Sponsored by the Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association (WREAA) and developed in cooperation with the University of Wisconsin Real Estate and Urban Land Economics Program, the Biennial Wisconsin Real Estate Conference draws upon the resources and contacts of one of the leading real estate networks and educational programs in the country. Participants will gain a focused, in-depth perspective on key trends impacting the real estate industry. This program also includes an invaluable networking component for real estate industry professionals.
Keynote Sessions
Guest Speaker
Morgan Housel
The Psychology of Money
Guest Speaker
William McNulty
Head of Mission-White Stork
Co-Founder Team Rubicon
Graaskamp Real Estate Visionary Award Recipient
Chris Merrill
Chairman and CEO
Harrison Street
Don't miss out.
Register by August 18, 2023 for the Early Bird Rate. 
We look forward to seeing you there!
Program Chair
Chad Messer, EverWest Real Estate Investors
Thursday, September 21, 2023
10:00AM-4:00 PM
Biennial Badger Golf Open
University Ridge Golf Course
9002 County Road Pd, Verona, WI 53593
9:00 AM-10:00 AM - Registration and Warm-Up
10:00 AM - Shotgun Start
12:30-2:00 PM
A Walking Tour: New Generation of Student Housing
Meet near the OGG Residence Hall, at the corner of W. Dayton and East Campus Mall. 
Who has memories of walk ups, apartments with prefab kitchens, off-site laundry, dial up internet, and sharing a house with several roommates? The new apartment buildings housing students of today are nothing like you knew when you went to UW-Madison.  Join this walking tour of downtown Madison, highlighting the new buildings built in the last 10 years, and visiting one of the newest deliveries to the market, and also discuss how Madison will aim to deliver on a shortage of housing for students in the Fall of 2023.
3:00-7:30 PM
Registration at The Edgewater Hotel
The Nolen Gallery
​​​​​VIP Reception
This exclusive networking event will celebrate WREAA's board and regional leadership as well as the generosity of its annual corporate partners.
Sponsored by:
3:30-4:30 PM
UW Guest Program Series: Construction Engineering and Management
The Skybar, The Edgewater Hotel
In the first of what will be an ongoing series, the Biennial Program will invite another UW top tier program for a lecture or panel.  The series begins this year with a panel led by Awad Hanna, professor and chair of UW’s construction engineering & management program.  The construction industry has a well-documented history of a lack of productivity growth, which is a primary driver of outsized relative cost inflation.  This panel will explore this history, and the opportunities and challenges going forward.
Dr. Awad Hanna, Boldt Company Professor in Construction and Engineering Management

Mark Skender, CEO & Entrepreneur
Dave Thomack, Chief Operating Officer, The Boldt Company
Kevin Hilton, CEO, Ironworkers Management Progressive Action Cooperative Trust
3:30-4:30 PM
Women's Tea
The Wine Room, The Edgewater Hotel
Participate in this women's event that will celebrate and build upon the UW Real Estate connections among alumni, students and guests.
Sponsored by:
5:45-7:15 PM
Welcome Reception
The Grand Plaza, The Edgewater Hotel
Sponsored by:
6:00-7:00 PM
Photo Booth with Bucky
The Grand Plaza, The Edgewater Hotel
Sponsored by:
7:30-8:30 PM
Alumni Banquet
The Grand Ballroom, The Edgewater Hotel
Golf Awards
WREAA Update from WREAA Board President, Michael Zelin (BBA 2001)
Past President's Award presentation to Cody Langeness (BBA 2006)
Presentation of the Distinguished Alumni Award
Update with Dean Vallabh “Samba” Sambamurthy
Sponsored by:
8:40-9:20 PM
Graaskamp Real Estate Visionary Award Recipient: 
Chris Merrill, Co-Founder, Chairman and CEO of Harrison Street
The Grand Ballroom, The Edgewater Hotel
Every two years the Wisconsin Real Estate Alumni Association selects a recipient for the Graaskamp Real Estate Visionary Award, recognizing the successes and contributions of an individual or firm to the real estate process. Each recipient has demonstrated an ability to successfully integrate both a business and social ethic within the real estate process. Instituted by James Graaskamp, the biennial award was first presented forty years ago and continues as a legacy to the spirit and tradition of the Wisconsin Real Estate philosophy.  Chris Merrill is recipient of this year’s award for his role in institutionalizing and expanding investor access for a number of alternative real estate sectors including student housing, senior housing, medical office, life science, self-storage and data centers.  
Sponsored by:
9:20-9:40 PM
UW Marching Band and Bucky
The Grand Ballroom, The Edgewater Hotel
Sponsored by:
9:40-11:00 PM
5th Quarter Reception
The Grand Plaza, The Edgewater Hotel
All attendees are invited to this lakeside post banquet gathering that will immediately follow the conclusion of the banquet. On Wisconsin!
Sponsored by:
Friday, September 22, 2023
All Friday events take place at Memorial Union, on the UW-Madison Campus
7:15 AM-12:15 PM
Networking Breakfast and Registration
Shannon Hall Lobby
8:20-9:30 AM
Leading Organizations Through a Challenging Environment
Shannon Hall
It has been an unprecedented 3+ years that started with a pandemic.  Emerging from the pandemic was a market on fire that quickly transitioned to a market disrupted by inflation and the related interest rate increases not seen in 40 years.  This panel of organizational leaders will discuss how they have been navigating the choppy investment and operating environments.  In addition to hearing about what is keeping them up at night, the panel will also cover what they are excited about for the market and their firms on a go forward basis.
Michael Brennan, Executive Director of the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate

Jacqueline Barlow, President, US Commercial Real Estate, CIBC Bank USA 
Max Peek, CEO, Magnolia Capital
Rick Stone, CEO, EverWest Real Estate Investors
9:30-9:45 AM
Update from UW Madison Real Estate Program: Dr. Mark Eppli
Shannon Hall
9:45-10:10 AM
Networking Break
Shannon Hall Lobby
Sponsored by: 
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10:15-11:15 AM
Sports & Entertainment Development: 
Real Estate’s Role in the Fan Experience
Shannon Hall
Sports and entertainment complexes are no longer places just to watch a game or see a show.  The newest developments provide immersive fan experiences and serve as significant year-round generators of community culture, both inside the venue and through the entertainment districts in the surrounding environs.  The Milwaukee Bucks’ Fiserv Forum and Deer District epitomize these trends.  In this discussion, we will learn about the design, financing and operational elements that went into delivering a transformative project for the city of Milwaukee.
Featured Speakers:
Michael Belot, Senior Vice President, Bucks Ventures and Development
Stuart Zadra, Executive Vice President, Landmark Development Services Company, LLC
11:15 AM-12:15 PM
The Psychology of Money
Morgan Housel, Author
Shannon Hall
Doing well with money isn’t necessarily about what you know. It’s about how you behave. And behavior is hard to teach, even to really smart people. In this talk, Morgan Housel, author of The Psychology of Money, shares three stories about how behavior impacts how we all think about money.
Sponsored by: 
12:20-1:45 PM
Alumni Luncheon
Great Hall
Sponsored by: 
12:55-1:35 PM
The Power of Purpose in Building Teams Amidst Chaos
Great Hall
Every organization requires a strong sense of purpose and effective teamwork to succeed in a competitive world.  For some organizations, it can mean life or death for both the team and people they are serving.  In this discussion with William McNulty, head of mission for White Stork and co-founder of Team Rubicon, we hear about William’s approach to mission and teamwork, as well as lessons learned from operating in some of the most notable recent international disasters, including the war in Ukraine.
Robb Bollhoffer, Managing Partner, 29th Street Capital

Featured Speaker:
William McNulty, Head of Mission White Stork 
Sponsored by: 
1:45-2:45 PM
Concurrent Sessions
Dealing With Distress: Resolving & Finding Opportunity in Challenged Financing Situations
Shannon Hall
The Fed’s aggressive interest rate hikes have resulted in various challenges in the real estate capital markets from lessening the ability of borrowers to service debt in the case of floating rate loans to severely tightening credit availability in the wake of the regional bank failures.  Paired with structural issues in the office sector, a lending environment this challenging has not been seen since the Great Financial Crisis.  These panelists offer varying perspectives on how they are resolving and even finding opportunity in a variety of distressed situations.
Chris Carroll,
Senior Vice President, Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital

Maggie Dewoskin, Senior Vice President, JDI Realty

Paul Hanson, Managing Director, Northwestern Mutual
Andy Price, Attorney, Reinhart Law 
Sponsored by: 
1:45-2:45 PM
What’s Old is New Again: Reimagining our Historic Building Stock
Play Circle Theater
Our Midwestern cities are filled with beautiful historic buildings, many built in the 20s and 30s that are reaching their hundred-year mark and are ripe for reinvention. Cities, developers, designers and consultants are working together to restore and reimagine these buildings so they are vibrant and relevant for the next 100 years. These buildings, often keepers of the public’s memories and holders of our collective histories, are ripe for rebirth as we look to create more vibrant and connected downtown cores across the region. In this discussion, we’ll explore the challenges, opportunities, and incredible impact associated with historic repositioning and how to bring these projects to life.
Lily Diego, Design Director, Gensler

Quentin Collete, PhD, Managing Director at New History
Rian English-Barnhill, Vice President of Government and Community Affairs, Olympia Development of Michigan 
Dave Vos, Development Project Manager, Alexander Company

Sponsored by:
2:50-3:45 PM
Concurrent Property Type Forums
The concurrent property type forums are offered to provide conference attendees  with a more interactive and targeted networking experience. Available sessions include the multifamily, office, industrial, retail, and alternative sector forums.  Each discussion will be led by two fellow real estate Badgers who will facilitate group introductions and an interactive conversation amongst the participants. Select forum at registration.
Alternatives Forum
Location TBD
2:50-3:45 PM
Industrial Forum
Location TBD
Sponsored by: 
2:50-3:45 PM
Multifamily Forum
Location TBD
2:50-3:45 PM
Office Forum
Location TBD
Sponsored by: 
2:50-3:45 PM
Retail Forum
Location TBD
Sponsored by: 
3:45-5:00 PM
Closing Networking Reception
Sponsored by:
WREAA Annual 
Corporate Partners
Conference Information
Accommodations and Welcome Reception Venue
The Edgewater Hotel
1001 Wisconsin Place
Madison, WI 53703
Telephone Reservations: 608-535-8200

The room block has sold out. Rooms may still be available at the Edgewater at a regular rate.  

Room Rate: $239
Room Block: GWREA921
Conference Venue on Friday, September 22, 2023
Memorial Union
800 Langdon
Madison, Wisconsin
Telephone:  608-265-3000
Parking information can be found on the memorial Union website using the button below.
Biennial Conference Sponsorship
Sponsorship of the Biennial Wisconsin Real Estate Conference highlights your company to WREAA's dynamic network of more than 2,000 alumni and friends of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Real Estate Program. Sponsors are recognized on the WREAA website, in the newsletter and in all conference promotional materials. Companies may choose to sponsor at either the Patron or Event Sponsorship levels.
Contact the WREAA office at (262)746-9030 for available events. Download the sponsorship brochure for further information! 
Registration Information
The conference is full.  There will be no onsite registration available. 
Please Note: 

If you have any food restrictions or a disability and desire accommodations, please email the WREAA office or call us at 262-746-9030 by August 30, 2023.  Requests will be confidential.
Conference Location
  Memorial Union | 800 Langdon | Madison, WI
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