Management Team

Scott F. Schaeffer – Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
 
Scott has been active in the multi family business for over 25 years.  He has served as the chairman of our board of directors since January 2011 and our chief executive officer since February 2013.  From February 2009 until December 2016 he served as chief executive officer of RAIT Financial Trust (“RAIT”) and from December 2010 until December 2016 as RAIT’s chairman of the board.  Since 2000 Scott has served in numerous executive leadership roles within RAIT including its president and chief operating officer. Scott served as the vice chairman of the board of directors of Resource America, Inc., a specialty finance company, from 1998 to 2000, the executive vice president of Resource America from 1997 to 1998, and a senior vice president of Resource America from 1995 to 1997. He also served as President of Resource Properties, Inc., a wholly owned real estate subsidiary of Resource America, from 1992 to 2000 and as a director of Resource America until October 2002. Scott holds a Bachelor of Science in Commerce from Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.


Farrell M. Ender – President
 
Farrell has served as the President of IRT since August 2014. Prior to this role he was a Senior Vice President at RAIT from October 2007 through December 2014 and as Vice President of RAIT from October 2002 through October 2007. His experience includes acquisition, property management, construction management and disposition of apartment properties. In his capacity as Senior Vice President of RAIT, he was responsible for investing and structuring both debt and equity financing in commercial real estate properties for RAIT. During that time period he invested over $1.2 billion on behalf of RAIT of which $833 million was directed into 65 apartment properties containing over 14,000 units. Previously, as a Vice President in RAIT’s underwriting department, Mr. Ender was responsible for performing due diligence and underwriting for approximately $300 million of investments. Before joining RAIT, from 1999 to 2002 Farrell held various real estate positions at Wachovia/Maher Partners, The Staubach Company and Toll Brothers. Farrell received a BBA with a major in finance from James Madison University. 

James J. Sebra – Chief Financial Officer
 
Jim has served as our chief financial officer since May 2012 and our treasurer since January 2011. He has also served as the chief financial officer and treasurer of RAIT since May 2012 and as the senior vice president-finance and chief accounting officer of RAIT from May 2007 to May 2012. Prior to this he served as the controller of Brandywine Realty Trust, a publicly held REIT, from 2004 to 2005. From 1998 to 2004, Jim worked with Arthur Andersen LLP and KPMG LLP, public accounting firms, serving a variety of publicly held and privately held real estate companies and professional service firms. Jim holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia and a Master of Business Administration from Villanova University in Philadelphia. 

Matthew P. Harker – Executive Vice President
 
Matthew has served as the Executive Vice President of Independence Realty Trust since December of 2016.  Prior to this he served as President of RAIT Residential, a wholly owned subsidiary of RAIT, since 2013.  He also served as a Senior Managing Director of RAIT since 2014 and as Vice President since 2001.  His experience includes dispositions, asset management, property management and underwriting of commercial real estate loans.   In his capacity as President of RAIT Residential, he oversaw RAIT’s and Independence Realty Trust’s owned multi-family portfolios which totaled 18,500 units within 75 properties and had over 500 employees in 19 states.  Over the three years Matthew has successfully implemented numerous programs to develop and grow the operating platform to effectively manage the portfolio.  In addition, he was responsible for the sale of RAIT’s multifamily assets which generated approximately $450 million of gross sales proceeds.  Matthew holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from The University of Colorado at Boulder and Masters of Business Administration from Drexel University in Philadelphia.
 
Jessica K. Norman – Executive Vice President – Corporate Counsel & Secretary
 
Jessica joined IRT in December 2016 in connection with its management internalization.  Prior to IRT’s management internalization, Jessica served as Managing Director – Corporate Counsel for IRT’s external advisor, RAIT Financial Trust, from November 2013 through December 2016.  While employed at RAIT, Jessica was primarily responsible for overseeing legal matters affecting IRT, including the acquisition of its portfolio of apartment properties, its debt financings, and its transformative merger with Trade Street Residential.  Prior to joining RAIT, Jessica was in private practice from 2006 through 2013 at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP and Dechert LLP.  During her tenure in private practice, Jessica represented public and private clients in a variety of commercial real estate and financial transactions.  Jessica holds a Bachelor of Science in Business and Economics from the University of Pittsburgh, as well as a Juris Doctorate and a Master of Business Administration from Temple University.