Geoff Eisenacher – Senior Development Director, Gilbane Development Company Geoff Eisenacher has over 27 years of higher education public-private partnership experience in student housing and campus infrastructure. Mr. Eisenacher coordinates all phases of program development and partnership delivery, manages contract negotiation, and partners with Gilbane Development Company leadership to increase the understanding and effectiveness of business objectives. He is also responsible for conducting research and identifying potential strategic partnerships with the broader team to support the expansion of Gilbane Development Company. Geoff’s nationwide experience includes the development, construction and operations of over $3.5 billion in student housing, both on and off campus that included the creation of the 40-year, $550 million public private partnership (P3) with the University System of Georgia (USG) to finance, construct and manage 3,753 new beds and 6,195 existing beds across nine campuses as well as leading the development of the 40-year, $307.5 million P3 with Wayne State University to construct and manage 838 new beds and 2,852 existing be
Katie Gerbes is the Manager of University Projects for Margrave Strategies. In this role, her primary responsibilities are the execution of economic development and revitalization strategies with Margrave's university and other anchor clients. Through this role she also serves as a Development Manager for the Terrapin Development Company, providing project management and day to day operations support. Gerbes has experience working on a wide range of planning and real estate related projects, including performing economic development analyses, negotiating development agreements, writing and executing sustainability plans, and completing multi-modal transportation assessments and writing grants and managing their procurement. Prior to joining Margrave Strategies, Gerbes worked as the City Planner for the City of Hyattsville, Maryland focusing on planning, economic development and community development projects. In that role, she was largely responsible for small business and placemaking efforts resulting in the revitalization of Hyattsville's Gateway Arts District. She also worked from the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, within the Community Planning Division of the Prince George's County Planning Department. Gerbes holds a Master of Community Planning degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and Urban Studies from the University of Mary Washington. She is a proud member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. Gerbes serves on the board her condominium association, and is active in the American Planning Association and the Urban Land Institute.
Linnea Kessler-Gowell, NCIDQ is a principal and a licensed interior designer at Ayers Saint Gross who brings more than 20 years of experience in interior architecture and furniture specifications for educational, commercial and institutional environments. Formerly a member of the planning and facilities department of George Washington University, Linnea developed a university-wide system for FF&E standards to simplify maintenance and furniture procurement process. Working on the client side, she understands how to best design quality interior environments for flexible learning and living, keeping maintenance and costs in mind. Linnea earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design from the Savannah College of Art and Design.
Mary Anne Alabanza Akers is Dean and Professor of the School of Architecture and Planning at Morgan State University. She received a Ph.D. in Social Science-Urban Planning from Michigan State University In 1991. Dr. Akers’ professional on urban land development dates back to the 1980’s. Her current focuses on the impact of the built environment on health and well-being, student learning, and people’s experiences. She has over 50 publications including peer-reviewed papers, book chapters, and research/professional reports and has recently published the book “Street Environments and Urban Health in the Philippines: A retrospective on Vendors and Their Spaces” by Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group. She served on the board for the Environmental Design Research Association from 2005 to 2008 and has been a reviewer for The Landscape Journal, Environment and Behavior Journal, Cities Journal, and International Journal of Interior Design. In the past three years, Dr. Akers has managed over $1 million of grant funding for research and academic curricular activities and has recently established a new program (Ph.D. in Architecture, Urbanism, and Built Environments).