Our People

Resumes Environmental Valuation & Cost Benefit Group

Kenneth Acks
Yehuda Klein
Kara Fishman

HOLTZ RUBENSTEIN & CO., Certified Public Accountants/Business Advisors
CRAIG WAUGH, Web Designer



More Recent CV Ken Acks PDF For Download 




M.B.A. Finance, October 1988


B.A. Economics and History, June 1977


1990-present The Cost-Benefit Group LLC (www.costbenefitgroup.com), formerly Damage Valuation Associates

Founder and chief executive of economic consulting and real estate analysis firm which produced studies of more than 900 projects worth over $3.5 billion dollars in 140 counties and 28 states. Firm focuses upon estimating the economic impacts of environmental hazards upon real estate, and has provided a wide range of other consulting services.

Worked with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and ERG Inc. to help create cost-benefit and valuation databases and analysis systems.

Analyzed the effects of nuclear power plants, gasoline storage tanks, asbestos, groundwater contamination, oil leaks, construction projects, and utility rates upon property values, employment, income, corporate balance sheets, real estate markets, and municipalities.

Valued contaminated properties, office buildings, shopping centers, hotels, apartment buildings, vacant land, mobile home parks, automobile dealerships, warehouses, factories, nursing homes, and marinas from Toronto Canada, to Los Angeles California, and to Tampa Florida, including more than 50 in Manhattan.

Conducted acquisition reviews, market analyses, and feasibility studies.

Prepared 135 page report on the New York City economy and real estate market to outline loan portfolio risks faced by current and prospective stockholders of North Fork Bank.

Monitor, model, and forecast regional economic and financial developments.

Designed and estimated Econometric and Input/Output models.

Created the ACB Cost Benefit Analysis Software, which can significantly reduce the time and costs for determining impacts.

Furnished litigation support to more than 30 law firms regarding over 50 cases.

Testified as expert witness before the Supreme Court of the State of New York, a Superior Court in Morris County, NJ, and the NY City Council.

Analyzed Costs and Benefits of Green Buildings, Green Roofs, Brownfields and Real Estate Development Projects.

Health care valuations/feasibility studies/market analyses of hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities in Annapolis, MD; Cambridge and Peabody MA, Cape May and Montville NJ; and Brooklyn, Chester, Forest Hills, Plainview, Port Jefferson, and Syracuse NY

Estimated impacts upon property values of contamination for
----residences in Brockport, Great Neck, New Hyde Park, and Lindenhurst, NY; Alloway, Jersey City, and Redbank NJ; Montgomery, AL;
----and Town of Pines Indiana
----commercial properties in Bedford, Commack, Fishkill, Plainview, Ronkonkoma, Sag Harbor, and Valley Stream, NY; Jersey City and Ridgewood, NJ;
----and East Stroudsburg and Nesquehoning, PA

The above projects were commissioned by J.P. Morgan Chase, Citibank, HSBC, the Bank of Montreal, GMAC, Xerox, US Environmental Protection Agency, US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Chinese American Bank, Amerasia Bank, National Amusements Inc., Grubb and Ellis, Landauer Realty, the Related Companies, the New York State Housing Finance Agency, The New York City Dept. of Housing Preservation & Development, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, the City of New Orleans, Jersey City, Federated Department Stores, Sheraton Hotels, Techlaw Inc., and over 40 law firms.

Created the Environmental Valuation & Cost-Benefit Website www.costbenefitanalysis.org, (formerly www.damagevaluation.com)http://www.damagevaluation.com which has drawn more than 63,000 visitors, been recognized as a respected source of information by numerous organizations with links and favorable mentions, achieved good search engine placement, and generated new business.

1994-present Editor and Publisher, Environmental Damage Valuation and Cost Benefit News (www.envirovaluation.org)

Design, edit and market an acclaimed newsletter, with paid subscribers in ten nations, including influential environmental policy makers. In recognition of its merits, the United States EPA and other organizations have devoted space on websites to back issues.

Created the Environmental Valuation & Cost-Benefit News Website and Newsfeed (October, 2005). According to AWSTATS, From July 1, 2005 through December 31, 2005 our sites welcomed an average of 15,440 unique visitors per month, who made a total of 197,219 visits and viewed 1,809,095 pages. 3,102 of our visitors felt that the site was worthy of a bookmark; 11,128 spent between 5 and 15 minutes on the site; 10,865 between 15 minutes and 30 minutes, 15,737 between 30 minutes and 1 hour, and 22,719 spent more than an hour on-site. The Hit Count was 2,708,308. Site has achieved top, top five or top fifteen Google Search status for such keywords as cost-benefit, environmental economics, cost-benefit analysis, and cost-benefit green buildings, brownfields, green roofs, ...Among those linking to the site have been the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Environment Canada, the Association of Environmental & Resource Economists, Resources for the Economists on the Internet, the National Association of Business Economists, www.env-econ.net, the ISO 14000 Information Center, the Centre for Ecological Sciences of the Indian Institute of Science,..

Created unique Internet marketing campaign, including a "virtual intern" program. Ten interns located throughout the United States have written articles, and assisted with advertising and distribution to more than 8,500 decision makers in 65 countries through a variety of avenues.

1986-1988 Senior Analyst, Southmark Inc.

Structured $80 million in real estate syndications, published forecasts of the structure and performance of local and regional economies in 7 states; and analyzed legal documents.

1984-1986 Project Coordinator, NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development

Analyzed, negotiated and underwrote loans for the rehabilitation and development of real estate; expedited government approvals including environmental reviews; monitored legislation/determined impacts; supervised the creation and implementation of databases; and assisted attorneys in closing loans and reviewing documents. The loans played a significant role in revitalizing neighborhoods.

1977-1982 Research Assistant, International Research Department Federal Reserve Bank of NY

Monitored and forecasted economic developments and produced special studies of capital flows, trade, exchange rates, interest rates, housing finance and money supply.


"A Framework for Analyzing the Costs and Benefits of Green Roofs: Preliminary Results” Seminar presentations and article for the Columbia University Earth Institute, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and New York Environmental Infrastructure Study (2004-2006)

"Tools for Resolving Community Opposition to Public Projects" Real Estate Review (Winter, 1995)

"Shooting In the Dark -- How Computer Software Can Improve the Quality of Government Policies" The Engineering Economist (Spring, 1995)

Environmental Values” Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs (May, 1998 speech)

"Measuring and Evaluating the Environment & Its Effects on Health" (March 25, 1999 speech at The Ethyl R. Wolfe Institute for the Humanities in cooperation with the Environmental Studies Program of Brooklyn College of the City University of New York)

Valuation of Environmental Damages to Real Estate; The Benefits and Costs of Crime Policies; International Real Estate Investment and Political Risk; Simultaneity Bias & Specification Error from the Omission of Socio-political factors in Economic Models; Cognitive Determinants of Human Capital Investments and Productivity; Complexity, Change, and Economic Analysis;

An Econometric Model of Political, Social and Econometric Change in Britain from 1895 to 1980


Proficiency in using Lotus, Argus, Excel, Project, HTML (Website Design), Windows, G, and several database, econometric, and word processing computer programs. Computer models/programs have been used to discount cash flows, to estimate internal rates of return, to forecast regional economic growth, to create a website, to track client contact, and to estimate the impacts of government policies upon employment and income.


Fellow, World Innovation Foundation, www.thewif.org.uk, an independent international think tank consisting of 2,000 individuals, including 60 Nobel Prize winners, providing advice regarding scientific, technological, engineering and applied economics matters to non-aggressive governments and corporations, and designing, building and operating an Open Research Establishment featuring Laboratories and Incubators throughout the world

American Economic Association; Association of Environmental and Resource Economists; New York Association of Business Economists; National Association of Forensic Economists

Coach/Manager Long Beach Little League, Recreational Basketball 1997-2002

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Yehuda Klein





Appraisal Experience


Commercial Appraiser, MAI: Principal in Fishman Appraisal Services, November 2004 – present.  Specializing in the appraisal of commercial and income-producing properties, HUD multifamily loan programs, and vacant land, both residential and commercial.  Experience in the appraisal of commercial and investment properties, including office buildings (high rise, single tenant, multiple tenant); warehouse and manufacturing uses; retail shopping centers (specialty, community, neighborhood), apartments (<10 - 900+ unit properties); vacant commercial land; land approved for multi-family development; contaminated properties; properties affected by stigma; and special purpose properties, including campgrounds, self-storage, junkyards, proposed golf courses; recreational facilities, and earth excavation operations. 


Experience in multi-family housing market analysis, investment analysis, and appraisal for US Department of Housing and Urban Development 221(d)(4) and 223(f) programs; MAP and TAP trained. 


Commercial Appraiser, MAI: Partner in Merrifield Fishman Appraisal Services, LLC, December 2003 – November 2004.  Specializing in the appraisal of commercial and income-producing properties, HUD multifamily loan programs, and small residential and mixed-use properties. 


Commercial Appraiser, MAI: Independent fee appraiser in Connecticut and Massachusetts, September 1995 – January 2001; May 2002-November 2003.  Specializing in the appraisal of commercial and income-producing properties, environmental valuation, HUD multifamily loan programs, and open space acquisition. 


Commercial Appraiser:  Fee appraiser for Lavissiere Associates, a Connecticut appraisal firm, February 1990 – August 1994.  Specialized experience in the valuation of special-use properties (junkyard, campground, resort health spa, proposed golf course) and affordable housing development.


Residential Appraiser: Staff appraiser for Thomas Hoben, Litchfield, Connecticut, September 1989 – January 1990.  Collected data, analyzed market conditions, performed financial analysis and prepared appraisal reports of residential properties. 


Reviewer:  Reviewer for economic, statistics, mathematics and government programs terminology for The Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal, 4th Edition, to be published by the Appraisal Institute.



Environmental and Economic Experience


Environmental Analyst: Environmental analyst and economist for Mangi Environmental Group, Inc., a consulting group in Virginia specializing in NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) and watershed assessments.  Responsible for researching and writing on demographic, economic impact, recreation, land use and environmental justice issues.  Agencies worked for include the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Farm Service Agency of the United States Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Forest Service, and the National Park Service. 


Instructor: University of Connecticut, Department of Geography, Spring 2000.  Taught “Environmental Planning and Management” to upper division undergraduate students. 


Qualifications of Kara J. Fishman, page 2


Research Assistant: University of Connecticut, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, “Economic Evaluation of Connecticut Lakes with Alternative Water Quality Levels.”  Project funded by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection to estimate the impact of changes in water quality on social welfare property values and public site user values. 


Research Assistant:  Analysis of farmland values and rates of return for real estate investment group specializing in agricultural land. 


Research Assistant: Eastern Research Group, Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Reviewed empirical economic studies for the “Environmental Valuation Reference Inventory” project jointly developed by the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Environment Canada.


Planning Coordinator: Harlem Valley Planning Partnership, Amenia, New York.  Only staff person to a five town rural planning group.  Main projects were the adaptive reuse of a state hospital on 850+ acres and regional recycling program.


Housing Coordinator/Loan Specialist: Westchester County Planning Department, White Plains, New York.  Processed and made underwriting recommendations on loans for housing rehabilitation and community development projects funded under the federal Community Development Block Grant program. 




University of Connecticut: Storrs, CT, Ph.D., December 2000, Agricultural and Resource Economics.  Specializing in environmental economics and policy, non-market valuation, and water resources. 


University of Connecticut: Storrs, CT, M.S., May 1999, Agricultural and Resource Economics


Columbia University:  New York, NY, M.S., October 1987, Real Estate Development       


Northwestern University:  Evanston, IL, B.A., June 1984, History




American Agricultural Economics Association

Appraisal Institute (MAI designation since 1994)

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We have worked closely with a wide variety of firms which can offer specialized expertise that is not available in-house. DVA can rapidly furnish a coordinated interdisciplinary team to evaluate a variety of environmental and financial problems.

DVA maintains a working relationship with environmental service, survey research, and accounting firms to insure that appropriate experts are called upon. Some of these firms are described in the following pages.


H2M has served public and private sector clients for more than 60 years. H2M currently has staff resources of approximately 150, including 18 Licensed Professional Engineers, 4 Licensed Architects; 3 Professional Planners; 5 Diplomates of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers, certified groundwater professionals, hydrogeologsts, geologists, surveyors, construction inspectors, chemists, and biologists. Services offered by H2M include: Architecture, Environmental Planning, Civil/Site Engineering; Structural Engineering; Surveying and Mapping; Water Supply and Distribution; Wastewater Engineering; Hydrogeology; Hazardous Waste Management; Industrial Services; Regulatory Compliance; Remedial Investigations and Design; Air Pollution Control; Solid Waste Management; Resource Recovery/Recycling; Construction Management; and Environmental Testing at their own laboratory.

Among the clients that H2M has served are Aetna Life & Casualty, Allstate Life, American Cyanamid Company, Ciba-Geigy Corp., Emerson Electric, Estee Lauder Inc., Grumman Aerospace, ITT, Merck, Mobil Chemical, Nabisco, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection and Energy, Chase Manhattan Bank, the Bank of New York, Consolidated Edison, Jersey Central Power and Light, and the City of New York.

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NRD Marketing offers two decades of experience in fielding market surveys, and in using a variety of methods to measure public opinion. NRD can field contingent valuation surveys which determine the values individuals place upon environmental goods and disamenities. Such surveys are often the only means to determine the expected benefits from removing pollutants or maintaining a habitat. NRD has the capacity and experience to field telephone surveys, in-person interviews, and/or mail surveys. NRD has also fielded innovative on-site surveys at beaches and parks. Past clients include Bell Atlantic, Pathmark, Bradlees, R.L. Polk, Stop N Shop, and Long Beach Hospital.

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HOLTZ RUBENSTEIN & CO., Certified Public Accountants/Business Advisors

Holtz Rubenstein was founded in 1975, and has a staff of approximately 50, including more that a twenty-five CPA's. Services rendered include litigation support, business valuation, audits of financial statements, filings with the SEC, income tax planning and compliance, estate planning, business planning and strategy, merger and acquisitions analysis, financial management and budgeting, workouts, operations management, inventory control, and employee benefit planning.

Since 1978 Holtz Rubenstein & Co, has continuously passed the rigorous Peer Reviews required by the SEC Practice Section of the AICPA every three years. Each review concluded that their system of quality control was highly comprehensive, thoroughly documented, and reflected the high professional standards of the SEC Practice Section. Holtz Rubenstein was named by CPA Services Inc. as one of the Top 50 small to mid-size USA Firms.


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CRAIG WAUGH, Web Designer

Although Craig did not design this site, he had taken over the maintenance and updates of it. His additions to the site included: a search engine, sitemap, updates to all the links and various other functions.

If you wish to have a site custom built or an existing one maintained, you may email him.


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