Milton V. Peterson
Principal and Chairman
Milt Peterson is the Principal and Chairman of Peterson Companies. Over the past forty years, he has built a family company with a reputation based on integrity and vision. Known for developing high-quality, well-designed, cutting-edge properties, Peterson Companies has developed, acquired, managed and leased more than 24,000 residential lots and approximately 34 million square feet of retail, hotel and office space throughout Virginia, Maryland and Washington DC.
Milt has received numerous awards both locally and nationally, and is recognized as an industry leader for state-of-the-art real estate development. He has been awarded NAIOP’s “Developer of the Year”, Fairfax Chamber of Commerce “Man of the Year” and named “Trendsetter of the Year” by Trendlines. Urban Land Institute honored him with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding contribution to the real estate industry and he has been inducted to the Washington Business Hall of Fame.
Milt is an ROTC graduate of Middlebury College and remains on the Board of Trustees of his Alma Mater.
Jon Peterson is a Principal of Peterson Companies and serves as the Chairman of the Company’s Executive Committee. Over the past 25 years, he has been involved with all aspects of the Company’s extensive development pipeline from acquisition to stabilized cash flow with a particular emphasis on the commercial Class A office portfolio and mixed-use development. He has played an instrumental role in ongoing development of National Harbor, the Company’s premier mixed-use waterfront destination.
Jon is a graduate of Middlebury College. He served as Chairman of NAIOP (National Association of Industrial and Office Properties) Northern Virginia Chapter and is currently the Chairman and President of Mason Housing Inc. Other professional affiliations include INOVA Health Systems, Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance (NVTA), Greater Washington Board of Trade, Virginia Association for Commercial Real Estate (VACRE), Prince William Economic Development, Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance (NVTA) and Prince George’s Economic Development.
Taylor Chess is President, Retail, for Peterson Companies and serves on the Company’s Investment Committee. As head of the Retail Division, Taylor oversees 5 million square feet of retail centers that are owned, managed and leased by the Company and a robust pipeline of six projects. Over his career, Taylor has developed over 2 million square feet of retail projects valued at over $250 million, and acquired over $270 million of retail real estate. Most recently, he was instrumental in establishing a partnership with Tanger Outlets to develop high-end outlet projects at National Harbor and Clarksburg, MD.
Taylor is a graduate of California State University, Northridge. He served as ICSC’s State Director of Maryland, Washington D.C. and Virginia and currently serves on the Board of Joe Gibb’s Youth For Tomorrow, United Way Regional Advisory Board and mentors real estate students through ICSC’s mentoring programs. Taylor is also an annual guest speaker at GWU Real Estate Program.
Nancy Zabriskie McGrath
Nancy McGrath is General Counsel for Peterson Companies and serves on the Company’s Investment Committee. With over 25 years experience in commercial real estate, she concentrates her practice on all aspects of real estate development including the structuring of complex mixed use projects, land and building acquisition, joint ventures, financing, construction, leasing (government and private sector), project management and operations, and dispositions. She also advises the company on general business and corporate matters.
Nancy received her bachelor’s degree magna cum laude in history and political science from Duke University and her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia Law School. She is a member of the Virginia State Bar, the District of Columbia Bar, and the Urban Land Institute, and a graduate of Leadership Fairfax.
Stuart S. Prince
Senior Vice President, Residential
Stuart Prince serves as Senior Vice President, Residential, for Peterson Companies and serves on the Company’s Investment Committee. As head of the Residential Division, Stuart oversees all aspects of the Company’s multifamily and residential lot development and sales effort at over ten residential projects in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia comprising over 3,500 housing units. Stuart plays a significant role in the residential development at National Harbor, which currently features five active residential projects. He also has extensive experience in community association and condominium formation.
Stuart earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University and a Juris Doctor magna cum laude from the Washington College of Law at American University. He is currently a member of the Urban Land Institute.
Chief Financial Officer
Claudia Sensi is the Chief Financial Officer for Peterson Companies and serves on the Company’s Executive and Investment Committees. Claudia oversees the Company’s Accounting, Tax and Information Technology Departments. She also heads up the Family Office and oversees the cash and management of the Company. Claudia joined Peterson Companies in 1986 and has over 30 years of accounting and commercial real estate experience. As a member of the Executive & Investment Committees, Claudia is involved in all areas of strategic planning with emphasis on the company’s financial relationships, including those with its partners.
Claudia is a Certified Public Accountant and a graduate of George Mason University. She is a member of the American Society of Public Accountants (AICPA), and Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA).
William C. Smith
William Smith is President, Commercial Office, for Peterson Companies and serves on the Company’s Investment Committee. As head of the Commercial Office Division, Bill oversees the effective operation of the company’s approximately 3.75 million square feet of office space, and approximately 390 acres of commercial land. Over the past 40 years, Bill has been principally involved in more than 8 million square feet of the Washington areas most recognizable office projects. During his eighteen year tenure with Peterson Companies, Bill has established one of the region’s most successful platforms for the development and ownership of U.S. Government long-term leased buildings.
Bill received his Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. He earned his Master’s in Business Administration at Stanford University. Bill is a member of Urban Land Institute, NAIOP, and has served as a board member/advisor to a number of charitable non-profit organizations.
James J. Vecchiarelli
Chief Operating Officer
Jim Vecchiarelli is the Chief Operating Officer for Peterson Companies and serves on the Company’s Executive and Investment Committees. He has been employed at the Company for his entire career - over 36 years. Jim plays a key role in setting the company’s deal structures and business plans for its properties and oversees the company’s financial planning and analysis, project proformas and risk management functions. As a member of the Executive & Investment Committees, Jim is involved in all areas of strategic planning with emphasis on the company’s financial relationships, including those with its partners.
Jim is a Certified Public Accountant and a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting.