Lela Goren is driven by the power of buildings to create change – economic, social, historic.
She founded Lela Goren Group to build that kind of building. Magical physical spaces that bring people together, to create experiences that shift mindsets and expand possibilities. Economic opportunities for business, neighborhoods, communities. Foundations of the past, transformed to enrich the future.
Lela is a person who builds. As a real-estate developer and investor for 15 years, Lela has worked on millions of square feet of real estate and mixed-use developments in New York City, including residential, hospitality, office and retail in all phases of assembly, acquisition, finance, design, construction, sales and marketing. In 2016 she won the Women Builders Council Developer of the Year award.
Lela is an activist. As an intellectual property lawyer with a masters’ degree in international law, Lela saw change happen – or not – through the global systems of the United Nations, first in Geneva and then in New York City. She already knew how change happens at the grassroots: passionate, dedicated people roll up their sleeves and get to work. That’s how it happened when she was a college activist. And that’s how it continues to happen, having served on the boards of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Donor Direct, Equality Now and The New Israel Fund, earning her the 2013 Civic Spirit Award by the Women’s City Club of New York.
Lela is a person who can work at scale. Recently as Chief Development Officer at WeWork Lela oversaw design, development and construction on projects around the world. Later as Vice Chair she oversaw governmental affairs, helping to build WeWork into one of the fastest growing companies in New York City history.
Lela is an untiring optimist. When she was four, Lela rode on her grandfather’s construction truck in Israel, and saw Jews and Arabs working and building together. When she was 30, she walked the halls of the United Nations General Assembly, and saw a building that made space for the whole world. Today, she sees what unites the broad spectrum of people it takes to put up a building, and the future they can build together.
Sara Mirski has 25+ years of Real Estate Development experience. She has been involved in the Acquisition, Planning & Development of more than 4MM square feet in New York, Texas, and Minnesota. Her roles have included Property Manager, Owner's Representative, Chief Development Director, & Chief Operating Officer.
In her previous positions she played key roles in all phases of real estate development acquisitions, financing, strategic planning, and construction; managing the development process from acquisition to final sale or lease up. Sara has lead partnerships with key decision makers, generated new business, penetrated new markets, motivated and mentored teams, managed client relationships, and successfully completed large-scale and complex development projects with transaction values up to $300 million.
Named “40 Under 40” Rising Stars by Crain’s NY Business Magazine (2007), “Woman of Influence” by Real Estate New York Magazine, (2007) one of “Top Women in R/E and Construction” by Tri-State Real Estate Magazine (2008) one of “Outstanding Women in Building Industry” by Women Builders Council, Inc. (2009) and the cover story for “Pioneering Women in Real Estate” by Sokol Media (2014),
Sara recieved her MS in Real Estate Development and Investment from New York University. Originally from New Hampshire, Sara now lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and two sons.
Chloe Byruck has a decade of experience building mission-driven programs in Silicon Valley, India, Laos, and beyond. As a Senior Project Manager at Lela Goren Group, Chloe brings a background that spans business, real estate, communications, and design.
Before joining Lela Goren Group, Chloe worked as the COO of an innovation consultancy where she built partnerships and programs with major national organizations, including NASA and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Chloe also co-founded an organization that supported cleantech, green building, and sustainable tourism through economic development and business acceleration programs. The impact of this work was recognized at the Harvard Social Enterprise Conference.
Chloe has bicoastal roots; she is not only a 6th generation New Yorker but also a 4th generation San Franciscan, where she contributes to her family real estate company. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling and exploring nature.
Chloe earned her undergraduate degree in Architecture and Social Design from Washington University and her MBA from INSEAD.
Alexandra Pyke has over 15 years of experience in business development, strategic partnerships and philanthropic consulting. Alexandra began her career in Australia as an insurance litigator. After several years of practice, she moved to The Netherlands and remained working in the legal and finance sectors in a business development and strategic partnerships role. In 2009 she made the move to New York to follow her entrepreneurial spirit and assisted in establishing several start-ups in various fields including graphic design and food retail.
A perennial volunteer and outspoken advocate of social enterprise, Alexandra chose to make her passion her life’s work in 2010 and moved into the philanthropic advisory sector establishing her own advisory company. Alexandra provided strategic advice and consulting services to high net worth individuals, family offices and companies that wanted to have a greater impact in the world. Alexandra assisted organizations by building strategies to increase their philanthropy, purposes drive investments and/or community engagement. She worked with the leadership of various organizations to review current business practices, assess and analyze the environment in which they operated, identified opportunities and plans for growth and assisted in their implementation.
Alexandra sits on the Next Generation Council for the USC Shoah Foundation Institute and is Co-Chair of the Survivor Initiative. She is passionate about her volunteer work in Brazil with organizations such as Gastromotiva as well as mentoring roles with prison entrepreneurship programs that support formerly incarcerated men. Alexandra’s greatest achievement to date has been working with Michelle Obama and The White House Administration to further their “ Reach Higher Campaign” by brokering partnership agreements and funding to raise awareness of, and increase further, education in underserved communities in America.
Alexandra earned her undergraduate degree in Law and Arts from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.
Mandisa has been producing events and cultivating communities in New York City since 2005. With Lela Goren Group, she’s been a producer of events at the Women’s Building, including the opening block party and the Annie Leibovitz's New York showing of “WOMEN: New Portraits”.
Before Lela Goren Group, Mandisa served as the Director of Community for SeeMe, guiding a global membership of hundreds of thousands of artists. She has previously worked as a community director for Jack Erwin and 3rd Ward Brooklyn, a multidisciplinary creator space in Bushwick Brooklyn.
Born in Des Moines, Iowa, Mandisa has lived in New Jersey, California, Georgia & Louisiana due to her father's job at UPS. She originally moved to NYC for a boyfriend, but eventually finished college and started a career of connecting people to community through events and happenings that have touched the world.
Connie Harrigan has over 20 years of experience in the accounting field. Her experience ranges from Bookkeeping Manager, Accounting Manager to Assistant Controller. As Senior Accountant and HR Manager at Lela Goren Group, Connie brings a background that covers banking and CPA firms.
Prior to joining Lela Goren Group, Connie served as Assistant Controller for a construction and real estate company where she was very instrumental in providing financial advice and creating budgets and projections for major development projects.
Connie grew up in the Caribbean on the Island of Anguilla, but New York has been her home for over 15 years. In her leisure time, Connie enjoys traveling and fun adventures.
Connie earned her undergraduate degree in Accounting and Finance and then further her education with a MBA from Long Island University here in New York.
Brendan Doherty backs entrepreneurs and organizations solving our world’s biggest, chewiest problems. He's an impact investor and a big believer that the credit does belong to the one in the arena.
At Lela Goren Group, he is Chief Strategy & Impact Officer where he designs opportunities for real estate to drive social change and environmental innovation. He co-founded and leads Forbes Impact, a global community and media division transforming markets with the power of capital and culture. He’s a partner at StartupRunner Capital, where he accelerates and capitalizes the next generation of entrepreneurs solving the UN Sustainable Development Goals. He’s co-founder of two mission-driven agencies, one of which was a B Corporation, and is a recovering lawyer.
Previously, he was a senior advisor at the U.S. State Department under two Administrations, where he shaped global policy on conflict, stabilization, and human security. He’s an advisor to BRAVA Investments (scaling economic opportunities for women), the Laudato Si’ Challenge (a Vatican-backed impact investing nonprofit), the creative agency Guru, and the Public International Law and Policy Group, where he advises (nice) rebels and governments on constitution drafting and peace negotiations. He lives in Atlanta and Brooklyn.
William Etundi Jr. is a leader within the global creative community and an event producer / experience designer. For the past 17 years, he has worked to produce large scale projects that mix social commentary, art and public spectacle.
William’s events have been experienced by over a hundred thousand guests, from Brooklyn to Miami, from the Louvre to the White House. His distinct style blends a sense of intimacy within a grand spectacle with the New York Times calling him "an impresario of the underground".
His work has been featured on the pages of the TED, The New York Times, Vogue, the Wall St. Journal, ID Magazine, Paper Magazine and was recently honored with a Shorty Award for Social Good.
In 2012, Etundi founded SeeMe, a scrappy side project of a website that blossomed into an international phenomenon with over a million members sharing, connecting, and commenting on creative work worldwide. Before SeeMe, Etundi was the creative lead for May First Technology, and a Junior Art Director with Saatchi & Saatchi.