Welcome to Merage Real Estate Association

The Merage Real Estate Association (MREA) is an active graduate student organization that complements the real estate MBA program and the Center for Real Estate at The Paul Merage School of Business.  MREA adds value for its student members by offering a variety of educational events and networking opportunities where students learn from and interact with local real estate professionals and alumni.  Additionally, MREA is focused on creating career-oriented opportunities for students who seek careers in the real estate industry.


Chris Karacic – FTMBA 2020
: ckaracic@uci.edu

Chris grew up outside of Chicago in Lake Forest, Illinois. He obtained his Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, with majors in political science and Spanish. He then earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall).

Prior to enrolling at Merage, Chris practiced commercial litigation at international law firms as a member of the California and Illinois Attorneys Bars. Currently, Chris is pursuing his MBA with a focus on real estate development and investment. He enjoys watching baseball, coffee and wine tasting, hiking, stand-up comedy, and thinking about whether he should try surfing.

Dylan Barreira – FTMBA 2020

Dylan was born and raised in Toronto, Canada and obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Geomatics Engineering from the University of Calgary.  Following graduation, Dylan worked as a Geomatics E.I.T., Business Development Manager, and Operations Manager for a geomatics engineering company specialized in GIS and Remote Sensing.

Currently, Dylan is a member of the FTMBA Class of 2020, focusing on Real Estate and Finance.  He enjoys playing and coaching Hockey, tasting local microbrews, and trying not to 3-putt on the golf course.

Andy Brown – FTMBA 2020
Chief Financial Officer
il: andrewb2@uci.edu

Andy was born in Maryland, though he traveled a lot, the Midwest is where he calls home. Prior to attending undergrad, Andy was a long-time soccer player, with an accomplished career spanning over 23 years. He obtained his Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from Washburn University. Following graduation, Andy worked in corporate finance, with experience in both commercial banking and shipping logistics.

Currently, Andy is a Full-Time MBA student at the Paul Merage School of Business, with a focus on real estate investment and development. He enjoys running, golfing, dry humor, trying new things, and making lists of things he enjoys.

Matt Klinger – FTMBA 2020
Chief Technology Officer
il: klingerm@uci.edu

Matt is in the Full Time MBA Class of 2020 and a proud Texan from the Dallas suburb of Plano. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Science degree in Structural Engineering from Stanford University. He is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Texas and has spent the last five years designing educational facilities for a large architecture/engineering firm.

Matt is now looking to switch over to the development side of the business and is particularly intrigued by the rise and use of analytics within real estate. He is extremely passionate about college football, a bit of a mama’s boy, and always wondering how some people don’t eat the crust of their pizza.

Grant Foster – FTMBA 2020
Chief Operating Officer
il: fosterg1@uci.edu

Grant is a southern California native originally from the Temecula area. He recently graduated from UCLA acquiring a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies. Recently, Grant worked as an office associate for a boutique design-build construction firm closely working with his employer in developing project forecasts and processing the company’s business transactions with clients and suppliers.

Currently, Grant is a Full-Time MBA student at the Paul Merage School of Business focusing on finance. He is a life-time fan of tennis, commonly mistakes espresso as water, and hits a mean slice in ping pong.

Andrew Hoverson – FTMBA 2020
Chief Investments Officer
il: ahoverso@uci.edu

Andrew was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio but became a Californian in 2008 at the start of the nine-years he spent in the United States Marine Corps. During this period, Andrew served in the infantry, completing a seventh-month deployment with a Battalion Landing Team throughout the Western-Pacific Ocean, a 12-month deployment to Southwest Afghanistan with a Regimental Combat Team, and a three-year special duty assignment as a Close Quarters Battle Instructor. 

Andrew graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Penn State University and is currently a member of the FTMBA Class of 2020 at Merage, where he is specializing in Digital Transformation. Andrew spends his free time hiking, searching for the best Old Fashioned in town, and making sure his wife can’t out-deadlift him.

David Ruff – FTMBA 2020
Chief Marketing Officer
il: druff@uci.edu

David graduated from UCLA in 2016 with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering. From there he went to work as a system test engineer for Northrop Grumman in San Diego where he verified hardware and software for unmanned aerial vehicles. David decided to pursue an MBA to position himself to make a pivot out of the defense industry and is now happy to be a part of the 2020 UCI Paul Merage MREA! His interest in real estate stems from his Dad, who has made a living brokering ag-land in the central valley.

David is an avid Lakers fan and enjoys hiking. He originally hails from Davis, California and has enjoyed living in sunny California for his entire life. In his spare time David enjoys zot-zoting all over the place.