Our Professionals

Kurt Bender

FOUNDER & PRINCIPAL

kurt@bendermgmt.com

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

DIRECTOR OF INVESTMENTS

mark@bendermgmt.com

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.

Jon Stocker

Director of Capital Projects & Renovations

jon@bendermgmt.com

Jon joined Bender Companies in 2021. He brings a diverse background with over 15 years of real estate construction experience and has been responsible for the development and project execution of over $1B in commercial ground up or value-add multifamily, retail, hospitality, and office assets around the United States.

In his role as Director of Capital Projects and Unit Renovations, Jon manages the firm’s project execution to help drive value creation through unit renovations and property improvements. He is also actively involved in capital budgeting and value-add strategy for targeted new acquisitions.

Prior to joining Bender Companies, Jon was Director of Development for Convene and oversaw project execution in the Midwest region. During his time he led the project execution and delivery of over $110M in office and hospitality space. Prior to Convene, Jon was Vice President of Development and Partner with RedMill Capital, and helped spearhead the development and project execution of over $230M in retail assets around the United States. 

Jon holds a master’s degree in Real Estate Development from Columbia University and has a bachelor of science in Landscape Architecture from Ball State University. 

In his free time, Jon enjoys traveling, cooking, and spending time with his wife and two very active young children.

Aaron Babcock

Regional Manager

aaron@bendermgmt.com

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.

Debra Brown

Regional Manager

debra@bendermgmt.com

Debra joined Bender Companies in 2022.  She brings a diverse background with over 20 years in real estate, management, operations, strategic planning and project management.

In her role as Regional Manager, Debra has oversight responsibility for leasing, maintenance, as well as, property and project management within each assigned community.  She is actively involved in identifying, researching and developing scalable profitability structures, resulting in increased Net Operating Income.

Prior to joining Bender Companies, Debra was a Director of Residential Services for a Property Management company with over 1300 single family doors and 673 individual owners.  She has experience working with many property types including a “Build to Rent” townhome project, Low Income Housing, Single Family Homes, Student Housing and High Rise communities.

She is actively involved in various real estate investment groups and predictive index forums.   She gives back to her community by her close involvement with GiGi’s Playhouse (Down Syndrome Awareness Center).

Debra’s stress relievers are dancing, scuba diving and listening to self-help audio books.

Vivian Chung

Senior Property Accountant

vivian@bendermgmt.com

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.

Michael Scaletta

Property Accountant

mike@bendermgmt.com

Michael joined Bender Companies in 2021. His background includes Finance and Accounting.

In his role as a Property Accountant, Michael’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, Michael has lead teams in sales, hospitality, and accounting departments. Michael is earning his Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Northeastern Illinois University.

In his free time, Michael enjoys exercising, golfing, and watching his Chicago sports teams.

Simona Ursei

Property Accountant

simona@bendermgmt.com

Simona joined Bender Companies in 2022. Her background includes Accounting, Marketing, and IT.  She previously worked for Bitdefender, Avnet Technology Solutions, and Draper and Kramer.

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

Simona holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business and European Affairs from the American College of Greece and one from Athens University in Philology – Greek.

In her free time, she enjoys traveling, biking, tennis, and spending time with her 5 year old niece.

Isabel Vaintrub

Administrative Assistant

isabel@bendermgmt.com

Isabel joined Bender Companies in 2021. Her background includes customer service, administrative and managerial experience.

As administrative assistant, Isabel’s responsibilities include managing and processing billing and  providing support for all team members.

Prior to Bender Companies, Isabel worked for a small multifamily property management company where she played a key role in creating an organizational foundation for company growth. 

Isabel earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology and Linguistics at Lawrence University.

In her free time, Isabel enjoys playing video games, making dumplings, working out, and playing with her rescue pup Nathaniel.

Kelsey Geraghty

HUMAN RESOURCES

kelsey@bendermgmt.com

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 the Human Resources Manager, Kelsey handles recruitment strategy for the organization, makes sure policies and programs comply with labor laws and regulations, and builds a company

culture.  Kelsey also runs payroll, and helps manage benefits.

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 daughter and Shiba Inu puppy.