Arden Karson is the Managing Principal of Karson & Co, a real estate brokerage, advisory and development company created to transform the South Florida real estate industry in the face of challenges related to COVID-19 and to target opportunities for the future. A graduate of Tufts University and Harvard Business School, Arden is a lifelong resident of South Florida. She has an extensive background in sales and marketing, development, acquisition, asset management, leasing and financing of commercial properties across all asset types. Over the course of her career, Ms. Karson served in executive and leadership roles at CBRE, Related Group, Lennar/LNR, Bank of America and PWC. Arden is active with many industry organizations and has been recognized by the media as a Miami Herald Power Leader and a Real Deal Top Business Woman. Arden serves on the Board of Advisors of the Friends of the Underline, the University of Miami Masters in Real Estate + Urbanism program and the Urban Land Institute Southeast Florida / Caribbean.
Leslie Tomczak serves as managing partner of Akerman’s Fort Lauderdale office. She is a construction attorney, Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Construction Law, whose practice focuses primarily on the representation of lenders, developers, owners, landlords, contractors, subcontractors, architects and other design professionals, in a wide range of complex construction contract, project administration, lien, and construction litigation matters. Leslie is also a LEED® Accredited Professional who represents clients with respect to sustainable (e.g. "green") building issues. Leslie's notable projects include the representation of various clients involved in the development, leasing, design, and construction of shopping centers, mixed use high-rise buildings, hotels, resorts, apartment complexes, condominium buildings, stadiums, arenas, office buildings, houses of worship, cultural arts centers and facilities, airport projects, schools, hospitals, medical offices and campuses. Leslie has extensive experience in drafting and negotiating development agreements, construction contracts, design (engineering, architect, etc.) agreements, consulting agreements, design-build agreements, integrated project development agreements, requests for proposals, invitations to bid, and all of the various ancillary contract administration and project management agreements such as change orders, waivers and releases of lien, payment applications and affidavits, claims of lien and payment and performance bonds. Due to Leslie's prior experience as a commercial leasing lawyer and member of Akerman's Retail Leasing and Development practice group, she also has specific experience with respect to the unique issues surrounding construction within leased/tenant occupied premises and the interplay between the key terms of the lease and those of the design, construction and loan documents. Additionally, Leslie has extensive litigation and alternative dispute resolution experience, is an active member of the Construction Law Committee (CLC) of the Florida Bar, and writes frequently on matters relating to construction contracting in Florida.