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2016 Houston Land and Housing Forecast Speakers
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Duane Heckmann, Houston MSA Specialist
Land Advisors Organization

Duane Heckmann has over 32 years of land and residential lot brokerage experience in the greater Houston area and the surrounding counties.  He has assisted the majority of Houston’s master planned community developers, commercial developers, lot developers and land owners with their raw land needs as well selling land and/or lots to homebuilders and investors.  Duane has also completed extensive work for national, regional and local banks (Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Enterprise Bank) assisting them to analyze their real estate holdings and dispose of various assets.

Over these 32 years, Duane has developed extensive knowledge regarding utilities, drainage and other unique development issues as well as a comprehensive working knowledge of land values and market trends.  Duane has very strong relationships with developers, homebuilders, banks and investors that are active in the Houston market and also assists and advises numerous customers with their respective land holdings.

Duane received his BA from Sam Houston State University. Duane has held his Texas Real Estate Broker’s license since 1988.  He is a member of the Texas Association of Realtors and ULI and prior to joining Land Advisors Organization, Duane ran his own commercial real estate company since for 15 years.



Travis W. Nichols, Managing Director, Investment Banking
Tudor, Pickering, Holt & Co. 

Travis Nichols serves as a Managing Director in Investment Banking. Nichols was previously a regional planning advisor and business unit coordinator at ExxonMobil Upstream Ventures. Nichols began his career in the United States Army serving as a Captain with the 911th Engineer Company and a First Lieutenant with the Second Engineer Battalion. Nichols holds a BS and Masters in Science from Pennsylvania State University and an MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. 



Kirk Laguarta, Houston MSA Specialist
Land Advisors Organization

With over 32 years of land brokerage experience in the Houston area, Kirk is an integral component to any successful land transaction. Focusing on land slated for residential and/or commercial development, Kirk has closed multiple transactions throughout Harris, Montgomery, Brazoria, Fort Bend, Galveston, Liberty, Waller and Chambers counties.

Kirk has extensive market knowledge in regards to utilities, drainage, and development issues, as well as land values and trends. This knowledge has lead to the successful completion of residential transactions with notable clients such as Marlin Atlantis, Johnson Development and WY Atlantis, such home builders as Toll Brothers, Meritage Homes, Friendswood Development/Lennar Homes, Weekley Homes, Beazer Homes, KB Homes, Perry Homes, MHI Homes to name a few, and commercial transactions with large, multi-site users such as Target, Wal-Mart, and Home Depot.

Notable transactions include the sale of 7,200 acres in Liberty County, the assemblage of 600+ acres via 17 different owners for the development of Sedona Lakes MPC in Brazoria County, the assemblage and sale of 55+ acres for development of a Target/Home Depot anchored retail center and the sale of more than a dozen 500 acre or larger land parcel in Montgomery, Harris, Fort Bend, Brazoria and Galveston Counties.

Prior to joining Texas Land Advisors-Houston in 2002, Kirk ran his own commercial real estate company since 1991. He received his Bachelor of Science (Finance and Real Estate) degree from The University of Texas at Austin in 1984, and has held his Texas real estate license since 1984 and his brokerage license since 1991. He has been a member the Urban Land Institute (ULI) since 2003 and a member of the ULI-CDC Silver Committee since 2007.  He has also been a member of the Greater Houston Builders Association since 2003 and a member of CCIM since 2008.

In 2014, Kirk was named as one of Houston Business Journal’s ”Heavy Hitters” for the 8th consecutive year.



Will Holder, President
Trendmaker Homes 

Will Holder, President of Trendmaker Homes, has worked in the home building and residential land development industry for over 30 years. Will started his home building career with David Weekley Homes. Later, he built apartments and townhomes in a dozen cities across the U.S. with Lokey Properties. He returned to Houston and worked for Village Builders prior to ultimately joining Trendmaker Homes in 1993. Will became President of Trendmaker in 2006 and has led the company to become the leader in luxury production home building and Master Planned Community development.

Will is a native Texan with a BA from Texas State University, an MBA from The George Washington University, and is a graduate of the Stanford University Executive Program. Will served as the 2012 President of The Greater Houston Homebuilders Association and is frequently a guest expert on Real Estate forecasts and home building trends for local and national news, radio, TV, magazines and newspapers, including among others, Fox Business Report and USA Today.

Will is also highly active in promoting and participating in the education of future industry professionals. Will is currently serving as an Adjunct Professor for the University of Houston MBA Program and is also on the Advisory Board of both the McCoy School of Business at Texas State University and the Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston.


John McKInnerney, Principal
Castle Hill Partners 

John McKinnerney is a founding principal of Castle Hill Partners. His role includes acquisitions, investment analysis and overall business strategy. Prior to Castle Hill Partners, Mr. McKinnerney was a principal with Simmons Vedder Partners for fourteen years. Before joining Simmons Vedder, he was a Regional Acquisitions Partner with JPI. Mr. McKinnerney is an active member of The Urban Land Institute where he recently served as Chair for the IOPC Gold Product Council. He also serves on the Executive Committee for The University of Texas Center for Real Estate Finance and is a past member of numerous advisory boards including National Multi Housing Council, Housing Works and Real Estate Council of Austin. Mr. McKinnerney was educated at The University of Texas at Austin and has over thirty years’ experience in commercial real estate acquisitions, development and finance.


Mike Inselmann,  Former Co-founder and President

Mike Inselmann was co-founder (September 1975) and President of METROSTUDY, a full service housing research and consulting company based in Houston. Mr. Inselmann retired upon the sale of Metrostudy in December 2012. At the time of the sale of the company Metrostudy was active in over 40 markets, comprising 81 MSAs in 16 states, METROSTUDY is the most geographically diverse housing and residential demographics research company in the U.S.

METROSTUDY specialized in real estate and housing marketing research and consulting. METROSTUDY’S work involves regional economics, housing market surveys, consumer research, population demographics, and forecasts of future housing demand and the factors that influence that demand. Mike is still a frequent speaker at industry and community forums on both a national and local basis.

Mike is a native Texan from San Antonio, a graduate of Rice University. For the 37 years as President of Metrostudy, through his quarterly Housing Market Advisory Service, he regularly consulted personally with over 100 of the major builders, developers, and lenders who are active in the housing industry in Texas and other states.


Jesse Thompson, Business Economist 
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Houston Branch 

Jesse Thompson serves as business economist at the Houston Branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. Thompson, who joined the Bank in 2010, performs research and analysis on issues affecting the Houston and Gulf Coast economy. In particular, he studies issues surrounding area hydrocarbon industries. He also collects information for the Dallas Fed’s Beige Book summary of current economic conditions. He is author of the monthly Houston Economic Indicators report and contributes to quarterly publication Southwest Economy.

Thompson earned an MA in economics, with emphasis on empirical microeconomics, and BA in philosophy and economics from the University of Houston.




Dan Naef, President  
Rise Communities

Dan Naef's distinguished career includes the development of over 17,000 acres of award winning, masterfully-planned communities in Nevada and Texas. He is responsible for all aspects of the company's operations. Currently, he is a member of the Urban Land Institute, Katy Economic Development Authority and the West Houston Association.

A graduate of California State University, Chico, Dan earned his Certified Public Accountant designation in 1989.





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