Kate Speir, Itinera Infrastructure & Concessions, Vice President & Senior Bid Director
Ms. Speir joined Itinera as Vice President and Senior Bid Director focusing on the strategic delivery and execution of large scale transportation P3 projects. Ms. Speir brings 20 years of experience in the construction services and infrastructure sector having working with major global infrastructure developers and construction companies focusing on transportation, including; highways, bridges, airports and rail. She has successfully led and executed numerous deals in both the US and Canada and was a part of the successful bid team for the $4.9B LAX Automated People Mover (APM) in Los Angeles, California.
She has a Honors Bachelor of Arts from University of Toronto, as well as Negotiations and Project Management credentials from Harvard Business School, and University of British Columbia Sauder School of Business, respectively.
Kate is passionate about the professional empowerment of women. In addition to her 8 years of leadership with WIN, she has also served as Program Committee Chair for the Vancouver YWCA Women of Distinction Awards (3-year term) as well as contributed to numerous mentoring programs. Kate is also a Board Member of the Insurgo Foundation, an organization focusing on bringing food justice to disadvantaged youth.
Sarah Fitts, Schiff Hardin LLP, Partner
Ms. Fitts is a corporate partner, and a member of the Corporate and Transactional, M& A and Energy Groups at Schiff Hardin LLP. She has extensive experience representing a broad range of clients in the U.S. and globally. Her practice focuses on M&A transactions, projects and restructurings, as well as navigating the unique issues presented by joint ventures and other multi-party governance arrangements. She describes herself as an M&A lawyer who likes electrons, and has led many energy and infrastructure project legal teams over her career, including the development of the Salem Harbor Power Station and recent investments by Japanese utilities in US IPP projects. Prior to joining Schiff Hardin, Ms. Fitts was a partner at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. Ms. Fitts earned a BA and MA from the University of Pennsylvania and earned her JD at Harvard Law School. Ms. Fitts reads and speaks Japanese.
In addition to serving on the Board for the New York Chapter of Women's Infrastructure Network, Ms. Fitts serves on the board of the Regional Plan Association. Pro Bono efforts have included work for a variety of organizations, including the Global LPG Partnership, an organization dedicated to solving one of the most intractable human health, climate and energy challenges in the developing world, the Four Freedoms Park Conservancy and Scenic Hudson.
Tatiana Monastyrskaya, Skadden - Energy and Infrastructure Projects Group, Partner
Tatiana Monastyrskaya is a partner in Skadden's Energy and Infrastructure Projects group. She represents banks and borrowers in project development and finance, with an emphasis on project finance. Ms. Monastyrskaya has handled numerous project financings in the energy and infrastructure sectors, including midstream oil and gas, LNG, petrochemicals, renewables and transportation infrastructure projects. She represents the Department of Energy in connection with its loan guarantee program, the Department of Transportation in connection with the TIFIA credit program, and investors and sponsors in tax equity transactions. She also represents refineries and banks in intermediation transactions, and a leading nitrogen fertilizer manufacturer in connection with finance and new construction matters. Ms. Monastyrskaya is a graduate of Moscow State University, and earned her Ph.D. from City University of Hong Kong and her JD from George Washington University School of Law.
Melissa Richards, Brookfield, Senior Vice President - Head of Infrastructure Project Management
Melissa Richards is a Senior Vice President and Head of Infrastructure Project Management within the Private Funds Group. Ms. Richards is responsible for the development, structuring and launch of new private funds through the management of fundraising campaigns from concept to close. Prior to joining Brookfield in 2016, Ms. Richards was an Executive Director in Morgan Stanley’s Infrastructure funds, responsible for investor activities globally. As an early member of the infrastructure platform, Melissa played a significant role in fundraising and marketing platform development. She joined Morgan Stanley in 2004 as a senior risk advisor in foreign exchange derivatives, following eight years at BNP Paribas and five years at Credit Suisse in FX Sales and Trading.
Ms. Richards received her BS in Finance from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
In addition to serving on the Steering Committee for the New York Chapter of Women's Infrastructure Network, she serves on the Board of Directors for Urban Pathways, a New York City nonprofit serving homeless men and women.
Yuri Estrada, PE, LEED AP, Vice President, The Carlyle Group
Yuri Estrada is a Vice President in the Infrastructure Fund at The Carlyle Group, which makes investments across multiple infrastructure sectors in OECD markets. She is based in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining Carlyle, Yuri was an Investment Director at Siemens Financial Services where she focused on energy and transportation investments and was responsible for due diligence, deal structuring and leading competitive processes. Prior to that, she was a Director at AECOM Capital, focusing on deal origination, development and execution of greenfield and brownfield transactions across transportation, social, digital, environmental and renewables sectors. Before investment, Yuri spent eight years as an engineer and program manager where she acquired a keen insight into project development and design, construction risks, project life-cycle, and operational requirements. Yuri is also a native Spanish speaker and has participated in company-wide LatAm expansion initiatives, including business development and M&A activity in the region. Her deal/project experience extends across the US, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, UK, Qatar, UAE, and Kenya. Yuri is a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) and received her MBA from and her BE from The City University of New York.
In addition to serving on the Steering Committee for the New York Chapter of WIN, Yuri has been a member of the Golden Seeds Angel Investment group, which pursues above market returns through the empowerment of women entrepreneurs. She also belongs to the Women's Association of Venture and Equity (WAVE) and held a board member position on the ACE Mentor Program of America and was a mentor to high school students for many years.
Mariana Torres Montoya, Vice President, John Laing
Mariana Torres joined John Laing in 2018 as Vice President, where as part of the Primary Investments team she identifies and develops infrastructure investment opportunities for John Laing in the Americas. Ms. Torres also serves as Alternate Manager for the I-77 Express Lanes Board of Directors. Prior to John Laing, Ms. Torres was Director in the Infrastructure Economics Practice at Louis Berger, where she led comprehensive transaction advisory and due diligence for development, financing, and investing opportunities in a range of transportation infrastructure assets and services, mostly public private partnerships. Ms. Torres is experienced in developing asset valuation studies, demand forecasts, and project delivery risk assessments, and has played a key role coordinating with advisors, rating agencies, lenders, and equity investors for major transaction due diligence assignments of toll roads, express lanes, and intercity rail projects in the US and abroad. She holds a Master in City and Regional Planning from the University of California, Berkeley, with published research in parking planning and fare subsidies; urban emissions indicators; and management of public transit agencies.
Cate Singer, Director, KPMG
Cate Singer is a Director in KPMG’s Infrastructure Advisory Practice, a leading advisory firm providing financial, strategic and commercial consulting services to clients in both the public and private sectors. At KPMG, Cate’s experience in infrastructure has focused on work in the transportation and social sectors. Her work is focused on engagement delivery and client service on key issues related to project/program strategy, funding and financing, project screening, feasibility, procurement, and commercial structuring and negotiation. Cate joined KPMG in 2010 from the State of New Jersey’s Department of the Treasury, Office of Public Finance where she provided transaction services and portfolio management in governmental municipal finance. Cate is a graduate of Rutgers University.
In addition to her Board position with WIN, since 2012 Cate has also proudly served on the Board for the Northeast Women in Public Finance (NEWPF) organization where she participates on the Philanthropy and Nominating Committees. Cate also enjoys volunteering and participating in industry mentoring.
Claire Watson, Senior Associate, White & Case
Claire Watson is a senior associate in the Energy, Infrastructure, Project and Asset Finance practice at the New York office of White & Case. Claire’s practice focuses on the development and financing of infrastructure assets. She represents sponsors, funds, lenders and public authorities on a range of large-scale infrastructure projects. Claire joined White & Case from Allen & Overy’s Projects department where she advised on public private partnerships in the transportation, water and airport sectors and on the sale and acquisition of various types of infrastructure assets. Prior to moving to New York in 2011, Claire spent 4 years in London with Norton Rose Fulbright in their Project Finance team advising sponsors and lenders on infrastructure transactions across Europe and Africa, including toll roads, airports, power plants and wind farms. Claire’s financing experience includes commercial bank debt, private placements and private activity bonds. Recent career highlights include advising the successful bid for, and financial close of, the highly-awarded APM project at LAX Airport.
Claire is a member of the New York State Bar, the Law Society of Scotland and the Law Society of England and Wales.