Ward Capital Management

Our Greatest Asset
Is Comprised of Entrepreneurial
Leaders in Real Estate Acquisitions, Architecture and Planning, Banking, Investment Risk Management, Property Management, and Marketing.

D'Wayne
Prieto

MANAGING PARTNER & CEO

Mr. D'Wayne Prieto, Managing Partner & CEO of Ward Capital Management, LLC (WCM), has been working in Real Estate for the past 16 years as a principal investor and a real estate institutional advisor. Mr. Prieto worked at Wickapogue Realty Advisors: a real estate advisory, investment banking and asset management firm that caters to financial institutions with troubled assets. As the Vice-President of WRA, he has assisted in working out an excess of $200 million dollars of troubled assets. Prior to WRA, Mr. Prieto was the acquisition officer for Belfonti Capital Partners from 2001-2007. At Belfonti Capital Partners, LLC (BCP), an entrepreneurial firm, as an Acquisitions Officer. Mr. Prieto was involved in excess of $400 million dollars investment capital and exposed to various asset classes of real estate related transactions over a span of six years. He then worked at Blumenfeld Development Group in their Acquisitions and Development team with an emphasis on ground up retail development. In 2005, he started Ward Capital Management, his personal real estate investment and management firm focusing on multifamily assets in the tri-state area. Ward Capital Management owns, develops, and manages several multi-family assets in the tri-state area. Mr. Prieto earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Cognitive Studies and Political Science at Vanderbilt University (May 2001). He also holds a Master's of Science degree in Real Estate Finance and Investments from New York University (August 2002). Mr. Prieto has further his business acumen by completing his Master's in Business Administration at the New York University Stern School of Business (August 2013).

Erenik
Nezaj

Chief Financial Officer

Erenik Nezaj came on board in 2017 as the Chief Financial Officer for Ward Capital Management.  He is a New York State Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with specializations in advisory, audit, and tax services. Erenik has solid experience providing a wide range of accounting and financial services for multiple global powerhouses. In 2009, he joined Ernst & Young as an auditor in their Asset Management Division. In 2012, he joined the Equities division at Goldman Sachs, working under the investment bank for four years. Erenik’s passion for numbers and people is what makes him an excellent CPA and a trusted advisor to all his clients. His approach is driven by treating his clients as if their business is his own. He is able to quickly envision and brilliantly execute solutions that make life easier for his clients. After years of working closely with business owners, executives, and independent professionals, he is equipped to accommodate a diverse set of needs. Erenik has a Bachelors of Science in Accounting from Fordham University (2009) and is the Managing Partner of Nezaj & Co. CPAs, LLP, a New York City-based accounting firm. When he is not rocking the world of accounting, Erenik enjoys traveling, playing soccer and golf.

Jonathan
Sacks

SPECIAL ADVISOR

Jonathan Sacks, special advisor to Ward Capital Management, LLC, has played an essential role in major strategic initiatives including: leading efforts to set the firm’s business goals and growth strategy, building value for investors, and identifying emerging trends within the real estate industry. Over the course of several years, Jonathan Sacks has served in a variety of leadership roles and senior management positions. He is currently Managing Partner at 188th St. Development, a real estate and development company that has completed over 50 real estate and real estate financing engagements with a combined transaction value of over $20 million. 188th remains active in both development and lending with assets under management of over $8 million. Prior to that, Mr. Sacks acted as the interim CEO of MyEco, a firm that is focused on the protection of the environment by creating a sustainable shopping bag solution for retailers that provides a best practice alternative for retail consumers supporting not for profit entities. Jonathan is also the founding member of the Citizen Financial Advisory Committee (CFAC) for the Mamaroneck, New York Schools and has been instrumental in reducing school district debt costs. Based in New York, Jonathan has a long and successful record of helping clients with business strategy, capital advisory, strategic option analyses and other general management challenges. He has executed a number of investment banking engagements and performed advanced financial modeling, including entity valuations, transaction executing and structuring. He has particular depth working with clients across the real estate and consumer products industry at the intersection of technology while drawing upon a variety of cross-industry experience. Jonathan served as Executive Vice President and Member of the Board of Directors of E&B Giftware/EB Brands and was instrumental in the strategic sales of the companies that were sold to a private equity firms for $43 million and $113 million, respectively. Mr. Sacks is a strong supporter of his local community and participates in a number of civic organizations including a role as a founding member of the Citizen Financial Advisory Committee (CFAC) for the Mamaroneck, New York Schools and has been instrumental in reducing school district debt costs. He is a member of the Mamaroneck Fire Department, founding member of CFAC for the Mamaroneck School District and former member of the school section committee for Mamaroneck schools.

Greg
Sharp

Architect

Greg was inspired by New York City design and the downtown art scene in the ‘70s and ‘80s, when he accompanied his artist mother to her SoHo gallery openings as a child. He was frequently involved in construction projects as a young man, spending summers and weekends building furniture and running a small renovations and exterior projects business. 

Mr. Sharp is also, the founder and principal of Gregory Sharp Architect, PC and Case Development, Inc. For more than 20 years, he has designed and built a range of residential, commercial, hospitality and municipal spaces, incorporating one-of-a-kind architecture, furniture and interior details. Having grown up in Connecticut, an architecturally significant part of the country, Greg employs modern materials and creative solutions in his designs.

Gregory Sharp Architect, PC (GSA), is a licensed architecture firm that provides professional architectural design, general site planning and owner representation services. The sophisticated architecture emphasizes modernism and efficiency while referencing traditional design elements. Great design is not limited by style, size or budget. GSA’s creativity and experience produce stunning results, whether our clients are renovating an apartment, building a new home, creating a special office, repurposing an existing facility or constructing a condominium building.

Case Development, the New York-based company, provides development consulting, construction management, creative consulting and custom interiors services and handles all aspects of project development, construction supervision and project management for private clients and commercial developers.

Greg received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Tulane School of Architecture in New Orleans. He and his wife currently live in Dobbs Ferry, New York with their 2 young children.

Jewelle
Prieto

MANAGING PRINCIPAL & CHIEF CULTURE OFFICER, WARD HOSPITALITY

Jewelle Prieto was born and raised in New York, within of a family of restauranteurs that relished in delicious food and memorable experiences. Thanks to her father’s thriving businesses, which owned and operated nearly a dozen restaurants, Jewelle spent much of her childhood in both the back and front of the house; often visiting tables to meet guests and sowing the seeds for her future passion. In 2009, at the age of 21, Jewelle opened her first restaurant, Don Coqui, launching what would become a career in hospitality where she could express her passion for people.

Under Mrs. Prieto’s leadership, the Don Coqui Restaurant group was renowned not only for its acclaimed restaurants but also for its distinct and passion-driven culture of memorable hospitality. During her tenure at Don Coqui, Jewelle was responsible for each of the restaurant’s quality of service by ensuring that guests consistently received the highest quality experience while treating each guest and team member like family. 

As the Chief Culture Officer and Managing Principal for Ward Hospitality, Jewelle looks forward to continuing to preserve the importance of people driven encounters by creating a conducive work environment while acting as the main advocate for customers to build a customer-centered culture that resonates throughout the company.

Mrs. Prieto holds a Bachelor of Art from Fordham University with a major in Organizational Leadership and lives in Dobbs Ferry, NY with her husband, D’Wayne, daughter, Sira, and pet Boxer dog, Beans.

Justin
Shapiro

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, WARD HOSPITALITY

Justin Shapiro joined Ward Hospitality as the Director of Operations in early 2018, bringing along an extensive background and expertise in restaurant and bar management. As a Chicago native, Justin was born into a world of editorial entertainment and 1st Amendment rights. He learned early in life about the importance of treating everyone equally, fairly and with compassion. Transferring those important life lessons to the nightlife of Chicago’s bustling culinary and craft cocktail scene, Justin honed his management and operational skills under the tutelage of several Chicago industry veterans. In 2008, two New York bar veterans approached Justin and his business partner to be the majority investors in what would become the world-renowned Mayahuel NYC. Originally the majority investor, Justin became Mayahuel’s operational partner in 2010 and lead the bar to countless awards (including the prestigious Best New Cocktail Bar in the World from Tales of the Cocktails), above-industry average profitability, and a sustained run of almost 10-years. During his tenure at Mayahuel, and while consulting on several projects across the country, Justin also opened Ebanos Crossing, a boutique cocktail lounge in Downtown Los Angeles. Says Justin about his experiences, “it was an amazing learning opportunity that when being an owner/operator, there really is no substitute for being on-premises regularly. The opportunities to interact with our guests is what I covet most.” Having wrapped up the LA venture in 2016 and Mayahuel in 2017, Justin has now found his new home developing the Palo Vivo franchise under the Ward Hospitality group. He looks forward to bringing his operational expertise and passion for hospitality to this new venture. Justin is also a world traveler, founder of JustRight Consulting LLC and holds degrees from both Lincoln College and the College of Charleston.

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