Who We Are

Visionary Matthew Blesso is bringing a new model for urban cohousing to Brooklyn and beyond, that focus on intentional living and living in community.

MATTHEW BLESSO
Founder & CEO, Shift Living and Blesso Properties

A serial entrepreneur and self-made real estate developer, Matthew melds financial discipline with creativity to conceive, develop and manage a diverse and distinctive investment portfolio of residential, commercial and hospitality assets from New York to Panama. He founded Blesso Properties in 1999 and Shift Living in early 2016 with a mission to create urban cohousing that will bring people together to live in community.

As Matthew observed and experienced how community benefits wellbeing and counteracts the detrimental impact that living in isolation has on health, his vision for a new model for urban living that would bring people together in community took form. A life-long commitment to entrepreneurship, philanthropy, and generating social good played a critical role in inspiring and encouraging Matthew to turn his vision for Shift Living into a reality.

 

Shortly after founding Shift Living, he kicked off the design of the company’s first community-focused property, a 300,000 SF, mixed-use project in Williamsburg, and began to build the Shift Living team.

 

Matthew has made a deep commitment to developing Shift Living, especially to scaling it to multiple locations. He sees Shift Living as not only a leading-edge, successful business, but also as critical leader in a nascent movement to bring the rewards of community-focused living to all.

 

Matthew’s philanthropic and volunteer efforts have been extensive. He has served on multiple executive boards, including the Citizen Housing and Planning Council, the NYU Schack School of RE Development, the Institute for Urban Design, and a variety of nonprofit cultural entities. Matthew has raised or donated over $300,000 for charitable causes to date.

 

Matthew earned a MS in Real Estate Development from NYU’s Schack School of Real Estate and a BA in Economics (cum laude) from the University of Rochester. In 2010, he received the Bart Lawson Award for Humanitarianism from NYU.

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Stephan Rechtschaffen, MD
President, Shift Living Advisory Board

Stephan Rechtschaffen, MD, is cofounder of the Omega Institute and creator and director and visionary of Blue Spirit Costa Rica in Nosara. He has been teaching Manifest Your Vision for more than 20 years and regularly consults with centers, organizations, and businesses in this emerging field. For decades, he has been involved in developing communities that model sustainable and spiritual dimensions of living a more wholesome and authentic lifestyle. He brings his expertise to Shift Living’s urban cohousing communities.

He has served and currently serves as a consultant or board member to many organizations that promote this type of work, including Upaya Zen Center, the Center for Discovery, and GeoFund.

 

Rechtschaffen is also a widely recognized holistic physician who lectures on health, wellness, nutrition, longevity, and time. He is a coauthor of Vitality and Wellness and author of Timeshifting, a book that focuses on one’s relationship to time and stress amidst the quickening pace of modern life. These interests have drawn him to living and working in the more mindful and slower-paced environment of Blue Spirit Costa Rica.

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ROSEMARY SICILIANO
Director of Communications

An award-winning strategic marketing communications, PR and Media Relations professional, Rosemary brings over 20 years of experience in leading efforts for design firms, nonprofits and cultural institutions to Shift Living. An expert in developing integrated communications strategies, she has an exceptional track record in raising visibility and profiles, garnering top-tier media exposure, strengthening brands, and building target audiences for the companies she has represented.

After joining Shift Living in 2016, Rosemary immediately began to lay the groundwork for the development of a comprehensive, integrated communications strategy.

 

Her experience and training as a furniture designer and film & video editor enables her to bring a strong visual sensibility to her work as both a content producer and a creative director. Rosemary earned a BA from Barnard College and an MFA from the University of Massachusetts.