Our leadership group is a well-rounded mix of intelligent and talented individuals with one common mindset – devotion to our common cause of serving the underserved by empowering nonprofits. The Board of Directors has incredible expertise and experience in the real estate industry and are devoted to using their skills to help mission-based community service organizations.
Emily Nilsen, Operations Director at Sharing Connexion
Emily Nilsen has ten years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Most recently, she served at Housing Colorado, Colorado’s affordable housing association. Emily is dedicated to excellence in the nonprofit sector and is particularly well versed in communications, outreach and development. Emily Nilsen has a B.A. in History from Regent University and is currently working toward her Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from the School of Public Affairs at University of Colorado Denver.
Founder and Chairman of the Board
Edwin G. Anderson III, Chief Executive Officer, Connexion Asset Group – Chairman of the Board, Edwin G. Anderson III is a highly accomplished and nationally recognized individual for making places a reality through his extensive dealings and holdings in real estate concerns. Mr. Anderson is the founding Principal of Connexion Asset Group, LLC, and has 30+ years experience in real estate, including the acquisition, management, finance, joint venture or repositioning of nearly $1 billion of real estate. In this portfolio are several of the nation’s prestigious real estate properties inclusive of landmark properties, office, multi-family, industrial, hotel, resort and land development. He is actively involved in the acquisition of distressed and underperforming properties, defaulted debt instruments and partnership interests as well as structuring transactions involving international joint ventures and entity recapitalizations.
He has co-authored two white papers with the University of Denver’s Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management including “Commercial Real Estate Debt Maturities: Shortfall & Implications”, published by the Journal of Real Estate Portfolio Management. He is the past chair of the Salvation Army’s real estate committee and holds a Bachelor Degree in Business Administration from the University of Colorado. Mr. Anderson is a member of the National Association of Office and Industrial Properties, the American Institute and the Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants, European-American Tax Institute and the University of Denver’s Burns Society for Real Estate and Construction Management. He has now turned his interest and his ability with places to lead this cause and share his connections that in turn help people realize their potential.
Board of Directors
Diane Austin, Chief Financial Officer, Connexion Asset Group – Ms. Austin is a seasoned financial executive with more than 30 years of corporate finance, operational and strategic management experience, focusing the last 20 years on the real estate industry. She has been a member of the Connexion Asset Group team since 1995 and is an integral component of the company’s continued growth through acquisitions of commercial properties. With extensive expertise in acquisitions, property management, joint venture structuring, financing and taxation, Ms. Austin has focused on financial and tax reporting, analysis and the development and management of accounting systems for partnerships, joint ventures, corporations and trusts in order to preserve and align the financial interests of all parties. Ms. Austin holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from Northern Illinois University. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, NAIOP and the Colorado Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Fred Baker, Principal, Baker Consulting Services – Fred is in the process of retiring from active real estate development and entitlement activities. Fred is currently the principal of Baker Consulting Services, which provides consulting services for owners and developers in the commercial real estate development industry. He specializes in real estate projects where the highest and best use and marketability are more difficult to ascertain. His mission is to identify the highest and best use and to assist in the development and realization of the highest return for these real estate projects. Fred is a past Partner and Broker for BakerSmith & Company Commercial Real Estate Services, where he oversaw brokerage, entitlement and development consulting activities for the firm. BakerSmith represents clients searching for the location of prime developable land as well as the horizontal development and governmental interfacing throughout the development process.
Fred also served as Director of Marketing, Site Acquisition and Development for Ojala & Company for 16 years. While there, Fred expanded the marketing division to provide brokerage services, as well as, research, development and entitlement services, resulting in the acquisition and entitlement of many significant business park projects along the Front Range. As Vice President – Development for United Properties, Fred worked on the acquisition and development of several sizable mixed use projects, totaling more than four million SF in Stapleton and South Denver. Fred also founded and served as president/owner of Commercial Investment Services, Inc., a 44-broker real estate investment organization in San Diego. Fred received a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Colorado State University and did post-graduate study in Chemistry and Chemical Process Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines. For board service, Fred has served in the following capacities: past Chairman of the Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation; current President of the Mountain West Metropolitan District; Treasurer of the San Diego Boys and Girls Clubs; and as board member of Arvada Economic Development Association, the Ken Caryl Business Park Association, and the Coors Technology Park Association.
John Bauknight, Development Director, Confluent Development – Mr. Bauknight has worked in commercial real estate development for 10 years in an assortment of product types including office, industrial, and multi-family housing. As Development Director for Confluent Development, John oversees Office and Industrial developments with a current pipeline of over $150M of project volume under management. Confluent is a full-service real estate investment and development company that owns and develops commercial real estate throughout the United States. Prior to Confluent, Mr. Bauknight worked as Senior Real Estate Manager for Opus Development in the Denver office managing a wide range of projects from industrial build-to-suits for companies like Charter Communications, to assisting with the acquisition and underwriting for the Jones District master planned community. Mr. Bauknight holds a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering with an emphasis in construction management from Clemson University and a Master of Business Administration in real estate and finance from Leeds School of Business, University of Colorado at Boulder.
Ed Briscoe, Founder, Weave Social Finance – Ed Briscoe founded Weave Social Finance, LLC in 2012 after over 8 years with Greenline Ventures (formerly a division of GMAC Commercial Holdings and Capmark Finance Inc.), an investor, lender, and Community Development Entity. He participated in some of the earliest deals funded by the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program in early 2004. Ed has deep experience in the sourcing, underwriting, impact evaluation, structuring, and closing of NMTC transactions. Ed is an adviser and consultant to various Community Development Entities, non-profits, real estate projects, and triple-bottom line businesses. Ed has facilitated over $300 million in NMTC investments ranging from small retail developments to large rural manufacturing facilities. In late 2014, Ed founded Impact Charitable, a 501c3 offering donor advised funds that are 100% invested in impact. The organization’s mission is to activate charitable dollars for impact within the over $50 billion donor advised fund market.
Ed has a B.S. in business administration from Samford University and an MBA from Vanderbilt University with concentrations in finance, strategy, and human and organizational performance. He currently serves on the board as vice president of the Rocky Mountain Micro-Finance Institute in Denver. Ed is also an “Unreasonable Angel” with the Unreasonable Institute in Boulder, CO, a member of the Investors Circle, and an investor in the Impact HUB Boulder. As an advocate and supporter of social enterprise, Ed serves on the board for two social enterprises providing jobs for people with barriers to employment – Mission Wear and Knotty Tie Co.
David Chasnow, Director of Acquisitions and Asset Management, Connexion Asset Group – Mr. Chasnow has widespread experience in real estate investment, focusing on coordinating acquisitions and asset management for Connexion Asset Group (“CAG”). Mr. Chasnow joined CAG in 2008 and has played a key role helping to establish the company as a strong performer in the arena of private equity real estate investment. Prior to CAG, Mr. Chasnow was an analyst at Archstone, one of the largest investors, developers and operators of apartment communities in the U.S. Mr. Chasnow co-authored a white paper titled “Commercial Real Estate Debt Maturities: Shortfall & Implications”, published by the Journal of Real Estate Portfolio Management in 2009. Mr. Chasnow is a CFA Charterholder and holds a Master of Science in Real Estate and Construction Management from the University of Denver’s Burns School, as well as an undergraduate degree from Tulane University.
Johnathan L. Daskam, Attorney, Kutak Rock LLP – Mr. Daskam joined Kutak Rock LLP in August of 2017. His practice primarily focuses on both corporate law and real estate law. His corporate law practice includes formation and maintenance of corporations, general and limited partnerships and limited liability companies, debt and equity financings, mergers and acquisitions, and preparation of private placement investment memoranda. His real estate law practice includes acquisitions, dispositions, landlord-tenant matters, leasing, financing, development and contract preparations and negotiations. Mr. Daskam holds a J.D. from the University of Colorado Law School, and holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Denver in Philosophy (Magna Cum Laude) and English (Cum Laude). Mr. Daskam also serves on the Board and as General Counsel to Burning Through Pages, a local Denver non-profit, as well as the Board of the Developing Leaders Committee of NAIOP.
Rob Gillis, Vice President, Prologis – Mr. Gillis shares responsibility for disposition efforts across North America. Previously he managed an open-ended investment fund consisting of over $3.0 billion industrial real estate assets across 30 North American markets. Mr. Gillis joined Prologis in 2010 and has served in Research, Financial Planning/Analysis, and Treasury departments in addition to Fund Management. Prior to joining Prologis, Mr. Gillis worked for a Denver based commercial real estate management and investment firm and two publicly held homebuilders where he was responsible for land acquisitions and market research. Mr. Gillis holds an MBA in real estate and finance from the University of Colorado Leeds School of Business, a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a minor in Spanish from Colorado State University, and is an active member of PREA, NAIOP, and the University of Colorado Real Estate Council. Mr. Gillis also serves on the Board of Mile High Youth Corps.
Anthea Martin, Senior Vice President, Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital – Anthea is a senior vice president and based in the Denver office of Bellwether Enterprise. She has approximately 20 years of experience in multifamily finance specializing in loan origination for both market rate and affordable multifamily properties with an emphasis on FHA/HUD, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. Throughout her career, Anthea has been responsible for structuring, underwriting, and closing nearly 80 transactions with over $550 million in total volume. Prior to joining Bellwether, Anthea was vice president at Walker & Dunlop. Preceding Walker & Dunlop, she served as vice president and senior MAP underwriter at CBRE. In Anthea’s previous positions at Colorado Business Bank and Signet Partners, she gained experience with construction lending and the refinancing of several nationwide Section 8 contracts. She began her career working in the CMBS department of Lehman Brothers and as an investment analyst for NorthMarq Capital. Anthea lives in Denver with her husband and three boys.
Jim Mellor, Director of Business Development, Pinkard Construction – Jim has long been involved from both a professional and personal level in Denver’s affordable housing and homeless outreach from a construction perspective. His firm, Pinkard Construction Co. has been a leading provider of construction services of affordable housing since its beginnings in 1962. On the personal side Jim has served on both the Denver Rescue Mission’s and The Salvation Army’s Red Shield Center board of directors to further address the affordable housing needs of Metro Denver. He has been involved in numerous affordable and homeless development projects – his favorite being the Champa House; a women with children’s transitional housing project. Champa House provides a safe place for women and children for up to three years while providing child care, GED educational advancement, and general life skills training.
Daniel Sheehan, CCIM, Former Senior Vice President, Commerce Bank – Over his 36-year real estate finance career, Dan has been responsible for originating, structuring and closing over $1.2 billion in debt and equity transactions for commercial real estate. Prior to joining Commerce Bank, Dan originated long-term and interim debt financing, and sale-leaseback financing for GE Real Estate – Business Property. He also served as Vice President of Finance for Trammell Crow Residential – Midwest Division and has held senior commercial real estate lending positions with Wells Fargo Bank and its predecessors. Dan earned his B.A. degree in Government from the University of Notre Dame and his MBA degree from the University of Denver. He is a Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM), an active member of the Denver NAIOP chapter and the Colorado University Real Estate Council. Dan has served as Chairman of the Board of the St. Anthony Health Foundation and the CHI Colorado Foundation. He was former Chairman of the Board at Brothers Redevelopment, a Colorado-based nonprofit that provides housing solutions for the poor, elderly, and disabled.
David Smith, Vice President, Trammell Crow – David Smith serves as the Vice President for Trammell Crow’s Denver Business Unit, where he supports the leadership team in managing all aspects of the development process, including sourcing new development projects, securing debt and equity, maintaining client relationships, and helping to manage the zoning, permitting, planning, financing, construction and sales processes. David has over 10 years of experience in varied aspects of commercial real estate including lending, private equity acquisitions and joint venture investment, asset management, and development. David has played an integral role in over $1 billion in financing, acquisitions, joint venture investment, and dispositioning of residential, office, retail, hospitality, mixed-use, and land properties through 20 transactions across the U.S. and Caribbean. David Smith has a Juris Doctorate and Master’s of Business Administration from Northwestern University School of Law and Kellogg School of Management and a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Lawrence A. Atler, Esq. – Former Co-Chair, Finance Committee Early Childhood Education Project; Former Chair, Metro State College Foundation; Former Commissioner, Commission on Higher Education
Robert Bach – Partner, Bryan Cave
Dr. Sandy Baker – Former Director of ER, US Veterans Hospital; Medical Director, Army Corps – FEMA
Doug Bakke – Executive Vice President, CBRE
Susan Birch – Executive Director, Washington State Health Care Authority; Former Executive Director, CO Dept. of Health Care Policy & Financing; Fellow, Bonfils-Stanton Foundation Livingston Fellows; Board Member, Colorado Health Foundation Philanthropic Committee
Marshall Burton – President, Confluent Development; Former Executive Vice President, Opus Development Co; Board Member, Industrial Property Trust
Alan Colussy – Principal, GKK Works, LLC; Board Member, Urban Land Institute; Board Member, NAIOP
Jeff Hawks – Vice Chair, Apartment Realty Advisors; Former Board Member, Arapahoe House; Board Member, Apartment Association of Metro Denver
Lance Jackson – President/Strategic Brand Director, Art + Business ONE; Former Board Member, Brent’s Place
Kevin Kelley – Chairman, NAIOP; Regional Director, United Properties
Mark Levine – Professor, University of Denver; Chair Holder, Burns School/Daniels College
William Martin, Esq. – Partner, Kutak Rock
Steve Musick – Founder/CEO, Destiny Capital Corp; Founding Member, Punts with a Purpose; Board Member, LOVE, Inc
Robert F. Phelps, Jr. – Managing Director, JP Morgan; Emeritus Member, The Denver Foundation
James Polsfut – Former Commissioner, Commission on Higher Education; President, Cordillera Foundation; President, US Mexico Foundation; Board Member, University of Denver
William E. Ryan – Director, Colorado State Land Board; Principal, Trammell Crow Company; Former Chair, The Denver Foundation
Jeffrey Schmitz – Former COO, Citywide Banks
John Shaw – President, McWhinney; Senior VP/GM, Opus Northwest; President of Board, University of Colorado Real Estate Foundation
Aris Sophocles – President, Rose Medical Group; Chair, Denver Med Society Foundation; Co-Founder, Breckenridge Outdoor Ed Center
William Sorenson – Former Managing Partner, Boettcher and Company; Honorary Life Trustee, University of Denver; Trustee Emeritus, Boettcher Foundation
Ray Stranske – Affordable Housing Consultant, RaiseHomes; Former Executive Director, Hope Communities; Board Chair, Project Education South Sudan
Ron Tilton – Regional President, First Bank
Michael Van Gilder – Managing Director, Triumph Capital Group
John Wilson – Partner, Holland & Hart
Mike Zoellner – Managing Partner, ZF Capital; Vice Chair, ULI Colorado; Former President, RedPeak Properties