2018 EdCon Featured Speakers

Learn, Connect, Grow!

Aaron Hansen, CAPS, CAM, NAAEI Faculty, Regional Manager - Pinnacle

Class: Hot or Not Panel: What is IN and OUT in Multi-Family in 2018 at 2:15pm in Rooom 409

Over the past 15 years Aaron has held almost every onsite position. Starting as a Groundskeeper while attending college, he later progressed to Maintenance Technician and eventually transitioned to the leasing office. As a Manager, Aaron completed several lease-ups, renovations, and reclassifications until his subsequent promotion to Asset Management. His current duties include overseeing capital improvements, maintenance responsibilities, day-to-day operations, and financial management of a conventional Puget Sound portfolio.

Alex Watts, Area Maintenance Manager and Electrical Administrator - Avenue5 Residential

Class: Executive Leadership Panel at 12:45pm in room 404
Alex Watts has been directly employed in Washington State Multi-Family for 17 years, starting as a part time groundskeeper in high school. Working through every level of maintenance, from Grounds, Technician, Renovation Tech, Assistant Supervisor, Roving Supervisor, Supervisor, Regional Maintenance Manager and now National Maintenance Manager with Avenue5. Alex is a listed Electrical Administrator, 07-B Master Electrician, L&I approved Continuing Education Instructor and Course Author, “5-Star Maintenance” Facilitator, a Certified Pool Operator, EPA 608 certified, Maintenance Mentor and a founding member of Avenue5’s Policies and Practices Committee.

Alyssa Adams, District Manager - Alliance Residential

Class: Award Winning Sales and Leasing Panel at 2:15pm in room 407/408
Alyssa Adams is a newly promoted District Manager for Alliance Residential. She has been in the industry for 10 years, and well versed with a wide variety of assets. Her experience includes, but is not limited to: Full Renovations, Luxury Lease-Ups, Garden Style, Subsidized Housing, High-Rise, Mid-Rise, Acquisitions, and more! Overcoming objections is the name of the game, let's work through the obstacles together!

Antonio Thornton, Sr. Service Supervisor – Via 6, Greystar

Class: Turning a Maintenance Staff into a SERVICE TEAM at 10:30am in Room 403
Toni is originally from Memphis, TN and it shows in his commitment to his hobby of cooking BBQ!  Toni has been in the multi-family industry for 10 years and says that in the beginning all he felt confident doing was changing a lightbulb, but as the Sr. Service Supervisor of the “vertical city” Via 6 Towers – you could say he has gone far beyond changing lightbulbs.!  However, his drive for excellence and personal commitment leads him to make a positive difference in the lives of those around him. His main goal is that he can impact others to pursue excellence and “pay it forward”.

April Syria, Regional Director – Thrive Communities

Class: Executive Leadership Panel: Learn, Connect, Grow! at 12:45pm in Room 404
At the age of 18, April took a job in property management as a leasing agent – the goal was simply to support herself through college. That job turned into a career, and twenty years later, she continues to be dedicated to this industry.  She currently works at Thrive Communities as a Regional Director. One of her passions is helping other’s achieve their career goals. Additionally, April has her Certified Apartment Portfolio Supervisor (CAPS) designation through the National Apartment Association and is actively involved in Washington’s Multi-Family Housing Association.

Becky Sanders, CAPS, NAAEI Faculity, Asset Manager - First Pointe Management Group

Class: Tech Trends: Integrating the Services Your Residents are Using at 9:00am in Room 409
Beginning her career as an on-site leasing agent, Becky Sanders has worked in the multifamily housing industry since 1994. Becky recently joined First Pointe Management Group, and has previously held the position of Regional Property Manager with Simpson Property Group for 11 years, responsible for their Seattle portfolio of 1,900 units. Headquartered in Calabasas, California, First Pointe Management Group is engaged in the acquisition, development, redevelopment, financing, ownership, and asset management of real estate properties in California and the Western United States. Becky is well versed in the many aspects of property management to include: lease-up, renovation, new development, garden style, mid-rise, high-rise, senior housing, commercial, and student housing. In addition to her time with Simpson, Becky has worked as a Regional Property Manager for AIMCO, Holland Residential, and Madison Apartment Group. Becky earned her CAPS designation in 2014.

Bobby Rubalcaba, NAAEI Faculty, Director of Maintenance PNW - Greystar 

Class: Turning a Maintenance Staff into a SERVICE TEAM at 10:30am in Room 403
Bobby oversees the Regional Maintenance department to ensure that the onsite service operations are meeting the needs of both the residents and the clients, and that the property itself is maintained in a manner that not only keeps, but also increases, the value of the asset. He began his multifamily career in 1995 as a maintenance technician and has held multiple positions in the multifamily industry. Prior to joining Greystar in the acquisition of Riverstone Residential Group, Bobby held positions as maintenance supervisor, facilities manager, property manager and regional property manager. He is currently a NAAEI Faculty member through the Washington Multi-Family Housing Association and serves on the Career Development committee as well as the maintenance subcommittee. He graduated from Washington State University with a degree in business administration and holds a brokers license in the State of Washington. Bobby is also the Electrical Administrator for Greystar and holds his 07B master electricians license.

Brett Waller, NAAEI Faculty, Director of Government Affairs - WMFHA

Class: Understanding Source of the  Income Law
Brett joined WMFHA in early 2016 as the Director of Government Affairs. Brett works closely with special consultant Joe Puckett, lobbyist Kathryn Hedrick and public affairs group Quick Consulting to represent WMFHA member’s interests in local municipalities and throughout the State. Brett is passionate about the multifamily industry and knows what an important part multifamily communities play in our growing region. Prior to joining WMFHA, Brett was a litigation attorney representing individual clients in contested family law issues in the Seattle area. Brett graduated from Santa Clara University, receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and later graduated from St. Mary’s University of San Antonio Law School.

Brian Harding, General Manager and Co-Founder – The Plumbing and Drain Company

Class: Plumbing Tips and Tricks at 12:45pm in Room 403
Brian’s career in the plumbing industry began with an entry-level position as a plumbing apprentice for a large, semi-national plumbing company. Later he moved into operations to become the Assistant General Manager of the Seattle branch and later moved on to General Manager. At 33, he was the youngest General Manager in the country. In 2011, Brian and 2 business partners, Randy and Eric, started The Plumbing & Drain Company. At that time, Brian’s living room was considered Global Headquarters. In six years, The Plumbing & Drain Company has grown substantially. The Plumbing & Drain Company currently employs 37 employees and will invoice over 9,000 jobs this year. Brian is active in many organizations and industries including single family, multi-family and commercial property management, as well as other business types. Brian serves on WMFHA’s Supplier Council, and on the Membership Committee, where Brian is the current Chair. Brian also serves on the WMFHA Board of Directors.

Brandy Hildebrand, Regional Manager - Pinnacle

Class: How to Manage UP: Advocating vs Complaining at 10:30am in Room 405
Brandy credits her success thus far to the opportunity to work with amazing leaders throughout her career.  Her focus has been on building solid and meaningful relationships and she has a passion for developing others.  She looks forward to this opportunity to share some of her experiences in her presentation at EdCon.

Chris Koegel, NAAEI Faculty, Executive Portfolio Manager – HNN Associates

Class: Don't Think Like a Manager, Think Like and Owner! at 2:15pm in Room 405
Mr. Koegel has worked in the Multi-Family industry across the United States for over 20 years. As the Executive Portfolio Manager he leads the execution of HNN’s strategy related to property management for the entire portfolio by directing the portfolio management team. Chris specializes in assessing underperforming assets and executing improvement strategies while providing world-class customer service. He has extensive knowledge working within a REIT environment as well as in the private sector and 3rd party management.  Chris has worked with every asset class from severely distressed to new high-rise development and has a broad understanding of both the development and operational sides of the business. 

Dan Li, CEO and Co-Founder, Guided Fitness Inc.

Class: Tech Trends: Integrating the Services Your Residents are Using at 9:00am in Room 409
Prior to starting Guided Fitness, which provides fitness services to multi-family communities, Dan was a veteran software engineering manager in the Seattle high-tech industry with 14 years of experience at Microsoft, and 4 years at Amazon.com.  Dan loves building technology that helps people.  He benefited physically and spiritually from fitness coaching and went from not being able to run for 15 minutes to running marathons.  This experience fuels his passion to bring fitness coaching to everyone!

Dave Wendt, Vice President of Maintenance and Construction – Avenue5

Class: Preventative Maintenance by the Seasons at 12:45pm in Room 401/402
Dave has been in the construction and maintenance fields for over 20 years in a wide variety of specialties.  He has obtained his degree in Construction Management and has a passion for delivering an exceptional customer experience to both the resident and the client.

David Tillotson, CAMT, Sr. Maintenance Supervisor – Greystar

Classes: Maintenance 101:  A Day in the LIfe of a Service Professional at 9:00am in Room 401/402
                 Preventative Maintenance for Mid-Rise and High Rise at 10:30am in Room 401/402
David Tillotson started his career path in property management in 1996 after a tour in the United States Air Force.  Applying the knowledge learned in Civil Engineering in the military and quickly absorbing working knowledge in property management he was promoted to a maintenance supervisor within his first 2 years and held that title every since.  Skills include a comprehensive working knowledge in high and midrise facilities, full scope renovations, building budgets, in class instruction training, and leadership training.  David's certifications include CAMT, NAEEI Faculty, Type II HVAC certification, Certified Pool Operator.  

Eric Styles, Service Manager and Co-Founder – The Plumbing and Drain Company

Class: Plumbing Tips and Tricks at 12:45pm in Room 403

Eric has been in the plumbing industry for over 20 years, and is a co-founder of The Plumbing & Drain Company.  Eric and his team have developed a great passion and understanding for the unique needs of the multi-family industry and has become very involved in WMFHA, and are experts in serving property managers.

Evan L. Loeffler, Attorney and Founder – Loeffler Law

Class: Fair Housing in Seattle at 9:00am in Room 404
Evan is the founder and principal of the Loeffler Law Group PLLC.  He authored and contributes to several chapters on landlord-tenant law in the Washington Lawyers Practice Manual.  Mr. Loeffler represents property management companies, landlords, and commercial tenants in Seattle and throughout Washington State.

Genevieve Mentele, CAPS,  Regional Manager – Thrive Communities

Class: First Impressions are Everything! Strategies For Effective Connections at 9:00am in Room 407/408
Genevieve starting as a leasing consultant and learning the ropes up to her current role as regional property manager. She enjoys cooking, and spending time with her corgi when she's not focused on Lease Ups and New Development.

 Jaci Reed, Manager of Career Development – Avenue5

Class: The Psychology of Building Relationships in a Service Industry at 12:45 in Room 407/408
Jaci has been the Manager of Career Development at Avenue5 Residential since April 2017. Previously, she worked for Holland America Group, supporting Holland America Cruise Line, Seabourn Cruise Line, and Princess Cruises, designing, developing, and implementing learning solutions for internal business partners all over the world. Prior to embarking on her corporate journey, she was a school psychologist for 10 years in a local school district. Jaci has a master's degree in school psychology and organizational development. Her passion is helping others realize their truest potential and assisting organizations to become more effective and efficient in growing and developing their people.

Jeana K. Poloni, Attorney – Loeffler Law

Class: Fair Housing in Seattle at 9:00am in Room 404
Jeana is an attorney at the Loeffler Law Group PLLC.  Her practice emphasizes residential and commercial landlord-tenant litigation, housing discrimination, and real estate litigation.  She is a regular speaker and author on topics related to fair housing and landlord-tenant law.

Jeremy Monaghan, CAMT, Regional Maintenance Manager – Greystar

Classes: Maintenance 101:  A Day in the LIfe of a Service Professional at 9:00am in Room 401/402
                 Preventative Maintenance for Mid-Rise and High Rise at 10:30am in Room 401/402
Jeremy began his career in the multifamily housing industry in 2004 and has gained valuable experience in the field of building maintenance. His skills include: building efficient and effective maintenance operations programs, electrical repair, plumbing repair, appliance repair, light carpentry, team building, people development, project management, pool maintenance, sheetrock repair and painting, and budget management. Jeremy’s certifications and designation include: CAMT, 07B specialty electrician and NAAEI Faculty.

Jesse C. Miller, MBA, CAPS, ARM, Director of Real Estate – Greystar (Oregon)

Classes: Leading Millennials: Confessions of a Millennial Mind at 9:00am in Room 405 AND 2:15pm in Room 404
With an intense passion for our ever-changing industry and over a decade of highly-successful asset management experience, Jesse is a game-changing Director within Greystar’s seasoned, high-caliber management team.  Additionally, to complement Jesse’s immensely diverse skill set; various industry credentials; and award-winning leasing/sales background, he has a zest for high-tech applications, social media platforms, and impactful coaching strategy to further optimize operational efficiencies and enhance industry best practices.  While also being well-known for his unquenchable thirst for inspiring others through education, Jesse is an extremely active member of Multifamily Northwest, Washington Multi-Family Housing Association, and the Forbes Real Estate Council.  Lastly, his new series ‘Confessions of a Millennial Mind – As Taught by a Millennial,’ which is fueled by his insatiable desire to bridge the gap amongst generational cohorts, is gaining exponential momentum throughout multiple states within the Pacific Northwest.

Jessica Fern, Training and Development Manager – FPI Management, Inc.

Class: Conflict Resolution at 10:30am in Room 404

Jessica has 11 years of industry experience.  For the last three years her experience and focus has been on the training and development of FPI associates.  Jessica focuses her efforts on leadership development and is passionate about developing training that impacts and shapes property management professionals and the industry.

John Weston - Principle Area Sales Manager

Class: Appliance Maintenance and Repair Track (Refrigerator, Range, Washer/Dryer, Dishwasher)
John Weston is a Principal Area Sale Manager for GE Appliances Based in Sacramento, California. John has 37 years of experience in the appliance industry, he started his career in Detroit as a service Technician and Technical trainer in 1981. After 20 years as a Service Technician John moved from Detroit to Northern California in 2001 to take a new role as a Consumer Service Manager overseeing GE’s service operations in Northern Nevada and Northern California. Currently John manages a Sales territory in Northern California, he mentors new employees and uses his technical background to conduct appliance maintenance and repair classes. John’s been married 36 years, has six daughters, and 3 grandchildren.    

Kathi Williams, Manager of Development Marketing and Design Strategies – Security Properties

Class: Hot or Not Panel: What is IN and OUT in Multi-Family in 2018 at 2:!5pm in Rooom 409

Kathi joined Security Properties Residential in 2002 and for five years worked as the Builder Representative for The Dwelling Company, a prior single family home division of SPI.  She worked with buyers during the construction of their home and managed the customer service during the one year warranty.  In 2007 she joined the Development Group of Security Properties where she oversaw the marketing, sales and customer service efforts of a 198 residential condominium projects in San Francisco.  She is now actively involved in all new development projects and oversees everything from entitlement, design development, construction and marketing.

Keith Ponis, Assistant Manager – Greystar

Class: Award Winning Sales and Leasing Panel at 2:15pm in room 407/408

With just three years experience in the industry, Keith has experienced the opportunity that this field can provide, starting as an Evening Concierge and working up to his current role as an Assistant Community Manager with Greystar. He has a passion for this industry and is driven by seeing others succeed. This passion along with training and commitment have helped him tremendously in excelling in all aspects his role, including winning a 2018 Emerald Award for Leasing Consultant of the Year (1-300 units), and recently being promoted to Assistant Manager at Viktoria Apartments.


Kris Buker, CAPS,  SHRM, NAAEI Faculty, Talent Development Manager – Security Properties

Class: Create a UNIQUE Tour Experience at 10:30am in Room 407/408

With over 20 ears in the industry, Kris has focused her career on bringing in new talent and developing leaders in the industry.  She is a previous WMFHA Board President, a member of the WMFHA Career Development Committee, NAA Leadership Lyceum graduate, SHRM credential holder and NAAEI Faculty.

Kyle Roe, Director of Corporate Development - Rover

Class: Tech Trends: Integrating the Services Your Residents are Using at 9:00am in Room 409
Before joining Rover, which connects pet owners with North America's largest network of pet sitters and dog walkers, Kyle spent seven years in Change Management consulting and consulting sales. Prior to that, Kyle's background was in languages and translation with a short stint in equities trading. At Rover, Kyle focuses on strategic partnerships to help build awareness and grow the business. He firmly believes in the immeasurable value pets can bring to humans and lives in Seattle with his wife and two wheaten terriers, Mama and Waffles.

Laina Pickrel, CAM, Community Manager – Thrive Communities

Class: Award Winning Sales and Leasing Panel at 2:15pm in room 407/408

Laina has been the proud manager of five buildings in the Seattle and greater Seattle areas. She recently earned her CAM and is the recipient of three Emerald Awards for Renovations of the Year and Community of the Year.


Mary Kaye O’Brien, Director of Customer Insights - Zillow Group

Class: What Makes Residents Tick (or Ticked Off) in 2018 at 12:45pm in Room 409

Mary Kaye leads efforts to bring insights to life in a way that inspires and informs all aspects of the business. Mary Kaye has over 30 years of experience helping companies create holistic views of their customers and brands using a variety of research techniques, and leveraging these insights to help drive decision-making and innovation. 


Pam McKenna, Managing Director of Real Estate – Greystar

Class: Executive Leadership Panel: Learn, Connect, Grow! at 12:45pm in Room 404

Pam operates in Western Washington for Greystar where she oversees four Directors and 21 Regional Property Managers with over 25,000 units in the portfolio. Pam has been active in the industry since 1997 and has extensive experience with lease ups, dispositions, senior housing, urban high-rise and conventional garden-style communities. Her expertise includes marketing and leasing, attracting and retaining talent, executing value add strategies and achieving overall operational success. Pam is excited to talk about how she grew her career over the years, starting out as a community manager. She is excited to share a few lessons learned along the way and provide examples of how connections through this industry and the association can impact your career development.


Rob Pendleton, CAS, Regional Sales Director – HD Supply Facilities Maintenance

Class: Executive Leadership Panel: Learn, Connect, Grow! at 12:45pm in Room 404

Rob has been employed with HD Supply for over 13 years and has over 25 years of experience working as a supplier and partner to the multifamily industry in the Puget Sound area. Rob is a lifelong resident of the Pacific Northwest and earned a Business Degree from Central Washington University. Rob holds the Certified Apartment Supplier (CAS) designation from the National Apartment Association and serves on the WMFHA Board of Directors.


Ron Burkhardt, Area Vice President – AMLI Residential

Class: Hot or Not Panel: What is IN and OUT in Multi-Family in 2018 at 2:15pm in Rooom 409

Ron joined the multi-family housing industry while attending Kent State University in 2002 and joined AMLI Residential in 2006.  Ron has a strong passion for the work he does and believes that apartment living offers a greener, healthier option for those looking to live a more environmentally responsible lifestyle.  Ron looks forward to sharing more about sustainable building and management practices in his presentation at EdCon 2018!


Sheri Druckman – Director of Real Estate, Greystar

Class: Don't Think Like a Manager, Think Like and Owner! at 2:15pm in Room 405

Sheri brings over 20 years of experience to Greystar, which she joined as Director of Real Estate in 2014. She is responsible for overseeing the execution of the strategic business plan for Seattle. Ms. Druckman previously served as Regional Manager at Security Properties achieving optimum performance results by successfully implementing comprehensive programs, initiatives and strategies. Sheri has expertise in managing portfolios including stabilized, major rehabilitation and new construction projects. Prior to Security Properties, Ms. Druckman held Senior Management roles with Simpson Property Group and Trammell Crow Residential Services executing due diligence, underwriting, acquisition and dispositions. Sheri is the recipient of the WMFHA 2014 Portfolio Manager of the Year Emerald Award and is currently on the WMFHA Executive Board of Directors, where she serves as President. Ms. Druckman holds a Certified Apartment Portfolio Supervisor, CAPS, NAA designation and is a member of the 2018 NAA Leadership Lyceum. Sheri maintains a Real Estate Broker license for the State of Washington.


Travis Skeen, Product Owner – Entrata

Class: Understadnign Lead Management at 10:30am in Room 409

Travis has been with Entrata for roughly 2 years, and has been working with lead management software for a total of 5 years.  He is currently the Product Owner over Entrata's Lead Manager and Message Center products. He has worked in many different software verticals including: Data Backup & Disaster Recovery, Medical Billing & Records, Business Intelligence, and now Multifamily Property Management. Travis grew up in the Greater Salt Lake area in Utah, and loves the variety of outdoor adventures that Utah offers.  


Terry Spivey, Sr. Service Supervisor – Alliance Residential

Class: Efficient Turn Management at 2:15pm in Room 401/402

Terry currently manages 427 units across 4 buildings with 19 retail spaces.  He loves to bring energy, confidence and quality to any team he works with.  Terry’s commitment to excellence is well recognized by his peers and supervisors as he was a Finalist for Maintenance Supervisor of the Year in the 2018 Emerald Awards.


Tom Raaf, Director of Corportate Development - Rover

Class: Tech Trends: Integrating the Services Your Residents are Using at 9:00am in Room 409
Tom has been sourcing and executing partnerships and new channel strategies at Rover — the nation’s largest network of pet sitters and dog walkers — for the past two and a half years.  Prior to joining Rover, Tom spent 6 years in the retail industry operating sporting goods, fitness, and apparel focused businesses.  He started his career in M&A consulting for middle market private equity firms.  Tom lives in Ballard with his wife, 5 month old baby Kiera, and has a 6 year old French bulldog named Jacques Cousteau.

Zach Howell, CAMT, UPCS, LEED GA, Principle – Bear Consulting

Classes: Project Management 101: Scope of Work and Resources Needed at 9:00am in Room 403
                 Making "Cents" of Your Maintenance Budget at 2:15pm in Room 403

Zach is the Principle owner of Bear Consulting Services and a graduate from Oregon State University. He is a nationally Certified Apartment Maintenance Technician, LEED GA, and Certified Uniform Physical Condition Standards inspector carrying more than 15 years of experience within the multifamily housing, development, and construction industries. Zach is a valued advocate for the multifamily housing sector, serving as Subject Matter Expert for the National Apartment Association, Training Director for The Apartment Maintenance Institute, and Community Education Faculty Member at Portland Community College. As the recipient of the Apartment Community Excellence “Oregonian Civic Award” his dedication and devotion to the multifamily industry is apparent. Zach is a highly respected and influential leader within the industry locally in the Northwest, but also garners national attention around the country with numerous published articles and ongoing training engagements at all levels of multifamily housing professionals.