IU Kelley School of Business adds commercial real estate, venture capital insight & connections to Indianapolis Dean's Council


The Indiana University Kelley School of Business has added two new members to its Indianapolis Dean’s Council, the advisory group of metro business leaders that helps maintain close ties and build new connections between Kelley and regional employers.

The Dean’s Council will welcome Mary Beth Kohart, First Vice-President of CBRE, and Faraz Abbasi, Senior Partner with Centerfield Capital, at its meeting on November 13th. Kohart and Abbasi, both Kelley School alumni, will bring insight and experience in commercial real estate and venture capital (respectively) to the Council, joining dozens of influential leaders across private industry, education, philanthropy and economic development.

“Mary Beth and Faraz will be great additions to our Dean’s Council,” said Phil Cochran, Kelley’s Executive Associate Dean. “Central Indiana’s commercial real estate and development sector continues to grow in tandem with the region itself, and our entrepreneurial community is thriving – they’ll help us stay abreast of business trends, and give our students real-world learning experiences and career 

Faraz Abbasi, a Kelley School Evening MBA graduate, joined Centerfield Capital in 2001. He serves on Centerfield’s Investment Committee, and has a director or advisory role in a number of the firm’s portfolio companies. A chemical engineer by undergraduate training, Abbasi was also the lead researcher and developer of next generation consumables for the data storage and semiconductor industries and is a patent-holder in semiconductor processing. He is already active in giving back to Kelley, as an Adjunct Professor of Entrepreneurship, Finance and Venture Capital; he also serves as a board member of the Venture Club of Indiana.

Kohart and Abbasi are widely involved in industry-specific organizations and civic endeavors; both have been recognized as Junior Achievement “Best and Brightest” winners.

“I’m proud to join Faraz and the rest of the Dean’s Council to help the Kelley School and its students make a difference for Central Indiana,” Kohart said. “At CBRE, we help companies grow. And we all know that leadership makes successful businesses – the Kelley School is educating the next generation of executive talent who will keep our economic momentum going.”