Speaker Biographies

Institute Reps


Blair leads the firm’s commercial real estate capital preservation fund which is focused on purchasing neighborhood centers in affluent communities with necessity-based service tenants. A veteran real estate professional, he has been in the real estate industry for more than 25 years and a principal at Shannon Waltchack since 2010. He currently serves on CCIM Institute’s national board of directors and will serve as CCIM Institute’s Global President in 2021. In addition, Blair was the 2017 National Association of Realtors Commercial Advocate of the Year and is also a Life Member of the Birmingham Association of Realtors’ Commercial Million Dollar Sales Club. Blair received his bachelor’s degree from Colorado College and his MBA from University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. Blair is actively involved in multiple local non-profits including Mainstreet Alabama and the YMCA. After being Board Chair for several area branch YMCA’s, he currently serves as Chairman of the Board for the Birmingham Metro YMCA Association. He and his wife, Barbara, have two children and attend St. Francis Xavier Church.


Libby Ekre, CPM, is a founding Principal of MEB Management Services, AMO with offices in both Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. MEB manages properties in Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, and Tennessee with over 24,000 units and 3 million square feet of commercial office and retail space. MEB employs over 650 real estate professionals. Libby has been active in the Arizona real estate management industry for over 30 years. She has managed all types of multifamily assets, extended stay hotels, office, retail, and medical buildings. She currently oversees the company’s Human Resources, Learning and Development Department, Quality Assurance, and Community Outreach. Libby is currently serving as IREM’s International, Senior Vice President and will be the Secretary/Treasurer for 2022. She is a leader who is passionate about enriching the lives of others by providing stewardship for an international children’s outreach and a local woman’s shelter.


Forecast Reps 


Rosalinda Bridges, CPM® is the VP of Operations for NLR Management. Rosalinda has a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Arizona State University. Positions held previously include Regional Vice President for the ConAm Group, Sr. Regional Manager for Milestone Management, Director of Property Management for a multifamily company which provided tax credit, conventional and senior housing. She is a licensed Real Estate Broker for NLR Management USA, LLC. and received her CPM® certification in 2007. She received the CPM® of the Year Award in 2015. Rosalinda served as IREM® Greater Phoenix Chapter President in 2020 and will serve again in 2021.


With over 22 years of commercial real estate experience, Todd Hamilton specializes in helping industrial building owners achieve success through insightful investment, leasing and property management strategies. Over the course of his career, Todd has completed over 25 million square feet of deals in the Phoenix metro area, primarily involving industrial sales and lease transactions, as well as investment sales. He has consistently been recognized as a top-producing industrial broker and received a number of industry awards from prestigious organizations including CCIM, SIOR, ULI and CoStar.

Arizona State University: Bachelor of Science in FinanceSociety of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) Designated MemberCertified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) Designated Member, Arizona Chapter Board Member for three yearsNational Associate of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) MemberUrban Land Institute (ULI) Committee MemberArizona Commercial Brokers Association (ACBA) President for two termsCoStar Top 20 Power Broker for 15 yearsIREM/CCIM Forecast PanelistIndustrial Real Estate Expert WitnessBrokers for Kids CCIM Team CaptainSigma Alpha Epsilon Fraternity, Arizona Beta Chapter Member


Cody McGuire is a Commercial Real Estate Lender with 20+ years of banking experience.  As Vice President with National Bank of Arizona’s Real Estate Banking Group, he provides financing solutions for commercial real estate developers and investors.  Since joining National Bank of Arizona in 2015, he has financed over 2MM SF.  Prior to his present position he was with The Private Bank at Wells Fargo Wealth Management. 

Nick Miner, CCIM

In March 2010, Nick began teaching commercial real estate classes at Arizona School of Real Estate & Business to help other commercial real estate practitioners navigate the commercial real estate waters. Nick offers his clients a diverse commercial real estate background in sales and leasing. In the past several years, he has transitioned into a top investment broker.

BSBA in Accounting and Real Estate & Land Use Economics from the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 2000. Designations & Certifications: CCIM. ASREB 2016 Broker of the Year Nominee. Professional Organizations: NAR, CCIM, ICSC, ULI (Young Leader Group 2009-2013), TMA (NextGen 2011-2013), LAI (Lambda Alpha International) Pathfinder 2014. Professional Licenses: Arizona Broker License

Keynote and Moderator 

Economist and Futurist Kiernan “KC” Conway, CCIM, CRE, MAI is the mind trust behind Red Shoe Economics, LLC, an independent economic forecasting and consulting firm furthering KC’s mission as The Red Shoe Economist by providing organic research initiatives, reporting and insights on the impact of Economics within the commercial real estate industry. KC is a nationally recognized industry thought leader and Subject Matter Expert with expertise in Macro
Economics, Valuations, Ports & Logistics, Banking Regulation, Real Estate Finance, MSA level market monitoring, Environmental Risk Management, Housing Economics and Tax Appeals. 


Pete Bolton

As an executive coach, Pete works with business owners who strive to reach the next level but haven’t put together a plan to get there. With 35 plus years of experience, Pete has created a results-driven coaching program to help his clients discover how communication plays a role in getting more business and increasing your income as well as improving team dynamics.  Pete uses DISC and Emotional Intelligence Assessments as well as Question, Listen, Expand technology to help his clients better understand and communicate with their clients and colleagues. Pete gets to the root of your challenges so strategic solutions can be put in place


Retail Panel 


As Executive Vice President of Leasing for RED, Mike Kallner manages the company’s team of leasing professionals and provides leadership in leasing strategy and deal-making. He brings more than 25 years of high-level experience in retail development, business development and real estate finance to his current position at RED, which focuses on the national power center portfolio and the full Arizona portfolio, with special emphasis on the restaurant sector and peripheral land sales.


Melissa Lal is the President and Managing Member of Tucson based Larsen Baker. She has been with the company since 2006. Melissa handles all facets of Larsen Baker’s commercial development, brokerage and management divisions including investor and lender relations, property leasing, acquisitions and dispositions, and the financing of Larsen Baker’s $300 million dollar portfolio. Larsen Baker is the largest privately held retail property owner in Southern Arizona.

Melissa graduated summa cum laude from the University of Arizona in 2005 with a B.A in American Literature, and obtained her CCIM designation in 2011. Melissa is the former past president of the Southern Arizona CCIM Chapter and is the 2022 President Elect of Southern Arizona’s Commercial Real Estate Women Chapter (CREW).


Palmer Development is a full service ground up commercial real estate Development Company that has broad experience developing office, industrial, retail and hospitality. Primarily focused on projects located in opportunity zoned Native American lands in Arizona specifically the Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community and the Gila River Indian Community.

Daniel Lupien is a 20-year market veteran and industry expert who has bought, sold, developed and leased more than $6 Billion of commercial real estate throughout his career.

Mr. Lupien graduated from Arizona State University in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Communication and took the roll of Development Manager of Triple Five Development Group helping to build and develop over 1.5 million square feet of retail and mixed-use primarily in Las Vegas and Phoenix.

In 2003 he was recruited by Kimco Realty (NYSE: KIM), one of the nation’s largest publicly traded real estate investment trusts (REIT) and took the roll of Director and then Senior Director of Real Estate. His responsibilities included managing all transactional activity for development, leasing, and management of same site NOI growth and value creation for one of their largest portfolios. Over a span of 15 years he helped to expand the western region from roughly 3 million square feet in 2003 to over 26 million square feet in 2016 through multiple acquisitions and millions of feet in development.

Mr. Lupien is now focused on creating his own projects through his personal investment firm Palmer Development. With a $200 Million development pipeline primarily in the Western United States, Palmer Development is poised to rank as one of the top retail, hospitality and office development firms in the Southwest.


Ari Spiro has been involved in the real estate industry for over 20 years and has been a party to hundreds of transactions for over a billion dollars of total consideration. Prior to founding ORION Investment Real Estate, Ari worked for 12 years for a national real estate firm, where he won numerous Awards for Achievements in Sales and Outstanding Service.

Multi-Family Panel 

scott cook

Scott entered the multifamily housing industry in an accounting capacity over 20 years ago. He spent 15 years with Greystar Real Estate Partners in a variety of roles. While primarily serving as the Chief Financial officer of the property management division of Greystar, he also oversaw in excess of 400,000 units and more than 6,000 team members. He was the driving influence behind several initiatives and played a key role in the acquisitions of GPI, Glacier, and Riverstone Residential Group. Throughout his career, Scott has been responsible for the legal, risk management, property management accounting and financial reporting, development and construction accounting, fund and partnership reporting, and IT departments. A graduate of Arizona State University, he began his career in Phoenix with KOLL and Insignia Residential Group before relocating to Charleston, South Carolina and then Tampa, Florida to join Greystar.  Currently, Scott is a Principal at MEB Management Services where he heads up financial, risk management, technology, and strategic growth for the firm.

Cliff David  

Cliff is the consummate real estate professional with an indisputable mental posture for success. He brings authenticity to the brokerage business by marrying his integrity and conviction with his heartfelt passion to help each client achieve their goals. Cliff starts his day with enthusiasm and ends it with enthusiasm, rarely seeming to tire in the middle. He exudes positive energy and optimism with transparency, candor, and follow-through. He’s a man of great character with an innate command of his emotions and an unwavering devotion to serve as an extension of his clients’ team.

Underscored by his keen interpersonal communication skills and product knowledge, Cliff’s preparation provides him the confidence required to take on calculated risk – a common thread among successful people. Cliff knows how to execute, a special and distinct skill that requires knowing how to put strategy into action and push it forward to completion, through resistance, conflict, or unexpected obstacles. This execution intelligence recognizes that winning is about client results, not self-promotion. His wholehearted sincerity and never quit mentality provide for an inspired, determined investment sales broker that will not stop until he has seen his clients’ plan to completion.

Prior to joining Marcus & Millichap, Cliff worked for Prudential Securities where he focused on equity investments and long-term estate planning practices within their private client portfolio. In August 2002, Cliff joined Marcus & Millichap under the firm’s Sales Internship Program and shortly thereafter was recognized as Marcus & Millichap’s Top First Year Agent for the firm’s Arizona offices.

Cliff is nationally recognized within Marcus & Millichap’s National Multi Housing Group evidenced by numerous promotions through the years, including at present the title of Executive Managing Director, a title bestowed by the firm’s senior management team.


Nicole Wray is managing director of real estate at Greystar, with oversight of the company’s operations in the Arizona region, including the Phoenix corporate office and more than 24,000 units across 86 communities. She and her team are focused on maximizing performance and achieving revenue goals through strategic planning and regional expertise. Prior to joining Greystar in 2010, she held leadership roles at Prometheus Real Estate Group and Trammel Crow Residential. Active in the multifamily industry since 1992, Nicole has extensive experience in all product types, including high-rise and mid-rise assets with retail components. Her property management experience includes pre-development consulting through lease-up for new construction in Arizona, Nevada, and California. She was named Greystar Regional Manager of the Year in 2012, was the 2018 Chair of the Arizona Multihousing Association and a regional delegate to the National Multihousing Association.


Office Panel


Christopher Irvin moved to Tucson from Dallas in 1986 when he was three years old. He grew up and attended school in Tucson including receiving an associate degree from Pima Community College in Business Administration in 2014. He continued his education at the University of Arizona graduating in 2017 with a BGS in Economy & Industry Emphasis. He is also a two-time graduate of Hogan School ofReal Estate.rnChristopher worked for Mark Irvin Commercial Real Estate Services as an intern as a young man growing up. He has been around the commercial real estate industry his entire life. He became as a licensed real estate sales associate in 2005 and worked with the firm through 2007.rnA passion for food created a desire to explore the food service industry. Prior to finishing his degree at UA, Christopher spent ten years working as a professional chef at fine dining kitchens, including Jonathan’s Cork and Wildflower Grill. During this time, he discovered a deep passion for service anddoing things the right way. Despite his love of the food industry, the opportunities in real estate became apparent after graduation.rnAs his commercial real estate career starts Christopher has two goals. First, to become a top real estate professional in Tucson focusing on medical and office opportunities. Second, working to make our community the best it can be. He would like to create opportunities that help keep the next generation in Tucson instead of them looking to start their careers in larger markets.


Mr. Kafka specializes in the representation of landlords, specifically in the leasing and sales of office properties in the metropolitan Phoenix real estate market. Mr. Kafka’s extensive knowledge of the Metropolitan Phoenix market is complemented by thorough analysis and marketing skills involving tenant relocation, tenant expansion, lease negotiations, market analysis and property marketing. These qualities, along with a strong work ethic, have enabled him to become a respected presence within the market.

David Verwer, CCIM

David Verwer joined MODE Commercial Property Management in 2017, with over 30 years of experience in Brokerage, Investment Sales and Commercial Leasing and Property Management. He began his career in Northern California as Senior Vice President of Property Management for more than 6,000 apartment units, and a decade later, Dave transitioned into commercial real estate brokerage building a new commercial investment division for RE/MAX Napa Valley, then moved on to Coldwell Banker Commercial Napa Valley. In 2002, David earned the prestigious CCIM Designation (Certified Commercial Investment Member), and moved his family to Scottsdale, where he obtained his Arizona real estate broker license.

He was the Central Arizona CCIM Chapter President in 2008 and Chair of Legislative Affairs for CCIM National in 2010. Dave earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business and Economics from Westmont College. In his role as Director of Real Estate Operations he shares his leadership skills, experience and enthusiasm with the team. He focuses on company operations, long term strategies for clients and MODE Commercial, and is currently pursuing his Certified Property Manager (CPM®) designation.

Sheila Bale

Sheila Bale joined Cushman & Wakefield in 2016 and specializes in the marketing, sale and leasing of office and medical space in the Greater Phoenix area. A seasoned real estate and healthcare professional at the top of her field, Sheila has facilitated over 400 office and healthcare real estate transactions and projects in the past 16 years. Sheila is recognized throughout the Valley as one of the first commercial real estate brokers to contact for optimum site selection and positioning of assets.

Industrial Panel 

david blanchette, CCIM

David Blanchette, CCIM, joined NAI Horizon of Tucson March of 2017, and specializes in industrial and office properties in Southern Arizona. David has expertise in all aspects of commercial real estate, including lease negotiation/
restructuring, strategic planning, build-to-suit oversight, site selection consulting, and disposition/leasing services. David is a Top Producer in the NAI Horizon Tucson office.

David has completed deals totaling more than $38 million over the course of his career in commercial real estate. Prior to joining NAI, David worked for CBRE of Tucson from 2010 to 2017 and at Bourn Partners from 2005 to 2010. In one of his most significant transactions, David took a property from greenfield to investment sale. He was the site selector, worked with the general contractor, and took the property, the ReCommunity Recycling Center in Tucson, to the investment market. The building was acquired for $7 million.

David earned his CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) designation in 2009, He has held numerous leadership positions in the Southern Arizona CCIM Chapter since 2005, including Chapter President in 2013. David earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in marketing from Arizona State University. He has been a licensed Real Estate Sales Agent in Arizona since 1986.

jEFF Foster

Jeff Foster is Vice President, Market Officer for Prologis in Phoenix, AZ responsible for the leasing and marketing efforts of approximately 7 million square feet of warehouse and distribution facilities. He joined Prologis in 2005 in Southern California helping the marketing and leasing efforts for the Los Angeles and Orange County portfolio. Jeff was promotedto Market Officer and relocated to Phoenix, AZ in 2008. He expanded his oversight to include the Las Vegas portfolio from 2011 to 2017 helping oversee the growth of that portfolio from approximately 3.2 million SF to in excess of 10 million SF when he focused his efforts solely on the Phoenix market.

Rob Martensen

Rob Martensen is an executive vice president with Colliers International and has specialized in the metro Phoenix industrial market for 23 years. His industrial expertise includes single- and multi-tenant building sales and leasing, land sales, build-to-suits, ground-up speculative developments, and landlord and tenant representation.

Ericka lemaster

Ericka LeMaster has over 15+ years of experience as a senior commercial real estate lender. Ericka joined Western Alliance Bank in 2009 as the Vice President of Commercial Real Estate Lending where she is responsible for new business development, underwriting and overall structuring of commercial real estate loans; including acquisition and development, vertical construction, term and bridge financing. Asset types include industrial, office, retail and multi-
family. Ericka manages two senior loan officers, 5 portfolio managers and oversees the daily management of the team’s loan portfolio exceeding $2 billion.