At Caruso, we strive to be best in class at everything we do. Behind our properties stands a dedicated and accomplished team of the industry’s brightest visionaries who share a strong vision and passion for creating and operating beloved spaces.
Founder and CEO
Rick J. Caruso is a renowned business innovator, dedicated civic leader and actively involved philanthropist. As its founder and Chief Executive Officer, he has developed Caruso® to be one of the largest and most admired privately held real estate companies in the United States.
Ben Howell oversees Caruso’s legal affairs, representing Caruso and directing its outside counsel in the company’s acquisition and financing transactions as well as its litigated matters. Since joining the company in 2012, Howell has led Caruso’s legal team in closing over $1.5 billion in financing transactions and has been integrally involved in its development projects, including Palisades Village and Rosewood Miramar Beach. Howell provides legal advice to all of the company’s business units and collaborates with Caruso’s project teams on land-use and entitlement matters.
Previously, Howell was an attorney at Munger, Tolles & Olson, LLP, where his private practice focused on real estate and corporate transactions for a range of clients, from private-equity funds to publicly traded companies.
Howell graduated from the UC Berkeley School of Law where he was named Order of the Coif and was a member of the Law Review. Howell served as a law clerk to Hon. Harold Baer, Jr., in the Southern District of New York. He graduated from Stanford University, where he received a degree in Modern Thought and Literature. Howell serves on the board of Larchmont Charter School, a public K-12 school that is committed to serving a diverse student population.
Executive Vice President, Chief Business Officer
As Executive Vice President, Chief Business Officer, Jackie Levy is responsible for the operations and financial performance of the company’s multi-billion-dollar portfolio of award-winning properties. Under Levy’s leadership, Caruso’s operating portfolio has achieved approximately 20% cumulative NOI growth year over year.
Levy began his career in the shopping center industry as a marketing coordinator for Westfield West Covina and was later promoted to marketing director for Westfield Fox Hills and Century City properties.
Following a successful five years with Westfield, Levy joined Caruso serving as the General Manager of The Grove and The Americana at Brand. He later served as Vice President of Operations and Senior Vice President of Operations before assuming his current role as Executive Vice President of Operations in June 2013. With Levy’s oversight, The Grove and The Americana at Brand have achieved the distinction of being ranked amongst the top ten highest sales-performing shopping centers in the world, while 8500 Burton Way has realized record rents in the Los Angeles market. Levy also was integral in expanding the company’s asset base to include class-A innovative office space, reimagining the office experience for its Fortune 300 tenant, CBRE.
Levy graduated top of his class from San Diego State University in 2001 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications.
As Executive Vice President, Chief Investment Officer, Kelly Masuda is responsible for all investment matters, including designing and implementing strategies for the company’s broadly diversified portfolio of equities, fixed income and alternatives, and managing all aspects of its property-level and corporate-level financings, including construction loans, permanent financings and revolving credit facilities. Masuda also serves as Chairman of the Investment Committee, which reviews all acquisition and development opportunities, and leads the company’s strategic planning process.
Prior to joining Caruso, Masuda was Senior Vice President, Treasurer at KB Home, one of the largest homebuilders in the United States. For seven years, he was responsible for corporate-wide banking and financing activities, including bank facilities, capital market transactions and project financings in addition to managing investor relations activities. Prior to KB Home, Masuda spent nearly a decade in the investment banking industry with Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corporation and Credit Suisse First Boston Corporation, where he focused on mergers and acquisitions, and corporate finance activities in the real estate, gaming and lodging industries.
Masuda serves on the Board of Trustees of the Children’s Bureau of Southern California, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention of child abuse. He received a Bachelor of Arts Degree with high honors in neurobiology from the University of California, Berkeley, and an MBA with honors from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.
Executive Vice President, Construction
Thomas Veje is responsible for the direct oversight and coordination of all construction department-related activities for Caruso. From inception to closeout, Veje prepares and distributes all project-related budgets and schedules, while issuing and managing all contracts related to construction management, design, and engineering production drawings. Other key responsibilities include supervision of tenant coordination, engineering, cost control, schedule adherence and quality assurance.
Known throughout the industry as a strong team leader, Veje is a results-driven manager and savvy builder of projects. All of the projects that Veje has been responsible for have won numerous prestigious design and construction awards including ICSC Global Best of the Best, ULI Global Award for Excellence, and ENR Best Project.
His impressive resume includes all construction types and uses, ranging from Type I high-rise commercial and Type II & III retail to Type V residential. Under his guidance, the team has consistently executed the Caruso promise to deliver the highest-quality product to customers through an acute attention to detail, adherence to budgets and strict enforcement of final delivery timelines, delivering sustainable and operationally outstanding projects.
Due to his vast wealth of knowledge and myriad accolades, Veje has been a speaker at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering as well as the ICSC CenterBuild Conference. He graduated from Cal Poly with a degree in civil engineering.
Executive Vice President, Chief Development Officer
As Executive Vice President, Chief Development Officer, Corinne Verdery oversees Caruso’s entitlements, community relations, design and construction, focusing on doubling the size of the company and its offerings in Southern California.
Verdery joins Caruso from NBCUniversal, where she was most recently the Chief Real Estate Development Officer. In that position, she was responsible for overseeing the 25-year $1.6 billion NBCUniversal Evolution Plan, a vital component to the company’s overall long-term success. Prior to that role, Verdery held various executive positions within the company for well over a decade, including VP of Real Estate, where she planned and built projects—ranging from hotels to theme parks—in major cities worldwide.
Verdery was also SVP of Oasis West Realty, where she successfully spearheaded the development and entitlement process of The Beverly Hilton and a new five-star Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Beverly Hills, which included the passage of a citywide ballot, and involved 19 public hearings and a voter referendum.
She graduated cum laude from USC School of Architecture and magna cum laude from Pepperdine University Graziadio Business School.
Executive Vice President, Chief Design Officer
Dave Williams has been the principal force in designing and creating the unique ambience and close attention to high-quality detail that has become synonymous with Caruso properties. His signature "Caruso-style" designs have garnered national acclaim as being the country’s most innovative and successful across many project types including retail, mixed-use, Class-A innovative office, residential and hospitality.
Under Williams’ direction, several of Caruso’s properties, including The Grove, The Americana at Brand, The Commons at Calabasas and The Promenade at Westlake, have been awarded the industry’s highest honors, such as Gold Nugget Awards, ICSC’s International Design and Development Awards, and the Urban Land Institute’s Award for Excellence.
Williams has assembled and led a renowned team of highly talented designers, firms and artisans for all aspects of Caruso developments. He has a proven ability to achieve excellence through great vision, intelligent decision-making, remarkable attention to detail, and an unparalleled commitment to the guest experience and the surrounding communities.
A registered architect, Williams holds a bachelor’s degree in architecture from The Ohio State University. He has nearly 30 years of experience in urban, resort, residential and retail/entertainment design and planning.
Respected throughout the industry for his wealth of experience and expertise, Williams has been a panelist and speaker at the USC Lusk Center for Real Estate, the Urban Land Institute, the International Council of Shopping Centers, The Ohio State University School of Architecture and many more high-profile speaking engagements.