2018 Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Judges

A distinguished panel from across the country representing expertise in multifamily design, development, finance, marketing and property management is chosen to judge the Pillars Awards each year.

Each entry is judged on its own merits, based on the information provided by the applicant in the official entry. 

2018 Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Judges

2018 Multifamily Pillars of the Industry Judges Are:


KTGY Architecture + Planning

  1. Rohit Anand brings industry leading thought-leadership to the design of multifamily and mixed-use development projects. With experience that includes the design of over 35,000 market rate, for-rent, for-sale, affordable multifamily residential units Mr. Anand counts, among his clients, many of the nation’s top multifamily residential and retail developers including JBG SMITH, Kettler, The Bozzuto Group, AvalonBay, Gables, Lincoln Property Company, Wood Partners, TCR and Gables.

  2. Mr. Anand and his team advise developers on product trends and positioning and are adept at providing efficient construction systems that help ensure successful projects. The work of Mr. Anand and his team has been honored with multiple national awards.


  5. Sarah Barr is Creative Director and Associate Principal at Hickok Cole, a forward-focused design practice, located in Washington DC. As Director of the firm’s in-house agency, Hickok Cole Creative, Sarah leads a supremely talented team to deliver high-profile branding and marketing programs for multifamily developers, owners and property managers. Recent comprehensive branding programs include: The Hepburn, PN Hoffman’s Incanto Apartments at The Wharf, Novel South Capitol and LCOR’s Altaire Apartments.

  6. Sarah received her BA with Honors from the University of Mary Washington. With over 20 years of experience, Sarah has received awards and accolades for numerous projects, but she is most proud of her two young and extremely active sons who like to keep her on her toes.

    Pennrose Properties

  9. As Regional Vice President, Ivy is responsible for all phases of Pennrose’s development projects in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and Washington D.C. Ivy brings nearly 30 years of management and real estate development experience to the role, with expertise in stand-alone affordable housing development deals, affordable housing preservation, HOPE VI development, complex mixed-income, mixed finance, and multi-phase redevelopment projects. Ivy started her career at Pennrose Management Company in 1990 as a Property Manager before earning a promotion to Regional Property Manager, which gave her oversight of 21 affordable housing properties. In 1995, Ivy joined Pennrose Properties, expanding her career into the arena of affordable housing development.
  10. Ivy currently serves as President of the Maryland Affordable Housing Commission and is on the Board of Directors of Anne Arundel County Affordable Housing Coalition. She is an active member of the community and a recent graduate of Leadership Maryland, an independent statewide program designed to expand the capacity of Maryland’s leaders. Ivy attended Spelman College in Atlanta, GA.

    Niles Bolton Associates

  13. A strategic thinker, Stephanie Kirkpatrick zeroes in on a client’s overall business goals and objectives, guaranteeing they are never lost in the miasma of details that can overwhelm a project. Her real estate knowledge and business acumen have been instrumental in the development of the firm’s interior design practice. She offers over 30 years of experience in strategic planning and design consulting as well as administration and management. Stephanie has a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She is NCIDQ certified and a member of the Commercial Real Estate Women, the American Society of Interior Designers and the International Interior Design Association, where she served as President of the Georgia chapter. Stephanie worked at NBA between 1992 and 1997, overseeing the growth of the interior design department and rejoined the firm in 2006.

    The Lawson Companies

  16. A third-generation builder and developer, Steve is President of The Lawson Companies, a multifamily and single-family builder, developer, and manager based in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia, with thirty-four properties in Virginia and two in South Carolina. For more than forty years, the company has been active in the financing, development, construction, and management of rental and for-sale housing, serving affordable and luxury clients with consistently excellent service and value.

  17. As president of The Lawson Companies, Steve oversees a portfolio of more than five thousand apartments and $15 million in annual construction and development. The company is a licensed builder in three states, and its build-and-hold approach adds about 150 units a year to the portfolio.

    Linowes Design Associates

  20. As President, CEO and Principal Designer of Linowes Design Associates, Inc. (LDA), Elyse started her business with the philosophy of approaching every job with a unique and individual vision to meet her Clients’ specific needs. No two projects are alike. The uniqueness of each design is a reflection of the in-depth strategy and the extensive market and demographic research we conduct for the optimal success of the project. We are partners with our developers and clients to achieve financial success for each project. We feel our designs should not only reflect the clients brand identity, but it should be designed toward the target end user of that property. We do not design for ‘our portfolio’ but for the best results for our client.


  23. Nick Nicholson has been arranging debt and equity financing for clients from California to Puerto Rico since 2005. Mr. Nicholson has underwritten and originated in excess of $1 billion in debt and equity for a variety of property types. Nick has extensive experience with FHA/HUD loan programs, including refinancing, new construction and acquisitions for multifamily, senior housing and hospital/healthcare properties.

    Prior to business school Nick was an associate in the private client asset management groups at Lehman Brothers and Bank of America. Before rejoining Berkadia, Nick spent five years as a managing director at Cain Brothers, arranging debt and equity financing and M&A transactions for health care providers across the US.


    National Association of Home Builders

  25. Dean Schwanke is NAHB's vice president for Multifamily Housing. In this role, he oversees the Multifamily Council, and provides information and services to market-rate multifamily developers and builders, as well as builders who provide affordable housing through the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program. He works to ensure that NAHB's lobbying efforts include issues affecting the multifamily sector.

    He built his real estate and multifamily sector expertise during more than thirty years at the Urban Land Institute (ULI), where he most recently served as senior vice president, case studies and publications, overseeing the development of case studies, textbooks, and other publications.

    He has directed the development of more than 70 books and reports, and has personally authored or coauthored ten books or publications, including the Mixed-Use Development Handbook and Multifamily Housing Development: Ten Case Studies of Innovative Projects. He has also organized numerous conferences and made more than 100 presentations on real estate trends, real estate finance and capital markets issues, and mixed-use development. 

    The NHP Foundation

  28. Jamie Smarr leads the NHP Foundation Affiliate Program, which seeks joint venture housing partnerships with other nonprofits and community based organizations. Under his leadership, The NHPF Affiliate Program brings managerial strength in finance, asset management, resident services, and fundraising to local organizations who may be interested in partnering on new projects to build their capacity. He is also involved with the NHPF Acquisitions program, which actively seeks to acquire properties and partnership interests in portfolios of affordable housing, including Section 8, FHA insured, Mark to Market, and expiring LIHTC transactions.
  29. His experience also includes 11 years as Executive Director of the New York City Educational Construction Fund, which is engaged in public-private real estate development partnerships for the New York City school system. Mr. Smarr was also a senior aide to five New York City Schools Chancellors, where he was responsible for capital planning and public/charter school development. He had previously served as Director of Tax and Zoning Incentives for New York City’s Housing Preservation and Development Department.


Dahlin Group Architecture and Planning

  1. John Thatch is a veteran judge of design competitions and a sought-after speaker for international conferences on such topics as emerging markets, multifamily design, active adult communities, and trends in community design. A talented, award-winning designer himself, John is a champion of new thinking and pushing the envelope of design with ideas that create thoughtful, livable, and economically viable communities. He is a passionate creative who thrives on the opportunity to design at a variety of scales for a variety of project types. A graduate of California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California, John has a Bachelor of Science degree in Architecture. He is a licensed Architect in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Washington and is a LEED Accredited Professional.

    Thompson Thrift

  4. As president of Thompson Thrift Development, Paul oversees the development of the company’s asset portfolio and new market opportunities. He founded Thompson Thrift with partner John Thompson in 1986. Under their leadership, the business has grown into the nationally recognized full-service real estate development and construction company it is today.

  5. In 2008, he cofounded Watermark Residential, a full-service upscale multifamily housing developer. Since then Watermark Residential has developed a regional and national profile. The company continues to grow and develop and is actively working projects in 11 states.

  6. Paul is involved in his community and serves on the Indiana State Chamber of Commerce Board’s Executive Committee, the Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce Board, the Indiana State University Scott College of Business Dean’s Executive Committee and is currently a member of the Terre Haute Tomorrow Steering Committee.

    Ziegler Cooper

  9. Jim Zemski AIA, is Managing Principal and Practice Area Leader in the Urban Architecture Studio of Ziegler Cooper Architects in Houston. Project experience includes over 25,00 units and 24,000 GSF of residential multi-family projects. With the increase in demand for walkable mixed-use developments Jim provides a valuable link between residential projects, hospitality and commercial projects incorporating office and retail components, including urban grocers. Prior to joining Ziegler Cooper Architects, Jim has worked in offices in Dallas, Hawaii, California and Ohio on projects including corporate headquarters, spec office, multi-family residential, medical, educational, correctional and retail.