Category: ABC’s of Ackerman

Gina DeRaffele: Lasting Relationships Produce Continued Success

Aug20
2018
Posted by
Marketing Staff

For nearly a decade, Gina DeRaffele has been one of our top brokers at Ackerman & Co.

Specializing in office properties, she takes pride in developing strong relationships with her clients to gain a clear understanding of their long-term real estate needs. This approach enables Gina to consistently close the most advantageous leases on behalf of her clients at the most competitive rates.

This year is holding true to form for Gina – once again, she has completed several high-profile office leases in the Atlanta market.

Thanks to that success, she was recently named Ackerman’s Broker of the Month.

One of her major transactions this year is a five-year lease extension and expansion on behalf of GoHealth Urgent Care. The 17,621 SF lease extension and 10,194 SF expansion will increase the healthcare provider’s headquarters space at Glenridge Highlands One in Sandy Springs to a total of 27,815 SF.

“It’s really a pleasure to be able to establish lasting relationships like this and help provide a solution that accommodates their ongoing growth,” Gina said. “It’s one of the most gratifying aspects of working in this industry.”

Since 2000, Gina has completed nearly 200 transactions totaling approximately 3.5 million square feet, and she’s consistently been recognized for her transaction volume and client service.

The ABC’s of Ackerman: Vivian Barnes

Jun26
2017
Posted by
Marketing Staff

ABCs of Ackerman_Vivian Barnes

With the first day of summer behind us, The ABC’s of Ackerman spent the afternoon with our Chief Financial Officer, Vivian Barnes. Vivian is celebrating 21 years at Ackerman & Co. this month. Let’s dig in and find out more about one of the members of our executive team!

A.) What brought you to Ackerman & Co. and how long have you been here?

I came to Ackerman in 1996.

Right out of college, I started to work in banking. In the banking world, I did some loan work related to commercial real estate. A friend of mine called me in 1990 about an opening at Cushman & Wakefield, and I got my start in commercial real estate there. I’ve been working specifically in commercial real estate since for 27 years.

B.) Can you tell us a little about what you do at Ackerman & Co.?

My title is Chief Financial Officer but I function more as the Chief Operating Officer. I run all the operations for the company, which includes human resources, information technology (IT), property management, accounting, and office management.

C.) What is the best part of working at Ackerman & Co.?

The diversity of what I get to do. I get to work in so many different departments, and all of our departments’ functions are to support the sales and investment side of the company.

D.) What is the most exciting thing about commercial real estate to you? 

The constant change.

E.) What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Working with a great team of people to get all the many things that we get accomplished.

F.) What advice do you have for someone trying to break into your field?

Be flexible, and try to learn as much as possible in all different areas.

 

Now time for some personal questions! 

 

G.) What are some of your greatest achievements in life?

My three boys, my marriage of 34 years, and my work at Ackerman.

H.) What’s something that surprises people about you?

I grew up with six sisters.

I.) What book do you think everyone on the team should read?

Gone with the Wind. Scarlett O’Hara’s quote “Tomorrow is another day” is sort of my mantra on life.

J.) If you could have lunch with a U.S. president or someone famous, who would it be and why?

Probably Jimmy Carter, he was a great humanitarian.

K.) Do you have a bucket list? What’s one thing on your bucket list that you can share with us?

Definitely a Mediterranean cruise.

L.) What about some of your hobbies?

Playing with my grandbaby Lowry, Pilates, and cardio kickboxing.

M.) Who has been the most important person in your life?

My husband, Bill.

N.) What lessons has your work life taught you?

To appreciate everyone’s contributions to the success of the company.

The ABC’s of Ackerman: John Speros

Jan18
2017
Posted by
Marketing Staff

ABCs of Ackerman_John Speros

We’re kicking off 2017 by speaking with our Broker of the Year, John Speros. John has been with Ackerman & Co. for eight years and is one of the premier land brokers in the Metro Atlanta area. We caught up with John between deals for some insight into the mind of one of our senior brokers. 

A.) Congrats on being named Ackerman’s Broker of the Year for 2016. Can you tell me how you got to that point and what your goals were at the beginning of 2016 and how you achieved them?

The real answer is simple: I produced more revenue than any other broker at Ackerman. I don’t start off the year hoping to be Broker of the Year. I just focus on helping the client meet their objectives and if you do that the commission seem to follow.

B.) What brought you to Ackerman & Co. and how long have you been here?

I joined Ackerman & Co almost eight years ago when Larry Wood, Sean Patrick, Kyle Gable and I left another firm. We all felt that Ackerman provided a unique platform for our business.

C.) Can you tell us a little about what you do at Ackerman & Co.?

My focus is selling raw land for commercial and residential development.

D.) What is the best part of working at Ackerman & Co.?

Ackerman & Co. gives me ALL of the support that I need to be successful including administrative, marketing, research and other support services.

E.)  What’s something that surprises people about you?

For some reason, people see me as really intense. I have had several people say that they were warned about how difficult I would be to work with only to discover that I am pretty easy going.

F.) What is the most exciting thing about commercial real estate to you?

It all or nothing. I learn something new in every transaction. It’s like Vegas with better odds.

G.) What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I enjoy helping my clients achieve their objectives. The commissions are anticlimactic, to me.

H.) What advice do you have for someone trying to break into your field?

Get lean on all expenses, be prepared to go for two years without an income and find someone to mentor you.

I.) What book do you think everyone on the team should read?

The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck.

J.) If you could have lunch with a U.S. president or someone famous, who would it be and why?

That’s tough to narrow down. There are so many people that I would love to talk with for an hour. I would have to put Ronald Reagan near the top of that list.

K.) Do you have a bucket list? What’s one thing on your bucket list that you can share with us?

At 60, I have completed most of the “physical” bucket list items. However, I would like to step foot on every continent.

L.) Who has been the most important person in your life?

My father. He taught me a great work ethic and emphasized getting my education. He could also “fix” just about anything and “fixing” things take a logical thought process that I use every day in brokerage.

M.) What lessons has your work life taught you?

If you work hard and smart, you seem to have more luck!

Keene Miller Appointed President of the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors

Dec20
2016
Posted by
Marketing Staff

Keene Miller, 2017 Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors

 

F. Keene Miller, President of Brokerage with Ackerman & Co. was named President of the Atlanta Commercial Board of REALTORS (ACBR) for the 2017 term. Miller was sworn in during ACBR’s Annual Business Meeting and Awards Ceremony held at the InterContinental Hotel Buckhead on December 9th. The Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors, an instrumental factor in the growth of organized real estate in the state of Georgia since 1910, is the largest commercial realtor association in the country with more than 2,500 members.

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“Service above self is his motto,” said John O’Neill, senior managing director at Cushman & Wakefield, when describing Miller from the podium during the ceremony. “Keene is a consensus builder who leans in to get the job done,” he added. Miller will be the association’s 42nd president.

Miller who believes in “never letting the moment be bigger than him” is committed to the ACBR’s continued efforts to increase diversity, offering higher education classes and advocating for the commercial real estate industry while supporting the communities in which they do business.

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The ABC’s of Ackerman: Leonard Tate

May13
2016
Posted by
Marketing Staff

ABCs of Ackerman_Leonard Tate

 

With a bright and sunny second quarter underway, The ABC’s of Ackerman caught up with Building Engineer at Stone Mountain Industrial Park, Leonard Tate. He has some free time to discuss his work and life with us. Take some time to get to know another great member of our Ackerman & Co. team!

A. What brought you to Ackerman & Co. and how long have you been here?  

I wanted to expand my horizons. I felt like Ackerman & Co. was one of the places that I would challenge my knowledge and abilities. I have been here for nearly 11 years.

B. Can you tell us a little about what you do at Ackerman & Co.? 

As a building engineer, I do a bit of everything. Everything from lighting, plumbing, air conditioning and more.

C. What is the best part of working at Ackerman & Co. and what makes Ackerman such a great organization?

I enjoy meeting new tenants from a wide variety of companies and seeing their smiles. Every day brings a new challenge. Ackerman is a great organization because the whole team collaborates well. Everyone has a great knowledge and understanding of commercial real estate.

D. What advice do you have for someone trying to break into your field?  

You need to be committed to this field. It requires hard work and dedication.

E. What are your goals at Ackerman moving forward? 

I would like become chief engineer and manage my own buildings.

F. What lessons has your work life taught you?

Be able to do your job so well that no one else can do it better.

 

Let’s get away from work and get personal!

 

G. How would you describe yourself?

I’m an 80/20. 80% is great and the other 20% is a working process.

H. What about some of your hobbies? Do you have any cool hobbies?

I love playing basketball. I like playing horseshoes because this is the only thing that you can win by being close!

I. What’s something that surprises people about you? 

I originally set out to fly a plane and be a pilot. That is what I did while I was in the service. I flew planes and was a parachute jumper.

J. What’s your guilty pleasure? 

Sweet potato pie and butter pecan ice cream.

K.  What’s one thing on your bucket list that you can share with us?

One of the big ideas on my bucket list is to work to pay my church mortgage and help the church elders.

L. Who has been the most important person in your life? Can you tell me about him or her?

God, my wife, and my children they are the reason I get up every day and work hard.

M. If you could have lunch with a U.S. president or someone famous, who would it be and why?

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. or President Obama.

N. Same question, only a little different. If you could interview anyone from your life living or dead, but not a celebrity, who would it be and why?

My mother. She raised me and made me into the man I am today.

The ABC’s of Ackerman: Chandler Pope

Jan18
2016
Posted by
Marketing Staff

2015 Young Broker of the Year, Chandler Pope

The ABC’s of Ackerman takes flight with our first spotlight of the year. Ackerman & Co.’s 2015 Young Broker of the Year, Chandler Pope, recently sat down with us to discuss the growth of his commercial real estate career and shared some insight into his adventurous life.

A. First of all, congratulations on being named Ackerman’s Young Broker of the Year for 2015! Can you tell me about the goals you set at the beginning of 2015 and how you were able to achieve them?

It took a lot of hard work by staying disciplined, organized and focused on my business plan.  Some of my goals were networking, making a certain number of calls each week, staying up to date on commercial real estate news and researching and driving my market.

B. Let’s go back to the beginning. What brought you to Ackerman and how long have you been here?

I knew I wanted a career in the commercial real estate industry after I graduated from the University of Alabama in May of 2014.  I started networking with people in the industry and eventually met Douglas Biggs at Colliers International. He put me in contact with Ackerman’s President of Brokerage, Keene Miller.  I enjoyed meeting with Keene and the other brokers in the office. I accepted a position as an Associate in the Brokerage division in July of 2014.

C. You said that people were a big draw for you when you made the decision to join the brokerage What’s the best part of working at Ackerman?

The environment and definitely the people.  We have an outstanding work environment making it easy to accomplish tasks and stay focused on your business.  Everyone here is extremely supportive which makes for a great atmosphere.

D. Tell us a little bit about what you do you at Ackerman.

I provide brokerage services, specializing in tenant and landlord representation throughout Metro Atlanta.

E. What is the most exciting thing about commercial real estate?

Every day is different.  I enjoy meeting and interacting with a diverse range of people, scheduling and attending client tours and working on the entire transaction process from initial negotiations to move-in.

F. What advice do you have for someone trying to break into your field?

Choose a specialty and a market.  Become an expert in your market and make your presence known.  Develop a strategy, be disciplined, organized and stay focused.  Don’t let rejections slow you down.  Establish a professional relationship with everyone you meet.  Build credibility, relationships, and trust by treating everyone fairly and with respect.  Do what is in the best interest of your client and focus on their specific goals and needs by adding value.

 

Round two is the rapid fire round!

 

G. Tell us about some of your hobbies.

I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I play a lot of basketball and I love to ski. I also play the guitar in my free time.

H. What’s something that surprises people about you?

Between 1994 and 2000, I have visited over 30 countries and lived overseas. In those six years, I spent four years in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and two years in Santiago, Chile.

I. More than a lot of people do in their lifetime. For someone who’s done so much, what’s something that’s on your bucket list?

Sky diving was a big one that I’ve already check off, but I’d love to take it to the next level and base-jump one day.

J. Who has been the most important person in your life? Can you tell me about him or her?

My parents are the most important people in my life. They are very loving and supportive in everything I do.

The ABC’s of Ackerman: Debbie Register

Sep23
2015
Posted by
Marketing Staff

On the first official day of Fall, our ever-so-busy, feisty and outspoken Senior Financial and Brokerage Accountant, Debbie Register, finally had some free time to sit down with us. We are proud to say that Debbie has been part of the Ackerman & Co. team for more than 11 years, and we look forward to many more.

Be sure to check out her story below and join us in congratulating her on her recent promotion!

A. What brought you to Ackerman & Co. and how long have you been here?

My former employer, where I was in charge of the property management bookkeeping for 16 years, decided to semi-retire. As he downsized, the property management clients were referred to Ackerman. I saw an opportunity to interview with Ackerman and was hired on the spot; I have been here for more than 11 years.

B. Can you tell us a little about what you do at Ackerman & Co.?

My responsibilities allow me to wear several hats. My time is divided between Brokerage Accounting and Financial Accounting for the properties we manage. I could elaborate but I wouldn’t want anyone to start falling asleep while reading this. Let’s just say I stay busy!

C. Was this always your career goal?

I never really planned on being in accounting. When I was 13, I started taking inventory at a hardware store. I worked there until I turned 21, during which time I was promoted several times and ultimately to the corporate accounting office.

D. What is the most rewarding part of your current job?

Having someone tell me that I helped them understand something just makes me feel good inside and out.

E. What keeps you motivated?

I love what I do and really enjoy doing it.

F. What is the most exciting thing about commercial real estate to you?

No two days are ever alike and I continuously get to meet some really amazing people.

G. What do you feel like makes Ackerman & Co. such a great organization?

The people that make up Ackerman – from the president to the administration – is what makes our organization great!

H. What advice do you have for someone trying to break into your field?

Really think hard about what you really want in life. Also know there are a lot of deadlines and hard work that must be done to continue to be the best.

 

And now we’re about to get personal!

 

I. What about some of your hobbies?

I love baking, reading, making jewelry, painting on glass and sewing. However, my newest and favorite thing to do is spend time with my 15-month-old granddaughter Skylar. She is the new love of my life and I try to spend time with her as much as humanly possible.

J. Do you have a favorite childhood memory?

Getting up early on Sundays and going to Cherokee Mountains for the day. We would enjoys picnics, family time and the beautiful outdoors.

K. What’s something that surprises people about you?

While in school I was very, very shy. So much that I would read books in between classes and while I walked to avoid speaking with anyone.

L. Any guilty pleasures you wanna share?

Shopping for a great deal…and knowing I have coupons to make the deal even better.

M. What’s on your desk right now?

A large glass of homemade sweet tea.

N. What’s one thing on your bucket list that you can share with us?

To travel outside of the U.S. I have always wanted to visit Australia, Spain, France and Italy.

 

The ABC’s of Ackerman: Bryan Davis

Jun4
2015
Posted by
Marketing Staff

Bryan Davis

 

 

 

 

 

 

For the summer installment of the ABC’s of Ackerman, we chatted with Bryan Davis, Vice President of Brokerage, and learned, aside from an exciting new landlord assignment, that he is quite nostalgic.

 

A. What brought you to Ackerman & Co.? 

One of my colleagues, Andy Sutton, joined Ackerman when our former company dissolved. I had recently completed a tenant deal with Ackerman and really enjoyed the friendly atmosphere here so I met with Keene [Miller] about possible employment and here we are five years later.

B. Can you tell us a little about what you do at Ackerman & Co.?

I provide brokerage services, specifically representing all types of tenants and buyers. I also represent medical landlords.

C. Speaking of landlords, we’ve heard you’re exclusively representing Ackerman’s latest medical development Hillandale Physician Place.

Yes, I am. Hillandale Physician Place is an exciting new medical development across from Dekalb Hillandale Medical Center. It’s a terrific opportunity for doctors looking to expand or locate in this area. Market response has been great; the building is already 50% leased and is set to open this summer.

D. What is the best part of working at Ackerman & Co.?

The people. We have a great group and I love the support I get from everyone from every area. Every person in the company is very approachable.

E. What are some of your hobbies?

In my free time I like to fish, work out, read, and definitely spend time with my family.

F. Family being so important, can you remember a favorite childhood memory?

During the summers, I loved going to Kansas City and Wichita to attend Royals and Chiefs games with my father. I still keep up with both teams and have saved all my old autographed footballs and baseballs.

G. What’s your favorite vacation spot?

The Rosewood Mayakoba Resort in Playa del Carmen Mexico is unreal.

H. Is there a book you would recommend everyone on the team read?

Yes. The Power of Focus by Mark Victor Hansen.

I. What do you find most exciting about commercial real estate? 

Interacting with so many different people from so many walks of life, no two situations are exactly the same.

J. What advice do you have for someone trying to break into your field? 

Don’t do it for the money. Do what you’re passionate about, stay committed and consistent; it will pay off.

The ABC’s of Ackerman: Ann Althoff

Feb18
2015
Posted by
Marketing Staff

ABCs of Ackerman_Ann

It’s time once again for our ABC’s of Ackerman, which takes a look at the individuals that make our company distinct. We are excited to spotlight one of the most deserving members of our team – office manager, gatekeeper and voice of Ackerman – Ann Althoff. She wears many hats, keeps our office running smoothly and greets us with a smile. Get to know Ann, the glue that holds our office together.

If you missed the last ABC’s of Ackerman post, click here.

A. What brought you to Ackerman & Co.?

My former employer was retiring and closing the office. He recommended me to someone here at Ackerman.  I interviewed and voila!  My 10-year anniversary is this March.

B. What is the best part of your job?

I take pleasure in meeting our many guests; I welcome the mix of personalities throughout the company.

C. Tell us about your hobbies.

Every week on Wednesday, I read to Sarah, who lives at a senior assisted living home. I’m very interested in college basketball and football (Go NC State!). I like to read and try to walk at least three days a week.

D. Tell us something that would surprise us.

I was a shoe model for 10 years! I traveled to Dallas, Miami and New York for my modeling jobs.

E. What’s your favorite childhood memory?

My mother was in management at Krispy Kreme and we had doughnuts every day of the week!

Another favorite childhood memory was visiting my grandmother and grandfather at their farm. I enjoyed homemade ice cream, biscuits with butter that she churned, fresh eggs, chicken, pork, rabbit and squirrel.

F. Favorite vacation spot?

I spent five days at an all-inclusive resort at St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It was fantastic.

San Francisco is another favorite vacation spot.

G. What’s on your desk right now?

A busy phone, rent checks to endorse and total up, invoices to date stamp and checks to stuff and mail.

H. What book do you think everyone should read?

Success Through A Positive Mental Attitude by Napoleon Hill. My favorite quote from the book is: “You know, a positive attitude attracts the good and the beautiful; while a negative one will rob you of all that makes life worth living.”

I. What keeps you motivated?

Bills to pay.  No seriously, my 92-year-old mother and the 81-year-old gentleman in the corner office, Mr. Ackerman.

Speaking of Mr. Ackerman, I was very honored and excited to receive an invitation to attend the Anti-Defamation League’s Abe Goldstein Human Relations Award Dinner honoring Mr. Ackerman.  Mr. Ackerman is a fantastic speaker.  The entire experience was phenomenal.

Ackerman

 

J. What makes Ackerman & Co. such a great organization?

We are the BEST of the BEST! No doubt.