About Suzanne:
Suzanne joined the Lincoln team in 2004 and is currently responsible for property management and operations at Highland Landmark I, a 295,000 RSF office building in Downers Grove/I-88 corridor, a 80,000 RSF call center (I-355/I-55 corridor), as well as a Chicago suburban industrial portfolio consisting of about 1 million square feet. Suzanne has contributed to her properties’ successes through service contract negotiation, tenant retention, financial stability and directing renovation and construction projects. Prior to joining Lincoln, Suzanne managed office properties in downtown Chicago and the suburbs with The John Buck Company for 10 years. Suzanne is licensed by the State of Illinois as a broker and is the President and Executive Committee Chair on the Board of Directors for BOMA/Suburban Chicago. Suzanne is a graduate of DePauw University with a BA in English Literature. Interested in learning more? Check out her LinkedIn!

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you? 
Most people do not know I can wiggle my ears, simultaneously or individually.

What are you reading/watching lately that you would recommend to others?
Materials I tend to re-read because they are meaningful to me and would therefore recommend: “Gift Of The Magi”, a short story by O. Henry; The Snow Goose: A Story of Dunkirk, a novella by Paul Gallico; and Becket or The Honour of God, a French play written by Jean Anouilh.

What’s the best advice you were ever given?
Not advice, but a favored acronym: L cubed = listen, learn, lead.

What’s your favorite part of being a member of BOMA?
I am proud to be a BOMA/Suburban Chicago member - the success of our association is due to volunteer commitment and sponsorship support from its members. Members and Staff make this organization “a trusted partner and indispensable resource”!

Furry friends! Meet Suzannes dogs Peanut (left) and Blue (right)


About Patti:

Patti is an Asset Manager with 27 years of multi-building portfolio experience, previously in industrial sector and currently in Class A Office market.  Current assignment includes 5 buildings totaling over 1 million square feet for four owners with staff of 10 engineers, janitorial and night staff.  Responsibilities include all aspects of building/portfolio management including contract management, lease management, tenant relations, budgeting, and financial reporting.  Experience includes heavy involvement with construction management, both on large scale tenant buildouts and building renovations, including major structural and building components.  At BOMA Suburban Chicago, Patti is currently serving as Vice President.  She has served as the Vice Chair and Chair of the Education Committee, Board Liaison to Government Affairs, Education and EXPO committees. Interested in learning more? Check out her LinkedIn!




What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re proud of?
Being a part of the Hamilton Partners “Green Team” as well as earning my LEED AP, Operations & Maintenance certification. I've led the Building Team to certify several buildings under USGBC’s LEED program. I've also worked with the Green Team to develop an in-house training program for engineering and management office staff to achieve LEED AP and LEED GA certifications.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?  
Our family good bye each the morning as someone left for work or school was, “Have a good day, do good work!” given with the "I love you sign" in American sign language. I still think  of that every time I leave the house in the morning and it always makes me smile.  As for professional advice, I had the privilege of working with a great Chief Engineer, Frank, early in my career. One of my favorite takeaways from him is, “Even if you think you have nothing, you always have a choice.” It reminds me there are conscious decisions to be made in every situation.  Over the years, it has given me perspective for every day decisions and larger, more important choices. Sometimes the uncomfortable choice is the best choice, but it can be easier when you are making an active choice.

What’s your favorite part of being a member of BOMA? 
The awesome professionals in this organization astound me. From vendor professionals, peers, engineers and those just starting their careers, we have such a wealth of knowledge to share.

Is there anything else you would like to include about yourself? 
I have a passion for travel. My travel goals are to visit all of the oceans of the world and travel to each of the continents.  I have been very fortunate to see many of the wonders of the world and experience modern and ancient cultures.  My travels with my aunt and/or my cousin include Peru, India, Egypt, Iceland and several trips to Europe. 

Patti in Egypt at the Pyramids (left) and in Machu Picchu (left)!

About Jeffrey: 

Jeffrey Wingert is a seasoned property management professional with more than 30 years’ experience in the City of Chicago and surrounding suburban communities with a proven expertise in construction management, capital improvement projects, tenant relations, financial reporting and leasing support. His experience includes a diversified portfolio of properties that include office, industrial and retail shopping centers.

Jeff currently serves as manager to Highland Landmark V, a 251,000 square foot, trophy asset and national headquarter location.  During his tenure at the property, he instituted an annual energy plan resulting in the building earning Energy Star certification with a score of 86.  In 2017, Jeff alongside his team secured and continues to maintain the prestigious BOMA 360 designation. In 2020 his property was Awarded the Local TOBY Award for Corporate Facilities and In 2022 Achieved LEED Silver Status.

Prior to joining Cushman & Wakefield, Jeff worked as a Real Estate Manager for CBRE managing a 322,000 square foot, institutional quality office building with a prominent Michigan Avenue address in the heart of the Magnificent Mile for a foreign ownership.

Previously, he was responsible for managing a complete building remodel, repositioning and lease up of the City of Naperville’s premier office building – “Metrowest”, an icon building along 1-88 corridor designed by world-renowned architect Helmut Jahn. Interested in learning more? Check out his LinkedIn!



What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re proud of?

Competing in and Winning the 2020 Local BOMA/Suburban Chicago TOBY.

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?

In my youth I was invited to a closed tryout with the Chicago Cubs.

What are you reading/watching lately that you would recommend to others?

Same thing everybody else is watching - “Yellowstone."

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?  

When I was starting my career, my father advised me that I better find something I like to do because I would be doing it for the next 40 years.  He also told me that advice came with good and bad news.  The bad news being that I was just starting and the good news that he was half way done!

What’s your favorite part of being a member of BOMA?

The invaluable information and quality contractor resources it connects you with.

 

Jeff Wingert (fourth from left) and team as winners of the 2020 Local TOBY awards for their building Highland Landmark V, Downers Grove
The winning building: Highland Landmark.

About Kim

Kim DeFily brings more than 30 years of experience in property management to her role as Portfolio/General Manager at American Landmark Properties.  In her recent assignments, Kim has functioned as the General Manager for Schaumburg Towers, an 882,000 square foot commercial office complex, and Portfolio Manager for several additional suburban office and industrial buildings.  She supervises an on-site staff of fourteen American Landmark employees that support her buildings. 

Prior to American Landmark Properties, Kim held a similar Portfolio/Senior Real Estate Manager position for CBRE, managing Mid America Plaza, Highland Landmark II and Westwood of Lisle.  In her career, Kim has won six Local TOBY Awards through BOMA Suburban Chicago, as well as six North Central Regional TOBY Awards.  The Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) sponsor the Office Building of the Year (TOBY) Awards. 

She has worked with several institutional clients including LPC Realty Advisors I, Ltd., KBS Realty Advisors, CB Richard Ellis Investors, Deka Immobilien Investment GmbH, Invesco, SSR Realty Advisors and MONY Life Insurance Company.  Before CBRE, Kim held a similar Portfolio/   Senior Property Management position for ARES, overseeing a portfolio   of suburban office buildings.  Kim has also managed office buildings   for Rubloff, prior to joining ARES. Interested in learning more? Check out her LinkedIn!

What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re proud of? 
I cannot just pick one accomplishment that I am proud of.  I am proud to have been BOMA/Suburban Chicago’s President during the most unprecedented time in our history.  We went through a 3 year pandemic and pivoted how we ran the association for the better of our members.  I am also proud of the buildings I have managed throughout my career, and my teams that have assisted in the management of those buildings. 

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you? 
Most people know that I am a die-hard White Sox fan, but I am also a Blackhawks fan and a Bears fan (even though they didn’t do so well this season).  Also, most people know that my husband and I eventually would like to retire in Nashville, and we could become Titans fans, but definitely not Predator fans.

What are you reading/watching lately that you would recommend to others? 
We are currently watching “Yellowstone”, which has become one of my all-time favorite shows.  The scenery is beautiful, running a ranch like that takes a lot more than what I thought and is very similar to property management, and the cast is outstanding.  Maybe we should have a rancher speak at one of our bi-monthly lunches. 

What’s your favorite part of being a member of BOMA? 
I have many favorites about being a member of BOMA.  I enjoy the camaraderie of all the members, and have made friendships that will last forever.  The educational opportunities are incredible, and one of my favorite set of classes were the RPA classes.  I took the RPA classes early on in my career, and they were very helpful in molding me as a property manager.  I also like the Foundations classes of today, because they are great for people just entering real estate as a career.

Is there anything else you would like to include about yourself? 
Many people know that I survived breast cancer in 2015.  I have chosen to take the negatives and turn it into a positive influence on my life.  I only look to the positives, and try to eliminate the negatives in my life; I work harder; I appreciate everything that people do; I treasure my family and friends; and I love stronger.

Kim Defily pictured here with her family at Christmas

About Ben

Ben Bischmann serves as Senior Vice President of National Operations at Bridge Industrial where he leads the development and institution of strategic operations, capital improvements and management services for all Bridge owned assets and third-party management clients. 

Bischmann previously served as Executive Vice President of Industrial Property Management at JLL, where he served as the Midwest Industrial Property Management (IPM) Lead. As part of the role, he managed the growth of the region’s portfolio of 69 million square feet.  He also served as the national client relationship lead for a portfolio of over 180 properties across 20 markets; and assisted in the development, institution and management of operational and investment strategies.

Prior to JLL, Bischmann served as an Account Manager at Colliers, overseeing 1.4 million square feet of office and 5.9 million square feet of industrial real estate, along with coordination of all operations, leasing, construction, sustainability, and overall investment strategy.

Bischmann also currently serves as a Co-Chair for the Advisory Board of Roosevelt University’s Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate in Chicago, which works to encourage the growth of a diverse and socially conscious real estate industry. He holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Illinois, and earned his master’s degree in business administration from Roosevelt University. Interested in learning more? Check out his LinkedIn!

What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re proud of? 
I am currently the Co-Chair of the Advisory Board to the Marshall Bennett Institute of Real Estate at Roosevelt University.  As one of the first classes to graduate from the Real Estate program, it was an honor to be the first Alum to join the advisor committee and now to act as Co-chair.  I feel blessed to give back to an organization that helped me so much in finding a path in Real Estate.

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you? 
My undergraduate degree is in Art Education.  If I could find a way to paint everyday as a living I would. 

What are you reading/watching lately that you would recommend to others?
I am reading Texas Flood, the inside story of Stevie Ray Vaughan.  His life was fearless, furious and elegant along with his music and I dig it.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?
“Just be smarter than the person next to you.”  My dad told me this and unfortunately it took me years to understand, because I never seemed to avoid trouble


About Thomas

Thomas Civitanova serves as Vice President of Operations for First Industrial Realty Trust, where he oversees operations, property management, construction and capital expenditures for a 25 million square foot portfolio. He has more than 25 years of commercial real estate experience.

Since joining First Industrial in 1999, Mr. Civitanova has held leadership positions in property management, leasing and operations in various markets. Initially, his career began in the property management and leasing of First Industrial’s Detroit and Cleveland portfolios. He later became the Operations Director for Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Louis and Nashville. At this time, he oversees Operations for Chicago, Dallas and Houston.

Prior to joining First Industrial, Mr. Civitanova was a property manager with McKinley, Inc. in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he was responsible for managing and leasing industrial and office properties.

Mr. Civitanova earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Boston College and his Master’s Degree in Facility Management from the University of Michigan. He secured his CPM designation in 2008 and his CCIM designation in 2017. He serves on the BOMA Industrial Committee in Chicago and participates in the BOMA mentoring program. Interested in learning more? Check out his LinkedIn!

What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re proud of?
After spending 15 years of my First Industrial career in Detroit, I relocated to Chicago for better opportunities within First Industrial. It was both challenging, exciting and rewarding to learn a new market and cultivate new business relationships in the third largest industrial market in the US.

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
In graduate school, I drove the Zamboni during University of Michigan hockey games.

What are you reading/watching lately that you would recommend to others?
Yellowstone; it’s like the Godfather out West.

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from?
Ignore the distractions and focus on what’s important. My father.

What’s your favorite part of being a member of BOMA?
Great people and passion for the business. It’s really impressive the effort and passion that so many people give to the organization.

Is there anything else you would like to include about yourself?
I am slightly colorblind so my wife makes sure my clothes match.

About Dave

Dave Fink has been part of Tovar/Outworx Group since November 2008 and is a Market Sales Leader. Dave is responsible for renewing some of Tovar/Outworx Group’s top 150 accounts and acquiring new snow and landscaping accounts. During his 15 years at Tovar/Outworx Group Dave has learned every facet of the business. He focuses on building strong relationships, strives to consistently provide superior solutions, ensures that every customer receives the highest quality of service, and customer service. He has received his Advanced Snow Manager designation from SIMA and the OSHA 10 HR certification.    

Dave graduated from Western Illinois University in 2003, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Administration with a concentration in Sports Management. Dave and his wife Allison have two daughters Sabrina and Scarlett. When not working his family likes to take family trips to Lake Geneva. Dave loves sports, which he grew up playing his whole life and still does today. You can catch him either on the softball fields or playing a round of golf. Interested in learning more? Check out his LinkedIn! 


What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re proud of? 
In my 15 years at Tovar/Outworx Group, it gives me great pleasure in seeing my mentees thrive and exceed their goals year after year. Therefore, further building our relationships as a team.  

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
Fear of Heights. It is something that I just have a hard time facing. As I get older it doesn’t get easier, I figured it would or I would face it enough that the fear would eventually go away. Flying in an airplane, amusement park rides, climbing ladders, all evoke the same fear. 

What are you reading/watching lately that you would recommend to others?
I love watching The Amazing Race. As a viewer, I get to see so many various cultures and traditions across the different countries that the Amazing Race encompasses. I am a very competitive person so I love to see the drive and determination in the teams in order to overcome the challenges and face their fears. 



Left: Dave Fink pictured here with his wife and daughters Scarlett, and Sabrina. 

Right: The family puppy, Cooper

About Helen



Helen Karlos joined Zeller in 2013 as a Property Manager and was promoted in 2017 to Vice President, Property Management. Helen directly oversees the day-to-day operations at Woodfield Preserve Office Center, two 325,000 square foot, Class A buildings in Schaumburg, IL. Her responsibilities include management of capital improvement construction projects, contract negotiation, financial reporting, and tenant relations. Woodfield Preserve has been designated a BOMA 360 Performance Building, is WELL Health and Safety Certified, received Fitwel 1 Star rating, and was the recipient of the 2023 Kingsley Excellence Tenant Satisfaction Award.

Prior to her current role, Helen served as the General Manager of 311 South Wacker Dr. She played an integral role in the success of the property through her leadership and oversight in tenant and capital improvement projects such as a 12,000 SF conference center, a 3,000 SF tenant lounge, a 7,600 SF fitness center, a new café and bar on the 46th floor sky lobby, and a secure bike room.

Helen is a graduate of Northern Illinois University with degrees in Political Science and Sociology. She also holds a MA in American Government from NIU. She is an active member of BOMA and CREN and serves as a member of the BOMA International Workforce Advocacy Committee. Interested in learning more? Check out her LinkedIn!

What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re proud of?

I take the most pride in being a part of the growth and development of my fellow colleagues. Through the years, I have had the honor of hiring and working with a diverse group of emerging leaders that joined our industry without really knowing or understanding exactly what it entails. During my time working alongside them, I have seen several individuals really develop a true love and appreciation for the work we do, and in turn, put in the time and effort to develop their skills and grow in their careers. Being even a small part of their professional journey and watching them continue to succeed is something I will always be proud of.

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
Growing up the daughter of immigrants with limited traditional education, my parents always pushed us to do well in school because to them that was the path towards long term success. For many years, my father worked and saved everything he earned, allowing him to eventually purchase a small commercial building on the north side of Chicago and as children, my sisters and I would help him with various aspects of being a property owner. I remember going to the building as a child, and my dad would have us help him clean the common areas, watch him perform maintenance (I still vividly remember a hot summer day where he applied tar to the roof), and eventually type the leases that were used for new tenants. In many ways, I grew up in this industry and although I studied Political Science in college, property management was in my blood, so when it was time to focus on a career, I eventually gravitated to what I grew up learning. Although our world is a lot more sophisticated now then it was back then with my dad, the skills he taught me as a child have been critical to my career as an adult.

What’s your favorite part of being a member of BOMA?
Being a member of BOMA gives you the opportunity to have additional resources as a property management professional. BOMA provides its members everything from classes that teach real estate fundamentals, a comprehensive list of service partners that can assist with your needs in managing your properties, and an extensive network you can lean on professionally and collaborate with. Most importantly to me, is knowing that BOMA is an advocate and voice for property owners, managers, and operators. Anything from property taxes to changing requirements and laws that affect our properties, BOMA is at the forefront of protecting its members and our collective interests.


Helen Karlos pictured here with her husband and daughters at her daughters 1st birthday party.

About Matt

With 32 years at Painters USA, Matt has been integral to the company's remarkable growth from 16 to 250 employees. His leadership in sales strategy formulation and execution, coupled with mentoring numerous team members, has played a pivotal role in achieving consistent year-over-year growth.

Want to learn more? Check out his LinkedIn! 

What's a work related accomplishment you're proud of? 
34 years with the same company!  Part of a team that has helped grow Painters USA from 15 employees and 1 location to over 230 employees and 3 locations!

What’s one thing most people don't know about you?
I am a certified Division 3 college soccer referee!

What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from? 
Both in work and life, every relationship has to be a win-win relationship.  Otherwise it is not a real relationship for both sides.  From my lifetime mentor and sales trainer

What’s your favorite part of being a member of BOMA?  
The networking and relationships I have gained-both from regular members and associate members has been invaluable.  And being a trusted advisor when people have problems or situations they need help solving.  And relying on other trusted advisors I have met to help me solve my issues


About Jonathan

Jonathan Swindle is the founder of Waveland Property Group.  After attending Wheaton College, Jonathan attended Pepperdine Law School.  A year later, he took a professor’s advice and went into commercial real estate, not law.  Initially working for Scribcor in the Wrigley Building, Jonathan focused on medical transactions.  In 2005,Waveland was founded with a commitment to managing and leasing medical and financial building.  Waveland has moved from Chicago to Oak Brook and now to Wheaton, where they occupy a 123 year old Sears house in the city-center.) Interested in learning more? Check out his LinkedIn!








What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re proud of?  
I founded Waveland over 17 years ago.  I am proud of the team that I have assembled and the number of problems we have solved for our clients. We are committed to tenant relationships.

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?  
My father worked for an international company and I was born in South Africa.  We moved to Glen Ellyn when I was 7.

What’s the best advice you were ever given?
Your resume and life story only appear to be a straight-line when you look back on them.

What’s your favorite part of being a member of BOMA? BOMA has broadened my horizons.  It is easy to think of your career with ‘blinders’ on.  BOMA makes you aware that you are part of an eco-system that is essential to healthcare, logistics, commerce, and technology.

Is there anything else you would like to include about yourself?
When we are not engaged in property management and leasing I can be found on the water.  I love boating and time spent with friends and family.




BOMA/Suburban Chicago
1515 E. Woodfield Rd, Suite 110
Schaumburg IL 60173

Phone: (847) 995-0970
Fax: (847) 995-0971
boma@bomasuburbanchicago.com




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