Thomas Arasi has been named president and CEO of Atlanta-based Lodgian Inc. and has been appointed as a member of the company's board of directors. Arasi recently served as president of the Americas division at Atlanta-based Bass Hotels & Resorts.

Stath Karras has been appointed president and CEO of San Diego-based Burnham Real Estate Services. He replaces Dennis Cruzan, who became chairman of the board. Karras has served as COO of the firm since 1998.

Rene Tremblay has been named president and CEO of Montreal-based Ivanhoe Cambridge, a new company formed from a recent merger of Ivanhoe Inc. and Toronto-based Cambridge Shopping Centres Ltd. Tremblay served as president and COO of Ivanhoe since 1995.

Simon Cooper, former president of Marriott Lodging Canada, has been named president and COO of Atlanta-based Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. LLC. Cooper succeeds Horst Schulze, who will remain with the company as vice chairman.

Alan Tantleff has been promoted from senior vice president to executive vice president of New York-based Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels.

Michael Forney has been named president of New York-based PW Funding Inc. He served as a principal and managing director of Larson Financial Resources Inc., which became a wholly owned subsidiary of PW Funding in October 2000.

Christine Muszynski has been promoted to senior vice president and director of management operations of Chicago-based HSA Commercial Real Estate.

Stephen Golding has joined the Dallas-based Jackson-Shaw Co. as president and COO. He will direct the rapidly expanding development, financial and administrative activities of the company.

Gregory Sullivan has resigned as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Toronto-based TrizecHahn Corp.

e-mail names in the news to sheila_spires@intertec.com

Darbin Skeans takes over reins of CCIM

Darbin Skeans is the new national president of the Chicago-based CCIM Institute for 2001. The Institute, with more than 12,000 members worldwide, confers the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation to commercial real estate professionals through an extensive curriculum of 200 classroom hours, in addition to professional work experience.

Skeans, the Institute's 35th president, has nearly 28 years of commercial real estate experience. He has been involved in the development, management and sale of commercial/industrial properties in several East Coast states for clients and for his corporate portfolio. Skeans earned the CCIM designation in 1983.

We recently spoke with Skeans about his vision for CCIM's future.

NREI: What are the responsibilities of the president of CCIM Institute?

Skeans: One of the duties is to promote the value of the CCIM designation and our education program. For a little over two years, I've been visiting different areas around the country, CCIM chapters, and speaking with them about what's happening within the Institute, what opportunities there are, and how as an institute we are making it easier for our members to do business. I also promote the value of CCIM education in the real estate industry itself. I've made calls on corporations around the country that are in the real estate business, such as brokerage companies, owners of real estate and REITs.

Since CCIM Institute is a volunteer organization, many of the ideas come from the members. I believe it's the responsibility of the president to be like the conductor of an orchestra, who's trying to get the most out of the different individuals who play in it.

NREI: What are your goals as this year's president of CCIM Institute?

Skeans: One goal is to strengthen our educational program so that it continues to be of value to our students. We also want to make sure that our designees have educational offerings that benefit them. In our mission statement, we talk about helping our members gain a competitive advantage. Over the past couple of years, we've developed an Internet platform that provides different tools that our members can use on a day-to-day basis to conduct their business. We call it the “site to do business.” I want to continue to improve that site, both with additional content and perhaps through some alliances with other groups.

Finally, my goal is to continue to expand the worldwide network that we have as CCIMs. Right now we have more than 12,000 members around the world. It's a goal to continue to expand that both in the numbers of designees or members, as well as the number of places in which they are active in the marketplace around the world.

For more of this interview, please visit our Web site at www.NREIonline.com