Built on integrity, commitment and excellence.
The true measure of a company is the reputation of its people. Earning the respect and trust of retailers, developers, property owners, government officials and the broker community has helped Western Retail Advisors grow from one primary client to more than twenty clients today. We are proud of the strength of our relationships, our extensive market knowledge and our thorough understanding of complex real estate negotiations.
Our highly experienced team is dedicated to the customers we serve, and passionate about achieving results on their behalf.
Southern California Team
Eric founded Western Retail Advisors in 2001. Under his leadership, the company has grown from having 3 clients to currently representing more than 100 retailers and property owners. His experience includes directing multiple national retailer rollouts, complicated urban infill transactions and consulting on corporate acquisitions. Current clients include: PetSmart, Harkins Theatres, Target, Whole Foods, The Container Store, drybar, Skin Laundry and Restoration Hardware.
After earning a B.A. in Economics from the University of Western Ontario, Eric began his real estate career at North American Development Group. He then managed real estate site selection for Future Shop, a division of Best Buy. In 1995 PetSmart invited Eric to join their team as Director of Real Estate, overseeing new store growth for 25 western states and all of Canada. Eric launched Western Retail Advisors in 2001 after discovering the need for specialized, retailer-focused tenant representation.
Eric is an involved member of both the International Council of Shopping Centers and the Urban Land Institute. As long-time Arizona residents, Eric, his wife Lauri, and daughter Elsa actively support a variety of local and national arts and charitable organizations including Florence Crittenton of Arizona, the American Heart Association and United Way.
Chris Stamets, Principal, joined Western Retail Advisors in 2004. With more than 20 years of commercial real estate experience, Chris has specialized in national and regional tenant representation; assisting in local expansion and national roll outs. During his career, Chris has exclusively represented retailers such as Sports Authority, PetsMart, Top Golf, Circuit City, Jos A Bank, First Bank, Jared and BedMart.
In addition to tenant representation, Chris has assisted Landlords and Retailers in leasing excess space. He has designed strategic merchandising and leasing strategies for companies including Vestar, DDR and Sears.
An accomplished retail broker, Chris launched his career at Grubb & Ellis, where he twice achieved the honor of top retail producer. Later, as Director of Real Estate for CompUSA, Chris developed market strategies, negotiated transactions, oversaw store construction and coordinated real estate dispositions in the western United States. After CompUSA, Chris opened the Phoenix branch of Staubach Retail Services, and earned the company’s prestigious MVP award for outstanding leadership and service.
Chris graduated from the University of Kansas. He is active with the International Council of Shopping Centers and serves as Life Member of the Phoenix Thunderbirds. Chris resides in Scottsdale, Arizona with his wife Deborah and their three children.
Neil Board is Vice President of Western Retail Advisors. As a member of the team since 2010, Neil’s focus is retail tenant and landlord representation. He works closely with each client to develop and implement effective, responsible market strategies and plans.
As an experienced real estate broker, Neil has managed strategic, regional and national market expansions for a variety of anchor tenants, big box retailers and banking tenants including Ross, JCPenney, Total Wine & More, Shoe Carnival, and JP Morgan Chase. Also, as a representative for national and regional developers, Neil assisted with the leasing, merchandising and marketing of several, significant regional shopping center projects for Vestar, Kimco, Kornwasser Properties and Park West.
An active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Neil has received many industry honors including Staubach’s Retail Rising Star Award in 2007, and the Co-Star Power Broker Award for Phoenix, in 2008 and 2009.
Neil graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, earning a B.A. in Economics. A native of Arizona, he resides in Scottsdale with his son Charlie.
Ryan applies his extensive retail leasing and development expertise to lead Western Retail Advisors’ Landlord Representation team. For more than a decade Ryan worked with premier retail development firms: Vestar in Phoenix and First Washington Realty in Washington D.C., where he gained broad industry understanding overseeing leasing, development and acquisition efforts. His diligence and drive can be seen in career accomplishments including the successful acquisition of regional power and lifestyle centers, the completion of large ground-up development projects of 700,000 to 1 million square feet and the successful leasing of over 7 million square feet of retail space. As a Phoenix native, Ryan’s deep market knowledge, along with an ingrained ownership mentality, provide landlords with the solutions-based approach they are looking for in a brokerage team.
Ryan holds a Bachelor of Arts with Honors from Loyola Marymount University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Ryan is an involved member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and is active in the community through his roles on the boards of both the Heard Museum and the HBS Alumni Club of Arizona. He lives in Phoenix with his three children, Ellie, Patrick and Tatum.
Senior Vice President
With 15 years of commercial real estate experience, Brian specializes in facilitating landlord and retailer leasing, investment sales and property marketing. He serves as a vice president in Western Retail Advisors’ Phoenix office.
Before joining WRA, Brian held the position of vice president of leasing for American Realty Capital Properties (formerly Cole Real Estate Investments). During that tenure, he managed a portfolio of 50 shopping centers totaling 10 million square feet while leasing over 1.5 million square feet with a combined transaction value of over $150 million.
Brian graduated from the University Of Arizona, earning a communications degree and a minor in business administration. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Senior Vice President
As Senior Vice President of Real Estate, Christopher Speciale is responsible for leading the leasing efforts on new ground up and existing shopping centers. He specializes in landlord representation and building strong partnerships with various Landlords around the country.
Before joining Western Retail Advisors, he was the Sr. Vice President of Leasing for Bradford Real Estate Group, tasked with overseeing the leasing of The Corners of Brookfield, a 600,000 sf ground up lifestyle center in Milkwaukee. Chris has more than 20 years expertise in the real estate industry, specializing in retail merchandising and leasing of upscale shopping centers. His career has allowed him to work for some of the top development companies in the country such as RED Development in Scottsdale, AZ and Centercal Properties in El Segundo, CA.
He began his career with Steiner & Associates where he was the leasing representative on highly successful lifestyle center, Easton Town Center. Chris has leased over 28 ground up projects, managed a portfolio of 40 specialty and big box centers in the west/Midwest regions and leased nearly 15 mil sf feet of space.
After opening The Corners in April of 2017, Chris has had added additional leasing assignments in Cleveland Ohio, The Van Aken District, and in downtown Los Angeles, The BLOC. These assignments have again allowed him to navigate the ever-changing trends in the industry and to further expand his knowledge on urban, street front development projects.
A member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, Chris graduated from The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in retail and fashion merchandising and minored in marketing. Chris stays active with his 3 children and currently resides with his wife, Rae in Phoenix, AZ.
Senior Vice President
Bryan Ledbetter joined the team at Western Retail Advisors in 2017, serving as Senior Vice President. He brings with him a strong background in commercial real estate, and has worked extensively in the field for many years in Arizona.
Bryan has prior experience as a Director of Retail Marketing and Leasing, handling the leasing of numerous shopping centers, both anchored and unanchored. He represented retailers and restaurants in both site selection and lease negotiation. During his previous work as a Commercial Property Manager, he managed over 400,000 square feet of mixed-use office, industrial and retail properties. As a Commercial Asset Manager, he was responsible for a portfolio valued at over $100 million.
Bryan has received the CoStar Power Broker Award over multiple years, and is an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Earning his degree from the Arizona State University Real Estate Program, Bryan also attained the designations of Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) and Certified Commercial Leasing Specialist (CCLS). He lives in Chandler, Arizona with his wife and two sons.
Senior Vice President
Jason Fessinger, Senior Vice President of the Phoenix office, specializes in retail agency leasing, capital markets acquisitions and dispositions, and retailer representation in Arizona. During Jason’s career, he’s been a vital member of the retail teams at Coldwell Banker Commercial Advisors, Strategic Retail Group, Trammel Crow Company and Insignia/ESG.
Fessinger’s dedication to honesty and integrity is second to none. He thrives on providing accurate and timely information to his clients to aid the clients’ decision making. Jason’s ability to creatively structure many different transactions, through out-of the-box thinking, has provided his clients with innumerable results. Fessinger’s success is not limited to any class, size or quality of retail asset. His landlord clients encompass institutional Fortune 100 level companies, high net worth individuals, syndicated real estate funds, receivers of bank-controlled assets, national retail developers, and multigenerational family held assets.
Fessinger has also represented many buyers and sellers of retail assets and land in the Arizona market. His investment transactions span the purchase of raw land for development, pad sales, vacant buildings for value-add repositioning, single-tenant triple net investments, and the sale of multi-tenant and grocery anchored shopping centers. His fact and experience-based analysis of retail assets provide his client’s clear direction tailor to their individual goals.
Jason is an active member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and has been recognized multiple times as a Costar Power Broker of the Year. Outside the office, Fessinger likes to help charitably with St. Jude Children’s Hospital, CASS – Central Arizona Shelter Services, and the Phoenix Kollel. Jason is married with two children.
Senior Vice President
Kalen Rickard, Senior Vice President of the Phoenix office, specializes in retail agency leasing, capital markets acquisitions and dispositions, and retailer representation. Prior to joining Western Retail Advisors, Kalen was an integral member of the Coldwell Banker Commercial Advisors and Strategic Retail Group teams, garnering promotions from Associate to Executive Vice President.
Having started his career only months before the start of the great recession, Kalen provides a unique perspective on commercial real estate. Rickard provides an extensive locational knowledge, creative market strategies, strong attention to detail and a high level of energy on behalf of his clients. His ability to quickly understand economic details of transactions, as well as to thoroughly understand complicated legal matters differentiates him.
Rickard’s advanced market knowledge and vast transactional knowledge aids his retailer, landlord and developer clients alike. He represents owners of real estate encompassing Fortune 100 companies, publicly-traded real estate investment trusts, syndicated real estate funds, receivers of bank-controlled assets, national and local retail developers, multigenerational family held assets and high net worth individuals alike. His tailored approach to each client is based on superior market data as well as experience-based analysis that continues to provide proven results. Kalen contributes expert advice on capital markets transactions on behalf of his clients as well, having represented both buyers and sellers of retail commercial real estate. He has an innate ability to quickly understand assets’ financial merits, inherent risk profile, design concerns and constraints and market conditions.
Kalen is an active member of International Council of Shopping Centers, having served on the Southwest Idea Exchange planning committee. He has served as a team captain for Brokers for Kids and served on the Sigma Nu – Zeta Upsilon alumni housing board. Kalen is also involved with the Ronald McDonald House, Backcountry Hunters and Anglers and the Brophy Community Foundation. Outside the office, he can be found on the golf course, at a new restaurant or exploring a new location around the world. He lives in Central Phoenix with his wife, Tiffany, daughter, Presley, and two dogs, Kota and Walter.
David Uhles, Associate, has been part of the Western Retail Advisors team since 2004. As a licensed broker in Arizona, David works with clients to ensure productive, prudent and expedited transactions.
David’s experience and extensive knowledge of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), market analysis and geography have been of vital importance to clients and advisors; helping to guide crucial site analytics, selection and approval. He also provides tenant representation for clients including Performance Bike and Bright Now! Dental.
Starting at the City of Phoenix, David has spent more than a decade in commercial real estate. He served as a site location analyst for PetSmart for more than five years, reviewing, analyzing and approving more than 150 store locations for the Phoenix-based company before joining Western Retail Advisors.
A graduate of Arizona State University, David earned a degree in Urban Geography. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers. David was born in Phoenix, grew up in Colorado and now resides once again in Phoenix with his wife Kristin and daughter Lena.
Vice President, Restaurants & Hospitality
As Vice President at Western Retail Advisors, Charles Skaggs does Landlord and Tenant representation with an exclusive focus on restaurants and entertainment. Prior to joining Western Retail, Charles was Director of National Restaurant & Entertainment Leasing for Starwood Retail Partners where he directed the project leasing efforts for a 30-property portfolio concentrating on the Western U.S. assets. His experience also includes time with RED Development where he was responsible for the national restaurant leasing of a 34 property portfolio consisting of 16 million square feet. His current clients include Torchy’s Tacos, Portillo’s, Mendocino Farms, STK, Macerich, True North Studios, Vestar, and NREA among others.
Charles graduated from The University of Oklahoma and he lives in Scottsdale, AZ with his wife Lindsey and their three children.
A Phoenix native with over 10 years of commercial real estate experience, Bryan specializes in landlord representation, tenant representation and investment sales.
He joins WRA from Weingarten Realty where he oversaw leasing for 24 shopping centers covering over 2.3-million sq. ft. in Phoenix, Tucson and Albuquerque. Bryan’s expertise includes market and financial analysis along with contract writing and negotiation. In the last four years he’s closed over 110 transactions worth an estimated $35 million, to which he was awarded High Rent Growth Producer Q2 2013, High Revenue Producer 2014, Top Revenue Producer 2014 and Top Revenue Producer Q4 2015. Bryan began his career as a Development Intern with Vestar.
Bryan holds a Bachelor of Science in Real Estate from Arizona State University. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers. He lives in Scottsdale with his wife, Natalia, and their two children, Isabella and Bennett.
Adam Smith, a member of the Western Retail Advisors team since 2007, is an Associate. Adam got his start in the industry as a research analyst, but as associate he now specializes in tenant representation and landlord representation.
Adam’s previous experience in market research and site analysis have proved invaluable in advising his clients. On the tenant side, Adam has been focused on the development and execution of the market entry strategies for CycleBar and Lady Jane’s. Additional clients include: Visionworks, Hand & Stone Massage, and Fit Body Boot Camp.
Adam started his career as a designer at a graphic design firm in Portland, Oregon. Raised in Vancouver, Washington, this Portland, Oregon native now resides in Phoenix, Arizona.
As a Phoenix native, Jake McClaughry followed in his mother’s footsteps and joined the commercial real estate industry when he was brought onto the Western Retail Advisors team as an Associate. As a previous intern at WRA, Jake rejoined the team after graduating from the University of Arizona in May 2017 with a major in Political Science and Business Administration minor.
During his studies at the University of Arizona, Jake held director positions and was an active member of his fraternity while he also interned for Larsen Baker, Tucson’s largest independent retail-commercial property owner in Tucson. He worked directly with George Larsen, founding partner, Andy Seleznov, Director of Leasing through numerous lease negotiations and focused on managing the 4,000,000 square feet of shopping center space in Larsen Baker’s portfolio.
Jake focuses on identifying retail investment opportunities, land transactions, and representing landlords and tenants in retail leasing. He is a proud member of ICSC and Developing Commercial Real Estate Professionals (DCREP).
Makenna Wesley is an enthusiastic, team player that brings broad experience in commercial real estate to the Western Retail Advisors team. As an Account Manager, she oversees tenant accounts and assists brokers with tracking deal flow, tour materials and client communication.
Before joining the WRA team, Makenna spent the last four years at Evergreen Devco, an accomplished Phoenix-based retail developer and owner. There she supported a number of development managers with due diligence, consultant contracts and utility coordination for a variety projects. She also coordinated marketing efforts, processed new leases and coordinated dispositions with various broker teams.
Makenna is an Arizona State University graduate with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Communication. She has an active Arizona real estate brokerage license and is involved with several professional and charitable organizations including Urban Land Institute, ICSC, Brokers for Kids and Valley Partnership.
Katie Weeks joined the team at Western Retail Advisors in January 2018. With her extensive experience as a commercial property manager overseeing office, industrial and retail projects across Arizona, Katie is an integral part of the Western Retail Advisors Landlord representation team.
Prior to joining the WRA team, Katie spent the last twenty years of her career at Opus, NorthMarq, Cushman & Wakefield and Zell Commercial where she has managed over a million square feet of commercial assets for both private and institutional owners.
Katie holds the Real Property Administrator (RPA) designation from the Building Owners and Managers Institute (BOMI), the Accredited Commercial Manager (AcoM) designation from the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) and the LEED® AP designation from the Green Building Certification Institute (GBCI). She also holds an Arizona Real Estate Salesperson License.
Katie has been a charitable volunteer for many organizations including the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Southwest Autism Research & Resource Center, Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Metropolitan Phoenix and The Foundation for Blind Children.
Anna Marie Fernandez
Director of Marketing & Research
Cathy Mauck joined Western Retail Advisors in 2006. Overseeing Administration for the company, Cathy assists Chris Stamets and other members of the team to ensure a seamless, professional experience for clients and associates.
Cathy has a wide-range of experience working with clients. Prior to joining the company, she served as a sales representative and office manager for an event rental company; managing high-visibility events for a number of clients including Arizona State University and the Arizona Cardinals. She also worked as an Assistant Store Manager for Illuminations, gaining valuable retail and management experience.
An honors graduate of SUNY College at Fredonia in New York, Cathy earned a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in Music Business. She was born in Houston, Texas and currently resides in Gilbert, Arizona.
Senior Graphic Designer
Susan joined Western Retail Advisors in 2014 as an Associate Broker and has over five years of commercial real estate experience. She specializes in both retail tenant and landlord representation in the Southern California retail market.
On the tenant side, Susan has been focused on the development and execution of Southern California market entry strategies for both Five Below and Amazing Lash Studios. Additional clients include: LA Fitness, Guitar Center, Pure Barre and Noah’s Bagels.
On the landlord side, Susan has been part of the team assisting quality Landlords such as Vestar, Alberta Development, La Caze Development, and Burnham USA / Burnham Ward with the marketing and leasing of their Shopping Centers.
Susan’s experience in the market has led to a strong network of relationships with developers, property owners, and brokers. Prior to joining WRA, she spent three years with a commercial brokerage team at CBRE, Inc. in Newport Beach, CA.
Susan graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management where she was also Captain of the Women’s basketball team. She and her husband, Lane, currently reside in Irvine, California.
Alfredo joined Western Retail Advisors in 2017 as an Associate Broker, making a transition into the retail brokerage industry. He has extensive experience as a transactional attorney and operations manager, all of which he will use to strengthen his focus on tenant and landlord representation in the Southern California market. Alfredo worked for CBRE, Inc. in Newport Beach, CA as the Sr. Operations Manager for their Orange County offices overseeing office operations for the region. He was charged with ensuring proper resources and support to sustain growth targets and achieve strategic objectives of the organization. He supervised over 60 staff employees and was responsible for the financial reporting and analysis for the various lines of businesses.
Some of his other past professional experiences include working with a US-based company in Liberia, West Africa on a US State Department-funded project where he negotiated and managed multi-million dollar construction, vendor, and leasing agreements, as well as overseeing all employment-related matters and internal investigations. His adventurous and entrepreneurial spirit also led him to work in the sports industry representing Latin American baseball prospects as well as in Panama with a recycling start-up company as their General Manager overseeing business development and operations.
Alfredo holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiological Sciences from UCLA and a Juris Doctorate degree from USC Gould School of Law. A Nicaraguan native raised in Orange County (CA), he enjoys traveling the world and experiencing new cultures, with over 45 countries visited along the way. Alfredo resides in Irvine with his wife Melanie.
Lauren Coleman joined Western Retail Advisors in 2018 as a Transaction Manager and brings a passion for going above and beyond to deliver excellent service to clients. With experience ranging from high street to big box retail, her goal is to enable clients to consistently accomplish their real estate objectives.
Prior to joining Western Retail Advisors, Lauren spent two years as a Client Services Coordinator at CBRE, Inc. where she gained invaluable experience working with a top-producing retail brokerage team providing best-in-class service to Fortune 50 tenants and quality landlords.
A native of Southern California, Lauren graduated from University of California, Irvine with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and during her time there studied English Literature & Film in the U.K. at the University of Cambridge. She lives with her husband Nicholas in Long Beach.