The people behind the relationship 

Commercial real estate is really a people business. It’s people sharing dreams, goals and visions and working together to achieve them. 

At First National, we approach what we do from the people perspective. We’re not just lenders. We’re passionate about the business of commercial real estate and our clients, the people who drive it. 

From coast to coast, our specialists are building relationships to nurture and grow the Canadian commercial real estate market. Click on the teams below to get to know our commercial teams and our people.

Jeremy Wedgbury
Senior Vice President, Commercial Mortgages

David Scapillati
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Aaron Cameron
Senior manager, Commercial operations

Dave Morrison
Senior director, Credit adjudication

Outcome focused. Energetic passion. Relentless perseverance.

As a team, we’ve seen turbulent times but have always endured. We pride ourselves on our perseverance, never wavering from our commitment to get deals done right and fast. Our laser focus on outcomes has driven us to build a highly functioning machine, so execution happens seamlessly in the background without the complication of process. While we are action oriented, we also delve deep. We bring a personal touch, deep knowledge of properties and a true passion for real estate. Working with our team, clients get the right balance of adrenaline combined with passion and big picture thinking combined with a focus on intricacies. 

Troy Barker
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Damir Jesic
Director, Commercial Financing

Penny Aynbinder
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Daniel Toft
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Michael Shegda
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Nahr Gill
Junior Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Team-Barker

Darryl Bellwood
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Andrew Argenta
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Trevor Bloom
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Patrick Cutler
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Team-Bellwood

Creative connectors. Long-term focus. Ethical ambition.

Tim Kennedy and Henry Chung are a team in every sense of the word. Whether it’s deal structuring, client dialogue or compensation, they have a true partnership of equals. Tim and Henry operate together – one vision, one approach, one goal – only doing what’s absolutely best for every borrower. As a team, they deliver value in three key ways. First, they are creative connectors. Their collective personal and professional network is strong and diverse, and they are open to putting people in touch to drive the success of a deal. Second, loyalty and long-term relationships are vital to their approach. Taking an empathetic perspective, they invest in understanding borrowers’ experiences and walking in their shoes to build trust and ensure transparency. And finally, they leave no stone unturned when structuring deals. Bringing financing and transactional expertise together, they offer a fresh perspective on what it means to be resourceful for construction and retail/office/industrial deals. Both would describe themselves as young, hungry and aggressive, but with a strong moral compass. Determined and committed to investing in the long game, they both strive for success yet their path is paved by ethical ambition and doing the right thing rather than the prosperous thing at all costs.

Henry Chung
Director, Commercial Financing

Tim Kennedy
Director, Commercial Financing

Dexter Choy
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

TEAM_Kennedy-ChungWEB

Jody Comeau
Director, Commercial Financing

Lisa McFarlane
Senior Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Mildred Imadiyi
Junior Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Team-Comeau

Michele Cook
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Sally Ng
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Team-Michele-Cook

Encouraging innovation. Ambitious goals. Growing superstars.

As a team, we are always seeking opportunities to innovate so we can consistently deliver unexpected value to our clients. While we look to be innovative, we do so within a structure of priorities and process. Ambitious goals help us focus and strive to continuously improve. Our process is about openness and efficiency, never about rigidity and silos. With our approach to process, we have a foundation to be proactive, communicate openly about issues and empower clients through mutual sharing. Our team’s culture of innovation stems from a commitment to growing superstars. As individuals and as a team, we relish challenges, emphasize education and communicate candidly. We believe in quality over quantity, which is why we manage and nurture deep client relationships and partner for long-term success.

Peter Cook
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Robert Fleet
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Evan Pawliuk
Director, Commercial Financing

Reed Bracken
Business Development Manager, Commercial Financing

Daniel Bragagnolo
Director, Commercial Financing

Alex Damiano
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Adel Elsayed
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Patricia Alvaro
Senior Manager, Commercial Mortgages

Adriana Palazzolo
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Team-Cook-Peter&Rob

Emphasizing solutions. Building trust. Empowering contributions.

We consider our business an advisor business. We put ourselves in the shoes of our stakeholders – clients, investors, CMHC – and always focus on what’s best for them. Relationships are everything, and we pride ourselves on maintaining the highest levels of honesty and integrity in both our personal and professional dealings. As real estate owners and members of real estate families ourselves, we truly understand the power of partnership, trustworthiness and dependability. Individual and team development remains an ongoing core priority for us, so we can continuously reinforce and strengthen our values: empowerment, a solutioning mindset, independent thinking, collaborative spirit and learning by doing. Our clients benefit from four sharp minds contributing their expertise, perspective, energy and creativity to getting deals done right. We only take on mandates when we are confident that we can deliver, and as a result, we are known as credible executors, growth facilitators and trusted advisors.

Andrew Drexler
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Abby McQuire
Director, Commercial Financing

Alessia Di Geso
Senior Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Neil Silverberg
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Team-Drexler

Intuitive. Inventive. Composed.

Jim is a recent addition to the First National Financial commercial team. He brings 25 years of experience in both real estate finance and sales.

For Jim, personal service means being thoughtful and intuitive. He invests time and energy in getting to know clients’ strategies, focus, business goals and tastes. That insight allows him to tap his broad market knowledge to match market opportunities with the right clients, at the right time.

In Jim’s view, it’s important to really care. He cares about clients, taking a long-term view and building dynamic relationships. He cares about the community, volunteering with real estate-focused not-for-profits. And he cares about deals, demonstrating a true passion for digging in and getting them done. Jim believes strongly in finding creative solutions and tackling challenges with composure and diplomacy.

Working at First National, Jim is inspired by the can do, will do attitude and support. He values the execution mentality and associated flat corporate structure, giving him the confidence that what he promises and presents is what he ultimately delivers.

Jim Foote
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Brian Hammond
Senior Manager, Commercial Mortgages

Team-Foote

Action and strategy. Charisma and resourcefulness. Intensity and stealth.

As a team, we thrive on challenge. The bigger the challenge, the deeper our passion. We relish the complicated deals that require expertise, ingenuity and inventiveness. Barry Gidney is a relentless connector, always proactively reaching out and looking to make deals happen for clients. He personifies energy, drive and originality and harnesses those qualities to benefit his clients. As a property owner, he brings a unique perspective to client relationships and has a commonality of experience that makes a difference.  Ilan Barda is an advisor and a relentless decipherer, finding solutions to tough situations that elude others.  He proactively establishes relationships, developing a deep understanding of his clients’ needs to deliver unique strategies to maximize value for his clients. Together, Barry and Ilan bring a unique combination of boldness and vision, action and strategy, charisma and resourcefulness. It’s that textured balance that enables them to go deep with clients and get deals done right. 

Barry C. Gidney
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Ilan Barda
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Justin Salomon
Senior Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Douglas Reid
Manager, Commercial Mortgages

Adam Greaves
Senior Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Barry_Ilan

Trusted advisors. Sought after specialists. Foremost authorities.

Seniors housing is often a complex, highly specialized undertaking with many moving parts including real estate, business operations, care delivery and government funding. It’s a niche expertise that requires deep product knowledge, pedigree and a problem solving philosophy. Team Kimmel is a foremost authority in seniors housing, offering sought-after specialization supported by a high touch advisory approach and a commitment to building long-term, trusted relationships. An agile team of two, team Kimmel functions as a cohesive unit rather than several individuals interpreting a common vision. It’s a highly collaborative approach, where each member contributes ideas, perspectives and expertise to solution development. When a client calls one team member, essentially he or she is getting the benefit of the expertise of three. As a result of the highly specialized nature of seniors housing, the complexity of the often-large transactions and the distinctiveness of every project, team Kimmel emphasizes face-to-face interactions, direct and transparent dealings with decision makers and a focus on action – get on the street, get your feet wet and live it to learn it. There is a quiet confidence balanced with bold leadership, making team Kimmel the first call for both aspiring and established seniors housing developers and investors in the country.

Brian Kimmel
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Ryan Paquet
Manager, Commercial Mortgages

brian-standing-TEAMWEB

Sound advice. Diverse skills. Reliable delivery.

Our team is made up of seasoned individuals from different parts of the industry, creating a unique, collective and complementary expertise. Each member has a defined role and skill set, but we come together seamlessly to service clients with the highest levels of professionalism. Our collaborative approach means that we all contribute ideas and perspectives to how solutions are developed and executed. Transparency and honesty are values for us. We set clear expectations, treat clients respectfully, respond quickly and act responsibly. We work to gain a deep understanding of client needs and aim to simplify the process as much as possible. Committed to openness and active listening, we provide sound advice and make realistic promises to build trust and long-term relationships with our clients.  

Edgar Kieser
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing and Broker Services

Devin Sembaluk
Senior Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Lisa Wright
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Ed_Kieser

Bill Kwiecien
Regional Director, Atlantic region

Jennifer Horne
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Team-Kwiecien

Pierre Leroux
Assistant VP, Commercial Financing

Simon Verdy
Director, Commercial Financing

Gilad Ben-Dor
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Anthony Gurreri
Senior Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Leroux-Verdy_web

Personal attention. Consistency. Confidante.

Scott has been a part of the First National Financial commercial team for the past 11 years, and has originated more than $1 billion in commercial financing.

For Scott, 99 per cent of his business is referral based and tends to deep, enduring business relationships where he is considered advisor and partner. In addition to his experience, Scott has a strong educational background focused on all aspects of commercial real estate.

In Scott’s view, his personal touch and consistency have contributed to the longevity of his client relationships. Many of his clients are private family commercial owners, and he is intimately connected with their businesses and knows what they are doing currently and what they have coming up at any given time. He meets with clients regularly, listens actively and becomes a confidante about the inner workings of their businesses and family dynamics.

Working at First National, Scott knows that he can pursue his unique approach to real estate. With the ability and encouragement to work independently as well as unparalleled flexibility in product scope and sources of capital, Scott can proactively source business for clients and address the opportunities that do arise with tailored solutions.

 

Scott Lynds
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

scott_seated - web

Jamie McCallum
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Daniel Pegoraro
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Team-McCallum

Dru McAuley
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Jesse Selles
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

William Hunter
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Team-McAuley

Jonathan Philipps
Director, Commercial Financing

Frank Casola
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Team Philipps_WEB

J. Robert St-Pierre
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Edouard Beland
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Isabelle Rivrais
Senior Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Team St.Pierre_WEB

Russell B. Syme
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

RussellSyme

Mitchell Tomulka
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Adam Powadiuk
Business Development Manager, Commercial Financing

David Tawse
Business Development Manager, Commercial Financing

Jimmy Castonguay
Analyst, Commercial Mortgages

Team-Tomulka

Andrea Wildeman
Assistant Vice President, Commercial Financing

Leslie Lai
Manager, Commercial Mortgages

AndreaWildeman-2WEBv2
NFLPTVSTWEB01