The opening keynote speaker is Deborah R. Phillips, Ph.D., CPM®, who is an entrepreneur with more than 27 years of experience in the real estate industry. Before forming her own company, The Quadrillion, an international real estate advisory firm in 1997, Dr. Phillips served as vice president for two national real estate firms comprised of commercial, residential, and industrial properties.
In addition to her corporate consulting, Dr. Phillips serves as president for the Georgia Apartment Industry Education Foundation and is an adjunct professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, as well as the New School of Architecture and Design. Dr. Phillips was recently named the 2015 CPM of the year by the Institute of Real Estate Management. Dr. Phillips completed her Ph.D. from Georgia Tech, where her research focused on resident satisfaction and employee engagement as she developed an Employee Engagement Model for the multifamily housing industry.
The Tuesday luncheon keynote speaker is Donna Beegle, who has a doctorate degree in educational studies. Dr. Beegle is an authentic voice who speaks, writes, and trains across the nation to break the iron cage of poverty. She is the author of See Poverty, Be The Difference. Dr. Beegle's inspiring story and work have been featured in newspapers around the nation, on local TV, and on national programs. Dr. Beegle is the only member of her family who has not been incarcerated. After growing up in generational migrant labor poverty, leaving school for marriage at 15, having two children and continuing to cope with poverty, she found herself, at 25, with no husband, little education, and no job skills. She went on to gain self-confidence, and acquired a G.E.D.; an associate degree in journalism; a bachelor's degree, with honors, in communications; a master's degree, with honors, in communication with a Minor in gender studies; and a doctorate in educational leadership. For 25 years, Dr. Beegle has worked with educators, justice professionals, health care providers, social service agencies, and other organizations who want to make a difference for those living in the crisis of poverty.
Jason Falls is one of the most widely read and respected voices in the digital marketing and social media industries. A social listening and analytics innovator, he spends much of his time analyzing online conversations for consumer insights for clients of his and Elasticity, a full-service digital firm where he serves as senior vice-president for digital strategy. Falls shares his no-nonsense ideas regularly at GoElastic.com
. He loves Louisville, sports, and bourbon.
Kristin Messerli is the Founder/Managing Director of Cultural Outreach Solutions, specializing in helping companies in mortgage and real estate to better reach today’s young and diverse homebuyers. Kristin is a frequent speaker in national conferences and writes for numerous publications. Her company provides Millennial and multicultural training and consulting, diversity compliance assessments, and digital strategy. For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Angelisa Harris is the regional manager for Community Affairs Program in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chicago Regional Office. She works with financial institutions, communities, non-profits, consumers, and other stakeholders throughout Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Her career has included major contributions on the development of FDIC’s award-winning Money Smart financial education program, housing recovery initiative for homeowners affected by Gulf Coast hurricanes, and other initiatives related to community development, economic inclusion, consumer protection, and preservation of minority depository institutions.
She has over 30 years of experience on the state and federal levels of government with the FDIC, Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC), Louisiana Department of Economic Development, and U.S. House of Representatives. Ms. Harris has authored numerous articles and speeches on financial education, small business development, economic development, and consumer protection issues.
Adam Cohen is an active design/builder and green building expert, leading North American Passivhaus practitioner whose innovative work on market rate delivery of commercial high performance building has made his expertise sought-after for projects across North America.
As a recognized national leader in the Passivhaus movement he has presented technical papers at both national and international Passivhaus conferences. His leadership in commercial Passivhaus design has made him a sought after speaker, consultant, and teacher of advanced courses in Passivhaus ultra-low energy design.
He served as vice-chair of the Passive House Institute US technical committee for five years and is co-creator and teacher of the builder training curriculum for Passive House Institute US.
Heather Jarvis is an attorney and a nationally recognized expert specializing in student loan law. She has provided award-winning student loan education and consultation for universities, associations, and professional advisors. Heather is sought after for her sophisticated knowledge and accessible teaching style. Widely recognized as an expert source of information, Ms. Jarvis has advised congressional committee members and administrative officials on issues affecting student loan borrowers since 2005. Ms. Jarvis recently completed service on the American Bar Association’s Task Force on Financing Legal Education. She graduated cum laude from Duke University School of Law.
Mark Connors is originally from Santa Barbara, California, but settled in Houston, TX, following his retirement from the U.S. Air Force. Prior to his tenure with the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), Mark worked with the Small Business Administration, making Disaster Home and Business Loans in the wake of Tropical Storm Allison in Houston, TX, and New York, following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Mark returned to Houston and earned his Certified Financial Planner® designation. He worked in the financial planning industry until a career change brought him to the VA as a Loan Specialist at the Houston Regional Loan Center in 2006. In 2010, Mark joined the Loan Policy staff, VA Loan Guaranty Service (LGY), Central Office, Washington, D.C., and currently serves as LGY’s Lender Liaison.
Mark holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology from Texas A&M University and an MBA from West Coast University in Los Angeles, California.