Board of Trustees
Jeff Greene was born in 1954 in Worcester, Massachusetts. His father ran a business selling used textile machinery and his mother was a religious school teacher. His parents taught and instilled in him a strong set of moral and economic values that would become the basis of a long and fortuitous career in real estate investment and development.
Greene worked his way through The Johns Hopkins University. He taught religious school three days-per-week, checked ID’s outside the Hopkins gym and working winter vacations as a busboy and waiter at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Sociology from Johns Hopkins in just two and a half years. After Johns Hopkins, Greene worked on-the-road as a circus promoter for almost three years, accumulating the seed capital for what would become a billion dollar real estate portfolio. After three years of hard work, Greene went back to Harvard Business School where he received his Masters of Business Administration in 1979.
While at Harvard, Greene began investing in residential real estate by purchasing a three-family home, not far from the business school, where he would reside while getting his MBA. He gained a quick understanding of the real estate business and by the time he completed his second year at Harvard Business School, he had accumulated 18 properties and a net worth of over a million dollars. After business school, Greene moved to Los Angeles where he successfully navigated a roller coaster real estate market through the 80s and 90s. By 2006, he had accumulated a $1 billion real estate portfolio. Worried about the possible collapse of the real estate market, he devised a hedge for that portfolio in which he shorted what he determined were enormously overvalued subprime mortgage backed securities. This investment has been described as the most successful trade in history by an individual on Wall Street.
Today, Greene manages a vast portfolio of financial investments in real estate, hospitality and energy. He is an active philanthropist supporting a variety of charities and is a signatory to the Buffet-Gates Giving Pledge.
The Greene Institute’s Closing the Gap Conference is an annual event bringing together many of the world’s most respected academics, business leaders, and political leaders, to discuss the importance of maintaining a skilled middle class. He and his wife, Mei Sze, are the founders of The Greene School, dedicated to empowering high-performing students to be adaptive, confident and productive stewards of an evolving world. Mr. Greene and wife Mei Sze reside in Palm Beach, Florida with their three children.
Mei Sze Greene was born in Malaysia to Chinese parents. Due to rising tensions for the minority Chinese population in Malaysia, at the age of five and having never spoken a word of English, she moved with her family to Sydney, Australia where she grew up.
Mei Sze Greene received her Bachelor’s degree in economics from Macquarie University in Sydney. After college, Mei Sze worked as an equity and finance consultant in the Sydney office of Arthur Anderson Consulting. In 2000 Mei Sze moved to New York where over the next seven years she built a successful real estate investment and development firm.
Elizabeth Gordon’s professional background is in the fields of education and law. She holds a Masters of Education from Harvard University, as well as a Bachelors of English and a law degree, and is a member of the Massachusetts and Illinois State Bars. While practicing law at The Children’s Law Center of Massachusetts, she represented underprivileged children with disabilities in their quest for appropriate educational services. Prior to that, Elizabeth ran a private tutoring and test preparation business in Massachusetts. She has taught English, honors literature and ESL to grades 4-12 at private, public and international schools in Chicago, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Guatemala. She is a board member at The South Florida Science Center and Aquarium, and has served on the Allocations Committee for the Town of Palm Beach United Way. By far, Elizabeth’s proudest role is mother to her two children.
Edward Leevan, CPA, a Partner of Gaytan & Leevan, LLP, CPA’s has 27 years of experience in the accounting industry. His areas of expertise are focused in individual and business taxation, with an emphasis in real estate, retail sales, entertainment and high net worth individuals.
Edward began his career in the Los Angeles tax department of Deloitte and Touche, LLP, where he was exposed to a wide range of industries and their tax issues.
In 1994, Edward moved to private industry, becoming the controller and tax manager for a Deloitte & Touche client; a privately owned real estate holding company comprised of several diverse businesses. Some of their business included a commercial pipe company, a fabricating company and a reverse engineering company specializing in Government contracts.
While working in private industry, Edward garnered a great deal of skill and knowledge in understating and serving clients’ needs. Edward continued developing his tax skills with Anson Garrett and Company, a local CPA firm in West Los Angeles. His client responsibilities quickly grew as he became the primary contact with several high net worth individuals and their closely-held businesses. In 2004, the firm was acquired and Edward joined Gaytan & Leevan, LLP as a Partner. Besides serving his clients’ daily needs, Edward took on the responsibility of establishing the practice in its present location and the day-to-day operations of running the firm.
Kwong Weng Chan
Kwong Weng Chan has over 20 years of technology experience in the banking industry and real estate. His small but dedicated team of IT specialists brought Internet Banking to all four major Australian banks in the late 1990s. His focused shifted to real estate five years ago where he completed numerous residential and commercial real estate projects in the Palm Beach County.
Weng received a Bachelor of Technology Degree from Macquarie University located in Sydney Australia with a focus in Information Technology. Weng and his wife Min are both passionate about young children's education. They have three elementary school aged boys and believe that children can thrive by having a well-balanced education.