Make an AMPression

Periodically, I select an individual who has made an “AMPression” (impression) on me without even knowing. These are professionals who have made a tremendous impact in the multifamily industry or within the community and are willing to help others succeed. Read the interviews below to see how they answer the same ten questions.


And, since it's only fair, I've also provided answers to this fun list of questions!  This is the kind of approachability I strive to bring back to networking!

- Tara Samuels

See our "AMPression" interviews below:


Nichole Oswald

Senior Director
Pioneer Acquisitions, LLC


Nichole has been a gracious supporter of my A.M.P. networking events over the years.  She has the ability to command someone’s attention without being overtly obvious – especially when networking!  She is well-respected by her industry colleagues, fiercely committed to her work, and a force to be reckoned with.  She also has two of the cutest kids on the planet!  If you don’t know Nichole, reach out to her.  She’s a good one to add to your network!  


Ian Bingham

Senior Vice President, Client Services
CF Real Estate Services, LLC


Have you ever met someone that will truly give you the shirt off their back?  That’s Ian.  Every place I have been with him, I’ve witnessed him go out of his way to help others.  In addition, if you have ever presented to him in person like I have, you’ll likely be so glad that he’s in the room because he has a very calming presence and will always put you at ease.  And no matter what, this Dawgs fan can look past him shouting Roll Tide.  I mean, it’s for the support of his family so I guess it’s ok! 


Donje Putnam

Director, Strategic Initiatives
30 Lines


Donje is someone I reached out to over a year ago because I saw her name pop up frequently as a leader amongst her local VAMA association as well as NAA giving tips and tricks for her fellow multifamily peers.  When we got to talking, I learned that we were connected for life with our love for peanut butter!  We finally got to meet in person at NAA 2019 and it was like meeting an old friend you haven’t seen in years.  She and I also know what it's like to go from the management side to the “dark side.” 


Kara Kirkpatrick

Regional Vice President, West Division



If you look up the word positive in the dictionary, you will likely see Kara’s face.  If you follow her on LinkedIn, you might seek her out daily for some simple uplifting. No surprise that she shared “When your team is happy and willing, your prospects and residents feel that!  A happy, thriving team is the root of success in this business.”  This rings so true, now more than ever!  Kara definitely qualifies as an industry-vet, in my opinion, and is someone whom you should seek out to learn the ropes.


LuAnne Acton Ross, CPM®

Executive Vice President & Partner 

JMG Realty, Inc


Isn’t it funny that even if you are connected on Facebook, you still don’t really “know” someone.  I love that this interview gave me some new light into LuAnne.  Speaking of light, if you have ever seen her in person, you might say she lights up a room!  She has a fantastic energy and you can tell that she will bulldoze anything in her way – only a way a distinguished woman from the south could!  And now, I will forever picture LuAnne when I hear 70’s anthems!


Andrew Hudson

Regional Trainer
Mission Rock Residential, LLC


Although Andrew and I have never met, I found his recent article entitled “You didn't sign up for this... SO THANK YOU!” to be thoughtful and honest, making Andrew very relatable – a key characteristic for any successful trainer.  Part of his personal mission is igniting joy in others' hearts.  That right there should make you want to know him

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Steve F. Hallsey

Managing Director
Wood Partners


Steve is the kind of guy that if you see him speak at an industry conference (which he often does) you grab a pen and paper and you take notes.  He and I used to work for the same company way back in the day while  I was still trying to make a name for myself and I made sure to watch and listen to everything he shared in order to gain as much knowledge as possible.


Dana Caudell

President Property Management


Dana is the kind of person who you pay attention to.  She has paved an incredible path in the multifamily industry – especially for women!  When she speaks, writes or contributes in some way to our industry, you listen!


Dan Gladden

President - East Region

AMLI Management Company


When I worked for AMLI (way back in the day), Dan was one of those people that immediately made an impression on me!  He has a very calming demeanor that makes you feel like you can ask him anything.  Fast forward 17 years, I still “work” with him as a fellow Chicagoland Apartment Association board member and he is still the same as he was when I first met him.

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Diana J. Pittro

Executive Vice President

RMK Management Corp


Diana, unknowingly, became one of my mentors in the multifamily industry.  She made an “AMPression” on me when after no management experience, I was thrust into a property management role at a new, Class-A community in the midst of lease-up and she simply said, “I believe in you.”  She is a legend and has forever made a lasting impact on this industry!


Brett Duke

Chief Operating Officer

Atlantic Pacific Real Estate Group


Brett is one of the kindest, most approachable people I’ve met.  It isn’t every day you get someone at his level to even respond to you.  In the short time I have known him, I have told many people how I wish more people shared his demeanor and humble attitude.  He is definitely someone you should know and equally shares my passion for networking!


Tara Samuels, CAS

AMP Founder &

Chief Networking Officer


I love learning more about people beyond the surface.  Everyone has a story!  I prepared these ten questions because these are ones that I find myself asking people at networking events because I’m not a fan of small talk.  I hope you have fun reading some of my favorite ice-breakers!


Kendall Gay

Resident Experience Manager


Even though I have never “met” Kendall, that didn’t stop him from making a big AMPression on me!  You can tell, by his title, that he is into ensuring a good experience for everyone he interacts with.  Just the other day, he encouraged his LinkedIn network to just “smile and laugh a little.”  After reading the answers to my interview, it’s no surprise that one of his tips is “Wear a smile regardless of any situation.”  Oh, and it helps that he shares the same name as my daughter – just spelled differently.


Jeremy Milton, CAM, CAPS

Vice President


Following Jeremy on LinkedIn is like having a built-in motivational speaker!  I love his positive messages – like Ideas Create Change!  He is the first person I ever “met” who was a police officer and now, a Vice President at Pinnacle!  It goes to show that our crazy multifamily industry is full of diverse people, backgrounds, and experiences.  When this pandemic is over, Jeremy is one of the first people I plan to finally meet in person!


James Beasley

Senior Regional Director, Property Management
RangeWater Real Estate


You know that rare feeling when you first connect with someone and you feel like you’ve known them for years? That’s James.  He’s like a cozy sweater or your favorite pair of jeans – so comfortable. No surprise, he didn’t set out to be in the multifamily industry but two decades later, he’s still here and is a real trailblazer and risk-taker!  


Matthew Tobel, CCHP

Director of Business Development

Suite Home Chicago


What can I say about Matt that his smile doesn’t already tell you? He is one of the most genuine people I have EVER met in the multifamily industry.  He lights up a room but isn’t afraid to challenge an idea or ask questions.  He is someone who I’ve always admired and who always gives the best hugs.  If you are looking for someone to add to your network who you know will give it to you straight but also give you the shirt off his back, it’s Matt.


Ed Buckley

Vice President
Avenue5 Residential


A few years ago in Sandestin, FL, my husband excitingly shared that we were going to golf with Ed Buckley – whom I didn’t know at the time.  Little did I know that I would be golfing with essentially a multifamily industry celebrity!  Not only does he have a passion for golf, but he has a passion for life.  Aside from my husband, he is the most humble person and biggest family man on the planet!  If you ever have the pleasure of golfing or dining with Ed like I have, you will clearly see his passion for life, and his family!


Dana Hill

National Account Executive
Grace Hill, Inc


My husband truly knows EVERYONE in the Atlanta market and when he encouraged me to introduce myself to Dana Hill at the GAA Conference in Florida a couple of years ago, I frustratingly whined “I can’t get to her.”  Why?  Because she essentially had the multifamily paparazzi around her!  That’s when I quickly learned that Dana is someone to know.  She has been in the industry a long time and she has that certain Je ne sais quoi charming everyone around her.  

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Alycia Anderson

Vice President, Sales
Knock, Inc.


Alycia and I have never met but after reading the answers to her interview, I believe we are soul sisters!  Alycia is definitely someone making headlines in the multifamily industry and as a motivational speaker.  Whenever I see the words: Inclusion Superwoman, I will always picture her.  If you haven’t seen her website, check it out here:


Girish Gehani

Chief Operating Officer
Trilogy Real Estate Group


Not only does Girish know the best place for BBQ in Chicago (Green Street Meats) but he also knows a thing or two about the multifamily industry.  He has one of the most calming demeanors you’ll probably ever come across and will answer any question you have without ever making you feel less-than.  I am grateful to have him in my network (business and personal) and respect him as one of our industry leaders.

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Stephanie Anderson

Manager, Industry Operations
National Apartment Association


Has someone ever made an impression on you that you have never actually met but yet you still felt a connection?  That’s how I felt the times I have seen posts on LinkedIn from Stephanie.  There was one post in particular about “creating your own seat at the table.”  I appreciate her push for more boldness and leadership amongst women and how we all need to continue to lift one another up!

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Chad Cooley

Managing Director, Strategic Business Solutions
Bozzuto Management Company


Chad is one of those guys that you meet and instantly want to hang out with.  For the stature he has in this industry, he is ironically VERY approachable.  He has a wealth of experience in the multifamily industry but doesn’t intimidate you with that knowledge and experience.  If he is not in your network, you are missing out!


Sheila Byrne

Executive Vice President

The Habitat Company


Sheila is really a Chicago multifamily industry icon of sorts having worked at the same company for over 3 decades!  She is so humble about her talent and experience which is what makes her so likable. If you don’t know her, you should.  If you want to know how to succeed in multifamily, follow her lead.  She will not steer you wrong!