SENIOR LEADERSHIP TEAM
Peak Campus' seasoned staff brings an extensive depth of student housing knowledge and experience to our institutional-grade platform. The executive team represents a mix of long tenure with Peak Campus and expertise with well-respected student housing and multifamily management companies. Our cohesive team has navigated multiple market cycles and is experienced in all aspects of the student apartment business. Each are experts in their field and foster the people-centric culture that makes Peak such a special and unique place.
Robert E. Clark - Chief Executive Officer
Bob joined the Company in 2003 and was named the Chief Executive Officer in 2015. He is responsible for directing all aspects of the Peak Campus operating platform, including oversight of all support departments, corporate finance, and strategic planning, as well as chairing the Executive Committee. Prior to being named Chief Executive Officer, he served as President and Executive Vice President of Operations for the Company with oversight of portfolio performance and support. Bob joined the Company as Chief Financial Officer and later served as Chief Acquisitions Officer, where he helped to establish a highly active joint venture investment platform. He is one of the longest-tenured members of the Peak Campus team and, as such, played a critical leadership role in establishing Peak as an industry leader. Prior to joining the Company, he spent his entire career in the hospitality industry, where he served as CFO for Hardin Capital and Vice President of Finance for Homestead Village, where he participated in raising more than $1 billion and was a key member of the team that led the firm through its IPO. He began his career at the Marriott Corporation where he was instilled with the people-first culture that remains a center point of the Peak operating doctrine. Bob is a frequent speaker panelist at industry events. He is a member of the NMHC Student Housing Committee, a member of the RealShare Student Housing Conference Committee, and Co-Chair of the 2014 and 2015 NMHC Student Housing Conference. He was recognized in 2013 as a Pioneer of Student Housing by Real Estate Forum Magazine. He was also honored in 2014 by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution with its Top Leadership Award. Bob earned his BS in Accounting from Frostburg State University in Maryland.
We are convinced that the soul and performance of the company is directly linked to attracting and retaining great people. Our people-centric culture starts during the recruiting relationship phase and continues daily through simply treating employees like we want to be treated. Our investment in employee’s careers, emphasis on internal promotions, and celebration of individual and team success, are what drives Peak Campus to boast industry-leading, employee tenure. We are passionate about our people and, at Peak, people will always matter most.
Casey B. Petersen - Chief Operating Officer
Casey joined the Company in 2007. As Chief Operating Officer, he is responsible for driving property performance through oversight of operations, sales, marketing and support functions. In addition, Casey is responsible for supervision of Peak’s business development, growth and client relations initiatives and serves on the Executive Committee for the Company. Casey has served in multiple roles at Peak Campus including Regional Manager, Director and Senior Vice President of Business Development. Prior to joining the Company, he began his career as a leasing consultant and went on to serve in various on-site operations management positions with College Park Communities, the student housing division of GMH Communities Trust (NYSE: GCT). He was honored internally with the first-ever, Peak Campus “Pacesetter” award in 2011, was recognized by Student Housing Business inaugural “30 Under 30” list in 2012, and was named by Real Estate Forum in 2013 as one of its “45 Under 40.” He is a speaker at industry events and is a frequent participant in various industry-related committees, including the NAA Student Housing Committee, the NMHC Student Housing Committee, and is the student housing liaison for the NMHC Emerging Leaders Forum. Casey earned his BS from University of Minnesota
.Peak Campus recognizes hard work and ambition in its employees, and does well to facilitate an environment in which those qualities can be nurtured and cultivated into future growth of the company, and future opportunity for the employee. The tone at the top is that anything less than world-class is unacceptable, and that message filters through the organization. It’s rewarding to work with a team that is so dedicated to that objective.
Jeff W. Githens - President, Development
Jeff joined the Company in 2008. In his role as President of Development, he is responsible for all aspects of sourcing, underwriting, and executing of new development opportunities for the Company. Jeff has been directly involved in the development of over $500 million of student housing apartment properties including all product types – garden-style, mid-rise, high-rise, and historic redevelopment. He has successfully conducted complex land acquisitions, redeveloped environmentally sensitive Brownfield properties, as well as qualified projects for tax credit programs, including historic, and led difficult rezoning and entitlement efforts. Prior to joining the Company, he held several senior management positions in the development, construction, and technology industries. Jeff earned his MBA from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University, and his BS in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology where he graduated with honors.
We combine our expertise in multi-family product concepts, market underwriting, financial analysis, operations management, and construction to develop exceptional projects in high barrier-to-entry markets. It’s exciting to be a part of a team that is so passionate about quality, from the beginning stages of development to daily operational management.
Jennifer C. Hill - Chief People Officer & General Counsel
Jennifer joined the Company in 2006. In her role as Chief People Officer and General Counsel, she is responsible for all “people operations,” including recruitment, employee relations, performance management, payroll, compensation and benefits for approximately 1,100 employees across the country. Additionally, she is responsible for legal oversight, risk management, corporate governance, intellectual property, and serves on the Executive Committee for the Company. Prior to her current role, she served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel, as well as Vice President of Human Resources and Senior Counsel. Prior to joining the Company, Jennifer practiced employment law at King & Spalding, LLP in Atlanta. She is a member of the Georgia Bar and the Association of Corporate Counsel. She is also a certified Professional of Human Resources and active with the Atlanta chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the human resources section of the National Multi-Housing Council (NMHC). Jennifer volunteers with several Atlanta area organizations, including serving on the Board of Caminar Latino, providing pro bono legal advice through the Pro Bono Partnership of Atlanta, and as a volunteer reader with “Everybody Wins! Atlanta.” Jennifer also plays a key role in Peak’s philanthropic efforts by leading “Peak Cares.” This program promotes a spirit of service around the country and includes a national partnership with the Ronald McDonald House Charities. Jennifer is also the Executive sponsor of Peak’s comprehensive wellness program, “Live Well.” Jennifer earned her BS in Psychology, graduating Summa Cum Laude, and also earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Georgia where she also graduated with honors.
We foster a collegiate environment where each member of the team is focused on their individual responsibilities, but is also thinking about how it impacts the rest of the organization and what we are trying to achieve. We are in the people business at Peak Campus.
Wendy L. Walker - Chief Financial Officer
Wendy joined the Company in 2007. In her role as Chief Financial Officer, Wendy leads a team of over 24 accounting and finance professionals that is responsible for the management and production of all accounting functions at both the property and corporate levels. Her responsibilities include the daily accounting and financial reporting for over 150 different legal entities and a real estate portfolio valued at over $2 billion. Wendy manages the establishment of processes and procedures, internal controls, accounts payable, and treasury management. Her team handles all monthly development, joint venture and third-party client financial reporting, as well as internal corporate financial reporting. In addition, she is responsible for the establishment and day-to-day management of the Financial Planning and Analysis department, with a staff of three highly qualified individuals focused on the reporting and analysis of data, as well as the identification of trends across the organization. Wendy serves as a member of the Executive Committee. Prior to her current role, she served as Property Controller, and has since served in increasing capacities including Vice President of Property Accounting and Senior Vice President of Accounting. Prior to joining the Company, Wendy served as a Senior Controller at LNR Property Corporation, and previously as an auditor at Arthur Anderson. Wendy earned her BS in Accounting from Hampton University in Virginia.
I am pleased to be a part of a team that is committed to always doing the right thing and holds all elements of our business to such a high standard of integrity. We are focused on protecting value and enhancing profitability for all of our clients through accurate and timely financial statements. Excellence is in the details of everything we do.
Sandra G. Barfield - Senior Vice President
Sandra joined the Company in 2006. As Senior Vice President, she oversees a team of 34 talented employees on the Sales, Marketing and Training teams. Her extensive background and years of experience allows her to serve in a multi-faceted role to include strategic marketing and sales initiatives that help drive leasing performance, corporate brand strategy and the comprehensive development of training curricula for the full span of the organization. Additionally, Sandra is responsible for the success of the Company’s annual Leadership Conference to include educational content and the overall experience for our employees and vendor partners. A variety of development programs also started under her leadership, including the Management Development, FastTrack and Internship programs. Sandra is one of the most tenured employees of the executive team, having joined the Company as Director of Training to build what is now known as the Peak Academy. Prior to joining Peak Campus, she served in leadership positions with two nationally recognized multi-family companies for a combined 18 years. Sandra earned her Bachelors Degree from Jacksonville State University.
I am proud of the way Peak invests in training and developing our associates. We have dedicated resources to ensure each associate has access to learning opportunities that facilitate personal and professional growth. It is personally rewarding for me to watch people grow and know that our team played a part in launching their career.
Ryan M. Hand- Vice President of Business Development
Ryan joined the company in 2017. As Vice President of Business Development, he is responsible for sourcing new business relationships for the Company nationwide. He and his team are actively engaged with investors of all types, including institutional investors, pension and hedge fund managers, real estate holding companies, private equity firms, high net worth individuals, and asset managers working on behalf of these clients. In addition, Ryan serves as the executive client relationship manager for all of Peak Campus Companies’ existing external clients. Prior to joining the company, he began his career as a Community Assistant at American Campus Communities (NYSE: ACC). After working in a number of corporate marketing positions, he continued his work in the industry as the Director of Sales and Marketing at Aspen Heights where he managed the brand, campaigns, and digital marketing for their 12,000-bed portfolio. Most recently, as the Head of Real Estate for Student.com, Ryan ran the US Operations for the company with an emphasis on developing relationships with real estate professionals across the globe. He was honored with an American Advertising Award in 2015, multiple SHB Innovator awards in 2014, 2015 for his work at Aspen Heights, and holds an ‘Innovator of the Year’ award for his leadership at the company. In addition, he has been recognized as a “culture creator” in the best-selling book Contended Cows Still Give Better Milk. Ryan earned his Bachelor of Science in Marketing from the University of Central Florida.
In my experience, the traits that surround successful people are the ability to lead, listen, and develop those around them. No matter the position or seniority, those who have the will to not only grow themselves but see everyone around them grow will be the ones we all look up to in the future. I’m proud to be a part of an inclusive culture that understands people are the most important resource.
Mandy M. Elmore - Senior Vice President, Operations
Mandy joined the Company in 2009. As Senior Vice President of Operations, she is responsible for the oversight and performance of the day-to-day property-level and regional operations teams. She is also responsible for the identification and execution of strategies designed to drive operational excellence and financial performance. Mandy brings over sixteen years of student housing operating experience. In her career, she has served in the full spectrum of operating roles, including several on-site and corporate management positions. She served as both a Regional Manager and Regional Vice President before assuming her current position with Peak Campus. Prior to joining the Company, Mandy held senior positions with College Park Communities, the student housing division of GMH Communities Trust (NYSE: GCT), Campus Advantage, and the Dinerstein Companies. In her last role, she served as a Regional Vice President at American Campus Communities (NYSE: ACC)
Customer service is not a department; it is our job. Price and quality only get you into the game. Service wins the game. We are uniquely positioned to continue to separate ourselves from the pack of other student housing providers. Our commitment to world-class service to our residents, clients and associates make Peak Campus a special place to work.
Laurie L. Stanley - Regional Vice President, Operations
Laurie joined the Company in 2009. She serves as a Regional Vice President of Operations and is responsible for all aspects of leasing, marketing, operations, human resources and financial performance for a portfolio in the Southeast and Northeast. Laurie oversees a team of five regional managers, who combined manage nearly 25 assets and over 12,000 student housing beds nationwide. She is an established leader with exceptional capacity to make sound business decisions and to attract and retain top student housing performers throughout her portfolio. Before assuming her current role, Laurie was a Regional Manager and a Senior Regional Manager for the Company. Prior to joining the Company, she served as Vice President at The Preiss Company, and prior to that served in a multitude of operations roles, including on-site management positions. Laurie is a CPM candidate, has earned her CAPS and CAM designations, and is a licensed broker in both South Carolina and North Carolina. She is a member of the National Apartment Association and active with the Institute of Real Estate Management. Laurie earned her BS in Sociology and Social Work from Hillsdale College in Michigan.
It’s all about people at Peak Campus. People are our best asset and we work hard to attract and retain the best talent in the student housing industry. Our people know how to serve our residents and clients, and are intensely focused on delivering exceptional results.
Kelly A. Muller- Regional Vice President, Operations
Kelly joined the Company in 2011. She serves as a Regional Vice President of Operations and is responsible for all aspects of leasing, marketing, human resources, operational and financial performance for a portfolio in the West coast. Kelly oversees a team of five regional managers, who combined manage over 30 student housing assets and over 18,200 beds. She brings over 12 years of student housing experience including a wide variety of product types and all on-site positions. She served as both National Operations Specialist and Regional Manager before assuming her current position with Peak Campus. She was honored internally with the Peak Campus 2013 Phoenix Award and the 2014 Regional Manager of the Year award. Prior to joining the Company, she held management positions with Dinerstein Companies, College Park Communities, the student housing division of GMH Communities Trust (NYSE: GCT), and American Campus Communities (NYSE: ACC). Kelly earned her BS in International Business at the University of Nebraska.
Peak Campus has an impressive mindset and company culture. I am honored to work for an organization that demonstrates such passion each and every day. At Peak, our mindset resonates in everything we do. The drive to deliver world-class service creates a culture that genuinely separates Peak Campus from other student housing providers. Consistency at Peak in being the best, is ever present because at Peak Campus, good just isn’t Peak enough!
Steven J. Lewis - Regional Vice President, Operations
Steven joined the Company in 2013. He serves as a Regional Vice President of Operations and is responsible for a team of regional managers and all aspects of leasing, marketing, human resources, operational and financial performance for a portfolio throughout the United States. Steven has been active in student housing management for over 17 years, and in that time has held many positions both on-site and in corporate support roles. Steven served as Regional Manager before assuming his current position and was honored internally with the Peak Campus 2016 Employee of the Year award. Prior to joining the Company, he held management positions with First Worthing, The Preiss Company, College Park Communities, the student housing division of GMH Communities Trust (NYSE: GCT), and American Campus Communities (NYSE: ACC). Steven earned his BS in Business Management at North Carolina State University.
At Peak, our mindsets exemplify what it takes to be a leader in the student housing industry. Our passion for people is not only our attitude, but the foundation that resonates in every aspect of our daily operations. It is an honor to be part of a team that thrives on our individual and team successes, while creating a fun and challenging culture.
Tami S. Finan- Regional Vice President, Operations
Tami joined the Company in 2017. She serves as a Regional Vice President of Operations and is responsible for all aspects of leasing, marketing, human resources, operational and financial performance for a portfolio in the Southeast and Midwest. Tami oversees a team of five regional managers, who combined manage over 25 student housing assets and over 15,000 beds. She brings over 20 years of student housing experience including a wide variety of product types and all on-site and corporate management positions. Prior to joining the Company, she held Regional Manager and Regional Vice President positions with Ambling Student Housing. Mostly recently, Tami served as Regional Vice President RISE Real Estate. Tami earned her BS from Ohio University.
I continue to be impressed by the best-in-class operating platform that has been developed to provide our people at both the corporate and site-level with the tools and information needed to make data-driven decisions that drive property performance. That platform, coupled with our “People First” mindset, is an unbeatable combination.
Mike Paluga - Vice President of Development
Mike joined Peak Campus in 2016. In his role as Vice President of Development, he provides in-depth knowledge of the development process. Mike is an accomplished real estate executive with over 18 years of diverse development experience on over $2 billion of various real estate assets, including student housing, mixed-use, multifamily, and senior housing/skilled nursing facilities located throughout the U.S. Additionally, Mike also has over 11 years of architectural experience on $1.6 billion (5 million square feet) of high profile design-build projects.
Prior to joining Peak, Mike held several senior positions with both regional and national development companies, including University House
Communities, Forest City and LNR Properties, as well as an international architectural firm. He earned his Bachelor of Science of Architectural Studies from the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana and attended the Ecole Nationale Superieure d’ Architecture in Versailles, France in association with the University of Illinois.
Robert Kochansky - Vice President of Construction & Development
Robert joined Peak Campus in 2018. In his role as Vice President of Construction and Development, he is involved in all aspects of the development process and provides in-depth knowledge of construction to ensure successful project delivery. Robert comes to Peak Campus from Mill Creek Residential Trust, a national multi-family developer, where he was a project executive and participated in the development of nearly 700,000 square feet of mid-rise, high-density apartment and mixed-use properties totaling in excess of $100 million. Prior to Mill Creek, Robert held various roles with some of the nation’s foremost general contractors including Hardin Construction Co. and Batson-Cook during which time he is responsible for delivering over 3,400 apartment units totaling more than 3.5 million square feet and $434 million.
He earned his MBA from the Scheller College of Business at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and his BS in Construction Management from Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, MA.