Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors are dedicated industry experts selected to work with the Center. This group manages the day-to-day operations and is vital to the success of our mentoring programs as well as our internship and job placement.

For questions regarding the Board of Directors, please email Lisa Peck.

For a list of subcommittees and their members, please visit the subcommittees page.


Chair, Kim Koehn, K2 Ventures, LLC
Michael Baksa, Saunders Construction
Courtney Colbert Schneider, United Properties
Malcolm Craig, 2nd Year MBA Student
Chris Crosby, The Nichols Partnership
Michelle Gayeski, Gayeski & Associates
Mark Goldberg, Goldberg Properties
Doug Grogan, Shaw Construction
Wade Houser, Kutak Rock LLP
Eliot Hoyt, Brightview Design Group
Linda Kaboth, GF Real Estate Group
Kevin Kelley, United Properties
Richard Morgan, Mutual of Omaha
J. Rhett Nunnally, Colorado Business Bank
Larry Preble, Holland & Hart
Noelle Riccardella, BHFS
Jeffrey Riggs, Essex Financial Group
Stefanie Sommers, Black Creek Capital
Kim Sperry, Amstar
Tom Thibodeau, CU Real Estate Center
Cyndi Thomas, Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners
Cooper Williams, Essex Financial Group
Andrea Woodhams, GPG Advisors

Chair, Board of Directors

Kim Koehn
K2 Ventures, LLC

Kim Koehn is a 30 year veteran of the real estate industry. He currently operates his own development and investment entity, K2Ventures, LLC. He has held senior positions at national developers Opus Corporation, Corporex Companies, and Fifield Realty. For 13 years, he ran the Denver office of Equity Office Properties, the largest public office REIT in the country. He has extensive development and asset management experience in all product types, including residential, hospitality, office and retail properties.

Mr. Koehn holds a Bachelors of Environmental Design degree from the University of Colorado, and an MBA from the University of Chicago.

He is an adjunct professor at the LEEDS School of Business, teaching Real Estate Principles at the undergraduate level, and the NAIOP-sponsored Project Competition class in the graduate MBA program. Mr. Koehn is actively involved in industry and civic associations such as NAIOP, Downtown Denver Partnership and Special Olympics-Colorado, and has held the chairperson’s role in each of these entities during his career. He is a committed Buff, and currently resides in Denver, CO.

Education Chair

Larry Preble
Holland & Hart

With over 40 years of real estate experience, Mr. Preble provides clients with sound advice on real estate development, financing, and construction matters. He has experience with virtually all aspects of national and international commercial real estate transactions, from office, hotel, and retail assets, to industrial and mixed-use properties. Mr. Preble assists clients with the structure, negotiation, acquisition, construction, leasing, and operation of real estate assets. He also creates and negotiates partnerships, joint venture agreements, ground leases, and other complex documents. Mr. Preble often represents developers, investors, lenders, investment banks, landlords, and tenants.

In addition, Mr. Preble has experience with a variety of corporate and commercial matters, from banking and securitization of loans, to workouts, and securities, to foreclosures and bankruptcy. He has significant experience with public-private partnerships relating to the development of stadiums, aquariums, research parks, healthcare facilities, and other projects for public and private entities.

Prior to joining Holland & Hart, Mr. Preble was the senior real estate partner at O’Melveny & Myers, where he was the Chair of its Real Estate Department and a member of its Management Committee. Mr. Preble was also a Senior Consultant at Phase 3 Properties, Inc., as well as the Director of Development at KUD International, LLC.

Mr. Preble is admitted to practice in California, Colorado, New York, and the District of Columbia.

Internship and Placement Chair

Richard B. Morgan
Mutual of Omaha

Richard B. Morgan is a Senior Vice President with Mutual of Omaha Bank. He specializes in providing short and mini-perm financing options for the acquisition, development and/or construction, or refinance of commercial and residential properties, including self storage. In addition to his involvement on the CU Real Estate Council, he is a member of NAIOP and the Real Estate Challenge Committee. In 1996, Richard moved to Colorado from San Diego, CA, where he was a Regional Relationship Manager for Wells Fargo Bank. In 1998, Richard received a MBA in finance and real estate the University of Colorado, Boulder, and in 1989, he was graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a BA in economics and finance.

Membership Chair

Wade Houser
Kutak Rock LLP

Wade Houser is a commercial real estate attorney at Kutak Rock LLP. Wade is skilled in commercial real estate transactions of all types, representing financial institutions, retail businesses, developers and other companies in a wide range of commercial real estate and finance matters, with particular emphasis in commercial real estate finance, loan workouts, foreclosure, and disposition of creditor-owned assets. Wade has an additional focus in representing regional and national retail clients in leasing and acquisition transactions. He has extensive experience in commercial real estate leasing of all types and in the acquisition and disposition of commercial real estate. Wade's practice also includes representation of contractors, owners, financial institutions, and other businesses in connection with construction contracts, mechanic's lien disputes, asset and business sales and acquisitions, and entity formation for commercial real estate and other transactions.

Sustainable Development Co-Chair

Christopher Crosby
The Nichols Partnership

Chris joined The Nichols Partnership in 2001 and serves as Executive Vice President of the Denver based firm. The Nichols Partnership specializes in development of high quality innovative urban communities that anticipate and respond to market opportunities.

Prior to joining The Nichols Partnership in 2001, Chris was a partner and Vice President of the Atlanta-based development company Legacy Property Group. Legacy Property Group is a leader in Atlanta urban in-fill development specializing in hotels, multifamily, retail and adaptive re-use projects. Prior to his Legacy Property Group tenure, Chris gained experience in project management/operations as a Venue Logistics Manager for the Atlanta Committee for The Olympic Games, working on both Olympic Stadium and the Olympic Village from 1993-1996.

Since 1991, Chris has directly participated in more than $500 million of real estate development projects containing a mix of uses including office, multi-family, hotel, retail and entertainment/sport. Most recently, Chris has been directly involved with the development of SPIRE, Downtown Denver’s smart, sophisticated and sustainable high-rise community. Chris considers his involvement in award winning mixed-use projects such as Legacy @ Centennial Olympic Park, Clayton Lane in Cherry Creek North and SPIRE his most significant professional accomplishments.

Chris received a Bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and his Master’s degree from The University of Georgia. Chris is the Current President of the Downtown Denver Partnership’s 14th Street General Improvement District. In addition, he has served on the Board of Directors and as Vice Chair of the Cherry Creek North Business Improvement District, the Mayor appointed Cherry Creek North Design Advisory Board, the Cherry Creek North Capital Improvement Committee and The Downtown Denver Partnership’s 14th Street Initiative and Housing Council. Chris is a LEED Accredited Professional.

Sustainable Development Co-Chair

Eliot Hoyt
Brightview Design Group

Eliot Hoyt is a senior associate at Brightview Design Group, with expertise in project management, urban design, and planning for resort and new community developments. In addition to his planning experience, Eliot has an MBA from University of Colorado Denver (UCD), and has worked as a market and financial analyst for real estate projects across the country. He brings many perspectives to bear on every new project with his project management skills, abilities as an interpreter of complex content, and understanding of the business of real estate development.

As a part of ValleyCrest Companies, a $1 billion landscape services company, the Brightview Design Group has access to expertise in construction, maintenance, tree propagation and care, golf course design and more; enabling the design team to provide unparalleled services to its clients. With projects across the U.S. and in select foreign markets, Eliot has worked on master planned communities, warm and cold weather resorts, industrial parks, mixed use centers, and urban redevelopments. In each case, he has applied a quadruple bottom-line perspective to achieve a market feasible, environmentally sound, socially engaging, and aesthetically pleasing results for his clients. The most satisfying projects are those that continue from feasibility, through planning and design, into brand identity and marketing, and ultimately construction and implementation.

Eliot has a Bachelor’s of Arts from Harvard University, and has been a frequent lecturer at the Leeds School of Business and UCD’s College of Architecture and Planning.

GREA Chair

Malcolm Craig
2nd Year MBA Student

Malcolm is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, earning a BS in Finance and a certificate in Financial Accounting. He has professional experience as a Business Analyst and Quality Assurance Manager, as well as numerous other leadership and project management positions since the completion of his undergraduate degree. Currently Malcolm is working at McCaffery Interests as an Associate focusing in Acquisitions and Business Development.

Academic Director

Tom Thibodeau
CU Real Estate Center

Tom is currently the Academic Director of the CU Real Estate Center. Tom is responsible for: (1) overseeing the real estate curriculum at both the graduate and undergraduate levels; (2) staffing real estate courses with qualified, committed research faculty and instructors; (3) directing the Center’s academic research; (4) facilitating and contributing to real estate industry oriented research; and (5) continuing to develop relationships with members of the real estate industry.


At Large Members

Michael Baksa
Saunders Construction, Inc.

Michelle Gayeski
Gayeski & Associates

Michelle Gayeski began her career in sports in Dallas, Texas and in 1997 moved to Denver to pursue a career in real estate.“I recognized the opportunity to learn the business from my father, a man I greatly respect.”Her start at Gayeski & Associates was focused on suburban, mixed-use development projects where she was involved in many aspects of development, from planning and entitlements to marketing, leasing, and property management.

In 2004 she joined NexCore Group, a firm specializing in healthcare-related real estate development. As Vice President of Leasing, she had the opportunity to focus on the strategic plan for various outpatient facilities and hospitals, most located primarily in the west Chicago suburbs. She was involved in the complexities of on-campus {hospital} development projects from feasibility stages through asset management for nine years.

2013 brought new endeavors, Michelle is focus on land sales, retail transactions and development locally in the north Denver metro area in conjunction with Gayeski & Associates. Michelle shared her intrigue with the industry,“... each project presents unique challenges and learning experiences.” Michelle has 17 years of experience in commercial real estate development that includes healthcare, commercial office, and mixed-use projects.

Michelle is a CU graduate, 1993, BS International Business/Real Estate. She resides in central Denver, enjoys time outdoors and is an avid cyclist. She is a current member of the Denver Cherry Creek Rotary Club, is an advocate for the Denver Women`s Homelessness Initiative, previously served as a board member for CASA of Adams and Broomfield Counties serving abused and neglected children in the court system, active with Starfish One-by-One, supporting education in rural areas of Guatemala, as well as participating in other local non-profits.

Doug Grogan
Shaw Construction

Doug Grogan joined Shaw Construction in 2001. His expertise includes contract negotiations, team facilitation, process management and conflict resolution. Throughout his 30 years in the construction industry, Doug’s focus for customers has been to understand their needs fully, commit to providing them with service that surpasses their expectations, execute work safely with consistent discipline, nurture an outstanding team of employees and build on the relationships with strategic partners.

Education: B.S. Architectural Engineering, University of Colorado

Mark Goldberg
Goldberg Properties

Mark Goldberg of Goldberg Properties has more than thirty years experience in real estate development—selecting sites, acquiring land, supervising design and construction, leasing, brokerage and property management. Mr. Goldberg’s relationships with top retailers such as King Soopers, Albertsons, Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Kohl’s, and Lowe’s have led to shopping centers anchored by these and other nationally recognized merchants. He has been a leader in the International Council of Shopping Centers, serving two terms as director of the Rocky Mountain region and one as Western Division Governmental Affairs chairman. Mr. Goldberg has taught a class at the University of Colorado Graduate School in real estate development. His hands-on approach to managing the firm’s portfolio has earned the confidence of clients, as well as the respect of government officials, who are playing an increasingly important role in approving and financing developments.

Linda Kaboth
GF Real Estate Group

Linda Kaboth, is a Vice President in the National Division of GF Real Estate Group (GFREG); a subsidiary of the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. Her current responsibilities include the oversight of the asset management and property management of Belmar in Lakewood Colorado, as well as overseeing operations for the commercial and multi-family assets owned by GFREG. Linda has been involved with the asset management, property management and leasing of commercial office and retail projects, primarily in the Denver metro area for over 25 years. Prior to joining GFREG, she was real estate manager for the Sturm Group in Cherry Creek (Denver) and CarrAmerica in downtown Denver. Prior to that, she spent a majority of her commercial real estate career with Jones Lang LaSalle, as a property manager and leasing professional for many high profile office/retail projects in downtown Denver including the redevelopments of Prudential Plaza (Independence Plaza), 633 17th Street, and US Bank Tower. Linda earned her BA from the University of Colorado and her MPA from the University of Denver.

Kevin Kelley
United Properties

As vice president, Kevin Kelley oversees United Properties’ retail development and investment business in Colorado. He has more than 25 years experience in the development, acquisition, financing and disposition of over 500 properties representing nearly $2 billion in value.

Before joining United Properties, Kevin was with Miller Weingarten Realty in Colorado and Faison Associates in Charlotte, NC. In both roles, he was involved in the acquisition and development of retail centers. Prior to that, Kevin was involved in his own investment consulting firm, Renaissance Realty Group. He started his career in the mortgage banking and was employed with Northland Financial (now Northmarq) and Baird & Warner Real Estate as a loan producer.

Kevin holds a B.A. degree in history and an MBA in real estate from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

J. Rhett Nunnally
Colorado Business Bank

Rhett Nunnally is First Vice President, Commercial Real Estate Banking for Colorado Business Bank where he is responsible for loan originations and portfolio management. Prior to joining Colorado Business Bank, Rhett was a Senior Director at Hanover Financial where he was responsible for the firm’s commercial real estate equity investment activities throughout the Southwestern United States. Prior to that, Rhett was a Vice President with the Merchant Banking Division of GMAC Commercial Mortgage where he was responsible for originating and underwriting structured commercial real estate investments throughout the United States. Earlier in his career, Rhett spent 10 years originating a wide range of both structured and permanent debt facilities, as a Director with both Washington Mutual and Heller Financial. Rhett began his commercial real estate career on the development side with Brookfield Properties where he held various accounting and finance positions.

Rhett received his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance and Real Estate from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Noelle Riccardella

Noelle Riccardella’s practice focuses on all aspects of commercial real estate, including representation of a variety of clients in connection with the acquisition, sale, development, financing and leasing of mixed use projects, hotels, retail centers, office buildings and industrial projects. In particular, Noelle has extensive experience representing retail owners and tenants on their acquisition, finance and leasing activities.

Noelle also has extensive experience negotiating, developing and implementing design and construction agreements, including architect, contractor and construction management agreements. Represented Alberta Development Partners, LLC in the development and financing of Cornerstar, a new mixed-use center containing 158 acres of retail and residential space in Aurora, Colorado. Brownstein handled the leasing and selling of portions of the center to national and regional retailers such as Target, Dick's Sporting Goods, Best Buy, Office Depot, 24 Hour Fitness and Sunflower Market.

Represented Alberta Development Partners, LLC in all aspects of redevelopment of Southglenn Mall to create a new, mixed-use center called The Streets at SouthGlenn, including the eminent domain process, public and private financing, creation of governing documents with Sears and Macy's and leasing of more than one million rentable square feet of retail, office and residential space to national and regional retailers suc

Jeff Riggs
Essex Financial Group

Jeff Riggs is president of Essex Financial Group. Essex is in the commercial real estate mortgage and finance business based in Greenwood Village, Colorado. Riggs has been active in the commercial real estate business in the Denver metropolitan area since 1978. Riggs graduated from the University of Iowa with a BS in Finance in 1975, and received an MBA from the University of Connecticut in 1977 with a concentration in real estate. Riggs is also a managing partner with Baron Properties, a multifamily investment and management company and is a managing partner with Mountain West Management, an industrial property investment company. Riggs is a board member of the Word of Life Church, and an active participant in many business community and social boards.

Kim Sperry
Amstar Group, LLC

Kimberly J. Sperry is a managing director at Amstar. Ms. Sperry leads the multifamily investment unit and is responsible for Amstar’s investments within certain U.S. markets. Her responsibilities include acquisitions, joint venture structuring, construction and development, asset management and dispositions. Ms. Sperry's properties include multifamily and office properties. She also serves on Amstar's Investment Committee.

Prior to joining Amstar in 1998, Ms. Sperry was a director with RBR Group’s real estate arm where she was responsible for site selection and acquisitions. Prior to that, she was a vice president with the workout division of First Interstate Bancorp. Ms. Sperry serves as a member of the National Multi Housing Council's board of directors and is a member of ULI and the Downtown Denver Partnership.

Ms. Sperry graduated from the University of Colorado with a B.A. in Finance and graduated with honors from the University of Denver with a Master’s Degree in Real Estate and Construction Management.

Cyndi Thomas
Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners

Cyndi Thomas leads Etkin Johnson’s Asset Management team, overseeing management, financial performance, and business strategy of the company’s 5 millions square foot Colorado portfolio. Prior to joining Etkin Johnson, Cyndi worked at Clarion Partners, Buchanan Street Partners, and CenterSquare Investment Management. Cyndi has extensive experience in real estate acquisitions, financing, restructurings, and asset management from both an institutional and entrepreneurial perspective. She is an active member of CREW, NAIOP, ULI, and USGBC. Ms. Thomas received a BBA in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics from University of Wisconsin – Madison, an MBA / MS Finance from University of Colorado – Denver, and is a LEED Green Associate.