ABOUT OUR SPEAKERS

Based on input from our members, we have put together an insightful and robust program featuring engaging speakers paired with interactive breakout sessions.

Content on Day One will be focused on protecting your home port, encouraging renewed enthusiasm about your own personal point of strength.
Day Two our goal is to provide you with the tools necessary to assess the myriad of marketing and technology choices, empowering you to discover options that best suit your brand as you navigate for future growth.


Introducing Keynote Speaker

ROBERT SANTELLI

Introducing Keynote Speaker

The Evolution of Music Industry’s Icons
— Keynote talk on Tuesday, April 12th.

ABOUT ROBERT

Executive Director, The Grammy Museum. 

Robert Santelli was named Executive Director of the GRAMMY Museum in 2006. A noted blues and rock historian, Santelli is also the author of more than a dozen books on American music, including Greetings from E Street (The Story of Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band) and The Bob Dylan Scrapbook, both New York Times bestsellers. Santelli has also contributed to Rolling Stone, Musician, Modern Drummer, Guitar Player, Downbeat, The New York Times, and New Jersey Monthly, among other periodicals. 

After pursuing American Studies through graduate programs at USC and NYU, Santelli wedded his passion for music and education in 1992 when he joined the music department of Monmouth University in West Long Branch, New Jersey. There he established a thriving Popular Music Studies program before becoming an adjunct professor and guest lecturer at Rutgers University. 

In 1993, Santelli was one of the original curators of the then nascent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, moving to Cleveland in 1995 to become the museum’s first Director of Education and Vice President of Public Programs. There he started the American Music Masters Series and the Oral History Project, working with Ahmet Ertegun, Jerry Wexler, Sam Phillips, and others. In 2000, he became the CEO of Paul Allen’s Experience Music Project in Seattle, the first-ever interactive music museum. During Santelli’s tenure at EMP, he spearheaded over thirty exhibitions, including Bob Dylan’s American Journey and The Blues, a project closely connected to Martin Scorsese’s PBS Blues series. 

Santelli also developed the UK’s first pop music museum, the British Music Experience, which opened at London’s O2 Center in 2009. Since opening the GRAMMY Museum, located in downtown Los Angeles, Santelli has created “An Evening With…,” a series that features in-depth interviews with artists such as Dave Matthews, Brian Wilson, Annie Lennox, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Nicks, Nas, Damian Marley, Harry Connick, Jr. and Clive Davis. Santelli is also on the creative team for the annual GRAMMY Awards® telecast and wrote and developed The Official Michael Jackson Exhibition, which opened in London in 2009, before moving to Tokyo and New York. Santelli has served as head curator for many of the museum’s most popular exhibits, including Songs of Conscious, Sounds of Freedom. Additionally, Santelli has produced nine educational programs with The First Lady at the White House, most notably Music That Inspired The Movement, a program about how music influenced the Civil Rights Movement. 

Santelli has been a longtime member of The Recording Academy, most recently serving as the Vice President of the Pacific Northwest Chapter from 2001–2006. As founder and former president of the National Music Museum Alliance, he spearheaded the U.S. Congressional initiative to name 2003 “The Year of the Blues.” Santelli also served as Co-Chairman of "Woody at 100"— a partnership between the GRAMMY Museum and the Woody Guthrie Archives, producing numerous events celebrating Guthrie's 100th birthday throughout 2012 across America and internationally. His latest book, This Land Is Your Land: Woody Guthrie and the Journey of an American Folk Song, was released in 2012.

 


MARK K. UPDEGROVE

 
Photo by David Hume Kennerly

Photo by David Hume Kennerly

 
Lessons in Leadership from Six Presidents
— Keynote talk on Wednesday, April 13th.

Mark will share insights that he has gleaned from his relationships with  past and present Presidents, as well as the variety of experiences that he has in the world of our nation's political sphere. As an author, historian and Director of the LBJ Presidential Library, Mark has a unique perspective that will be worth hearing, especially in this election year.


ABOUT MARK

Historian, Author and Director of the LBJ Presidential Library. 

Since October 2009, Mark K. Updegrove has served as the fourth director of the LBJ Presidential Library.

During his tenure, the Library has undergone an $11 million renovation of its core museum exhibits about President Johnson and his administration. On April 8–10, 2014, Updegrove hosted a Civil Rights Summit at the Library, to mark the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. President Barack Obama, accompanied by First Lady Michelle Obama, delivered the Summit's keynote address April 10. Former Presidents Carter, Clinton, and George W. Bush also participated in the Summit, offering speeches on April 8, 9, and 10, respectively.

Updegrove's December 23, 2014, Politico article, "What 'Selma' Gets Wrong," ignited the controversy over the portrayal of Lyndon Johnson as an obstructionist on Voting Rights in the film "Selma," and touched off a debate about the importance of accuracy in films based on historical events.

Updegrove is also an author and historian. He has authored four books: Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White HouseBaptism by Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office During Times of CrisisIndomitable Will: LBJ in the Presidency; and Destiny of Democracy: The Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library.

His fourth book, Destiny of Democracy: The Civil Rights Summit at the LBJ Presidential Library, was released March 15, 2015. The book reflects on the civil rights movement and President Johnson’s legacy while capturing the Library's historic three-day Civil Rights Summit. It includes full text from all four presidential keynotes, a foreword by John Lewis, essays by Updegrove, and beautiful images from the summit. He is also reportedly working on a book on the relationship between the two Bush presidents.

Updegrove has also written for American HeritageThe NationNational GeographicParadePoliticoTexas MonthlyThe Daily Beast, and Time.

He is an analyst for ABC News on matters relating to the presidency, including the 2013 presidential inauguration, and a contributor to CBS Sunday Morning.

Before coming to the Library, Updegrove spent much of his career in magazine publishing including serving as manager of Time Magazine in Los Angeles; president of TimeCanada, Time's separate Canadian edition and operation; and U.S. publisher of Newsweek in New York. While at Time, he conceived Time and the Presidency, a multimedia program on modern American presidents from FDR to Clinton.


retreat speakers

We are excited to have such a great group of industry experts speaking at Navigate 2016, and we know that you will find their insights valuable in charting your own course to success in real estate.

JAMES NUNEMACHER

CEO, Vanguard Properties, San Francisco, CA

Staying on course: Navigating through the Noise
— General Session Panel, Tuesday, April 12 - 11:00 - 11:45 AM

ABOUT JAMES NUNEMACHER

James began selling Real Estate in 1986 and he quickly became a top San Francisco Sales Producer. That same year he founded Vanguard Properties. Under his leadership and standards of excellence, it has grown to be one of the most innovative boutique real estate firms in California. He now directs a team of over 280 talented agents and marketing professionals in 11 offices in San Francisco, Marin and Sonoma Counties, and Palm Springs who have generated more than $10 Billion dollars in home sales. Vanguard Properties' success has established James as one of the most visionary and respected business leaders in the real estate industry today. An intensely goal-oriented individual, James is exhilarated by the pursuit of client satisfaction, and is dedicated to providing buyers and sellers with unparalleled market insight and a higher level of personalized service. He consistently ranks within the Top 1% of Real Estate Sales in San Francisco and in California. James credits his early success to the guidance he received from trusted and seasoned colleagues, and he's instilled these values of collaboration, mentorship, and education into the dynamic company culture he's created at Vanguard Properties. Every Vanguard agent is provided with ongoing training, the most current market information, and up-to-date technology so that they can deliver a consistently outstanding real estate experience to their clients. Through his creative marketing savvy, James recognizes the importance of presenting every property to its best advantage. As a result, Vanguard's fresh and unique approach to real estate marketing has transformed how homes are bought and sold. With an in-house team of talented photographers, graphic designers and web developers, Vanguard Properties has earned a reputation for the finest and most effective real estate marketing. James is a member of the Real Estate Round Table, as well as the San Francisco Association of Realtors. Originally from Ohio, he earned his Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry at UC Berkeley.

Email: JN@vanguardsf.com  


RAJ QSAR

Principal | Owner, The Boutique Real Estate Group, Newport Beach, CA

Mapping your own Technology Future
— Wednesday General Session, 11:00 - 11:45 AM

Raj's story goes a little something like this... Beautiful design evokes emotion. Emotion stirs the soul and creates a connection between client, agent and the home buying or selling process. The Boutique Real Estate Group has invested heavily in bringing all aspects of the real estate experience completely in-house. From custom design, professional staging, architectural photography, cinematography and social media to technology, internet optimization & cloud based transaction management. This not only provides The Boutique with complete control of the design, marketing & technology of luxury real estate but also gives them the look & feel of a true boutique marketing agency. This design & tech-forward approach has earned The Boutique Real Estate Group accolades & awards worldwide. In 2016 Raj was named to the prestigious SP200 Honoring The Most Powerful 200 People in Residential Real Estate. The Boutique was an Inman News Innovator Finalist for Most Innovative Technology in 2015, Raj was selected as 33 People Changing The Real Estate Industry by Inman News, Innovator Award Nominee for Most Innovative Real Estate Agent in 2014 by Inman News. The Boutique was also awarded Best Real Estate Video for 2014 by Placester and Raj was also named Top 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders For 2013 By Inman News. The Boutique Real Estate Group was recently selected as The 2014 Next Generation Real Estate Brokerage by Better Homes & Garden Real Estate & 1000 Watt Consulting. Their 2013 video called #goodbyehello was named Top 20 Real Estate Videos in the USA. As a National & International Speaker, Raj travels the world educating Real Estate Professionals on the value of Technology & Social Media. As a highly sought after speaker Raj has taken the stage at some of the most prestigious real estate conferences across the country and Raj continues to make his mark in todays ever changing real estate market.

Email: Raj@TheBoutiqueRE.com


VANESSA BERGMARK

General Manager | Partner, Red Oak Realty, Berkeley & Oakland, CA

What has been your most unique Marketing Effort
and what is the Return on Investment?
— Wednesday Management Breakout Session, 11:45 AM - 12:30 PM

A native New Yorker, Vanessa started her career in real estate in 2003 as a sales agent, moving into management just one year later. For three years she ran a large franchise, growing it to the #2 in profitability in the Northern CA region. In the 2007 downturn she left to manage a small, independent brokerage, one year later becoming General Manager of the entire company, and ultimately acquiring the 35 year old brokerage. Since then, she has rebranded and reshaped the entire organization, moving it from 12th in market share to number 3 in just 4 years. Presently, she oversees the 80 sales agents in two offices located in Berkeley and Oakland, CA. She has spoken about branding, culture and agent retention at several organizations and conferences including ICSF, ICNY, NAR, CAR and Who's Who in Luxury. In 2013 and 2016 she was named as one of Inman's 100 Most Influential Leaders in Real Estate. She currently resides in Oakland, CA with her husband and two young children.

Email: vanessa@redoakrealty.com


ROB CORCORAN

Founder and CEO, Influence Relocation, Park City, UT

Staying on Course: Navigating through the Noise
— Tuesday General Session, 11:00 - 11:45 AM

Rob Corcoran founded his company, Influence Relocation Services, in 2010. He recently sold the real estate brokerage associated with his firm and is now focusing exclusively on real estate relocation. Rob and his team specialize in providing an unprecedented level of service to corporate executives and their families by partnering with the Leverage Global Partner network. They have over 60 certified, relocation specialists located in Salt Lake City, Southern California and Denver, as well as an industry-leading concierge team to simplify the relocation process for each of their clients.
Rob lives in Park City, Utah with his wife, Shannon, and their two boys, Canyon and Crue. They all share Rob’s sense of adventure, so they spend their time together biking, golfing, hiking, skiing and traveling.
Influence Relocation Services proudly sponsors several local, charitable events, such as The North Pole Express and the American Fork Half Marathon. Rob also sits on the board for Junior Achievement, Hale Centre Theatre and serves as president for one of the boards on the Intermountain Research and Medical Foundation for Intermountain Healthcare. Rob is passionate about giving back to his community and finds this to be one of his most rewarding opportunities as a business owner.
Influence Relocation Services caters to clients of all sizes and customizes its services, whether a company has 2 moves annually or 2,000. The company’s network also makes it possible to relocate people domestically and globally. Influence Relocation Services is innovative, efficient and at your service.

Email: rob@influencerelocation.com


ROBIN DICKSON

Executive Vice President, J. Rockcliff Realtors, Alamo, CA

What has been your most unique Marketing Effort and what is the Return on Investment?
— Wednesday Management Breakout Session, 11:45 AM - 12:30 PM

Robin Dickson has been in the real estate industry since the mid 1980’s. After completing a decade as a corporate officer for a nationwide bank, Robin made a career change to real estate.

Relying on her background in finance and her intimate knowledge of the San Francisco East Bay, Robin’s professional opinion was highly regarded by her clients and resulted in ranking consistently among the top 1% of agents nationwide for sales volume.

Beginning as a Sales Manager for the Danville and Blackhawk offices of Alain Pinel Realtors, Robin later took on the management of the Pleasanton office of that firm. In 2003, she put her detail-oriented skills to work helping to start Intero Real Estate Services in the East Bay.

In 2007 when the opportunity arose to purchase the 5 East Bay offices of Intero, Robin became the Executive Vice President of J. Rockcliff Realtors where she is responsible for overseeing all marketing, advertising, training, staff and other day-to-day operations in addition to managing the Pleasanton office.

Robin served many years on the Contra Costa Association of Realtors Board of Directors and was it’s 2013 President. She is a Director for the California Association of Realtors, is currently Assistant Regional Chair for Region 5 and appointed to the Standard Forms Advisory. As a Director of the National Association of Realtors, Robin sits on the Board Jurisdiction & Policy Committee.       

In addition to her firm’s involvement with Leverage Global Partners, Robin and J. Rockcliff are members of the Board of Regents for Luxury Real Estate and are recognized as “Power Brokers” by RIS Media.

Robin holds both CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) and GRI (Graduate Realtors Institute) designations. Robin has taught on the staff of a Real Estate Management Program as well as being a certified CAR Forms Trainer.

Believing in the value of home ownership, Robin is a California “President’s Circle” and “Golden R” member of the National Association of Realtor’s Realtor Action Fund.

Originally from Texas, Robin has lived in the San Francisco East Bay since she was ten years old now residing in Alamo! She has three grown sons with her husband Dave and is crazy about her loveable Golden Retrievers, Crosby and Jax and baby grandson, Brody.

Email: rdickson@rockcliff.com


DONNA EVERS

Broker/ Owner, Evers & Co. Real Estate Inc., Washington, DC

Expanding your Marketing Outreach with Minimal Impact to your Budget
— Tuesday Management Breakout Session, 2:30 - 3:15 PM

Donna Evers has more than 38 years experience in residential real estate in the Washington Metro marketplace. She was one of the most successful sales agents in the area before she started her own company, which is distinguished by an exceptional reputation for the highest standards of excellence. Evers & Co. agents are among the top agents in the area in terms of individual volume of sales and average sales price. In addition, the company is the largest woman-owned-and-run independent residential real estate company in the Metro area.

Donna grew up in Michigan, received a B.A. from the University of Michigan and later, an M.A. from the University of California at Irvine. She has lived in Chevy Chase, Maryland for the past 35 years, just blocks from the Chevy Chase / Friendship Heights office. In 2006, Evers & Co. opened its second area office at 1509 – 22nd Street, NW, in Dupont Circle, to further enhance its growing presence in the District of Columbia marketplace.

Donna Evers’ second home, which is also the site of the company’s third office in Bluemont, Virginia, is an hour from Washington in the midst of horse farms and historic villages. This is also the site of her vineyard and Twin Oaks Tavern Winery, where she grows grapes and makes wine. In February of 2013, Evers & Co. opened its fourth office in Bethesda-Chevy Chase at 7032 Wisconsin Avenue, Chevy Chase, MD.

Donna has three grown children and three grandchildren. Over the past several years, she renovated 23 properties, including two in France, where she has an apartment in the sixth arrondissement in Paris . She says the fun of renovating and redesigning houses far outweighs the frustrations. With years of experience in successfully staging homes for sale, she has the expertise to assist Evers & Co. sellers so that they can realize the maximum gain and she has the know-how to advise buyers on making the most of the home they buy.

Donna appears regularly on radio, television and in print to discuss the Metro area real estate market. She writes monthly columns about Washington area history for Washington Life magazine, The Georgetowner and The Downtowner. Evers & Co. is licensed and does business in DC, Maryland and Virginia. Donna Evers loves the real estate business and the 100 successful Evers & Co. sales agents share her enthusiasm.

Email: Devers@eversco.com


KEVIN JOYCE

President | Broker, Joyce Realty, Rockland County, NY

Maximizing Efforts for Increased
Agent Production
— Tuesday Management Breakout Session, 3:30 PM - 4:15 PM

A commitment to investing in people, not just real estate, has always been Kevin Joyce's driving force. As the principal broker at Joyce Realty, Kevin has spent years running the number one independent real estate office serving the northern suburbs of the New York Hudson Valley and Northern New Jersey markets. Though his first love was the theater, an elective real estate course during college convinced both he (and his broker/agent mother- Mary Ellen Joyce) that he had a penchant for, and promising future in, real estate. Alongside his mother, Kevin established Joyce Realty in 1994, and soon developed it into a strong regional brand, with core values dedicated to the clients and the agents working with him. A self-proclaimed "hands-on guy," Kevin continues to develop Joyce's brand and service to their clients with a strong, cutting-edge media presence not offered by other firms. Joyce Realty's goal is a seamless transaction, whether your goal is buying, selling, or relocating. As a full-service real estate provider with local to global relocation expertise, they proudly serve several of the world's Fortune 500 companies. Joyce Realty is a proud exclusive affiliate for the New York Metro Area for Leverage Global Partners.

Email: kjoyce@joycerealty.com


VALERIE MITCHENER

Owner | Broker, HM Properties, Charlotte, NC

Leveraging Your Network
— Tuesday Agent Breakout Session, 3:30 - 4:15 PM

Valerie was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and spent most of her childhood in New Jersey before relocating to North Carolina in 1986. She graduated with honors from UNC Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in English. Prior to her real estate career she owned a company called TextWorks which provided documentation and training materials for the banking industry. She sold this company in 1998, embarked on her career in real estate and quickly became a consistent Top Producer. In August 2006, Valerie decided to turn her dream of owning her own real estate company into a reality and founded HM Properties. The company began as a small boutique agency with six agents and has grown to be an award–winning real estate agency with over 60 agents and nine full–time staff. It is located off Fairview Road in the heart of SouthPark. Valerie was one of the founders of the Yes I can PLAY Foundation, a non–profit that believes all children should be able to play sports. They raise funds to help children whose families are unable to afford expenses associated with participating in Yes I Can Basketball or other youth sports programs. Valerie and her husband, Joe Pellegrini, married in 2011, and live in the Foxcroft neighborhood with their four boys: Calvin (20); Spencer (17); Joey (16) and Nicky (13). Joe is a Managing Director for Robert W. Baird. Valerie's interests include traveling, writing, and watching professional sports. A season ticket holder of Hornets and Panthers, she enjoys attending these games and spending quality time with her family and Bailey, their German Shepherd. Honors and Credentials •Top 25 Women in Business Achievement Award (2010) - The Charlotte Business Journal •50 Influential Women Award - The Mecklenburg Times (2012) •Fast 50 Award - Fastest growing companies in the region (Placed #14 of 50) (2011) - The Charlotte Business Journal •National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) •National Association of Realtors (NAR) •North Carolina Association of Realtors (NCAR) •Charlotte Regional Realtor Association (CRRA) •Charlotte Multiple Listing Service (CMLS) •Licensed in NC & SC Education •University of North Carolina Chapel Hill - BA English Community Involvement •Yes I Can PLAY Foundation (YICPF) (president) •St. Gabriel Catholic Church (member) •Charlotte Chamber of Commerce (member) •Official Realtor of the Charlotte Hornets (corporate sponsor).

Email: valerie@hmproperties.com

 


MORGAN NORTHWAY

Senior Account Director, Leverage Global Partners, Los Angeles, CA

Maximizing Your Leverage Tools and Relationships
— Tuesday General Session, 11:45 - 12:30 PM

Born and raised in the Midwest, I have always embraced a spirit for exploration, innovation, and out-of-the box thinking. I graduated from Iowa State University where I focused on Apparel Merchandising and Design and Entrepreneurial Studies, and then I made my way to Los Angeles. My enthusiasm for technology and building strong relationships with clients has led me to Leverage Global Partners, where I support our team and our partners. I take time to enjoy life in Los Angeles and its infinite possibilities each and every day, whether that's a hike in Griffith Park, a historic tour of downtown Los Angeles or through my volunteer work at local charities.

Email: morgan.northway@leveragere.com


KEVIN PATSEL

Sales Manager, Vanguard Properties, Marin, CA

Maximizing Efforts for Increased Agent Production
— Tuesday Management Breakout Session, 3:30 - 4:15 PM

"Managing a residential Real Estate brokerage is perhaps the most satisfying and rewarding job of my life," says Vanguard Properties Marin's Sales Manager, Kevin Patsel. Following a successful career in the public relations industry, Kevin became one of the Top Producing agents in Marin, and prior to joining Vanguard, he managed Coldwell Banker’s Greenbrae office.

Kevin’s diverse background, boundless energy, and extensive knowledge of the local market are a perfect fit as Vanguard expands its brand in Marin County. His management style is completely inclusive, and he’s established an office culture that allows individuals to perform at their personal best in an atmosphere that is helpful, collaborative, interactive and supportive. Agents can expect a results-oriented, positive environment where the focus stays where it should – on helping agents serve their clients in buying and selling property.

Kevin has served on both the Board of Directors and the Executive Committee of the Marin Association of Realtors. He was named Marin County’s REALTOR® of the Year in 2009.

Email: kevin@vanguardmarin.com


JEFF PERLIS

Owner | Broker, Prime Properties,Lake Arrowhead, CA

Leveraging Your Network
— Tuesday Agent Breakout Session, 3:30 - 4:15 PM

Jeff Perlis is Owner/Broker of Prime Properties, the exclusive representative for Leverage Global Partners in Lake Arrowhead, California, USA.

“Different isn’t always better, but better is always different,” has been founder, and president, Jeff Perlis’ motto for providing outstanding service to his clients for almost 25 years. Jeff created Prime Properties as a boutique real estate company that provides Nordstrom-quality customer service to its clients.

The Prime Properties Team purposes to continually show community support. Such support can be exemplified by their sweeping transformation of its current office location. The office’s strategic location, houses the Arrowhead Welcome Center, Jeff’s vision for providing a warm and inviting first-stop for Lake Arrowhead visitors and clients. The Prime Properties Team includes, Arrowhead Rental Agency, the full-time rental department.

Lake Arrowhead is a four season resort community centered around the uniqueness of a private lake. Located in an altitude of 5,100 feet, Lake Arrowhead has been described as the “Jewel of Southern California,” known as “Little Switzerland.” Close to local ski resorts and National Forest trails, Lake Arrowhead is less than a two-hour drive from Los Angeles, San Diego, or Palm Springs.


Email: jeff@jeffpelis.com


NICK SEGAL

President | CEO, Partners Trust, Beverly Hills, CA

- Your True North: Leading with Your Greatest Strength (Tuesday AM)
- What is Your True North? (Tuesday AM)
- Maximizing Efforts for Increased Agent Production (Tuesday PM Management Breakout)
- Value Conscious Negotiation Workshop (Tuesday Optional activity, 4:30 - 6:30 PM
- What has been your most unique Marketing Effort and what is the Return on Investment? (Wednesday AM Management Breakout)
— Various times and days

Having immersed myself in the real estate business for over 27 years and served my clients in well over $800,000,000 in real estate transactions, I am confident that most people, when considering who will provide them with finest real estate services for their benefit, are ideally looking for answers to 3 key questions:

1.How I am able to translate my experience for your benefit?
2. What is my ability to demonstrate my caring for your unique situation?
3. How I am able to deliver results that achieve your objective?

My past is diverse and one that has direct application to the demonstration of caring and the ability to deliver on a promise that produces superior results. Growing up on the East Coast and driven by an intensely competitive nature, I arrived to the work force at 13 on a bike, delivering “Newsday” through the streets of Westhampton Beach. Graduation from a Quaker Prep School and then Vassar College formed some of my intellectual curiosity prior to venturing forth to Los Angeles in 1984, seduced by the glamour and family lineage of the film industry.
Realizing I wanted more control of my destiny and the ability to engage with people more directly, I got my license while working on a show called “The Famous Teddy Z”. And while the show didn’t get picked up, I found a vehicle where I could apply my competitive nature and aptitude in real estate. A sponge for knowledge and a willingness to work hard, I rose up in the ranks of the profession quickly. I became the #2 owner of a firm that we eventually sold in 2004 to a national brand. Dedicated to being of service, I have served as Chair of both the Grievance and Professional Standards for the Beverly Hills Board of Realtors. I’ve been honored to receive “Realtor of the Year” in 2012 and was the “William May Garland” recipient in 2013 for that dedication to service.
As a Founding Partner and President of Partners Trust, I now have a platform along side some of the brightest and most dedicated professionals in the industry to demonstrate a caring and skill that few possess outside our company because of our dedicated training and commitment to professionalism.
And while each transaction is unique, the keys to facilitating a successful transaction include superior contract knowledge, the ability to formulate comprehensive strategies and artfully negotiate outcomes that delivers on a promise, “A commitment to you”. That’s how I’ve create Peace of Mind for my clients since 1988 and I stand at the ready, to put my skills to work for you. Thank you.

Email: nick.segal@thepartnerstrust.com


F.RON SMITH

President, Leverage Global Partners, Beverly Hills, CA

Founding Partner, Partners Trust, Beverly Hills, CA

- Opening Remarks (Tuesday & Wednesday)
- Charting a Course: Mapping your Personal Business Plan (Tuesday PM Agent Breakout)
- Elevating your Profile through New Marketing Efforts (Wednesday AM Agent Breakout)
— Various days and times

 

I'm passionate about real estate. I have lived and worked in Los Angeles for my entire real estate career and consider myself fortunate that many of my clients have become close friends.

After 25 years and over $1 billion in real estate sales, I collaborated with four talented associates and founded Partners Trust Real Estate Brokerage and Acquisitions in 2009. In just five years, Partners Trust has sold well over US $5 billion in real estate with 200 associates in seven offices, and our newly opened eighth office, in Shanghai, China. One of the key elements to the immediate success of Partners Trust is the company's ability to network directly with the best realtors in their markets.

I am a proud co-founder and President of Leverage Global Partners, which aligns the most prestigious independent real estate brokerage firms from around the world.

I credit my long-term success to my local expertise and strong community connections. I introduce my clients to both a home that fits their needs, and a neighborhood and community lifestyle that matches their interests. As an expert in new construction and advisor to my clients in everything from home staging to color palettes and landscaping, I have successfully represented over US $1.3 billion in transactions.

I live in Brentwood on LA's Westside with Tracy, my wife of 27 years. I am enormously proud of our sons, Evan and Brandon. I enjoy travel, fitness, good coffee and live music. I am an active supporter of numerous charitable organizations, including LA Family Housing and Concern Foundation for cancer research. I am proud to be a member of the Executive Committee of USC's Lusk Center for Real Estate.

Email: fron.smith@leveragere.com


BRET SNYDER

Founder, Operations, Marketing, Quality Control, Montana 406, Bozeman, MT

Staying on Course: Navigating through the Noise
— Tuesday General Session, 11:00 - 11:45 AM

Bret Snyder - Founder, Business Development, Marketing Bret grew up in the Newport Beach area of California and attended the California State University at Fullerton. He currently holds real estate licenses in Montana and California. In the real estate industry, Bret has worked as a Sales Executive, Sales Coordinator, Marketing Director, Resort Consultant (Sales and Marketing), Chief Operations Officer of a large ranch brokerage firm, and Business Development Director. In 2012, Bret embarked on the creation and development of Montana 406, with his wife, PollyAnna. Bret is also a published author of a real estate business, organizational program. The development Montana 406, in Bret's vision, is founded upon the highest quality service to clients and to the Firm's agents. He believes in being discerning, honest, strategic, organized, and smart-working in order to attain client and agent goals. Bret lives in Bozeman with his wife and their two children, Finn and Marin. His time is easily consumed with his love for his family, his work, the outdoors, good food, good wine and all the benefits of living in the "Last Best Place".

Email: bret@montana406.com


JEFF SPOSITO

President, J.Rockcliff Realtors

Your True North: Leading with your Greatest Strength
— Tuesday General Session, 9:45 - 10:25 AM

Mr. Sposito has over 36 years of experience in real estate management and ownership. As the President and Founder of J. Rockcliff Realtors (named after his late mother), Mr. Sposito personifies J. Rockcliff’s company vision. He has risen through the ranks of the real estate industry and is dedicated to best serving the needs of the client by hiring the best agents and providing the tools needed to succeed. He started his career as a top-producing agent and moved up into several prestigious management and ownership positions. Over the three-decade span of his career, Mr. Sposito has won numerous awards, including Realtor of the Year, Outstanding Leadership Award and was recognized by the California Association of Realtors as having the best real estate exchange in the state of California. Most recently he was awarded the prestigious “Director for Life” by the California Association of Realtors. Reinforcing his leadership role within the real estate industry, Mr. Sposito is currently a Lifetime Director for the California Association of Realtors and he also serves as a Director of the National Association of Realtors. Additionally, he was President of the Bay East Association of Realtors in 1985 and President of the Contra Costa Association of Realtors in 2001, the only individual to have ever held both these prestigious titles. In 2002, Mr. Sposito was invited and spoke in front of then Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan and the Federal Reserve Board about issues within the real estate industry in Washington, D.C. He has participated as a key note speaker at many seminars and conventions. He is an Eco Broker and holds CRB (Certified Residential Broker), CRS (Certified Residential Specialist) and GRI (Graduate Realtors Institute) designations. Mr. Sposito lives in Danville with his wife, Teresa. Together, they have two grown sons, Shane, who is a pilot in the United States Army, and Jeffrey, who lives in Montana. He has 4 Grandchildren and two very spoiled Australian Shepherds!

Email: jsposito@rockcliff.com


TONY SARGENT

Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, CORE, New York, NY

Your True North: Leading with your Greatest Strength
— Tuesday General Session, 9:45 - 10:25 AM

Recognized domestically and internationally as an industry leader, Tony Sargent has sold over $300 million in Manhattan property, many at record prices. He has been ranked in the top 1% - 3% as a broker in Manhattan and the U.S. since 2003, and was recognized as “The Best Broker Seen on HGTV’s Selling New York” by Curbed in 2013.

A luxury marketing specialist, Tony’s ability to rapidly identify the key selling features of a home while mitigating any weaknesses empowers his sellers to hit the market with maximum showing potential, and repeatedly enables him to deliver record results. His sellers are drawn to his unique ability to combine financial savvy with creative custom online marketing strategies, delivering elevated levels of first and second appointments. His innate eye for design helps him prepare his clients’ properties strategically for the market, increasing the selling price and decreasing time on the market. In 2012, he won the “Best Innovative Marketing” distinction on HGTV’s Selling New York.

Buyers who choose to work exclusively with Tony discover that they find their dream home sooner than expected due to his seamless matching of their needs and his unparalleled market and inventory knowledge, all while receiving his full attention. His reputation and solid network of real estate professionals empowers his clients to have the highest level of representation on both sides of the deal. His high level of repeat clients and referral rate is a testament to his exceptional level of service and expertise.

Raised multi-culturally in Kenya, Switzerland, Norway and the U.K. provided him with unique insight into his clients’ desire to move and helping him guide them smoothly through any challenges they may face. Tony has called New York home for over 25 years. He has advised many internationally-based clients on buying or selling New York real estate and is closely connected to a global network of top realtors and influencers. He is fluent in German, French, Armenian and Norwegian.

He is a business graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, a globally sought-after public speaker, as well as a published photographer and painter.

 

Email: TSargent@corenyc.com


AMY UPDEGROVE

Chief Executive Officer, Leverage Global Partners 

- Your True North - Leading with your Greatest Strength (Tuesday General Session)
- Staying on Course: Navigating Through the Noise (Tuesday General Session)
- Maximize your Leverage Tools & Relationships (Tuesday General Session)
- Leveraging Your Network (Tuesday PM Agent Breakout)
- Closing Remarks (Wednesday)
— Various days and times

I started my media career at Texas Monthly magazine in ad sales and moved with them to their New York office, Mediatex National Sales, selling advertising for Chicago magazine. From there, I served for many years as the Retail Marketing Director for Polo Ralph Lauren and in 2000, I became Interim Publisher for Latina magazine. In 2002, I returned to Texas Monthly and Emmis Communications as Advertising Director. I was named Publisher and President of Los Angeles magazine in September 2007, and in 2010 returned once again to Texas as the VP, Group Publisher of Emmis Publishing and the Publisher of Texas Monthly. This long, amazing career in media, marketing, sales and client service has given me a specialized skill set to easily adapt to my role as Chief Executive Officer of Leverage Global Partners.

Email: amy.updegrove@leveragere.com


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EMILY DESAI

Chief Creative Officer, Leverage Global Partners

- Maximize your Leverage Tools & Relationships (Tuesday General Session)
- Expanding your Marketing Outreach with Minimal Impact to your Budget (Tuesday PM Management Breakout)
- Destination: The Future of Luxury Marketing (Wednesday General Session)
— Various times and days

From an early age, I knew that I wanted to be an architect. So I earned my bachelors degree in Architecture at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. After graduating, I moved to Paris to work in a design firm and soak in as much of the city as possible. When I returned to the States, I settled in Los Angeles, where I have enjoyed working in a variety of creative companies. Early on, I worked for local design firms, then took a break to start and run a letterpress design company for several years. On any given day, you may find me strategizing new marketing initiatives or brainstorming with Leverage Global Partners team members on upcoming projects. When I am not working, I love to spend time with my husband, our son, two daughters and fixing up our 100-yr old bungalow and attempting to garden (it's harder than it looks). I also continue to pursue new artistic endeavors and love spending time with family and friends.

Email: emily.desai@leveragere.com


JAY DYSART

Owner/President, JLOOP

- Maximize your Leverage Tools & Relationships (Tuesday General Session)
- Mapping your own Technology Future (Wednesday General Session)
— Various days and times

Jay Dysart is a rare mix of creative and tech - an internet and new media strategist, consultant, designer, and developer with a broad range of experience. With a background that stems from the Performing Arts - having created and run a non-profit theater company before venturing into online interactive media - Jay is always interested in new challenges in technology and focused on helping clients reach their goals through long-range vision and short-term action. Jay has led the strategic design and development of numerous projects in Real Estate in the past decade - from custom websites for boutique brokerages to powerful online software - and now an engagement-focused website platform for brokerages called Real Atomic.

Email: jay@jloop.com


BRIAN COOLEY

Co-Founder, Wicked+

Expanding your Marketing Outreach with Minimal Impact to your Budget
— Tuesday Management Breakout, 2:30 - 3:15 PM

Brian Cooley, along with his brother Colin, founded Wicked+, a creative and communications agency based in Hermosa Beach, CA known for pioneering fully-integrated earned and owned media campaigns for clients in an array of markets, from entertainment and gaming to luxury real estate and travel. Over the past 4 years alone, Wicked+ has been involved with marketing more than $4 billion worth of real estate properties and new developments.

Before founding Wicked+, Brian was an advertising executive and a Series 7 and Series 52 licensed stock broker and municipal bond trader. Along with his brother Colin, Brian also owns two retail boutiques in Hermosa Beach, CA, which evolved from their agency storefront and landed the brothers on the cover of Entrepreneur magazine in 2014.

Brian is married to his wife, Erika, for 13 years. They have one son, Rider, who’s 9.

Email: brian@wicked.is


DIEDRE WOOLLARD

Communications Manager, Partners Trust

Expanding your Marketing Outreach with Minimal Impact to your Budget
— Tuesday Management Breakout Session, 2:30 - 3:15 PM

From the early days of blogging and the social web to today’s mobile world, one thing remains constant: storytelling. Deidre Woollard works at telling the stories of the brands and individuals in the real estate space. Previously Community Manager at Realtor.com, she has served as a publicist and communications pro for luxury real estate brokerages in Los Angeles and shares her views on the role of creativity in business at www.mfanotmba.com

Email: deidre.woollard@thepartnerstrust.com


DAVID BERG

Associate Partner, Partners Trust Beverly Hills

Chart a Course ­ Mapping your Personal Business Plan
— Tuesday Agent Breakout Session, 3:30 - 4:15 PM

David Berg has been an Associate Partner with Partners Trust Beverly Hills since its inception in 2010. Born and raised in Los Angeles, he possesses an unparalleled local knowledge of the city’s various neighborhoods. With this valuable insight and over a decade of experience, David is able to provide clients with an exceptional level of expertise. With tens of millions transacted every year, David attributes his success to his ability to remain calm under any circumstance while authentically caring for his clients. His enthusiasm and eagerness to satisfy his clients’ real estate needs has resulted in superlative results, as well as countless referrals.

Buyers and sellers seek his representation because of his utmost professionalism, attention to detail, and his proficiency in negotiating a win. David excels in orchestrating transactions seamlessly, while managing expectations and maintaining the highest level of integrity with his clients and amongst his peers in the industry.

David has represented the interests of celebrities, banking institutions, Communication Workers of America Union, Los Angeles Leadership Academy, and the Florence Crittenton Foundation. His experience includes transacting receivership estates, bankruptcy sales, trust sales, short sales, and bank owned properties.

David resides in Westwood with his wife and two sons. An avid sports fan and having played ice hockey most of his life, he is particularly devoted to the LA Kings. David’s interests include spending time with his family, studying architecture and design, and painting.

Email: david.berg@thepartnerestrust.com


SCOTT CARMODY

Manager, Partners Trust Brentwood

Maximizing Efforts for Increased Agent production
— Tuesday Management Breakout Session, 3:30 - 4:15 PM

I started my full-time real estate career in 1995 and I love it. I believe that a good real estate agent is more of an educator than a sales person. Once every aspect of a transaction is discussed and understood, the client will decide whether or not the deal is right for them or not.

I love negotiating for my clients and I have a deep understanding of real estate contracts, which always benefits my clients regardless of which side of the transaction we are on. I try to put myself inside the head of the people on the other side of the deal so I can anticipate what may come next. I am fortunate to work primarily by referral, so I have experience selling homes from Los Feliz to Malibu, as well as all of the San Fernando Valley. This gives me a broad understanding of the entire Los Angeles real estate market, not merely a select neighborhood.

Email: scott.carmody@thepartnerstrust.com


DEBRA GUNN-DOWNING

Executive Director, South Coast Plaza 

Destination: The Future of Luxury Marketing
— Wednesday General Session, 9:45- 10:45 AM

Debra Gunn Downing Executive Director, Marketing South Coast Plaza Debra Gunn Downing has been shaping the direction of Orange County’s luxury retail landscape for the past 16 years as Executive Director of Marketing for South Coast Plaza. With annual sales approaching $2 billion, the internationally renowned shopping destination is home to more than 250 prominent boutiques and critically-acclaimed restaurants. Ms. Downing has spent more than 25 years honing her skills in strategic planning, advertising, public relations, sales and corporate communications at retail and fashion stalwarts such as the Taubman Company and Neiman Marcus, working in every key retail market in the United States. Since 1999, Ms. Downing has been involved in the development and implementation of all marketing efforts for South Coast Plaza. She directs creative, advertising, public relations, sponsorships, tenant relations, retail services, community relations, social media and event marketing. Additionally, Ms. Downing is responsible for developing collaborative partnerships with local civic, business and community resources and implementation of market research programs. Previously, Ms. Downing was Director of Regional Marketing for The Taubman Company in Bloomfield Hills, MI, overseeing all marketing activities for 16 regional shopping centers across the nation. She also spent years with Neiman Marcus as National Director of Corporate Communications in Dallas, TX. Debra graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Northwood University in Michigan. She did advanced coursework in international marketing and fashion at Northwood Europe in Paris, France. Ms. Downing has a strong commitment to community and charitable endeavors. She is an active philanthropist for the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, South Coast Repertory, SOKA University, Philharmonic Society of Orange County, Pacific Symphony, Orange County Museum of Art and Rainforest Flow.


TERRY NIEMANN

Director of Sales/Marketing, Terranea Real Estate

Destination: The Future of Luxury Marketing
— Wednesday General Session, 9:45- 10:45

Terry grew up in a real estate family: her grandmother sold homes to movie studio execs and her father developed resorts in California and Florida. In fact, weekend family fun time often included visiting open houses or touring golf course communities and model home complexes. To make sure that the love of real estate continued, of course she married a real estate developer and discovered that her wonderfully engaging mother-in-law was consistently in the top ten real estate agents in the greater St. Louis area.


After graduating with a degree in journalism from the University of Southern California, Terry worked with several homebuilder clients and eventually headed up an award-winning AAAA advertising & public relations firm specializing in the marketing of luxury real estate. The firm was instrumental in creating marketing programs during varying economic periods resulting in the sales of property & homes throughout the western U.S. The sales included urban high-rise condos and lofts, lavishly grand homes on acres of horse property, home sites within country clubs, newly emerging family communities as well as ultra-luxurious custom single-family residences for celebrities along the Malibu coastline.


While raising her very active family, she maintained her marketing skills by volunteering, spearheading, creating & fundraising for various groups such as her children’s PTAs, mother-son community service groups, sports teams and parent & alumni boards at USC.


Terranea Villas and Casitas are high-end, multi-million dollar fee-simple second homes at the edge of the Pacific Ocean with occupancy restrictions placed upon them by the California Coastal Commission so that many people can enjoy the view even when the owner isn’t in residence. Terry was originally hired to oversee Terranea Resort’s real estate advertising, PR & marketing of the Villas and Casitas, including writing scripts and preparing sales materials for the sales team. A couple of years later, she became a licensed real estate agent and transitioned from just marketing to also selling the vacation homes. In her first year of selling, Terry was so successful in sales of the Villas and Casitas that she won the National Association of Home Builder’s ‘Rookie of the Year’ Gold Award. She also holds a broker’s license, and continues to manage the marketing and sales of the remaining developer-owned properties as well as the occasional resale at Terranea.

Email: TNiemann@LoweEnterprises.com


BRETT BAER

President, Merideth Baer Home

Destination: The Future of Luxury Marketing
— Wednesday General Session, 9:45 - 10:45 AM

As the world's #1 home staging and interiors company, Meridith Baer Home has over 250,000 square feet of warehouse space on both the west and east coasts, and recently launched a signature furniture line. 

Meridith Baer has been deemed "the story seller" by the New York Times for designing interiors by imagining who might live in them and sharing their story with ease and elegance. With an unmatched collection of furnishings, Meridith Baer Home offers staging, private design, and luxury lease services in Los Angeles, New York, Miami, London, San Francisco, coastal Florida, Connecticut, and the Hamptons. In 2013, HGTV premiered “Staged To Perfection,” a docu-series following Meridith and her team of designers staging multimillion-dollar homes, bringing the company to international attention. Meridith Baer has appeared on Good Morning America, Nightline, Million Dollar Listing, and CNBC. Her interior designs have been written about in New York Times Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Forbes, Entrepreneur, The Daily Mail UK, Wallpaper Magazine, and The Wall Street Journal to name a few.

Email: brett@meridithbaer.com


BRANDON BERGMARK

Head of Sales, Outbrain Inc.

Mapping your own Technology Future
— Wednesday General Session, 11:00 - 11:45 AM

Brandon Bergmark leads the west coast sales team in the west for Outbrain, the world’s leading content discovery platform which powers the native content recommendations across a global network of publishers, including CNN, Time Inc., and Conde Nast. Outbrain is leveraged by real estate brands including Trulia, Zillow, Houzz, Sotheby’s, Colliers, and local brokerages. Throughout his career, which includes leadership roles at AOL, NBCUniversal, and Fox Interactive, Brandon focus has been on helping Fortune 500 marketers connect with audiences by leveraging content, data, social applications, and digital collaborations.

Email: brandon@outbrain.com


JESSICA WILSON

Marketing Manager, Jackson Hole Real Estate

What has been your Most Unique Marketing Effort and what is the Return on Investment?
— Wednesday Management Breakout Session, 11:45 - 12:30 PM

Jessica Wilson, Marketing Manager, Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates
Originally from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Jessica has a degree from the University of Alabama and, following graduation, she moved to Jackson Hole to experience the mountain lifestyle. Jessica joined the Jackson Hole Real Estate Associates team in 2012. She is responsible for the company’s marketing and branding efforts, all media relations, advertising and digital strategies. She manages and oversees creative services, sponsorships, events, and agent trainings. Through her tenure, Jessica has significantly increased the company’s digital presence through social media, video, online marketing and launched the all-new jhrea.com. Her most recent projects include rebranding the company’s catalog of fine properties, advertisements, presentations and market reports. Jessica’s success is rooted in her ability to accomplish marketing objectives and manage company strategy, while maintaining relationships with the agents and affiliates within their global networks. 

Email: jessicawilson@jhrea.com


TRACY BERLINER SMITH

President/Founder, Stratosphere Marketing

Elevating your Profile through New Marketing Efforts
— Wednesday Agent Breakout Session, 11:45 - 12:30 PM

I really love marketing, advertising and branding. I enjoy seeing how a company or person can literally be transformed by a new logo or way of presenting themselves. I enjoy social media but find it can certainly consume way too much of a day. As a native Angeleno, with a degree from USC's Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism, I went immediately into the entertainment business, spending time as an agent at both William Morris Agency (now WME Endeavor) and LA Models. After parenting my two wonderful sons, now grown, I jumped back into philanthropy, as a Board Member with many worthy organizations and event Chair of very successful fund raising efforts, but never stopped running the marketing and advertising profile of F. Ron Smith. I have consulted with RE agents and agencies and continue to find the process transformative. Even in this digital age, there are so many lessons to bring forth from the 'early' days that still really resonate today.

Email: tracybsmith2011@gmail.com


SEAN MEI

Founding Partner, PartnersTrust China

Destination: The Future of Luxury Marketing
— Wednesday General Session, 9:45 - 10:45 AM

With over 26 years experience in architecture, real estate technology, and private equity, Sean has founded and managed multi-national corporations in the USA, Hong Kong, China, the United Arab Emirates and Eastern Europe. He has been recognized as a leader in connecting high net worth clients with a wide variety of opportunities. Sean is Founding Partner of ParnersTrust China and Executive Director of TH Capital. His multidisciplinary expertise includes real estate, design, technology and education.

Email: sean.mei@thepartnerstrust.com


SEAN McLAUGHLIN

Real Estate Sales Director, Nanuku Fiji

Leveraging Your Network
— Tuesday Agent Breakout Session, 3:30 - 4:15 PM

Sean is the Real Estate Sales Director at Nanuku Ocean Estates at Nanuku Auberge Resort Fiji. He is responsible for launching the development of 500 acres of beautiful waterfront property on one of the most pristine beaches in Fiji. The residences are managed by Auberge Resorts, based out of San Francisco, CA, which are known for providing world class experiences to guests all over the world.

Sean is also a partner of Mountain Oak Properties, which is a real estate company based in Asheville, NC and is a member of the Leverage network. We specialize in retirement and relocations as Asheville is consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in America.

Sean has been in the real estate industry for nearly 20 years, primarily working at luxury golf, ski and beach developments. He has been involved in hundreds of transactions totaling more than $150 million. His specialty has been land sales in vacation home communities.

Sean grew up in Michigan where he attended the business school at the University of Michigan. Since graduation, his career has taken him to New York, New Hampshire, North Carolina and now Fiji. He loves to travel, especially to places with incredible scenery. His current favorite spot is Queenstown, New Zealand.

Email: sean@nanukufiji.com