PM Realty Group names Rick V. Kirk chairman and CEO Rick V. Kirk has been named chairman of the board and CEO of the Houston-based full-service real estate firm. Kirk, who joined the company two years ago, has risen from COO to president in 1996 and now to chairman and CEO. He will retain his responsibilities as president.

Kirk spoke to NREI about his new responsibilities at PM Realty, which has a 110 million sq. ft. portfolio, and where the company is heading.

NREI: It seems you've been on the fast track at PM. To what do you attribute this rapid climb?

Kirk: Basically good timing. When I came into the organization I was recruited to come in and run the day-to-day operations of PM. That role really hasn't change much with this. Every organization needs different talents at different stages in its evolution. I think my predecessor, Mike Lutton, was a tremendous change agent for a very old and traditional organization. Mike came in charged with the responsibility of making some changes and evolving the company into a full-service real estate company. I came in to run the day-to-day operations and to execute the game plan that the organization had gone through. My talents lie more in execution and running a stabilized operation. My strategic thinking and ability to execute a strategic plan are the key components to that rise.

NREI: In what direction do you plan to take the company?

Kirk: We're very solid on the basics of the management side. We want to grow our investment sales and acquisitions group. I think that provides synergy for the entire organization. We will continue to focus more on our project leasing, and expanding our capabilities in those terms is one key area for us. The other key area is expansion of our corporate client base. It's a fairly new focus for the organization, and I think the potential is explosive in that arena. The other issue that I think we will have is more of a focus on servicing and marketing to portfolios and alliances with our clients, partnerships, if you will, vs. just one-off property management assignments.

NREI: Many companies are merging to consolidate forces such as CB Commercial/Koll and Galbreath/ LaSalle. Do you see this happening for PM Realty?

Kirk: We are not interested in a merger with another fee-service provider. We would explore a strategic alliance or partnership with the right type of organization which may control real estate or have its own portfolio or own investment objectives in real estate, but just to merge with another fee-service provider really doesn't fit into our strategic plan.

Tishman Realty Corp. William J. Sales, who held senior positions at Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs prior to forming his own company, has been named president of New York-based Tishman.

Cushman & Wakefield Inc. The New York-based international real estate services firm has established an Advisory Services Group to provide strategic assessment, financial structuring and consultation expertise. Stevan A. Sandberg has been named executive managing director of the group.

Leonard F. Helbig III also has been named executive managing director responsible for the Financial Services and Asset Services groups.

New America Network Dennis J. Hiffman, vice chairman of Hiffman Shaffer Associates Inc./New America Network (NAN), Chicago, has been elected chairman of the NAN Advisory Board.

CapStar Hotel Co. The Washington, D.C.-based hotel management and investment corporation has named John Emery CFO. Emery joined the company in 1995 as director of finance and was subsequently appointed treasurer and secretary.

AEW International Richard W. Lewis has joined the Boston-based firm as president and COO. Lewis comes to the company from his former position as vice president, corporate development, at Work Family Directions Inc., Boston.

Phoenix Realty Advisors Inc. The Hartford, Conn.-based firm has appointed Geoffrey S. Emanuel executive vice president, acquisitions. He will be responsible for acquisitions for the company's institutional portfolios.

Institutional Realty Management Sherry A. Koetting has been promoted to senior vice president, retail leasing, of the property management and leasing affiliate of New York-based Jones Lang Wootton Realty Advisors.

MEPC American Properties The Dallas-based firm has named Donn Fuller and Peter Johnson executive vice presidents. Both men were previously senior vice presidents at the company, and both sit on its board.

Grubb & Ellis Beth Mercante has been named a senior director in the Chicago-based firm's New York Investment Sales Division, where she will list investment properties, financing and coordinate site searches.