Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Alon Yonatan, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Ferndale Realty Group originally founded the company in late 2000. Mr. Yonatan, a highly regarded real estate executive based out of the Chicago and Boulder areas for more than 20 years, is a licensed real estate managing broker in Illinois and holds real estate licenses in a number of other states. He brings strong experience in real estate, finance and management to the company, with a background that incorporates professional experience with both large and small organizations in a number of diverse industries. These include investment sales and research with a well known national real estate investment brokerage company, underwriting with a large national mortgage lender, marketing with a small software company, investment banking with a highly regarded national investment banking firm and various senior management roles within The Ferndale Realty Group.
A former member of the board of directors of the Chicagoland Apartment Association, Mr. Yonatan obtained both his masters degree in Management Information Systems and his undergraduate degree in accounting from the University of Illinois at Chicago. His research and analysis on the multifamily investment market has been recognized in both local and national publications including the Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business, Multifamily Executive, Heartland Real Estate Business, and Multifamily Housing News, and he has appeared individually or as a member of a panel of speakers at The Marcus & Millichap Investor Symposium, The Appraisal Institute Conditions of the Chicago Real Estate Market Seminar, and The REIA / SIOR Real Estate Summit. Outside of work, Mr. Yonatan enjoys spending time with his family, participating in triathlons ranging from sprint to Ironman distances, and is involved in numerous philanthropic and community organizations.
Director of Asset Management
Mark Varga brings extensive experience in asset management, leasing, acquisitions, accounting, technology and consulting to The Ferndale Realty Group. His professional background includes senior asset management and acquisitions responsibilities with a fast-growing multifamily platform that he helped build from inception to nearly 22,000 units, broad ranging executive and accounting responsibilities with a well-known regional property management platform operating nearly $1 billion in assets and totaling roughly 18,000 multifamily units, wide-ranging responsibilities with one of the largest publicly traded REITs in the United States, and customized consulting services focused on assisting national clients in the areas of acquisitions, dispositions, work-outs, development, project management, debt selection and equity structuring.
Following a dedicated four-year tour of duty with the United States army, Mr. Varga obtained his bachelor of science degree in accounting from Purdue University. A committed Denver Broncos® fan, Mark enjoys working out and spending time learning to ski with his family and volunteering with several faith-based organizations focused on caring for the needs of women and children in the Denver Metro area.
Director of Operations
Over a career spanning more than a decade, Nikki Carter-Bougeno has worked with some of the most highly regarded real estate organizations in Colorado where she had developed a reputation as a detail oriented and forward thinking professional. Complementing her track record as a top performing on-site property manager for a number of local and national real estate operators (including an affiliated company of The Ferndale Realty Group), Ms. Carter-Bougeno’s professional experience has included responsibilities relating to financial reporting, accounts payable, leasing, corporate operations, recruiting, human resources, and training.
A lifelong Denver Broncos® fan, Nikki enjoys working out and traveling and is an active softball player and mountain biker. She has an undergraduate degree in mass communications with a minor in marketing.
Over a career spanning more than two decades, Steven Schwinger has served as a controller or CFO for several east coast based companies in a variety of industries including property management and real estate development. A number of these organizations have operated or developed regional or national residential and multi-family portfolios and have achieved significant growth during Mr. Schwinger’s tenure. His responsibilities and experience have included due diligence, acquisition financing and refinancing, human resources, portfolio management and overseeing financial operations, investor reporting and audit requirements. Additionally, Mr. Schwinger has obtained significant experience relating to system implementation with various real estate technology platforms including Yardi© and Realpage©.
Mr. Schwinger obtained his undergraduate degree in finance and accounting, his MBA with a concentration in accounting, and is an active snowboarder, hiker and mountain climber.
Director of HR Administration
Diane Marx brings an extensive background in Human Resources, Payroll, Accounting, Office Management, Project Management, Information Technology, and Retail Sales & Management to The Ferndale Realty Group. Over the course of her career, Ms. Marx has been a key contributor to the growth and success of organizations in both the non-profit and for-profit sectors, providing extensive leadership and operational expertise focused on a variety of Human Resource and other related activities.
Diane holds a certification in HR Management from DePaul University as well as additional certifications as a Senior Professional in Human Resources and a SHRM Senior Certified Professional. After being a life-long Chicagoan, Diane relocated to Colorado in 2009 and quickly became immersed in cheering on the Denver Broncos, hiking, climbing, snow skiing, biking, triathlons and fundraising for local shelters in the Denver / Boulder area.
Jeff Dean brings extensive merger and acquisition, supply chain, project management, procurement, and hospitality experience to The Ferndale Realty Group. With almost twenty years of operational involvement including extensive success building and improving sophisticated procurement platforms and purchasing systems for a variety of organizations, Mr. Dean has built a strong multi-state reputation in both the private and public sectors. A United States Navy veteran, some of Jeff’s notable past successes have included implementing a series of effective expense reduction initiatives and departmental consolidations within several organizations in the hospitality sector, significantly improving the administration and cross-functional compliance of services, food, beverage and retail concessionaires for one of the largest airports in the United States, and directly managing and contributing to both significant increases in sales performance and notable reductions in employee turnover for a number of companies in the restaurant sector.
Beyond his asset management responsibilities, Jeff takes pleasure in spending time with his family and pets, enjoying the outdoors, traveling and reading. He has earned two purchasing certifications, SPSM and SPSM2 (Senior Professional in Supply Management) as well as specialized training from the City and County of Denver’s Peak Academy.
Debra Leonard Price
Debra Leonard Price brings a diverse professional background to The Ferndale Realty Group and is a licensed real estate managing broker in Illinois. Prior to joining the company, her professional experience included working in various management, accounting and operations-related positions in a number of industries including banking, retail and fitness. In that capacity, she was involved in mission critical business areas including human resources, customer relations, cash management, and financial reporting.
Beyond her Regional Manager management responsibilities in Illinois and Indiana, and since working with The Ferndale Realty Group, Ms. Leonard Price has been involved in a wide range of corporate projects. These projects have incorporated involvement in human resources, accounting, operations, strategic planning and on-site properties management. Her results-oriented leadership in these and other arenas has been critical to the growth of the company. Ms. Leonard Price has been actively involved in her community in the western suburbs of Chicago for more than a decade.
Over a career spanning more than a decade, Melissa Lynn has been involved in multifamily property management in a number of different geographical markets across the country, predominantly concentrating her efforts on regional markets in the Midwestern United States. During that time, Ms. Lynn has worked in regional, on-site and multi-site management positions with some of the most highly regarded multifamily operators in Ohio and Michigan, has had direct responsibility for several thousand units, and has been directly involved in positively impacting the financial performance of individual communities and homeowners associations.
Beyond her regional management responsibilities in Ohio for Ferndale, Melissa’s hobbies include event planning and photography. An experienced professional, Ms. Lynn has earned both her CAM and CAPS certifications.