About Us

Meet our team of professionals who are ready to help get your deal closed.

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Our Team

Your transaction will be handled by a team of professionals with strong attention to detail and a commitment to providing you with remarkable customer service.

Mike Schoenstein

PARTNER

Mike Schoenstein co-founded Waterstone Defeasance in 2004, and is responsible for managing the company, along with general business development responsibilities. Since 2004 Waterstone has defeased approximately $7 billion in commercial real estate debt. Mr. Schoenstein brings an extensive background in the commercial mortgage securities industry spanning 25+ years, and has an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the various requirements and parties involved with CMBS mortgages.

Prior to Waterstone, Mr. Schoenstein worked for Wachovia Securities, L.J. Melody & Company, and GE Capital in their loan servicing operations, where he oversaw various asset management, special servicing, and relationship management teams. Mr. Schoenstein holds a Finance degree from the University of Texas at Tyler.

P 704.661.8540
E mike@waterstonedefeasance.com

Mike Schoenstein

George Rodriguez

George Rodriguez

PARTNER

George Rodriguez co-founded Waterstone Defeasance in 2004 and has a primary role of managing the securities administration process, along with general business development responsibilities. Mr. Rodriguez brings a broad background over 25 years of financial markets experience, including extensive experience in the areas of securities processing for both equity and fixed income trading. He has worked for major securities firms such as Salomon Brothers, Wachovia Securities, and Accenture where he provided technical consulting expertise to top global clients. Mr. Rodriguez holds an MIS degree from Bernard Baruch College in NYC.

P 704.926.6503
E george@waterstonedefeasance.com

John Felter

John Felter

MANAGING DIRECTOR 

John Felter has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry. Prior to joining Waterstone Defeasance in 2014, he worked in a wide range of roles for companies such as Bank of America, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., Merrill Lynch and Salomon Brothers. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance and Management Information Systems from Boston University. Mr. Felter covers the Northeast and West regions for Waterstone Defeasance.

P 561.352.6551
E john@waterstonedefeasance.com

Carol Tillman

Carol Tillman

MANAGING DIRECTOR 

Carol Tillman joined Waterstone in 2005 and is responsible for managing the internal sales function. She has been involved in every aspect of the defeasance process and has closed several billion in defeasance transactions. Ms. Tillman has an extensive background spanning over 25 years in business management and sales with strong analytical skills. Experience includes certain aspects of commercial loan servicing with emphasis in asset and portfolio management and disposition. She has established relationships with mortgage bankers, loan servicers, real estate lawyers, third party vendors and rating agencies. Ms. Tillman received a degree in Mathematics from the University of North Carolina in Charlotte.

P 704.926.6508
E carol@waterstonedefeasance.com

Steve Hall

Steve Hall

MANAGING DIRECTOR 

Mr. Hall has over twenty-five years of experience in commercial and residential real estate finance. In addition to working to develop institutional relationships, he provides market coverage of owners and their advisors in the Southeast and in North Texas. Prior to joining Waterstone Defeasance, Mr. Hall spent six years with Waterstone Asset Management, helping build and grow its CMBS and Agency loan underwriting, primary and special servicing platform. Prior to that, he worked for financial institutions including Wachovia (now Wells Fargo), Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and BBVA Compass Bank, primarily in client and transaction management roles. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Banking & Finance from the University of Mississippi, and is a Series 7 and 63 Registered Representative (inactive).

P 704.926.6509
E steve@waterstonedefeasance.com

Addison McMillan

Addison McMillan

DIRECTOR 

Addison McMillan joined the Waterstone Defeasance team in 2014. His responsibilities are focused on Business Development for California and operates out of our Irvine office. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration with a minor in Accounting from North Carolina State University. Upon graduation he completed an entire through-hike of the Appalachian Trail and has since established a background in business development and sales.

P 910.734.8402
E addison@waterstonedefeasance.com

kathleen-katibah

Kathleen Katibah

ASSOCIATE 

Kathleen Katibah joined Waterstone Defeasance in 2014 as an associate. She is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has a B.A. in Psychology and Interpersonal Communications. She serves as a Youth Advisor at her church and is a volunteer at the Billy Graham Library.

P 704.926.6515
E kathleen@waterstonedefeasance.com

julia-gilbert

Julia Gilbert

ANALYST 

Julia Gilbert joined Waterstone in 2014 as an analyst. She is a graduate of Appalachian State University with a degree in Cell and Molecular Biology with a minor in Chemistry. She likes to spend her free time rock climbing, both bouldering and indoor climbing.

P 704.926.6512
E julia@waterstonedefeasance.com

Client Testimonials

“Thanks to Waterstone, our defeasance closing was smooth and quick. There was no trouble throughout the process and when questions arose, Waterstone answered them immediately."

Neil Punt

Optivest Properties

Client Testimonials

“What impressed me about Waterstone was their diligence in closing my defeasance. It was a surprisingly positive experience.”

Thomas Barkewitz

Alston, Courtnage & Bassetti, LLP

Client Testimonials

"It was important for our defeasance that we found a professional expert company to handle our transaction. Waterstone provided everything we needed and helped coordinate all the people involved to ensure that this transaction was successful.”

Ned Carner

Unico Properties

Client Testimonials

“While it's obvious that Waterstone has completed many transactions due to their expert advice, we were treated with individual care. They pay so much attention to detail and customer service. They were great to work with.”

Michael Berger

Mandelbaum & Mandelbaum

Client Testimonials

"The Waterstone team did a wonderful job during the defeasance process. Their flexibility and attention to detail reassured us they had our best interest at heart. They answered all of our questions, making sure we were involved every step of the way."

Jeanie Adams

FORT Properties