Our Team:

Leslie Burke

Leslie Burke, President

2010 Entreprenurial Award
Ms. Burke has over 25 years of institutional real estate experience, in a wide variety of management roles. Prior employers include Arthur Andersen, MetLife, Archon Group/Goldman Sachs, and Prudential Financial. Ms. Burke is well versed in accounting/reporting, asset management, portfolio management, acquisitions, dispositions, and the development and execution of strategic plans on an enterprise level. She has also been very active in collegiate recruiting and analyst training and development throughout her career.

As a Director at Prudential Mortgage Capital, the commercial lending arm of Prudential Financial, Ms. Burke was involved with underwriting both securitized conduit and balance sheet loans. Prior to joining Prudential, Ms. Burke was employed by Archon Group/Goldman Sachs as a Portfolio Manager where she was responsible for debt placement and leveraged returns for seventeen of Goldman’s Whitehall Fund portfolios. After obtaining her MBA, Ms. Burke entered commercial real estate when she joined MetLife's Real Estate Investment division. Over her thirteen year tenure at MetLife she was involved in a variety of asset management, special project, and transaction roles. In addition, Ms. Burke was selected to spend five years on Met's Real Estate Investment Committee.

Ms. Burke’s primary area of expertise is the development and execution of strategic plans for both asset-specific and portfolio- level debt and equity holdings. She is well versed in all property types and asset classes and has familiarity with most major U.S. markets. Ms. Burke is a non-practicing CPA, and earned both her BBA and MBA from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. She graduated with honors and was selected to be the Graduate Assistant to Dr. Bill Bruggeman, who chaired SMU’s Real Estate Department.

Ms. Burke was a charter member of NAIOP’s Asset Management Forum and is also active in CREW (Commercial Real Estate Women) at the Atlanta Chapter and National Network levels, holding numerous leadership positions over the last 10 years. Ms. Burke is also on the Board of Directors of the John Ripley Forbes Big Trees Forest Preserve, a 30 acre old-growth urban forest in Sandy Springs, Georgia.

Sheri Welch

Sheri Welch
Operations Manager sheri@athena-rea.com
Ms. Welch handles all staffing and logistics for Athena Real Estate Advisors, including all administrative matters related to FDIC assignments. She also is responsible for processing new independent contractor inquiries.

Ms. Welch’s professional background encompasses 10 years with Equity Office Properties Trust as the Senior Regional Lease Administrator for the Atlanta and New York regions. In this capacity she was responsible for 11 Equity Office leasing professionals, and the accuracy of landlord leases for 47 buildings containing 15 million square feet.

She earned her beloved nickname as “The Claw” due to her zero tolerance for mistakes and unwillingness to sign off on a lease until it was in perfect compliance with Equity standards. Ms. Welch brings that perfectionist attitude to Athena, where it is used extensively in FDIC processing and compliance. Ms. Welch’s background and extraordinary commitment to detail allows Athena to provide its clients with national talent which has been vetted, cleared, and processed seamlessly according to a client’s requirements.

Ms. Welch holds an Associate Applied Science degree from the Berkeley College of Business in Woodland Park, NJ.