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Officers & Directors

Officers & Directors

Senior Management

William C. Bayless Jr.
President & CEO
William C. Bayless, Jr. has been Chief Executive Officer since October 2003 and also served as President from October 2003 to January 2017. Bill is a co-founder of the Company and participated in the founding of the student housing business of its predecessor entities. Bill served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the predecessor entities from July 1995 to September 2003, where he directed all aspects of the predecessor entities’ business segments including business development, development and construction management, acquisitions and management services. He served as the Company’s Vice President of Development from the inception of the predecessor entities in 1993 until July 1995. Bill served as the Director of Operations for Century Development’s student housing division from 1991 to 1993. From 1988 to 1991, Bill served as the Director of Marketing responsible for business development and marketing for the student housing division of Cardinal Industries. Bill began his career in student housing with Allen & O’Hara where he held the positions of Resident Assistant, Resident Manager and Area Marketing Coordinator from 1984 to 1988. He received a B.S. in Business Administration from West Virginia University.
James Clarence Hopke Jr.
James Clarence Hopke Jr.
President
James Clarence Hopke Jr. James C. Hopke, Jr. has served as President since January 2017. Jim served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer from October 2014 to January 2017, as Executive Vice President-Asset Management from November 2013 to October 2014, as Executive Vice President-Project Management and Construction from November 2007 to November 2013 and as Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer from May 2005 to November 2007. From November 2002 to April 2005, Jim served as Vice President, Asset Management and Advisory Services for Wachovia Securities' Real Estate Capital Markets group. From February 2000 to November 2002, he served as Senior Vice President, Acquisitions of the Company's predecessor entities. Jim was previously a Vice President of JPI Development and Insignia Financial Group, and is a former MAI Member of The Appraisal Institute. Jim received a B.S. in Administrative Management from Clemson University.

Board of Directors

Edward Lowenthal
Chairman
Edward Lowenthal has served on our board of directors since August 2004 and has served as our independent chairman of the board since August 2015. Since April 2002, he has been president of Ackerman Management LLC. From 1997 until 2002, Lowenthal was a founder and served as president of Wellsford Real Properties, Inc. (AMEX: WRP). Lowenthal was a founder, trustee and president of Wellsford Residential Property Trust until May 1997 when it was merged into Equity Residential. Lowenthal has more than 30 years of real estate and merger and acquisition experience in both public and private entities.

He currently serves as a director of Omega Healthcare Investors, Inc. (NYSE: OHI), a healthcare REIT; and served as a director of Desarrolladora Homex, S.A. de C.V., a vertically integrated home development company focused on affordable entry-level and middle-income housing in Mexico from 2004 to 2013.

From 1997 to 2012, he was a member of the board of directors of Reis, Inc., an internet-based provider of real estate information and analytics and a successor, through mergers, to Wellsford Real Properties, Inc., and served as non-executive Chairman of Reis, Inc. from 2010 to 2012.

Lowenthal serves as non-executive Chairman of Tiburon Lockers, Inc., a privately- held owner and operator of rental locker systems, and as a trustee of The Manhattan School of Music.

From 1992 until 2000, he served as a member of the Board of Governors of NAREIT. Lowenthal received a B.A. from Case Western Reserve University and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, where he was an editor of the Georgetown University Law Journal.
William C. Bayless Jr.
William C. Bayless, Jr. has been Chief Executive Officer since October 2003 and also served as President from October 2003 to January 2017. Bill is a co-founder of the Company and participated in the founding of the student housing business of its predecessor entities. Bill served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the predecessor entities from July 1995 to September 2003, where he directed all aspects of the predecessor entities’ business segments including business development, development and construction management, acquisitions and management services. He served as the Company’s Vice President of Development from the inception of the predecessor entities in 1993 until July 1995. Bill served as the Director of Operations for Century Development’s student housing division from 1991 to 1993. From 1988 to 1991, Bill served as the Director of Marketing responsible for business development and marketing for the student housing division of Cardinal Industries. Bill began his career in student housing with Allen & O’Hara where he held the positions of Resident Assistant, Resident Manager and Area Marketing Coordinator from 1984 to 1988. He received a B.S. in Business Administration from West Virginia University.
William Blakeley Chandlee III
In addition to being on our board of directors since 2016, Chandlee serves as executive vice president of industry strategy and emerging businesses for Outcome Health, a health intelligence company based in Chicago, IL since March 2017. In his current role, Chandlee leads efforts to drive revenue via commercial partnerships with leading non-Life Sciences companies, including payers and pharmacies. He also oversees Outcome Health’s international growth strategy.

Prior to his current role, Chandlee was the vice president of Facebook from 2007 to February 2017. Blake was responsible identifying, launching and scaling organizational structure, systems and teams required to most effectively and efficiently manage and support the largest agency and client relationships across the world via regionally distributed teams in the US, London, Singapore and Sao Paolo.

Prior to joining Facebook, Chandlee worked at Yahoo! UK Ltd, where he was commercial director, UK and played an instrumental role in setting the strategic direction of the organization and managing the various sales teams calling on agencies and clients in the UK marketplace. He has also been part of various founding teams resulting in several new companies that focused on the intersection of consumers and media.
G. Steven Dawson
Steven Dawson has served on our board of directors since August 2004. Primarily a private investor since 2003, he served as chief financial officer of Camden Property Trust (NYSE: CPT), a large multi-family REIT based in Houston, from 1990 to 2003. Dawson serves as a founding partner and member of the Management Committee of SparrowHawk Holdings-PowerOne, LP, a private company that is assembling and managing a portfolio of institutional-quality industrial warehouse and distribution facilities located in the US, primarily for the benefit of Canadian equity investors. He is also a managing director at Novus Merchant Partners, a Canadian firm where focuses on public and private cross-border real estate opportunities. During the period from 2011 to 2013, Dawson served in various capacities, including serving as president, CEO and trustee, for a private Canadian REIT that owned manufactured housing communities in the US. Dawson currently serves on the boards of Institutional Financial Markets, Inc. (AMEX:IFMI), a financial services firm with fixed income and structured credit securities trading operations in the U.S. and Europe, and Medical Properties Trust (NYSE:MPW), a hospital/healthcare REIT with acute care properties in the US and Europe. Dawson holds a degree in business from Texas A&M University, where he serves on the Real Estate Council of the Mays Graduate School of Business.
Cydney C. Donnell
Cydney Donnell has served on our board of directors since August 2004. She has been the director of real estate programs and an executive professor at the Mays Business School of Texas A&M University since March 2006, and has served as associate department head of the Finance Department since February 2011. Donnell was an executive professor at the Mays School from August 2004 until March 2006 and was a visiting lecturer from January 2004 until August 2004.

Formerly a principal and managing director of European Investors/EII Realty Securities, Inc., she served in various capacities at EII and was chair of the investment committee from 2002 until 2003, head of the real estate securities group and portfolio manager from 1992 until 2002, and vice president and analyst from 1986 until 1992. Donnell served on the board of European Investors Holding Company from 1992 until 2005. Prior to joining EII, she was a real estate lending officer at RepublicBanc Corporation in Dallas from 1983 until 1986. Donnell currently serves on the board of directors of Madison Harbor Balanced Strategies, Inc., a closed-end investment fund registered under the Investment Company Act of 1940, and a REIT (which service will end upon it's deregistration, which is currently contemplated to occur in the second quarter of 2017), and Pebblebrook Hotel Trust (NYSE:PEB), a hotel REIT. In 2007, she was appointed to the Employees Retirement System of Texas Board of Trustees by Governor Rick Perry. She has served on the board and institutional advisory committee of the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts (NAREIT) and in various leadership capacities for the Association of Former Students of Texas A&M University and the Junior League of the City of New York. Donnell received a B.B.A. from Texas A&M University and an M.B.A. from Southern Methodist University.
Mary C. Egan
Mary C. Egan is currently the founder and president of Customer Centric Research and Strategy, a boutique management consulting firm serving the consumer sector.

In 2013, Egan founded Gatheredtable (a software company providing customized meal planning consumer subscriptions), serving as the chief executive officer through the recent strategic exit to Medifast (NYSE: MED). From 2010 to 2012, Egan served as the chief strategy officer for Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ: SBUX), a global coffee retailer, where she also led corporate development as well as the food category.

From 1997 through 2010, Egan was a managing director at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a global management consulting firm. At BCG, Egan specialized in aggressive growth strategies in partnership with consumer-facing businesses.

Egan currently serves on the Board of Directors of Noodles & Company (NASDAQ: NDLS), a fast-casual restaurant concept. She holds a BA from Barnard College, Columbia University, an MSEd from Bank Street Graduate School of Education and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Oliver Luck
Oliver Luck has served on our board of directors since December 2012 and since January 2015; he has served the NCAA as the executive vice president of regulatory affairs. Luck previously served at the athletic director of West Virginia University from 2010 to 2015. From 2006 to 2010, Luck was the president/general manager of the Houston Dynamo of Major League Soccer. From 2001 to 2005, Luck was the chief executive officer of the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority, where he oversaw the financing, construction and management of professional sports and entertainment infrastructure in Houston, including Minute Maid Park, Reliant Stadium and Toyota Center. Luck worked for the National Football League from 1990 to 2001, where he served in a variety of positions, including vice president of business development and president and chief executive officer of NFL Europe. Luck also played quarterback for the Houston Oilers From 1982 to 1986. He is currently a member of the National Football League Player Safety Advisory Panel and has served in various capacities in a number of university and community associations. He was a finalist to be a Rhodes Scholar, a National Football Foundation Scholar and a two-time Academic All-American who received a B.A. degree from West Virginia University and a J.D. degree from University of Texas School of Law.
C. Patrick Oles Jr.
Pat Oles has served on our board of directors since May 2014. He has been the president and chief executive officer of Barshop & Oles Company, a privately owned, Texas-based commercial real estate development, investment and management firm, since 1983. Oles served on the senior staff of the Governor of Texas, William P. Clements, Jr., as director of governmental appointments, from 1980 to 1982 and has been involved in numerous governmental, business and civic organizations, including ten years of service on the board of directors of the Lower Colorado River Authority and as a founding member and chairman of the board of trustees of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Foundation. He was a member of the advisory board of directors of JPMorgan Chase, chairman of the local chapter of the Young Presidents Organization and a trustee of the Texas Nature Conservancy. Oles currently serves as a member of the board of directors of SouthWest Water Company, a privately-owned provider of water and wastewater services, as a member of the executive committee of the Seton Fund, as a member of the development board of the McCoy College of Business Administration of Texas State University and as chair of the UT Elementary School Development Council. Oles received a B.B.A. at the University of Texas Austin, and now holds the McCoy Professorship for Studies in Entrepreneurship in the McCoy College of Business Administration at Texas State University.
John T. Rippel
John T. Rippel is a founding partner of Alliance Residential Company, one of the largest private U.S. multifamily companies, and has been its Chief Investment Officer since 2001 with responsibility for identifying development opportunities and directing the acquisition process for existing communities throughout the country. John began his multifamily career in 1982 as the partner in charge of south Texas development and acquisition for Trammell Crow Residential. In 1994, he led his division to the successful initial public offering of Gables Residential, where he served as a director and its President and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to joining Trammell Crow Residential, John was a CPA with Kenneth Leventhal Company, a national public accounting firm. John obtained his BBA from the University of Texas at Austin.