Our featured speakers are industry leaders who have contributed, influenced, and shaped the real estate industry. They provide members various trends, opinions, and access to information that are significant in building communities and businesses. The Southside Builders Association is appreciative to all speakers and teams for their knowledge, time, and insight into our evergrowing field.

Andrea R. Holthouse Putz, P.E., Ph.D.

Deputy Commissioner  

City of Chicago

Dept. of Water Management

Andrea R. Holthouse Putz, P.E., Ph.D. is a Deputy Commissioner for the City of Chicago Department of Water Management where she spends her days working on her passions - drinking water quality, water treatment, lead corrosion, and water meters.  A licensed Professional Engineer and a Class A Public Water Supply Operator in the State of Illinois, she has been with the Department since 2004.


Andrea is responsible for ensuring drinking water safety throughout the Chicago system.  A published researcher on issues related to water quality, Andrea has a BS in Civil (Environmental) Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her MS and Ph.D. in Civil (Environmental) Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin.


Fritz Kaegi


Cook County Assessor's Office

As the Cook County Assessor, this position is responsible for establishing fair and accurate property assessments. Valuation of the county's 1.8 million parcels of property is assessed according to value and refers to the amount of taxes that will be required to be paid based on the value of the property. To administer this task, the Assessor reassesses one-third of the properties located in the county each year. The Assessor alternates assessments among the northern suburbs, the southern suburbs and the City of Chicago.


The Assessor's public service responsibilities, however, are not limited to setting property values. In addition to working with other government agencies to stimulate economic development, job creation and the construction of affordable housing, the Assessor also seeks to help county residents better understand the assessment process and take advantage of money-saving exemptions the office provides.

Fritz has spent his career valuing assets as a financial manager at Columbia Wanger Asset Management. In 13 years at Columbia Wanger, Fritz served as a financial steward, helping average families save for retirement as well as focusing on global small companies. In addition to being a Chartered Financial Analyst, Fritz also received the Certified Illinois Assessment Officer (CIAO) designation to deepen his understanding of the property tax assessment system. Most recently, Fritz co-managed the firm’s Acorn Fund, a fund that seeks long-term capital appreciation by focusing on uncovering smaller, lesser-known companies participating in macroeconomic trends.


Mobin Choudhury

Senior Financial Consultant

MAC Creative Consulting

MAC Creative Consulting exists to solve the critical issues facing our clients, both large and small. Our unique approach is not only what differentiates us, but also what makes us desirable for project minded personnel. We provide a broad range of services and solutions to help individuals and organizations facilitate change, achieve their vision and optimize performance and productivity.

Patti Kaiker

Providing Financing for Real Estate Investors especially Flippers, Builders, and Landlords

Work with the best in class! Finance of America Commercial is a premier National Lender offering asset based financing for residential investment, fix & flip, fix and hold, lines of credit (acquisition/rehab) and ground up new construction. We offer up to 90% on acquisition/95% rehab costs with a 75% ARV cap up to 20 units on our line of credit product. No personal income is used to qualify. We focus on maximizing the success of our customers by offering lines of credit for acquisition/rehab up to $100 million and loans up to $5 million. Use our single rental property loan (1-4 units) to purchase a turnkey ready property or cashout on your equity to buy your next investment property. FACO offers portfolio loans for rental properties for the more seasoned investor. Please contact me if you have an investor scenario that you would like us to review.

Mark Kaye

Investor Lending Consultant at Constructive Loans , LLC

Over 20 years of experience working in all aspects of mortgage lending. I am currently focused on lending to professional investors that acquire, rent, build and rehabilitate residential ( 1-4 units ) , Multi-Family and Mixed-Use properties nationwide. $50,000 to $50,000,000. Retail and Wholesale. Fix and Flip and Fixed Rate Rental Loans available.

Brandon Moulton

Senior Vice President at Renovo Financial, LLC

Renovo Financial is one of the fastest-growing private residential rehab lenders in the nation, focusing exclusively on the needs of both short- and long-term residential real estate investors. Our ultimate purpose is to establish long-term relationships by successfully supporting your business while creating connections to move your business forward. Guided by a spirit of integrity, commitment and discipline, we are immensely proud to have over 60 percent of our business come from repeat clients.

Vincent Pace

Principal at Albeca Financial

Albeca Financial was founded in 2019 to provide real estate investors with access to fast, creative capital and to provide investors with attractive risk-adjusted returns.

Commander Gloria J. Hanna & Jeffrey A. MacGee

May Topic: The Business of Gun Violence

A recent article by the Urban Institute titled the "Economic Impact of Gun Violence" is the impetus of this month's Southside Builder's Association meeting with Commander Hanna of the Chicago Police Department.

The project’s research has led to the recommendation of increasing public-private, community partnerships in gun violence reduction. These partnerships can lead to cycles wherein business development promotes economic well-being, creates jobs, and reduces gun violence, which in turn drives additional business growth.


Based on the project's research conducted, “Surges” occur when gun violence increases sharply and suddenly. In the neighborhoods where gun violence surges take place, they significantly reduce the growth of new retail and service businesses, leading fewer local jobs to be available for neighborhood residents and fewer local establishment available for residents to shop at. And, housing values appreciate more slowly.

Join us for the May SBA lunch to discuss what is going on, why it is going on and more importantly what we can all do improve the safety in our communities which will improve economic, social and physical health in our neighborhoods.

James K. Kutill
Topic: What's the Temperature for
Chicago Real Estate
James K. Kutill, MAI, started his appraisal career in 1978, as a residential appraiser, with Unity Savings Association.  Prior to joining Integra Realty Resources, Jim was Vice President with Appraisal Research Counselors, one of the largest independent appraisal firms in the United States, since 1981.  Jim oversees the senior care property practice.  This took in independent living (ILF), assisted living (ALF), skilled nursing (SNF) and continuing care retirement communities (CCRC).  He also oversees neighborhood oriented and mid-market investment properties assignments.  His valuation experience includes limited and full service hospitality, retail, office and multi-family (market rent, HUD, LIHTC and age restricted).   He has extensive experience with appraisal compliance review, for a variety of property types, and has testified as an expert witness for a variety of matters.  Jim is a member of the Board of Directors of the Chicago Chapter of the Appraisal Institute, and a former president of the Chicago Real Estate Council.  
Adam Grais
Topic: Opportunity Zones
Adam J. Grais is the Managing Partner and Executive Committee Member of Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Helsinger LLP.  He advises businesses and their owners on structuring transactions and in addressing complex federal income tax issues. He represents individuals, closely held businesses, start-up companies, and family offices.  Other law firms frequently turn to Adam as co-counsel for their clients’ tax matters and as a consulting expert witness. 
Deborah Singer
Topic: Opportunity Zones
Deborah Singer is the Great Lakes Credits & Incentives Leader of RSM US LLP.  Deborah is a Public Accounting practice leader with nearly 15 years of experience in the negotiation of credits and incentives, as well as new market tax credits (NMTC), tax increment finance (TIF), and various loans. Analytical, results-driven leader with a proven track record of capably orchestrating multimillion-dollar incentive packages for nationwide companies, leveraging extensive industry expertise and client-facing abilities to exceed client and firm expectations. Dynamic problem solver with strong, diverse legal background driving incentives and financial advantages for clientele across a myriad of industries.

Doug Farr

Topic: Sustainability

Doug Farr is the founder of Farr Associates.  The company is an architectural and planning firm committed to creating integrated designs that align with the city's economic and environmental goals, which are often at the crossroads of urbanism and architecture. Such projects include Harper Court - Hyde Park, Lathrop Homes Redevelopment - North Side Chicago, 30-acre Bristol Place Redevelopment - Champaign, and drafting city master plans in Montana, Ohio, Texas, Indiana, and Illinois. 

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Nick Brunick

Topic: Rent Control

Atty. Nick Brunick from Applegate Thorn-Tomsen Lawfirm provided legislative updates and lead the discussions on Rent Control.  Nick continues to serve as general counsel for a number of community development corporations and developers for profit and not-for-profit organizations, and lenders to launch new businesses, create schools, grocery stores, early childhood center, manufacturing facilities, and other institutions to build healthy and thriving communities.  Nick also represents lenders committed to bringing capital and innovative funding to underserved communities, supportive and affordable housing for homeless veterans and working-class families.   

Anthony Simkins

Anthony Simkins, Managing Deputy Commissioner, Housing Bureau Chicago Department of Planning and Development.  He oversees the Housing policies and programs for the City of Chicago, focused on promoting the creation and preservation of affordable housing and economic development initiatives that eliminate blight, expand racial and economic diversity, and create employment and housing opportunities, through strategic deployment of public resources and partnerships with private and nonprofit enterprises.

Dr. Byron Brazier

Dr. Byron Brazier is the pastor of the Apostolic Church of God in Woodlawn.  Currently, Dr. Brazier serves as the chairman of the board of the Network of Woodlawn and its pillars, the Bishop Arthur M. Brazier Foundation, and BSD Industries L3C.  He also dedicates his time as a member of the Cook County Sheriff’s Merit Board, the Metropolitan Planning Council, and the Museum of Science and Industry.

Craig K. Huffman

Co-founder and principal of Ascendance Partners.  Ascendance Partners is a manager of private equity real estate investment funds for foundations, endowments, pension funds, family offices and high net worth individuals.  Mr. Huffman is a graduate of the 2000 class of Leadership Greater Chicago and his community and philanthropic board involvement includes the Beverly Area Planning Association (BAPA), College Possible Chicago, and the Healthy Communities Foundation.  He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) and is a licensed real estate broker in Illinois.

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Steve Marchese and Lesley Roth

Englewood Brews is a neighbor-based craft brewery.  They are a catalyst for sustainable community, economic and neighborhood development through the provision of jobs and partnerships with like-minded industries.  Englewood Brews is about an opportunity to share a style of brewing, flavors, and the experience of craft beers in Englewood to promote and cultivate the best their community has to offer through local hiring and local ingredients.  The brewery is also a space where architecture, urban design, sustainability and the love of craft beer can bring people together, to do good and drink better with beer made in Englewood.

Arne Duncan​

Former U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has returned to Chicago and joined Emerson Collective to lead a comprehensive effort to improve opportunities for young people in the city. In 1992, a childhood friend and investment banker John W. Rogers, Jr., appointed Duncan director of the Ariel Education Initiative, a program mentoring children at under academic performance elementary schools and then assisting them as they proceeded in the education system. Duncan and Rogers were instrumental in re-opening it as a charter school, Ariel Community Academy. In 1999, Duncan was appointed Deputy Chief of Staff for former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas.  Duncan then served as CEO of the Chicago Public Schools from 2001 to 2009. His 2018 book, How Schools Work: An Inside Account of Failure and Success From One of the Nation’s Longest-Serving Secretaries of Education, details his work pushing forward the Common Core standard and discusses examples of students falling far below the education level needed to pursue college that instigated this policy push.

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Andrea Zopp

Andrea Zopp is the President and CEO of World Business Chicago, where she leads the organization’s mission of inclusive economic growth, supporting businesses, and promoting Chicago as a leading global city. Most recently, she served as Deputy Mayor, Chief Neighborhood Development Officer for the City of Chicago. Andrea has dedicated her career to being a force of change. She has championed job creation, access to education, corporate responsibility and promoting economic development initiatives in underserved communities.  Andrea served in the United States Attorney’s Office and was the first woman and African American to serve as the First Assistant in the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. In these roles, she fought to keep neighborhoods safe by taking on illegal guns, violent crime and gangs, worked to protect victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse.


Judy Frydland

Judy Frydland serves as the Commissioner of the Department of Buildings for the City of Chicago.  The Department of Buildings is a 285‐person department with an annual budget of $37 million. The DOB enhances safety and quality of life for residents and visitors of the City of Chicago through permitting, inspections, trade licensing, and enforcement of the Chicago Building Code.  Since Commissioner Frydland’s appointment in 2015, the Department has implemented several reforms that have streamlined the permit process for all building projects, from single-family home renovations to large-scale developments, making it quicker and more efficient to obtain a permit than ever before. The Buildings Department issued a record 48,408 permits in 2017. Under her leadership, the Department is modernizing City code to align with national and international standards. In fall 2017, Chicago became one of the first major cities to align with the National Electrical Code. The updated code improves safety requirements, advances sustainability, brings additional energy efficiency to Chicago’s booming building industry and can lower costs on electric bills for residents and businesses.