SECO22 Speakers

Look Who’s Speaking at SECO22!

Check back for updates often to get additional speaker information as it is released.

Jerry Bretton

Jerry Bretton is a Business Development Executive for Credit Human’s MH Direct lending.

Jerry has been with Credit Human since 2010 and has been in Manufactured home lending since 1999.

He is responsible for bringing awareness, support and education to communities, listing agents, Realtors® and other financial institutions.

Jerry brings Credit Human’s direct loan programs that deliver a high level of service to customers allowing business partners to focus on their core business.

Ed O. Bridgman

Ed O. Bridgman is an Air Force veteran with a background in Electrical Engineering and an MBA. While an Electrical Design Engineer he co-authored “Six-Sigma Quality Initiatives” earning Motorola the 1st Malcom Baldridge award from President Ronald Reagan. He has been a Six Sigma consultant for 30 years helping companies in a variety of industries reduce operating cost and increase profit margins while anticipating and exceeding customer’s expectations.

In 2010 the British Petroleum oil spill resulted in BP being fined $24 Billion to be spent in the tourist industry along the Gulf Coast. Ed immediately began researching the tourist industries and realized the financial potential of the Outdoor Hospitality industry. Over the past 10 years Ed has proven himself to be the RV Destination leading expert consulting for the RV Industry preparing Feasibility Analysis, Business Plans, Site Design Layouts and Project Managing the construction of RV Parks, Campgrounds, Resorts and Communities. Ed helps people “Maximize the value of their land.”

In January of 2013 Ed purchased 20 acres south of Mobile Alabama ideal for Homestead RV Community. In 2021 Ed opened Homestead RV Community as his “Flagship” employing “State-of-the-Art” technology and forward-thinking features including the ability to automatically, easily meter, and charge for both electrical and water use at every site for any length of stay. Not only does Ed advise clients how to spend their money, but he also shows them how he spent his own money.

Brandi Collins

Brandi Collins is a Training Specialist with Rent Manager, a leading property management accounting software that allows you to meet all of your property management needs in one integrated solution. With 17 years of training experience, Brandi specializes in relationship building and dynamic content development as well as a vast understanding of Rent Manager features and property management workflows. At rent Manager she educates employees and customers on all aspects of the program. Prior to her time at Rent Manager, Brandi served as a Training Specialist and Call Quality Analyst where she was instrumental in the creation of a very successful customer service program that was also adopted by companies such as, Nike, Freightliner, The City of Indianapolis, Guardian Life Insurance, Mercedes Benz and Morgan Stanley, just to name a few. Brandi received her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a Minor in Management Information Systems from Central State University. In her spare time, she is a Fitness Instructor whose goal is to help others not only meet their fitness goals, but gain self confidence.

Kiernan “KC” Conway

Economist and Futurist Kiernan “KC” Conway, CCIM, CRE, MAI is the mind trust behind Red Shoe Economics, LLC, an independent economic forecasting and consulting firm furthering KC’s mission as The Red Shoe Economist by providing organic research initiatives, reporting and insights on the impact of Economics within the commercial real estate industry.  A proud graduate of Emory University with more than 30 years’ experience as a lender, credit officer, appraiser, instructor, and economist; KC is recognized for accurately forecasting real estate trends and ever-changing influences on markets all across the United States. With credentials from the CCIM Institute, Counselors of Real Estate and the Appraisal Institute, KC currently serves as Chief Economist of the CCIM Institute and as an Independent Director for Monmouth REIT MNR. A gifted and prolific speaker KC has made more than 850 presentations to industry, regulatory and academic organizations in the last decade, and has been published in many national and regional newspapers and journals with frequent contributions to radio and television programming. 

Ken Corbin

Ken Corbin has worked with over 4,500 owners, sales consultants and community managers is the U.S. and Canada.

He received his MBA from The University of Michigan and is an advisory consultant to the American Graduate / Thunderbird School of International Management. Ken is also on the board of trustees of Habitat for Humanity and is a Certified Management Consultant.

His consulting firm specializes in helping manufactured housing retailers and communities develop business strategies for maximum sales growth, financial fitness & long-term profitability.

Ken’s newest audio books, “Selling the American Dream of Home Ownership” and “Growing Your Business” are each over 8 hours in length.

Joe Costello

Joe is CEO of Kwikbit Internet, where he brings over 30 years of experience in the space. Joe was the founding CEO of Cadence Design Systems leading that company to $1B in revenue and the leadership position in the EDA (Electronic Design Automation) market. Joe’s passion is helping young technology companies achieve big visions that can make a large positive difference in the world by acting as an investor, advisor and leader. He fell in love with Kwikbit Internet because of the opportunity to change the game in broadband and provide world class affordable internet service to everyone. Kwikbit Internet is 100% focused on providing the best internet to manufactured home communities. Joe has served on multiple boards, including Oracle, Macromedia, Clarify, and over 30 other technology companies. Joe received a BA from Harvey Mudd and a master’s degree in physics from Yale and UC Berkeley.

Blake Hatley

Basically, a native of Auburn, Blake Hatley was born in Indianapolis but calls Alabama home.  In 2001 he was one of the first classes to graduate with an Entrepreneurs and Family Business degree at Auburn University. He subsequently took over his family’s business as an owner/operator of Stonegate Mobile Home Community located in Auburn. The 160-space community was uniquely occupied entirely by college students. His grandfather was a role model for him, and he has taken great pride in being a third generation owner/operator. 

Property management offered a unique experience and training that no degree from a university would ever provide. Blake learned patience as well as honing his ability to master conflict negotiation and sometimes resolutions. He dealt with demands from his residents as well as their parents on a regular basis.

Some of his achievements included automation growth: for payments, E-leases, and making the office paperless. He kept up with the ever-changing social media platforms as well as movement in the mobile home industry to meet the needs of his residents.

Beginning in 2022 Blake joined a new family, Stonetown Capital as regional manager for Alabama and Georgia. His company is based out of Denver and owns and operates communities under Cairn Communities. They span across 12 states between Alaska and North Carolina with 150 communities and 20,000 MH Sites. 

His personal interests involve anything on wheels with a focus on European automobiles both vintage and unique. He has a passion for breathing life back to almost anything he can touch and enjoys restoring and renovations. 

Dillon Kirby

Dillon Kirby, VP of Partnerships at CoverTree, has spent his entire 10+ year career within the insurance industry. CoverTree recently announced a $10M seed funding round, led by major VC funds focused in the insurance/insurtech and affordable living space. Responsible for the overall growth of CoverTree’s market presence, Dillon partners with national developers, lenders and agencies to bring an affordable insurance solution forward for their residents and clients while helping improve risk processes across the board.

Dillon also works as an Executive Benefits Consultant for 360Risk Management, a niche, Michigan based agency focused on large-scale employee benefits and commercial insurance. He graduated from Western Michigan University with a B.A. in Sales and Business Marketing in 2014.

Judge Louis Levenson

Judge Louis Levenson has practiced law in Georgia since 1978, and today specializes in wills, trusts, fiduciary accounting, probate and estate litigation. Across his 44-year career, he also served from 1984 – 2015 as a part time Magistrate and State Court Judge and having heard over 500,000 cases relating to dispossessory and eviction disputes.

Judge Levenson graduated from the Emory University School of Law in 1978. He is admitted to practice law in Georgia (1978), New York (1983), South Carolina (1994) and Texas (2017), as well as to several federal district and the Supreme Court of Georgia.

He has been an instructor for the Institute of Continuing Judicial Education at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, and a frequent lecturer on landlord/tenant law for Georgia State University and other organizations.

Valerie Sanders

Valerie Sanders has a BS degree in geosciences and secondary education from SUNY Buffalo. She is an active member of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Associations and is frequently invited to participate in panels at national meetings. 

Before co-founding WeatherCall, Valerie worked for WSI Corporation working with emergency management and public safety agencies. She also managed a program for Baron Services facilitating partnerships to fund the placement of radar systems. After, she worked for WeatherData providing weather risk-management programs. 

Since starting WeatherCall Services, LLC., the solutions available have developed for many industries and new products for more communication options.

Ekaterina Stepanova

Ekaterina (Katerina) Stepanova, was born and raised in Moscow, Russia, and immigrated to the United States 15 years ago and has lived in New York since.

She is a partner at M2K Partners, which owns MHP communities across the United States: Michigan, Ohio, Texas, Florida, Arizona and Alabama totaling 850 spaces.

She is the Founder of “MHP Tribe”, a community supporting busy professionals with a focus on partnerships & efficient business solutions for financial freedom through mobile home park investing.

Ekaterina was a co-organizer and speaker at SECO (National Conference for Manufactured Housing Community Owners) in 2020 and 2021, guest speaker at annual manufactured housing industry conferences such as TexCo and Biloxi Expo in 2022.

Brett Taft

Brett Taft is a Vice President and the Chief Operating Officer for UMH Properties, Inc.. UMH Properties, Inc. is a publicly traded company that owns and operates 132 communities containing 25,000 developed homesites. Brett has been with UMH for 11 years and has been a key component of the company’s growth during this time. As the COO, Brett is responsible for the oversight of UMH’s day to day operations. Brett has also worked to identify, acquire, integrate, and upgrade properties that fit our growth criteria. 

Brett is a Trustee for the CentraState Healthcare System. He is also a trustee and the Vice Chair of the CentraState Foundation. He graduated from Monmouth University with a B.A. in Political Science in 2011.

Kevin Thrash

Kevin Thrash spent 16 at a Georgia-Pacific with progressive leadership roles in the areas of Credit Management, Project Management, and Corporate Finance. He then transitioned to banking where he has worked for the past 19 years with responsibilities in Commercial Lending and Risk Management. He is presently an Executive Vice-President at American Commerce Bank with offices in Georgia and Florida.  

American Commerce Bank is a national bank and has been an enthusiastic supporter of the manufactured home industry for many years.  

Kevin has a BBA from Mississippi State University, an MBA from Georgia State University, a GSB from Louisiana State University and is a Certified Treasury Professional.  

Mark Yost

Mark Yost has served in the roles of Chief Financial Officer, President, and now Chief Executive Officer of Skyline Champion Corp. since joining in 2013. Prior to coming to Champion, he served in in operational, financial, and executive roles globally.  He was awarded by Crain’s for leading and developing great teams and scaling during recessionary times by taking care of the customer.  Mr. Yost has a MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business and has guest lectured at universities on all aspects of business.

Check back for updates often to get additional speaker information as it is released.

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