Gigi Butler


The inspiring story of Gigi Butler captures the heart of those who meet her as she’s living her own American Dream. Gigi opened her first Gigi’s Cupcakes location on a whim just off the famed music row in Nashville, TN in 2008. In six short years Gigi’s Cupcakes has grown to nearly 100 locations across 19 states and is now the largest cupcake franchise in the country. Join the entrepreneur and founder of Gigi’s Cupcakes as she admits her story of success is full of sweet irony and discover her personal journey and life lessons she’s learned along the way.

James Olson


Imagine living a lie for 31 years. That’s what James Olson and his wife Meredith did while spying for the CIA. Spying for his country was the furthest thing from his mind when Olson, a farm boy from Iowa, received a mysterious phone call that changed his life forever. In his presentation, Olson takes you inside the real world of being a CIA spy. He describes the rigorous training they receive and the difficult dilemmas that they face in the field on a daily basis.

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Rommel Anacan

Like many of you, Rommel Anacan (pronounced “Roh-mel Ana-kin,” like in “Star Wars”) is a multifamily housing industry veteran. He has worked at all levels of the industry, from onsite to corporate, where he developed a reputation for solving common industry challenges in uncommon ways. Today, as the president of The Relationship Difference, Rommel is widely known as “The Connection Expert” and is a highly sought after speaker, coach and strategist, who has worked with leading companies and organizations and powerfully impacted thousands of people nationwide with his “Win With People” system of success. To learn more about Rommel visit

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Heather Blume

Heather is the Imagination In Charge of Behind the Leasing Desk Training & Consulting Services out of Seattle, WA.  An accomplished national speaker, trainer, consultant, career coach, and author of both books as well as countless industry related articles, Heather holds her CAS designation, is NAA Advanced Instructor trained, and has been a member of the NAA Faculty since 2008.   You can check out more of her musings, podcasts, and class offerings at

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Leah Brewer

Leah Brewer, NALP, CAM, also known as The Leasing Queen, has developed effective methods to increase apartment occupancies in her 30+ industry years, from a leasing consultant to a consultant for leasing.  Leah is an industry leader bringing unique and creative training and marketing solutions to apartment occupancy challenges. With battlefield experience in leasing, management and marketing, Leah ensures that the skills she teaches have been tested and tried first-hand.  She is the founder of the original Full House Marketing®, the Apartment Skillbuilder Series and a partner in and

Ryan Byrd

Ryan is the Vice President of Technology for Entrata, a leading multi-family housing software and technology company where he leads their technical worldwide operations in engineering and infrastructure of the $100 million company with an organization spanning 7 offices and over 1,500 employees.

Jacki Carr

Jacki Carr

Jacki Carr is a goal coach, writer, and motivational speaker. She has been coaching goals since 2009 and has a true passion for a microphone, inspiring others to live it really big and holding them accountable. She speaks to being more human inspired by the likes of Brene Brown, Susanne Conrad and Marti Carr.

Jacki has her igolu certification and believes in a World where we all truly belong and each and every one of us has unique gifts to contribute. She is also the co-Founder of Rock Your Bliss, a yoga-inspired coaching company hosting online programs, workshops and retreats globally. Residing in Denver, Colorado with her husband, baby girl and two pups, her coaching style includes real + honest conversations and true connection to your most powerful and whole self.

She has consulted brand & culture with companies such as: SwenyoFacebookSeek RetreatTOMSYoga Journal,Wanderlust Festival.

She is honored to be an ambassador for: lululemon athleticaImagine1DayTiny Devotions, Pura Botanicals and Folk Rebellion.

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Mark Cukro

Mark is the President of Plus One Consulting, Inc. and founder of Service Team  Mark is a national speaker and a leading resource in the field of service team development and training.

Prior to Starting his own company he was the Director of Service Team Development for Colonial Properties Trust, Inc, a New York Stock Exchange traded company with 148 properties and over 48,000 apartment homes.

His certifications include, CAPS, CAMT I, CAMTII, CPO, CPO Instructor with the National Swimming Pool Foundation, EPA proctor for the 608, 609, and R-410a certifications as well as all HVAC Excellence courses. Mark is also a NAAEI Instructor and worked on the development of the new CAMT program.

On a personal note, Mark is a Jiu Jitsu Coach and owns and operates a Martial Arts Academy in Harrisburg, NC.

Christin Kappel

Christin Kappel is the owner of Simply Sustainable LLC, a sustainability consulting firm based in Noblesville as well as the 2016 Board Chair for the U.S. Green Building Council Indiana Chapter.   Simply Sustainable LLC. is a WBE certified, sustainability consulting and verification firm focused primarily on helping underserved markets and communities.  She started her company to fill a need in the affordable and subsidized housing market for qualified green professionals to assist design and construction teams in meeting federal, state as well as local funding requirements, including but not limited to programs such as LEED, Energy Star and the National Green Building Standard. She assists in helping her teams not only create attainable goals but also meet their performance goals while providing truly affordable housing for seniors, veterans, homeless and families across the Midwest.

She has a firm commitment to bettering communities through better housing and services for people and families in need as well as a belief that in order for housing to be truly affordable for all, utilities and maintenance also have to be affordable. With utility prices ever rising and the second leading cause of foreclosures in the U.S. it is more important than ever to design and build homes tenants can afford to live in and owners can afford to operate and maintain. She brings that passion to her projects both professionally and personally.

Her extensive experience in affordable housing has turned into a career helping developers and teams successfully meet their goals and she has successfully managed more LEED Homes projects than anyone else in the state and has been proud to be an active participant in the first affordable LEED for Homes Certified, Silver, Gold and Platinum projects in the state.

Brian McGinnis

Brian J. McGinnis is a partner with Barnes & Thornburg LLP where he is a member of the firm’s Intellectual Property Department and the Internet and Technology and the Data Security and Privacy practice groups. He is resident in the firm’s Indianapolis office.

Brian’s practice is focused at the intersection of the law and technology. He is a Certified Information Privacy Professional in the United States (CIPP/US). The CIPP/US designation is the leading privacy certification for professionals around the world who serve the data protection, information auditing, information security, legal compliance and risk management needs of organizations. Brian has developed a national practice advising clients ranging from multinational corporations to startups on the broad range of legal matters pertaining to technology, intellectual property protection and enforcement, brand development, Internet law matters, and data privacy and cybersecurity law and policies.

Brian brings a tech-savvy, business-oriented approach to the practice of law, focusing on providing his clients with practical legal advice designed to position businesses for growth while effectively managing risk against business opportunity.

Dana Nelson

With over 15 years of experience an entrepreneur, Dana Nelson has learned the ins and outs of marketing for small businesses. Dana has been a Constant Contact Local Authorized Expert since 2014. As a noted expert in the field of digital marketing,  Dana brings her vast knowledge of Email and Engagement Marketing to us today with an interactive and energetic atmosphere.

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Terri Norvell

Terri Norvell engages people to break through their challenges. With over 350 coaching clients, she knows how to develop new skills and inspire proactive action. She’s a high-energy keynote presenter, corporate workshop facilitator, performance coach and author. Her 25 years of executive leadership includes VP of Training, Marketing & Business Development with a $1.2 Billion West Coast property management & development company; GM of a 5-state $9M temporary housing firm; President of a Silicon Valley Chamber. Terri recently received the Colorado AAMD Supplier Sales Professional ‘Tribute of the Industry’.  Contact at 303-475-5456 or

Megan Orso

Megan Orser

Smart’s Executive Team, brought to you by Smart Apartment Solutions of Ann Arbor, Michigan and Oh! Smart Apartment Solutions of Dayton, Ohio encompasses over seventy- five years of combined industry experience and three decades of generational perspective in the profession of apartment management.

Megan is responsible for the development and implementation of the training department at Smart Apartment Solutions. Their methods are built on engaging the Smart attendees in a fun and interactive learning environment. Megan comes from a background working as a trouble shooter in Marketing & Sales assisting in distressed properties in FL, IL and MI.

Mindy Price

Mindy Price comes to us with a range of experience spanning 20 years in management, association management, as a vendor and even as a property owner.  Mindy hosted the radio show “The Real Estate Round Table” and has been recognized as one of the elite “40 under 40” group by the Houston Apartment Association. Mindy serves as the Vice President of Sales for J Turner Research, a leading research firm serving the multifamily industry.

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Valerie M. Sargent

Valerie M. Sargent is President of Yvette Poole & Associates. A skilled Speaker, Trainer, Consultant, EQ Executive Coach and Real Estate Investment Educator, Valerie specializes in Leasing, Sales, Marketing, Customer Service and Leadership. Her Level 1&2 TalentSmart Emotional Intelligence certification has her taking companies’ teamwork and communication to inspiring new levels. After over 25 years in the multifamily industry, this expert knows how to bring vitality to individuals and organizations! Find her at or

Elaine Simpson

Elaine Simpson has been employed in the housing industry since 1986. Starting on site as a leasing agent, she moved up, working as assistant manager, site manager, executive director and finally senior regional manager with communities in several states and portfolios containing more than 1400 units.  Ms. Simpson has worked for local and national industry leading companies and throughout her career, has trained new managers across the country, assisted in creating “Best Practices” and procedure manuals, participated in numerous task forces during national mergers, acquisitions and dispositions and headed “turn around” teams assigned to troubled communities, successfully increasing income while decreasing expenses and allowing the property to recover economic viability.

With almost 30 years of experience in the multi family industry, Elaine Simpson founded Occupancy Solutions, LLC to provide on site operations, human resources, housing program compliance, maintenance, marketing, leasing, training and consulting services for multifamily professionals of market rate, senior and affordable housing communities throughout the United States. Occupancy Solutions assists communities by providing proven, cost-effective techniques and strategies that achieve increased occupancy, improve resident retention, minimize expenses and increase net operating income.

Ms. Simpson is a licensed real estate broker in Michigan and Arizona, a Certified Senior Real Estate Specialist, a National Apartment Association Education Institute Faculty Member, an Accredited Resident Manager and a Certified Assisted Housing Manager. Occupancy Solutions is proud to be a Women Business Enterprise Network certified business.  Let Occupancy Solutions create solutions for your community. To learn more about the vast range of services and trainings Occupancy Solutions can provide, please visit for more information.

Robby Slaughter

Robby Slaughter

Robby Slaughter is a workflow and productivity expert. He is the founder of AccelaWork (, a business improvement consulting company. His team works with a wide variety of organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, regional non-profits, small businesses and individual entrepreneurs to help increase productivity, simplify workflow and optimize business processes.

Robby has written numerous articles for local publications such as the Hamilton County Business Magazine and the Indianapolis Business Journal. He has also been interviewed by national news outlets including the Wall Street Journal. Robby is a local and nationally known speaker. He is also the author of several books. His latest is “The Battle For Your Email Inbox”

Joseph Straka

Joe Straka is the President of The Priority Group, an integrated brand communications company that helps companies strengthen and extend their brand in the marketplace.

A former P&G brand manager, Mr. Straka has worked for such iconic brands as Dawn, Joy, Swiffer, Febreeze, Mr. Clean, Cascade, and Comet amongst others.
At Priority, he leads a company with over 36 years of experience helping clients deliver their brand identity and message across multiple marketing vehicles and channels.

Headquartered in Indianapolis, Mr. Straka resides in Carmel with his wife and two children.


Kathi Williams

Kathi Williams

Kathi Williams serves as President of the Fair Housing Institute, Inc. a full service training and consulting firm whose mission is to educate and advise the housing industry throughout the country about the social and economic benefits of providing fair housing and equal employment. Ms. Williams is also a partner in the Law Firm of Williams & Edelstein, P.C. that provides defense and preventative representation for the housing industry in all civil rights matters. Ms. Williams provides her clients with a unique expertise in the fair housing requirements of all types of multifamily housing. Ms. Williams conducts 30-40 fair housing seminars annually throughout the country. In addition to training and consulting, Ms. Williams has conducted fair housing testing programs on behalf of her clients. Ms. Williams developed the fair housing certification course for the National Affordable Housing Association (NAHMA).

In her previous positions, Ms. Williams served as both a fair housing attorney and as Director of the Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity Program for HUD’s Southeast Region. During her career with HUD, Ms. Williams directed and participated in the investigation, resolution, and litigation of thousands of fair housing cases. Ms. Williams has provided fair housing training to private housing providers, trade associations, and government entities throughout the country for the past thirty years. She is a frequent speaker at many of the national and state housing association meetings each year. Ms. Williams obtained her undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana and her law degree from Indiana University at Indianapolis, where she served on the Law Review and Moot Court.