Meet Our Team


The Surnow Company exists as a local industry leader for primarily one reason: the admirable individuals that make up our team. While the Firm prides itself on its many years of experience throughout every operating segment, we greatly emphasize the importance of having the best culture to attract and retain our talent.

We find that having positive attitudes, lots of collaboration/constructive feedback, and work/life balance allow us to be masterful at executing our business objectives. By sharing these fundamental values across the board, we are a cohesive unit and maintain a united front as we go into each day, where you never know what life throws at you.

So meet the team that makes it all happen now and in the future:


Sam Surnow


“We stay on the cutting edge, but we never lose sight of who our work impacts. Our team’s passion and commitment to our relationships with tenants, brokers, communities, municipalities, vendors and bankers and employees, have created an atmosphere of trust, respect and loyalty. Everyone thrives.”

Sam began work at The Surnow Company as a janitor at age 12. His father, the company founder, Jeffrey Surnow, had made it clear no preferential treatment would be extended to him as he wanted his children to experience the satisfaction of earning their own success. Sam reveled in the challenge and as a teenage earned the right through his accomplishments to manage properties.

Sam went away to study accounting and finance at the University of Colorado, graduating with a Master’s Degree from the University’s Leeds School of Business. After graduation, he held the position of senior associate in the Alternative Investments Group of PricewaterhouseCoopers at its New York headquarters for four years. Despite his early promotion and the promise of a successful career on Wall Street, Sam felt the entrepreneurial pull back to Michigan when his brother, Max, started a business.

He returned to Michigan to help with the startup business and simultaneously started working in the accounting department of The Surnow Company. Soon after the employees voted him assistant controller. Sam succeeded his father as president of The Surnow Company in 2015.

Sam is also a managing member of Cooper Street Cookies, LLC, and is a member of the Birmingham Board of Directors and Business Development Committee. Sam is a C.P.A.


Max Surnow

Vice President

Max has been working with The Surnow Company for 17 years and counting. He started working when he was just 9 years old with his older brother/mentor, Sam Surnow, during summer breaks from school. The founder of the company (Max’s late father) Jeffrey, put Max to work to tackle a variety of jobs at the local shopping centers and office buildings the company manages. The jobs included picking up garbage in the parking lots, pulling weeds from the landscaping and cleaning the bathrooms. Today, at 27 years old, Max handles bigger projects such as tenant build outs, lease review/negotiation, construction supervision, accounts payable/receivable, hiring of new employees, marketing and office operations.

Max attended Michigan State University where he earned a bachelors degree in Finance with a specialization in Real Estate. Max is also the founder and acting president of Cooper Street Cookies.

Michael Surnow

Michael Surnow

Legal counsel and Co-Founder

“My management philosophy is succinct: saving money is making money.”

Michael co-founded The Surnow Company in 1986 with his late brother, Jeffrey. Michael handles various legal aspects related to the company’s properties and projects. He also manages roughly 500,000 square-feet of retail space.

After graduating from the University of Detroit School of Law, Michael practiced law as a federal and state of Michigan criminal litigator for 12 years. Michael is also a member of the State Bar of Colorado and audits classes at the University of Michigan School of Medicine.

Rob Krochmal

Rob Krochmal

Director of Leasing and Property Management

“We simply care more. Our team works tirelessly to ensure our tenants and clients are completely satisfied. We have the benefit of drawing from decades of experience, while pushing the boundaries of what’s new in terms of concepts and industry technology.”

Rob joined The Surnow Company in 2008. He oversees property management, asset management and leasing. Rob also assists with development, acquisitions, dispositions and construction coordination.

Before joining The Surnow Company, Rob was an associate at a Michigan-based commercial real estate brokerage firm that focused on national and prominent regional retail and restaurant clients. He also represented landlords to pre-lease their ground-up developments and lease available shopping spaces, statewide


Steve Blum

Vice President of Operations and Strategy

“The high standards of my coworkers set the bar. It is an honor to be part of The Surnow Company”
Steve is an accomplished executive with 25 years of experience in retail, consulting, and commercial real estate. He has held numerous operational roles with national retailers. Starting on the sales floor, he advanced to market research, finance, and strategy. Later as a consultant, he implemented project management and accounting systems for small and medium-sized architecture and engineering firms.
In 2005, Steve joined The Taubman Company. Hired into a group applying best practices to development, leasing, and operations, his accomplishments included streamlining processes and implementing revenue growth tools. After modernizing tools for the leasing agents, Steve joined sales, rising to the top quartile of the team, where he was given responsibility for the training of all new agents.
After nearly a decade in sales, Steve returned to management, in charge of all leasing tools, processes, and support personnel. Recognizing the increasing role of technology for both landlord and tenant, Steve led numerous tech-driven upgrades. His responsibilities included strategies and tactics to identify and attract emerging brands.
Steve has held several Executive Board positions in the community. He holds a BA from the University of Michigan and an MBA in strategy and marketing from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Samuel Hartman

Samuel Hartman


“We are driven to succeed and strive to be fair and fulfill our commitments.”

Sam has worked with three generations of the Surnow family real estate companies over the past 40 years.

Sam oversees the accounting, insurance, income tax and related aspects of the business. He brings an in depth knowledge of the real estate industry and varied experience as a CPA for local and international public accounting firms.


Lada Shathaya

Accounting Manager

“We’re structured yet entrepreneurial. We’re courageous, passionate and accomplished but honor integrity every step of the way.”

Lada joined The Surnow Company in 2006. She oversees the company’s financial reporting including daily accounting activities; performing monthly controls to ensure lease information is consistent in both the accounting and lease departments; and year-end operating costs analysis and recoveries. Lada handles all tenant relations in terms of rent and billing, and acts as company treasurer.


Kelly Steward

Accounting Manager

“We have a tireless desire to exceed expectations and tackle any challenge with grace”

Kelly joins The Surnow Company with an extensive background supporting Fortune 1000 companies in accounting. Her experience includes in-house financial analysis and work with national accounting advisory firms including The Siegfried Group. She uses her adaptability, positive energy, and strong analytical skills to see creative solutions in complex environments and her strong work ethic allows her to consistently exceed expectations while delivering innovative solutions. Her responsibilities at The Surnow Company include collection, organization, and interpretation of financial and managerial accounting data. Kelly is a CPA and holds a Bachelor of Accountancy degree from Walsh College.

Andriy Kubelko

Andriy Kubelko

Property Manager

“Attention to detail, quality and dedication is what distinguishes us from our peers.”

Andriy joined The Surnow Company in 2014. A highly skilled tradesman, Andriy coordinates and performs maintenance work to building exteriors, common areas and tenant suites


Steve Kwapis

Director of Construction

“We’re doing really special things here at The Surnow Company. It isn’t just about the buildings - we’re also invested in the people and businesses that occupy those buildings. That’s what it means to be a community partner, and I’m proud to be a part of it.“
Steve Kwapis serves as Director of Construction at the Surnow Company. Steve’s career spans decades executing open-plan residential, modern office, restaurant, and hospitality projects in southeastern Michigan. Steve cultivates teamwork, pays relentless attention to detail, has a proven track record in value engineering and uses out-of-the box thinking to solve difficult problems. With career experience in general contracting, managing facilities and project execution in multiple industries, Steve’s style of Construction Project Management is uniquely collaborative. That style meshes perfectly with The Surnow Company’s approach to doing daily business and our vision of the future.