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Howard S. Hirsch is our General Counsel – Securities, a position he previously held from 2014-2018, and now from January 2021-Present. Mr. Hirsch is a member of Griffin Capital’s executive management team. He previously served as Chief Legal Officer and Secretary for Griffin Capital Real Estate Company, LLC (GRECO) and Griffin Capital Essential Asset REIT, Inc. (GCEAR), positions he held from 2018-2021. Prior to that, he served as Vice President and Assistant Secretary for those entities from June 2014 until December 2018. In his roles at GRECO and GCEAR, Mr. Hirsch handled the corporate matters, public company matters, securities compliance and filing, and board of director matters and was intimately involved in various operational matters, including investor relations and other business aspects of the firm. He was a member of the executive team. Prior to joining Griffin in June 2014, Mr. Hirsch was a member of two nationally known law firms where he held the positions of associate, counsel, partner, and shareholder.
Mr. Hirsch has 25 years of experience in general corporate matters, corporate transactions, public and private securities offerings, corporate governance issues, regulatory compliance, employment matters, and litigation related matters. He has extensive experience counseling executive teams and public company boards of directors and their committees. He has led various large transactional and other general corporate matters for public and private companies, predominantly in the real estate industry. Led or participated in over $20 billion in public company SEC registrations. Counseled public companies on corporate governance best practices and compliance matters and represented companies on various regulatory matters. Mr. Hirsch has represented broker-dealers on various FINRA compliance matters. He also has had a detailed involvement and responsibility with investor relations, human resources, litigation, IT, intellectual property, cybersecurity, and insurance-related matters along with other company operational matters. Mr. Hirsch earned his B.S. degree from Indiana University and his J.D. degree from the University of Illinois–Chicago John Marshall Law School.
Michael Escalante is Chief Executive Officer and President of GCEAR, while also serving as a member of the Board of Directors. Michael was part of the executive team responsible for founding GCEAR and initially served as its Chief Investment Officer beginning in 2008. After being named CEO in 2018, he has been responsible for managing the overall operations of the Company, including all capital allocation decisions and providing key guidance on major asset management matters. With more than 33 years of experience, Michael has been a prominent industry figure within institutional property sectors across North America, completing over $9.6 billion in commercial real estate transactions across the U.S.
Prior to joining Griffin Capital in 2006, Michael founded Escalante Property Ventures, a real estate investment management firm. He was employed from 1997-2005 at Trizec Properties, Inc., previously one of the largest publicly traded office REITs, with his final position being Executive Vice President – Capital Transactions and Portfolio Management. Michael also held various acquisitions, asset management and portfolio management positions at the Yarmouth Group, an international investment advisor from 1987-1997.
Michael earned an MBA from the University of California at Los Angeles, Anderson Graduate School of Management, where he specialized in finance and marketing. He also graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Commerce degree, with an emphasis in finance and accounting, from Santa Clara University, Leavey School of Business. Michael is a full member of the Urban Land Institute and active in many civic organizations.