© 2019 by JOSHUA TREE CONFERENCE GROUP

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2019 SPEAKERS

Andrew Ackerman

Andrew is a recovering consultant turned serial entrepreneur, startup mentor and angel investor. He is currently in charge of the UrbanTech accelerator program. Andrew is also a contributing writer to Fortune, AlleyWatch, The 74 Million, et. al. Andrew began his career at Booz & Co consulting on strategy and operations for Fortune 100 clients. After a brief stint at Kaplan helping transition their traditional classroom test prep services into online products, he then joined Bunk1.com as COO/Head of Product where he spent eight years building it from scratch to the leading provider of web services to the summer camp industry. After being bought out of Bunk1 in 2008, Andrew managed a family office where he was responsible for both incubating new ventures and for managing over $50M of alternative assets including hedge, private equity, and venture capital funds as well as a number of direct investments in private companies. Andrew was also the founding CEO of Layercake.com and has a keen appreciation for how hard it is to build a successful startup, even under the best of circumstances. Andrew received his MBA in Operations & Marketing from Chicago Booth (Beta Gamma Sigma) and a BA in Economics & Political Science from Johns Hopkins University (Phi Beta Kappa). He speaks Hebrew fluently as well as some Spanish, French & Japanese and is working on JavaScript. He currently lives on the Upper West Side of NYC with his wife and 3 daughters.

Managing Director - UrbanTech, DreamIt

Dr. Ethan Bahir

Ethan is a co-founder of Diffe.rent Inc., an artificial intelligence startup. Diffe.rent have developed an AI platform for property managers. Ethan is part of the group that operates the self-property management platform for owners (www.landlordconsole.com), ‘landlord’ and ‘Tenant’ app. Before that, Ethan worked as a CTO in international Hi-tech companies. Ethan is involved with the management of hundreds of rental units and also the owner of multi-family complexes in Florida. Ethan holds BSc & MSc (Electrical and Computer Engineering), PhD AI, GIS.

Co-founder, Diffe.rent, Inc.

Christopher Bledsoe

Chris is co-founder and CEO of Ollie, leaving behind his finance career in 2011 to focus his full time
and energy on his passion for the development of coliving and micro-housing communities. His prior
experience as both an institutional investor and an angel investor in the consumer sector led him to re-
imagine how the multi-family housing sector could, and should, be very different if only real estate
developers would segment and innovate their product as a consumer category rather than as a
commoditized asset class or an investment vehicle.


Chris’ entrepreneurial roots pre-date Ollie. He is one of the initial seed investors in the organic baby
food manufacturer, Happy Family Brands, which boasts nationwide distribution in most major grocers,
including Whole Foods, Target and Wal-Mart, and was acquired by global food giant Groupe Danone in
2013. He also serves as an informal advisor to other food startups, including popsicle maker Ruby’s
Naturals as well as egg substitute manufacturer Beyond Eggs.

Co-Founder & CEO at ollie

Jonas Bordo

Jonas is an innovator with 20+ years of experience making multifamily and other real estate companies more efficient, resilient and profitable.

Most recently, he led a centralized operations group at Essex Property Trust where he brought a wide range of operational enhancements, new technologies and process enhancements to Essex while overseeing Marketing, Training, Sourcing & Procurement, Ancillary and more.  Prior to Essex, Jonas headed a group at Bentall Kennedy that spanned Marketing, Corporate Communications, Human Resources and the Corporate Strategic Plan.

Earlier in his career, Jonas founded the real estate management consulting practice at FPL Associates and worked at the Boston Consulting Group.  While with those organizations, he advised more than 70 companies on growth strategy, strategic planning, mergers & acquisitions, organizational design and succession planning.

Jonas earned a B.A. from Vassar College and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. 

Moderator

Mike Brinck

Mike has a 25-year proven record in direct sales, channel sales, and executive management and joined
CityLift full time in June as the Vice President of Sales. Previous to joining CityLift, Mike spent 16 months
consulting for Digital Realty Trust (DLR) - a world leader in the data center space, and prior to that co-
founded a data center infrastructure monitoring business focused on UPS and battery backup power
systems where he helped build a profitable global business over 6 years and then successfully sold it to a
private equity firm in June of 2012. Prior to Canara, Mike was responsible for growing several successful
enterprise software/hardware startups such as Data Power Monitoring Corporation, Alternative
Systems, Vastera (successful IPO in 2000), and Qiva by building direct and channel sales efforts.

VP Sales at CityLift Parking

Steve Burrows

Steve has over 35 years of experience in engineering buildings around the world, leading the engineering of many significant projects, including Apple’s headquarters in Cupertino, CA; the Beijing Olympic Stadium (the Birdsnest); The Allianz Arena in Munich Germany; Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business; and the City of Manchester Stadium in the U.K., built for the Commonwealth Games.

Steve is chock full of ideas on the future of engineering: “A big area of change right now is robotics and soon we’re going to see more machines involved in everyday projects. New materials are also coming–materials that will allow buildings to not only be more responsive to people, but also more sustainable and healthier. We’re also going to see more clever integrations of buildings and data–where a building might tell us where it’s experiencing stress or starting to crumble long before it becomes a problem. Buildings are going to have brains, in a sense, and that will be a big leap forward.

President, Baumatix

Lesley Carhart

Lesley Carhart is a Principal Threat Analyst at the industrial cybersecurity firm Dragos Inc. She is recognized as a subject matter expert in cybersecurity incident response, regularly speaking on the topic at industry conferences and universities, and in news media. Lesley has spent the last 10 years of her 20-year IT career specializing in information security, with a heavy focus on response to nation-state adversaries. She currently performs digital forensics and incident response services for critical industrial control (ICS) and industrial internet of things (IIoT) systems.

Lesley has been recognized as a “Top Woman in Cybersecurity” by CyberScoop News and Solutions Review, and received the Guidance Enfuse conference “Women in Technology” award. She holds a degree in Network Technologies from DePaul University, GIAC GCIH, GREM, GCFA, and GCFE certifications, and serves in the US Air Force Reserves.

Principal Threat Analyst, Dragos, Inc.

Brad Corona

Brad has 14 years of investment, operating, and corporate advisory experience, including roles as an investment banker, entrepreneur and early-stage investment professional. He is actively involved with portfolio companies Ordermark, Profitect, Redeam, SOCi, and Zipari.

In addition to his role at Vertical Venture Partners, Brad is a Venture Partner at Lakewood & Company, where he focuses on the execution of venture capital investments. Representative investments include SOCi, Profitect, RiskSense, and IdentityMind Global.  Before Lakewood, Brad worked with multiple family offices on the execution of early-stage investments in technology and healthcare.  Previously, he was the Co-Founder and CEO of an e-commerce business in the retail vertical.  He began his career as an investment banker at Jefferies in the New York office, where he spent six years in the Financial Sponsors and Healthcare groups on capital raising, advisory, and M&A engagements.

Partner, Vertical Venture Partners

Ian Davis

Ian Davis is a partner with the law firm Davis Craig, PLLC.  Davis Craig represents property owners in telecommunications and technology transactions throughout the United States.  Ian has participated in thousands of telecom and technology transactions in 48 states and four countries on behalf of more than 40 of the 100 largest apartment owners, managers, and developers.   

Partner, Davis Craig, PLLC

Lucas Dickey

Fernish Co-founder & Chief Product Officer, Lucas has launched products and led teams as a product manager & technical leader for over a decade. He’s held management roles at large public co’s such as Amazon.com, but also as the first PM for three VC-backed startups and been within the first 15 employees at 4 startups. 

Co-founder & Chief Product Officer, Fernish

Noah Goldman

A seasoned property manager and tech entrepreneur, Noah owns and operates approximately 400 multifamily units in Southern California and is the Co-Founder of Snappt. His passion for multifamily real estate and technology has inspired him to improve an industry that has been ignored for decades.

Co-Founder, Snappt

Mark Groner

Mark Groner joined Sopris Capital in 2010 and is a Principal. He has been involved in principal investing and investment banking since 2004.

 

Prior to graduate school, Mr. Groner was an Associate at Linden LLC focusing exclusively on buyout investments in the healthcare industry. Mr. Groner began his career in the Investment Banking Division of Citigroup Global Markets, where he focused on mergers and acquisitions and financing transactions in the industrial, consumer and automotive industries.

 

Mr. Groner received a bachelor's degree in Finance from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and an MBA from The University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

Principal, Sopris Capital

Lucas Haldeman

Lucas Haldeman is the founder and CEO of SmartRent, a smart home automation system for property managers and renters. Mr. Haldeman has spent the last 20 years developing web based technology for the real estate industry. Prior to SmartRent, he was employee no. 18 at AllApartments.com (now part of Move, Inc.) and has held marketing and IT leadership positions at Beazer Pre-Owned Rental Homes and Colony Starwood Homes. Mr. Haldeman received a bachelor’s degree in economics and English from Cornell College.

Founder & CEO, SmartRent

John Helm

John is the Managing Director of a venture capital investment firm (RETV) located in Park City, UT that is focused on investing in companies that provide technology and services to the real estate industry.  The firm’s strategic partners include major REITs and private owner/managers of multifamily properties that collectively own/manage approximately 900,000 units.   John serves on the boards of RETV Investments Lexicon, Smart Rent, Amenify and Moved Observer.  He also sits on the boards of Nestio, and Next Gear Solutions.  

 

John was a Venture Partner with DN Capital in Europe from 2012-2016, where he co-invested in 13 deals including Auto1, which has attained Unicorn status, and PurpleBricks, a UK online flat fee residential brokerage company that went public in 2015. Previously he was the founder and CEO of two venture-backed startups in the online real estate space in the United States. He sold his most recent company, MyNewPlace, to RealPage (NYSE:RP) for $78.5 million in the summer of 2011. 

Partner at RETV Management

Clyde Holland

Clyde Holland is responsible for the Holland Partner Group’s (HPG) strategic direction. HPG actively develops, redevelops, constructs, acquires and manages multi-family communities with institutional

partners in the Western United States’ most sought after investment markets. In the aggregate, HPG’s experience totals over 50,000 units of housing and $10 billion (USD) in transaction value. Prior to establishing HPG, Mr. Holland served as the West Coast Group Managing Partner of Trammell Crow Residential (TCR).

Within the multi-family industry, Mr. Holland has taken a significant lead in policy research and the development of new multi-family product concepts focused on high-density, urban infill and mixed- use opportunities. He has been recognized by the industry for excellence in urban planning and design, and his work has received numerous awards from the Urban Land Institute, the National Multi-Family Housing Council, and Multi-Family Executive.

CEO & Chairman, Holland Partner Group

Afif Khoury

Afif Khoury is the Founder & CEO of SOCi, Inc., #60 on Inc. 500's 2018 Fastest Growing Companies in America. Mr. Khoury is a 2018 Earnst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Nominee and a contributor to Forbes Magazine on topics of technology and venture capital.  Mr. Khoury has been in technology and venture capital for nearly two decades as an attorney, a venture capitalist, and entrepreneur.  Mr. Khoury has a BS in Neuroscience & Physiology from the University of California, San Diego and attended Law School and Business School at Northwestern Law and Kellogg School of Management. 

Founder & CEO of SOCi

Riley Kiltz

As Founder and CEO of Craftwork, Riley Kiltz’s primary responsibility is to shape the direction of the company both in 

branding and strategy. Originally from the Austin area, Riley has spent the last ten years of life in Fort Worth. After 

graduating summa cum laude from Texas Christian University, Riley joined Cephas Partners, an exclusive advisor to 

The Blackstone Group. At Cephas Partners, he primarily focused on Latin American real estate investment analysis 

and portfolio company development in Brazil and New York City. Riley, his wife (Emily), and children (Talitha, 

Faye, and Jude) reside in Fort Worth.

Founder & CEO, Craftwork Coffee Co.

Jim Kjolhede

Jim graduated with degree in Education and Management (double major).  After college, he went to Kent State University as an Assistant Basketball Coach.  After one year at Kent State, he became Assistant Dean of Students and Head Basketball Coach at Junior College in Upstate New York.  (Youngest in the nation at 24 years old).  After two years coaching JuCo, he returned to college to secure Master’s in Business.

 

After school he moved to Denver where he worked for high wealth individual, running a 727 unit property as PM.  In 1986 he moved to Austin with Balcor where he started as Property Supervisor overseeing 1,000 units and grew to RVP overseeing 20,000.  After stints at Balcor, Insignia, AIMCO Jim ended up taking a role as COO at Archon.

 

September 2005 Jim left Archon to start his own consulting business, where he assists vendors/suppliers and owners to achieve their goals through the application of experiences gained through the oversight of 350,000+ units and over 10,000 employees.

President, Satteron Enterprises

Jeffrey Kok

Jeffrey D. Kok serves as the Chief Innovation Officer and Chief Information Officer for Mill
Creek Residential. He is the chair of the Innovation Committee and a member of the Audit
and Administrative Committee. In his role, Mr. Kok is responsible for overseeing Innovation,
Building Technology, Information Technology, and Cybersecurity with the goal to transform
how Mill Creek leverages technology as a competitive advantage and increase the value of Mill
Creek’s communities.
Mr. Kok joined Mill Creek in December 2015 and has developed a robust team with the goal to
use technology to drive innovation, automation, investment value, net operating income, and
operational efficiencies across development, acquisitions, construction, property management,
asset management, and the national services functions. He believes the foundation for leading a
team is remembering three principles:
• People Matter Most – always remember we are here to enhance people’s lives
• Simplicity – make things simple to drive adoption and operational efficiencies
• Empower – empower people to succeed

Chief Innovation Officer and Chief Information Officer, Mill Creek Residential

Mickey Kropf

Mickey Kropf is the Co-Founder and CEO of Vector Travel, Inc, a tech-enabled multifamily short term rental  fee management company. Prior to Vector Travel, Mickey co-founded and led growth at Rented.com, a short-term rental marketplace connecting landlords with short-term rental management companies. Mickey has a background in commercial real estate development and finance. Mickey is a graduate of Harvard College, a washout of the Detroit Tigers organization, and an ultramarathoner.  

Co-Founder and CEO of Vector Travel

John Lin

Former founder of startup TownHall, acquired by Roomi, John focuses on consumer and enterprise companies that leverage unique datasets, marketplaces or communities to change the way people perform their daily jobs.

 

"It wasn’t long ago that I was pitching my own startup to VCs and running and scaling teams. I enjoy meeting other entrepreneurs and hearing about their successes and challenges. I consider it a privilege to share what I've learned to do -- and not do -- as someone who has been in their position."

Associate Partner, Trinity Ventures

Sankarshan Murthy

Sankarshan Murthy has made a living building products of the future. He was Innovations Lead at the hardware manufacturer DeWalt for six years before leaving to join Apple in 2012. He worked on the iPhone before becoming product manager of the Apple Watch. He left Apple last year and joined Tesla as a Staff Product Technologist. He recently started his own company, called Bumblebee Spaces, which uses robotics and AI to make more efficient living spaces.

CEO and Co-founder, Bumblebee

Georgianna Oliver

Georgianna W. Oliver is the founder of Tour24, the exciting new product that offers self-guided tours for apartments.  She is a serial entrepreneur and a corporate executive that has built several businesses in the apartment space. These innovations include EverGreen Solutions, AptBudget both sold to RealPage, Inc. (Nasdaq: RP) and Package Concierge® which sold in 2017 to Gibraltar Industries, Inc. (Nasdaq: ROCK). Her passion for turning roadblocks into efficiencies has resulted in a 19-year track record of building and launching successful businesses fueled by innovation. Her impact to the multifamily industry can be measured in a variety of metrics, but the only one that matters to her is making the lives of the people who live and work in these communities better.

 

In addition to her role as founder of Tour24, she serves as an executive for Gibraltar Industries, and overseas the growth and management of Package Concierge®. Georgianna serves on the Multifamily Technology Entrepreneur Conference Advisory Board, and is an Advisory Committee member of National Multifamily Housing Council. She is also the founding board member of the National Leased Housing Association Education Fund.

Founder, tour24

Ashwath Rajan

At Stockwell we're bringing a new retail experience to where people live, play, and work. Our cabinet-style microstores use computer vision to automatically audit your transaction and build you your receipt. Our team of engineers, logistics and retail experts are working to redefine the economics of last-mile distribution, combining the convenience and personalization of e-commerce retail with the immediacy, tangibility, and serendipity of a physical storefront. 

Cofounder, President, CTO, Stockwell AI

Sina Shekou

Sina Shekou is co-founder and CEO of Aptly. Prior to Aptly he was an SVP at RealPage, running the LeaseStar Division. Mr. Shekou co-founded Propertyware, the first cloud-based property management, which sold to RealPage in 2009. He is a 20-year veteran of the software industry having worked at Oracle Corporation and an early team member of Salesforce.com where he pioneered cloud computing and the web-based software model. He has been involved in the real estate industry for more than two decades as an active board member, asset owner/operator, technologist and active property tech investor.

Co-founder and CEO, Aptly

Resha Shroff

Resha is the CEO and Co-founder of VirtualKEY, a home automation and operations management platform for short and long-term rentals. In short two years, Resha Shroff has taken VirtualKEY to 200 cities and 5 countries. The company grew over 1000% last year. Prior to VirtualKEY, Resha spent over 12 years in tech sales and as Director of Sales was responsible to manage strategic accounts in 22 Mid-west US States and an offshore team of 135 engineers. Prior experience includes introducing new services to the market- Onus of conceptualization and go to market strategy. She also owns a Real estate business in Chicago for over 8 years that manages multiple long-term and vacation rentals.

CEO & Co-Founder, VirtualKEY

Josh Stein

As founding CEO, Stein is leading Harbor's efforts to tokenize private securities and unlock access, value and liquidity for private investments such as commercial real estate, investment funds and more. He was previously general counsel and chief compliance officer at Zenefits, served as general counsel at OptumRx (a subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group), was an Assistant U.S. Attorney, a federal judicial clerk and an Intelligence Officer for the U.S. Army.

Co-Founder and CEO, Harbor

Andrea Michele Taylor

Andrea is part of the Residential Operations team as the Director of Business Process at Waterton.  In her role, Andrea will enhance operational processes and customer solutions through process definition, application requirements and configuration of end user transaction processing systems and tools. This role is also responsible for the management of multi-family ancillary services.

 

Andrea was most recently with Village Green as Director of Ancillary and prior to that Executive Manager, Ancillary.  In those roles, Andrea was responsible for providing a robust library of revenue streams, affinity partnerships and technology solutions.  In addition, she was involved in launching a proprietary mobile app for residents, allowing for service requests, rent payment and access to deals and discounts. 

 

Andrea holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University.

Director of Business Process, Waterton

Gregory Thome

Greg invests in companies that drive operational efficiencies and increase financial inclusion in both developed and emerging markets. He’s particularly interested in payments, underwriting, wealth management, and digital commerce. Greg joined Propel from Mizuho Securities where he worked on M&A and capital markets transactions across the firm’s financial technology, internet & digital media and software groups.

 

Greg earned his B.A. in economics from The University of Chicago. His hobbies include skiing, Spikeball, and scuba diving.

Investor, Propel Venture Partners

Taylor Wiederkehr

Taylor Wiederkehr is a Technological Innovation Veteran with experience in system architecture, system integration, and the development and maintenance of complex and critical business systems and networks. During Taylor's previous tenure working with Ford Motor Company, he successfully architect-ed, led development of, and coordinated the national implementation of what is now considered to be the standard for how Ford captures, manages, and distributes consumer information to its network of dealerships nationwide. 

 

Prior to working with Ford, Mr. Wiederkehr established himself as an accomplished entrepreneur selling his first technology company EET, a subsidiary of Eagle Eye Advertising, a text message based advertisement firm, while in college pursuing a BS degree in Computer Information Systems from Tarleton State University. In his previous role as the leader of the ARC Innovations Team at Alliance Residential Company, his team successfully negotiated and announced their national partnership with Google, Nest, and Dwelo, to deploy 25,000 smart apartments across the nation, the largest smart home technology adoption ever conceived at that time.

 

In his newest role as the Director of Innovation Services at BH Management Services, LLC., Taylor is responsible for driving innovative projects & research, the vetting and piloting of new and emerging technologies, and continuing to drive productive collaboration between emerging start-ups and fortune 100 vendors within the multifamily industry.

Director of Innovation Services, BH Management Services, LLC

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