About Us

The Crest Group is a firm that focuses on the development of property for industrial, commercial, retail and residential uses.

We also provide venture capital services for businesses interested in seeking management expertise and capital to grow their companies. Our goal is to seek and bring out the value in anything and everything we are involved in.

In the past, we have focused on real estate development for the purpose of creating residential housing. By continuing this path and delving into commercial, industrial, and retail facets of the market, we have found that our management and development techniques are highly successful in this sector.

Being a firm with broad horizons, The Crest Group has taken several steps into the venture capital market. With investments nationwide, we have grown a number of companies to better meet the demand that their ideas set out to serve. We are always searching for opportunities and welcome those who feel that our expertise and guidance can assist their company.

The Crest Group is a firm that is focused on growth, development and progression. Every venture we take on fits our vision of success and progress; we plan to carry out that very same pattern well into the foreseeable future.

ABOUT THE PRESIDENT & FOUNDER – ENRICO SCARDA

Enrico Scarda has had an interest and passion for real estate his whole life and his dedication to this industry is clearly reflected in the growth and success of The Crest Group, which was founded in 1998 with only very few employees but right from the beginning it was a dynamic startup.  Today, through Enrico’s leadership and ability to see the value in real estate investment opportunities, startup companies and in people, The Crest Group has two divisions: a fully integrated real estate investment, development and management firm and a boutique private equity firm with over 20 Crest employees and over 100 employees of various entities under Crest management with investments spanning the Eastern seaboard and into the Midwest across all asset classes and lifecycles, approximately $250 million under management. He has built the company leveraging his own capital and reinvesting in his company as well as his employees. Enrico obtained his Juris Doctor degree from New York Law School and graduated from NYU Stern Business School with a focus in finance. As a member of the Suffolk County Bar Association, Long Island Builders Institute, Port Jefferson Lions Club and LI Heart Association, he is both integrated and present in the community he works in. He feels this is one of the many keys to true success.

DANIEL SCARDA

Chief Operating Officer

Daniel (Danny) Scarda has been on the construction and operations side of the real estate world for nearly 20 years. He owns and operates a large and successful development firm with approximately 150 employees. Danny’s skills and experience have provided him the opportunities to build major projects in the multifamily, commercial and industrial sectors, he has developed from the ground up and rehabilitated / repositioned with great success. He has had considerable experience in the five boroughs and long island, in the private sector as well as for municipalities (MTA and NYC SCA) and prides himself on the quality and efficiency he is able to provide. In addition, Danny’s keen eye for job oversight and cost-effective purchasing has saved millions of dollars.

DAVID ARNOW

Chief Investment Officer

David Arnow is a Commercial and Residential real estate specialist skilled in leadership, operations, asset management, strategic planning, finance, acquisitions and dispositions. With over 30 years of experience, he has handled all aspects of operations, management and commercial financing on national portfolios of residential and commercial property.  He has had great success in increasing revenue and reducing expenses at the property level as well as the corporate level. He has a track record of building high performance teams focused on serving the requirements of investors, customers and employees. David has expertise in increasing value in turn-around situations and has managed real estate portfolios of 22,000 apartment units, as well as mixed – use properties in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Kentucky and Texas. David is a Hofstra university graduate and is a NYS licensed real estate broker.

DEBORAH LINNEMAN

Corporate Controller

Deborah Linneman has been in the real estate industry for over 25 years specializing in commercial real estate, construction and property management. She has had experience with several companies, including having run her own business, and brings a very broad and versatile knowledge base and skill set to the Crest Group. She is responsible for overseeing the accounting and reporting for over 50 entities associated with The Crest Group located in various states within the US. Deborah enjoys a challenge, is extremely detail oriented and organized and can multitask with ease which are necessary traits to maintain smooth and effective workflow of maintaining the books and records of varying types of entities. Deborah oversees the accounting staff, assists in overseeing other areas of the organization and is a key component of The Crest Group. Deborah is a graduate of Dowling College with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, majoring in accounting.

MARILYN PRICE

General Council

Marilyn Price is a highly skilled legal professional who specializes in commercial and residential real estate. She is a 25-year veteran of the one of the largest and well-respected firms on Long Island, Certilman Balin.  While at Certilman, Marilyn was the real estate transactional partner handling all matters on a national basis from acquisitions to all forms of financing and dispositions.  Marilyn has worked with The Crest Group for many years but joined the company as in-house counsel in 2014. A recognized leader in her field, she was named by Long Island Business News as one of the “Top 50 Women on Long Island” in 2000, 2007 and 2011 at which time she had the distinction of being inducted into the Hall of Fame. In 2001 she was named by The March of Dimes as one if its Women of Distinction in addition to being listed in Strathmore’s Who’s Who as a leader in the legal profession, the Nationwide Register’s Top 50 Professional Women and Marquis Who’s Who of American Women; and in 2003 she was named one of “Long Island’s Most Influential Women” by LIBN.  Marilyn has also achieved the highest professional rating by Martindale Hubbell of AV, indicative of her high ethical standards and professional ability. Marilyn is admitted to practice in the state of New York; the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York; U.S. Supreme Court; and the U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit.

WILLIAM CAFFREY

Associate General Council

William (Bill) Caffrey Jr. joined The Crest Group after an 18-year career with a well-known long island firm during which time he developed a reputation as one of the most well-respected litigators in Suffolk County, with over thirty reported decisions in the State and Federal courts. Bill has experience in all areas of commercial litigation with a focus on appellate practice, landlord-tenant law and representation of condominium and homeowners’ associations both in litigation and as general counsel. Bill earned his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University and his Juris Doctor from Georgetown University Law Center. He serves as a volunteer judge for the New York State High School Mock Trial Competition, he is also a licensed 4×4 youth soccer coach, and volunteers as the coach of his daughter’s U8 team for the South Country Youth Soccer League. He is a member of the Suffolk County Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association and is admitted to practice in all New York State Courts as well as the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York and the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

VIN GRILLO

Director of Operations & Development

Vin Grillo has over 30 years of diverse operations management experience. Before joining Crest, Vin spent 10 years as the Executive VP and then the Chief Operating Officer for a large real estate development and management company. Vin’s responsibilities included supervising the field staff in the successful operations and P&L management of all the properties, working with the VP of Facilities and Construction on budgeting and spending. Ultimately, his role was ensuring the highest level of performance both operationally and financially of all the Companies properties. Prior to that Vin spent 11 years with Starbucks Coffee Company at various management levels. As the Regional Director of operations, he was responsible for the operations, real estate development and training in an area that spanned 15 states and over 200 retail units in the eastern half of the country. Vin is a recent addition to The Crest Group, having started early 2019 and has already shown himself to be a tremendous team player taking on very large projects, managing the retail and commercial office areas, and executing with ease and efficiency. Vin is a graduate of St. John’s University.

AARON SMILES

Director of Leasing

Aaron Smiles has nearly 40 years and a vast array of real estate and leasing experience. Aaron has built and runs a very successful real estate consulting business and is highly skilled at analyzing new acquisitions and existing portfolios for value-add plays to achieve maximum revenues. Through the years he has also had extensive experience interfacing with banking institutions, including Wall Street rating firms for loan placement on assets based on aggressive but realistic lease-ups. He has negotiated with worldwide, first class institutions for major leases and has a long track record of success. Since joining The Crest Group, Aaron oversees all leasing activity and manages all relationships with tenants and brokers across our portfolio. He spearheads and participates in various local community and charity events in order to expand our presence and reach.

MICHAEL DEMEGLIO

Project Manager

Michael (Mike) DeMeglio has been managing construction projects for more than ten years. He specializes in ground up development, taking projects from inception to finished product and tenant delivery. He has an extensive knowledge of site construction from sewers to final road construction. Mike’s extensive knowledge of retail store development has contributed to the success of The Crest Group in delivering finished buildings to many national tenants including Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, 7-Eleven, LA Fitness and QuickChek. Mike has also been heavily involved in and directly oversaw an $8M dollar capital improvement project for Danfords Hotel and Marina, which consisted of room renovations, marina rebuilding and restaurant renovations. Under Mike’s management, the project was completed on time and under budget.

PETER APSILOS

Project Manager

Peter Apsilos has over 24 years’ experience overseeing all phases of multimillion-dollar construction and infrastructure for government and private sector residential and commercial projects. He has worked for major developers in the NY metro area and overseen complex and well-known projects through the five boroughs and long island. Some highlights of his experience include managing crews, consultant subcontractors, union contractors, contract negations, project estimating, impending design problems, document preparation, site safety meetings, building codes and regulations, site management through certificate of occupancy. Peter joined Crest early 2019 and has made an immediate impact on several of our development projects including 1402 York Avenue, Water’s Edge and Setauket Meadow’s in the Woods. Peter graduated from NYC Technical college and holds the following professional designations / completed additional courses: Registered Department of Building Construction Superintendent, New York Supervisor Certified Lead Base Paint Professional, Completion of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 10 Hour Safety Course, Completion of NYC Department of Buildings Site Safety Managers Course, Completion of NYC Supported Scaffold Safety Training Course.

GINA IRELAND

Executive Interior Designer

Gina Ireland has been bringing visions to life through design for over 15 years.  Her love and passion for design started as a child, likely inherited from her grandmother who was a talented seamstress.  After years of working in the fashion industry for top designers, Gina’s keen eye and taste level turned into an incredible career in interior design, including magazine spreads and national recognition.  Throughout the years she has created an impressive portfolio in Manhattan and along the Gold Coast as well and Florida, breathing life into mansions and bringing to them to their full potential.  Living and working on Long Island’s North Shore, Gina is largely inspired by the Gatsby Era which presents itself in the glamorous details of her designs, yet her talent and vision is versatile enough that she can bring together any vision desired.  If you were to ask her what she loves most about her job, it’s bringing her clients joy through making their ideas a reality.

DANIEL SCARDA

Associate

Daniel Scarda, Enrico’s oldest son, is a graduate of Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business where he majored in finance with a minor in economics. Daniel has been intimately invested in The Crest Group and its development over the years. As an intern during his summers throughout his high school career and a modeling and strategic analyst into his college years he has become a strong valued member of The Crest Group management team. His responsibilities revolve around deal analysis, modeling and portfolio performance evaluation. At Georgetown, he served as the Real Estate Investment Fund’s Chief Investment Officer where he has proven his financial analysis skills to be well suited for the real estate industry.

MARCO SCARDA

Associate

Marco Scarda, Enrico’s youngest son, is a graduate of the University of Miami’s Herbert school of business where he majored in Real Estate Finance with a minor in Entrepreneurship. Marco has been avidly learning alongside his brother Daniel at The Crest Group and has been key in the expansion and development over the years. As an intern during his summers throughout his schooling career, Marco learned to be proficient in business management. With his learned skills he has been able to find and fix inefficiencies within the business and out in the field. His responsibilities include project management as well as acquisition analysis. During his stay at The University of Miami, Marco was an intern with Lennar Homes where he learned their acquisition process. Since graduation Marco has been a proud member of The Crest Group Family.

Crest Hospitality

MICHAEL BONAWANDT

President

Michael Bonawandt has been in the hospitality business since he was 16 years old and has a true passion for what he does. With over 30 years of experience he has held and mastered a wide range of positions from a front desk clerk to sales manager to director of operations to President of the Crest Hospitality division. Michael started with Crest Hospitality in 2016, with their acquisition of Danfords Hotel, Marina and Spa and has led a revitalization of the property in all aspects from the physical appearance, to reenergizing the Danfords team, to making contacts and relationships in the local community. Much of Crest Hospitality’s continued growth and success are attributable to Michael’s leadership and his influence is seen in the newer acquisitions of Water’s Edge, Staybridge Hotel and Water View. Michael graduated from Adelphi University in Garden City, NY with a B.A. in Management and Communications.

CHRISSANDRA PASSAFIUME

Controller

Chrissandra Passafiume has been with Danfords Hotel, Marina and Spa since 1992, in hotel operations, and her hard work and dedication has ultimately brought her up through the ranks becoming the Controller in 2000. Currently she is the Controller for Crest Hospitality. Chrissandra’s knowledge of accounting procedures for the hospitality industry, along with her vast history of Danford’s operations and history with the Village of Port Jefferson make her an invaluable asset of our operation. Chrissandra graduated from St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue, NY with a B.A. in Accounting and Finance.

MICHAEL LANG

Food & Beverage Coordinator

Michael Lang began his hospitality career in 1991 quickly rising to hotel executive committee level positions by 1993. Since that time, he has worked at several well-known and respected Long Island hotels and joined Crest Hospitality in 2018. Although he is a relatively new addition to the team, he has proven himself to be a results-driven leader and has become a vital asset to the organization. Michael graduated from University of Houston in Houston, TX with a B.A. in Hotel Management.

DENISE SCIDMORE

Sales & Marketing Director

Denise Scidmore started her career as a restaurant manager in 1990.  With her hard work and passion for the hospitality industry, it was not long before she started her first executive committee position in the hotel business in 1993. Denise has worked for the largest hotels brands in the world to include Marriott and Hyatt hotels from a leadership and sales position. Denise has a track record of organization and growing revenues and these talents have led her to achieve many recognitions in the industry amongst her clients and peers. Denise graduated from Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY with a B.A. of Business Administration and Management.

EFFIE SCARDA

Spa Operations Director

Effie Scarda has always had an interest and talent for beauty and fashion and has been a licensed salon professional for 15 years having owned several large and successful spas and salons. She makes it a priority to stay on the forefront of the industry trends to ensure clients receive cutting edge service and leave looking amazing and feeling confident and refreshed. Effie’s firsthand knowledge of both salon sales and operations are a key asset to round out the Crest Hospitality team.  With her forward thinking, industry knowledge and leadership the menu of services and revenues at our locations have grown rapidly.