Our Professionals

Kurt Bender



Kurt founded Bender Companies in 2011. He has more than 14 years of experience in commercial real estate investing, operations, project management, and finance.

As Principal, Kurt oversees all operations and financial responsibilities of the companies multi-family assets. He is directly responsible for overseeing and leading the team of area managers. With over $250 million of investment experiences, he directs the firm’s investment strategy. He leads the team on sourcing potential acquisitions, analyzing investment proformas, and deal negotiation.

Prior to Bender Companies, Kurt spent seven years working alongside his grandfather in his commercial real estate business. He started by learning the fundamentals of property management and maintenance. As a result, Kurt’s attention to detail and hands-on experience has proven to be a strong foundation for Bender Companies’ successful operations.

Kurt’s success is driven by his motivation to always improve and by developing strategic partnerships. His respected experience has led to a seat as board president of two Chicago area real estate associations. He is also an emerging leader in various networking groups and REIA’s. His interests include basketball, traveling, and trying new restaurants.

Mark Barnes



Mark joined Bender Companies in 2020. He brings a diverse background with over 15 years of investment real estate, operations, finance, strategy, and project management experience.

In his role as Director of Investments, Mark manages the firm’s investor relationships and identifies investment opportunities to expand Bender’s Midwest multifamily portfolio. He is also actively involved in the financial oversight and strategy for Bender’s existing assets under management.

Mark has experience in a wide range of multi-housing transactions, having advised for institutional, regional, and private middle market investors and developers throughout the Midwest. Prior to joining Bender Companies, Mark was a Director for JLL (and previously HFF) focused on multifamily investment sales and equity raises.

Mark holds a bachelor of science in Industrial and Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan and an MBA with a finance concentration from Loyola Chicago’s Quinlan School of Business.

He is actively involved in the Real Estate Investment Association (REIA), and also gives back to his community through programs such as the Chicago Lights tutoring and mentoring program.

In his free time, Mark enjoys traveling and spending time with his wife and two young daughters.

Aaron Babcock

Regional Manager


Aaron joined Bender Companies in 2021 with more than 20 years experience in property management.

In his role as Regional Manager, Aaron oversees the day to day operations of the multi-family properties within the portfolio.  He provides supervision for leasing operations, maintenance, and project management with a focus on improving revenues and net operating income.

Prior to joining Bender Companies, Aaron was a Senior Vice President for Seldin Company and has worked with numerous property types including Student, Market Rate, LIHTC, and Senior in markets around the country.  Aaron has a desire to mentor team members to help them achieve their greatest potential both personally and professionally.

Aaron holds a BS in Computer Science and Classics from North Central College, an MA in Educational Leadership from the University of Northern Iowa, and a MBA from University of Nebraska with an emphasis in Marketing.

In his free time, Aaron enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter while also finding time to follow Chicago area sports teams.

Kevin Geraghty



Kevin joined Bender Companies in 2019.  He brings over 40 years of commercial real estate expertise. 

In his role as Area Manager Kevin oversees all new tenant leasing activity as well as the day-to-day oversite of management services on several of the residential properties. 

Prior to joining Bender Companies Kevin has worked for Cushman & Wakefield – Industrial Group, Lillibridge Healthcare Services, a Ventas Company, and Heitman Capital Management/JMB Realty Corporation

Kevin has a proven track record of hands-on commercial real estate expertise which has driven value and NOI growth. His varied real estate experience includes asset management, property management, client relations, and financial reporting.

Kevin holds a bachelor of science in accounting from Indiana University/Bloomington, is a licensed real estate broker, and a certified public accountant.

In his free time, Kevin enjoys finding and restoring antique radios.

Vivian Chung

Property Accountant


Vivian joined Bender Companies in 2021. Her background includes International Tax and Accounting.

In her role as a Property Accountant, Vivian’s responsibilities include preparing financial reports, process accounts payable and accounts receivable, managing deposits and reconciliations, and assisting the broader team with underwriting.

Prior to Bender, Vivian worked at Deloitte as an International Tax Consultant.

Vivian holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from Loyola Chicago’s Quinlan School of Business.

In her free time, she enjoys going to see live concerts and trying out new boba tea shops.

Lissa Ballo



Lissa joined Bender Companies in 2020. Her background varies from sales and customer service to managerial experience. 

As Administrative Assistant, Lissa processes both accounts payable & receivable, handles all incoming inquiries into the Bender corporate office, and assists team members with various projects.

Prior to Bender, Lissa worked as an operations manager for a local multifamily painting company where she led a team that doubled company sales in just over 12 months. 

Lissa earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Science and Studio Art at Lawrence University. 

In her free time, Lissa enjoys traveling to her family’s cabin in Wisconsin, baking, and playing with her cat.

Kelsey Geraghty



Kelsey joined Bender Companies in 2019. Coming from both customer relations and HR background.

Kelsey has prior human resource experience working for a large clothing company.

As marketing coordinator, Kelsey’s main focus is on web marketing, brand development, and asset advertising.

Kelsey earned her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Lawrence University.  At school, Kelsey was VP of Programming for her school’s chapter of Delta Gamma Fraternity.

In her free time, she enjoys yoga, traveling, music, and walks with her Shiba Inu puppy.