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The GSP Team

The GSP Team

01

Jesse Baerkahn

Jesse Baerkahn

President + Founder

What do you do at Graffito?

I get to touch all aspects of our business, from drafting SOWs for new projects, to leading some of our hairiest strategy + leasing assignments, to creating the agenda for our weekly team lunches.

What is your educational + professional background?

I’ve been a small business lawyer, artist/musician manager, and ran a student directory business, the latter of which I started while an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. I attended law school at Northeastern University here in Boston, a truly progressive place that advanced my passion for social justice, taught me how to read a contract, and brought me together with a classmate turned business partner who first dragged me over to Kendall Square for a real estate project in 2004…

The city of the future…

Has boats. Lots of boats.

North or South of the River?

North!

Favorite restaurant outside of the Boston area?

PublicUs (cafe) in Las Vegas.

Jesse Baerkahn

02

Dave Downing

Dave Downing

Managing Director, Leasing + Retail Strategy

What do you do at Graffito?

I lead Graffito’s leasing practice, which includes early-stage retail advisory work through detailed lease negotiations for both Landlords and Tenants.

What is your educational + professional background?

Prior to joining the Graffito team full-time in 2012, I helped oversee the development of Watermark Kendall East, a 144-unit mixed use residential project in Kendall Square, Cambridge MA. This role offered me the opportunity to build skills in permitting, client relations, budgeting, team coordination, leasing and tenant fit-up management. I hold a BS in Business Administration from Northeastern with a concentration in Finance and Marketing.

The city of the future…

Is where local businesses define community, consumer experience and value.

Walk, bike, or the T?

Electric scooter. It’s 2020.

Dream food crawl city?

For sure, Tokyo. The hustle and bustle.

03

Johanna Griffin

Director of Finance and Administration

What do you do at Graffito?

I take care of all of the bookkeeping and business administrative tasks.

What is your educational + professional background?

I have been doing accounting and HR for the past nine years, working mostly with restaurants and cafes. I started my career working for a large company in Philadelphia and then moved back to Boston and fell in love with small businesses. BA in Psychology from the University of Vermont.

The city of the future…

Has more green spaces and things to do outside.

North or South of the River?

Always North.

Favorite restaurant outside of the Boston area?

Craft in NYC and Trois Familia in LA.

04

Drew Katz

Managing Director, Creative Services & Branding

What do you do at Graffito?

I lead Graffito ID (GID), which is what we are calling Graffito’s newly formed creative services and branding division. GID helps our colleagues and clients tell stories through branding, environmental graphics, and website design. As a photographer, I’m also busy documenting our projects from the land and air. Most importantly, I make sure that my colleagues are up to date on the latest sour gummy candies available on the market.

What is your educational + professional background?

Shortly after graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design, I opened a fine art gallery in Boston’s South End. The gallery, which featured mostly formalist works heavily based in architecture and design, gave artist Shepard Fairey his first solo exhibition in the city. Since closing the gallery, I served as the Associate Publisher for the critically acclaimed periodical, New American Paintings, received an MBA from Babson College, and founded Creative Katz, an agency focused on creative direction, graphic design, photography, web strategy, content management, and project management for industries ranging from healthcare to hospitality. Most recently, I worked at marlo marketing as Chief Creative Officer, which is the role I left to join Graffito.

The city of the future…

Has elevated walkways.

North or South of the river?

I live north of the city, so…

Favorite restaurant outside of the Boston area?

Joe’s Kansas City BBQ.

05

Brooke Porter

Brooke Porter

Graphic Designer

What do you do at Graffito?

As a graphic designer, I offer creative solutions that help define our clients’ (and our own) branding and storytelling. I specialize in creating and maintaining brand identity systems, as well as website design and development. I’m excited to further explore different types of design such as environmental and wayfinding graphics, and bring to life the unique stories of the spaces and clients we work with.

What is your educational + professional background?

Shortly after high school, I received an Associates Degree in Advanced Culinary Arts from the Connecticut Culinary Institute (I make a mean crepe). I worked in the restaurant industry for a little while, and eventually went back to school to pursue a graphic design degree. A two-year stint at Manchester Community College (CT) got me an Associates Degree in Graphic Design, and I then transferred to the University of Hartford from which I received a BFA in Visual Communication Design in 2015. While in school, I worked as a designer for three years at Sunrise Marketing, a small marketing firm in Hartford, CT. After graduating from UHart, I accepted a new job at marlo marketing in Boston, where I worked for more than four years as a senior designer and chief supporter of Drew’s candy habit. I’ve recently left marlo to join the Graffito team as of January 2020, and the future is wide open!

The city of the future…

Is eco-minded, focusing on ways to keep communities green and healthy. And also, super dog-friendly.

North or South of the River?

North.

Walk, bike or the T?

These boots were made for walking…unless it’s raining.

Brooke Porter

06

Gustavo Quiroga

Gustavo Quiroga

Director of Neighborhood Strategy + Development

What do you do at Graffito?

A bit of a utility player at Graffito, I lead early-stage planning + strategy work for neighborhood-scale projects, develop creative placemaking programs, foster community partnerships, and manage special development projects for clients.

What is your educational + professional background?

I have an MBA from Boston University and a BA in International Studies from U. Wisconsin-Madison. My past work focused on urban economic development, community + political organizing, and launching social enterprises.

The city of the future…

Works for people, ages 8 to 80.

Walk, bike, or the T?

Bike!

Dream food crawl city?

Tokyo.

07

Angela VanArsdale

Angela VanArsdale

Director, Retail Leasing + Development

What do you do at Graffito?

I assist Landlords and Tenants through the leasing process and real estate transactions. This ranges from consulting on early stage planning, merchandising and rollout strategies all the way through to negotiating details of the lease.

What is your educational + professional background?

Prior to joining Graffito, I was a retail leasing broker at Newmark Knight Frank for 5 years. Previous to that, I was at Colliers International in a similar capacity for 5 years. My focus is on urban and urban edge areas advising both landlords and tenants through all aspects of the leasing process. I am a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Harvard Square Business Association. I hold a BA in economics with a minor in architectural studies from Tufts University.

The city of the future…

Has vertically integrated retail that works successfully in any part of the world.

North or South of the River?

South!

Favorite restaurant outside of the Boston area?

It’s way out of Boston, but…La Colombe Restaurant in South Africa. Best food, wine program, atmosphere and service I’ve ever experienced. If you’re ever over that part of the world, it’s a must-do!

Angela VanArsdale

08

Corey Zehngebot

Corey Zehngebot

Director of Urban Design

What do you do at Graffito?

In the short term, absorbing everything that I can about the people and projects that Graffito works with. In the long term….still figuring it out! But it involves creating great urban places, working with smart people, and being involved in a project during its full lifecycle. An urban design sherpa from the beginning, through the middle, and to the end-ish.

What is your educational + professional background?

I studied behavioral neuroscience and history of art at Yale because I wasn’t sure yet how to combine my left and right brain interests. It wasn’t until working in Master Planning and Construction for the Museum of Fine Arts Boston that I realized architecture and urban design was a natural fit. I went on to get an architecture degree from Harvard, though I always knew that I was more interested in working at the scale of the city rather than the scale of the building. Since graduating, I’ve worked as an urban designer/architect/planner in the private sector, flipped a house, consulted to the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, and spent the past six years working as an urban designer and architect for the Boston Planning and Development Agency.

The city of the future…

There is no one city of the future. There are many possible futures.

North or South of the River?

North.

Walk, bike or the T?

D. All of the above. And take the boat!