David Brown

President & CEO

Mr. Brown brings nearly three decades of real estate investment experience to his role as President and CEO of Somera. With a career that has been exclusively dedicated to the real estate investment business, Mr. Brown has had experience in all aspects of the industry from both a technical perspective and as an active investor. Mr. Brown is responsible and has overseen the acquisition of approximately $2 billion of real estate on behalf of Somera. Mr. Brown is involved in the company’s investment strategy formation, sourcing, analysis, structuring and management of assets.

Prior to co-founding Somera Capital Management with Mr. Firestone as the successor to Somera Real Estate Group, Mr. Brown was Executive Vice President of Pacifica Real Estate Group, a private equity manager specializing in value-add investments. During this seven-year period, Pacifica tripled the value of its real estate portfolio and became a dominant regional investment firm focused on suburban office and hospitality assets. Prior to 1991, Mr. Brown served as Vice President of Auerbach Financial, Inc., a division of The Auerbach Companies, where he acquired properties for the Auerbach portfolio and developed an institutional investment program. Before joining Auerbach, Mr. Brown spent the initial six years of his career with Invest West Financial Corporation, a real estate investment and development firm, where he began as an analyst and was later elevated to a transactional role as a Vice President.

Mr. Brown has been an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Real Estate Investment Advisory Council, has spoken at many real estate industry and investment symposiums, and is an active sponsor of charitable organizations and foundations. Mr. Brown is a member of Somera’s Executive Committee.

Steve Firestone

Sr. Managing Partner

Mr. Firestone is the founder and Chairman of Somera. His leadership roles include strategic planning, investment selection, and oversight of the general business and financial management of the company. Prior to founding Somera in 1994, Mr. Firestone was an entrepreneurial businessman and an active real estate investor for himself and for his family’s account, with interests throughout the Western United States.

Mr. Firestone’s success and leadership story started at age 17 when he captained a crew of 11 teenagers on an 18-month circumnavigation of the globe in an 85-foot sailing schooner. Upon his return, Mr. Firestone started an entrepreneurial career in the computer industry that, over the next 15 years, created a significant net worth for himself and for his family.

During the course of his career, Mr. Firestone and his family have accomplished a number of notable business achievements. When they decided to invest their wealth in real estate, Mr. Firestone formed Somera Real Estate Group, Inc. to provide a platform from which to manage the real estate investment activities of Mr. Firestone’s family and business associates.

Since 1994, Mr. Firestone has served in many capacities while leading Somera’s growth from a family office operation to a nationally-recognized real estate investment firm. From inception, Mr. Firestone identified, analyzed and closed the first series of transactions while establishing Somera’s initial operating partner relationships, including the relationship with Pacifica Real Estate Group, where he met David Brown. Mr. Firestone designed the partnership structure when he and Mr. Brown co-founded Somera Capital Management in 1998 as the successor to Somera Real Estate Group, Inc. Mr. Firestone then continued his active participation in the investment process while turning his focus to the company’s financial and business management and recruitment of talent as Somera’s business prospered and grew. Mr. Firestone is a member of Somera’s Executive Committee.

Julie Lubin

Corporate Finance

Ms. Lubin’s responsibilities at Somera include internal financial management, investment reporting, information technology, human resources and company financial planning. Ms. Lubin has more than 30 years of experience as a controller, chief financial officer, business manager, and tax and financial adviser to many high net worth individuals and privately-owned businesses. She has extensive experience handling sophisticated multi-million dollar financial transactions in both the real estate and non-real estate markets, ranging from sales and purchases, recapitalizations and reorganizations, venture capital investments and workouts. Ms. Lubin served as the Controller and Chief Financial Officer for a worldwide distributor of telecommunications equipment, where she managed the company’s growth from start-up to more than $100 million in revenues in less than four years. She instituted the financial reporting and tax compliance systems needed to facilitate a significant investment in the company by a venture capital firm, leading to the company’s eventual IPO and NASDAQ listing. Ms. Lubin is a member of Somera’s Executive Committee.

Jake Farver

Senior Managing Director

Mr. Farver leads Somera’s activities in the eastern United States out of its Washington, DC office and his responsibilities include sourcing new opportunities, structuring of potential investment, overseeing due diligence as well as investment management of transactions post acquisition. Mr. Farver serves as a voting member of Somera’s Investment Committee and is also a member of the Executive Committee. Mr. Farver has more than ten years of experience in commercial real estate transactions and has served in dispositions, acquisitions, asset management and portfolio management capacities. Prior to joining Somera in 2006, Mr. Farver executed acquisitions for Madison Marquette and served in an investment sales capacity with Insignia ESG, including through its merger with CB Richard Ellis. Mr. Farver has been an active member with leadership positions in the Urban Land Institute and International Council of Shopping Centers. Mr. Farver received a B.A. degree in Economics and a B.A. degree in Political Science from Wake Forest University.

TJ Gamble

Senior Managing Director

T.J. returned to Somera Capital in 2021 as Senior Managing Director and works out of the company’s Newport Beach, CA office. T.J. previously worked at Somera for eight years, leaving in 2018 for Cincinnati based Viking Partners. While at Viking Partners, T.J. was Director of Acquisitions and oversaw the acquisition of over $250 million of real estate in various formats and positions within the capital stack.

During T.J.’s previous time at Somera he was a Managing Director, overseeing West Coast acquisitions and asset management. While at Somera he oversaw multiple investments (equity, preferred equity and debt) in all asset classes including, hospitality, retail and office.

T.J. graduated from Colgate University in 2003 and started his career at Los Angeles based Wilson Commercial Real Estate (acquired by JLL in 2015) as a retail leasing specialist. He lives in Newport Beach, CA with his wife and three young children. He is a member of the board of directors of the First Tee of Orange County sits on the Southern California Golf Association’s Scholarship Committee.

Chris Hahs

Chief Financial Officer

Mr. Chris Hahs is Somera’s Chief Financial Officer and Portfolio Manager. Mr. Hahs is responsible for implementation of asset business plans, investment financing and disposition, and supervision of joint venture partner relationships. He has been active in the commercial real estate business for 20 years.

Mr. Hahs rejoined Somera in January of 2013. Prior to rejoining Somera, he was the President of Hahs Real Estate Group, a real estate development company specializing in self storage. From the period of 1999 to 2006 he served as Vice President – Asset Management for Somera, managing over $500 million of real assets, including retail, office, industrial, hospitality and multi-family. Prior to this Mr. Hahs served as Assistant Treasurer for Newhall Land and Farming Company. Mr. Hahs began his career and spent four years with Kenneth Leventhal & Company, a leading Public Accounting Firm specializing in the real estate industry. While at Kenneth Leventhal , he served in various capacities including Senior Accountant and Real Estate Consultant.

Mr. Hahs received a Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics from Westmont College. He also holds an inactive CPA License.

Eric Gittleman

Managing Director

Mr. Gittleman’s primary area of responsibility is sourcing and analyzing new investment opportunities. In this role, Mr. Gittleman conducts underwriting, property-level due diligence and market research, as well as transaction structuring. Mr. Gittleman is also responsible for the investment management of assets post acquisition. Prior to joining Somera, Mr. Gittleman served as a real estate analyst with CWCapital Asset Management, where he performed property valuations, conducted financial and operating statement analysis, and projected financial returns. Prior to working at CWCapital, Mr. Gittleman served as an investment analyst with Cambridge Associates, where he was responsible for investment performance reporting for nonprofit organizations and high net-worth clients. Mr. Gittleman graduated from The George Washington University with a B.A. in Finance.

Natalia Ford

Investor Relations

Natalia joined Somera Capital in 2012 as Executive Assistant and Investor Relations Manager. She has become a key member of our team, managing the comprehensive investment reporting process, as well as interfacing with our investors and their account custodians on a daily basis to ensure that their investment portfolio is actively managed.

George Short

General Counsel

As General Counsel, Mr. Short works closely with Somera’s senior management, providing advice and counsel with respect to the company’s tax and business planning, capital formation structures, investment activities, property acquisitions, operations and dispositions, and a broad range of general legal matters. A member of the State Bar of California and admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court and the United States Tax Court, Mr. Short is certified by the State Bar of California as a Taxation Law Specialist and is a Fellow of the American College of Tax Counsel. A graduate of UCLA where he majored in sociology and his studies included demography, urban sociology and statistical analysis, Mr. Short obtained his law degree (cum laude) from the California Western School of Law where he was Executive Editor of the California Western Law Review.

A shareholder in the law firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, Mr. Short’s law practice includes business and corporate advisory, tax, and trust and estates services.

Mr. Short has more than 40 years of experience advising pension and welfare benefit funds, nonprofit organizations, private companies, private investors and family offices on real estate, tax, ERISA, business and corporate matters. He is a recognized authority in tax law, having lectured for the USC Tax Institute, the American Bar Association Section on Real Property, Probate and Trust Law, the Employee Benefits Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the Northern Trust Bank of California Trust and Tax Forum, among others. His articles have been published in the Journal of Taxation, Duke Law School’s Law and Contemporary Problems, USC Law School’s Major Tax Planning, and other legal and trade journals.