Our Team

The Canderel residential development team has been selected from the top creative, managerial, and successful talents in real estate. Our approach to project development and implementation embraces a full range of disciplines. As leaders in land acquisition, management, and construction across the GTA, we have put together a pre-eminent team whose experience and execution capabilities have led to innumerable awards and sell-out successes. Every member of our team is committed to excellence as the Canderel way.

Jonathan Wener
Chairman & CEO

Jonathan Wener is well known in the real estate community as the founder and CEO of Canderel, one of Canada’s most prominent real estate investment companies, with offices in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Vancouver and Dallas. A native Montrealer who graduated from Concordia University in 1971 with a Bachelor of Commerce degree, Mr. Wener turned his passion for buildings and architecture into 40 years of acquiring, developing and managing office and industrial properties, residential condominiums and retail facilities. With characteristic energy and integrity and the help of trusted colleagues, he built a company that is esteemed throughout the industry for its comprehensive knowledge, innovation, competence and effectiveness at achieving business success. Canderel’s history of owned, developed and managed properties represents in excess of 30 million square feet.

Committed to community involvement, Mr. Wener launched Défi Corporatif Canderel in 1989, which has since raised more than $7 million for cancer research. As a personal expression of his belief in community service, for over 25 years Mr. Wener has played a leadership role in numerous organizations devoted to education, culture and health. For example, he is a past president of the Jewish General Hospital and a member of the hospital’s Executive Committee and Board of Directors, and he recently became a board member of the Goodman Cancer Research Centre of McGill University. Furthermore, he is a vice-chair of the Board of Governors of Concordia University and chair of the Real Estate Planning Committee. He sits on the boards of the foundations of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Festival des arts de Saint-Sauveur. He is a trustee of the board of the Fraser Institute and a member of the Board of Directors of the Laurentian Bank of Canada and of Silanis Technologies. In addition, he is the founding president of the Urban Development Institute of Quebec and a past president of the Urban Development Institute of Canada.

In 2003, Mr. Wener was honoured to be appointed a Member of the Order of Canada, and in 2009, a Member of the Conseil du Patronat du Québec.

Ben Rogowski
Executive Vice-President

Mr. Ben Rogowski is responsible for the operations of the company and also leads the residential division across the country. One of his key roles is establishing and managing relationships with partners in addition to working closely with senior staff through the execution phase of each project. Working out of the Toronto office since 2003, he has been intimately involved with the acquisition and execution of several residential projects.

Mr. Rogowski graduated from McGill University in 2000 with a Mathematics & Statistics degree in the faculty of Science and obtained his CFA designation in 2006.

He works closely on a daily basis with the planning, marketing, sales and construction teams to ensure project success from start to completion.

Rizwan Dhanji
Vice President, Sales and Marketing

Rizwan Dhanji is responsible for the marketing and sales of Canderel’s multi-family developments across Canada. Having graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Urban Land Economics, Mr. Dhanji has spent over 14 years selling and marketing residential real estate both in Canada and internationally.

Mr. Dhanji spent his earlier years at Vigers International, one of Asia’s largest real estate consultancies, heading up the company’s project marketing division in Vancouver and Hong Kong. During his tenure, he marketed over $1 billion worth of overseas real estate in Hong Kong. The division’s success put Vigers on the map as the leader in project marketing in the Asia-Pacific region.

In Toronto, Mr. Dhanji worked for a major high rise builder as the Vice-President of Marketing and Investments. He was responsible for the overall marketing and sales of over $100 million worth of condominium units. His ability to think outside the box, execute and manage sales and marketing programs lead to superior sales results in all his projects.

Currently, Mr. Dhanji is responsible for the marketing and sales of all of Canderel’s developments including Canada’s Tallest Condominium, Aura at College. With over 4000 condominium units sold and a further 1200 in the planning stages , Mr. Dhanji and his team have generated sales results substantially above the industry average. In 2004 and 2009, Mr. Dhanji was the recipient of the award by the Greater Toronto HomeBuilders Association for “Best Sales and Marketing Person of the Year”.

Charlene Evans
Manager, Corporate Operations

Charlene Evans, Manager of Corporate Operations, is accountable for the oversight and administrative management of Canderel’s corporate offices and all residential development projects across the Greater Toronto Area. Currently, her portfolio covers more than 1500 residential units and 125 retail condominium units.

Charlene possesses more than 15 years experience in the management and development of properties both throughout the Greater Toronto Area, and across Canada, specializing both in big-box retail, as well as residential developments. She is a skilled professional and has worked for several leading developers in Toronto.

Charlene’s diligence and specialized attention to detail result in optimal operations that consistently exceed both partner and purchaser expectations.

Joan Popowich
Director, Marketing

Joan holds a Marketing degree from York University and has over eight years experience in real estate marketing. Joan is involved with all aspects of the condominium projects she works on from concept to completion. She is the art-director for all sales and marketing materials, websites, advertising campaigns and sales centre design. Joan produces and manages marketing events for all projects, and has also developed a number of innovative marketing strategies, such as co-branding and hosting Toronto Fashion Week in 2009.

As well as spearheading marketing and lead generation strategies through social media outlets, Joan has created and executed successful email campaigns, online contests, videos and blogs for both Aura at College Park and DNA3, which have yielded thousands of client registrations to date.

Joan’s forward thinking marketing initiatives have caught the attention of major media outlets, news publications and blog sites, which have resulted in an increased awareness of Canderel’s brand and their projects.

Julie Robinson
Director, Project Management & Construction

Julie holds a degree in Civil Engineering, and has spent several years managing numerous internationally-funded projects throughout the Caribbean including commercial buildings, colleges, schools and the redevelopment of an important trans-shipment port.

Prior to joining Canderel in 2004, Julie worked for a large Toronto-based construction company specializing in high-rise construction where she successfully managed the construction of condominium buildings through to registration, one of which included luxury suites priced up to $1million, each with extensive upgrades and custom finishes.

At Canderel, she was the project manager for Phase I of the Residences of College Park condominium project in downtown Toronto (51 storeys and 658 suites), and was responsible for all aspects of the development, construction and registration of the project including a very complicated retrofit of retail space. This project was completed successfully and the building was registered in 2007.

Julie co-managed the Residences of College Park Phase 2 project from start to finish (45 storeys and 541 suites), and this building was registered in 2008.

Julie got involved in the design development of the 75-storey Aura project in 2007 and secured all city approvals, development agreements and building permits for this project. She was also involved in the drafting of the leases for all of the retail tenants, and also guided the process that allowed Aura to execute 3 separate agreements with the owners of the neighbouring properties.

Tendering and award of contracts started in 2009 and construction on the Aura project commenced in January 2010. Occupancy for the retail podium is scheduled for Fall 2012 with occupancies for the residential component slated to take place beginning in early 2013.

Scott Messacar
Director, Customer Relations

Mr. Messacar joined Canderel’s team in July 2005, bringing with him over 25 years experience in all aspects of Customer Relations. He has served on numerous boards and was the past Chairman of the After Sales Service Forum with the Greater Toronto Home Builders Association. He also worked closely with Tarion Warranty Corporation, by sitting on various sub committees, while the Tarion Warranty Program was in the process of implementing the new Construction Performance Guidelines.

In 2007, Mr. Messacar successfully completed the Part 9 training courses of the Ontario Building Code, giving him full knowledge of the 700 new building code changes that will be implemented during the next 6 years.

Mr. Messacar over-sees all of Canderel’s residential projects in Ontario. Mr. Messacar is proud and committed to provide Canderel’s high standards for customer service to all our valued customers.