Speakers & Panelists


HaggertyNancy Leary Haggerty
Attorney, Michael, Best & Friedrich, LLP

Mrs. Haggerty has more than 30 years of legal experience, covering a broad range of real estate law, including assisting clients in purchases, sales and leases of property, and development and zoning work; representing borrowers and lenders in real estate loans; assisting in foreclosures and workouts; advising on questions on condominium law; and assisting in real estate litigation.  She has worked extensively with creating condo hotels and timeshare developments in resort areas, and the zoning, taxing and workout issues related to these properties. She is the Chair of the American Bar Association Real Property Committee on Hotels, Resorts and Tourism, is an ACREL Fellow, is Chair of the Marquette University College Center for Real Estate Advisory Board, and speaks frequently on foreclosure and workout issues for mixed use developments. 

Economic forecast

Dr. Mark Eppli
Robert B. Bell, Sr. Chair in Real Estate, Marquette University

Dr. Eppli was named Interim James H. Keyes Dean of Business Administration in Fall of 2012 and is also a professor of finance and Bell Chair in Real Estate at Marquette University. He is widely published in a range of commercial real estate topics and is coauthor of the bestselling real estate development text in the nation. Prior to obtaining his doctorate, he worked in commercial real estate for PM Realty Advisors and GE Capital. He has served as a consultant to a number of finance, real estate, and government entities. Dr. Eppli received awards from the Greater Washington Urban League and the Urban Land Institute for his efforts to attract minorities to the real estate profession. In January 2012, Dr. Eppli was appointed independent board member for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics.

Case study: Northwestern Mutual high-rise office tower


Steven M. Radke
Vice President of Government Relations, Northwestern Mutual.
Mr. Radke leads the company’s lobbying and public policy formation efforts. He and his Government Relations colleagues help foster Northwestern Mutual’s success by working to defeat legislative and regulatory proposals that would adversely impact its products, distribution, or the company, and by advocating for proposals that create greater opportunity for effective financial security planning. Mr. Radke played a key role in the development of the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons by leading the negotiations with the City of Milwaukee to create the $72 million tax incremental financing district which helped facilitate the project as well as the Lakefront Gateway Project. This is the largest TIF ever created by the City of Milwaukee. Mr. Radke joined Northwestern Mutual in 1994 and has worked in Government Relations his entire tenure with the company. Prior to joining Northwestern, Steve worked in the DC office of Congressman Jerry Kleczka and also managed one of Kleczka’s re-election campaigns. He earned his bachelor’s and law degree from Marquette University, and he also holds a master’s degree from Georgetown University. He is currently the Vice Chairman of the Public Policy Forum, a Milwaukee non-profit research institution that studies a variety of public policy issues, and is a member of the Board of Visitors for the Les Aspin Center for Government at Marquette University.

PartletonChristen L. Partleton
Vice President of Facility Operations, Northwestern Mutual.
Mrs. Partleton is the department head for the Facility Operations Department. The department is responsible at both Northwestern Mutual’s Milwaukee and Franklin campuses for enterprise business continuity, security and life safety, construction, improvements and maintenance of buildings and grounds, space planning, restaurant and catering, amenity services and management of the warehouse. She is also a member of the Campus Connection steering committee responsible for the company’s long range campus planning initiative, which is tasked with setting the direction for meeting Northwestern Mutual’s future space needs. Prior to appointment to vice president, Mrs. Partleton held a variety of positions in Corporate Services and Policyowner Services after joining the company in 1978.

Case Study: Kenosha development

What it takes to attract companies to build in Wisconsin

BattleTodd Battle
President, Kenosha Area Business Alliance

Mr. Battle is President of Kenosha Area Business Alliance (KABA). KABA is a public-private partnership that serves as Kenosha County’s economic development organization.    In his role as the President, Todd is responsible for leading the organization’s economic and community development initiatives, which focus on business retention, expansion and attraction, development financing programs, and talent development.      Prior to his current position, the Michigan native spent six years in leadership positions with economic development organizations in Iron Mountain and Muskegon, MI.  He’s a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Central Michigan University, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree with a political science major and an economics minor. 

ZyglerJeffrey Zygler
Vice President, KTR Capital Partners
KTR is a leading private equity real estate investment and operating company focused on industrial properties throughout North America. Mr. Zygler is responsible for the identification, negotiation, management and execution of KTR’s development projects nationally. Prior to his current role, he was an analyst covering the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic markets as a member of the Investments team. KTR manages a series of discretionary value-add investment funds with approximately $7.0 billion in investment capacity. The funds currently own a portfolio of approximately 65 million square feet across North America and over 10 million square feet in the Chicago Area and Wisconsin. Before joining KTR in October 2007, Mr. Zygler was an Analyst at Citigroup where he worked in the Corporate Investment Bank primarily focused on the financial institution sector. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance and Transportation, Logistics and Supply Chain Management from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.

How to get your project funded in today’s environment

RadkeModerator: Paul Klister
Owner and Founder, Commercial Horizons Inc.

Mr. Klister is owner of Commercial Horizons, Inc., a development company based in Appleton and Green Bay, Wisconsin. His company has developed over three million square feet of commercial, retail, office, and industrial properties, with total costs in excess of $1.5 billion dollars, spread over seven states. In addition to developing real estate for clients like Festival Foods, Kohl’s Department Store, Gander Mountain, Best Busy and Starbucks, his company also invests in more than 20 regional companies through their private equity investment firm, Capital Connection, LLC. Mr. Klister is a graduate of Marquette University, and a member of the Center for Real Estate Advisory Board.

PetrovskiJohn Petrovski
Senior Vice President, Managing Director, and Head of US Commercial Real Estate, BMO Harris Bank

Mr. Petrovski oversee the bank’s commercial real estate (CRE) lending activities throughout the U.S. He has extensive experience in the industry having led CRE platforms in the past with Merrill Lynch and Heller Financial. John joined BMO Harris CRE in April 2012 as the CRE’s Chief Operating Officer, assisting with the M&I integration and enhancing the lending programs.  Prior to joining BMO Harris Bank, he was with the FDIC for two years in the Division of Resolution and Receiverships-Loss Share, running teams responsible for LLC investments and loss-share monitoring and special projects. Prior to that, John spent six years as the Group President for Merrill Lynch Capital overseeing an 80-person team with a $5B portfolio in CRE loans and investments, and was previously Group President at Heller Financial Real Estate responsible for a 160-person organization with a $4B portfolio.

RadkeWade C. Lau
President & CEO, Founders Properties

Mr. Lau serves as President of Founders Properties and President of Opus Properties. Mr. Lau also serves on Founders Properties Board of Managers and the Board of Directors of Opus Holding, LLC.  He is responsible for all aspects of operations including investments, finance, capital market activities, dispositions and new development, including the formation and management of real estate investment opportunities. Mr. Lau is responsible for the formation of the investment fund partnership and plays an active role in overseeing these funds operations and strategic direction. Before the formation of Founders Properties, Mr. Lau was Vice President of Asset Management for Opus Properties which he joined in 1999. Prior to that, he led CB Richard Ellis’ Central Region as Senior Managing Director of Asset Services and was Chief Operating Officer for the Shelard Group, a Twin Cities based real estate firm. Mr. Lau began his career in Norwest Bank Minneapolis’ commercial real estate group and in all has more than 30 years of diversified commercial real estate experience.  He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Harvard College and obtained a Master’s in Business Administration, with honors, from Harvard Business School.

DempseyPatrick Dempsey
Senior Vice President, Walker & Dunlop

Mr. Dempsey is responsible for financing income-producing properties including office, apartments, hotels, industrial and retail in the Midwest region. Prior to joining Walker & Dunlop in 2012, Mr. Dempsey was Senior Vice President of Grandbridge Real Estate Capital where he specialized in originating and structuring commercial real estate financing for all property types. Previously, Mr. Dempsey was a director with L.J. Melody & Company where he helped manage a regional production office and originated loans and equity for clients across the country. Prior to joining L.J. Melody, he spent seven years with Beacon Realty Capital, Inc., a privately held mortgage banking and brokerage firm based in Chicago, IL.  Mr. Dempsey holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and a Master’s of Science in real estate appraisal and investment analysis from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Mr. Dempsey is also an active member of the Mortgage Bankers Association.

GormanGary Gorman
Chief Executive Officer, Gorman & Company, Inc.

Mr. Gorman began his career as a practicing attorney focusing on representing developers and real estate syndicators. In 1984 he formed Gorman & Company, Inc. to develop multifamily real estate projects. After the passage of the Tax Reform Act of 1986, Mr. Gorman decided to specialize in developing affordable multifamily rental communities using the tax credit created by Section 42 of the Tax Reform Act of 1986. Gorman & Company developed some of the earliest Section 42 LIHTC developments in the nation. Mr. Gorman obtained his B.A. in Economics and Law Degrees from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Keynote Speaker

YastrowSteve Yastrow
Consultant and Author, Yastrow and Company

Mr. Yastrow is the author of three books, Brand Harmony, We: The Ideal Customer Relationship and Ditch the Pitch, a best-selling sales book. He is a former senior marketing executive with Hyatt Hotels and is now president of Yastrow and Company, his consulting firm. Mr. Yastrow has hundreds of speaking and consulting clients, including Cold Stone Creamery, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, McDonald’s Corporation, Equity Office Properties, Zeller Realty Group, and Great Clips For Hair, just to name a few. Mr. Yastrow’s newest book, Ditch the Pitch, is designed to teach Steve’s approach to fresh, spontaneous, and persuasive conversations.