Presenter

Ken Olson

President / CEO, Poko Partners LLC

As President and CEO, Ken Olson leads a socially responsible real estate company, POKO Partners, LLC. The company’s core philosophy embraces the development of high quality affordable housing by utilizing sustainable development principles to positively impact undervalued neighborhoods and contributes to community revitalization. Since founding POKO Management in 1993 and POKO Partners in 1995, his responsibilities include identifying opportunities for redevelopment, as well as the repositioning and revitalization of over $220 million of mixed-use and mixed-income residential, commercial and waterfront properties in New York City and Connecticut. Under Olson’s leadership, POKO Partners, LLC is working to redefine the traditional concepts of affordable housing by creating mixed-income developments that boast market rate finishes like granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances and hardwood floors within a pedestrian driven mixed-use development. Some of POKO’s development projects include rental and home ownership components. As a private development company with a larger social mission, Olson works with government agencies and non-profits like New York City Department of Housing, New York City Housing Partnership and Outreach Project, The Enterprise Foundation and Local Initiatives Support Corporation to identify, finance and administer potential properties for development. Most recently, Olson and POKO have been designated as the sole developer for five initiatives in New York City, Norwalk, Stonington, Bridgeport and Groton, Connecticut that include affordable components and market-rate housing opportunities with both rental and ownership components. Prior to founding POKO, Olson was the Senior Vice President of GTE Realty Company, a firm developed from a resulting debt restructure he led as Director of Finance for the Markham Company, where he redeveloped all of the company’s real estate inclusive of the project planning, construction, management and leasing. Olson began his career in 1981 with Bank Leumi in Commercial Construction Lending. He assisted with the creation of the Connecticut Historic Tax Credit legislation that was passed in 2006, sits on the Governors Advisory Panel on Affordable Housing in Connecticut and is a Board Member of the Connecticut Real Estate Finance Association as well as the Executive Committee of the New York State Association for Affordable Housing. He resides in Westport, Connecticut with his wife and children.

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