Our leadership group is a well-rounded mix of intelligent and talented individuals with one common mindset – devotion to our common cause of serving the underserved by connecting people, places and potential as one.
Founder and Chairman of the Board
Of particular note is Chairman of the Board, Edwin G. Anderson III – a highly accomplished and nationally recognized individual for making places a reality through his extensive dealings and holdings in real estate concerns.
Mr. Anderson is the founding Principal of Connexion Asset Group, LLC, and has 30 years experience in real estate, including the acquisition, management, finance, joint venture or repositioning of nearly $1 billion of real estate. In this portfolio are several of the nation’s prestigious real estate properties inclusive of landmark properties, office, multi-family, industrial, hotel, resort and land development. He is actively involved in the acquisition of distressed and underperforming properties, defaulted debt instruments and partnership interests as well as structuring transactions involving international joint ventures and entity recapitalizations.
He has co-authored two white papers with the University of Denver’s Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management including “Commercial Real Estate Debt Maturities: Shortfall & Implications”, published by the Journal of Real Estate Portfolio Management. He is the past chair of the Salvation Army’s real estate committee and holds a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from the University of Colorado. Mr. Anderson is a member of the National Association of Office and Industrial Properties, the American Institute and the Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants, European-American Tax Institute and the University of Denver’s Burns Society for Real Estate and Construction Management.
He has now turned his interest and his ability with places to lead this cause and share his connections that in turn help people realize their potential.
Board of Directors
Diane Austin, Chief Financial Officer, Connexion Asset Group – Ms. Austin is a seasoned financial executive with more than 30 years of corporate finance, operational and strategic management experience, focusing the last 20 years on the real estate industry. She has been a member of the Connexion Asset Group team since 1996 and is an integral component of the company’s continued growth through acquisitions of commercial properties.
With extensive expertise in acquisitions, property management, joint venture structuring, financing and taxation, Ms. Austin has focused on financial and tax reporting, analysis and the development and management of accounting systems for partnerships, joint ventures, corporations and trusts in order to preserve and align the financial interests of all parties.
Ms. Austin holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Northern Illinois University. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, NAIOP and the Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Fred Baker, Partner, Ojala and Company– Fred is a Partner and Broker for BakerSmith & Company Commercial Real Estate Services, LLC. Fred oversees brokerage, entitlement and development consulting activities for the firm. BakerSmith represents clients current searching for developable land throughout the front range of Colorado. This representation includes the location of prime developable land as well as the horizontal development and governmental interfacing throughout the development process.
Fred is also the principal of Baker Consulting Services. LLC, which provides consulting services for owners and developers in the commercial real estate development industry. He specializes in real estate projects where the highest and best use and the marketability are more difficult to ascertain. His mission is to identify the highest and best use and to assist in the development and realization of the highest return for these real estate projects.
Fred has a rich history of experience in the real estate development business. For the past 16 years, he served as Director of Marketing, Site Acquisition and Development for Ojala & Company. While there, Fred expanded the marketing division to provide brokerage services, as well as, research, development and entitlement services, resulting in the acquisition and entitlement of many significant business park projects along the Front Range. As Vice President – Development for United Properties Fred worked on the acquisition and development of several sizable mixed use projects, totaling more than four million SF in Stapleton and South Denver. Fred also founded and served as president/ owner of Commercial Investment Services, Inc., a 44-broker real estate investment organization in San Diego, California.
Fred received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Colorado State University and did post-graduate study in Chemistry and Chemical Process Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado.
Fred acts as Secretary of Sharing Connexion Inc. He also served as past Chairman of the Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation and the current President of the Mountain West Metropolitan District. Other community involvement includes acting as Treasurer of the San Diego Boys and Girls Clubs, and serving on the boards of Arvada Economic Development Association, the Ken Caryl Business Park Association, and the Coors Technology Park Association.
John Bauknight, Development Director, Confluent Development – Mr. Bauknight has worked in commercial real estate development for 10 years in an assortment of product types including office, industrial, and multi-family housing. As Development Director for Confluent Development, John oversees Office and Industrial developments with a current pipeline of over $150M of project volume under management. Confluent is a full-service real estate investment and development company that owns and develops commercial real estate throughout the United States.
Prior to Confluent, Mr. Bauknight worked as Senior Real Estate Manager for Opus Development in the Denver office managing a wide range of projects from industrial build-to-suits for companies like Charter Communications, to assisting with the acquisition and underwriting for the Jones District master planned community.
Mr. Bauknight holds a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering with an emphasis in construction management from Clemson University and a Master of Business Administration in real estate and finance from Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado at Boulder.
David Chasnow, Director of Acquisitions and Asset Management, Connexion Asset Group – Mr. Chasnow has widespread experience in real estate investment, focusing on coordinating acquisitions and asset management for Connexion Asset Group (“CAG”). Mr. Chasnow joined CAG in 2008 and has played a key role helping to establish the company as a strong performer in the arena of private equity real estate investment. Prior to CAG, Mr. Chasnow was an analyst at Archstone, one of the largest investors, developers and operators of apartment communities in the U.S.
Mr. Chasnow co-authored a white paper titled “Commercial Real Estate Debt Maturities: Shortfall & Implications”, published by the Journal of Real Estate Portfolio Management in 2009. Mr. Chasnow is a CFA Charterholder and holds a Master of Science in Real Estate and Construction Management from the University of Denver’s Burns School, as well as an undergraduate degree from Tulane University.
Johnathan L. Daskam, Attorney, Kutak Rock LLP – Mr. Daskam joined Kutak Rock LLP in August of 2017. His practice primarily focuses on both corporate law and real estate law. His corporate law practice includes formation and maintenance of corporations, general and limited partnerships and limited liability companies, debt and equity financings, mergers and acquisitions, and preparation of private placement investment memoranda. His real estate law practice includes acquisitions, dispositions, landlord-tenant matters, leasing, financing, development and contract preparations and negotiations.
Mr. Daskam holds a J.D. from the University of Colorado Law School, and holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Denver in Philosophy (Magna Cum Laude) and English (Cum Laude). Mr. Daskam also serves on the Board and as General Counsel to Burning Through Pages, a local Denver non-profit, as well as the Board of the Developing Leaders Committee of NAIOP.
Rob Gillis, Vice President – Fund Management, Prologis – Mr. Gillis manages an open-ended investment fund consisting of over $3.0 billion industrial real estate assets across 30 North American markets. Mr. Gillis joined ProLogis in 2010 and has served in Research, Financial Planning/Analysis, and Treasury departments in addition to Fund Management. Prior to joining Prologis, Mr. Gillis handled transactions and asset management for a Denver based commercial real estate management and investment firm. Previously, he worked for two publicly held homebuilders where he was responsible for land acquisitions and market research.
Mr. Gillis holds an MBA in real estate and finance from the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business, a Bachelor of Sicence in business administration with a minor in Spanish from Colorado State University, and is an active member of PREA, NAIOP, and the University of Colorado Real Estate Council. Mr. Gillis also serves on the Board of Mile High Youth Corps.
Jim Mellor, Vice President, Pinkard Construction – Jim has long been involved from both a professional and personal level in Denver’s affordable housing and homeless outreach from a construction perspective. His firm, Pinkard Construction Co. has been a leading provider of construction services of affordable housing since its beginnings in 1962.
On the personal side Jim has served on both the Denver Rescue Mission’s and The Salvation Army’s Red Shield Center board of directors to further address the affordable housing needs of Metro Denver. He has been involved in numerous affordable and homeless development projects – his favorite being the Champa House; a women with children’s transitional housing project. Champa House provides a safe place for women and children for up to three years while providing child care, GED educational advancement, and general life skills training.
Daniel Sheehan, CCIM, Senior Vice President, Commerce Bank – Over his 36-year real estate finance career, Dan has been responsible for originating, structuring and closing over $1.2 billion in debt and equity transactions for commercial real estate. Prior to joining Commerce Bank, Dan originated long-term and interim debt financing, and sale-leaseback financing for GE Real Estate – Business Property. He also served as Vice President of Finance for Trammell Crow Residential – Midwest Division and has held senior commercial real estate lending positions with Wells Fargo Bank and its predecessors. Dan earned his B.A. degree in Government from the University of Notre Dame and his MBA degree from the University of Denver. He is a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM), an active member of the Denver NAIOP chapter and the Colorado University Real Estate Council. Dan has served as Chairman of the Board of the St. Anthony Health Foundation and the CHI Colorado Foundation. He was former Chairman of the Board at Brothers Redevelopment — a Colorado-based nonprofit that provides housing solutions for the poor, elderly, and disabled.
|Lawrence A. Atler, Esq.
Former Co-Chair, Finance Committee Early Childhood Education Project
Former Chair, Metro State College Foundation
Former Commissioner, Commission on Higher Education
|Mark Levine Professor, University of Denver
Chair Holder, Burns School/Daniels College
Executive Vice President, CBRE
|William Martin, Esq.
Partner, Kutak Rock, LLP
|Dr. Sandy Baker
Former Chief of Emergency Room, US Veterans Hospital
Medical Director, Army Corps – FEMA
Founder/CEO, Destiny Capital Corp
Founding Member, Punts with a Purpose
Board Member, LOVE, Inc
President, Confluent Development
Executive Vice President, Opus Development Co
Board Member, Industrial Property Trust
|John M. Shaw
Senior VP/GM, Opus Northwest, LLC
President of Board, University of Colorado Real Estate Foundation
Principal, GKK Works, LLC
Board Member, Urban Land Institute
Board Member, NAIOP
|Dr. Aris Sophocles
President, Rose Medical Group
Chair, Denver Med Society Foundation
Co-Founder, Breckenridge Outdoor Ed Center
Vice Chair, Apartment Realty Advisors
Board Member, Arapahoe House
Board Member, Apartment Assoc of Metro Denver
Former Managing Partner, Boettcher and Company
Honorary Life Trustee, University of Denver
Trustee Emeritus, Boettcher Foundation
President/Strategic Brand Director, Art + Business ONE
Former Board Member, Brent’s Place
Affordable Housing Consultant, RaiseHomes LLC
Former Executive Director, Hope Communities, Inc.
Board Chair, Project Education South Sudan
Regional Director, United Properties
Regional President, First Bank
|Robert F. Phelps, Jr.
Managing Director, JP Morgan
Emeritus Member, The Denver Foundation
|Michael Van Gilder
CEO, Honest Market, LLC
Former Commissioner, Commission on Higher Education
President, Cordillera Foundation
President, US Mexico Foundation
Board Member, University of Denver
|John Wilson, Esq.
Partner, Holland & Hart, LLP
|William E. Ryan
Director, Colorado State Land Board
Principal, Trammell Crow Company
Former Chair, The Denver Foundation
Founder/Principal, Zisler Capital Associates, LLC
Former Managing Director – Investment Banking, Jones Lang LaSalle
Former Executive Director, Goldman Sachs & Co