CA Ventures Announces Promotions

JJ Smith, Ben Burke and Matt Booma are named in top positions, following their significant contributions to the growth of the firm's divisions.

Chicago—CA Ventures, a Chicago-based real estate investment holding company, recently announced the promotions of three senior executives. JJ Smith has been appointed president of CA Student Living, the firm’s student housing investment and development division. Ben Burke has been named president of CA Senior Living, the company’s senior housing entity, while Matt Booma has been promoted executive vice president of the same division.

JJ Smith, president of CA Student Living

JJ Smith, president of CA Student Living

“Real estate is the second most important investment we make as a company. Our investment in talent—the people who work tirelessly to bring each deal to fruition—is the reason we’ve been able to take CA Ventures from startup to a $6.3 billion global real estate conglomerate in just over 10 years,” Tom Scott, CEO of CA Ventures, said in prepared remarks.

JJ Smith has been with CA Ventures since 2007, when he started as a project manager on 309 Green, CA’s first ground-up student housing development in Champaign, Ill. During this past decade with the company, he has overseen more than 40 ground-up developments valued at over $2.5 billion. In addition to boasting a development pipeline, CA Ventures has tripled its corporate headcount in the past three years alone, under Smith’s leadership. Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in architectural studies and a Master of Business Administration in real estate and finance.

Ben Burke, president of CA Senior Living

Ben Burke, president of CA Senior Living

Ben Burke joined CA Ventures last year, just as the firm started to focus more on senior housing. Burke worked on closing seven high-profile deals totaling $210 million and helped create and implement a data-driven market selection approach designed to augment the company’s existing investment strategy. He previously served as vice president of development and investor relations at Spectrum Retirement Communities, where he was involved in the development of 20 communities comprising 2,300 units across nine states. Burke holds a bachelor’s degree in real estate.

Matt Booma, executive vice president of CA Senior Living

Matt Booma, executive vice president of CA Senior Living

Matt Booma is also rising through the ranks at CA Senior Living. He came to CA Ventures in 2013 as a member of the student housing and multifamily development teams. Through his prior positions at Lucien Lagrange Architects and Perkins+Will, Booma brings more than a decade of architecture experience to the firm. He helped pave the way to opening CA’s first two senior developments. In his new role, Booma will continue to lead development activities for the division. Booma holds a bachelor’s degree in applied science and master’s of architecture.

“Ever since my first encounter with JJ, I knew his can-do attitude combined with his real estate expertise would be instrumental in fueling our expansion. Ben has created a pipeline of opportunities second to none in the senior living industry. He is a terrific asset to the senior living team and has seamlessly merged his experience and vision with the company’s plans for continued growth. Matt is a go-getter who shares our vision for providing best-in-class residential options designed to facilitate the active lifestyle so many older adults seek,” Scott added.

Images courtesy of Taylor Johnson