We are pleased to announce the launch of a new monthly feature spotlighting the professional journeys of our alumni and how attending Hebrew U influenced their future career paths.

HU Alumni - Where are they now? - Lorne Persiko

After attending HU, did you continue your university studies?

My year at Hebrew U complimented my International Relations program at the University of Toronto from which I graduated in 1985. I then worked in Toronto for two years, managing a MMMuffins store and Caraways Delicatessen. In 1988, I was accepted to the MBA program at York University, now Schulich, and graduated in 1989. While there, the student union needed an MBA volunteer to assist in the development of a Student Centre. As Director of Commercial Development, I was responsible for developing and leasing the Student Centre’s retail space which included one of the largest food courts in Ontario. This experience sparked my interest in pursuing a career in real estate.

HU Alumni - Where are they now - Lorne Persiko

What are you currently doing career-wise?

In 2018, after 26 years at the Toronto Parking Authority (first as VP of Real Estate and Development and then President), I co-founded Westhaven Capital Inc. with a team of successful real estate, mortgage and investment professionals. Westhaven brings innovative mortgage investment opportunities to income-seeking investors, based on due diligence and disciplined portfolio management. Next month, we will be launching Westhaven Mortgage Investment Corporation which allows investors, through a corporate structure, to access the Canadian residential mortgage market.

HU Alumni - Where are they now - Lorne Persiko

What advice would you give someone interested in getting into this field? 

With immigration to Canada increasing – more than 300,000 people immigrating annually – demand for real estate will continue to grow. As such, a career in real estate, whatever discipline one pursues, offers fantastic opportunities for young people in Canada.

HU Alumni - Where Are They Now - Lorne Persiko

If you could do things all over again, what would you do differently?

I wouldn’t change a thing. I’ve always loved my work and I believe that anyone who has a choice should choose a career that will make them happy and inspired. After I graduated from MBA, I received job offers in various industries. Although they were with reputable, high-profile companies, they were not in areas of interest to me. My father advised me to seek employment that matched my passion and ultimately afford me happiness. As a result, I declined many offers and only sought job opportunities in my desired field – real estate.

How did your experience at HU help shape your future career path and personal goals?

My experience at HU was one of the most enjoyable and inspiring times of my life. I learned new things every day about Judaism and Israel, which proved relevant to me. I was passionate about and inspired by my studies and the whole HU experience. I developed a strong connection to the university which ultimately led to my 30 years involvement with CFHU.

HU Alumni - Where are they now - Lorne Persiko

Lorne is currently a member of CFHU’s National Board of Directors. Co-Chair of CFHU’s Alumni Committee, he’s been involved with CFHU alumni for over 25 years. Lorne has helped numerous young people fulfill their dream of studying at HU by setting up a scholarship fund in memory of his parents. Lorne has awarded more than 60 Persiko Legacy scholarships to Canadian students since the fund’s inception. Lorne also co-chairs the Madness Sports Tournaments Committee with fellow alumnus from his year at HU, Michael Kraft.

We thank Lorne for his ongoing dedication and commitment to Hebrew University and CFHU.

HU Alumni - Where are they now - Lorne Persiko