Alumnus Runs Property Management Company with Vision and Heart

Jorge Jorge ’10TCB, ’13MS

Jorge Jorge ’10TCB, ’13MS immigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic when he was three years old. While he dreamed of going to college, he was unsure if he would be able to follow in the footsteps of his mother, who attended college in his homeland.

“I went to high school in Queens, NY, and at the time, my school was failing—the graduation rate may have been as low as 60 percent,” Mr. Jorge explained. “I did not feel like I had too many options, but fortunately, St. John’s University representatives came to my school and showed me that college was a real possibility. I toured the campus and I just fell in love.”

As a Finance major at The Peter J. Tobin College of Business, Mr. Jorge took advantage of every opportunity he was offered, including internships, study abroad, fraternity life, and volunteer service, learning valuable life lessons in the process.

“I interned at UBS Wealth Management USA and CBS Corporation,” he said. “At UBS, I worked with a wealth management team. It prepared me for the future by helping me think of different ways organizations build their business. At CBS, I realized that anything I work on—even if it’s just for me—must be presentable to the world.”

While his internships furnished him with experiential learning that prepared him for life after college and studying abroad gave him the opportunity to explore Europe, being President of the fraternity Sigma Phi Epsilon provided leadership skills he uses in his current role as President of Lisa Management, a New York City real estate management company.

“At the age of 20, I was running an organization with 60 members and had oversight into budgets, programming, membership development, rules and regulations, and more,” he reflected. “I often reflect on that period as training to me becoming president of a multimillion-dollar real estate management company.”  

According to Mr. Jorge, Lisa Management manages approximately, 4,400 apartments in more than 120 buildings, including condominiums/co-ops, market rentals, and affordable rentals. The company was recently awarded the management contract for Boulevard Houses, Fiorentino Plaza Houses, and Belmont Sutter Area Houses—properties previously managed by the New York City Housing Authority.

“When we took over, there were millions of dollars in deferred maintenance in the form of leaks, mold, lead paint, and infestation,” he explained. “We are helping to stabilize the properties by modernizing the apartments and the campuses and ensuring affordability in perpetuity.”

The company has also introduced to these properties the nonprofit social service provider, CAMBA, Inc., which helps residents with job placements, career training, and mental health counseling.

“There is no doubt that St. John’s Vincentian mission influenced my career trajectory of going into housing, which is an essential human right,” Mr. Jorge said. “If people don’t have stable housing, everything else is so much harder for them.”

As a student, he volunteered at soup kitchens and homeless shelters in and around Queens and witnessed how a lack of proper housing could impact a community. “I decided to work in real estate because I was passionate about helping people with this basic need.”

Mr. Jorge remains connected to the University he called his second home for many years, and recently served as keynote speaker at the James and Eileen Christmas Business Plan Competition and Pitch Event. “At St. John’s, I learned how important culture is to an organization,” he noted. “There is a culture of volunteering and service that bleeds into everything at the University—from programming to professional development to the core curriculum. Building a culture within an organization is difficult, and I often look at St. John’s as inspiration.”