Silver Star Properties REIT Inc., a publicly registered non-traded real estate investment trust formerly known as Hartman Short Term Income Properties XX Inc., announced their recently appointed chief executive officer, Mark Torok, resigned.
As The DI Wire previously reported, the executive committee of the board removed Allen Hartman, founder, as executive chairman of the company and terminated the existing agreement between Hartman Short Term Income Properties XX Inc. and Mr. Hartman, whom the executive committee is investigating for “issues related to certain violations of fiduciary and other duties to the company…”.
Just last month, the board of directors reached a long-term employment agreement with Torok.
The CEO’s initial contract term extended to Oct. 16, 2026, and he resigned effective April 28, 2023.
The company reports that Torok’s resignation was not the result of any disagreement with the Silver Star on any matter relating to the company’s operations, policies, or practices.
Also, effective April 28, 2023, the executive committee of board of directors appointed David Wheeler to serve as the company’s interim president and has elevated the role and duties of Michael Racusin, general counsel and corporate secretary.
Silver Star says a search is underway to identify a permanent CEO with “substantial self-storage experience in a public market.” The executive committee of the board of directors has retained a nationally recognized executive search firm to assist in the process, and says it is confident in “the prospects for obtaining a leader capable of carrying the company forward in its self-storage strategy.”
Before his appointment, Wheeler served as executive vice president and chief investment officer of the Silver Star, with responsibilities that included overseeing the company’s capital markets activities; leasing and marketing activities; acquisition, financing, and disposition programs; sourcing investment opportunities; ownership transition; and asset management, disposition. Before joining a predecessor of the company in January 2003, Wheeler carried out a 16-year tenure with CBRE. At CBRE, he served as vice president of the investment services division where he completed the sale of over nine million square feet, including 13 self-storage facilities. While at CBRE, Wheeler represented Storage Trust, now an entity of Public Storage, and its Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas expansion. Wheeler holds an MBA with a concentration in real estate from Southern Methodist University and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering with an option in construction management from Texas A&M University.
Silver Star says Wheeler’s assignment will concentrate principally on capital markets activity, raising capital by selling legacy assets, and continuing, with the assistance of the executive committee, the process already begun to list the company’s common stock for trading on an established securities exchange by implementing the company’s self-storage strategy.
Racusin the company’s general counsel and corporate secretary, has more than 16 years of corporate legal experience and has a significant background in legal and risk management, capital raising, and counseling on negotiations, contracts and core business operations. Before joining Silver Star, Racusin held the position of general counsel and corporate secretary at Luby’s Inc., a formerly publicly traded restaurant and food service company. In his role, he led the legal and risk management departments, provided material management and support for acquisitions and divestitures, and counseled the board of directors. In addition, Racusin co-founded the world’s first and leading crowdfunding platform for oil, gas and energy investments at EnergyFunders, where he led the company to a successful exit in June 2020. Racusin holds a Doctor of Jurisprudence from The University of Houston Law Center and a bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin.
Silver Star says Racusin’s elevated position includes more oversight of capital markets and facilitating legacy asset sales.
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