Title and Organization:
Tara serves as President and COO of Optima, a privately-held, design-driven real estate firm. Optima integrates the functions involved in new construction within one company, developing, designing, building, selling and managing striking urban and suburban luxury residential communities. Since its inception in 1978, Optima has developed over 30 mixed-use and residential developments in both the Chicago and Phoenix metropolitan areas, and has received over 45 awards for architecture, design, sustainability and innovation. Tara is responsible for setting and implementing the strategic vision of the company and overseeing all company entities and business units including corporate finance, land acquisition, development, sales and marketing, human resources, investor relations, asset management and risk management. She directs all predevelopment planning and deal evaluation as well as the capitalization of the firm and its new developments. Tara has led the capitalization and financing of over $1 billion in real estate, including construction financing for new developments, recapitalizations and building dispositions. Prior to Optima, she worked in capital markets at Cushman & Wakefield in New York City, where she underwrote debt and equity transactions totaling more than $980 million. Tara earned an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and holds a Bachelor of Art in communications with honors from Boston College. She is a managing broker in Illinois. Tara is a member of YPO Chicago, The Chicago Network, The Chicago Media Project, and serves on the Guild Board for the Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago. She is a member of the 2019 Class of Henry Crown Fellows within the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute.