2019 Board of Directors Election
The general election to elect next year's Owner and Supplier directors will take place through April 26, 2019 at noon. There are two (2) owner director positions and two (2) supplier director positions available.
Electronic ballots have been sent to the main contact of every AAMD member and community manager. If you have any questions about the ballot, please email email@example.com.
Below are the bios and campaign statements for the primary Board of Directors positions:
Owner / Management Nominees
Rebekah Fischer, Cardinal Group Management
It is an honor to be considered as a candidate to serve on the Board of Directors representing all Owners and Managers. As the current Chair of the Membership Committee, I have the privilege of seeing first hand the impact our association has not only at a local, but national level as well. Our strength in numbers is what will continue to protect our great industry.
With twenty years of experience in all levels of large and small organizations, across the country and specifically 15 years in Colorado, I am committed to contributing to the work and growth of the AAMD on all fronts.
Kellea Jeffrey, Zocalo Community Development
Kellea Jeffrey brings more than 25 years of management and leadership experience as Director of Real Estate at Zocalo Community Development. In this role she is responsible for overseeing the property management division for Zocalo for the Denver based portfolio. Kellea has experience in managing various portfolios including conventional, LIHTC and fee managed properties. Having served the multi-family industry in various roles including leasing agent up to VP of Operations, she has the knowledge, skill and drive to be an effective leader. Additionally, she has worked in various capacities for some of the most respected firms and been responsible for new business, acquisitions, new construction underwriting and P&L responsibility.
Kellea is an active with the AAMD and is on the Ambassador Committee while also attending all the monthly events. Prior to moving to Colorado, she was an active member of the Atlanta Apartment Association where she received the Top Regional Manager Performance Award and she also served on numerous committees. She holds her CAM designation through the National Apartment Association and is a current CPM candidate with IREM. She is a Georgia native and graduated from University of Georgia but has fallen in love with Colorado and the lifestyle it offers.
Kellea believes the Apartment Association plays an integral role in the continuing success and development of multi-family here in Denver and is excited to bring her skills and talents to the board. It would be an honor for Kellea to also serve on the board at AAMD.
Duke McLarty, Aimco
As the Director of Government and Community Relations with Aimco, Duke McLarty provides strategic leadership and counsel on many fronts including interacting with elected officials, navigating the entitlement process, liaising with community groups, and developing strategic partnerships while managing Aimco’s federal relations in Washington, DC.
With ongoing scrutiny and regulation bearing down on the apartment industry, Duke is uniquely qualified to address industry concerns on behalf of the Apartment Association of Metro Denver. Experiences from both within government and industry have given him a deep understanding of policy and politics, allowing him to quickly identify opportunities with elected officials and their staff to advance industry interests.
As a lawyer and longtime policy aide, Duke brings a breadth of experience and perspective to work every day. Prior to his current role he held several positions over six years in the Obama Administration that included the President’s advance team at the White House, two years in Secretary Shaun Donovan’s office at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development and as a policy advisor to the Federal Housing Administration Commissioner. By building long-term relationships, respecting opposing views, and serving as an active listener, Duke has created a network of influential allies across government and industry – an approach he continues to view as the foundation to everything he does professionally and personally.
Duke graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Missouri State University, earned a Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas School of Law and maintains a Missouri Bar license.
Jared Miller, Redpeak
Jared Miller recently rejoined RedPeak as Chief Operating Officer. He has over 20 years of experience including ownership, operations, development, acquisitions and executive leadership at companies such as Homestead Development Partners (Co-founder, Principal, Managing Director), INNOVATIVE Real Estate Companies (Principal, President of Operations, CMO), Bainbridge Companies (SVP), RedPeak (Director of Marketing) and Lane Company (Director of Marketing). Jared has overseen portfolios from 1,000 to over 35,000 apartments.
Since college, the apartment industry has been the focus of his career. He’s been fortunate to work alongside some of the most dynamic professionals in multifamily. Starting as a part-time leasing professional in college, Jared realizes the incredible career opportunities afforded in the apartment industry. It’s this experience that has helped foster his passion for recruiting and nurturing new talent. He believes as an industry, we can do a much better job attracting and cultivating the next generation of leaders.
Jared’s experience in both multifamily – including luxury, affordable, senior and public housing – and student housing provides a unique perspective. He’s worked in markets coast-to-coast, but his affinity for RedPeak and Denver brought him back. He lives in Denver with his partner and commutes back to Florida to spend time with his son each month.
Jared is a regular speaker at Apartmentalize, Campus Connex, Apartment Internet Marketing (AIM) Conference, NAHB’s International Builder’s Show and NMHC’s OpTech and Annual Meeting. He was awarded the coveted Multifamily Executive Magazine Rising Star of the Year Award.
He looks forward to contributing to the continued success of AAMD.
Teo Nicolais, Nicolais LLC
- AAMD Awards: Person of the Year (2017), Paul Noveshansky Diplomat Award (2018)
- Board Positions: Vice-President (2018-19 & 2015-16)
- Committee Chair Positions Held: Economic Conference Committee, PR Committee, IROC
- Committee Memberships: JLAC, Eviction Task Force, Rent Control Committee
- AAMD Representative to Colorado Apartment Association
- About me: Independent rental owner, Instructor at Harvard Extension School specializing in real estate, and consummate real estate nerd.
This year marks my 10thanniversary as an owner-member of the AAMD and my 6th year on the Board of Directors.
I joined the AAMD in the midst of the great recession. Today we find ourselves not in a financial maelstrom but a political one.
We have become the target of misdirected hostility toward a system which many feel is failing them. As a result, we face legislative attacks which will create intractable challenges for decades.
The Warranty of Habitability Act is being expanded. The Period to Cure Lease Violations is being extended. The Rent Control battle is under way.
What we do right now matters. As a member of the board of directors, I will continue testifying at the state capitol, helping lobby legislators, communicating our story to the media, and delivering market updates at our economic conference to help our industry thrive.
How we fare through this critical period will depend on the energy, tenacity, and dedication of our membership as well as our board of directors.
I’m all-in. I hope you’ll permit me to serve you in the critical year to come. Thank you.
Heather Ruszka, Greystar Real Estate
Heather Ruszka, Senior Director of Real Estate for Greystar’s Mountain Region, is a terrific candidate for an AAMD board member for the 2019/2020 team. Heather has been active in multifamily since 1999, with nearly 14 years of those with Greystar. She’s a seasoned professional who aspires to rejuvenate the board with fresh ideas and a progressive mindset.
Heather partners with 40+ clients and oversees a portfolio consisting of 24 active lease ups with 38 in pre-development totaling 10,500+ units. She’s respected for developing top-quality teams and implementing cutting edge technologies with innovative marketing programs. She is passionate about giving back through her participation in AAMD. Others are drawn to her due to her people-focused personality and passion for our industry. Heather is the first to speak up, share ideas, and provide smart context for healthy debate. She has a keen eye for talent with a warm engaging communication style. Most importantly, Heather understands the political, social, and educational challenges in our industry and is looking forward to the opportunity to collaborate on creating communication platforms to educate the local community on the positive impact we make and career opportunities for growth.
Heather is a licensed Broker in the state of Colorado and recently gained a certification in Commercial Real Estate and Financial Analysis from MIT.
Being part of the 2019-2020 board of directors would be an honor, a privilege and a perfect platform to help fulfill Heather’s desire to support and shape the future growth of the industry.
Megan Dyk, Valet Living
This year I will be running for a seat as a Supplier Director position on the 2019-2020 AAMD Board. I am an unparalleled networker with 15 years of progressive experience in sales and business development within the multifamily industry. I like to think I’m warm, poised and articulate, and a seasoned negotiator with a career-long record of working across multiple functions within the industry.
My expansive expertise in networking leadership, team building, process optimization and financial planning makes me a key fit for the Supplier position on the AAMD Board.
I have served on the AAMD Board in 2011 as a Supplier Director and have been awarded the AAMD Paul Noveshansky Diplomat Award, also a Tributes Finalist in 2011 and a Tribute recipient in 2015. I’ve spent many years as the Co-Chair of the Suppliers Council and the Tradeshow Committee which is my favorite event every year. My philosophy for the AAMD is easily quoted by Howard Schultz, CEO, Starbucks…. “WHEN YOU’RE SURROUNDED BY PEOPLE WHO SHARE A PASSIONATE COMMITMENT AROUND A COMMON PURPOSE, ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.”
Dave Janecek, RediCarpet
Hello. I’m Dave Janecek, Western Region Vice President for Redi Carpet. I am honored to be considered for a board position at AAMD.
I’ve worked in the multi-family housing industry for 36 years, 28 years here in Denver, all as a supplier. Twenty years with Cort Furniture and 13 with my own company Household Appliance Rentals, prior to joining Redi carpet 3 years ago.
Early on I realized the value of being involved with AAMD. I served on the AAMD board of directors in the mid 1990’s along with serving as the President of the Suppliers Council. In addition, I was honored to have been awarded AAMD Supplier of the Year.
Currently I enjoy working on the following committees - Charity Auction, Spring Clean, Maintenance Olympics, June Awards and Chili Cook-Off. My company, Redi Carpet is very active in the association and the community. Redi Carpet is proud to be the Presenting Sponsor of the Maintenance Olympics, June Awards and 2018 Tributes. We especially enjoy hosting the annual Chili Cook-Off.
Through the years I’ve met many folks that I consider dear friends. I even met my wife Kathy while calling on her at AIMCO.
In my ‘spare’ time I enjoy working at the Parker Task Force Food bank.
I believe that my experience, dedication and industry knowledge will be a plus as I serve the industry that I am so fortunate to work in.
I would greatly appreciate your work and will work hard to gain your trust.
Yvonne Lens, CAMP Construction
Yvonne Alva Lens is currently the Account Manager at CAMP Construction Services where she is responsible for growing CAMP’s business and reputation in the Denver Multifamily Industry. She is responsible to maintain and grow relationships with her clients, and potential clients, providing excellent customer service by doing the right thing, respecting everyone and getting the job done right, which aligns with her personal values.
Approximately 8 years ago Yvonne became a Supplier, after many years on-site as a Property Manager. Recently she earned her CAS designation, was voted in as a Supplier Council Member at Large and awarded AAMD Person of the Month. Yvonne is dedicated to the industry, and the Apartment Association, which is demonstrated by her involvement over the years as a Committee Member on various AAMD Committees, participation in events and by being an Ambassador for the AAMD. Yvonne is known for excellent customer service, creative problem solving, building solid teams and contributing to the financial success of her assets. In 2014 she was in the top 10 for Sales at Apartments.com. She was awarded Manager of the Year in 2010 while at The Lodge at Willowcreek and was selected as an ACE Trainer for Legacy Partners in Denver. She and her team at Ballpark Lofts were awarded Team of the Year in 2004 at The Tributes Awards Ceremony. It would be a privilege and an honor to serve the Apartment Association, and our industry, as a member of the Board of Directors. She has graciously accepted this nomination and sees this as another opportunity to serve the industry, and the people in it, whom she loves so much
Troy Porras, Wyatts Towing
Troy Porras owns the Wyatts Towing family of companies including Wyatts Towing, Lone Star Towing, Aaliyah’s Towing, Boulder Valley Towing and Klaus’ Towing in Colorado Springs. Troy is proud to be involved in the AAMD for the last 9 years. Wyatts was the co-presenting sponsor of Tributes and is the Presenting Sponsor of the Trade Show and the B2B event, as well as providing significant sponsorship to the Summer and Winter Economic Conferences, the Maintenance Olympics, June awards, Board Retreat, Chili Cook-off, Charity Auction and Golf Tournament. Troy has also been a supporter of the industry’s legislative agenda and is a member of the JLAC and AAMD Alliance. In addition to his work in the towing industry and with the AAMD, Troy owns and manages real estate investments and serves on the Board of Directors of Believe in Haiti, a local nonprofit. Troy has lived in Colorado for more than a decade with his wife and 4 children. He enjoys spending time outdoors and taking advantage of all the natural beauty Colorado has to offer. Troy received his undergraduate degree from Princeton University and has a J.D. from Stanford University Law School.
Donna Seward, Interstate Restoration
Donna Seward is a Regional Account Manager for Interstate Restoration. Donna has had a successful 25-year career in the multifamily industry and can directly correlate this with her AAMD involvement. Because of this, she would like to give back to the Apartment Association of Metro Denver by becoming your Supplier Board Member.
Interstate Restoration believes in being supportive of the AAMD which has made her involvement with the Association an easy choice. Also, Interstate Restoration's contribution to the AAMD Alliance has allowed her to be involved in government affairs affecting our industry.
Donna is a committee member for June Awards, Tradeshow, Maintenance Olympics, Ambassadors, Charity Auction for Family Homestead, and Spring Clean for Family Homestead. She is highly involved in Suppliers Council and has used her past experiences to share on panels for suppliers and new members. Also, Donna is on the board for the Northern Colorado Rental Housing Authority.
Her vision falls in line with a quote by Henry Ford "Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." She will be a committed board member keeping both Owner/Management as well as Suppliers interests in mind. She knows that one entity cannot thrive without the other and together we are stronger. Please consider Donna when you cast your vote for Supplier Board Member.