Property Management and Asset Acquisitions | Tipton Group

Meet The Tipton Team

Bryan Kerns, CPM


President

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Bryan began his property management career in 1977 as a maintenance assistant at a 400-unit apartment community in Peoria, Illinois. Between 1977 and 1984 Bryan worked in various maintenance, leasing and management positions at several properties.

In 1984, Bryan relocated to the DFW area where he joined Performance Properties Management Corporation and worked in various positions, starting as a Resident Manager and culminating with his responsibility as Vice President of Property Management. In that position he was responsible for a portfolio of twelve multi-family apartment properties and eight commercial properties that included retail shopping centers and office buildings.

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Bryan joined the The Tipton Group in 1989 as a District Manager, and within one year was promoted to Vice President; he then assumed responsibility for supervising a portfolio of over thirty-five commercial and multi-family properties in Texas and Colorado. In 1997 Bryan purchased the Tipton Group and became its President. Under his direction the company has grown steadily and consistently, while providing above average performance for Tipton's clients.

            Bryan's significant accomplishments include:

  • Received the Certified Property Manager designation in 1989
  • Assisted clients in identifying investment opportunities and performing the necessary due diligence & underwriting resulting in the acquisition of approximately 20,000 units with a value of over $2 billion dollars
  • Directed and supervised tenant finish of over 3,000,000 square feet of commercial space
  • Earned Certified Instructor Status for the National Apartment Association (NAA) and has taught various Certified Apartment Manager (CAM) and Certified Apartment Property Supervisor (CAPS) courses. Inducted as a “Legend” of Education for the Apartment Association of Greater Dallas (AAGD) in 1996

Kelly Miller


Vice President

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Kelly Miller began her career in the apartment industry in 1986 as a leasing agent at 500+ unit apartment community in Carrollton, Texas for JMB. During her three years at this community, Kelly was promoted to an Area Leasing Leadership position where she used her experience and Marketing Degree to train all new leasing staff in the Dallas Fort Worth area and conduct quarterly training and motivational meetings for the DFW portfolio. Kelly was promoted to Property Manager in 1989 and managed several communities for JMB through 1994 as they sold all of their local assets.

In 1994, Kelly was hired by First Worthing to manage a 600 unit student housing community at the University of Texas at Dallas. Within six months she was promoted to Area Director with portfolios that varied throughout her eleven year career from 1,500 to over 3,000 units. At one time Kelly handled all student housing. Later, she oversaw conventional properties both owned and fee managed, and also added new construction communities in Oklahoma, Kansas and Dallas. At one point in her First Worthing tenure, Kelly assumed the role of Corporate Director of Training for the company where she was responsible for developing curriculum and training newly hired associates.

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Kelly joined The Tipton Group in January of 2007, and initially worked exclusively for a client with eight properties in DFW and Midland, Texas. During this time, substantial rehabilitations were completed on most of these assets while continuing to increase cash flows. Kelly has been active in developing new business at Tipton and continues to serve a wide range of clients.

Kelly was promoted to the position of Vice President in 2018.  In that position, she provides direction and support to the Regional Property Supervisors, interfaces directly with Tipton's clients and is involved in strategic planning for the company.

Some of Mrs. Miller's significant accomplishments follow:

  • Received a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from the University of Texas at Tyler with a Major in Marketing in 1986
  • Awarded Leasing Agent of the Year in 1988 with JMB
  • One of the original members of the Apartment Association of Greater Dallas' Association of Training Directors in 1997
  • Received the Tipton President's Award in 2012
  • Was a Tarrant County Apartment Association Nominee for the Lone Star Property Supervisor of the Year Award in 2013

Ted Mandel, CPA


Controller

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Ted started his accounting career in Dallas where he managed a broad range of assets up to the point of resale to developers and investment groups. In 1996 Ted was hired to supervise all the accounting and reporting for a portfolio of over 2,000 apartment units. That portfolio was sold to Equity Residential and Ted was retained by Equity as a Senior Budget Analyst, responsible for the preparation of operating budgets and financial forecasts covering 42 assets and over 12,300 units owned by the REIT.

Ted joined the Tipton team as Controller in 1999. His duties include supervision of all HR functions, corporate office accounting, property accounting, cash management, financial reporting and interfacing with owners, investors and property managers.

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Ted's significant accomplishments include:

  • Licensed Real Estate Broker certified by the Texas Real Estate Commission
  • Earned a Bachelor's degree & MBA from Southern Methodist University
  • Licensed CPA
  • Member of AICPA, TSCPA
  • Recipient of the prestigious Tipton President's award for outstanding performance

Ted brings to Tipton twenty-eight years of accounting experience specifically in real estate property management, with the added benefit of having worked for a publicly traded REIT. His financial expertise has been critical to Tipton's growth and operational excellence.


Steve Polly


Houston Regional Property Supervisor

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Between 1989 and 1998, Steve held the positions of Regional Property Supervisor and Assistant V.P. while shouldering the management responsibilities for dozens of apartment communities, several HOA's and a large office building.

Steve joined the Tipton team in July of 1998 as a Regional Property Supervisor. His responsibilities include the supervision of both multi-family and commercial properties.  Steve is in charge of Tipton's Houston regional office and oversees the management of twenty-two Houston properties, including over 4,000 apartment units, six commercial properties totaling approximately 500,000 square feet, and two regional property supervisors.

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Steve's significant accomplishments include:

  • Earned a Bachelor's and Master's degrees while working full time in property management and gaining valuable experience and knowledge to complement his formal education
  • Licensed Real Estate Agent certified by the Texas Real Estate Commission
  • Received the prestigious Tipton President's award for outstanding performance
  • Supervises the entire Houston portfolio working directly with various owners

 

Steve's on-site experience, paired with strong leadership, hard work, and above average results have been critical to the growth and success of the Tipton portfolio in Houston.

 


Kent A. Caffery


Maintenance and Construction Supervisor

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Kent's career originated in Shreveport, LA where he supervised the renovation and construction of residential homes. He relocated in 1986 to New York state where he worked as a construction foreman and supervised all craftsmen, including plumbers, electricians, drywall installers, painters, roofers, and security/insulation installers.

In 1988, Kent was hired as the Assistant Maintenance Director for an apartment community in Shreveport, later being promoted to Maintenance Director at a larger property.  In 1995 Kent joined the Tipton team as the Lead Maintenance Technician for a North Dallas portfolio of apartment communities. He was directly involved in the supervision of capital improvements and property renovations in addition to the maintenance and repair of approximately 700 units.

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Kent was promoted in 1997 to the position of Maintenance and Construction Supervisor and assumed responsibilities for supervising capital improvements, property renovations, maintenance repairs, service contractors and commercial tenant finish for Tipton's entire multi-family and commercial portfolio.

Kent's significant accomplishments include:

  • Orchestrated and supervised over $200 Million in capital projects and property renovations
  • Has been actively involved in all major capital improvement projects and insurance renovations completed across the Tipton portfolio (hail, fire, hurricanes, etc.)
  • Received the prestigious Tipton President's award for outstanding performance

Kent provides an invaluable resource with regard to establishing a proper scope of work, contract negotiations, supervision of major renovations/capital improvements, troubleshooting difficult maintenance problems, assisting on-site maintenance staff and evaluating current or potential candidates for maintenance positions.

Kent's corporate presence creates efficiencies and superior performance for our regional supervisors as they utilize his skill and experience to execute capital improvements, renovations, and insurance claim work.  


Rhonda L. Parr


Regional Property Supervisor

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In 1989 Rhonda was hired by Krupp Residential in Jackson, Mississippi as a leasing agent and later promoted to marketing director for Krupp's Jackson apartment portfolio. Rhonda also assisted with new project lease-ups in Atlanta and St. Louis.

In 1994 Rhonda relocated to the DFW area and worked in several on-site positions at various properties. Since joining the Tipton team in 1998, her responsibilities have gradually increased from on-site manager to assistant property supervisor and then to Regional Property Supervisor in 2004.  

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Rhonda's significant accomplishments include:

  • Specifically involved in the stabilization and lease up phase of several new communities and new property acquisitions
  • Successfully completed college level courses in Real Estate Law, Business Law, Marketing and Finance
  • Recipient of numerous performance awards and recognized as Tipton “Manager of the Year” in 1999
  • Received the prestigious Tipton President's award twice for outstanding performance

Rhonda brings exceptional leadership skills and over 25 years of property management experience to The Tipton Group. She has had a vital role in the growth and success of Tipton during her tenure.  


Amy Bartlett


Regional Property Supervisor

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Amy started her tenure in 2000 with Tipton as an on-site Leasing Consultant, and was promoted to Assistant Property Manager and Property Manager on several Tipton managed communities in the DFW area.

In 2009 Amy was promoted to the position of Tipton Regional Supervisor in the DFW area. She is responsible for overseeing operations for a portfolio of approximately 1,600 apartment units. Mrs. Bartlett's duties include hiring and supervising on-site employees, communication with property owners, monthly owner reporting, supervision of capital improvements and property renovations, budgeting, preparation of quarterly management reports as well as the creation and implementation of property marketing strategies.

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Amy's significant accomplishments include:

  • Earned a Bachelor's Degree from Northwestern State University
  • Onesite specialist: Provides support directly to the managers on Tipton Communities and coordinates the Tipton Mentor program
  • Has received numerous performance awards while working on-site
  • Received the prestigious Tipton President's award twice for outstanding performance

 

Amy's above average performance has contributed to the success of the properties she has managed or supervised and that of Tipton.


Sheri Kerns


Regional Property Supervisor

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Sheri began her career in property management working at Madden Marketing, assisting them with training, employment placements and the contract marketing/leasing that they performed for various multifamily clients.    

A part time weekend leasing position with Tipton in 1994 was the start of Sheri's tenure as a valued member of the Tipton team.  She has leased and managed several properties for Tipton and consistently performed at an above average level. 

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Sheri was promoted to the position of Regional Property Supervisor and has supervised a portfolio of properties that required interfacing directly with many of Tipton's clients over the years.  Sheri's current responsibilities include business development, client relations and assisting in long term strategic planning for the company.

As a result of her exemplary performance, Sheri has been the recipient of the Tipton Manager of the Year Award as well as the Tipton President's Award.    


Gus Boukarroum, CPM


Regional Property Supervisor

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Gus was a Tipton team member for three years in the early 90's as an on-site Manager. As a result of the sale of his property, Gus gained valuable experience working with other national property management companies such as AIMCO, Berkshire Realty and the Lane Company. His management portfolio included properties in San Antonio, Houston, Austin and the greater DFW areas. Prior to rejoining the Tipton Group in April 2011, Gus spent five years at RealPage, a leading property management software company, as a business analyst for their Leasing & Rents Affordable product.

Since returning to the Tipton team as a Regional Property Supervisor, Gus currently is responsible for overseeing operations of a multifamily portfolio of over 1,500 units.

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Gus' significant accomplishments include:

  • Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation from the Institute of Real Estate Management  
  • Earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio
  • Licensed Real Estate Agent certified by the Texas Real Estate Commission
  • Received the prestigious Tipton President's award for outstanding performance

Gus has over 28 years of diverse experience in multi-family real estate management that includes conventional and tax credit properties with a specialty in improving under-performing properties and asset repositioning.


Nanette Meeks


Houston Regional Property Supervisor

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Nanette began her property management career in 1996 as an on-site Assistant Property Manager.  From there, Nanette was promoted to Property Manager and managed various properties ranging from 128 to 224 units. She received the “Rookie of the Year Award” in her first year as Property Manager and later went on to receive the “Manager of The Year Award.” 

Nanette joined the Tipton team in 2008 as a Property Manager. She was promoted to Assistant Property Supervisor and then to Regional Property Supervisor.  She has been instrumental in the due diligence, acquisition, and underwriting of several properties in the Houston area.

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Nanette's significant accomplishments include:

  • Supervised exterior renovations on various properties (balcony replacement, clubroom renovations, and painting)
  • Tipton “Property Manager of the Year” award recipient  
  • Received the prestigious Tipton President's award twice for outstanding performance

 

Nanette has been a key factor in the above average performance and growth of Tipton's Houston portfolio.


Tammie Varela


Regional Property Supervisor

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Tammie began her property management career in 1993 as an on-site Resident Manager in Arlington, Texas and managed various properties ranging from 150 to 408 units. Tammie is known as the “turnaround expert” who is able to take underperforming assets, identify areas of needed improvement and implement the necessary actions to ensure improved performance.  

From 1993 until 2002 Tammie worked for Hall Financial, Centerfirst Management, JG Jones Management and Contemporary Contractors Inc. before joining the Tipton team in 2003.  Tammie has been directly involved in the training, management and supervision of dozens of apartment communities in the DFW, San Antonio and Phoenix areas. 

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Tammie's significant accomplishments include:

  • Supervised the development and management of the Tipton Website and upgraded property websites
  • Tipton “Property Manager of the Year” award recipient in 2004 & 2010
  • Recipient of the prestigious Tipton President's award twice for outstanding performance

 

Tammie uses her experience and foresight to proactively address details.  She leads, trains, and motivates her team with integrity, commitment, passion and fun! She has been a key element in Tipton's growth and success.


Kassie Traylor


Regional Property Supervisor

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Kassie started her career in Property Management in 2007 as a leasing consultant for DBSI in Amarillo, Texas. In 2008, she accepted an assistant manager position with TVO and was quickly awarded several promotions within TVO's organization. Kassie has been responsible for overseeing several communities ranging from 118-760 units. She has been involved in takeovers, dispositions, training, and the supervision of multiple communities nationwide.

Kassie is the newest member of the Tipton supervisory team, but brings a wealth of experience and a youthful vitality that is great complement to the rest of the team.  She quickly has earned the trust and respect of the staffs she is supervising and the clients that she represents. 

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Kassie's Significant Accomplishments include:

  • Supervised major capital improvement projects which included interior and exterior renovations on several apartment communities in Alabama, Minnesota and Texas.
  • Awarded “Star Performer” of the year in 2014 as the onsite manager of a property in Amarillo.
  • Earned an Associates in Business Administration degree in 2010.

Kassie's experience, positive outlook and tremendous work ethic will ensure that she and the properties she supervises continue to perform at an above average level. 


Brandon Kerns


Assistant Regional Property Supervisor

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Brandon gained experience in property management working part-time on-site at various properties while pursuing a Bachelor in Business Administration in Real Estate. During that time, he learned first-hand invaluable experience doing basic maintenance, performing due diligence and working at Tipton's corporate office. In 2015, Brandon graduated from the University of North Texas, and joined the Tipton team full time.

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Brandon's significant accomplishments include:

  • Earned a Bachelor of Business Administration with a major in Real Estate from the University of North Texas in 2015
  • Licensed Real Estate Agent certified by the Texas Real Estate Commission

Brandon brings to Tipton first-hand experience working in various positions on-site combined with formal real estate education.


Cathy Couto


Director Acquisitions and Major Contracts

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Cathy has thirty-five years in the apartment industry, with the majority of her experience in the position of Controller for property management companies based in Oregon and Texas. Over the course of her career, Cathy has managed the accounting for more than 13,000 apartment units and assisted with acquisitions, dispositions and refinances for properties located in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona and Texas.  While in Oregon, Cathy studied at Portland State University majoring in Accounting and also obtained an Oregon State Property Management license.   

Cathy began working with The Tipton Group in 2006 as Financial Manager for a portfolio of properties. In her current role, Cathy provides analysis for prospective acquisitions and coordinates acquisitions and dispositions in addition to her role as Contract Negotiator and Coordinator.

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Cathy's significant accomplishments include:

  • Assisted with the acquisition of properties in Washington, Oregon, California and Texas valued in excess of $1,000,000,000
  • Assisted with the refinances of several properties in excess of $350,000,000
  • Recipient of the prestigious Tipton Group President's Award twice for outstanding performance

 

Cathy has been directly involved in the identification and underwriting of potential acquisitions for Tipton's clients, and has assisted in the management transactions of all new accounts, while simultaneously performing as contract coordinator for significant property contracts (laundry, cable, utilities, etc.).


Kim McMahon


Accounting Manager

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Kim joined the Tipton team in 1990. She was responsible for the full bookkeeping on twenty-eight properties spread across Texas and Oklahoma. After a short stint for several years with Capital Realty Group, Kim returned to Tipton as property accountant for fifteen multi-family and commercial properties. As the company expanded its portfolio, she became the accounting manager and now oversees six full-charge accountants for both multi-family and commercial properties.

Kim has helped upgrade and maintain the company's accounting software. She is also responsible for banking transfers and wires on 90 bank accounts. She has designed many custom reports prepared for various clients and included in their monthly, quarterly and/or annual reporting packages. 

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  • Earned a Bachelor of Business Administration Accounting degree from Texas A&M
  • Worked for Tipton for over 20 years
  • Received the prestigious Tipton President's award for outstanding performance

 

Kim's long term dedication and commitment to Tipton has been critical to the growth and development of Tipton's accounting department policies and procedures.


Stephanie Phelps


Manager, Administrative Services/Commercial Manager

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Stephanie started her career with Tipton in 1998 as Receptionist/AP Clerk. She was promoted to the position of Administrative Assistant, then to Executive Assistant, and now manages the corporate administrative staff. In addition to her administrative duties, in 2011, she took on management responsibility of Tipton's DFW commercial properties, including several suburban office properties and four office Condo Associations.

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 Stephanie's significant accomplishments include:

  • Raised occupancy from 74% to 100% on one of the managed office buildings where she has sole responsibility for all leasing activities
  • Directed and supervised tenant finish of over 50,000 square feet of commercial space
  • Supervised commercial interior and exterior renovations (exterior painting and waterproofing, lobby updates, major concrete repairs)
  • Interfaces directly with Tipton clients
  • Awarded the prestigious Tipton President's award twice for outstanding performance

 

Stephanie has been a key part of the Tipton growth story for 20 years.


Barbara Chiu


Property Accountant

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In 1981 Barbara began her real estate career as an accountant for a public real estate syndicator, preparing financial documents. She was quickly promoted to accounting manager where she reported directly to the CEO and managed a staff of accountants. For several years starting in 1994 Barbara worked as a self-employed independent accountant.

In 2008 Barbara joined the Tipton team as a property accountant. As such, she was responsible for the bank reconciliations, month end closeout of all properties, training of new accounting staff, and overseeing special projects for owners and regional supervisors. Currently she leads the accounting department as a Senior Accountant.

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Barbara's significant accomplishments include:

  • Earned a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from the University of Nebraska 1981
  • Coordinates initial accounting efforts on all new management accounts
  • Barbara helps to train and integrate new A/P clerks and property accountants

 

Barbara is an above average Tipton team member and has been instrumental in the growth and training of our accounting department.


Shannon Nelson


Payroll/Human Resources Manager

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In 2004 Shannon joined the Tipton team as an administrative assistant. After assisting with multiple accounting and HR functions, she was promoted in 2008 to Human Resources Manager. Shannon is responsible for all new employee screening, coordination of employee payrolls and benefit administration.

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Some of Shannon's significant accomplishments include:

  • Received the Tipton President's award for outstanding performance
  • Has been instrumental in revising HR procedures and policies as the company grew from 150 employees to over 400 employees

 

Shannon provides a consistent level of trust and dependability in her performance and support of Tipton employees.


James DeGraw


Houston Regional Maintenance Supervisor

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James started his property maintenance career in Austin, Tx  for Aimco in 1990. He transferred with AIMCO to their Ohio region in 1991.  In 1993, James was promoted to the position of lead maintenance. James returned to Texas with Aimco and worked with them, Alliance and Greystar before joining the Tipton Group.

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In 2010 James joined the Tipton team as a Lead maintenance technician on a large property in League City, just South of Houston.  His responsibilities included supervising capital improvements, routine repair and maintenance and contract coordination with all outside vendors.  From there, James was instrumental in helping to recruit, train and support other Tipton maintenance personnel at properties throughout the greater Houston area.  He was promoted in 2015 to the position of Tipton Houston  Regional Maintenance Supervisor.  In that capacity, his responsibilities include assisting Regional Property Supervisors with major capital improvements, insurance claim renovations as well as the recruiting, training and supervision of the Tipton Houston maintenance team across dozens of properties, including several suburban office buildings.


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