The Upstart Developer

November 2019

Macaluso stands inside the Ellicott Square Building in downtown Buffalo. Photo: Nancy J. Parisi.

Lindsay Macaluso's to-do list is full.

As a commercial mortgage analyst at Largo Capital, she works on everything from small local hotels to a $150 million condo conversion in Vancouver involving complex, cross-border financing. Right now, her portfolio includes projects in California, New York, Detroit, downtown Chicago and several beachfront cities in Florida. On top of that, she’s also helping the firm open three new offices, simultaneously managing the nuances of individual deals and working with the C-Suite to advance the company’s growth strategy.

“Real estate can be a vehicle to do great things, shaping how we engage with the world and one another,” says Macaluso, who was the first graduate of the School of Management’s collaborative MBA and MS in Real Estate Development program in 2018. “My mission is to create opportunity and drive economic development through real estate. Ultimately, I would love the freedom to own my own property, so I can pursue other creative projects.”

One such project is MemoryFox, the startup she developed as a student with Chris Miano, MBA ’17. After taking advantage of UB’s entrepreneurial ecosystem—including Blackstone LaunchPad and the Panasci Technology Entrepreneurship Competition—they launched the platform to collect and share family history and were recognized at the 2016 Forbes Under 30 Summit. Since then, MemoryFox has pivoted to become a marketing platform that helps nonprofits tell their stories, and Macaluso stays involved in business development.

“At its core, this was a passion project, something I saw a need for even in my own family as stories were lost over time,” she says. “MemoryFox keeps that spirit of storytelling alive and gives us the opportunity to engage with some really cool organizations.”

Whether she’s closing multimillion-dollar deals or pitching investors, Macaluso says she constantly combines the skills she gained at UB.

“Understanding capital markets from both the MBA and real estate sides was critical,” she says. “Above all, my dual degrees grant agility: I can deploy the technical skills and industry expertise gleaned from the real estate program alongside the strategic orientation and global mindset I cultivated in the MBA program.”

Written by Matthew Biddle, this story originally appeared as part of the cover feature in the autumn 2019 issue of Buffalo Business.