Ophir Sternberg, our Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer since inception, has over 28 years of experience acquiring, developing, repositioning and investing in all segments of the real estate industry, including office, industrial, retail, hospitality, ultra-luxury residential condominiums and land acquisitions. Mr. Sternberg is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Miami-based Lionheart Capital LLC, or Lionheart Capital, founded in 2010.
Mr. Sternberg began his career assembling, acquiring and developing properties in emerging neighborhoods in New York City, which established his reputation for identifying assets with unrealized potential and combining innovative partnerships with efficient financing structures to realize above average returns. Mr. Sternberg came to the United States in 1993 after completing three years of military service within an elite combat unit for the Israeli Defense Forces.
Under Mr. Sternberg’s leadership, Lionheart Capital executed numerous prominent real estate transactions and repositions, including The Ritz-Carlton Residences in Miami Beach, which resulted in a total sell-out value in excess of $550 million, as well as purchase of the development’s site, the former Miami Heart Institute. Additionally, Mr. Sternberg led the $120 million sale of The Seagull Hotel, making it the highest grossing hotel sale of 2020 in Miami Beach. Mr. Sternberg and Lionheart Capital are currently in development on a number of other projects, including retail properties in Miami’s fashion and culture epicenter, The Design District. In addition to The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach, Lionheart Capital also developed The Ritz-Carlton Residences Singer Island, Palm Beach, cementing a reputation for developing high-end luxury branded properties.
In 2017, Mr. Sternberg founded Out of the Box Ventures, LLC, a Lionheart Capital subsidiary, to acquire and reposition distressed retail properties throughout the United States. With over 30 properties in 17 states, Out of the Box Ventures currently controls over 6 million square feet of big box stores, shopping centers and enclosed regional mall properties with plans to improve and expand upon these acquisitions.
Mr. Sternberg and Lionheart Capital are dedicated to working with best-in-class operators and partners such as Marriot International. Lionheart Capital has been able to execute numerous, marquee transactions due largely in part to Mr. Sternberg’s extensive industry relationships particularly with key institutional investors.
In March 2020, Mr. Sternberg became Chairman of Nasdaq-listed OPES, a SPAC, which on June 30, 2020, announced a definitive agreement to merge with BurgerFi International LLC. The OPES-BurgerFi merger closed on December 16, 2020 to form BurgerFi International Inc., or BurgerFi, a fast-causal “better burger” concept that consists of approximately 125 restaurants nationally and internationally. Mr. Sternberg is the Chairman of the post-combination Nasdaq-listed company, BurgerFi (NASDAQ: BFI). The OPES team, led by Mr. Sternberg, evaluated over 50 potential targets and negotiated business combination terms with multiple candidates in a span of a few months and acquired BurgerFi at what it believed was an attractive multiple relative to its peers.
In addition, since its inception in December 2019, Mr. Sternberg has been the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nasdaq-listed Lionheart II, a SPAC. Lionheart II completed its initial public offering in August 2020, in which it sold an aggregate of 23,000,000 units (including the exercise of the underwriters’ over-allotment option), each unit consisting of one share of Lionheart II Class A common stock and one-half of one redeemable warrant for one share of Lionheart II Class A common stock, for an offering price of $10.00 per unit, generating aggregate proceeds of $230,000,000. Lionheart II’s units, shares of Class A common stock and warrants currently trade on Nasdaq under the symbols “LCAPU,” “LCAP” and “LCAPW,” respectively. Lionheart II has not yet announced or completed its initial business combination. Mr. Sternberg is also the Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of the recently incorporated Lionheart IV, another SPAC that may seek to acquire a broad range of businesses. Mr. Sternberg is qualified to serve as a director due to his extensive experience in acquiring, developing, repositioning and investing in all segments of the real estate industry.
Paul Rapisarda, who currently serves as our Chief Financial Officer and who will become one of our board members at the closing of this offering, has also served as Chief Financial Officer at Lionheart Capital, Lionheart II and Out of the Box Ventures since 2019. In addition, he has served as Chief Financial Officer and director of Lionheart III, positions he has held since March 2021. Mr. Rapisarda is an experienced public company C-suite executive and investment banking professional with more than 25 years working in and for a variety of public and private companies. Prior to joining Lionheart Capital in June 2019, he served as Chief Financial Officer at Etrion Corp. (TSX:ETX), a dual-listed (Canada/Sweden) solar energy development company from October 2015 to December 2017. Etrion Corp. is part of The Lundin Group, a portfolio of 13 public companies in the energy and mining sectors with a combined market capitalization in excess of $16 billion, started or sponsored by the Lundin family. Mr. Rapisarda was responsible for managing all finance functions, including financial reporting, treasury & cash management, corporate finance, regulatory/SEC compliance matters and investor relations. In addition, Mr. Rapisarda established Garrison Capital Advisors LLC, a financial advisory and consulting services company in 2014. From 2008 to 2014, he worked for another dual-listed company (Canada/United States), Atlantic Power Corporation (NYSE:AT), most recently serving as Executive Vice President-Commercial Development. The company was a portfolio company controlled by Arclight Capital Partners, a private equity firm with $10.4 billion of assets under management and a focus on the energy sector. He was a key member of the executive team that successfully engineered the $1.8 billion merger with Capital Power Income L.P. and had primary responsibility for the investment of over $1.2 billion in capital from 2008-2012. Prior to Atlantic Power, Mr. Rapisarda worked for over 20 years in investment banking and private equity for several firms, including Compass Advisers LLP, Schroders, Merrill Lynch and BT Securities. He has also acted as a board member at several emerging growth companies, primarily in the energy, technology and infrastructure sectors. Mr. Rapisarda has a B.A. from Amherst College and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School. Mr. Sternberg is qualified to serve as a director due to his experience in finance and investment banking.
Allison Greenfield, who will become one of our board members at the closing of this offering, has over two decades of experience in real estate development. Ms. Greenfield has been a partner of Lionheart Capital, since it was founded in 2009 and has over 25 years of experience in the entitlement, design, construction and management of projects in all segments of the real estate industry, including industrial, retail, hospitality, and ultra-luxury residential condominiums. At Lionheart Capital, she has been responsible for the successful acquisition, development, and repositioning of real estate assets around the world. Prior to her tenure at Lionheart Capital, Ms. Greenfield ran the development and construction arm of Oz Holdings, LLC as a partner from 2001-2010. Ms. Greenfield studied Architecture at The New School University, Parsons School of Design and holds a B.A. in History from Barnard College/Columbia University. Ms. Greenfield is qualified to serve as a director due to her experience in acquiring, developing, repositioning of assets in the real estate industry.
Steven Berrard, who will become one of our board members at the closing of this offering, is a co-founder of e-commerce company RumbleOn Inc. and has served as its Chief Financial Officer since 2017 and has been a member of its Board of Directors since 2016. Mr. Berrard is the Managing Partner of New River Capital Partners, a private equity fund he co-founded in 1997. Mr. Berrard was the co-founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of AutoNation from 1996 to 1999. Prior to joining AutoNation, Mr. Berrard served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Blockbuster Entertainment Group, the world’s largest video store operator at the time. Mr. Berrard served as Chairman of Board of Jamba, Inc. from 2005 to 2007 and as its Chief Executive Officer from 2005 to 2006. Mr. Berrard served as President of Huizenga Holdings, Inc., a real estate management and development company, and served in various positions with subsidiaries of Huizenga Holdings, Inc. from 1981 to 1987. Mr. Berrard currently serves on the Board of Directors of Pivotal Fitness, Inc., a chain of fitness centers operating in Charleston, SC, a position he has held since 2004. He has previously served on the Boards of Directors of Swisher Hygiene Inc. from 2004 to 2014, Walter Investment Management Corp. from 2010 to 2017, Jamba, Inc. from 2005 to 2009, Viacom, Inc. from 1987 to 1996, Birmingham Steel from 1999 to 2002, HealthSouth from 2004 to 2006 and Boca Resorts, Inc. from 1996 to 2004. Mr. Berrard earned his B.S. in Accounting from Florida Atlantic University. Mr. Berrard is qualified to serve as a director due to his experience in leading various public companies.
Roger Meltzer, Esq., who will become one of our board members at the closing of this offering, is a distinguished global leader, having produced substantial innovations for global firms, including one of the largest and most well-known firms in the world while demonstrating agility, compassion, and consistency, who has successfully navigated firms and local offices through challenges such as major worldwide financial headwinds, transnational cyberattacks and global pandemics, who has clearly established moral and business imperatives and has pioneered industry precedents for institutionalized equality, diversity and inclusivity and nurtured a global iconic pro bono effort, and who is known for leading and nurturing entrepreneurial, high performing, and team centric cultures. Mr. Meltzer has practiced law at DLA Piper LLP since 2007 and has held various roles: Global Co-Chairman, since 2015; Americas Co-Chairman, since 2013; Member, Office of the Chair, since 2011; Member, Global Board, since 2008; Co-Chairman, U.S. Executive Committee, since 2013; Member, U.S. Executive Committee, since 2007; and Global Co-Chairman, Corporate Finance Practice, 2007 through 2015. Prior to joining DLA Piper LLP, Mr. Meltzer practiced law at Cahill Gordon & Reindel LLP from 1980 through 2007 where he was a member of the Executive Committee from 1987 through 2007, Co-Administrative Partner and Hiring Partner from 1987 through 1999, and Partner from 1984 through 2007. Mr. Meltzer currently serves on the Advisory Board of Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession (May 2015—Present); Board of Trustees, New York University Law School (September 2011—Present); and the Corporate Advisory Board, John Hopkins, Carey Business School (January 2009—December 2012). He has previously served on the board of directors of: The Legal Aid Society (November 2013 to January 2020), Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (December 2000 to February 2020) and The Coinmach Service Corporation (December 2009 to June 2013). Mr. Meltzer has also received several awards and honors and has been actively involved in philanthropic activity throughout his career. Mr. Meltzer received Juris Doctor degree in law from New York University School of Law and an A.B. from Harvard College. Mr. Meltzer is qualified to serve as a director due to his experience representing clients on high-profile, complex, and cross-border matters and his leadership qualities.