Press Release July 24, 2017

The University Financing Foundation (TUFF) is growing its Atlanta based team to expand its development suite of services provided to Institutions of education and research in the planning, development, and financing of facilities and equipment at below-market costs.


Vic Clements, who has been with TUFF since 2008, is taking on a new position as Vice President of Administration where he will continue managing TUFF’s financial reporting, compliance, administrative and asset management activities. Vic has spent over 30 years in public accounting and senior finance positions, working with both domestic and international organizations in a wide range of industries. Mr. Clements has been involved in raising private equity, mezzanine and debt financings exceeding $900 million and advised on numerous merger and acquisition engagements. Vic has a particular interest in combining innovative financing strategies with environmentally friendly building solutions, to assist the research and education communities. He has spoken nationally on financing opportunities for sustainability and other projects, particularly for educational institutions.


Ben Mingle, an experienced real estate finance and accounting leader, has been named Vice President of Finance. Prior to joining TUFF, Ben served as the Chief Financial Officer for the Hutton Company, a commercial real estate development firm. During Ben’s tenure, Hutton completed more than 200 development projects totaling in excess of 4 million square feet and $800 million in total value. Prior to Hutton, Ben worked in the finance department of CBL Properties, Inc., a national real estate owner, developer, and operator. While at CBL, Ben was responsible for the accounting and finance oversight of the firm’s joint venture and development portfolios. Ben began his career in public accounting where he worked for KPMG, LLP and Ernst and Young, LLP. Ben’s depth of experience includes construction financings, public and private equity offerings, public debt offerings, bond financings and joint venture transactions.


Mason Ailstock, an experienced leader of university research parks, has been named Vice President of Operations. Prior to joining TUFF, Mason served as the Chief Operating Officer of the Research Triangle Foundation, the entity responsible for the 7,000-acre Research Triangle Park (RTP) of North Carolina. During Mason’s tenure, RTP successfully assembled the 100-acre mixed-use Park Center property, established the first Triangle open innovation community at The Frontier and coordinated over $50 million in funding for the redevelopment project. Mason, who is also the current Board President of the Association of University Research Parks (AURP), began his career in the creation of innovation districts as a member of the founding team at Clemson University’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). Now an internationally recognized mobility-tech hub, Mason worked in the early years of the development to master plan the 250-acre campus and construct the first five facilities totaling over $250 million of investment. In 2016, Mason was honored as an Eisenhower Fellow and traveled to Sweden and Saudi Arabia meeting with university, government and industry leaders to advance the university-led innovation district model.


“Vic, Ben and Mason have shown leadership and a sincere desire to serve our institutional clients at universities, colleges, research institutes and health systems,” said TUFF President Kevin Byrne. “Their addition to our team allows us to provide increased value and impact in the visioning, design, development and operations of complex public-private projects.”


About TUFF

TUFF Photos Large

The University Financing Foundation (TUFF) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) operating foundation whose mission is to assist Institutions of education and research in the planning, development, and financing of facilities and equipment at below-market costs. Unlike a passive foundation or for-profit developer, TUFF actively partners with Institutions to help them achieve their academic goals, while maximizing the economic efficiency of their critical real estate projects. Since its incorporation in 1982, TUFF has financed over $1.02 billion in 43 projects. Additionally, TUFF has made loans of over $54,000,000 to finance equipment purchases and working capital, and to provide interim financing for land, construction and infrastructure improvements to clients throughout the United States.





TUFF's New Vice Presidents


Vic Clements

Vice President of Adminstration



Ben Mingle

Vice President of Finance


Mason Ailstock

Mason Ailstock

Vice President of Operations