“Member success has always been at the center of everything we do. Seeing the camaraderie and relationships that develop among Members is truly something special. Hearing the stories of deals being made and valuable connections developing confirms our
belief that we have the right formula. As Highrise continues to grow,
our mission is to help our Members reach new heights.
- Forrest Blake, Founder & CEO
Highrise started out in 2015 as an exclusive network of top-level professionals. Over time and with the valued input of our Members, we have evolved into something much greater - a vertically integrated Mastermind Organization. We now tap the full potential and collective experience of the Group Members to create opportunities, share ideas, solve common issues and develop relationships that ultimately turn into business. The industry diversity represented in our typical Group gives each Member unparalleled access to knowledge, resources, advice and connections from senior-level experts.
The design philosophy behind Highrise has four fundamental aspects. First, we wanted to keep it exclusive, so we limit Membership to partners and upper management only. Second, we wanted the groups to be collaborative with many professions represented – so we only allow one member per specialty. Third, we wanted to do deeper dives at the meetings and help Members execute on opportunities and overcome challenges – so we implemented a mastermind format at group meetings. Fourth, understanding how valuable time is to senior level people, we knew the groups should be within a tight radius of a given location to allow Members to easily get to and from meetings. As it turns out, many of our Members can simply walk a block or two to their meetings. Interestingly, our model is also supported by research that shows that physical proximity and face-to-face meetings are major keys to business success.
Founder & CEO
Forrest Blake is the Founder and CEO of Highrise Networks, which connects B2B top-level executives in high-rise buildings by leveraging real estate into creating a strong personal network. An expert in commercial real estate strategy, he is also Senior Vice President at SVN Commercial Real Estate Advisors in Downtown Los Angeles specializing in tenant representation and investment sales. Known for his work assisting corporate real estate clients, he has worked with Warner Brothers, Blue Shield, Texaco, and Hertz, among others. As a national keynote speaker, Forrest is a thought leader specializing in leadership, networking, developing connections, relationship building, and growing businesses. He frequently speaks on leadership and various issues facing corporate and small business leaders. Forrest is one of the top 50 Amateur Golf Players in the State of California.
Mark Scanlon, Co-Founder and COO, has over 25 years of corporate strategy, operations, finance, marketing and team-building experience in a diverse range of industries as a principal and an advisor. He has founded multiple technology companies and is currently the Founder of Infinity Ventures, a holding company with ownership interests in leading-edge internet companies. Mark also founded two boutique consulting companies focused on helping grow companies in the retail, technology, e-commerce, commercial real estate, finance, consumer products, manufacturing and renewable energy industries. Mark’s finance background includes experience in turnarounds, takeovers, roll-ups, venture capital and private equity. He also has significant CRE finance experience and is active in the California start-up landscape. In his free time, Mark volunteers as a youth soccer coach and devotes time to mentoring entrepreneurs.
Co-Founder and COO
Matt Spooner, Vice President of Chair Leadership, is a results-oriented leader who has nearly two decades of experience within the arenas of Marketing, Business Development, Account Management, and Event Planning. He has built and led high-performing teams within both the for-profit and nonprofit sectors. His cross-industry, cross-function experience allows him to approach opportunities and issues from a unique and valuable standpoint. He's turned around departments, evolved programs, and built meaningful platforms for collaboration within the organizations he's had the honor of serving. Prior to joining the Highrise Networks team, Spooner led a networking organization of 10,000+ senior-level executives throughout Southern California. He's passionate about sharing his subject matter expertise with others, and his thoughts and ideas re: the business world have been showcased on the podcasts "Hire Power Radio," "Smashing the Plateau," "Business Growth Cafe," and "People First, Profits Follow," as well as within the book "The Confident Connector." Spooner is an avid endurance athlete who has completed 3 ultra-marathons, 5 marathons, 8 half marathons, 3 Olympic-distance triathlons, and dozens of 10-kilometer and 5-kilometer races.
Joe McMahan, Vice President of Membership, has worked in public policy for most of his professional career. Beginning at the Texas Senate, he has worked in both corporate and non-profit environments, representing the restaurant and real estate industries, along with law enforcement leaders and retired military leaders. He also owned and operated a transportation and tour company in Austin, Texas. In addition to working on public policy for multiple industries, Joe has been very successful in recruiting, engaging, and retaining members with the organizations where he's worked. With a great deal of focus on the central region of the U.S., Joe's responsibilities at Highrise Networks are to grow membership in our current markets, expand our presence in new markets, and increase member retention. Joe has three kids, is an avid outdoorsman, and on Friday nights in the fall, he can be found cheering on his local high school football team.
Christy A. Tedesco, Vice President of Membership, has more than 17 years of project and change management, business development, and marketing experience. She has served as an executive for an international AmLaw 200 law firm as well as for one of the second largest boutique practice law firm in the nation. Christy is also the founder of a c-suite as a service organization that offers on-demand c-level services from c-suite executives without the need for hefty long-term commitment and financial investment. Christy is passionate about helping others whether it be through her volunteer commitments with a Dallas, Texas area children’s grief support non-profit and a dog rescue located in Austin, Texas or assisting businesses achieve their goals. She’s an avid outdoors woman who enjoys participating in extreme sports and off-the-beaten-path travel adventures.
Christy A. Tedesco
Gregory Hack, Vice President of Membership and Operations, onboards New Highrise Members and handles all Highrise operations. He also serves as a Senior Associate at SVN Commercial’s Downtown Los Angeles office. He is primarily focused on tenant representation, retail, and office sales. A consummate professional, Greg helps his clients accomplish their objectives by staying one step ahead of a rapidly changing market. He also has significant experience in residential real estate and has helped clients in engagements ranging from investment acquisitions to home purchases and sales. Prior to his career in commercial real estate, Greg held executive-level roles in two SoCal businesses. Greg is also a proud member of the Professional Golfers Association. He started playing golf late at the age of 25 and turned professional at the age of 26. After his golf career, Greg went into residential real estate with Keller Williams and was part of a top producing team.bership.
Vice President Membership & Operations
Pam Vetter, Vice President of Member Success, is a marketing and social media expert. An award-winning journalist, she launched one of the first professional Celebrant businesses in Los Angeles counting celebrities and well-known business leaders as her clients. Vetter marketed the Celebrant movement nationally and internationally through storytelling, outreach, press releases, social media, and newsletter marketing. She has provided marketing services to law firms, e-commerce sites, membership sites, international speakers, book authors, and entrepreneurs. She has worked with Fortune 500 C-Suite executives and recruiters by writing and editing CVs, resumes, and LinkedIn profiles. Pam has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News, NBC, MSBNC, Pacific Standard Magazine, and Lancaster Newspapers, among other documentaries, newspapers, magazines, nonfiction books, publications, radio interviews, webinars, and podcasts across the country. She has also worked at 20th Century Fox and HBO Films.