Our Team

Jake Finley
Managing Director - Customers

Jake is a founder of Karis Cold. He previously founded Karis Capital, where he developed, acquired, and disposed of over $200 million worth of real estate assets with a focus on class-A distribution warehouses in multiple markets. Prior to founding Karis Capital, Jake worked at the Chicago Board of Trade for a distributor of cold storage building components and later as a real estate broker focusing on tenant representation for several large 3PL’s, completing over $500 million worth of transactions in 12 different states. He played both intercollegiate golf and baseball at Taylor University in Indiana where he earned his degrees in finance and accounting.

Brian Niven
Managing Director - Development

Brian brings heavy industrial development and cold management experience to the Karis Cold team. Prior to Karis Cold, Brian oversaw the development and acquisition of Cold Storage assets nationwide for Bridge Industrial. During his time at Bridge, Brian completed the sale of over 1.4 million SF of existing cold assets and developed approximately 900,000 SF of new facilities in Chicago, Seattle, Savannah and South Florida. Prior to Bridge, Brian developed fossil-fueled power plants across the U.S. for J-Power USA, one of the world’s largest independent power producers. Brian served as an active duty U.S. Army Infantry officer seeing tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the Virginia Military Institute and an MBA from Loyola University of Chicago.

Ken Verne
Senior Director

Ken brings 20 years of commercial real estate expertise in operations, project management, and industrial properties to Karis Cold. Ken oversees deal teams, execution projects, and the property management function, while also conducting outreach to source user commitments. Prior to joining Karis Cold, Ken was a senior vice president at Bridge Industrial. Leading the property management division, Ken oversaw property managers and engineers for a multi-million-square-foot portfolio. Prior to Bridge, he managed a portfolio of industrial, flex office, and medical buildings in multiple markets for HSA Commercial Real Estate. Ken graduated from the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business and is a member of the BOMA Industrial Circle. He volunteers with Saving Tiny Hearts Society, fundraises for the The Jared Kuper Diabetes Foundation, and is a two-time Chicago Marathoner.

Karen Plachy

Karen is a Certified Public Accountant and directs all accounting activities including financial reporting, development and documentation of accounting policies and controls, audits, budgets, taxes, and cash management. Prior to joining Karis Cold, she was a Vice president and Controller for a Chicago-based family office. She also served in the power plant industry providing due diligence activities for acquisitions and joint ventures.  Karen earned her B.S. in Accountancy at Elmhurst College and M.B.A. at Northern Illinois University. She is a member of the Illinois CPA Society and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. In her spare time, she enjoys golf and competes in travel tennis. Karen also volunteers as Treasurer for a non-profit industrial condo association. 

Andy Laue
Development Manager

Andy serves as development manager of Karis Cold, overseeing construction projects and new development opportunities. Prior to joining Karis Cold, Andy was a Superintendent at Troop Contracting, specializing in federal contracting, construction management, and construction and design. He started his real estate career as a broker with JBS Commercial Real Estate, and later worked as a project engineer at Leopardo Companies, a construction engineering company. Andy also served as an active-duty Green Beret, Special Forces in the U.S. Army with deployments to Afghanistan and Africa. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Western Michigan University.

Ivy Miller
Senior Analyst

Ivy is an investment manager supporting asset underwriting, project management, and property management. Ivy also oversees Karis Cold's insurance programs. Prior to joining Karis Cold, she was a financial lines underwriter at AIG in their Atlanta office. Ivy graduated from the Terry College of Business, University of Georgia with degrees in Economics and Risk Management & Insurance.