Amb. Hans H. Hertell, Esq.
Chief Executive Officer
Amb. Hans H. Hertell in attorney with over 30 years’ experience in government, public affairs, business, and banking, Ambassador Hans H. Hertell was sworn in as the United States Ambassador to the Dominican Republic on November 8, 2001. When he finished his tour on May 1, 2007, Ambassador Hertell was the second longest serving U.S. Ambassador and he was awarded the prestigious Cobb Award for Excellency in Diplomacy by the Department of State.
Before being an Ambassador, Mr. Hertell’s experience includes being the Managing Director for Latin America and the Caribbean for Black, Kelly, Scruggs and Healey, a government and public affairs company based in Washington, D.C. He was President of a publicly traded company, Ponce Federal Bank (NYSE), and a founding partner of the third largest full service law firm in Puerto Rico, Goldman, Antonetti, Ferraiuoli, Axtmayer and Hertell. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York.
Amb. Hertell holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fordham University of New York, and a Juris Doctorate from the University of Puerto Rico.
Chief Operating Officer
George Villar has an incomparable breadth and depth of experience in the construction industry. A native New Yorker, he was involved in his family’s business from childhood, and then obtained his master’s degree in Architectural Engineering. He has since managed and participated in the construction and development of $2.7 billion dollars worth of commercial, residential and industrial projects in New York, with single projects as large as $400 million. He is the Managing Principal of Atelier Real Estate Partners LLC, a real estate development firm, and Atelier Consulting Inc., a multi-sector advisory firm.
George Villar embodies a unique mix of academic rigor, hands-on field experience and leadership skills. He was raised in the New York construction industry alongside principals who are now leaders in their field - and clients who entrust him with their projects. In his 32 years’ experience, he has fulfilled a variety of roles, from Project Manager, Senior Project Manager, Operations Director, Cost Controller, Owner's Representative and Bank Representative for the U.S. Government SBA, and domestic and international banks. George Villar is best known for his superior real estate development services, construction management and Owner’s Representation, with a reputation as a strong but fair advocate and a fierce protector of his clients’ interests.
In January 2008, George Villar established his own firm, Atelier and associated companies. True to its name, Atelier comprises an accomplished interdisciplinary team addressing a broad range of construction challenges. Atelier has directed projects in the sectors of Science & Technology, Retail, Luxury Residential, Hospitality, U.S. Government & Defense Contractors, Commercial & Financial, Broadcast & Media, Healthcare, Historical Renovations, Mission Critical and Laboratories.
Chief Financial Officer
Angela Hong is a Managing Principal and Director of our real estate planning practice and supports a variety of efforts across multiple sectors, including luxury residential, casino gaming, food & beverage, 5-star hospitality, and flagship retail.
Angela Hong is from California and has a Bachelor of Science in Management Science and Accounting from U.C. San Diego. She brings many years of experience in analyzing vast amounts of project data, identifying potential for additional project revenues, developing conceptual ideas and their impact on the overall business plan, land acquisition contract negotiation and developing and underwriting business models valued in excess of billions of dollars. Angela also assists with all aspects of the loan origination process, including the modeling and evaluation of new investment opportunities, sensitivity analysis, analysis of the risks and mitigating factors of potential investments, due-diligence review, preparation of authorization memos, and loan closing. She also Interacts professionally with internal credit, legal and loan origination personnel and externally with borrowers, third-party service providers, rating agencies and bond investors.
Angela Hong has also managed teams of certified public accountants in conducting detailed forensic accounting investigations pertaining to real estate development projects with values in excess of $300m. Angela has also worked for high net worth individuals and trusts by delivering accounting services as a consultant.
Chief Operating Officer (Hospitality)
Mr. Orenstein’s career encompasses many landmark events in the hotel industry. As Vice President of Development for Four Seasons Hotels Limited, Mr. Orenstein initially assisted in developing the original Four Seasons’ concept and developed the first Four Seasons’ properties in the United States, Canada and Europe including the Four Seasons on Hyde Park Corner in London. As a member of the Executive Committee, he was instrumental in Four Seasons’ significant growth around the world.
In 1979, Mr. Orenstein left Four Seasons to become a hotel developer enjoying considerable success throughout North America and Europe. His many successful transactions include: the development and sale of Toronto’s prestigious five-star King Edward Hotel; the development of six commercial hotels in partnership with Novotel Division of Accor, S.A.; the acquisition of over 5,000 hotel rooms for one of North America’s largest budget operators; the development and sale of a luxury budget chain and the sale of a five-star resort in Jamaica.
Frank Orenstein also carried led the expansion of Days Inns in Canada and Europe and the acquisition for Grand Heritage Hotels of the Four Seasons’ position in the Clift Hotel San Francisco. Mr. Orenstein has been responsible for the development of over $1 billion in hotel real estate and has raised in excess of $400 million in equity for various hotel related projects.
Mr. Orenstein has also recently completed the development of the $100 million Four Seasons Resort and Vacation Club in Scottsdale Arizona. The site selection, concept, development and financing was undertaken by Mr. Orenstein who was a partner with Four Seasons and other private investors. Mr. Orenstein subsequently became Vice-Chairman of the Park Plaza Hotels and Resort in partnership with Olympus/Hicks Muse. The partnership was responsible for expansion of the Park Plaza and Park Inn brands world-wide and subsequently sold their interest in the 200 hotel chain portfolio to Carson Hotels and Resorts.
Mr. Orenstein is a graduate of Toronto & Queens University Law School and resides in Palm Beach, Florida.
Chief Compliance Officer
Atelier Real Estate Partners welcomed Charles Birnbaum in 2013 as its newest Partner. Previously, Mr. Birnbaum served as a Development Analyst for Atelier Consulting LLC, and has now committed his time and talents to the firm’s Special Situations department. Charles Birnbaum has a rich and varied business background in capital markets, top tier management, market industry research and financial services.
Birnbaum began his business career in a family-owned distribution company with yearly sales of $40 million and over 100 employees. The company represented many prominent brand and he gained a wealth of experience in all aspects of business management and sales. He held various executive positions in the company and became its President at 32 years of age. Mr. Birnbaum subsequently applied his business acumen to other pursuits. In the environmental realm, he brokered energy and natural gas deals to large industrial institutions, and developed a funding company factoring energy accounts receivables. Later he became Head Trader for a Wall Street specialty bond trading firm that transacted over a billion dollars in trades yearly. In that capacity he was in charge of overseeing the trading floor, as well as trading the firm’s largest portfolio.
Charles Birnbaum is known for his versatility and wide range of business skills and accomplishments. During his career, he has built and maintained many successful enterprises. Mr. Birnbaum also happens to be an acclaimed professional artist whose work is in many prominent collections, represented by multiple galleries and exhibited worldwide. Atelier Real Estate Partners is proud to have a person of Charles Birnbaum’s stature on their team.