Faculty and Staff


Dr. Shawn Howton, PhD

Dr. Shawn D. Howton received his BS and MBA at Southern Illinois University and his PhD at Florida State University.  Dr. Howton has published 28 articles in refereed journals including Real Estate Economics, Journal of Management, Business Ethics Quarterly, Financial Management, Journal of Financial Research, Financial Review, Journal of Derivatives, Real Estate Portfolio Management, and Briefings in Real Estate Finance.  Dr. Howton serves as an ad hoc reviewer for more than a dozen journals including the Journal of Real Estate Economics and Finance and the Journal of Real Estate Portfolio Management.  Dr. Howton was named the director of the Daniel M. DiLella Center for Real Estate in 2007. Dr. Howton has been recognized for his innovations in teaching and his contributions to research in ethical decision making.


Charles J. Davidson

In July 2014, Mr. Davidson was appointed a Visiting Instructor in the Department of Finance at Villanova University.  Prior to that, he was appointed in January 2010 as Business Fellow and an Adjunct Professor at the Daniel M. DiLella Center for Real Estate, Villanova University, teaching the MBA course in Commercial Real Estate Investment.  He also coached graduate student teams in three separate years, all of which reached the semi-final rounds in the MIT Case Competition.

Mr. Davidson concurrently worked at Studley, Inc. as a Managing Director in Philadelphia from 2012 to 2015 specializing in tenant representation.  Prior to joining Studley, he was Senior Vice President for Grubb & Ellis Company from 2009 to 2012.  Previously, he was Senior Vice President and Director of Asset Management for BPG Properties, Ltd. (now known as Equus Capital Partners) and was employed as its head of the Washington D.C. regional office. 

During 2007 and 2008, Mr. Davidson directed redevelopment, leasing and management of Washington D.C. portfolio for BPG Properties and managed the regional office staff of asset managers, development managers and property managers.

Prior to 2007, as Director of Asset Management, Mr. Davidson oversaw a number of corporate activities, including development of best practices, information technology, risk management, real estate tax appeals and investor reporting.  He also served on the investment committee for the firm.

From 1990 to 1998, Mr. Davidson was responsible for the marketing, leasing and sale of several projects for Aegis Realty Consultants (acquired by BPG Properties in 1998):


1986 Master of Business Administration in Finance, Temple University

1984 Master of Arts, Dropsie College

1981 Master of Divinity, Biblical Theological Seminary

1977 Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance, Ithaca College

Mr. Davidson was the recipient of the Villanova University William J. O’Neill Faculty Award in May 2016. Mr. Davidson has been active in a number of public and private boards. He was previously co-chair of the Planning Commission of Lower Merion Township and currently serves as co-chair of the Lower Merion Township Zoning Hearing Board. He is a board member of ESI Encore Series (Philly Pops) and currently serves as Vice President of the Union League of Philadelphia. He is a member of honorary business society Beta Gamma Sigma, and a 2000 graduate of Leadership, Inc.


Tony Ziccardi

Mr. Ziccardi is a Vice President with Brandywine Realty Trust.  He has 45 years of experience in the real estate industry.  For over four decades, he has been at the forefront of both residential and commercial real estate development in the Delaware Valley.  Currently, Mr. Ziccardi serves as the Vice President –Development Services.  Prior to that he served as Project Executive for Cira Centre, a 730,000 SF, 29-story office tower developed at 30th Street Station.  Additionally Mr. Ziccardi is a Business Fellow in the Villanova University School of Business and an Adjunct Professor of Real Estate since 2010.

Prior to joining Brandywine, Mr. Ziccardi was a Division President for K. Hovnanian Companies.  From 1982 to 1994, Mr. Ziccardi was a Partner of The Linpro Company and its successor, LCOR, Inc.  As partner, Mr. Ziccardi was responsible for the overall process of development from land acquisition, engineering, design development, construction, leasing, marketing, property management and financing of all projects.  In 1986, he established the Wilmington, Delaware office and developed One and Three Christina Centre, over 650,000 SF of high rise office space in the Christina Gateway.  Prior to 1982, Mr. Ziccardi was vice president of a medium size home building operation that produced over 200 homes per year. 
Mr. Ziccardi holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Saint Joseph's University and an MS from Fordham University in Biology.  He is a 42-year member of the National Association of Homebuilders and is a past president of both the Builders League of South Jersey (1980) and the New Jersey Builders Association (1988).



Benjamin Scheick, PhD

Benjamin Scheick, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor of Finance at Villanova University. Dr. Scheick’s research has focused on the impact of capital market access, investor sentiment, and geographic portfolio allocation strategies on the performance of listed equity REITs and private commercial real estate portfolios. His research has been published in several leading academic journals including Real Estate Economics and the Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking. Ben is a Villanova alumnus (’03) and completed his graduate work at the University of Florida after spending several years in the consulting industry with Navigant Consulting. Prior to joining the faculty at Villanova, Dr. Scheick was an Assistant Professor of Real Estate at the University of Georgia.


Natalie Kostelni

Natalie Kostelni received her undergraduate degree from Villanova University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Since 1999, she has reported on commercial and residential real estate and economic development for the Philadelphia Business Journal. Natalie has been an adjunct professor at Villanova since 2015. 


David Fiorenza

-Graduate of Villanova University School of Business

Graduate degree from Widener University

-Further education at GFOA Institute and ICMA Institute

-Private, Public and Non-Profit experience

-Senior Associate Consultant for Local Government Management Services, inc. (LGMS)

-Former CFO & Assistant Manager for Radnor Township

-Former Borough Manager for Kennett Square & West Conshohocken

-Consulted for many prominent municipalities in the 4 county area surrounding Philadelphia, including

West Chester Borough, Phoenixville, Towamencin Township and Caln Township

-Teach Urban Economics and Public Sector for Real Estate program in the Undergraduate school and Public Sector and Main Street Renewal in the MBA program


Edward A. Liva

 Ed is the Director of Villanova University’s Graduate Tax Program, and Professor of Practice.  In his role as Director, Ed oversees the University’s nationally recognized graduate tax program, which is offered both on-campus and online. The cross- disciplinary program—designed for lawyers, accountants and business professionals —is developed and administered jointly by the Villanova University Charles Widger School of Law and the Villanova School of Business.

Prior to his current role, Ed was a partner at KPMG and retired in 2015 following a 38-year career in the industry.  Ed began his career with Arthur Andersen in Chicago and joined KPMG in 2002.  Ed served as KPMG’s National Real Estate Tax  Industry Leader from 2003 through 2015. 

Ed earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from John Carroll University, a JD from DePaul University College of Law and an LLM in Taxation from Temple Law School.


David Spoont

David Spoont is the president and founder of Haverford Capital Management, Inc., a Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania based company specializing in providing equity raising, financing, and investment sales disposition services to real estate advisors and operating companies.

With over 30 years of experience in real estate and management expertise, David formed Haverford Capital Management to serve a range of companies and institutions including CenterSquare Investment Management Holdings, Inc. (formerly Urdang Capital Management, Inc.), a wholly owned subsidiary of Bank of New York Mellon Corporation, and several of CenterSquare’s joint venture partners. Prior to founding Haverford Capital Management, Inc., David was the Senior Vice President of Finance and Dispositions for Urdang Capital Management (now CenterSquare Investment Management, Inc.) headquartered in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania.  During his four years at Urdang, David was responsible for its capital markets activities and oversaw the disposition of properties valued in excess of $430M, procurement of over $550M of new financing and the restructuring of over $200M of existing debt.  He worked with almost all of Urdang's partners and added considerable value to Urdang’s and its partners’ collective financing and disposition efforts.

Mr. Spoont is highly regarded for his insightful knowledge of the capital markets and numerous relationships with lenders and brokers, which have resulted in many successful property sales and procurements of financing for investment properties.  David has guest lectured at the Villanova University School of Business and he has spoken at NYU, St. Joseph’s University, and the University of Pennsylvania as an invited panelist for real estate events sponsored by CoreNet Global and ULI.  Mr. Spoont is also a frequently invited panelist at industry events held in New York sponsored by Information Management Network and iGlobal Forum.

Mr. Spoont’s experience includes the disposition and financing of a wide range of property types including multifamily, retail, office, light industrial, and self-storage.  His experience also includes the management and development of many of these asset types. Prior to joining Urdang in 2008, he was Chief Investment Officer of Brandywine Construction & Management, Inc., a Philadelphia-based developer and owner/operator of apartments and mixed-use properties, where he was involved in all aspects of the business, including acquisitions, asset management, financings and dispositions.

Mr. Spoont received a B.S. in Finance and Economics from Lehigh University and an M.B.A. from The University of Pittsburgh.  He is a Licensed Real Estate Broker in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.


Joseph G. Nahas, Jr., CRE

Mr. Nahas is responsible for institutional capital raising and investor relations activities for Equus Capital Partners Ltd. During his 19 year tenure with Equus, Mr. Nahas has overseen disposition activity totaling over $2 billion and equity funding of approximately $750 million.  Mr. Nahas reports quarterly to over 100 institutional investors on the firm’s investment activity and performance. 

Prior to joining Equus in 1999, Mr. Nahas was the Chief Operating Officer for Atlantic American Properties Inc., a private REIT formed from the acquisition of the majority of Bell Atlantic Properties Inc.’s, investment holdings, where for seven years he was responsible for acquisitions, dispositions and day-to-day operations of those firms.   

Mr. Nahas holds an M.B.A. in Real Estate Finance and a B.B.A. in Economics from Temple University. He is a licensed real estate broker in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  He is a member of the Counselors of Real Estate, having served as chair of several of its committees. He currently serves on its Board of Directors and is a member of its Executive, Finance, and Strategic Planning Committees.  Mr. Nahas is 1st Vice Chair of the Board and in 2018 will serve as Chair of the Board for the organization.  

Mr. Nahas has been involved in a number of community and civic organizations.  Most recently, he served on the Board of Trustees of both Gwynedd Mercy Academy High School and Blessed Sarnelli House.  He currently serves on the Advisory Board for Holy Innocents Area Elementary School. Mr. Nahas instructs in Commercial Real Estate Investment as an adjunct professor at Villanova University School of Business. 

For More Information

Daniel M. DiLella Center for Real Estate
Villanova School of Business
800 East Lancaster Avenue
Villanova, PA 19085
(610) 519-4334

Shawn Howton, PhD
Faculty Director

Jessica Taylor

Charlie Davidson
Professor of Practice

Tony Ziccardi
Center Fellow