Our Principals

Donald W. Paxton
Founder, President/Director of Development

Donald Paxton has led the development of over 175 apartment communities in 25 states over the course of his career.

Mr. Paxton has concentrated his expertise on developing high quality multi-family properties utilizing various financing methods including tax-leveraged and below-market financing structures. A great majority of these transactions have involved the use of federal tax credits, and in many cases have incorporated other sources such as state tax credits, tax-exempt bonds, CDBG funds, and HOME funds among others.

Prior to starting Beneficial Communities in 2001, Mr. Paxton led the development efforts for two of the Top 10 largest national multifamily producers during that time period; Picerne Development Corporation and Brisben Development.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Paxton has garnered an extraordinary amount of experience piecing together complicated real estate transactions that require extensive attention to detail and the input from a number of public and private entities.

Simultaneously, he has always spearheaded the overall development process, navigating each deal through development related issues. Mr. Paxton is very comfortable working closely with public entities, local governments, and private equity and debt sources.

Mr. Paxton holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida, where he majored in Real Estate and Finance.

Joan Fridshal 

With more than 14 years experience as a Certified Public Accountant and consultant, Joan Fridshal is Beneficial Development ‘s acting CFO, reporting on the daily financial operations of the company. She offers extensive audit experience in the governmental, non-profit and commercial arenas, as well as preparing complex forecasts required for bond financing for senior housing projects, and in analyzing and performing sensitivity analysis related to bond parameters and its effects on profitability.

Ms. Fridshal gained her expertise in these areas through various opportunities in the financial field, including FDIC foreclosures, performa audit work, auditing numerous municipalities and determining rates for municipal utilities. Her client list included such departments as the Florida Department of Revenue.

Also, as administrator of the Connecticut Medicare Part A Audit Department for The Travelers, she served on a national subcommittee of the Health Care Financing Administration to conform contractor audit regulations to changes in Government Auditing Standards. And as a Medicare analyst, Ms. Fridshal has been responsible for determining the effect of proposed changes to Medicare reimbursement methodology on the profitability of long-term care facilities for individual facilities owners.

In addition to her responsibilities at Beneficial, Ms. Fridshal is the co-founder of a non-profit charity that provides affordable housing to adults with mental illness, and has served as its Treasurer while performing all accounting functions since its inception.

She has also been a member of the Industrial Development Revenue Bonds Advisory Board for Sarasota County and a member of the Health Facilities Authority Citizen Advisory Committee for Sarasota County for many years.

Ms. Fridshal has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Statistics and Mathematics from the University of Connecticut, a Bachelor of Science degree in Financial Accounting from the University of New Haven and a Masters Degree in Taxation from the University of New Haven. She holds a Florida CPA license and a Florida Real Estate Sales-Associate license. She has special certification in Florida Sales Tax.

John E. Luther, P.E. 

Development/Construction Manager

John Luther has more than 25 years experience planning, developing and directing complex construction programs for a variety of institutional and industrial clients, as well as extensive experience in engineering and construction management.

With Beneficial Development, Mr. Luther serves as director of development management with overall responsibilities to guide the permitting, design and construction process.

Prior to joining Beneficial, Mr. Luther served as senior project manager at Facilities Resource Management Company where he successfully developed and directed numerous capital improvement programs with an aggregate value of over $ 250 million.

Mr. Luther holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil and environmental engineering from the University of Central Florida. He is a registered professional Engineer in the state of Florida and certified General Contractor.

Dusan Peric

Associate Developer

Dusan Peric has over 12 years of construction experience, having owned and operated a general construction contracting firm in the New York tri-state area that served commercial, industrial, public and residential clients.

With Beneficial Communities, he coordinates all aspects of the construction process, working directly with all engineering, architectural and construction personnel on a daily basis and often reviewing the design, modification and implementation of new project concepts.

Through his guidance in the permitting, design and construction process, Mr. Peric also strives to cultivate positive relationships with various city and county organizations, which ensures that Beneficial’s endeavors are considered a success for all parties involved.

Mr. Peric holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from New Jersey Institute of Technology, where he majored in Architecture.

Kathleen A. O’Grady

Lead Processor

Kathleen O’Grady began working in the affordable housing industry in its infancy 15 years ago and has worked for a number of leading affordable development companies, including National Housing Corporation, Picerne Development Corporation and Heritage Rural Housing. Most recently Ms. O’Grady served as Brisben Companies’ Manager of Application Processing for five years, where she oversaw the processing of over 45 successful tax credit and tax-exempt bond applications. In addition she was also responsible for maintaining positive relationships with state agencies, while monitoring developments through the implementation process to ensure a seamless execution.

At Beneficial Communities, she serves the key role of overseeing the transmittal of information to and from state agencies, third party vendors, equity partners and lenders.

Ms. O’Grady holds a degree in Management of Information Systems and also offers extensive computer science experience.