2023 Atlanta 500: Real Estate

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2023 Atlanta 500: Real Estate
Hedgewood Homes Rural Georgia Retreat

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Architecture & Design | Commercial Contractors | Commercial Real Estate Brokers | Commercial Real Estate Sponsors| Residential Real Estate Brokers | Residential Real Estate Developers | Legends

ARCHITECTURE & DESIGN

 

Atlanta 500 Lucy Aiken-JohnsonLucy Aiken-Johnson
Founding Partner
ai3

As a founding partner of ai3 in 2004, Lucy Aiken-Johnson has helped lead the firm to more than 40 awards for architecture, interior design, and product development. The firm has designed more than 50 restaurants and clubs around Atlanta. Aiken-Johnson also helped establish the Day One Workshop, a vision session developed to listen deeply to clients’ stories and imagine the possibilities. A practicing interior designer since 1994, she is known for her ability to discover stories deeply informed by the client’s vision and articulate design solutions by telling the meaningful stories behind them.

Education: Auburn University
Hometown: Tucker, Georgia
Why I chose this work: My AP art teacher recommended the Studio Op Design Program in Auburn’s school of architecture. I’m fortunate my passion for storytelling has aligned to make this a lifelong career.
First job: Chick-fil-A, North DeKalb Mall
Toughest challenge: Being the youngest and only woman in the room


Atlanta 500: Jordache K. Avery

Jordache K. Avery
Principal and Owner
Xmetrical

Jordache Avery is the founder and sole principal of the architecture firm Xmetrical, which specializes in high-design residential/multifamily and commercial urban infill development. Avery’s homes have consistently been selected to appear in the architectural tour associated with the annual Atlanta Design Festival, and many of his projects have been highlighted in both print and digital media. Avery is a member of the National Organization of Minority Architects and the American Institute of Architects; in 2017 his Overbrook project was a finalist for AIA Atlanta’s residential design awards. Avery serves on the governing board of the Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School in Grant Park.

Education: Florida A&M University
Hometown: Jacksonville, Florida
First job: Youth mentor at a summer camp
Why I chose this work: I’ve loved buildings and cities since I was a kid. My father was a city planner and brought home plans of things to come.
Favorite special occasion restaurant: Kevin Rathbun Steak


Atlanta 500: John Bencich

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John Bencich
Founding Principal
Square Feet Studio

With his wife, Vivian, John Bencich is the founding principal of Square Feet Studio and an architect with over 20 years of experience designing new uses for old buildings. He’s been an adjunct faculty member at Georgia Tech and Southern Polytechnic State University, and performed years of volunteer work with the American Institute of Architects, serving as Atlanta chapter president in 2012. The Virginia native’s work has been recognized by the Atlanta Urban Design Commission, Urban Land Institute, International Interior Design Association, and American Institute of Architects.

Education: Georgia Tech
Best advice received: Do what you say you are going to do, do the work well every time, and clients will come.
Hobbies: Flatwater kayaking, backpacking, hiking, biking
Bucket list: Hiking along the Via Dinarica in Croatia


Atlanta 500: Vivian Bencich

Vivian Bencich
Principal
Square Feet Studio

Vivian Bencich and her husband, John, founded Square Feet Studio in 2001 with the desire to seamlessly combine interior design and architecture in one distinctive practice. A registered interior designer with a background in architecture, Bencich strives in her work to honor the relationship between interior design and the larger context of a building’s history and urban environment. A skilled listmaker and confirmed Luddite, the North Carolina native enjoys guiding clients through the design process with determination, passion, and humor.

Education: Vanderbilt University, Georgia Tech (MArch)
Hidden talent: I’m pretty good at ping-pong.
Hobbies: Yoga
Favorite travel destination: Nantucket or Paris
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Kimball House


Atlanta 500: G. Niles Bolton

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G. Niles Bolton
Chairman and CEO
Niles Bolton Associates

G. Niles Bolton is chairman and CEO of Niles Bolton Associates, a professional design firm founded in 1975. Headquartered in Atlanta, with an additional office in Washington, D.C., NBA has completed projects in 49 states and 16 countries. Bolton, who served in Vietnam with the Army Corps of Engineers, spent 10 years on the Georgia Board of Architects & Interior Designers. He’s a director and past chair of the Buckhead Coalition, an emeritus trustee of the Georgia Tech Foundation, a member of the Georgia Tech College of Design Advisory Board, and remains highly involved with local community organizations and various national professional associations.

Education: Georgia Tech
Hobbies: Photography, travel, hunting, fishing
Favorite book: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
Bucket list: Machu Picchu


Atlanta 500 David Dymecki

David Dymecki
Principal and Managing Director, Atlanta Office
Perkins and Will

As managing director of Perkins and Will’s Atlanta office, David Dymecki leads a staff of 150 working across numerous practice areas and disciplines: architects, landscape architects, urban designers, interior designers, and branded-environments specialists. Dymecki’s experience spans more than three decades, with a specific focus on the programming, planning, and design of athletic and recreation projects. The Philadelphia native has lectured, written, and presented on a variety of topics, from athletic and recreation master planning to design guidelines and trends to facilities renovation.

Education: Washington University, Princeton University (MArch)
First job: Following graduation, spent five years working for Michael Graves Architecture & Design
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Great place to exercise, relax, and spend time with my wife.
Bucket list: Learn how to fly-fish and enjoy the outdoors in the South


Atlanta 500 Robert Halverson

Robert Halverson
President, CEO, and Chairman of the Board
Portman Architects

Throughout his more than 25 years in practice, Robert Halverson’s work has centered on the notion that urban development is codependent on human-scale design. He began his tenure at Portman Architects in 2007 after working at Davis Brody Bond and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. In 2020, following his acceptance to serve as board member for both the School of Architecture at Syracuse University and the executive advisory board of the School of Design at Georgia Institute of Technology, he embraced the dual position of CEO and chairman for the firm. Halverson’s portfolio encompasses diverse typologies. He is licensed to practice in 10 states.

Education: Syracuse University, Yale University (MArch)
Why this field of work? To realize my passion for creating catalytic urban developments that support the resiliency of community and physical place
Toughest challenge: The most compelling challenge as an architect lies in addressing project limitations with optimal design solutions to achieve the best return for our clients.


Atlanta 500 Eric KronbergEric Kronberg
Head Zoning Whisperer
Kronberg Urbanists +Architects

Eric Kronberg is a zoning whisperer, specializing in demystifying zoning ordinances to find ways to make great projects possible and helping others navigate through the zoning swamp. Using his skills for the force of good as a principal at Kronberg Urbanists + Architects, Kronberg leads the firm’s pre-development efforts by combining skills in planning, development, architecture, and zoning. This combination enables Kronberg to chart the course of best possibilities for each site’s redevelopment.

Education: Tulane School of Architecture
Hometown: Findlay, Ohio
Favorite travel destination: Iceland
Favorite everyday restaurant: El Tesoro
Nonprofits: Propel ATL, MicroLife Institute


Atlanta 500: Robert J. Maricich

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Robert J. Maricich
Chairman and CEO
International Market Centers

Robert Maricich is chairman and CEO of International Market Centers, which he was instrumental in creating. As CEO of World Market Center Las Vegas, Maricich helped raise over $1 billion to purchase a spate of showroom properties in High Point, North Carolina, merging them into a single entity that’s the world’s largest operator of showroom space for the furnishing, home decor, rug, and gift industries. In 2018 IMC acquired AmericasMart Atlanta, creating the world’s largest permanent marketplace in these industries.

Education: Montana State University
First job: I drove an ice cream truck—one of those that went through the neighborhoods—ringing a bell and selling ice cream.
Inspiring person: Teddy Roosevelt
Notable achievement: American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame (2021)


Atlanta 500: Bobby McAlpine

Photograph by Simon Upton

Bobby McAlpine
Architect, Founder, and President
McAlpine

Envisioning home as a timeless, graceful, and emotionally evocative place, Bobby McAlpine designed his first house at the age of five and hasn’t stopped since. He founded his firm in 1983 and has designed homes for clients around the world. Today, with offices in Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, and New York, the McAlpine firm comprises an eclectic family of architects and interior designers. Bobby McAlpine has authored four books, including the bestselling 2010 The Home Within Us and 2017’s Poetry of Place.

Education: Auburn University
Hobbies: Raiding Europe for antiques and artifacts
Favorite travel destination: Lake Martin, Alabama
Bucket list: Bali
Who’d play me in a biopic: Colin Firth


Atlanta 500 Matthew Quinn

Matthew Quinn
Principal
Design Galleria Kitchen and Bath Studio

Matthew Quinn is the co-owner and principal of Design Galleria Kitchen and Bath Studio and the Matthew Quinn Collection boutique showroom. He and his firm have worked with renowned designers and architects throughout the world. Finding inspiration through his frequent travels, Quinn narrates each design, working with designers, architects, homeowners, and craftsmen. His current product lines are designed with Art for Everyday, AKDO, Francois & Co., La Cornue, Julien: Home Refinements, MTI Baths, Sun Valley Bronze: Reveal Designs, the Rubinet Faucet Company, and Hafele America. He has published Quintessential Kitchens by Matthew Quinn: Volume One and Quintessential Kitchens and Spaces by Matthew Quinn: Volume Two. In 2020 Quinn opened the second location of Design Galleria Kitchen and Bath Studio in the new Nashville Design Collective in Tennessee.

Education: University of Florida, Art Institute of America
First job: Dishwasher
Toughest challenge: The recession
Nonprofit: Meals on Wheels Atlanta


Atlanta 500 Kyle Reis

Kyle Reis
President and CEO
Cooper Carry

Kyle Reis joined Cooper Carry in 2006 and was made principal in 2019. He led Cooper Carry’s Urban Design and Planning Studio until 2021, when he was elected as the firm’s president and CEO. His architecture background and over 15 years of planning experience have led to his passion for quality urban design, community building, and his holistic perspective of the industry. Reis is responsible for guiding Cooper Carry’s strategic vision and for the overall success of the company. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects, an Association of Certified Planners, Georgia Planning Association, and several others. He was a member of the ULI Center for Leadership class of 2016, previously chaired the ULI Mentor Program, and currently serves on the national ULI Travel Experience and Trends Council.

Education: University of Notre Dame, Georgia State University (MBA)
First job: Delivered newspapers
Favorite travel destination: Italy
Who would play you in a biopic? Jay Leno


Atlanta 500 Janet Simpson

Janet Simpson
President
tvsdesign

As the third president to serve tvsdesign in its 54 years, Janet Simpson is implementing new programs to empower more voices and encourage new ideas around servant-leadership, young leaders, and the company’s culture and values. In more than two decades as a workplace interior designer, Simpson spearheaded three “career-building” projects: the 400,000-square-foot renovation and consolidation of Fiserv’s headquarters in Alpharetta, the new headquarters for Mattress Firm in Houston, and the first Cox headquarters building at the Perimeter in Atlanta.

Education: Auburn University
Hometown: Montgomery, Alabama
Notable achievements: Staying in the same profession I got my degree in. How many people can say that these days?
Why I chose this work: It was either architecture or law, and I decided I’d be happiest creating environments that make people feel good.


Atlanta 500 Kevin Songer

Kevin Songer
Principal, Co-Managing Director
Gensler Atlanta

Kevin Songer leads Gensler Atlanta’s office operations, business development, client relationships, and architectural practice. He provides thought leadership, assures client satisfaction, and ensures that all projects support the client’s vision. He has been with Gensler for nearly 20 years, first serving as a project leader in the Las Vegas and Atlanta offices before taking over Atlanta’s Lifestyle 2 studio. Formerly the southeast region’s retail practice area leader, he has been invaluable in the growth of Gensler’s retail business and continues to work with a variety of clients, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, Vera Bradley, INDITEX’s Zara, and Chick-fil-A. He continues to lead and mentor the almost 150-person office and expand Atlanta’s market presence throughout the region. He supports the Boys and Girls Club of Metro Atlanta and City of Refuge. He also sits on Auburn University’s School of Architecture Advisory Board.

Education: Auburn University
Notable accomplishments: National Council of Architectural Registration Boards Registered Architect, Georgia & Alabama, LEED Accredited Professional


Atlanta 500 Tory Winn

Tory Winn
Principal, Co-Managing Director
Gensler Atlanta

Tory Winn, NCIDQ, IIDA, leads talent development, client relationships, office operations, and business development. With more than 35 years of experience, Winn brings her vast background and industry knowledge to all phases of design and has overseen projects and teams designing for a wide array of clients including the Coca Cola Company, Humana, Baker Donelson, and many others. A native Atlantan, she began her career in Gensler’s Washington D.C. office and returned to her hometown to lead the project team for NationsBank Headquarters. As the first employee of the Atlanta office, Winn was instrumental in the office’s early growth. After spending several years running her own firm, she returned to Gensler in late 2017. In her first year, she led the studio to win multiple national and local awards and had a profound impact on staff development. She also founded and leads the Gensler Women’s Leadership Forum, is an active member of IIDA Georgia and CoreNet, and is a board member of Literacy Action Atlanta and Florida State University’s Department of Interior Architecture and Design.

Education: BS, Florida State University
Few people know: I was in the Nutcracker at the Fox Theater as a child.


COMMERCIAL CONTRACTORS

Atlanta 500: Chris Bontrager

Chris Bontrager
Atlanta Business Unit Leader
DPR Construction

Chris Bontrager joined DPR Construction in 2000, filling multiple operations and management roles before being named leader of the Atlanta Business Unit in 2016. Bontrager has nearly three decades of construction industry experience and has been in the Atlanta market since 2000. He’s responsible for leading overall business operations, development, and sales efforts in Atlanta with a focus on DPR’s core markets, including construction in higher education, commercial office, advanced technology, healthcare, and life sciences. DPR’s portfolio of work ranges from large-scale new construction to small tenant improvements and special projects.

Education: Auburn University
Hometown: Gadsden, Alabama
First job: Working for my family’s residential construction business
Best advice received: Your priorities in life are balls that you juggle every day. Some of the balls are made of glass, some are made of rubber. You must decide which of your priorities are glass and which are rubber. You drop a glass ball, it’s gone forever. Drop a rubber ball and it will bounce back.


Atlanta 500: Doug Davidson

Doug Davidson
Chairman and CEO
New South Construction

Atlanta native Doug Davidson is chairman and CEO of New South Construction, which he founded in 1990 and has grown into one of Georgia’s most respected construction firms. Davidson was Associated General Contractors president in 2008 and Construction Education Foundation president in 2001. New South’s recent projects include Atlantic Yards, a two-building office complex overlooking I-75/I-85 at Atlantic Station; Emory University’s new Rollins School of Public Health, Building III; Pace Academy’s Lower School addition; and Isakson Living’s luxury 55-and-over community at Peachtree Hills Place.

Education: Auburn University
First job: Pike Nurseries
Best advice received: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
Hobbies: Golf, boating, and skiing
Favorite book: The Bible
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Truist Park


Atlanta 500: Albert G. Edwards

Albert G. Edwards
Founder and Managing Director
Corporate Environmental Risk Management

Albert G. Edwards is the managing director of Corporate Environmental Risk Management, a regional engineering, environmental, and program management firm that he launched with the late Marcus L. Reese in 1995. Edwards’s responsibilities include chairing CERM’s management committee and providing day-to-day leadership and strategic direction to its business management, project delivery, and client management functions. With more than 25 years of experience in the industry, Edwards has helped organizations throughout the country manage environmental, engineering, infrastructure, and capital projects. He also served in the U.S. Army Reserve as a quartermaster officer and is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

Education: Mississippi Valley State University, Southern Polytechnic State University (MBA)
Notable achievements: First college graduate in my family, CERM’s Job Shadowing Program (20+ Years), U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Construction Firm of the Year (2020), PSMJ A/E/C Building a Better World Award (2019), ACEC Engineering Excellence National Recognition Award (2018)


Atlanta 500: Michael Hatcher

Michael Hatcher
President and CEO
Sovereign Construction & Development

Michael Hatcher is the president and CEO of Sovereign Construction & Development, which specializes in commercial interior renovations and construction management. Hatcher, who founded the firm in 2007, brings a wealth of experience related to integrated project delivery and collaborative construction practices, and believes construction should be a vehicle for innovation and a platform for inspiration.

Education: Morehouse College, Georgia Tech (MS, PhD)
Why I chose this work: Construction is the most creative profession in the world and I always wanted my talents expressed on the canvas of the built environment.
What I’d tell a recent graduate: If you have an entrepreneurial idea, do it. Do not hesitate, and have no doubt.
First job: Shoveling snow in New Jersey
Hidden talent: I am a grill master.


Atlanta 500: Dan Kaufman

Photograph courtesy of individual

Dan Kaufman
East Region President
JE Dunn Construction

Dan Kaufman began his career at JE Dunn (formerly R.J. Griffin) in 1997 as a project engineer, working his way up to division manager by 2007. Under his leadership, the Atlanta South Division of R.J. Griffin completed over $523 million worth of construction projects and planted seeds in markets that helped bolster the company through the global economic downturn. In 2010, Kaufman was promoted to president of JE Dunn’s East Region, comprising offices in Atlanta, Savannah, Tampa, Charlotte, and Nashville.

Education: University of Florida (MA)
Favorite TV show: 60 Minutes
Favorite travel destination: A little island in Belize: Cayo Espanto
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Date night with my wife at the oyster bar at Ford Fry’s the Optimist
Bucket list: Run a 100-mile trail race in under 30 hours


Atlanta 500: Meredith Leapley

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Meredith Leapley
Founder and CEO
Leapley Construction

In 1999, at age 26, Meredith Leapley came to Atlanta from Washington, D.C., and founded a commercial contracting firm in a city where she had few professional connections. Now one of Atlanta’s top interior general contractors, Leapley Construction reaches over $205 million in annual revenues and serves clients including Coca-Cola, Kaiser Permanente, and Norfolk Southern. In 2016, Investopedia named the firm one of its Top Five Women-Owned Businesses in Atlanta, and Meredith Leapley was recognized as a YWCA Woman of Achievement.

Education: University of Maryland
Hometown: Silver Spring, Maryland
Best advice received: Believe! I could not have built Leapley without believing in the vision.
Bucket list: To share my story and bring more connections, ideas, and inspiration to others
Who’d play me in a biopic: A 40-something Diane Keaton


Atlanta 500: C. David Moody

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C. David Moody Jr.
CEO
C.D. Moody Construction

C. David Moody Jr. founded C.D. Moody Construction in 1988. Now one of the U.S.’s largest African American-owned construction companies, Moody’s firm has appeared every year for more than two decades on Black Enterprise magazine’s list of the nation’s top 100 Black-owned industrial/services companies. The firm has undertaken more than 200 commercial projects valued at over $2 billion, including Mercedes-Benz Stadium, the new home of the Cyclorama at the Atlanta History Center, and the Maynard Jackson International Terminal

Education: Morehouse College, Howard University
Inspiring person: My grandfather James Moody Sr., who came to America at 17 in 1901 from British Honduras. He knew no one here. I admire his courage and thirst for education.
Toughest challenge: Overcoming the trauma of childhood sexual abuse
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Stone Mountain Park
Charities: Boy Scouts, Chris 180, Morehouse College, Georgia Center for Child Advocacy


Atlanta 500: Brent Reid

Brent Reid
CEO
Winter Companies

Brent Reid is the CEO of Winter Companies—the parent of Winter Construction, which does commercial building, and Winter Environmental, which works on abatement, sustainability, and decontamination projects. Reid joined in 1984 as a project engineer and has worked in a variety of capacities, opening an office in Denver and helping create Winter Environmental. He took over as head of Winter in 2001; in 2009, Reid and the other members of the senior management team purchased the former owner’s full interest, and Reid has continued as CEO since.

Education: Georgia Tech, University of Chicago (MBA)
Notable achievements: Leadership Atlanta class of 1998, emeritus board member of Georgia Tech School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, past chair of the Council for Quality Growth, treasurer of the Midtown Alliance


Atlanta 500: Rob Taylor

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Rob Taylor
President
Brasfield & Gorrie

Rob Taylor built his entire career at Brasfield & Gorrie, opening the Atlanta office in 1984 and helping the firm establish a strong reputation in the market. Even after a host of successful projects—including the Georgia Dome, Georgia Aquarium, 12th & Midtown, and SunTrust (now Truist) Park—he remains passionate about working with his teams, supporting them when they face challenges, and bolstering their efforts, commitment, and desire to excel.

Education: Auburn University
Best advice received: From high school coach Jim Cavan: “No substitution for hard work. Hard work can overcome lack of talent.”
Hobbies: Golf, hunting
Favorite movie: Remember the Titans
Charities: Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Make-A-Wish Foundation


Atlanta 500: Chondra Webster Myers

Chondra Webster Myers
President
WEBMyers Construction

Chondra Webster Myers is president of WEBMyers Construction, the largest woman/minority–owned interior general contractor in Georgia, specializing in commercial interiors. Since founding the business in 2016, Myers has grown it into an enterprise that generates more than $10 million annually, with clients including Grady Health System, Kaiser Permanente, and Walgreens. A native of Inglewood, California, Myers has more than 25 years of industry experience, and previously held leadership positions at H.J. Russell & Co. and Leapley Construction.

Education: California State University, Los Angeles
Lesson learned: Protect your children at all times.
Hobbies: Traveling, bowling, tennis
Favorite travel destination: Spain
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: My bed
Who’d play me in a bio pic: Sanaa Lathan or Tiffany Haddish


COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE BROKERS

Atlanta 500 David Birnbrey

David Birnbrey
Chairman and Co-CEO
The Shopping Center Group

David Birnbrey is chairman and co-CEO of the Shopping Center Group, an Atlanta-based retail real estate service provider with 22 offices throughout the U.S. He is responsible for strategic planning as well as the overall management of the brokerage operation. Birnbrey began his career in 1980 as a general commercial real estate sales and leasing associate specializing in industrial properties, joining TSCG in 1984. A member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Commercial and Retail Development Council of the Urban Land Institute, he’s a frequent contributor to media platforms including CNBC and Fox News and speaks regularly to industry and civic groups.

Education: University of Georgia
Hometown: Atlanta, Georgia
Notable achievements: Along with the rest of our management team, I’ve been involved in the construction and perpetuation of a 35-year-old company that has survived and thrived through numerous economic cycles.
Inspiring person: My father, and the best advice I ever received is everything he ever said.


Atlanta 500: Richard Bowers

Richard Bowers
President and CEO
Richard Bowers & Co.

Richard Bowers is president and CEO of Richard Bowers & Co., one of Atlanta’s premier privately held commercial real estate firms, which engages in the leasing and sale of office, industrial, retail, land, and investment properties. Since its 1980 founding, the company has continued its growth by adding affiliate companies to satisfy emerging and global commercial real estate needs: RB Management currently manages 75 properties, and Facilitec and Office Interiors specialize in interior architecture, interior design, and building architecture. Bowers has personally completed over 1,800 requirements throughout metro Atlanta, amounting to more than 17 million square feet of space either leased or sold.

Education: United States Military Academy, Georgia State University (MBA)
Hometown: Decatur, Illinois
Toughest challenge: Attending West Point


Atlanta 500 Monetha Cobb

Monetha Cobb
Regional Managing Director, Atlanta
Franklin Street

An industry leader in the Atlanta commercial real estate market, Monetha Cobb serves as regional managing director of Franklin Street’s Atlanta office. In this role, she oversees each of the firm’s business lines, while implementing strategic growth initiatives to expand Franklin Street’s talent, market share, and capabilities across the retail, office, industrial, multifamily, and healthcare real estate sectors. In addition to her regional managing director role, Cobb also serves in a company-wide capacity as senior vice president of retail services with responsibility for guiding and growing teams that represent retail tenants and landlords on a rapidly expanding national scale. Since joining Franklin Street in 2010, as a founding member of its Atlanta office, Cobb has played a significant role in boosting the firm’s visibility in Atlanta and throughout the Southeast. The Manchester, Georgia, native also serves as a member of Franklin Street’s board of directors, which guides the company’s overall direction and growth strategy.


Atlanta 500: John Ferguson

John Ferguson
President, Advisory Services, Atlanta
CBRE

As leader for Advisory Services in Atlanta, John Ferguson oversees operations of CBRE’s Atlanta office and drives its growth strategy for all Advisory Service lines of business, including advisory and transaction services, investment sales, debt and structured finance, property management, valuation and advisory Services, and project management. His team includes more than 600 professionals in the city of Atlanta. In 2021, CBRE’s Atlanta office experienced its best performance year ever, closing more than 3,900 deals and generating $71.3 billion in sales and leasing transactions under Ferguson’s leadership. Along with stellar performance metrics, CBRE has also maintained leading market share in Atlanta for both leasing and investment sales. He has been awarded CBRE’s President’s Award three times.

Education: University of Georgia
Hometown: Athens, Georgia


Atlanta 500 Nathan B. KnowlesNathan B. Knowles
Executive Managing Director, Principal, and Market Leader, Atlanta Office
Colliers International

In June 2022, Nathan Knowles was appointed executive managing director, principal, and market leader for Atlanta, leading 17 different business lines for this full-service commercial real estate advisory firm. He is responsible for driving the growth, strategy, operations, and financial performance of the region. Colliers Atlanta has more than 70 brokers, 280 employees, and 107 million square feet under management, generating more than $3.3 billion in annual transaction volume. Earlier in his career, Knowles held multiple leadership roles at Electrolux Major Appliances. He also has previous leadership experience at LG, Booz Allen Hamilton, and General Electric.

Education: University of Arkansas, Wake Forest University, Emory University (MBA)
Hometown: Atlanta
Few people know: While in college, I was a member of multiple NCAA championship teams and an All-SEC and All-ACC selection.


Atlanta 500 Tim McCarthyTim McCarthy
Market Director
JLL

Named market director for JLL’s Atlanta region in 2022, Tim McCarthy provides overall regional leadership focused on supporting existing client accounts, developing new business opportunities, and enterprise management across all service lines. With over 20 years of experience, McCarthy had served as Atlanta brokerage lead since early 2020, navigating the Atlanta brokerage business through the pandemic. Earlier, he was vice president of real estate and facilities at Equifax Inc. and was the senior asset manager for the Southeast region at AT&T.

Education: Georgia State University
Notable achievements: Atlanta Commercial Board Top 10 Producers (2010, 2015, and 2021), Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors Phoenix Award (2014)


Atlanta 500: John F. OneillJohn F. O’Neill III
President, U.S Multifamily Capital Markets
Cushman & Wakefield

John F. O’Neill III is the president of U.S Multifamily Capital Markets for Cushman & Wakefield. He is responsible for the growth of the firm’s multifamily capital markets business, and the integration of Greystone, a leading agency lender known for delivering the most creative capital solutions. The December 2021 investment into Greystone’s agency and servicing business marked the largest in Cushman’s history and now allows C&W to be the only firm in the industry to offer clients a fully integrated multifamily platform: investment sales, debt, property management, and appraisal services. He’s a graduate of Leadership Atlanta and is active in the Rotary Club of Atlanta, Woodruff Arts Center, and Metro Atlanta Chamber.

Education: College of Charleston, University of Georgia Terry College of Business (MBA)
First job: Cutting grass
Hobbies: Sports with my three sons
Favorite travel destination: Ireland
Bucket list: Africa with my family


Atlanta 500: Pamela J. Smith

Pamela J. Smith
President and CEO
Smith Real Estate Services

Pamela J. Smith is the president and CEO of Smith Real Estate Services, a full-service commercial real estate and construction services firm with core competencies such as right-of-way land acquisition services, commercial brokerage, development management and consulting, agency construction management, and project management services. Smith established the real estate services business in 1984, adding Smith Construction Services in 1999 to address a public- and private-sector need for quality agency construction management services. As a commercial real estate broker, she has negotiated leases valued at over $20 million on behalf of the U.S. General Services Administration for federal agencies around the country. In 2021, Smith was named an Urban Land Institute Atlanta WLI Leader and one of Atlanta Business League’s 100 Women of Influence. In 2022, she was reappointed to the Fulton County Board of Assessors.

Education: Rutgers University, New York University (MPA), Georgia State University (MS)
Best advice received: Always have a plan B.


Atlanta 500: T. Dallas Smith

T. Dallas Smith
President and CEO
T. Dallas Smith & Co.

T. Dallas Smith is CEO of T. Dallas Smith & Co., which since its 2007 founding has grown to be the largest African American–owned pure tenant representation firm in the country, having effectively negotiated projects nationwide exceeding $15 billion in value. Smith began his career in commercial real estate in 1982, working under Thomas W. Tift at Atlanta Air Center Realty; in 1989 he became the first African American broker at Cushman & Wakefield of Georgia. In 1995 he joined the African American–owned construction and management firm H.J. Russell. In 2020 Smith was appointed to the board of regents of the University System of Georgia. In August 2022, Smith stepped away from his role as president and appointed a new president, Leonte Benton, formerly senior vice president, who has been with the firm since its inception.

Education: Georgia State University
Notable achievements: Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors Realtor of the Year (2018), Atlanta Business Chronicle Most Admired CEO (2017)
First job: Dishwasher at Steak ’n Shake on Old National Highway in College Park


COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE SPONSORS

 

Atlanta 500: Chris AhrenkielChris Ahrenkiel
Executive Vice President
Selig Enterprises

As an executive vice president at Selig Enterprises, Chris Ahrenkiel leads the firm’s office division, with a focus on activating many of Selig’s land holdings with office developments. His current efforts include the development of 1105 West Peachtree, Atlanta’s largest office building under construction. Ahrenkiel also sits on the firm’s investment committee and focuses a substantial amount of time on community and civic engagement. In 2017 he graduated Leadership Atlanta and remains actively involved. In 2015 he was named one of the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 40 Under 40 and is consistently recognized on the publication’s list of Who’s Who in Commercial Real Estate.

Education: University of Georgia, Georgia State University Robinson College of Business (MBA)
Hometown: Dortmund, Germany
Notable achievements: Leadership Atlanta class of 2017, Atlanta Business Chronicle 40 Under 40 (2015)
First job: Selling encyclopedias door-to-door in Upstate New York and Pennsylvania


Atlanta 500: David Allman

Photograph courtesy of individual

David Allman
Founder and Chairman
Regent Partners

David Allman is owner and chairman of Regent Partners, an Atlanta real estate investment and development company that has developed or acquired more than $2.5 billion in real estate assets—
including the $500 million, 2.2 million-square-foot Concourse Complex and the Sovereign, a 50-story mixed-use project in Buckhead and the tallest building to be built in Atlanta in 25 years. An Atlanta native, Allman is active in numerous real estate, civic, and ministry initiatives, and has been in the commercial real estate business since 1980.

Education: Dartmouth College
Notable achievements: Founding chairman of the Buckhead Community Improvement District, past chairman of the Atlanta District Council of the Urban Land Institute, member of the board of councillors of the Carter Center
Charities: Opportunity International Nicaragua


Atlanta 500: Steve Baile

Photograph courtesy of individual

Steve Baile
Chief Development Officer
Selig Development

As chief development and operating officer, Steve Baile oversees Selig Development’s commercial and mixed-use development platform. With Selig since 2014, Baile is recognized as one of Atlanta’s leading developers, with a dossier accounting for more than 4.5 million square feet of commercial, hospitality, residential, and mixed-use developments and acquisitions. Notable projects include the Plaza Midtown, 1010 Midtown, and the multiphase, mixed-use 12th & Midtown initiative. Baile’s ventures represent more than $2.5 billion in the Atlanta region since 2004.

Education: Auburn University
Hidden talent: I love to tinker and fix things. My kids think I can fix anything (a little preemptive propaganda hasn’t hurt).
Hobbies: Golf, travel
Favorite movie: The Outlaw Josey Wales
Who’d play me in a biopic: Younger Clint Eastwood


Atlanta 500: Ambrish Baisiwala

Ambrish Baisiwala
CEO and Chairman
Portman Holdings

As CEO, Ambrish Baisiwala is responsible for the management and profitability of Portman Holdings. Bringing over 26 years of global real estate experience to the job, he oversees operations including real estate development, investment, and capital raising in the U.S., China, India, and South Korea. In 2020, Portman Holdings added two business platforms: Portman Residential and Portman Industrial. Prior to joining Portman, Baisiwala was development director of Aldar Properties in Abu Dhabi, responsible for a portfolio in excess of $20 billion. Previously he was development manager for the Greater Union Organisation, and has held senior positions with Coopers & Lybrand Consulting and the Tata Group.

Education: University of Rajasthan, Melbourne Business School (MBA)
Board memberships: Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, Central Atlanta Progress, Zoo Atlanta Leadership Council, Urban Land Institute Livable Communities Council


Atlanta 500: Vivian Baxter Barnes

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Vivian Baxter Barnes
Chief Financial Officer and Operating Officer
Ackerman & Co.

Vivian Barnes joined Ackerman & Co. in 1996. She directs asset and property management services, financial services, and day-to-day operations, overseeing the financial administration of the company, its developments, and the properties it manages. Barnes began her career in commercial real estate and financial services more than 25 years ago. Prior to joining Ackerman, she managed financial services for commercial, retail, industrial, and construction projects with Carter and Cushman & Wakefield.

Education: Georgia Southwestern State University
Hometown: Dawson, Georgia
Why I chose this work: I enjoy my diverse job responsibilities and the ever-changing dynamics of commercial real estate.
Inspiring person: Charles Ackerman
Toughest challenge: Surviving the loss of my 24-year-old son


Atlanta 500 Matt Bronfman

Matt Bronfman
Principal and CEO
Jamestown

Matt Bronfman is a principal and the CEO of Jamestown. He joined the company in 1998 as general counsel, and in 2002 was named managing director and chief operating officer. Bronfman became CEO in 2012. He’s led the acquisition, redevelopment, and oversight of more than $20 billion of real estate, including Chelsea Market in New York and Ponce City Market and Buckhead Village in Atlanta. Bronfman is board president for the Jamestown Charitable Foundation, which supports nonprofits to help make cities more enjoyable places to live and work, and currently serves on the boards for the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, the Metro Atlanta Chamber, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta.

Education: Tufts University, Northwestern University (JD)
Inspiring people: Jamestown chairman Christoph Kahl and my father, Alan Bronfman
What I’d tell my 18-year-old self: It’s better to be tired than bored.


Atlanta 500: Colin Connolly

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Colin Connolly
President and CEO
Cousins Properties

As president and CEO of Cousins Properties and a board member, Colin Connolly is responsible for the business’s new investments, dispositions, asset management, market leadership, development, and operations. He joined Cousins in 2011 as senior vice president, became senior vice president and chief investment officer in 2013, executive vice president and chief investment officer in 2015, executive vice president and chief operating officer in 2016, and president and CEO in 2019. Prior to joining Cousins, Connolly worked at Morgan Stanley as an executive director and, before that, vice president.

Education: Washington and Lee University, University of Virginia Darden School of Business (MBA)
Favorite book: The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Favorite destination: Any beach
What I’d tell my 18-year-old self: Have a plan but write it in pencil not pen so you can make changes.


Atlanta 500: Jeffrey S. Fuqua

Photograph courtesy of Fuqua Development

Jeffrey S. Fuqua
Founder Principal
Fuqua Development L.P.

Jeffrey S. Fuqua is the founder of Fuqua Development L.P., which has completed many notable projects including development of the Battery at Truist Park, the Exchange @ Gwinnett, Decatur Crossings, Glenwood Place, Kennesaw Marketplace, Lindbergh Place, Peachtree Corners Market, Sugarloaf Marketplace, Madison Yards, Peachtree Corners Town Center, Edgewood Retail District, Lenox Marketplace, Perimeter Place, the Prado in Sandy Springs, Town Brookhaven, Park Place, and Lindbergh Plaza. Since founding Fuqua Development in 2012, Fuqua has developed 200 projects in the Southeast totaling 14 million square feet of retail space, 7,000 multifamily units, and office space, with a total value exceeding $15 billion. The firm has been the Atlanta area’s largest retail developer for 19 consecutive years.

Education: University of Denver (BSBA, MBA)


Atlanta 500 Jack N. Halpern

Jack N. Halpern
Chairman and CEO
Halpern Enterprises

Jack Halpern is chairman and CEO of Halpern Enterprises, where he has been employed since 1978. The family-owned business leases, manages, and develops shopping centers as long-term investments. An Atlanta native and a graduate of the Westminster Schools, Halpern has served as chairman of the board of the Epstein School, chairman of the board of trustees of the Jewish Federation of Greater Atlanta, and cochair of the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, and is active in numerous other nonprofits. Halpern and his wife, Lynne, have three children and five grandchildren.

Education: Harvard University, University of Georgia School of Law (JD)
Why I chose this work: After practicing law for three years, I received an offer from my father, Bernard Halpern, to become in-house counsel at our family’s company. Unfortunately, my father died two years later, and I had to assume greater responsibility. Real estate proved to be a great way for me to apply both my legal training and analytical skills, and with the help of talented colleagues, our family has been able to build upon the solid foundation that my father created.


Atlanta 500: Jim Irwin

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Jim Irwin
President
New City

As president of New City, Jim Irwin directs the company’s real estate development and consulting operations as well as new business pursuits. Over the course of his career, Irwin has been responsible for nearly $2 billion of new investment nationwide. Prior to founding New City in 2016, Irwin was senior vice president at Jamestown, leading the development of Ponce City Market—one of the largest and most significant historic renovations then underway in the U.S.

Education: Dartmouth College, Emory University Goizueta Business School (MBA)
First job: Worked in a bike shop
Favorite travel destination: Oregon
What I’d tell my 18-year-old self: Take more art classes



Atlanta 500 Shaneel LalaniShaneel Lalani

CEO
Lalani Ventures

In 1990, Shaneel Lalani immigrated to the United States with his family from Mumbai when he was nine years old, settling into metro Atlanta. After high school graduation, Lalani took over his family’s gas station business. In 2012, he founded Lalani Ventures, buying, developing, and leasing gas stations, medical offices, and retail locations throughout Georgia. A few years later, he began leasing coin-operated amusement machines in gas stations, which benefited the Georgia Lottery. By age 31, the CEO had amassed over one million square feet of real estate in Georgia. In 2020, Lalani bought Underground Atlanta and is leading the overhaul of the 400,000-square-foot property. On the heels of the Underground Atlanta acquisition, Lalani bought 34 Peachtree, a 30-story building in downtown Atlanta, with plans to revive the office tower. Under Lalani’s leadership, Lalani Ventures has completed more than 150 transactions valued at approximately $750 million.


Atlanta 500: Robin Loudermilk

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Robin C. Loudermilk Jr.
President and CEO
The Loudermilk Cos.

Robert C. “Robin” Loudermilk Jr. is president and CEO of the Loudermilk Cos., an asset-based real estate development, investment, and management company. Prior to founding LCO, he served as president, CEO, and director of the retailer Aaron’s, and before that worked for Coldwell Banker Commercial Real Estate Services and Stratton Construction. An Atlanta native, Loudermilk is a member of the Rotary Club of Atlanta. Currently chairman of the Atlanta Police Foundation, he also founded the Buckhead Alliance, a public safety organization.

Education: University of Alabama
Board memberships: Genuine Parts Co., Shepherd Center, Buckhead Community Improvement District, Midtown Alliance
Why I chose this work: To follow my passion for changing real estate in Atlanta
Hobbies: Hunting, fishing


Atlanta 500: Egbert L. J. Perry

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Egbert L.J. Perry
Chairman and CEO
Integral

Egbert L.J. Perry, a native of Antigua and Barbuda, is chairman and CEO of Integral, which he cofounded with a mission to “create value in cities and (re)build the fabric of communities.” A community development, commercial real estate, and construction professional since 1979, Perry spent the 1980s and early ’90s helping grow an Atlanta real estate and construction company into the nation’s third-largest African American–owned business. Since its founding in 1993, Integral has become respected for its expertise in affordable, workforce, luxury, and mixed-income housing, often as components of master-planned, mixed-use, and transit-oriented developments.

Education: University of Pennsylvania (MS), Wharton School (MBA)
Notable achievements: In 1990, Perry was the 11th graduate in the University of Pennsylvania’s history to be named to the Gallery of Distinguished Engineering Alumni.


Atlanta 500 Tim Perry

Tim Perry
Managing Partner
North American Properties

Tim Perry is responsible for advancing North American Properties’ value-add acquisitions and redevelopment program and adding to the firm’s portfolio of commercial properties. Perry has driven North American Properties’ acquisition strategy for over a decade serving as North American Properties’ vice president of acquisitions in 2009, director of investments in 2012, and chief investment officer in 2015. He previously led the acquisition, due diligence, capitalization, and disposition teams for landmark communities Atlantic Station, Colony Square, Newport on the Levee, and Avalon; capitalization of the transformational development of Stadium Centre in Tallahassee; and the debt/venture capitalization of over 35 projects in excess of $2.3 billion total value.

Education: Rhodes College
Favorite TV show: Beat Bobby Flay


Atlanta 500 Michael Phillips

Michael Phillips
Principal and President
Jamestown

As a principal and the president of Jamestown,
Michael Phillips is a driving force behind celebrated adaptive-reuse developments including Chelsea Market in New York, Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, and Ponce City Market and Westside Provisions District in Atlanta. He’s nationally recognized for his creative leadership and his ability to build distinctive urban communities. The Atlanta native is the vice chair of the James Beard Foundation and sits on the boards of Friends of the High Line and Westside Community Fund.

Favorite travel destination: Paris
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: La Grotta Ristorante Italiano
Charities: James Beard Foundation


Atlanta 500: Norman Radow

Norman Radow
CEO
The RADCO Cos.

When he established the RADCO Cos. in 1994, Norman Radow’s vision came from a lifelong passion to improve both neighborhoods and people’s lives. RADCO’s first project was the redevelopment of a distressed 53-story hotel, office, and condominium tower that later became the Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta. Twenty-eight years, more than 30,500 multifamily units, and ten hotels later, Radow is a recognized leader in the real estate industry. As chairman of the Kennesaw State University Foundation Board of Trustees, he oversaw the expansion of the 33,000-student university in metro Atlanta. The campus doubled in size during his 13-year tenure, with the addition of $500 million in new buildings that Radow helped finance and develop. The State of Georgia named the Norman J. Radow College of Humanities and Social Sciences at KSU in his honor. Radow is currently a member of the New York Law School Board of Trustees. He also writes a blog, Coffee (and Real Estate) with Norm.

Education: SUNY Plattsburgh, New York Law School (JD)
Hobbies: Scuba diving, swimming, and reading


Atlanta 500: H. Jerome Russell Jr.

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H. Jerome Russell Jr.
President
H.J. Russell & Co.

As president of H.J. Russell & Co. and Russell New Urban Development, H. Jerome Russell’s focus is on the firm’s strategic direction and new business development. Over his more than 30-year career, Russell has experience with beverage distribution, consumer marketing, banking, construction, and real estate, which has led him to his current role as the lead owner over the $250 million real estate portfolio and chairman of the H.J. Russell Innovation Center for Entrepreneurs. In 1997, he was named to the board of Citizens Trust Bank, and was part of two successful mergers taken on by Citizens Trust Bank. He’s a member of the Urban Land Institute, Atlanta Rotary, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, Young Presidents’ Organization, and the 100 Black Men of Atlanta.

Education: Georgia State University
Board memberships: Citizens Trust Bank Loan Committee chairman, West End CID, Metro Atlanta YMCA, Georgia Department of Economic Development, Georgia Historical Society, Central Atlanta Progress, Concessions International, Russell Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, H.J. Russell & Co.


Atlanta 500 Michael Russell

Michael B. Russell
CEO
H.J. Russell & Co.

Michael B. Russell became CEO of H.J. Russell & Co. in 2003 and also serves as vice chair of its sister company, Concessions International. He worked for Portman Architects for three years after graduating from college. Russell has spent most of his career with H.J. Russell & Co., serving in a variety of executive and nonexecutive positions such as cost estimator, project manager, business developer, and division VP. As CEO, he is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the four major divisions within the company (construction, program management, property management, and development), which is recognized as one of the largest Black-owned construction and commercial real estate companies in the country. The Atlanta native has been involved in the construction industry in one way or another since his youth.

Education: University of Virginia, Georgia State University Robinson School of Business (MBA)
Inspiring person: Developer and architect John Portman
Notable achievements: Past president of the Association of Builders and Contractors of Georgia


Atlanta 500: Tim Schrager

Tim Schrager
Founder and CEO
Perennial Properties

Tim Schrager is the CEO of Perennial Properties, an Atlanta real estate development and property management company he founded in 1988. Meeting what Schrager saw as a need for quality housing choices in older neighborhoods with deteriorating rental stock, Perennial Properties has focused on infill development in gentrifying areas, specializing in high-end apartment projects with street-level retail. Over more than three decades, Schrager and Perennial have been responsible for the development of numerous multifamily communities, as well as multifamily and retail mixed-use developments, in Georgia and Florida. Perennial also owns and operates Midtown Bowl.

Education: University of Southern California
Hometown: Omaha, Nebraska
First job: Picking weeds and digging ditches for irrigation
Hobbies: Art collecting, visiting art museums and galleries
Favorite book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Favorite travel destination: New York City


Atlanta 500: Lisa M. Ward

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Lisa M. Ward
Senior Vice President and Managing Director
Core5 Industrial Partners

At Core5 Industrial Partners, Lisa Ward’s chief responsibilities include business development and capital deployment in the southeastern U.S. Over her more than 30-year commercial real estate career, Ward has overseen more than 45 million square feet of industrial investment sales and leases for a total market value of over $2 billion. Since 1997, she has been consistently ranked among the top five industrial producers in Georgia by NAIOP and the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors.

Education: University of Southern Mississippi, University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business (MBA)
First job: Banking
Best advice received: Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.
Favorite travel destination: Africa
Bucket list: Ski the sand dunes in Namibia
Who’d play me in a biopic: Meg Ryan


RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE BROKERS

Atlanta 500: Glennis Beacham

Glennis Beacham
Owner and Founder
Beacham & Co., Realtors

Even though she is the principal of her own firm, Glennis Beacham continues to sell real estate full-time by choice. A managing broker runs the day-to-day operations of the company so Beacham can focus on what she loves most: selling houses. Prior to founding Beacham & Co. in 2006, Beacham was the top agent for 13 years at one of Atlanta’s oldest and largest real estate companies. She’s sold more homes priced $1 million and higher than any other agent in Atlanta real estate history, and in 2011 was the 13th realtor (and the first Georgian) to be inducted into Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate’s Billionaires Club. Beacham began her real estate career in 1982.

Education: Auburn University
Toughest challenge: Regaining my financial footing after my divorce
Favorite book: I love all the Harry Potter books.
Charities: Winship Cancer Institute, in honor of my father
Who’d play me in a biopic: Meryl Streep


Atlanta 500: David Boehmig

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David Boehmig
President and Founder
Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty

As president, CEO, and founder of Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty, David Boehmig has a hand in every aspect of the company’s work. His 25 years of experience in residential real estate is complemented by an additional decade in commercial banking, where Boehmig focused on real estate and small-business financing. The Atlanta Realtors Association named him Realtor of the Year in 2006 and a Captain of Industry in 2010. In 2022, the Atlanta Business Chronicle recognized Boehmig as a Most Admired CEO. Boehmig serves on the board of directors of the First Multiple Listing Service.

Education: Georgia State University
First job: Mortgage loan officer for Georgia Federal Bank
Hidden talent: I speak Korean.
Favorite book: Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss
Best advice received: Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time.
Favorite travel destination: Lake Como, Italy


Atlanta 500: Jenni Bonura

Jenni Bonura
President and CEO
Harry Norman, Realtors

As president and CEO of Harry Norman, Realtors, Jenni Bonura oversees the operations of 13 sales offices, managing partnerships in the mortgage, title, and insurance ventures, and planning for the company’s future. Bonura became the CEO of the Atlanta luxury real estate firm before the age of 40, joining a rare group of women CEOs in real estate. Taking an active role in every aspect of the business, the Miami native particularly enjoys luxury-home marketing and sales, new-home and high-rise marketing and sales management, and coaching the current and next generations of sales leaders. Bonura started her career in real estate in 2002 as a sales agent.

Education: Samford University
First job: I had two jobs the first summer that I was 16: as an intern at an engineering firm and a server at an ice cream shop.
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: South City Kitchen
Bucket list: Hang gliding


Atlanta 500: Kay Evans

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Kay Evans
Co-owner and Cofounder
Keller Williams Realty International, Southeast Region

Kay Evans received her real estate license in 1978, marking the beginning of a long and successful career in sales, brokerage, and real estate education. In 1999, with Bob Kilinski, Evans cofounded Keller Williams Realty’s Southeast Region, helping grow the company to the top organization in the metro Atlanta residential real estate market since 2011. In multiple years, the Southeast has been Keller Williams’s top-performing region. Evans and her husband, Glen, have a son, a daughter, and five granddaughters.

Education: University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Favorite book: The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews
Who’d play me in a biopic: Meryl Streep or Bette Midler! Why not?


Atlanta 500: Daniel T. Forsman

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Daniel T. Forsman
Chairman
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties

Daniel T. Forsman has led Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties to become the market leader for real estate companies in metro Atlanta—distinguishing itself in overall sales, listing inventory, sales of new homes, and growth in luxury market share. Under his leadership, Georgia Properties has been nationally recognized for its innovations in marketing and technology and was the first-ever real estate company to win the coveted MAX Award from Georgia State University’s Robinson College of Business and the Atlanta Business Chronicle, edging out many Fortune 500 companies. Forsman invented TeamBuilder, an incentive program that rewards agents and employees for registering and recruiting other productive agents

Education: University of Georgia
First job: Deckhand (striker) on a shrimp boat in Georgia
Favorite travel destination: The mountains of North Georgia or river swamps of South Georgia. I am at ease most when out in nature.
Bucket list: Take a three-month trip to see the U.S. with my wife and best friend, Rhonda


Atlanta 500 DeAnn GoldenDeAnn Golden
President and CEO
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties

Appointed in 2022, DeAnn Golden is president and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Georgia Properties and leads over 1600 associates with 29 locations across the state of Georgia. The company is a real estate market leader and generated over $5.2 billion in sales in 2021. Golden joined the company in 2004 and is a 26-year real estate veteran with vast leadership, training, coaching, and marketing experience. Golden, who served as president of the Atlanta Realtors Association in 2019, is recognized for her “Forever Moving Forward Together” success plan which was created to bring greater prosperity to sales associates and their clients. It encompasses seven key initiatives for exponential agent and company growth and reward.

Education: Tulane University, University of Georgia (MBA)
Hometown: Athens, Georgia
First job: Helping my mother with her real estate business
Why I chose this work: Real estate is in my blood. I grew up watching my mother succeed in real estate and learned at an early age that I wanted to do the same.


Atlanta 500 Ben Hirsh

Ben Hirsh
Broker and Owner
Hirsh Real Estate, Buckhead.com

At the age of 18, Atlanta native Ben Hirsh sold his established landscaping company to a competitor and set out to travel across the globe. His excursions led him to more than 40 countries. Upon his return, Hirsh turned his focus to real estate in Buckhead, founding Hirsh Real Estate. He was soon named one of Realtor magazine’s 30 Under 30 top real estate agents in North America. According to the Atlanta Realtors Association, Hirsh is the top-producing individual realtor in Atlanta based on sales volume, with personal sales nearing $80 million in 2018.

First job: I started a lawn care company at the age of nine and sold it to enable world travels at 18.
Hometown: Atlanta
Toughest challenge: Being told that I was “not Buckhead enough” for a premier listing assignment by a prominent potential client was the rejection that pushed me to buy Buckhead.com and become the top real estate agent in Buckhead.
Hobbies: I love gardening and hope to have my own little farm in Buckhead one day.


Atlanta 500 Christa Huffstickler

Christa Huffstickler
Founder and CEO
Engel & Völkers Atlanta

In 2017, Christa Huffstickler joined the Engel & Völkers international network to open Engel & Völkers Atlanta, which has two dedicated divisions: one for new home sales and marketing and one for general brokerage real estate. A winner of the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association’s Obie Award, Huffstickler has specialized in residential real estate for nearly two decades, and has worked on some of Atlanta’s premier condominium, townhome, and single-family-home communities. She currently manages over half a billion dollars in new home development listings.

Education: University of Georgia
Hometown: I was a military brat always moving from city to city, so I consider Atlanta to be my hometown.
Inspiring person: My mother
Hobbies: As simple as it sounds, my favorite way to spend my time is with my three girls gardening or planting flowers. We love digging in the dirt and growing and nurturing our plants. My green thumb came from my dad, and I have been sharing this passion as an adult with my own children.


Atlanta 500: Kevin Levent

Photograph courtesy of individual

Kevin Levent
President and CEO
BH&G Real Estate Metro Brokers and Coldwell Banker Commercial Metro Brokers

Kevin Levent, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers and Coldwell Banker Commercial Metro Brokers, has been in the business for more than 40 years and is recognized nationally as an industry leader. He manages both brands as well as the mortgage, insurance, and title divisions of Metro Brokers, which has 2,400 sales associates in 28 offices throughout the region. An Atlanta native, Levent is a licensed broker in Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, and North and South Carolina.

Hidden talent: I have a contractor’s license for residential and light commercial structures.
Hobbies: ATV riding
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: Stone Mountain
Bucket list: Getting my kids married


Atlanta 500: Jenny Pruitt

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Jenny Pruitt
Founder and CEO
Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty

Jenny Pruitt, a third-generation Atlantan, is revered as a community advocate and philanthropist and respected nationally as a visionary real estate leader. Her strong business acumen has led to more than five decades of success in the Atlanta residential real estate arena. Pruitt began her real estate career in 1968 before establishing Jenny Pruitt & Associates in 1988. In 2007, she and her business partner, David Boehmig, opened Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty. The company’s 475 agents are among the most accomplished real estate professionals in metro Atlanta.

Notable achievements: Atlanta Realtors Association Sally Washburn Lifetime Achievement Award (2016), Council for Quality Growth Four Pillar Tribute (2016), Atlanta Realtors Association E.A. Isakson Award (2006), YWCA of Greater Atlanta Academy of Women Achievers (2004)
Hobbies: Reading, painting angels, walking
Favorite TV show/movie: Blue Bloods, Forrest Gump
Best advice received: Find your passion so work will never seem like work.


RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE DEVELOPERS

Atlanta 500: Steven DeFrancis

Photograph courtesy of individual

Steven DeFrancis
Founder and CEO
Cortland

Steven DeFrancis has nearly 30 years of experience in complex multifamily development and management opportunities. He founded Cortland in 2005 to focus on in-town, mixed-use, multifamily developments. Since then, Cortland has expanded into a global, vertically integrated, multifamily investment and asset management company. With a focus on providing a hospitality-driven approach to apartment living, Cortland is one of the largest multifamily owners in the U.S. and manages more than 80,000 apartment homes nationwide. DeFrancis is a member of the Buckhead Coalition and serves on the boards of the Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership and AZ Partsmaster. He is also a member of the Real Estate Roundtable, the Urban Land Institute, and the National Multifamily Housing Council.

Education: University of Georgia Terry College of Business
First job: Busboy at Fuddruckers
Favorite travel destination: Cashiers
Favorite Atlanta place to visit: The Varsity


Atlanta 500: Tom Hill

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Tom Hill
East Region President
D.R. Horton

As East Region president of Texas-based D.R. Horton—the country’s largest new-home builder by volume—Tom Hill is involved in all aspects of land acquisition, development, construction, sales, and operations for more than ten D.R. Horton divisions across the Southeast. A native of Mount Olive, North Carolina, he’s been in the homebuilding industry for 26 years, joining Horton in 1997.

Education: Georgia State University
Why I chose this work: I have always had a passion for real estate, dating back to my early days, when my parents would look at homes for themselves. That fortunately led me into a career where I have been able to do what I enjoy each day. We build a lot of homes each year, but knowing that we are building them one at a time for a particular family, where their dreams and children will flourish, is a great feeling.
First job: Busing tables at a Chinese restaurant. A tough boss at a young age will shape you.
Inspiring person: My father, who always worked hard and taught me to value every dollar, dime, and penny, and the importance of family


Atlanta 500: Ryan R. Marshall

Photograph courtesy of Pulte Group

Ryan R. Marshall
President and CEO
PulteGroup

In 2016, Ryan R. Marshall was promoted to president and CEO of PulteGroup, one of the nation’s most geographically and product-diverse homebuilders. With operations in 26 states, the company serves all major consumer groups through its family of national brands, which includes Pulte Homes, Centex, Del Webb, DiVosta Homes, and John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods. Marshall most recently served as PulteGroup’s president, with responsibility for the company’s homebuilding operations and its marketing and strategy departments. Previously he was executive vice president of homebuilding operations, and he’s also served as Southeast area president, Florida area president, division president in both South Florida and Orlando, and area vice president of finance.

Education: University of Utah, Arizona State University (MBA)


Atlanta 500: Rod Mullice

Rod Mullice
Managing Partner
Windsor Stevens

Rod Mullice is the managing partner at Windsor Stevens, a development firm that aims to create vibrant, walkable, and livable urban communities close to mass transit. Since 2009, Mullice has closed more than $150 million in transactions in urban development, financing, and acquisitions, and he led the team that renewed the lease of a 217,000-square-foot office building in College Park for the Federal Aviation Administration’s Southern Region headquarters. He also conceived, planned, financed, and managed the construction of the Pad on Harvard, a $20.9 million apartment community next to the College Park MARTA station.

Education: Savannah State University, Harvard Graduate School of Design (AMDP)
Why I chose this work: During college, I became fascinated with building and infrastructure and the impact it had on our community, so I got a job working with an engineering firm that was rebuilding the Atlanta sewer system. It was a natural progression to structures as we seek to maximize clean water and share the many benefits of urban-core living.


Atlanta 500 Cherie OngCherie Ong
Cofounder and Principal
Good Places

As a real estate developer and business consultant working to create innovative, sustainable, and equitable communities in Atlanta, Cherie Ong is cofounder and principal of Good Places, a firm that develops properties with mission and community impact at its forefront. Having previously managed a more than $40 million private real estate foreign investment fund, Ong now focuses solely on driving social impact catalytic efforts. This includes developing Atlanta’s first 100 percent affordable micro-housing apartments, converting a historic department store into an incubator for creative and socially conscious businesses, and launching a main street initiative promoting local businesses and economic investment.

Education: The University of Melbourne, Securities Institute of Australia (GradD), Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (MA)
Hometown: Melbourne, Australia
Notable achievements: Wells Fargo Growing Diverse Housing Developers 2022 Cohort Participant, LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) Michael Rubinger Community Fellowship Award (2020)
Favorite TV show: Indian Matchmaking


Atlanta 500 Pam Sessions

Pam Sessions
President
Hedgewood Homes

As owners and operators of Hedgewood Homes, Pam Sessions and her husband, Don Donnelly, have designed and built more than 4,000 houses in the Atlanta region since 1985, including award-winning, smart-growth homes in neighborhoods such as Vickery Village, Woodstock Downtown, Alpharetta City Center/Voysey, and Manchester. Prior to beginning her homebuilding career, Sessions—who received her bachelor’s in fine arts from the University of Georgia—studied photography with Ansel Adams and worked with the landscape photographer and writer Dave Bohn.

Education: University of Georgia
Hometown: Atlanta
Notable achievements: Congress for New Urbanism Charter Award (2008), Urban Land Institute Development of Excellence Award (2006), Professional Builder National Builder
of the Year (2003)
Favorite book: Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
Favorite TV show: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel


Atlanta 500 Donald R. Washington Jr.Donald R. Washington Jr.
Founding Principal
Bolster Real Estate Partners

Donald R. Washington Jr. oversees all phases of real estate investment and development for emerging communities throughout the Southeast and beyond for Bolster Real Estate Partners, which he founded in 2021. With over 13 years of finance, strategy, and business development experience, Washington leverages strategic partnerships and local market knowledge to design, finance, permit, construct, and rehabilitate high potential communities. Its inaugural project the Kourtney at Yates Road will bring a $35-million mixed-use community for adults 55 and older to South Fulton. The Kourtney is named after Washington’s cousin who died of lupus, and a portion of the developer profits will be donated to lupus research.

Education: University of New Orleans, Georgia Tech (MBA)
First job: Bagger at H-E-B grocery store
Few people know: I played inside linebacker and won an SEC and NCAA College Football Championship under Nick Saban.
Who’d play me in a biopic: Derek Luke
Best advice received: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.


LEGENDS

Antonin Aeck
Aeck is chairman emeritus and a founding principal of the architecture, interiors, planning, and preservation firm Lord Aeck Sargent. His career began in Paris, where he worked on completing the late Le Corbusier’s final unfinished design commissions.

James R. Borders
Borders is CEO of Novare Group, an Atlanta-based real estate investment and development company. In 1992, he founded the predecessor to Novare Group; since then the firm has developed more than 16,000 multifamily residences in 50 communities, including Atlanta, Austin, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Nashville, Orlando, Raleigh, and Tampa.

Robert L. Brown Jr.
Brown established his firm R L Brown & Associates in 1984. He has held leadership positions with the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, and many other organizations. He is a former chair of the Georgia Department of Transportation.

William Millard Choate
Choate is executive chairman of Choate Construction, one of the largest commercial building contractors in the Southeast. He founded his company in 1989.

Jerome M. Cooper
In 1960 Cooper cofounded Cooper Carry, an architecture and design firm based in Atlanta. Cooper has received the Rothschild Award, the highest honor granted by the Georgia chapter of the American Institute of Architects; in 2018 the AIA named Cooper Carry its Architecture Firm of the Year.

Tom Cousins
Cofounder of Cousins Properties, one of the nation’s largest equity real estate investment trusts, Cousins developed Atlanta landmarks such as the CNN Center, the Omni Coliseum, 191 Peachtree Tower, Bank of America Plaza, and Wildwood Office Park. His firm also donated the land for and helped launch the World Congress Center. With his wife, Ann, he established the Cousins Foundation and the CF Foundation, which fund many arts, education, and faith-based organizations in Atlanta. They were instrumental in rehabilitating East Lake. In 2009, to duplicate that community’s turnaround nationally, Cousins established Purpose Built Communities in partnership with philanthropists Warren Buffett and Julian Robertson.

Lawrence L. Gellerstedt III
Gellerstedt joined Cousins Properties in 2005 when it acquired his firm, and later led the company as chairman and CEO. Through high-profile urban deals and a major merger with Parkway Properties, he led Cousins from an equity market cap of $665 million to more than $3.8 billion.

Oscar Harris
A notable architect, fine artist, and author, Harris founded Atlanta’s Turner Associates, which designed parts of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the iconic Centennial Olympic Park light towers, the MLK Visitors Center, and Georgia State Student Center, among many other prominent projects. He now spends much of his time painting and encouraging students to enter the fields of architecture, construction, and engineering.

Bill Johnson
Founder of the Johnson Studio at Cooper Carry and now design adviser, Johnson is an architect and interior designer lauded for his highly personal approach to restaurant design. Since launching his restaurant-design career with Atlanta’s Peachtree Cafe in the early 1980s, he’s worked on local projects including Chops Lobster Bar, Seeger’s, Aria, and Rathbun’s.

Lew Oliver
Oliver is an Atlanta-based urbanist, master planner, and designer who has helped advance New Urbanism and residential design. The principal of his eponymous firm, Oliver is a preferred design consultant of the renowned New Urbanist firm DPZ; he was instrumental in the design and development of downtown Woodstock, Vickery Village, and Serenbe, and has worked on scores of other projects nationally and internationally.

Steve Selig
During Selig’s tenure as president, Selig Enterprises has helped develop key projects such as the Buckhead Triangle, Logan Circle, the Plaza Midtown, the District at Howell Mill, 12th & Midtown, and the Works at Chattahoochee. From 1976 to 1980 he served as President Carter’s chief liaison with the business community, and he chaired the host committee for the 1988 Democratic National Convention in Atlanta. His family endowed the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia.

William J. Stanley III & Ivenue Love-Stanley
Since 1978, Stanley and Love-Stanley have focused on integrating architecture and interior design. As one of the largest Black architectural practices in the South, they have been responsible for many landmark projects in Atlanta and throughout the region. Their award-winning projects include the Olympic Aquatic Center at Georgia Institute of Technology and Ebenezer Baptist Church.

John Wieland
Over three decades and with more than 25,000 homes, Wieland established his company as the Southeast’s leading builder of semi-custom homes. He has been inducted into the Home Builders Association of Georgia’s Hall of Fame and has received the Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association’s lifetime achievement award.

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