Speaker Bios

Nicolle Block, CAMT, CAPS

Regional Manager AMLI Residential

Nicolle has been in our industry for 20 years, the last 10 spent as a Regional Manager. She is currently an Area Vice President for AMLI Residential in Dallas.  She earned her Bachelor of Science from The University of Texas at Arlington.  She is very passionate about her people and about volunteering for the Apartment Association!  She facilitates classes for AATC, AAGD, TAA, and NAA.  She was awarded The Property Supervisor of the year locally and at The State level for 2017.  She currently sits on The Executive Board of Directors for AATC and will be installed as President in September of 2018.  For TAA, she sits on the Board of Directors, the Education Conference Committee, the Legislative Committee, and Chairs the Next Gen Task Force.  She is EPA certified – universal, holds her CAMT and CAPS designations with NAA and sits on the NAA Next Gen committee as well.

Jerry L. Carlton, Attorney

Jerry L. Carlton, an experienced attorney, helps property owners and managers with all their legal needs dealing with residents, vendors and employees throughout Texas. He helps with solutions for evictions, tenant disputes, tenant bankruptcies, fair housing claims, vendor contracts, vendor disputes, employee issues and overall daily property management legal issues. He teaches and writes for TAA, AAGD and their members on these topics, and has done so for many years. He has a long list of articles written for Rooflines and classes he has taught for AAGD. Jerry graduated from University of Texas - Austin and University of Houston Law Center. He works at Glast, Phillips & Murray, P.C., a 60 attorney Dallas firm ranked as one of the 50 largest in Texas.

Tracy Cherry

Tracy Cherry grew up in Multi-Family. She has held various roles in Property Management from Marketing Director, leasing, and Vendor Partner.  She’s implemented successful marketing strategies for multiple communities which include budget planning, social media, resident activities, retention, outreach marketing, training, community involvement and is excited to talk about these topics. She is a proud mother of 3 beautiful children and loves to spend weekends with her husband and family.

Cayce Coon, CAM, CAPS

Director of Property Management--Dallas/Ft. Worth

Cayce is the recipient of several industry awards including the prestigious Lone Star Award in 2013. Currently, she is involved with both the Apartment Association of Greater Dallas and Apartment Association of Tarrant County serving as a Chair as well as a member on several committees. She is an AATC Lyceum graduate,holds her CAM and CAPS Credentials and is an advocate for the continuing education/training of our industry professionals. Cayce specializes in repositioning distressed assets through successful team building, and an innovative sales and customer service approach proven to maintain resident satisfaction.

Rick Ellis, CAM, CPM

Rick Ellis, CAM, CPM has been intimately involved in the apartment business for over 35 years. Starting as an onsite assistant manager and leasing consultant, Rick directed a fast-growing apartment portfolio from two properties in the Dallas area to over 6000 units in four states. In 1984, he founded ELLIS Consulting Group in Irving, Texas. Now the name ELLIS has become synonymous with the finest market consulting, training, and contract leasing to the multi-family industry. Rick also founded the largest apartment mystery shopping company in the United States. Rick lives in Coppell, TX, with wife, Diane, and their Cavalier Spaniels, Marley & Bree. The Ellis family enjoys working out, racquetball, sporting events, music, and hanging out at Starbucks. Life is good. They feel blessed!

Susan Goff

Director of Brand Management

Susan is responsible for the development and implementation of marketing, branding, and reputation management initiatives on a diverse portfolio comprised of more than 60,000 units in highly competitive markets. Her approach to develop digitally infused, effective campaign strategies and tactics are intensive on relationship and customer experience branding methods, with an emphasis on delivering superior levels of service to both internal and external customers. Susan has successfully infused new media throughout the portfolio, which includes both stabilized and lease-up assets, capitalizing on digital, social, and content marketing. She is a skilled composer and presenter of market data and research, marketing and operations strategies, and SWOT analyses on existing assets and proposals for potential acquisitions, delivered to executives and owners.

Susan is a Tarrant County Apartment Association Lyceum graduate, has created and developed curricula and educational programs, and assisted in the planning and execution of various marketing and operations education conferences. Susan is member of NAAEI’s faculty, having successfully completed the Advanced Instructor program, and is a noted speaker on leasing and marketing strategies, emerging trends, social media marketing, reputation management, digital marketing, and more.

Matthew Haines, CAM, CAMT+E, CAPS, EPA 608, iROP

The Tangent Group

Was born in Iowa and moved to Dallas area in 1989 when he received a job offer. Over the years, he has earned many accolades from corporate jobs including several national and global awards from various technology based companies. He currently is the General Manager at The Tangent Group which was named The Bob Ross “independent Rental Owner of the Year” by TAA. Matthew serves on the Apartment Association of Greater Dallas’ Board of Directors. Also serves on many other Board of Directors and Independent Rental Owner Councils with TAA, NAA and the City Council for Shady Shores.

Anita Hord, Senior Vice President, Pace Realty

Ms. Hord began her multifamily real estate career with Pace Realty in 1986 while attending the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.  She held multiple on-site positions prior to being promoted to the Corporate office as a Regional Property Manager in 1994, and was appointed Vice President in 2006.  Today, she is the Senior Vice President, is responsible for Pace’s internal Training and Educational programs through Pace University, which includes a robust Mentoring program, and oversees a portfolio of Tax Credit and Senior Living properties. Anita enjoys teaching topics for the Apartment Association including Fair Housing, Leadership and Team Building, and is a Certified Instructor of True Colors®.  She is a recipient of several awards, including the prestigious AATC Lone Star Award for Supervisor of the Year and was the AATC 2014 Member of the Year.  She holds the NCP designation from the Housing Credit College and is a graduate of AATC and AAGD’s Leadership Lyceum programs. 

Damon McCall


Damon McCall is a multifamily industry veteran and the founder of Dallas based ApproveShield, a provider of eviction data and tenant screening services. Prior to forming ApproveShield, Damon operated communities and built teams all over Texas and the southeastern United States. It was in this sector that Damon began to recognize the importance of team building and learned what it really meant to be a great sales and team leader and not just a boss.  His basic principles are to Team build Often, Share Your Knowledge, and to follow the ABG’s of leadership:  Always Be Growing!

Damon facilitates the True Colors program to help the participants be the best they can be, because he believes that the core of well-being in any work or life situation consists of two basic principles:  being perceived as valuable, and always asserting personal accountability, especially when it may seem difficult to do so. 

Damon calls Dallas, Texas home but grew up on a cattle ranch in the Texas panhandle. 

Kourtney Miller

Sales Manager, Century A/C Supply

Kourtney started her career in the warehouse of an air conditioning contractor 16 years ago and then worked her way up to eventually run the business. After realizing the opportunity for personal growth and challenge was on the distributor side of the industry she switched. Having the clear picture of all aspects of the business has helped her understand the challenges of customers and business. She has covered it all from call centers, marketing, managing facilities, warehouses, and outside sales. Kourtney currently leads the team of 8 and faces many aspects of the air conditioning industry daily. Meeting new people and finding ways to help them with their situations and helping solve problems based on her experience is most satisfying. 

Jennifer Owen


Jennifer Owen, Attorney, a graduate of Washington University School of Law, has been practicing law since 1986 and has been active in The Apartment Association of Greater Dallas and the Legal Services Program.  Ms. Owen is a frequent speaker at legal seminars and is an author of the Briefcase column in Rooflines.  In addition to business litigation, Ms. Owen concentrates her practice in landlord/tenant and employment law.  She has represented property owners and managers in eviction suits, security deposit claims, fair housing matters, property damage, personal injury and deceptive trade claims, construction warranty claims and employment matters.  

Katy Polanco

Training Director, Pace Realty

Katy Polanco is the Training Director at Pace Realty Corporation.  At Pace, her responsibilities include the training and development of all new associates.  This includes the companies leasing policies and procedures, the TAA Lease/Addendums, and associated legal issues including Fair Housing.  Katy has worked onsite in multifamily but also has a background in staffing and recruiting and as such, has the ability to quickly identify talent.  Katy has a BS in Communications from the University of North Alabama and is happily married to Julio and together they have one darling daughter, Lilly.

April Royal, CAM, CAPS

Regional Vice President, Capstone Real Estate Services

April is the Regional Vice President for Capstone Real Estate Services and currently oversees 8000 units within her portfolio. Her portfolio ranges from new construction to value add and student housing to senior housing. Passionate, confident, focused and honest describes April as a leader. Committed to client and employee success are the how success is defined for her. She holds her CAM and CAPS designation and gives credit to the industries education programs for teaching her the way.

Jeffery M. Sage, A.B.D, PMP, MBB

HD Supply Market Trainer

Jeff has been directly involved with multifamily construction, renovations, property & equipment maintenance and Cap-Ex projects for the past 18 years. Jeff owns a renovation and project management company which is responsible for large projects up to 482 units. He has worked with some of the largest multifamily owners in the US and has created training and maintenance programs for these companies. He has overseen over 35 renovation projects at the same time and built 17 multifamily communities. Jeff has earned a double MBA and is in process of earning his DBA in project Management.  Jeff’s extensive experience, education and strong understanding of OSHA Compliance Safety training in the workplace makes him a great HD Supply Market Trainer.

Vicki Sharp, NALP, CAPS, CDPM

After serving an initial enlistment in the US Army, Vicki began her 40 + year career in Property Management.  From Leasing Agent, to Community Manager, to Regional Manager to Vice President, Vicki has truly “walked the walk” of property management.

Vicki has worked for several property management companies, both privately held and REIT portfolios.  Because of her history as an Army Veteran, she was recruited, and worked for 10 years in the Privatized Military Housing niche of the industry.

Vicki has been the on-site manager on communities from 100 units to 1200 units.  She has also worked with her teams to manage multi-site portfolios nationwide to include a 10,000 unit portfolio in Hawaii.

As the National Director of Training for Balfour Beatty Communities, Vicki was responsible to create and present all training activities for housing at 47 military installations across the United States

Because she has worked “on the front lines” of the industry, she relates well to her audiences, sharing real life stories, and offering great solutions based on actual experiences in our business.

Charles Stroud, CAS

Vice President of Business Development, Appliance Warehouse

Since 1986, Charles has held several roles as an apartment operator and as a supplier to the multifamily industry. In 2011 he joined Appliance Warehouse (a division of Coinmach Service Corporation) as Vice President of Business Development. Charles has chaired and served on committees at the national, state, and local level. His committee resume lists participation in more than 120 committees.


Currently he is an active Board Member on the Texas Apartment Association, Apartment Association of Tarrant County and Apartment Association of Greater Dallas.  He is also a Region VI Delegate to NAA.  On a state level, he is the 1st Vice President of the Texas Apartment Association’s Product Service Council.  Nationally, he is Past-Chairman for NAA’s National Suppliers Council.   Charles is a two-time NAA Lyceum Leadership Graduate, a TAA Lyceum candidate and is a graduate of the AATC Lyceum Program. 

Charles has been the recipient of many Industry Awards by the National Supplier Council, the National Apartment Association and the local Associations. Recently, in 2017 he was awarded the NAA Excellence Award for Certified Apartment Supplier of the Year. 

Sarah Turner


Sarah brings fun energy and knowledge that she has learned throughout her years in the industry. Sarah serves as a Regional Manager with Olympus Property. Over the years Sarah has held key positions from leasing consultant to National Marketing Director, to Regional Manager with reputable companies in our industry. Sarah has served with the Apartment Association of Tarrant County in many capacities and was once the AATC Director of Education, as well as an active member and volunteer for AAGD and TAA for many years.  Sarah’s number one priority is to support, motivate and educate those in our industry and enable them to reach their full potential.

Jann Villanueva, CAS, Lyceum Graduate

Dallas Branch Manager, The Liberty Group

Jann began her career in the Apartment Industry in 1998, working as a leasing consultant with Barnes Real Estate Services. Jann elevated through several positions and was an Apartment Manager with Capstone Real Estate Services when she decided to leave property management in 2006.

Jann went to work for Apartment Home Living before joining The Liberty Group in 2009. Jann has experienced great success with the Liberty Group and currently serves as the Dallas Branch Manager. Jann is actively involved in the AAGD/AATC, volunteers on several committees and is an AAGD Mentor. Jann’s passion for education and training fuels her dedication to the Multi-Family industry.

Wendy Rae Walker, NALP, NAAEI Faculty

Wendy is a dynamic speaker and published author with over 25 years of experience in the Multi-family Industry. She is also a cast member of the hit Style Network Show, Big Rich Texas! She began her career as a part-time leasing consultant in 1986. After a short time she bypassed the assistant manager position and was promoted to Property Manager. She was then promoted to Senior Property Manager and then Regional Manager before finally landing in the Director of Training role. After a wonderful career Wendy Rae left to form the Strategic Solution, a training and property support company. After 7 years, she went out on her own to concentrate her time on speaking and training.

Sue Weston, CAM, CAPS, NAAEI Faculty

President, Susan Weston Company & Director of Management Resources, Alpha-Barnes

Sue brings 30 years’ experience as Vice president of Operations, Director of Human Resources and Vice President of Learning and Development. She also served as the Director of Education for NAA and earned the prestigious ACE award for education excellence in 2009. Over the last five years she has presented scores of programs at associations and companies across the nation. Her operational and strategic experience brings value for both asset performance and talent development. She also AAGD’s newest Legend of Education for 2014.

Don Willard, CAMT, AIME, NAHB, NAAEI Faculty

Don has been in the industry since 1979. He is a National Apartment Association Education Institute Certified Advanced Instructor, speaker and technical trainer with over 25 years of hands-on multi-housing maintenance experience and over 25 years of professional teaching in the multi-housing industry.

Certified CAMT by the National Apartment Association and Certified by the National Association of Homebuilders in Building, Apartment and Home Maintenance. Don is a certified teacher and Proctor for Ferris State University and ESCO Institute in EPA Section 608 and R-410a certification programs. Don has served on the NAA task force as subject matter expert and program developer for the CAMT, CAM, CAPS and Maintenance for Managers programs. Don has been recognized by AAGD, TAA & NAA for his outstanding industry experience.