Leadership Team

We bring a diverse perspective
to all of our projects


Benathan Upshaw
Managing Partner/ Co-Founder

Ben Upshaw is a real estate executive that has structured and closed over $500 million of housing projects. As the former Director of Finance for the New York City Housing Partnership (NYCHP) – one of New York City’s largest sponsors of residential housing—and former Director of Real Estate Development for Harlem Congregations for Community Improvement, Inc. (HCCI) he has been involved in the financing and developing of multi-family, single-family, condos, coops and mixed-use properties. Ben has also served as a consultant for non-profit organizations within the City of Buffalo developing affordable housing.

As co-founder of CB-Emmanuel Realty, LLC, he works with the organization to oversee the financing and development of CBE’s pipeline across New York State. In recent years, he has spearheaded the firm’s expansion into Western New York to include deals in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Cheektowaga, Rochester, Sodus and Williamson, NY. His desire to help shape housing policy has driven him to seek opportunities to serve on boards such as the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), the Erie County Housing Task Force and most recently the New York State Advisory Board of Enterprise Community Partners. Ben enjoys mentoring students at the University of Buffalo’s Master of Real Development Program where he serves as member of the Advisory Committee.

Ben received his Bachelor of Science from Canisius College and his Master of Science in Real Estate, with a concentration in Investment, from NYU Schack Institute of Real Estate. 


R. Christopher Bramwell Jr.
Managing Partner/ Co-Founder

R. Christopher Bramwell, Jr. is a second-generation real estate professional and investor with over 25 years of industry experience.  His passion for community development led him to co-found CB Emmanuel Realty LLC (CBE) with his partner Ben Upshaw in 2005.  He is also a founding member and co-chair of the New York Real Estate Chamber (NYREC).  

His leadership, combined with CBE’s innovative investments, has garnered widespread recognition from notable organizations such as the Citizens Housing Planning Council of New York City and the Westchester Clubmen.  Chris actively seeks opportunities to mentor young professionals of color to expose them to the myriad opportunities in the real estate industry.  

Chris has served as President of Shinda Management Corporation (SMC), a MBE certified property management firm which he now co-chairs.  He sits on various boards and serves as a trustee of Mount Ararat Baptist Church in Brownsville, Brooklyn.   Chris is a proud graduate of SUNY New Paltz and holds a  Bachelor of Science in Business, NYS real estate brokers license and multiple Tax Credit and Property Management certifications.

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Margarita Pajaro
Managing Director

Ms. Pajaro leads CB’s development activities including oversight of all rehab and new construction transactions, liaising with general contractors, government agencies, lenders and tax credit syndicators.  Since Joining CBE in 2009, Margarita has closed projects in excess of $400MM in TDC.  Prior to joining CB, she served as Urban Specialist with the World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development where she worked with teams on large-scale infrastructure projects in Latin America.   Earlier in her career, she worked as Housing Specialist for the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation and Project Manager for the City of New York, Department of Housing Preservation and Development. 

Margarita is an avid animal rights advocate and supports multiple organizations including the ASPCA, the Humane Society of the US and the Cornell Feline Health Center.  She holds a Bachelor of Science in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University and a Master of Urban Planning from NYU’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service.


Rukia Jeffrey Hinds
Administrative Manager/ Special Projects Coordinator

Rukia Jeffrey Hinds joined CB Emmanuel in 2016 and is responsible for managing the administrative functions of the company as well as special projects.  Prior to joining CB, Rukia was an AmeriCorps NYC Civic Corp member and worked as a Volunteer Experience and Engagement Associate.  She is a graduate of Virginia State University and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management. 

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