Founded by three innovators who helped direct the transformation of Brooklyn into a global model for urban revitalization, our work draws upon expertise in our respective fields and a deep understanding of what makes a vibrant local economy.


Tucker Reed

Tucker Reed is Co-Founder and Principal of Totem. Aside from serving as CEO, he leads our real estate development projects and advisory work. From 2012 to 2016, he was President of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, the local development corporation tasked with revitalizing the area. Under Tucker’s leadership, Downtown Brooklyn achieved historically low commercial office vacancy rates and attracted nearly $7 billion dollars in investment that resulted in thousands of new housing units and jobs. DBP became the driving force behind the emergence of the Brooklyn Tech Triangle as a key contributor to the growth of the innovation economy in New York City and major infrastructure improvements like the Brooklyn Queens Connector.  

He previously was the Director of Special Projects for Two Trees Management Company, a real estate development firm based in DUMBO, Brooklyn, where he assisted in the execution of development projects with an aggregate budget of nearly $200 million, while directing communications and community development efforts for the firm.   

From 2008 – 2009 Tucker worked for the State Department in Iraq, serving as Chief of Staff of the Baghdad Provincial Reconstruction Team. Prior to joining the State Department, Tucker was the founding Executive Director of the DUMBO Improvement District, responsible for launching the organization in 2006 that has overseen the flourishing development of that waterfront office and residential district. Previous to his DUMBO position, Tucker was a Senior Policy Advisor for the Department of Small Business Services in the Bloomberg Administration.

Tucker holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an M.S. in Real Estate Development from New York University. He has received numerous awards and recognition including Commercial Observer's 100 Most Powerful People in New York Real Estate and City and State's 40 Under 40. He was a Co-Founder of the Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector and currently serves on the board of Brooklyn Bridge Park and as an adjunct professor at New York University.


Vivian Liao Korich

Vivian Liao Korich is Co-Founder and Principal of Totem, overseeing day-to-day operations, branding and narrative strategy, and project management. With a professional background spanning the fields of communications, economic development, and public affairs, she served as Chief of Staff and Managing Director of Programs + Partnerships at the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership from 2012 to 2016. In her nearly five-year tenure, she developed and implemented the narrative strategy positioning Downtown Brooklyn as one of the most vibrant downtowns in the nation, supported by the organization’s Webby award-winning website and year-round programming, including signature entrepreneurship events like the Make It in Brooklyn pitch contests. She also worked with local communities and organizations to forge innovative partnerships like the Brooklyn Education Innovation Network (BE.IN), a first-of-its-kind academic consortium that aimed to strengthen the talent pipeline between higher education and industry. 

Vivian previously worked at global public relations firm Edelman, managing a diverse roster of nonprofit, academic, and corporate clients. From 2008 to 2010, Vivian was Vice President at the New York City Economic Development Corporation, where her chief responsibilities included implementation of a strategic communications plan to advance the Bloomberg Administration’s agenda to diversify and strengthen the City’s economy. She also worked several years as a journalist at NY1 News, where she helped produce the top-rated political broadcast Inside City Hall.

Vivian holds a B.A. from the University of Puget Sound, where she graduated the top student in the Business Administration department, but she considers herself a storyteller at heart. While obtaining an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from the University of Colorado, she taught undergraduate courses, worked part-time as a criminal defense investigator, and wrote a historical novel based on the life of her grandfather, a chef who worked for notable figures in China, Taiwan, Iran, and the American Southwest. She serves on the board of the Brooklyn Community Foundation and lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters.


J. Manuel Mansylla

J. Manuel Mansylla (manman) is Co-Founder and Principal of Totem, leading all our placemaking, design, and branding projects. As an urban designer at the forefront of a trend to create effective public spaces through rapid, agile transformation, he rose to early success in his home country of Guatemala, where he was tapped to lead an innovative project to revitalize a neglected area of Guatemala City into a contemporary art and tech hub. Working together with both the public and private sector in the creation of the region’s first “special districts,” the project helped transform the area’s brand identity, land use, and public space strategy. Today, Cuatro Grados Norte, is one of the most vibrant destinations in the country, and has one of the highest concentrations of new buildings going up in all of Guatemala City.

After moving to Brooklyn in 2006, manman founded design studio FANTÁSTICA specializing in transformative projects to revitalize underutilized assets and unlock economic potential. Highlights include the creation of the first New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) public plaza in Dumbo’s Pearl Street Triangle, development of the citywide standard for DOT Street Seats with locations in Downtown Brooklyn, Park Slope, Hudson Yards, and East New York; the design of Downtown Brooklyn’s popular holiday lights display; and design of the outdoor spaces for the Dumbo Heights development in the Brooklyn Tech Triangle.

He graduated cum laude with a B.A. and M.A. in Architecture from the Universidad Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala, where he received the department’s highest distinctions for his thesis on Cuatro Grados Norte, as well as an M.S. in Urban Design from Columbia University. In 2005, he was named one of the best Guatemalan architects under 40. He is an accomplished contemporary artist, passionate about working toward a self-sustainable world, and an avid barefoot marathon runner.


Kyle Kantor
Director of Real Estate + Technology

Kyle Kantor is Director of Real Estate and Technology for Totem, managing our roster of real estate technology partnerships and supporting real estate development projects. He has spent the last several years consulting and collaborating with small and mid-sized real estate developers in the US, sourcing acquisitions, and working with principals to underwrite and secure financing for a broad range of multifamily, mixed-use, student housing, and hospitality projects. 

Prior, Kyle worked as a development associate for the real estate arm of a prominent US family, focusing on a range of projects in mainland China, where he helped lead business development efforts amongst prospective partners, government officials, and investors while assisting with the pre-development process of several projects.   

Over the years, Kyle has also been involved in a number of entrepreneurial ecommerce ventures, including his family’s multigenerational New York City-based apparel business.     

Kyle holds a B.B.A. from Villanova University and is an associate member of the Urban Land Institute. He holds FINRA Series 7 and 63 licenses and a New York Real Estate License.   


Elizabeth Canela
Project Manager

Elizabeth Canela (Liz) manages special projects across multiple disciplines for Totem, including projects in New York City and our growing portfolio in Latin America. From 2013 to 2018, Liz worked in the San Francisco and Brooklyn offices of Forest City, during which time she was named one of the 30 Commercial Real Estate Professionals Under 30 by the Commercial Observer

In San Francisco, she led the community engagement strategy for the successful public approval of Pier 70, a 28-acre mixed-use development project, which included the negotiation of the community benefits and workforce agreements that govern the project during construction and its operations, including local hiring goals by future tenants, contracting goals, and pre-apprenticeship programs.

In Brooklyn, she served as the on-the-ground representative for many of Forest City's projects including East River Plaza in East Harlem, Cornell Tech on Roosevelt Island,Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, and Pacific Park Brooklyn. She was the company’s liaison to the Pacific Park Brooklyn Community Benefits Agreement’s non-profit leaders, played a crucial role in the ramping up of operations at FC Modular, and managed community outreach, lease up, and stakeholder management with the City of New York for three affordable housing lotteries in Downtown Brooklyn. 

Liz holds a B.A. from Duke University in History and African American Studies and an M.A. in American Studies from Purdue University. Previously, she worked in the English Learners Learners (ELL) division of the NYC Department of Education and taught introduction to African and African American Studies at Purdue University while pursing her graduate degree. 


Javier Fernández Porres
Project Manager

Javier Fernández Porres manages Totem’s roster of urban design projects based in Central America. While studying architecture at Universidad del Istmo in Guatemala City, he began work with the Municipality of Guatemala’s Urban Mobility Department on multiple expansions of the Transmetro Bus Rapid Transit system in 2010 and 2012. He also worked to implement a master plan related to the City’s bike lane system, Ciclovias, the first of which provided 25 kilometers of north to south bikeways crossing the city.

Upon graduating, Javier was formally hired by Guatemala City to work as an urban planner on the continued revitalization of Cuatro Grados Norte, managing placemaking initiatives such as the Festival del Shuco, Chileriemos la Cuadra, and other events designed to activate public spaces within the district. These efforts have help to establish Cuatro Grados Norte as one of the most recognized neighborhoods in the city and attract further private investment and real estate development to the area.