Meet the Team

Multifamily specialists with a culture focused on the resident experience

An operational approach to value creation

Learn about our strategy

About the Team

Ian Griffis, Chairman and Co-CEO

Mr. Griffis is Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer sharing responsibility for strategic management of Griffis Residential and its investment activities. He is a member of the Griffis Residential Investment Committee.

Mr. Griffis has been involved with numerous nonprofits and charities. He is a former Trustee of Colorado College and is a member of the William Jackson Palmer Founders Society, The Fountain Valley School, and a member of the Casa Serena Society. Appointed by the County Board of Commissioners, Mr. Griffis is a former member of the El Paso County Facilities Corporation. He has also led various public/private initiatives including: the development of a 150-bed dormitory on the University of Southern Colorado Campus, the selection and acquisition of a new D-38 high school, four conservation easements, the assemblage and creation of a public 800-acre park, and the preservation of an archaeological site and section of the historic Cherokee Trail. This is the oldest pioneer trail in the State of Colorado for which he was awarded the Friends of the Oregon Trail award. Mr. Griffis is a founding board member of Griffis Residential Gives, a public non-profit formed to address affordability and homelessness and its contributing causes in the cities in which Griffis Residential owns apartments.

Mr. Griffis holds a B.A. from Colorado College.

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David Birnbaum, Co-CEO

Prior to Griffis Residential, Mr. Birnbaum was CEO of Tablogix, a European-based contract logistics and warehousing company. Founded in 1994, Mr. Birnbaum oversaw its expansion into multiple international markets and managed the company’s sale and relocation to London in 1998, where he continued as CEO until 2003.

Mr. Birnbaum holds a B.A. from Colorado College and an M.B.A. from Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck School. He currently chairs the Museum Committee for the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College, is a trustee of the Denver Art Museum, and serves on the Russian and Eastern European Acquisition Committee for London’s Tate Modern Museum.

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Tom Barta, President and COO

Prior to joining Griffis Residential in 2005, Mr. Barta served as Corporate Controller for Westmoreland Coal Company, a publicly-traded company, for four years, where he oversaw all financial and accounting functions. From 1994 to 2001, Mr. Barta was in the audit practice in the Denver, Colorado office of KPMG.

Mr. Barta holds a B.A. from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

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Chris Souther, Chief Financial Officer

Prior to his move to Denver, Mr. Souther was Chief Financial Officer of the US subsidiary of a publicly-traded multinational property development and management company.  Mr. Souther brings 20 years of accounting experience to Griffis Residential and an extensive background in leadership of key areas of finance for the real estate, construction, and professional services sectors. Mr. Souther serves as the Chief Compliance Officer in connection with Griffis Residential’s status as a Registered Investment Advisor.

Mr. Souther is a Certified Public Accountant and holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Accounting from Wake Forest University.

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Chris Leggee, Sr. Vice President of Capital Markets

Mr. Leggee also contributes to fund strategy, tracking industry trends and research. Prior to joining Griffis Residential in 2014, Mr. Leggee spent eight years at NorthMarq Capital, most recently as a Producer of Debt & Equity Placement.

Mr. Leggee holds a B.S. in Real Estate and Finance from DePaul University. He serves on the Emerging Leaders Board of the National Multifamily Housing Council (NMHC). Additionally, Mr. Leggee is a member of PREA and the ‘Rising Leaders’ program, as well a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and its Young Leaders Council. He also serves on the Development Committee of the Denver Art Museum.

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Jim DiRienzo, Sr. Vice President of Investments

Prior to Griffis Residential, Mr. DiRienzo was with Northmarq Capital for six years where he was named “Analyst of the Year” and was further recognized with the “Analyst Excellence” and “Amerisphere Excellence” awards.

Mr. DiRienzo holds a B.S. in Finance from Colorado State University. He also represents Griffis Residential on the metro-Denver Economic Development Committee, served on Griffis Residential’s Customer Experience Management Team, and is a member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI).

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