opportunity provided to those who work hard and remain focused.
Yuval Bavly, CFA
Yuval’s background spans banking, business valuation, real estate, and private business ventures. Currently, Yuval retains an active role in various Private Equity and Real Estate investments. His most recent project concluded with a successful exit of one of the oldest haulage companies in Ontario in which he owned a controlling stake.
Yuval is passionate about working with great partners with whom he can collaborate and grow. He has worked with Forge & Foster for a number of years prior to joining the Board of Advisors and has been inspired by how creatively the team seeks value and genuinely wants to see our cities grow and flourish. He is excited to be part of Forge & Foster’s city building mission.
Yuval has the challenge of raising two children who are too cute for their own good. His wife is a passionate public health advocate and nurse. He enjoys offensively punishing endurance sports, reading and sunlight.
Vice President, Investor Relations
Possessing over 12 years of experience and a strong background in the real estate industry while specializing in private mortgages, Chanelie brings her expertise in capital raising and investor relations to Forge & Foster.
She’s highly passionate about helping investors achieve their investment objectives while sharing valuable educational content in the business.
You can catch her playing softball with her local team in Hamilton or mountain biking the trails in Dundas Valley.
Vice President, Investor Relations
Braydon Kustra is a graduate of the Management, Economics, & Finance co-op program at the University of Guelph.
Braydon has previous experience in product analysis in the manufacturing industry and financial/accounting experience from both a private accounting firm and the University of Guelph.
A lifelong Dundas resident, Braydon enjoys spending time outdoors, cooking, playing hockey, and is passionate about the greater Hamilton area’s surging development.t
REsearch & ANALYSIS
Real Estate Analyst
As an Urban Planning and Sustainability graduate from Dalhousie University, Mitch developed a broad skillset in research, data analysis, spatial analysis through GIS, and environmental decision-making.
To build upon these skills, Mitch completed the Salesperson Program with the Ontario Real Estate Association and worked on a commercial leasing and investment sales team.
At Forge & Foster, Mitch assists with the due diligence process, investment packages, asset management initiatives, planning and policy research, and financial analysis.
Director of Strategy & Research
Manojlovich utilizes market research and data analysis to help guide Forge & Foster’s acquisition pipeline and areas of investment.
Each week, he shares the latest research, analysis, and developments on the Greater Hamilton Area’s commercial real estate market in the Weekly Market Report newsletter, in conjunction with the broader Quarterly Market Report.
He is the region’s expert on commercial real estate and leverages in-house market research and analysis to inform property appraisal, investment, acquisition and disposition valuations.
Manojlovich holds a Bachelor of Architectural Science from Ryerson University and a Master of Science in Construction Management from Coventry University.
Although he was born and raised in Hamilton, his work is informed by his experience living abroad and his background in historic building restoration.
Manojlovich’s enthusiasm for emerging businesses has earned him the nickname ‘Mr. Hamilton’. He is your go-to guy for new restaurant recommendations and local experiences to try.
Director of Project Management
Julie is driven by seeing ideas come to life, which has led her to over 35 years of experience in the real estate and asset management industries. At Forge & Foster, Julie leads projects that focus on adding value to our assets, financial accuracy, and tenant relations.
Julie values continual learning & growth, and remains focused on those ideas personally and for the business as a whole. Originally from Thunder Bay, Julie loves to explore the outdoors, travel the world, and immerse herself in nature at home in Hamilton – the waterfall capital of the world.
In his role as construction manager, Shawn coordinates and oversees the many construction projects rejuvenating Forge & Foster’s assets. He brings decades of experience in general contracting, and specializes in home and office renovations. Shawn is a property maintenance professional certified in home inspection and fire safety.
He is a strong believer in always doing it right the first time, and understands that respect for his talented team and trades is key to assembling the puzzle of perfection. Off the job, Shawn likes to travel (preferably to Europe or where the palm trees are).
Groves has years of residential construction management under her belt. She loves the entire process — from acquisition to design, to renovation and, of course, the finished product. She has an eye for detail and the skill to maintain original charm. Sourcing materials is a sport for her. Groves has worked in many emergency services roles and was a holistic nutritionist. When she isn’t managing construction projects, Groves loves to cook, try new restaurants and hike with her family.
Director of Asset Management
Malta gained experience in the construction industry working for a green building NPO and then as a sustainability consultant for an engineering firm in Toronto. Eager to continue learning about commercial real estate projects, she joined the Forge & Foster team in 2022.
With her creative problem solving and communication across technical disciplines, Malta brings multidisciplinary project teams together to realize the Forge & Foster vision for assets. She is passionate about the adaptive reuse of buildings and creating beautiful and functional spaces that serve the community.
You can find Malta exploring restaurants along James Street in her spare time or spotting birds in one of the many Hamilton bird-watching hotspots.
Gillespie has a background in residential real estate. A licensed realtor since 2017, he came to Forge & Foster looking to expand his portfolio into the commercial space. As a leasing specialist, Marc focuses on internally leasing Forge & Foster’s commercial properties from Hamilton to Cambridge.
Director of Leasing
Jessica brings with her a tourism marketing background and a Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree from McMaster University. She is responsible for working on Forge & Foster’s marketing and leasing efforts and is passionate about bringing some new and exciting ideas to the table.
Living in downtown Hamilton, Jessica sees its potential and is excited to be part of a team helping it grow. When she’s not working, Jessica is planning her next trip or travelling the globe!
Prajapati holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Advanced Accounting from India’s Gujarat Law Society Institute of Commerce, and a Business Accounting diploma from Mohawk College. He has previously worked for a tax firm handling both personal and business taxes. His role as a Manager at Husky Gas polished his organizational skills and service quality across various environments.
As a Junior Accountant at Forge & Foster, Prajapati is highly dependable, ethical, and provides reliable acumen. He works efficiently by directly reporting to Ev Kotlikov (VP) and Dane Kerstens (CFO), thereby ensuring booking of accounting operations and service excellence.
Prajapati is a huge car enthusiast and often goes for a long drive. He also likes to exercise and do yoga for relaxation.
Vice President of Finance
A native Hamiltonian, Ev obtained an accounting diploma from Mohawk College then continued his studies at Brock University, where he received a BAcc, and an MBA from the Goodman School of Business. Ev has held roles in accounting and finance at KPMG, the Ministry of Health, Mohawk College, and the City of Hamilton. His focus at Forge & Foster is to streamline operations in order to improve efficiency and financial accuracy.
Within the organization, Ev values the passion within the team and the opportunities for continued growth and leadership. He is also an avid athlete, poker player, and reader.