Trends & Strategies Conference

February 23-24, 2017


Meet the Featured Presenters
  • Julie Augustyn

    Senior Director,
    Foundry Commercial

    Prior to joining Foundry Commercial, Julie was the senior director of real estate for Office Depot, where she was responsible for managing the retail portfolio for Office Depot and OfficeMax brands for the Eastern United States. This included managing her team with a portfolio of over 700 stores in 20+ states. As an active member of The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and a winner of Real Estate Forum’s 2016 "Top Women in Retail," Julie’s deep understanding of retail real estate in key markets such as South Florida, Atlanta and the Carolinas, as well as her involvement in the real estate tech community, makes her an ideal fit for continuing to build momentum around a platform that has already experienced tremendous growth over the last several years, and to strengthen Foundry Commercial’s delivery capabilities across the Southeast. "Julie’s decision to join our team is both humbling and thrilling for us," said Paul Ellis, CEO of Foundry Commercial. "She is a recognized innovator in our space and a leader in the commercial real estate tech world. Additionally, having two senior female executives as recognized and as well-respected as Julie and Susan McGuire leading our retail platform is affirming to our values and where we want to be as a company." In Raleigh, Julie will work closely with managing directors Ty Thomas and James Mattox to expand Foundry Commercial’s retail client base in eastern North Carolina, while simultaneously partnering with principal and managing director Susan McGuire to enhance Foundry Commercial’s retail platform throughout the region.

  • Dirk Aulabaugh

    Managing Director
    Green Street Advisors

    Dirk is a managing director and part of the leadership of the Advisory group, which provides strategic advisory and valuation analysis for a variety of companies in the commercial real estate business. Dirk brings 25 years of experience in real estate transaction, valuation, restructuring, and advisory services. Prior to joining Green Street, he was a Senior Director with Alvarez & Marsal Real Estate Advisory Services. He also worked as a sell-side equity analyst focused on REITs. He speaks frequently at real estate industry conferences and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and prominent real estate industry publications. Dirk earned a B.S. in Business Administration, with a concentration in Finance, and an M.A. in Business Administration, with a concentration in Real Estate, from the University of Florida. He is a member of the real estate advisory board for the Warrington College of Business Administration at the University of Florida. Dirk is also a member of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts, International Council of Shopping Centers, and Appraisal Institute. He holds a California broker's license.

  • Chuck Davis

    Director, Met Life Real Estate Investments Management

    Education: University of Florida, Bachelor of Sciences in Business Administration (Finance), June 1980 Georgia State University, Masters of Business Administration (Finance), June 1984 Professional Designation: Florida Real Estate Salesman License Experience Outside MetLife: Trammell Crow Residential, Assistant Vice President, (Acquisitions throughout the Southeast U.S.) June 1984 - December 1987. NationsBank of Florida, Assistant Vice President (Commercial ), January 1988 - March 1991. AMRESCO Institutional, (NationsBank Special Assets) Principal/Division Manager (Asset Management), April 1991 - January 1993. Bank of America of Florida, Vice President (Real Estate), February 1994 - January 1995. Experience at MetLife: 11 years in Real Estate Investments composed of 3 years as Regional Manager and 8 years as Mortgage Team Leader all in Tampa, FL. Current Responsibilities: Responsible for implementing MetLife's Real Estate Investment's strategy for Florida and Puerto Rico. Standard real estate functions include all aspects of equity and mortgage investing such as portfolio management, origination, development and disposition of commercial real estate. Additional responsibilities include developing and managing the Tampa staff of fourteen (14) persons; and participation in MetLife's planning processes.

  • Andrea Drasites

    Managing Director, Real Estate Group,

    Andrea Drasites is a Managing Director in the Real Estate Group. Ms. Drasites is involved in the asset management of Blackstone’s domestic retail investments including Brixmor (formerly Centro), Equity One, Regency, DDR, Glimcher, Kimco and Edens portfolios as well as other retail projects inside of Blackstone’s hotel and office platform. Prior to joining Blackstone, Ms. Drasites worked at Equity One, Inc., a publicly traded shopping center REIT, where she was responsible for asset management as well as acquisitions and dispositions across the US. Prior to Equity One, Inc., Ms. Drasites worked for Woolbright Development, a shopping center owner and developer based in Boca Raton, Florida. Ms. Drasites received a BA in International Business from Rollins College and an MBA from the University of Florida.

  • Jonathan Geanakos

    President, Americas JLL Capital Markets

    Jonathan Geanakos is President, Americas JLL Capital Markets. Based in New York, he has primary responsibility for leading the connectivity between JLL's geographic markets and the growth of its investment sales and finance functions. He also leads the firm's office product specialty, consistent with JLL’s recent appointments in Industrial, Retail and Multifamily. Jonathan, in partnership with other senior leaders, will also focus on maintaining and enhancing major client relationships across JLL's entire global Capital Markets business. He is also a member of JLL’s Global Capital Markets Executive Board.

    Jonathan is nationally recognized in the U.S. real estate industry with over 30 years of experience in real estate finance and investment. Jonathan's energy, passion and experience complements JLL's existing leadership team and his expertise across multiple disciplines including acquisitions, asset management, dispositions, finance and investment banking is critical in helping shape the firm’s Capital Markets strategy and interactions with its clients.

    He has advised institutional, corporate, and private owners and investors in structuring and executing capital market transactions and advisory assignments throughout the United States and Mexico. Jonathan has also assisted clients in executing acquisition, recapitalization and repositioning strategies with particular expertise assisting family and or closely-held companies in the areas of brand expansion, capital raising, strategic growth, and succession planning.

  • Jeffrey Hines

    President and CEO

    Mr. Hines is the firm’s President and Chief Executive Officer. He leads Hines’ Executive Committee and chairs the firm's Steering Committee. He also sits on the firm’s global Investment Committee. As co-owner, President and CEO, he is responsible for overseeing all firm policies and procedures as well as day-to-day operations. He became president in 1990 and has overseen a major expansion of the firm's personnel, financial resources, domestic and foreign market penetration, and products and services. He has led the development of the firm's domestic and international acquisition program and currently oversees a portfolio of US$93.2 billion of assets under management.

    Hines graduated from Williams College with a BA in Economics and received his MBA from Harvard Business School.

  • Gregg Katz

    Director of Innovation & Technology,
    The Shopping Center Group

    Gregg Katz was born and raised in Atlanta, GA. As Director of Innovation & Technology, he is responsible for the creation and integration of the technology strategy for The Shopping Center Group. Using a forward thinking approach, Gregg’s focus is to create an infrastructure for data, analytics, social platforms, website, GIS, mobile technology and branding by leveraging information and tools to align the Company’s tactical plans and future growth with the needs of the company’s clients. Gregg joined The Shopping Center Group in 2006 as a Tenant Rep. Prior to joining the Company, he spent 15 years in restaurant operations, consulting, marketing and site selection, including owning and operating a quick-casual restaurant group in Orlando, Florida from 1996-2001. A graduate of Boston University with a degree in Business Management, he received his MBA from the University of Florida. Gregg, and his wife Elena, are the proud parents of two amazing boys. Gregg loves basketball, football, spending time with family, traveling and is passionate about food, wine and anything related to the Florida Gators.

  • Brian Kilmeade

    FOX News Personality and Author

    Speaker, best-selling author, TV and radio personality Brian Kilmeade currently serves as co-host of Fox News Channel's (FNC) FOX & Friends (weekdays 6-9AM/ET) alongside Steve Doocy and Elisabeth Hasselbeck. Additionally, he serves as host of Kilmeade and Friends (weekdays 9AM-12PM/ET), a nationally syndicated three-hour radio show on Fox News Radio. Kilmeade joined the network as a sports reporter in 1997.

    Every weekday morning, Kilmeade provides viewers with the latest on the current headlines in news, sports, politics and entertainment. During his tenure at FNC, he has interviewed newsmakers in politics as well as celebrities and athletes, including former President George W. Bush, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, supermodel Miranda Kerr, television personality Simon Cowell, New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees and former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson. During his tenure, he has also provided live coverage and analysis on major national and international events.

    Prior to joining FNC, Kilmeade was a freelance reporter and anchor for NEWSPORT TV where he anchored Scoreboard Central. He also served as a sports anchor and director at the independent station WLIG-TV in New York, an anchor/host for KHSL-TV (CBS 12) in Ontario, CA and a radio host on The Jim Brown Show on XTRA-AM, an all-sports radio network. Kilmeade began his career as a correspondent on Channel One, a daily national high school television news program.

    Kilmeade is the author of several New York Times bestselling books, including "George Washington’s Secret Six: The Spy Ring That Saved The American Revolution", “The Games Do Count: America's Best and Brightest on the Power of Sports,” and “It's How You Play the Game: The Powerful Sports Moments that Taught Lasting Values to Americas Finest.” He received a B.A. from Long Island University.

  • William Leitner III

    Principal of Merchants Retail Partners

    In his over 24 years of retail acquisition and development experience, Bill has commanded full responsibility for developing 3.7 million square feet of mixed-use, open-air, grocery, big box and apartment assets. Previously serving as Executive Vice President of Colonial Properties Trust, a $6 billion publicly-traded REIT, he managed six regional offices and 168 employees. While at Colonial, Bill transformed the REIT’s retail division from enclosed mall to a merchant build retail development platform. His developments have earned several awards for design and functionality from the Council of Shopping Centers, won numerous “Best of” Awards from the Birmingham Business Journal and been awarded The Grand Slam from Target Corporation for the perfect execution of four major shopping center deployments in Tennessee and Alabama. Bill is a graduate of Washington & Lee University and the University of Alabama Law School where he earned a Master of Laws in Taxation (L.L.M.).

  • Ryan McCormick

    Senior Vice President and Counsel,
    The Real Estate Roundtable

    Ryan McCormick is Senior Vice President and Counsel at The Real Estate Roundtable, where he is responsible for managing the organization’s tax policy activities. The Real Estate Roundtable brings together leaders of the nation’s top publicly held and privately owned real estate ownership, development, lending and management firms and leaders of major national real estate trade associations to jointly address key national policy issues relating to real estate and the overall economy. It is located in Washington, D.C.

    Ryan coordinates the activities of the Real Estate Roundtable’s Tax Policy Advisory Committee, a group of 150 leading real estate tax experts. The Roundtable’s Tax Policy Advisory Committee works to help lawmakers and federal officials understand how tax rules affect real estate activity, and it promotes pro-growth tax reforms that will facilitate sound, environmentally responsible real estate investment and development.

    Ryan joined the Roundtable in May 2013 after serving nearly 11 years in the U.S. Senate as a tax and economic policy advisor. In the Senate, he developed policy initiatives, drafted tax legislation, and devised legislative strategies to advance his Members’ economic priorities. In the 112th Congress, Ryan was Staff Director of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Growth. As staff director, Ryan guided and oversaw all aspects of the subcommittee’s activities, including bipartisan hearings on tax reform and tax policy matters. In addition to his service in the Senate, from 2006 until 2008, Ryan practiced tax law as an associate at Miller & Chevalier in Washington, D.C., the oldest tax law firm.

  • Robert McLaws

    Co-Founder + CEO, Advanced REI

    Robert McLaws is Co-Founder and CEO of, a startup with a mission to help CRE professionals streamline their sales pipeline through better transaction analysis. Over his 20 year tech career, Robert has consulted for companies like Microsoft and HP, been given Most Valuable Professional award from Microsoft five times across three technologies, and created one of PC Magazine’s Top 100 Websites of 2004. The better part of this decade has been spend in the #CRETech field, approaching the many challenges in this industry from a fresh and deeply-technical perspective. Robert is based in Tallahassee, FL, is married to a wonderful woman, and has three amazing daughters.

  • Chris McGibbon

    Head of Americas, TH Real Estate

    As Head of TH Real Estate, Americas, Chris is responsible for all real estate investment operations in the US. He is also a senior member of the TIAA Global Real Assets team which is comprised of real estate, agriculture, timber, infrastructure and energy investments.

    Chris recently served as the Portfolio Manager for the real property and commercial mortgage allocation of TIAA’s General Account and previously served as lead Portfolio Manager for TIAA’s direct real estate open-end vehicle. Prior to that, he was a director of real estate acquisition for the Western region and also worked in the mortgage division. He joined TIAA in 2001.

    Chris has 18 years of real estate acquisition, management and finance experience, including positions with Codina Development Corporation and The Related Group of Florida. He holds a BS in Business from the University of Maryland and an MBA from the University of Florida.

  • Steve Nson

    Founder, DMZStream

    Steve Nson is a Manhattan-based entrepreneur and thought leader in real estate, technology and startups.

    He is the creator and host of Dealmaker Zone, a weekly television program that airs in the New York City marketplace on the Manhattan Neighborhood Network, reaching more than 600,000 households. The show covers influencers in real estate, technology, media and the startup world.

    Following the Dealmaker Zone’s successful launch, Steve was inspired to create DMZStream, a streaming platform covering all things tech, startup and entrepreneurship. The network can be found on streaming boxes such as Roku and Apple TV and features a variety of entrepreneurial-related content including Tech Talk, a weekly conversation about trending tech news.

    Steve’s passion for startups and real estate led him to launch AnySizeDeals, a networking platform for real estate investors with thousands of users and over $800 million worth of listings.

    He also founded a successful events and conference business through his Dealmaker Speaker Series, curated gatherings of select guests for a catered fireside chat with industry leaders like real estate titan Don Peebles. In addition, Steve is the founder of the Dealmaker Summit a leading real estate investment conference.

    Prior to his entrepreneurial endeavors, Steve worked in various real estate executive roles at some of the most prominent real estate companies, including Tishman Speyer, Stonehenge and WinnResidential. Through his career, he has managed and leased assets in excess of $7 billion.

    Steve gives back to the community through his involvement with various diversityfocused tech organizations. He serves as a mentor with Startup52, the leading diversity focused accelerator in New York City. He spearheads tech innovation in urban communities through his involvement with Silicon Harlem, an organization bringing tech innovation to urban centers throughout the country.

    Steve earned a master’s in real estate from New York University (NYU) and has a B.S. in housing studies from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.

  • Alexander Rangel

    Ravti Founder & CEO

    Alex is the founder and CEO of Ravti. He drives the company's vision, strategy and growth as it provides software to track, manage, and purchase HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning) for sophisticated commercial real estate clients. Under Alex’s leadership, Ravti has been a proud member of the prestigious Silicon Valley accelerator, Y Combinator (S14), and most recently MetaProp NYC. Alex received a Bachelor of Science in Industrial & Systems Engineering from the University of Florida and began his career as a sales engineer with Trane for 5 years before starting Ravti.

  • Michael J Riccio

    Senior Managing Director, CBRE

    Mr. Riccio is Co-Head of National Production for CBRE Capital Markets Debt & Equity Finance. Mr. Riccio, based in Hartford, CT is also the Northeast Regional Manager for the CBRE Debt & Equity Finance offices in Connecticut, New York City, Boston, New Jersey, and Pittsburgh.

    Prior to opening the CBRE Capital Markets office in Hartford, Michael spent 23 years at CIGNA and held several real estate positions, including assignments in asset management, portfolio management and debt origination. Michael is frequently a speaker at industry events and is a published author.

    Mr. Riccio is or has been an active member in the following organizations: International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM), National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF), and serves as Past President and Board Member of The Hartford Chapter of the Real Estate Finance Association (REFA). Mr. Riccio is currently serving a two-year term as President of REFA Connecticut, overseeing both the Hartford and Fairfield/Westchester Chapters. He is also a contributing member of the Principal Global Investors National Debt Advisory Board. Mr. Riccio is also one of the few debt and equity professionals in the US that has been asked to be a member of the elite CBRE Institutional Group, a group of senior professionals that serves CBRE’s top clients. Mr. Riccio is also a member of the five-member CBRE Debt & Equity Advisory Board, an elected position through a vote of his colleagues from around the US.

  • Peter Rummell

    Chairman, RummellMunz Partners

    Peter Rummell has been active in the real estate development industry for over 40 years creating some of the most recognized and interesting projects in the world. In a recent presentation, Rummell was quoted as saying, “In this new world economy, management’s purpose has to be to bring together the three components of the creative process – resources, talent and ideas – in order to build new and better realities. This is the challenge of any process.”

    His career began in real estate in 1971 with the Sea Pines Company, developers of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, and Amelia Island, Florida. In 1977, he became general manager of Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida for the Arvida Corporation. He joined the Rockefeller Center Management Corporation in New York as vice chairman in 1983, leaving in 1985 to become president of Disney Development Company.

    Rummell is currently active and is past chairman of the Florida Council of 100, a nonpartisan organization of Florida’s leading CEO’s. He is also past chairman and on the board of The Alliance for World Class Education, an advocate for public education in Northeast Florida. He is the past chairman of the Jacksonville Civic Council, a CEO-based civic group dedicated to long-term growth and community betterment and serves on the board of the Foundation for Florida’s Future, an organization created by former Governor Jeb Bush to establish Florida’s education system as a model for the nation. Rummell was co-chairman of the Jacksonville Super Bowl Host Committee, which hosted Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005.

  • Anjee Solanki

    National Director, Retail Services, USA

    In Anjee’s current role, as National Retail Director for the USA, she has developed strong relationships and strategic leadership to over 450 + retail professional nationally across 87 markets within Colliers for Investment Sales, Landlord Agency, Tenant Rep, and Retail Asset & Property Management. Anjee Solanki brings 22 years of focused retail real estate experience to Colliers International. She provides strategic asset management to enhance value for her clients with her expertise in lifestyle, community, power center, neighborhood, mixed-use retail/residential, and resort retail. She has developed and manages strong working relationships with institutional and private clients such as State of Florida, State of Michigan, Heitman, Invesco, Grosvenor Americas, American Realty Advisors, TIAA-CREF, PNC, The Irvine Company, Morgan Stanley, and James Campbell Trust. Her strategy identifies current market and property inefficiencies to capture untapped value through asset repositioning, re-leasing, redevelopment, rehabilitation, proactive management, and enhanced marketing. Creative problem-solving is her specialty, and she becomes a key stakeholder with national and international retailers, such as JPMC, Tim Hortons, Dominos, and many others. Her highly focused approach reduces the risk profile and provides clients with a thoughtful approach executing strategic multiyear planning initiatives.

  • Rachel Elias Wein


    Rachel Elias Wein founded WeinPlus, a strategy and management consultancy focused exclusively on retail and real estate organizations, in 2008. Ms. Wein serves as the principle strategic advisor for industry-leading public and private real estate owners, a top-tier grocery retailer, as well as several boutique real estate firms nationwide.

    Partnering with executive leadership, Ms. Wein focuses on identifying and implementing data-driven, portfolio-wide improvements that are adaptable to future needs. She has a proven track record of uncovering and capitalizing on opportunities for growth, bolstering clients’ agility and promoting innovation.

    Prior to founding WeinPlus, Ms. Wein served as a development executive with The Sembler Company and a senior associate with EY’s Transaction Real Estate and Construction Advisory practices, counseling clients on over $40 billion in transactions and $2 billion in construction. Ms. Wein earned two graduate degrees and one undergraduate degree from the University of Florida in architecture and business.

  • Mike Westgate

    VP of Marketing at RealMassive

    Mike Westgate is VP of Marketing at RealMassive, commercial real estate’s connected, digital marketplace. His primary focus is to shape and guide RealMassive's marketing operations across brand, product, sales, and technology platforms. Previously, Westgate led marketing for W2O Group, a network of digital marketing services agencies supporting Fortune 500 marketers with customer insights, strategy, and analytics. Additionally he supported top tech and entertainment clients including Microsoft, Intel, NBC, Disney, and Whole Foods. Prior to W2O Group, Mike spent nearly four years at Microsoft in Windows product marketing and SMB audience marketing roles. Before that, he completed five years at Sara Lee and two years at General Mills in a variety of sales and marketing roles. He holds a bachelor’s in business from Indiana (’01) and an MBA from UT McCombs (’09).

  • Ron Wheeler

    CEO, The Sembler Company

    Ron Wheeler is Chief Executive Officer of The Sembler Company. Wheeler also serves on the Company’s board of directors. Wheeler oversees acquisitions, development and property management across the Southeastern United States and Puerto Rico. Prior to joining Sembler, Wheeler spent a decade in commercial real estate finance with NCNB and then in the role of vice president of commercial real estate lending with First Union National Bank.

    Wheeler graduated with from the University of Florida, majoring in Business Administration and specializing in Finance. Wheeler is on the Advisory Board and a past member of the Executive Committee of the University of Florida’s Bergstrom Real Estate Center, serves as a guest lecturer on the topic of business ethics, serves as a Board Member of the Real Estate Investment Council Tampa Bay and is also an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Risk and Insurance Management Society.

    Wheeler is the Board Chairman of the Alzheimer’s Association - Florida Gulf Coast Chapter. He is also a Committee Member of St. Pete's Promise. Formerly, Wheeler served as a member of the Central Business Council of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce, and on the Basic Needs Allocation Committee of the United Way Tampa Bay.

    Sembler provides a full array of retail real estate services, including development and redevelopment, property and asset management, leasing and other related services throughout the Southeastern United States and Puerto Rico. Sembler has developed over 325 projects totaling 27 million square feet and currently leases and manages over 12.5 million square feet.