Share

The GSP Team

The GSP Team

01

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?

I have two – Ganso (ramen) in Brooklyn and PublicUs (cafe) in Las Vegas.

02

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 2019.

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.

Your favorite restaurant outside of the Boston area?

Craft in NYC and Trois Familia in LA.

04

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.

05

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!