The CRE Finance Council named Jack Cohen president. He is chief executive of his own Chicago-based real estate capital services company, Cohen Financial, which originates commercial real estate debt and equity transactions. He replaces Lisa Pendergast, who was president of the trade association for the past year. Pendergast is managing director of commercial mortgage-backed securities and risk at Jefferies Group Inc. (JEF). "What makes CRE Finance Council exceptional is its member-driven culture and my goal is to work with our leadership to help make commercial real estate prosperous and vibrant again," Cohen said. In early April, the CREFC tapped Stephen Renna to serve as chief executive officer. He welcomed Cohen's appointment. "As the commercial real estate finance markets rebound and as policymakers in Washington implement regulations directly affecting our industry, Jack’s leadership will be instrumental in charting our course,” Renna said. The organization also named Paul Vanderslice president-elect, while appointing its executive committee and new board of governors at its annual meeting held this week. Vanderslice is managing director at Citigroup (C) Capital Markets. Write to Jason Philyaw.