Stephen W. Baird
President & CEO, Baird & Warner
Stephen Baird serves as chairman of The Realty Alliance — a consortium of the nation’s top real estate firms — and has testified before the U.S. Congress on matters of vital interest to the real estate community. In addition, he has long worked for the preservation of open space as past-president of CorLands, The Openlands Project and, currently, as a national board member of the Trust for Public Land.
A 1975 graduate of Harvard University, Baird remains active in the Harvard community. Baird earned his MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Business Management in 1985, and also serves as director of that school’s Alumni Board.
Senior VP Marketing, NRT
Dan Barnett joined NRT as SVP of marketing in January of 2008. In this role, he is responsible for enhancing and expanding national marketing initiatives in order to strengthen the company's position in its 35 markets through vendor relationships, online marketing, advertising initiatives and niche marketing programs.
Prior to joining NRT, Barnett enjoyed a distinguished career at HSBC Finance where he developed robust online marketing programs for the company's consumer and mortgage lending division.
He received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University, and his M.B.A. in marketing and strategy from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.
CFO, General Growth Partners
Mr. Berman oversees GGP’s capital markets, finance, accounting and investor relations functions. He joined GGP in December of 2011. He brings more than 25 years of combined experience in the real estate and financial industries. Prior to his role as CFO of GGP, Mr. Berman served as executive vice president and chief financial officer of Equity LifeStyle Properties. During 2003, Mr. Berman was an associate professor at the New York University Real Estate Institute. He was a managing director in the investment banking department at Merrill Lynch & Co. from 1997 to 2002. Mr. Berman holds an MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business; a J.D. from Boston University School of Law; and a bachelor's degree from Binghamton University in New York. Mr. Berman is a member of the Columbia Business School Real Estate Advisory Board and a board member and chairman of the Audit Committee for Brixmor Property Group, Inc.
CEO, HSF Affiliates
Gino Blefari is the CEO of HSF Affiliates. Previously, Blefari was president and CEO of Intero Real Estate Services, Inc., a leading U.S. real estate brokerage based in Cupertino, CA. Blefari founded Intero in 2002 and built the company into one of the fastest growing firms in real estate.
Blefari has been recognized with a variety of awards and distinctions: the Italian American Businessman of the Year by the Italian American Heritage Foundation, the EcoBroker Community Service Award to acknowledge his green practices and support (out of more than 1M brokers and agents nationally), the Mentor of the Year Award by The Buffini Company, induction into the Mike Ferry Organization’s Hall of Fame, “Executive of the Year for Leadership and Contribution to the Real Estate Industry” at Tom Ferry’s Success Summit in Anaheim, CA, and RISMedia’s National Homeownership Award for “outstanding achievements among residential real estate’s most influential and charismatic leaders.”
President, Leading RE, Luxury Portfolio
With over 20 years of experience in luxury real estate, Paul Boomsma has created the highly successful Luxury Portfolio program. Paul began his career marketing luxury office towers and later joined a top residential firm, later becoming National Marketing Director for a major franchise. Paul is a frequent industry speaker on the topics of raising the bar for real estate branding, agent listing presentations, synergies with the resort/second-home market, and the luxury market. He has been named one of the Most Influential People in Luxury Real Estate and has received Unique Homes’ Luxury Marketer of the Year Award.
Executive VP, CBRE
Scott Brandwein has been an Executive Vice President at CBRE since its merger with Insignia/ESG in July 2003. He is widely regarded as one of Chicago’s most experienced and successful commercial real estate brokers and consultants. Since beginning his real estate career in 1979, he has been personally involved in more than 2,000 projects that span the range of commercial real estate, including office and industrial tenant representation, land sales and assemblage, disposition of surplus properties, and a variety of agency, leasing and sale assignments He has participated in over 150 consulting engagements on behalf of users, developers, lenders, property owners, municipalities and economic development groups and has been a member of project teams on a variety of development projects, including business parks and speculative office buildings and industrial and retail developments.
Current responsibilities include CBRE Private Equity and Life Sciences Practice Groups in the Midwest Region and focusing on tenant representation.
Mr. Brandwein began his career with Frain Camins & Swartchild, 1979 where he became a Principal of the firm in 1981. After holding a variety of positions within the company, including brokerage, research, consulting and agency leasing and sales, he became the Managing Partner in 1995. Mr. Brandwein combines his knowledge of all of the different product types, consulting and brokerage background with an extensive general business background to develop solutions and strategies customized to each project.
President/COO, Coldwell Banker
Fran Broude was named president and chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Chicago and Milwaukee in January 2007. In this position, Broude oversees the operations of 55 Coldwell Banker offices and more than 3,500 sales associates in the Chicagoland, Northwest Indiana, Southwest Michigan, and Southeast Wisconsin areas.
Broude is a lifelong resident of suburban Chicago and a graduate of the University of Miami, Coral Gables Florida with a degree in Business Administration. Broude has served on the Board of Directors for Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois and is currently serving on the Board of Managers for Midwest Real Estate Data. In addition, she is a member of the North Shore-Barrington Association of Realtors and the Chicago Association of Realtors.
CEO, The Realty Alliance
Craig Cheatham is president and CEO of The Realty Alliance, an invitation-only network of the largest, full-service real estate firms in North America. In addition to their residential operations, which boast more than 100,000 agents concentrated in 65 selected companies, the group’s members also operate mortgage, insurance, title/settlement, concierge, commercial, property management and other related business lines. Cheatham coordinates the network’s significant influence on industry policy in conjunction with major industry organizations, leverages the group’s size and strength to negotiate favorable agreements with various providers on behalf of the organization, and coordinates benchmarking and networking programs for member firm representatives, among other responsibilities for this powerful network. Cheatham is well known in real estate circles, having built his strong reputation during 25 years of positive experience in leadership roles for a state association of the National Association of Realtors, for the international federation of real estate licensing and regulatory agencies (ARELLO) and for The Realty Alliance. Cheatham holds the prestigious Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation, an undergraduate degree in communication from Harding University and a master of business administration degree from Samford University.
Simon Chen assumed the role of president and chief executive officer of ERA Franchise Systems LLC in March 2018. A widely respected technology expert with decades of experience in real estate brokerage investments, marketing and operations, Chen is responsible for leading the ERA brand's growth strategy focused on enhancing agent recruitment, productivity and market share.
VP, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate
Amy Chorew was appointed Vice President of Platform Development for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC in March 2012, and is responsible for growing the brand’s educational training platform as well as creating and expanding innovative agent tools and technologies offered to the brand’s network.
Amy has more than 30 years of real estate experience, including roles in sales, marketing and training. Since 2000, Amy has been on the national speaking circuit teaching industry professionals about technology strategies to help improve their business.
In addition to writing four books on the topic of social media for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), she also co-authored the NAR e-Pro® certification curriculum, which is designed to educate real estate professionals on social media technologies and e-office strategies. Amy is the founder and former CEO of The Tech Byte, an education company specializing in coaching and consulting with real estate firms about using technology in their day-to-day operations.
Amy is an active member of several industry organizations including the Women’s Council of REALTORS® and the American Society for Training and Development. She is also a frequent contributor to state and national real estate association publications.
CEO, Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate
Sherry Chris was appointed President and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate LLC in October of 2007. Well known within the real estate industry, Sherry is a frequent speaker at real estate and technology conferences. She serves on Zillow's broker advisory board and has served on a number of industry- and technology- related advisory boards, including Trulia and Google Real Estate. She is a past chairman of The Realty Alliance. Sherry is a graduate of The University of Western Ontario, and earned an MBA from the Ivey School of Business.
Most recently, she has won a 2010 Stevie Award for Best Executive in the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, an award that recognizes the accomplishments of outstanding women executives, entrepreneurs and the organizations they run. She was also named 2010 Inman Innovator of the Year.
Patrick has been involved in the real estate industry for 30 years. He started his own company, Arch Construction Management, Inc., in 1992. Arch Construction is an award winning firm that specializes in fixed-fee, open book general contracting in the residential and small commercial market. He serves as the 2014 and 2015 President of the Home Builders Association of Greater Chicago (HBAGC). It is an eight county and City of Chicago trade organization affiliated with the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). In addition he serves on the Board of Directors for NAHB and is the Area VP of the Home Builders Association of Illinois. He also has been honored locally as the 2010 Builder of the Year and 2013 Remodeler of the Year.
CEO and President, Century 21 Real Estate
Richard W. “Rick” Davidson was appointed president and chief executive officer of Century 21 Real Estate in February 2010. In his role, Davidson leads the world’s largest residential real estate sales organization of approximately 7,000 independently owned and operated franchised brokerage offices and more than 100,000 sales associates in 73 countries and territories worldwide. Davidson has served in franchise senior executive roles since 2006, and prior to that he was a franchise owner of a Realogy brand.
Prior to his current post, Davidson served in a dual capacity as chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC and as president and chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates. In this role, Davidson was responsible for overseeing the Coldwell Banker residential franchise operations on a global basis after having led the brand’s commercial operations since May 2006. Specifically, he was responsible for directing the operations, field services, education and mortgage services programs across this global residential real estate network.
With more than 20 years of experience in the real estate industry, Davidson is a licensed real estate broker in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia and earned the SIOR, Executive Management Specialist designation in 2009. Previously, Davidson was the founding principal and chief executive officer of Coldwell Banker Commercial Capitol Realty Services, an independently owned and operated company in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan market.
Before establishing Coldwell Banker Commercial Capitol Realty Services in 2003, Davidson spent nine years as managing director of CB Richard Ellis in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan market and three years with Insignia/ESG as executive vice president. During his tenure with CBRE, Davidson received several national awards, including Manager of the Year in 1994 and 1996, and the J. Frank Mahoney and James Didion Chairman’s Leadership Award for Real Estate Excellence in 1997, 1998 and 2000.
Davidson currently serves on the international board of directors for Easter Seals. He is also active in Big Brothers/Big Sisters and a number of other local and national charities. He is an honors graduate of National Louis University in Chicago.
Executive Managing Director, CBRE
A 35-year veteran of the real estate industry, Sam Delisi is currently an Executive Managing Director at CBRE. Based in the firm’s Chicago office, Mr. Delisi oversees the firm’s Premier Properties Program nationally. Under Mr. Delisi’s leadership the firm won more than 80 major office properties since 2011 throughout the United States. The US program has become the basis for a global premier approach service delivery. Additionally, Sam leads the Canadian Asset Services Business, Receivership/Distressed Management component of the firm’s national Restructuring Services group.
Prior to his role with Strategic Accounts, he directed CBRE’s Asset Services Business on the East Coast where Mr. Delisi was responsible for more than 200 million square feet of office, retail and industrial properties and 1,700 employees. Previously, he was the divisions’ Chicago Market Leader. Under his lead, the Chicago Market has won 20 TOBY awards from BOMA in 5 years. Mr. Delisi brings a broad range of real estate expertise to his management role, including his experience as a consultant, tenant representative, leasing agent, and property manager.
In 2003, CBRE merged with Insignia/ESG. Prior to this merge, Mr. Delisi was the Executive Vice President responsible for all business lines in the Midwest.
d. Prior to Insignia/ESG, Mr. Delisi spent 13 years with Chicago-based U. S. Equities Realty as Senior Vice President, Director of Urban Leasing. During this time, he actively represented the real estate needs of both tenants and owners. Prior to U.S. Equities, Mr. Delisi was Vice President with Strobeck Reiss & Co.
Throughout his career, Mr. Delisi has been involved in successful projects. He led the teams that won the management and leasing of Sears Tower, Renaissance Center in Detroit and management of the Navy Yard in Philadelphia. He has also directed leasing efforts or leased an unprecedented 33 properties in downtown Chicago. Many of these buildings are highly recognizable landmarks including the Santa Fe Building, One Financial Place, 120 South LaSalle Street, the John Hancock building, and 311 South Wacker Drive.
COO, Baum Realty Group
Mike Demetriou joined Baum Realty Group, LLC as Chief Operating Officer in December, 2012. An attorney, Mike was previously a Senior Real Estate Associate at both Sidley Austin and SNR Denton where he focused on the financing, acquisition, disposition, and leasing of commercial real estate throughout the country. Significant representations included KeyBank, JPMorgan Chase, Metro Storage and more recently, Royal Bank of Scotland, Starwood and Wells Fargo. His practice also included zoning and land use matters for businesses and universities as well as non-profit entities. On a pro-bono basis, Mike also represented the Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum and Mike also served as general counsel to The Cara Foundation.
Prior to his career as an attorney, Mike worked in executive compensation for Hughes, Lucent and managed business development for a closely held telecommunications consulting firm. Mike received a Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University and a law degree, with honors, from Chicago-Kent College of Law. Mike serves on the Young Professionals Board of the Legal Assistance Foundation, the Lakeview Citizen's Council, and he is currently the Vice President of the South East Lakeview Neighborhood Association. He and his wife, Katie, and their two children live in Lakeview.
Global Treasurer, JLL
Bryan J. Duncan serves as an Assistant Treasurer of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated. Previously, Mr. Duncan served as the Senior Vice President of Global Finance at Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated.
EVP, Leading RE
Jessica Edgerton joined Leading Real Estate Companies of the World® in January 2018, helping oversee operational areas of the company, including technology, marketing, learning and development, preferred vendor relationships and events. She previously served as Associate Counsel for the National Association of REALTORS®, where she interfaced with NAR’s communications, conventions and technology teams, as well as its membership. Her responsibilities included contract negotiations for NAR’s various divisions, helping ensure regulatory compliance, speaking on risk management topics at industry events and authoring content on various legal issues relating to the industry.
CEO, Tom Ferry, Your Coach
Tom Ferry is the CEO of Tom Ferry – Your Coach, an International Coaching and Training Company.
He is one of most influential people in real estate and is listed as the #1 Real Estate Coach by Swanepoel Power 200. Tom Ferry is the best-selling Author of Life! By Design and host of the popular YouTube series the #TomFerryShow.
During his 26+ years in the industry Tom has influenced over 500,000 real estate professionals to create inner and outer wealth by helping them grow a prosperous business that they love through events, coaching and his breakthrough by design training program.
Tom is a highly sought after and renowned speaker whose work embodies a passion for life and business, a commitment to discipline and the most innovative business strategies you will find anywhere.
Tom has been featured in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The Huffington Post, Mashable.com, Inman News, Agent Genius, Realtor Magazine and many more.
Chief Operating Officer, CA Ventures
Bob Flannery serves as Chief Operating Officer at CA Ventures with a focus on CA’s national multifamily development platform, along with involvement in CA’s strategic planning, acquisitions, capital markets and asset management activities. Bob is also active in decisions regarding the holding, selling, repositioning and refinancing of CA assets.
Prior to joining CA Ventures, Bob was Chief Operating Officer at JRG Capital Partners and Chief Financial Officer at Jameson Real Estate, an affiliated company of JRG.
Bob has over 25 years of experience in commercial real estate and executive leadership. He has worked for many of the industry’s top firms, including Prudential Insurance, JP Morgan Chase and Sam Zell’s Equity Office. He has been involved in transactions totaling over $2 billion and has managed real estate portfolios consisting of office, retail industrial and multifamily in major markets throughout the United States.
Bob holds a BS in Finance from Northern Illinois University and an MBA in International Business from Wayne State University.
Managing Director, Technology Services, Greystar
Stephanie Fuhrman is managing director of technology services for Greystar. She is responsible for the implementation, support, and training for property systems; she also serves as chair of the Greystar innovation team and participates on the business intelligence advisory team. Stephanie is focused on modeling a new class of tech-savvy executives, focused on innovation, behavioral marketing, and the customer experience, positioning Greystar to employ scalable technology platforms. Stephanie joined Greystar in 2014 and started with Riverstone in 2010, and has management experience in multiple industries. In her former role as executive vice president of property services, she was responsible for property marketing, systems training, marketing automation, education, and property transitions. Stephanie holds an executive MBA with honors from the Thunderbird School of Global Management, and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Washington State University.
President, Real Estate Digital
Jay Gaskill became the Chief Executive Officer of Real Estate Digital in September 2011. Prior to that, he had been the President of LPS Real Estate Group for the past five years, responsible for the Real Estate Technology Services and Title and Settlement Services Divisions of Lender Processing Services, Inc. (LPS), a leading provider of integrated technology and services to the mortgage and real estate industries.
For the past 25 years, Jay has been involved in all aspects of the real industry including real estate development, commercial and residential mortgage banking, and title and settlement services. He joined the Real Estate Group as the former Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the LSI division of LPS, and prior to that he originally joined Fidelity National Financial in 1993 and later became President of the Orange County division of Fidelity National Title. He graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Information Systems.
Chief Strategy Officer, Docusign
Tom Gonser is the founder of DocuSign and leads the company's overall strategy. A well-regarded thought leader, Tom is considered by many to be the father of electronic signatures. Prior to starting DocuSign, Tom was founder and CEO of NetUPDATE, a leading online transaction management system that handled millions of mortgage transactions yearly. NetUPDATE was recognized as one of the Pacific Northwest's 'Hot Companies' in 2001.
Responsible for all day-to-day operational aspects of a 4,000 employee real estate services company to ensure top level performance for clients. Assets under management include approximately 160,000 multifamily units and 700+ properties. Additional oversight of the Investment Management platform which includes the acquisition and asset management functions for equity ownership in multifamily real estate. Assets under management include approximately 28,000 multifamily units totaling 150 assets and $2BN in asset value.
Chief Strategy and Operating Officer, NRT
Ryan Gorman is currently the Chief Strategy and Operating Officer of NRT after serving as the Senior Vice President of Strategic Operations, a post he held since May 2012.
As COO/CSO Gorman leads the company’s overall strategic growth and competitive analysis functions and has operational responsibility for growing NRT’s commercial, insurance, real estate owned (REO), property management and rental businesses, in addition to overseeing its mortgage, title and home warranty services partnerships.
Ryan graduated with honors from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Dayna joined NEA in 2012 and focuses on early stage consumer internet and enterprise companies.
Prior to joining NEA, Dayna was an investor at North Bridge Venture Partners in Boston where she focused on seed and early stage consumer internet and SaaS investments. She is an active member of the startup communities along the east coast including Boston and New York.
Her investment career follows operational success in product design and management. Before joining North Bridge in 2006, Dayna led product design efforts at Blackbaud [BLKB], the leading global provider of software to nonprofit organizations. She managed products throughout their life cycle as the company grew to over $130 million in revenue and completed a successful public offering. Previously, Dayna was a consultant at Cap Gemini Ernst and Young.
Dayna has a BS from the University of Virginia in Systems Engineering and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Owner, Guren Capital Management
Sam started in the private equity business in 1975, with Continental Illinois Venture Corporation (CIVC). During his tenure with CIVC, where he was second in command, the firm’s investments ranged from Apple Computer to Yoplait to Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts (introduced by Stan Golder). KKR took the firm into the buyout investment business, and the formation of CIEC. Sam was an early investor in the retail industry; that has been a focus that has continued throughout his career.
In 1981, Sam was recruited by William Blair to co-found and manage William Blair Venture Partners (WBVP). He grew the business to six professionals during three funds. Investments ranged from the founding of The Sports Authority to the buyout of Sanford Corporation to various technology, healthcare and cable television companies.
Robert Baird recruited Sam in 1996 to manage the Baird Capital Funds I (already fully invested) and II. While there, BCP grew from two to five professionals with a focus on outsourcing and temporary staffing.
Sam joined Allied Capital in 1999, and stayed through 2002. He managed the Chicago office, and was on their Investment and Operating Committees.
Former Chairman: Move Inc., Grubb Ellis, Coldwell Banker
Joe F. Hanauer has served as one of the Company’s directors since November 1996, as vice chairman of our board of directors from November 2001 to January 2002, chairman of the Board since January 2002, and lead independent director since December 2004; he was the National Association of REALTORS® representative on the Board through November 2000. Since 1988, Mr. Hanauer, through Combined Investments, L.P., has directed investments in companies primarily involved in real estate and financial services. Mr. Hanauer is a former chairman and director of Grubb & Ellis Company, a former chairman and chief executive officer of Coldwell Banker Residential Group, Inc. and a member of the National Association of REALTORS®. Mr. Hanauer was a trustee of the Calamos Fund Complex, a fund complex of 19 portfolios, from 2001 to December 2009. Mr. Hanauer served as a director of MAF Bancorp Inc. from 1990 until its acquisition in August 2007. Mr. Hanauer serves as one of the Company’s representatives on the Policy Advisory Board of the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.
Director of Strategic Planning and Initiatives, Coldwell Banker
Director of Strategic Planning and Initiatives for a leading residential real estate brokerage company, overseeing 48 offices and over 3400 agents. Responsible for shifting blend from a reliance on traditional marketing to interactive/web, which includes integrating digital, social media and video into company's marketing plans. Strong focus on maintaining budget and fiscal responsibility while increasing reach and strength of the brand.
Maintain market share by retaining top producing agents and helping to grow current business and spur organic growth through recruiting successful competitive agents.
Experienced in direct mail creation and distribution, database compilation and management, print advertising creation and management, graphic design, agent training, campaign presentation.
Previously he was a Marketing Manager, Advertising Manager Direct Mail / Database Marketing Coordinator with Coldwell Banker.
VP of Research Data Management & Technology Operations, JLL
Mike is responsible for leading the data management and technologies within JLL’s Americas Research group. He leads a team and technology platform that is responsible for managing the overall property, company, lease, sale and tenant demand data for the brokerage and investment sales organization. Mike’s additional responsibilities include strategy and data management of JLL’s externally facing property listing site. Along with the tracking, categorization and relationship management of over 70 CRE Tech startups companies that can add value to the JLL’s platform.
Forner CEO, Keller Williams
Chris's determination, relationship-building skills and extreme success in real estate make him an ideal leader for a global real estate giant. This is especially true since he describes the industry as an incredible opportunity for unlimited income - or an entrepreneur's dream. And we've only scratched the surface.
At age 20, Chris Heller got his real estate license. After three years of follow-up, a broker finally talked him into joining his company. In his first year, Chris was named Rookie of the Year, and his career trajectory has continued on a steady upward climb ever since.
Chris has sold more than 100 homes per year for the last two decades, and more than 3,000 to date. During a five-year stretch of one of the most challenging real estate markets in history, his sales volume totaled more than $450 million. At the same time, Chris launched a market center, which is now one of the region's most productive and profitable.
In 2012, as president of KW Worldwide, Heller launched the first Keller Williams regions outside of North America. He was named CEO of Keller Williams in 2015.
Chris's success in an increasingly complex and competitive marketplace is a function of his tenacity, drive, leadership skills and ability to assemble and empower high-functioning teams. Still, he credits Keller Williams' brilliant mix of culture, systems and philosophy of succeeding through others for much of his own triumph.
When Chris isn't jet setting to the next KW locale, he's more than likely exercising outside with ear buds in - for the latest jam, of course. Chris lives in Austin, Texas.
CEO, Equity International
Tom Heneghan is chief executive officer of Equity International (EI). He provides strategic direction and oversees all of the company’s activities and investment portfolio.
Prior to joining Equity International, Mr. Heneghan was chief executive officer of Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc. (NYSE:ELS). From 1990 to 1995, Mr. Heneghan was with Equity Group Investments (EGI), the privately held investment company founded and led by Sam Zell. At EGI, he held multiple executive-level positions at Zell-related companies including Great American Management and Investments, Inc., a publicly traded holding company with subsidiaries in agricultural chemicals and fertilizers, building products and other manufacturing; Capsure Holdings, Inc., a publicly traded insurance company; and Greenberg & Pociask, LLC, the in-house financial services provider to Zell-affiliated companies. Previously, Mr. Heneghan was a financial analyst with Nicor Gas, and he began his career as a staff accountant at Peat Marwick, now part of KPMG.
Mr. Heneghan is currently co-vice chairman of the ELS Board of Directors, and serves as a board member for three EI portfolio companies: Acosta Verde (a Mexican company owning retail shopping centers), eShang-Redwood (an Asian company owning warehouse properties), and SAMHI Hotels (an India company owning hotels), as well as Home Partners of America (a U.S. company owning residential real estate) and Chai Trust (the Zell Family Trust Company). He is also a member of the Urban Land Institute’s Global Exchange Council, and the board of advisors for the Global Real Estate Institute. He graduated with a BA in Accounting from Augustana College and is a certified public accountant.
Managing Director, MATH
Troy Henikoff is the Managing Director of MATH Venture Partners. Troy was the CEO and Co-founder of Excelerate which became Techstars Chicago in 2013. Additionally, he helps manage the FireStarter Fund, teaches Entrepreneurship at Northwestern University, is a Faculty Coach for University of Chicago / Booth’s New Venture Challenge, is on the board of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurial Center and an advisor to Hyde Park Angels. His last 25 years have been spent starting, running and advising early stage technology companies including SurePayroll, OneWed, Amacai and Jellyvision.
President and CEO, Northwest MLS
Tom is currently President & CEO of Northwest Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (Northwest MLS). Northwest MLS is a trade association of about 2000 member real estate firms and delivers services to over 23,000 real estate licensees spanning western and central Washington State.
Besides the primary services of providing active and off-market real estate listings, public property records, and key-boxes, Northwest MLS also provides the standard residential real estate forms for Washington State. Additionally, Northwest MLS actively supports the governmental affairs efforts and funding for many local Realtor® Associations, aids the state Realtor® association with funding and collaboration for special projects, and maintains close relations with regulatory agencies.
Prior to working at Northwest MLS, Tom’s association management career included roles as:
Vice President of Products for the California Assoc. of Realtors® subsidiary, Real Estate Business Services
Vice President of MLS Relations for Realtor.com and Move
President & CEO for Northern Ohio Regional MLS
EVP for Lorain County (OH) Association of Realtors®
Legislative Analyst for National Association of Realtors®
Co-Founder and CEO, August Home
Serial entrepreneur Jason Johnson brings nearly twenty years of technology expertise to the role of CEO at August. Jason is also a managing partner of startup incubator Founders Den and the chairman of the Internet of Things Consortium. Prior to August, Jason co-founded mobile security software company AirCover (acquired by M Dream, HK:8100) and ebook software startup BookShout!. Previously he was vice president of Dolby Laboratories, vice president of Global IP Solutions (acquired by Google) and was the co-founder and CEO of InterQuest (acquired by Darwin Networks).
Krach has serves on the Boards of numerous other companies, including: CollabNet, Microposite, Tropos and Ooma. Most recently, Krach was elected Chairman of the Angie’s List Board of Directors. Angie’s List, founded by Bill Oesterle and Angie Hicks, is the nation’s premier provider of consumer reviews. Krach was pursed for the role in part, because of his strategic business insights.
CEO, Clareity Consulting
Gregg Larson has over 25 years of experience in the MLS and real estate information industries, and has established himself as a pioneer in new product design, online security, mergers and acquisitions, strategic planning, MLS regionalization, MLS system and vendor selection, and internet consulting.
Founder, Diversified RE Capital
Larry Levy is a founder of Diversified Real Estate Capital, LLC. He has more than 40 years of experience in the real estate industry. His experience includes all aspects of real estate brokerage relating to office and industrial property. He has been an owner/developer of several major projects in Chicago including One Magnificent Mile, Woodfield Lake Office Campus, Waterfall Glen Office Park, Chicago Mercantile Exchange Center and Butterfield Center for Business. Mr. Levy also owns an interest in the Esperanza Resort in Cabo San Lucas.
Executive Director, Cushman & Wakefield
Marilyn Lissner has been actively involved in the Commercial Real Estate industry for over 30 years, 29 of which have been with Cushman and Wakefield (C&W). She has consistently been one of the highest ranking women in Chicago as well as the Midwest region. Marilyn is skilled at managing corporate accounts, including high-level strategic planning, negotiation and implementation of real estate transactions, as well as providing corporate advisory and portfolio management solutions. Her expertise encompasses recasting and or negotiating conventional leases, subleases, build-to-suits, acquisitions and dispositions. Her strength is in providing her clients with a full integrated team approach utilizing the multiple discipline and resources of Cushman and Wakefield. Throughout her career, her team has executed more than $5 billion worth of transactions.
Founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Morningstar, a leading provider of independent investment research. Morningstar offers an extensive line of products and services for individual investors, financial advisors, asset managers, and retirement plan providers and sponsors and has operations in 27 countries. The company provides data on hundreds of thousands of investment offerings, including stocks, mutual funds, and similar vehicles, along with real-time global market data on equities, indexes, futures, options, commodities, and precious metals, in addition to foreign exchange and Treasury markets. Morningstar also offers investment management services through its registered investment advisor subsidiaries and has billions of dollars in assets under advisement or management. Before founding Morningstar in 1984, Mansueto was a securities analyst at Harris Associates. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
VP of Intelligence, Pulte Group
Senior Executive anchored in business results and actionable skills of Strategy, Execution, Big Data Analytics, and Management. Track record of working in a team environment to attain or exceed business operational metrics, employee engagement, and growth. Driving gross margin improvement, product pricing changes, and shrewd land negotiations. 13+ years of experience in Strategy, Sales, Marketing, Land Acquisitions, and Big Data Analytics. Innovating and executing process orientation to market analysis in a corporate setting. Outstanding track record of recruiting, managing, and leading talented and diverse business leaders and teams. Driving data and analytics to actionable decisions with regard to product, pricing, placement, and promotion. Setting the standard of leadership within a matrixed organization and partnering with multi-faceted Area and Division Presidents. Prior to business career, accomplished record as a professor, quantitative researcher, and author.
Co-Founder, President & CEO, Harrison Street Real Estate Capital
Mr. Merrill is the Co-Founder, President and CEO of Harrison Street Real Estate Capital, LLC, a real estate private equity firm he co-founded in 2005 that has completed over $15 billion in transactional volume and currently has over $11 billion in AUM. Mr. Merrill is also a Member of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the Investment & Management Committees of the Company. The firm was an innovator and early adopter of a focused investment strategy around the Education, Healthcare and Storage segments of the real estate market. Investments have been made through a series of discretionary, commingled real estate funds including an opportunistic closed end fund series (Funds I-VI) and an open-end real estate fund that have raised over $7.0 billion in discretionary equity capital. Investors in these funds come from over seven countries and include US, European and Asian Pension Funds, Corporate Plans, Insurance Companies, Endowments, Foundations and family offices. Other firm platforms include a European Student Housing strategy as well as a Real Estate Securities practice. The firm has offices in Chicago and London.
Global Portfolio Manager, Airbnb
President/CEO, Leading RE
For over 28 years, Pam O’Connor, SCRP, has managed networks which ultimately were consolidated into Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®. She was the first woman to head a major real estate network and previously held marketing positions for WSB-TV television in Atlanta and a major national real estate development firm, as well as co-owning Bryson-O’Connor Public Relations in Atlanta. Pam has been named one of the top 25 thought leaders by the National Association of Realtors, as well as one of the top 100 most influential people in real estate by Inman News. She was also named among the Top 50 Women in Real Estate in a 2008 Stefan Swanepoel poll. Pam is a Senior Certified Relocation Professional (SCRP) and serves on the board of directors and executive committee of Worldwide ERC. She has received ERC’s Meritorious Award, President’s Award, and Distinguished Service Awards and was named to its Hall of Leaders in May, 2009.
Accomplished, collaborative executive of multi-billion dollar global brand company who builds and operates profitable world-class brands. COO and CMO leadership experience includes acquisition integration, transformational top-line initiatives, brand launches and brand revitalization, and programming to elevate service delivery. Adept at leading large, complex global structures to maximize benefits of scale while enabling innovation and flexibility needed for successful lifestyle brands to thrive.
Managing Director, Greystar
Perry Pound serves as Managing Director of Development for Southern California and has sourced, developed, and is constructing a nearly $1 billion development pipeline. He has been affiliated with Greystar since August of 2011. Mr. Pound previously led the Southern California acquisition and development efforts for Alliance Residential, JPI, BRE Properties and The Olson Company, resulting in the acquisition and development of 2,500 residential units, for a total investment of over $1 billion.
Mr. Pound received a Masters in International Finance from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and completed his second year coursework in Real Estate Finance and Development at Harvard Business School. He received his B.A., cum laude, from Pepperdine University. Mr. Pound is a member of the Urban Land Institute, the National Multi Housing Council, and the Los Angeles World Affairs Council.
CIO, Related Properties
Strategic business partner with 13+ years experience as a CIO focused on global cultural change within the organization. A team leader who develops, mentors, and empowers people to rise to new challenges every day. Bottom line disciplined and driven by a belief that there must be a return on each technology investment made. Expertise in cloud, global ERP, real estate, and mobile. An experienced speaker on IT best practices, industry trends, business intelligence and collaboration applications in the enterprise. He is a team focused executive, instilling a culture of innovation, leadership and service excellence in people and earning respect from senior management, business partners and investors.
Founder & Partner, Commerce Ventures
Dan is the Founder and General Partner of Commerce Ventures, a venture firm focused on digital innovations in the payments, retail and commerce eco-systems. Commerce Ventures represents a broad, highly strategic set of investors and, thus far, the firm has invested in over twenty portfolio companies since its launch, including Bill.com (SaaS Platform for B2B payments), Bitnet (Crypto-currency Acceptance Gateway), Forter (Fraud Decisions-as-a-Service Platform), Marqeta (Next-generation Issuing Platform), MX (Saas Platform for Omnichannel Banking), RetailNext (In-store Analytics), Snapsheet (Auto Insurance Self-service Platform) and SavingStar (All-digital National eCoupon Network). Prior to creating Commerce Ventures, Dan was a Principal at Highland Capital and invested primarily in mobile, payments and digital marketing companies, such a Quattro Wireless (acquired by Apple), Triad, Zoove (acquired by MBlox) and WePay.
Before joining Highland, Dan worked at HarbourVest Partners, LLC - where he invested in and worked closely with several successful, growth-stage technology and communications businesses; in Corporate Development at RSA Security; and as a fintech software consultant for American Management Systems. He has served as a mentor or advisor in programs such as Commerce.Innovated, Mondelez’s Mobile Futures, PYMNTS.com Innovator Awards, Plug and Play’s FinTech Accelerator, Summer @ Highland, HBS Angels, NAR’s Reach Accelerator and First Growth Venture Network. Dan received his BS in Economics from University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) and his MBA from Harvard.
President and COO, Coldwell Banker Commercial
Fred Schmidt was appointed president and chief operating officer of Coldwell Banker Commercial Affiliates LLC in February 2010. Schmidt is a veteran commercial real estate professional with more than 30 years of experience in the industry, and held posts with Realogy and Coldwell Banker Commercial for seven years prior to this promotion. In his current role, Schmidt leads this growing franchise system that has 164 pure commercial real estate offices and approximately 2,000 commercial real estate professionals operating in 46 countries worldwide. In addition, Schmidt also serves as president of ONCOR International LLC, a global commercial real estate referral.
CEO, California Association of Realtors
C.A.R. Executive Vice President Joel Singer has held the Association's top staff position since November 1989 after serving as C.A.R.'s chief economist and heading the Association's public affairs department. Singer was instrumental in developing Real Estate Business Services Inc. (REBS), C.A.R.'s for-profit subsidiary, and serves as its president. He also is president and chief executive officer of zipLogix. Singer joined C.A.R. in 1978.
SVP, Pinnacle Properties
Ms. Jennifer Staciokas serves as Senior Vice President of Marketing and Training at Pinnacle Property Management Services, LLC. She served as Vice President of Marketing & Training at Lincoln Property Company. Ms. Staciokas was responsible for supporting and overseeing Marketing and Training programs nationwide for the conventional and military divisions. She began her career with LPC over 10 years ago in Washington, DC. She serves as a Member of Multifamily Rental Advisory Board at Zillow, Inc. She is a regular guest speaker, facilitator and moderator at numerous multifamily industry conferences including Apartment Internet Marketing conference, the Crittenden Multifamily Conference, the Urban Land Institute and MultifamilyPro's Brainstorming Sessions. Ms. Staciokas holds a BA in French from West Chester University and an M.A. in International Commerce & Policy from George Mason University.
Adam L. Stanley
Global CIO, Cushman & Wakefield
Adam Stanley provides strategic and operational direction for Cushman & Wakefield’s client facing and colleague technology systems and infrastructure across all global business lines. Drawing on his more than 20 years of industry experience and as an integral member of the global executive team, Adam is a change agent with proven success driving growth, performance, talent retention and innovation. Under Adam’s leadership, Cushman & Wakefield (or DTZ) was named to the CIO100 for 2016 and 2015 by CIO Magazine. Adam has also been honored as one of Chicago’s Tech 50, Infoworld Premier 100 Leader, Huffington Post’s Most Social CIOs, and the InfoWorld CTO 25.
Prior to joining the firm, Adam served as Technology and Security Services Director for Aviva PLC, a FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 insurer and asset manager and the world’s sixth largest insurer. Adam’s numerous global and U.S. leadership roles have also included serving as the Global Chief Technology Officer of Aon, a global provider of risk management, insurance and reinsurance brokerage.
He is deeply involved in the civic and charitable community and in addition to Board roles provides pro-bono technology, operations and organizational strategy advisory services to non-profit organizations.
VP, Acquisitions, Levy Acquisition Corp.
Mike Wallach has served as Vice President of Acquisitions for Levy Acquisitions Corp. since September 30, 2013. Mr. Wallach joined Levy Family Partners in 2013 to work with and to assist the family with other alternative investments. Prior to joining Levy Family Partners, Mr. Wallach was a Director of Strategic Investments at Sachs Capital Group, a family investment office which was the sponsor of an $80 million special purpose acquisition corporation that completed a business combination with two companies and is now called RMG Networks Holding Corporation (NASDAQ: RMGN). At Sachs Capital Group, Mr. Wallach’s responsibilities included global deal origination, structuring and due diligence for both the special purpose acquisition corporation and the family office. Prior to Sachs Capital Group, Mr. Wallach worked in the research department of a multi-family investment office where his responsibilities included sourcing, evaluating and monitoring alternative investments across the globe. His primary areas of investment focus included global water, clean energy, Africa and cyber-security investments.
COO, Executive VP, Baird Warner
Jennifer Alter Warden is the chief operating officer and executive vice president of Baird & Warner. She works closely with the presidents of Baird & Warner’s three divisions -- Residential Sales, Key Mortgage Services and Baird & Warner Title Services -- to ensure they have the marketing and technology strategies and resources they need to operate effectively.
Jennifer also serves on Baird & Warner’s executive committee, as well as plays a major role in creating an environment that empowers people to be better and enables Baird & Warner to consistently rank as a top workplace in Chicagoland.
With Baird & Warner since 1995, Jennifer was responsible for launching the company’s home services, e-business and title operations. In 2002, Jennifer created the Baird & Warner Good Will Network, the company’s charitable initiative, and she continues to oversee the program. To date, the Good Will Network has donated nearly $2 million to worthy nonprofits.
Jennifer’s background is a combination of communications, public relations and journalism. She was principal of her own marketing communications firm for eight years, and she spent four years in marketing and management positions for a national wholesale distribution company.
A lifelong resident of Chicago, Jennifer is an avid cyclist who takes full advantage of the city’s lakefront, park system and other public treasures. Jennifer, her husband Rob Warden and their two grown sons are active in the community and committed to making a difference. She leads by example, working hard to inspire Baird & Warner employees to do their personal best.
Co-founder and Owner, @Properties
Thaddeus Wong began his real estate career in 1996 and quickly established himself as one of the most successful Realtors® in the city of Chicago. During the early years of his career, Wong personally recorded more than $300 million in sales and earned three consecutive Golden Eagle Awards from the Chicago Association of Realtors as the top-producing agent among the organization’s more than 17,000 members.
President and CEO, Coldwell Banker
Charlie Young returned to Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC in September 2016 when he was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer.
Young first joined the Coldwell Banker brand in 2004 after an extensive career in business management, field operations, marketing and real estate operations. Initially, he served as Senior Vice President of Marketing and later was promoted to Chief Operating Officer. Young spearheaded several innovative programs during his first five years with Coldwell Banker as it became the first national brand in the real estate industry to use video in marketing efforts, develop a Facebook app and a standalone luxury home website. He also guided the brand’s 100th anniversary celebration in 2006. Young transitioned to a similar role at ERA Franchise Systems LLC in February 2009, before being appointed to the role of President and Chief Executive Officer two months later.
Previously, Young gained significant real estate field operations experience when he served as a vice president for then Cendant Mortgage (now PHH Mortgage) where he worked closely with brokers in the Coldwell Banker, ERA Real Estate, and CENTURY 21® systems.
Young is a 1987 graduate of Emory University.
The Moderne Network is a membership of more than 700 corporations and executives within Moderne’s industries who are investors, mentors and advisers to the fund and its portfolio companies. Members of the Moderne Network are looking to redefine how they do business – they embrace the startups that are entering their industries and use our companies to innovate and differentiate themselves, create competitive advantages, and broaden their customer bases. A small subset of Members from the Moderne Network are illustrated here: