Speakers & Panelists

John Thomas

Mr. Thomas was President, Chief Executive Officer and Trustee of Physicians Realty Trust (formerly NYSE: DOC), from 2013 until its merger with Healthpeak in 2024. He was the Executive Vice President – Medical Facilities Group for Welltower Inc. (NYSE: WELL, formerly known as Health Care REIT Inc.) from January 2009 to July 2012. Prior to Welltower, Mr. Thomas served as President, Chief Development Officer and Business Counsel of Cirrus Health from August 2005 to December 2008. From October 2000 to July 2005, he served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Baylor Health Care System. From April 1997 to October 2000, Mr. Thomas served as General Counsel and Secretary of the St. Louis division of the Sisters of Mercy Health System (formerly Unity Health System), from 1997 to 2000. He was a tax attorney at Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal (now Dentons), from 1995 to 1997, where he was elected partner in 1997; at Shook, Hardy & Bacon from 1992 to 1995; and at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCoy from 1990 to 1992. Mr. Thomas serves on the Board of Trustees for the Jacksonville State University Foundation and the Auburn University Real Estate Foundation. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Education Realty Trust, Inc. (formerly NYSE: EDR).

Deshea Agee

Deshea is the Vice President at Emem Group. Deshea leads revitalization efforts supporting property owners and entrepreneurs with the BID boundaries. Deshea has been key to over $50 million being invested since 2016, and critical to organizations committing an additional $100 million into buildings and people in the district. He oversees implementation of organization's annual operating plan, including its role in implementation the $3.5M Brew City Match program, Pop Up MKE, and the restoration of Victory Over Violence Park. Deshea has been a voice for business owners of color. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Marquette University, and a Master of Science degree from University of Wisconsin-Stout. He is a licensed Wisconsin real estate broker and holds two economic development finance professional certifications from the National Development Council.

Bill Loftus

As President, Mr. Loftus organizes, directs, and leads the overall operations of SPACECO. He develops and maintains client relationships for the firm and provides technical oversight on all projects. He manages all engineering and surveying activities of the company with the assistance of Vice Presidents, Senior Project Managers, Project Managers, Project Engineers and Design Engineers and Surveyors. In addition, Mr. Loftus directs projects in the areas of civil engineering, transportation, infrastructure, and site development. Mr. Loftus serves on Marquette University School of Construction Engineering Management’s Advisory Council. He holds a bachelor's degree from Marquette University.

Barry Mandel

Barry Mandel is the Chairman and CEO of Mandel Group. Barry previously worked as a real estate attorney before founding Mandel Group in 1992. Mandel Group has become a leader of development and management of luxury apartment buildings, managing over $1 billion of assets in the greater Midwest. During his career Mandel also has received several awards and citations, including awards from the Metropolitan Builders Association of Greater Milwaukee, the National Association of Home Builders and the Building Owners and Management Association. In addition, Mandel was the past chair and a current member of the Multi-family Gold Council of the Urban Land Institute. He also is a member of the National Association of Home Builders and the National Multi-Housing Council. Barry holds an economics degree from the University of Wisconsin and a Juris-Doctor from Georgetown University.

Gina Stilp

Gina serves as the Executive Director for the Zilber Family Foundation. Stilp’s work with the Zilber Family Foundation dates to 2010, and since 2021 she’s served as chairwoman of the Community Development Alliance as it seeks to support affordable housing in Milwaukee. Prior to joining the Zilber Family Foundation, she served as social innovation director at Dohmen Constellations. Gina received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Loyola University Chicago, and a Master of Business Administration from Marquette University.