New England Real Estate Journal Spotlights, Oct 29, 2021
by Warren Kirshenbaum
After 10 years in business, the Cherrytree Group has been fortunate to have been able to grow to a level of strength and stability: recently surpassing $100 million in tax credits placed on behalf its clients. It’s a total team effort — but a key member of our team has been a young lady from Boston’s North Shore who has become a rising star not just at Cherrytree, but within the field of tax credit analysis and procurement nationwide.
Melina Ambrosino came to Cherrytree 10 years ago this month as an administrative assistant, fresh out of college and torn between a career in law or business. In my almost-immediate observation when I first interviewed her, she was ready to take on the world. And that she did. Not only has Melina risen over the past decade to become Cherrytree’s second-in-command, but the 34-year-old is now considered one of the tax credit field’s most knowledgeable experts as well as a mentor to other young professionals entering the industry.
Melina’s ability to connect with people, her social interaction skills, and her networking ability are unparalleled, colleagues say. This has enabled her to become both a formidable new business developer —as well as a trusted brand ambassador and advocate. She has a keen sense of marketing, an ability to soak up knowledge, and a finely tuned ability to deal with people.
I have always said that one of the secrets to success in business is not how you are able to handle things when they are going smoothly. Rather it is how you handle the tough issues, the problems, the situations that are thorny and fraught with challenges. Melina excels at tackling those challenges, and we as a company have benefitted from Melina’s ability to help us navigate through demanding times.
The real estate development field has long been dominated by men of middle age or older, and I had noticed in the company’s early years how Melina faced —and was able to overcome — bias as a woman, particularly as a young woman. She has handled every adversity thrown at her; doing so in a very impressive manner.
Melina has had to deal with the extremely bureaucratic inefficiencies and real financial issues that have accompanied our reliance on government as a business partner. And she, in certain circumstances, has forged relationships with people that no one else has been able to achieve, and in fact no one thought was even possible.
Others in the real estate development and financial services fields have noticed. In 2020 Melina was named to the board of directors of the influential Brownfield Coalition of the Northeast, and she is often sought after to present at real estate development and investing seminars and conferences throughout New England.
Melina is smart, dedicated, loyal, hardworking and has a very impressive ability to store and process complex information and be able to distill that information to her clients and potential clients in an easy to understand manner. Melina has been invaluable to me and to Cherrytree, and has been a driving force behind our success and stability. She is truly a one-of-a-kind person.
Warren Kirshenbaum is founder and president of the Cherrytree Group, LLC, Newton, Mass.
Warren founded Cherrytree in 2011 and has spent the past eleven years building a highly specialized tax credit consultation, brokerage, and syndication firm. He has relied on three decades of experience and a law background to focus on the structural and development finance aspects of tax incentivized real estate-based transactions — particularly in the environmental remediation (Brownfields), renewable energy, and historic rehabilitation areas.