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Leadership

Equity's Leaders: Excellence From the Top Down

At Equity, we are driven by absolute integrity and a passion for excellence. With this focus, Equity’s diverse team of professionals bring practical experience in all aspects of real estate, construction, development, and operations to give you custom real estate solutions tailored to meet your needs. And, we’ve been doing it for more than 30 years.

Building Greatness From the Ground Up

We know that we are only as good as the company we keep. Our people create your experience, they dictate the limits of our potential, and they define our reputation in the marketplace. So, we work to recruit the best of the best to work for Equity, and for you.

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Steven P. Wathen

Chief Executive Officer

Steve established Equity in 1987, and since that time, the company has become a leader in commercial development, construction, brokerage, and property management. Equity has a robust history in most real estate product types – with an emphasis in healthcare, retail, and office. The expansion of the firm to nine cities across the country, is due to Steve’s focus on growing the company.

Steve also serves as Chief Executive Officer of Equity Construction Solutions (ECS), an affiliated, independent construction company.

In his free time, Steve serves on four not-for-profit boards, and is chairman of three. His philanthropic activities include being founder and chairman of Youth Aviation Adventure, co-founder and chairman of Franklinton Rising, and president of Gainesville Council on Aging. He is also on the Advisory Board for Pregnancy Decision Health Center. Steve is an instrument-rated pilot, scuba diver, and avid outdoorsman.

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Patrick Wathen

President

Patrick has achieved a successful career spanning more than 15 years in commercial real estat, most recently being honored as one of GlobeSt’s 50 under 40 and has been inducted into the Midwest Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame. As president of Equity, Wathen oversees the firms real estate operations including property management, asset management, and the firm’s construction department.  He drives investment strategy for Equity and oversees asset management of the current portfolio of +/- $500MM in assets.  He also serves as co-founder and managing partner of Equity Velocity Funds, working directly with investor partners and internal teams to deliver superior risk adjusted returns.  These two roles are closely tied together and represent a true differentiator for Equity’s partners with the integration of financial and physical asset management.

Patrick has co-lead the market strategy brokerage team since founding it in 2008, which has served as a pioneer in the convergence of healthcare delivery in a retail setting.  This team provides strategic growth analysis, site selection, and portfolio management services for location-based healthcare users nationwide.  They have been nationally recognized by GlobeSt as Influencers in both Retail and Healthcare markets and have completed more than 1,000 transactions across 45 states.

He’s extremely passionate about his team at Equity & EVF and achieving client and partner goals.

After starting his career in healthcare leasing, Patrick still leads the market strategy team that he founded.  This team provides strategic growth analysis, site selection, and portfolio management services for location-based healthcare users nationwide.  This team has been nationally recognized for their impact on both retail and healthcare markets and has completed hundreds of transactions across 40+ states.

He’s extremely passionate about his team at Equity & EVF and achieving client and partner goals.

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Tom Rocco

General Counsel

Tom has extensive experience with business and real estate transactions in both the public and private sector. As corporate counsel for Equity, Rocco represents Equity and its affiliated entities in development and construction projects; financing and refinancing transactions; and in general corporate matters. He also manages outside counsel engaged to provide services to the corporation or related entities, to the firm’s offices around the country. Previously, Tom served as a senior assistant attorney general with the Ohio Attorney General’s Business Counsel Section.

Angi Carey

Executive Vice President, Property Management

Angi’s experience spans over 19 years in real estate management of office buildings (including flex & high rise), industrial buildings, retail, and multi-family housing. She oversees all aspects of Equity’s national and local property management division.   She holds a Bachelors degree from Xavier University and is a Certified Property Manager, Past President of the IREM (Institute of Real Estate Management) Columbus Chapter, and current Columbus Chapter IREM Board Member.  Angi is committed to meeting clients’ goals and objectives by achieving optimal property financial performance and increasing asset value.

Austin Wathen

Executive Vice President, Brokerage and Business Development

In his role as Executive Vice President of Brokerage and Business Development, Austin is responsible for managing the nationally-scaled brokerage division of Equity. He also works very closely with market leaders and company agents to ensure Equity’s brokerage solution continuously adheres to the company’s best-of-class standards, all while promoting optimal client satisfaction.

He began his career as an independent contractor. Throughout the duration of his career in the industry, Austin has dedicated much of his time to learn the ins and outs of brokerage and to develop long-lasting relationships with market leaders.

Eric Newland

Senior Vice President, Development

With over 20 years of experience in real estate and construction, Eric leads Equity’s nationwide real estate development platform. As a three-time graduate of Kent State University, Eric earned a Bachelors of Science in Architecture, a Masters of Architecture, and a Masters of Business Administration. He is an active Registered Architect, holds a LEED AP certification, and is a sitting board member for several municipal planning commissions, as well non-profit organizations.

 

Eric’s previous experience includes teaching at the university level, acting project architect on over $1B in projects nationwide including Retail, Mixed Use, Office, Religious, Multi-Family, Medical, and Office typologies. He also has experience working with major REIT’s on numerous ground-up development, redevelopment, and adaptive-reuse projects.

Most importantly, Eric cherishes time spent with his wife and two daughters, which may include long bike rides, hiking, movies, music, general adventuring, and church mission trips.

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Jessica Odenweller

Vice President, Asset Management & Acquisitions 

As Vice President of Asset Management and Acquisitions, Jessica Odenweller oversees the acquisition process by collaborating with each department within Equity to assure thorough due diligence and effective onboarding to the Equity and EVF portfolio. Through the acquisition process, Jessica creates asset strategies that she and her team manages through the hold period to ensure the performance of the asset leads to value creation and achieving anticipated investor returns.

Jessica graduated from Miami University and has devoted her career to all sides of commercial real estate including commercial banking, project management, financial analyst, business development and prior to joining the Equity team, she lead the acquisitions and dispositions department at a leading investment firm in Cincinnati, OH.  Throughout  her career, she has facilitated over $400M in transactions and with the wide span of experience, she can bring different perspectives to any project.

Jessica is past-president of the Commercial Real Estate Women Greater Cincinnati and is a member of the UC Real Estate Advisory Committee, CREW Fundraising/Golf and volunteers for Habitat for Humanity.

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Regional Brokerage Leaders

Ben Dikman

SE Regional Vice President

Ben Dikman is the SE Regional VP of Brokerage at Equity. He oversees the brokerage operation for Equity in the Tampa, Orlando, and Atlanta Markets while also providing support.

Prior to joining Equity, Ben worked within commercial real estate brokerage for 15 years. Known for his innovative new ideas and extensive market knowledge of Office, Industrial and Retail properties, Ben established a reputation with his clients for attentive service, thorough attention to analysis and aggressive pursuit of his client’s interests.

Ben also spent 3 years working for Xceligent which provides him with a unique understanding of the utility of data and how it applies to the CRE industry. This experience also enabled him to form relationships with hundreds of CRE professionals over an 8 County area within Central Florida.

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Lee Jackson, CCIM

Senior Vice President, Business Development — SW

For over 20 years, Lee has served as a manager in the development, acquisition, leasing, and management of commercial real estate firms in Texas and nationally.

Lee provides leadership and oversight to Equity’s operations in San Antonio and Austin and provides strong analytical and financial skills including acquisition and development JV structuring and feasibility. He also secures business development in the Southwest.

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Bob Palffy

Managing Principal- Chicago

Bob leads Equity’s Chicago office. Bob has practiced tenant representation for major corporations and professional service firms throughout the spectrum of services including: leasing, subleasing, purchase and build-to-suit.

His additional experiences as partner, manager, and developer provide his clients focused insight in creating real estate solutions. He has represented clients in the acquisition and disposition of several million square feet. He has been President of the Chicago Real Estate Organization as well as The University of Michigan Greater Chicago Alumni Board. He currently is Chairman of the Facilities Committee for Tony Award winning theater Lookingglass.

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Todd Seaman

Market Director- Atlanta

Todd Seaman, Market Director of Equity’s Atlanta office, has over 20 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry.

Todd’s strengths include financial analysis, marketing, relationship management and lease negotiation. He specializes in office and industrial real estate.

In his free time, Todd enjoys traveling, playing golf, and supporting his gymnast daughter.

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Jeff Patterson

Market Director- Orlando

Jeff is one of the top brokers in Central Florida specializing in Landlord and Tenant Representation.

He has negotiated complex transactions for sophisticated Landlords such as; The Prudential, Aetna, Highwoods Properties and GLL Partners and Tenants such as: Federal Express, Ridgeworth Capital, Integra Realty Resources, Allen, Dyer, Doppelt, Milbrath & Gilchrist, P. A., Shutts & Bowen LLP, Orlando Economic Partnership, Dialight’s corporate headquarters relocation from New Jersey, Law Engineering, Sand Lake Imaging, Endocrine Associates of Florida and Compass Research.  He saves his clients a tremendous amount of time and money on leasing or renewing their space and has fun doing it!  Jeff pioneered and closed an $85 million new mixed-use 31 story high rise in the heart of Orlando.  He recently sold 3 restaurant/bars, a McDonald’s and 13 acres of land in Tampa.  Jeff sold Citrus Center in downtown Orlando for $28.5 million and handled a 216,000 square foot long term lease with AT&T.

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Jim Ploetz

Market Director- San Antonio

Jim’s primary responsibility is creating opportunities for Equity Inc., and its affiliates, in the San Antonio market to acquire, develop, lease, own and manage medical office buildings and other healthcare facilities.

Additionally, he is tasked with building a brokerage presence in the Texas market through recruitment of real estate sales and management professionals.

Jim has over 27 years of experience in real estate brokerage, development and management. He has spearheaded investment and equity developments of specialty medical clinics and has built a network relationship with major healthcare providers such as Methodist Healthcare System, Christus Santa Rosa Health Systems and Knapp Medical Hospital.

Jim has held leadership positions with several of the largest commercial real estate/ financial firms in the country, including CBRE, Dominion Healthcare Realty, NAI REOC Partners, and Bank One. His former clients include Excel Realty Investors, American Mutual Life Co., JPI Development, GE Capital, Sprint PCS, and Washington Mutual.

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