Erik Steffensen

Erik Steffensen

Work History

Work History
2006 - 2013

Development Executive

United Group of Companies

The United Group of Companies is a diversified and vertically integrated Real Estate Firm. Its divisions include United Development Corp, the development division, American Construction Company, the construction management and general contracting division, United Realty Management Corp, the property manager, MCM Securities, the investment bank, and United Realty Brokerage, a licensed broker. The firm develops, owns and operates real estate in two primary areas, niche multifamily and light industrial. As a development executive, I was responsible for development and financing of two primary types of multifamily assets, student housing and active adult communities.  In this role, I am responsible for all aspects of both land development and acquisition transactions, as well as equity investment and debt financing arrangements. During my tenure with United , I have accomplished the following:

  • Structured JV for development of two 250 bed mixed use student housing projects in the Chicago market
  • Developed a $80MM 60-acre, 254-unit intergenerational community from site selection through construction, leasing, and sales
  • Managed the design of a 50,000 s.f. renovation project from government office to 300 beds of student housing
  • Created Environmental Impact Statement for New York State Environmental Quality Reform Act
  • Negotiated PILOT tax discounts for $20MM in tax savings for 254 unit development
  • Oversaw construction of 2 senior housing developments with a total value of $33MM
  • Secured $7MM in mezzanine financing for $27MM multifamily project through private placement
  • Restructured construction division, enabling a 50% increase in workload
  • Redefined design processes, outsourcing non-core functions increasing throughput by 25% and reducing delays by 18%
  • Redesigned performance management process to define expectations and link performance to compensation
  • Created application for New York State Grant for Income qualified senior housing project
  • Consulted to municipality to create legislation for a green flexible development ordinance
2004 - 2006


Mercedes Benz USA is the US Affiliate of Daimler Benz AG, and is the Sales, Marketing, and Engineering Headquarters for the US market. Warranty Services monitors and manages all warranty repair and maintenance activity for the US dealer network. My position was responsible for controlling warranty repair costs through computer based management of the warranty claim system, training and education, and compliance audits. I managed a team of 12 professionals to reduce warranty costs. During my tenure, my team increased our annual coverage of the dealer body by 500% and increased our cost recovery by 300% to over $2.4MM in 2005. This, along with several other programmatic changes and education resulted in a 10% reduction in overall warranty costs for the US market for 2005.

  • Managed team of 10 tasked with controlling warranty costs through enforcement of service regulations and education at 200+ dealerships in the US market.
  • Increased department audit throughput from 5 in 2004 to 24 in 2005 through process improvement and training
  • Increased annual charge-backs by 300% to $2.4MM in 2005
  • Created audit selection system to target dealers with highest per-repair costs enabling dealers to monitor themselves
  • Created desktop review process enabling audit of additional 10 dealerships per year with no additional staff
  • Developed regulations for "repeat offenders", including escalating penalties and additional compliance requirements designed to correct behaviors of dealerships abusing the payment system.
  • Combined efforts resulted in a 10% reduction in warranty cost for the US market in 2005.
  • Implemented employee-driven process improvement program including performance requirements and incentives for implementation of ideas resulting in increased productivity or cost savings
  • Developed database for audit charges and established standard criteria for charges, standardizing audit reports and reducing chargeback errors by 75% and nearly eliminating complaints of bias and discriminatory behavior
  • Proposed creation of internal consulting teams to add flexible problem solving staff to US office and act as an incubator for candidates for management positions.
2003 - 2004


Charter Consulting was a boutique management consulting firm focused on a practical and systematic approach, known as CVC or Customer Value Creation, which is a market-facing extension of Six Sigma and BPI principles. As an associate for Charter I was immediately responsible for representing the firm to Operating companies and entire corporate divisions, responsible for engagement results and value creation. While working for Charter on several client engagements, I accomplished the following:

  • Created and managed program management office for operational improvement program tasked with generating $60MM in annual improvement for an LTL transportation company
  • Trained and facilitated 13 initiative teams to achieve $8MM in annual cost savings and increased sales through integration and leveraging of multiple business units and implementation of six-sigma principles
  • Redesigned management system for the maintenance division of an LTL transportation company to realize $240M in annual parts and service cost avoidance, labor efficiency, and decreased maintenance
  • Analyzed 5 North American market segments for potential organic growth of a Canadian third party logistics firm
  • Developed and executed analysis methodology to track revenue realization from account setup through closing for treasury management division of super-regional commercial bank revealing $400M in annual revenue leakage
  • Redesigned account setup, maintenance processing, billing systems, and account closing processes to eliminate revenue leakage and $200M in annual account auditing labor
1999 - 2001

Technical Development Engineer

HON Industries is the second largest contract and office furniture manufacturer in the world and also manufactures gas fired and wood burning stoves and fireplaces. The R&D department engages in long term projects targeted at new product development and advances in manufacturing technology for both the contract furniture and hearth products business units. As a development engineer I was responsible designing new products and components, design for manufacturing/assembly analysis, lean manufacturing design of production line components and machinery, and research and testing of new manufacturing technology. During my tenure, I accomplished the following:

  • Collaborated with a team of 4 to design new flagship office seating line generating $30MM in annual revenue
  • Managed 3 supplier relationships for new seating line representing investment of $1.2MM for tooling
  • Led team of 3 that analyzed technology and workplace trends and created " HON Office of 2050" concept rendering and article for FORTUNE Magazine
  • Co-authored corporate technology strategy and long range strategic plan to expand R&D from $15MM in 2000 to $100MM in 2005
  • Conducted market analysis, and led negotiation to form new product partnership projected to add $4M in annual sales
  • Analyzed introduction of warm combustion air to create secondary combustion zone in gas-fired fireplaces




  • Certified DQI (Design Quality Indicator) Trailblazer and sales consultant
  • Created patent application, received federal grant funds, and created business plan for manufacturing startup
  • Named as inventor on 12 utility and design patents
  • Member of Urban Land Institute, Chicago GSB Alumni Club, GSB Real Estate Alumni Group
  • Private pilot, snowboarder, golf enthusiast