The Business of Sports

Education Seminar: Wednesday, January 17 | 7:30 AM to 9:00 AM

2017 CBR Education Seminar -  January


John Speros, Ackerman & Co.


Michael Canady, Walton Global Holdings, LTD

Thad Ellis, Cousins Properties

Mason Zimmerman, Pope & Land

Panel Coordinator:

David Branch, Site Service Group

Maurice Robbins, The Simpson Company


  • Time: 7:30 am, Continental Breakfast & Networking
    8:00 am - 9:00 am, Program
  • Location: The Atlanta REALTORS® Center
    5784 Lake Forrest Drive, Atlanta, GA 30328
  • This is a one hour session, CE credit does not apply.

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David Branch

David Branch

Site Service Group
Senior Partner & Managing Broker

David Branch has over thirty years of experience in the areas of site acquisition services, institutional land investment services, and corporate real estate advisory services.

David has negotiated a number of Atlanta’s most significant land and investment properties transactions, including the ground lease for IBM’s 50 story office tower in Midtown, the acquisition of Alltel’s 68 acre regional headquarters complex in Alpharetta, the land assemblage of the 25 acre Securities Centre Office Park in Buckhead and the sale of the three city block Peachtree Portal Property in Downtown Atlanta, which was recognized as the Atlanta Business Chronicle 2003 LAND DEAL OF THE YEAR.

As a corporate real estate advisor, David has represented clients on numerous national and regional headquarters relocations and build- to-suit requirements throughout the United States, which collectively total well in excess of one million square feet of space.

A frequent speaker and seminar panelist on land marketing and land investment services, David has also represented numerous banking, office, hotel and retail users in site acquisition, disposition and land assemblage assignments.

In 2011, David (working in partnership with Site Services Group’s Chris McShane) successfully completed the assemblage of the 1400± acre LakePoint Sporting Community & Town Center mixed- use development. The LakePoint Project (featuring one of the world’s largest Amateur Sports Complexes) has received numerous industry awards, including Bartow County’s Economic Development Deal of the Year and the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Best of Atlanta Real Estate Award (Finalist: Land Category). David and Chris McShane also received the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtor’s Alvin B. Cates Award, recognizing the LakePoint Land Assemblage as the Most Outstanding Commercial Real Estate Transaction in Atlanta in 2011.

Michael Canady

Michael Canady

Walton Global Holdings, LTD
Vice President, Land Acquisition and Disposition

With 8 years of experience in the Atlanta real estate market, Michael is responsible for identifying potential target lands as well as generating market analysis and up to date competitive intelligence. He also provides guidance on the political, technical and environmental constraints that may be associated with areas of interest. Prior to joining Walton in 2014, Michael worked for Kenco Apartment Communities where he served as an Asset Management and Acquisitions Analyst.

For the past decade, Walton has been one of the most aggressive land investment/land development firms along the I-85/GA 316 corridor.

Michael graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Georgia In 2009.

Thad Ellis

Thad Ellis

Cousins Properties
Senior Vice President and Managing Director

Thad, who leads Cousins’ Atlanta, Dallas, and Raleigh office portfolios, has more than 30 years of real estate expertise including development, leasing and property management for the Cousins’ Class A office portfolio.

Thad began his real estate career in 1984. He joined Peterson Properties in 1986 and was a senior executive at CarrAmerica through its 1996 acquisition of Peterson Properties. Thad was the Managing Director for CarrAmerica’s Atlanta and Florida offices. At CarrAmerica, Thad was directly involved with the acquisition, disposition and/or development of the office product and was a member of the firm’s Investment Committee.

Prior to joining Cousins in 2006, Thad was the Managing Director of GVA Advantis’ Atlanta office and a member of the firm’s executive committee.

Thad is an advisory board member and past president of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) and is on the board of the following organizations: the Buckhead Community Improvement District, the Executive Committee for the Midtown Alliance, Boys and Girls Club of Atlanta and the Corporate Campaign Committee for Woodruff Arts. He is also the past Chair for Washington & Lee’s Annual Fund.

Thad earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington & Lee University.

Maurice Robbins

Maurice Robbins

The Simpson Company
Associate Broker

Maurice Robbins, Associate Broker with The Simpson Company has been in Real Estate Development and Market Analysis for over thirty-six (36) years. During those years he held Urban Planning and Real Estate positions with the State of North Carolina, Florida Regional Planning Council, Atlanta Regional Planning Commission and as Director of Planning and Zoning for Gwinnett County, Georgia. He retired in July of 1992 as Vice President of Real Estate and Construction for Imasco, USA, Inc. He is a past member of the Hall County Planning Commission.

He received his technical training and education from Georgia Tech Urban Planning School and from the University of North Carolina’s School of Business Administration Executive Program.

He has nine grandchildren and resides in Hall County with his wife, Brenda.

John Speros

John Speros

Ackerman & Co.
Senior Vice President

John Speros has over 25 years of Commercial Real Estate experience and has been involved with virtually every type of commercial real estate transaction, including Land Sales, Office Leasing, Distressed Asset Sales, Tenant Representation, Hotel Site Selection, Ground Leases, Build-to Suit and Income Property Sales. In 2013, John was the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors #4 Overall Land Producer.

John has also acquired land for and developed a number of self-storage facilities in Florida and Georgia. His main focus has been in high profile land parcels along major growth corridors throughout Atlanta and the southeastern United States. John has represented companies such as General Electric, Hines Interest, Mutual of New York, and Prime Hospitality in their needs to acquire and dispose of commercial real estate assets. He received the Alvin B. Cates award for the Most Significant and Outstanding Commercial Real Estate Transaction in Atlanta in both 2003 and 2007.​​​​​

Mason Zimmerman

Mason Zimmerman

Pope & Land
Senior Vice President and Development Partner

Mason has 30 years of experience in commercial real estate development, brokerage and leasing. He joined Pope & Land in 1996 after eight (8) years with Amli Realty where he was responsible for developing Amli’s portfolio of multi-use business parks in Georgia.

A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, his responsibilities at Pope & Land include leadership in office and mixed use development in Metro Atlanta and Charlotte, NC. Pope & Land is a development partner and consultant to the Braves for the The Battery Atlanta mixed-use development adjoining SunTrust Park. Pope & Land has primary responsibility for developing a 270,000 SF office building in The Battery which will be fully occupied by Comcast in 2017.​​​​​

Mason has served in many capacities in Cobb County including Cobb Chamber of Commerce board, 12 years on the Board of Directors for the Cumberland Community Improvement District (CCID) and as a founding member (1997) and current Chairman of the Town Center Area Community Improvement District (TCACID) and the Town Center Community Alliance (2015).

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