Speaker Bios

We are excited to host our first in-person event on October 20th and 21st. We are thrilled with the quality of speakers who will be attending – please see below for the bios of each speaker.

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Hall of Fame Sponsor – Tribevest

Travis Smith

Tribevest was founded by entrepreneur Travis Smith to solve a significant problem in investing. He and his brothers realized that if they were going to change their family’s financial trajectory, they’d need to work together. They wanted to invest as a group, but Travis quickly discovered it required a complicated path of lawyers, paperwork, banking regulations, and hundreds of hours. He knew there had to be a better way. Enter Tribevest.

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Before building Tribevest, Travis was a top financial advisor at Morgan Stanley. Armed with his wealth management training, he became a thought leader in the FinTech industry focused on digital payments. He led the Strategic Alliance team at Jack Henry & Assoc., a multi-billion dollar FinTech company and core software for thousands of banks.

Through these experiences, he discovered it was exponentially more fun to disrupt the reigning wealth management institutions than to be part of them. Through Tribevest, Travis seeks to empower everyday people through accessible group investing.

Suggested show intro: Travis Smith is the Founder and CEO of Tribevest, a platform that makes it easy and safe to invest as a group and do deals together in as little as 48 hours. He started his career with Morgan Stanley but realized the most direct path to wealth and financial freedom wasn’t as an individual. The path is as a group, as a tribe. Travis is obsessed with building a platform that standardizes, streamlines, and ultimately de-risks group investing. He won’t stop until every single-player deal on and off the internet is an opportunity for a multi-player experience. He is building Tribevest, so you don’t always have to go it alone.

Julian McClurkin

As Tribevest’s Chief Storyteller and a prominent face of their brand, Julian McClurkin is also a star on the world famous Harlem Globetrotters. Of the court, McClurkin is known for his interviews with Tribevest customers who share their stories of “tribevesting,” the company’s term for investing with family, friends, and like minded people.

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“Julian brings an unmatched level of energy and enthusiasm on the basketball court and in his life,” said Tribevest CEO Travis Smith at the time of McClurkin’s hiring in 2021. “We hear incredible stories from our customers daily, telling us about their adventures of investing with their friends and family. Julian is the perfect person to unlock those stories and tell them to the world. We’re lucky to have him join the Tribevest team.”

A native of Columbus, Ohio, McClurkin is one of the most decorated athletes on the Globetrotters roster, holding three Guinness World Records titles and establishing himself as one of the greatest trick shot artists. He has made unique basketball shots from atop Ohio Stadium, while parasailing on the Atlantic ocean, and ziplining at Mall of America. Over the last 10 years, McClurkin has been to 27 different countries with the Globetrotters.

“Through my experiences touring the world with the Globetrotters, I met so many dynamic people and heard their stories,” said McClurkin in 2021 when Tribevest added him to their team. “I’m doing the same thing here at Tribevest. Their platform is a gamechanger for so many Americans looking to invest with people they know and trust. I’m honored to join the team.”

All Star Sponsor – Jameson Lett

Jameson Lett

Jameson Lett is a Financial Planner with a nationwide practice based in Columbus, Ohio. He loves the challenge in honing his craft and all of the unique clients he gets to work with. But the path to get to where he is today was less than conventional.

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Weary of the traditional advisory model with its narrow focus and cookie-cutter advice, Jameson graduated from The Ohio State University and chose a different path: He spent 5 years working with people with developmental disabilities to help them achieve meaningful employment and community engagement. The work was never boring and elicited its own reward, but Jameson saw the way that proper financial planning could drastically enhance people’s lives, particularly when medical complexities were part of the equation. Unable to shake the entrepreneurial itch, he began laying the foundation for his future business in 2012. Through the help of others and with a healthy mix of creativity and grit, Jameson launched his practice in the early Spring of 2013.

Over the years Jameson has developed and refined a planning process that helps people see their financial world in a way they often never have before. Today he is proud to run a comprehensive planning practice that delivers custom-tailored strategies to other business owners, investors, aspiring entrepreneurs, and the many other professionals and families that make it all possible. Best of all, Jameson is still fortunate to advocate for people with developmental disabilities. In addition to working with the families and businesses that operate in this space, Jameson also serves on the board of trustees for I Am Boundless, one of the largest and fastest growing service-providers in Ohio.

Jameson has developed and refined a planning process that helps people see their financial world in a way they often never have before. He runs a comprehensive planning practice that delivers custom-tailored strategies to other business owners, investors, aspiring entrepreneurs, and the many other professionals and families that make it all possible. Jameson is also fortunate to advocate for people with intellectual disabilities and other medical complexities: In addition to providing for the unique financial challenges of the families and businesses that exist in this space, Jameson also serves on the board of trustees for I Am Boundless, one of the largest and most innovative service-providers in Ohio.

I take my clients through planning process that I’ve developed and refined over the years. This way I can give them a better idea of what they have, how it works, and what – if anything – they may be missing.

Gold Glove Sponsor – Aspens Funds

Bob Fraser

Mr. Fraser has 20+ years’ experience as a finance and technology executive and is a Magna Cum Laude U.C. Berkeley computer scientist and a former Entrepreneur of the Year Award winner. Fraser is responsible for financial management, portfolio modeling, as well as systems and processes, designing and deploying Aspen’s scalable state-of-the-art back-end platform.

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In 1995, Mr. Fraser founded NetSales, Inc., a back-office e-commerce provider. As a CEO, Mr. Fraser raised $44 million in investment capital, and guided the company to an average of 20% month-to-month revenue growth, becoming the metro area’s fastest growing company between 1997 and 1999.

Since 2002 Fraser has founded and served several non-profit organizations as a board member and CFO. Fraser has also been involved in a number of entrepreneurial initiatives, including book publishing, financial consulting, and an investment fund managing member.

In 2012 Fraser co-founded Aspen Funds, a fund management company focused on alternative investments.

Grand Slam Sponsor – FGCP

Billy Keels

Billy Keels is the Founder of First Generation Capital Partners (FGCP™?), host of The Going Long Podcast, full-time investor and syndicator. Born into a middle class guy from Columbus, Ohio he’s called Europe his home since 2001. After 26 years of a corporate career Billy decided to pivot and invest his time where it provides the highest return; with his family and growing investment family. During his corporate career he managed businesses as large as $100M (€70M) across Europe, Middle East and Africa for SAP.

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Today he’s focused on sharing his investing experience with other first time Accredited Investors. He’s doing this by explaining how each investment decision he made during his professional career impacted his ability to escape the corporate world in his 40s, with no plans of ever going back.

His investment portfolio includes small multifamily units, a mobile home park as well as energy equipment. He’s also a passive investor in the energy space, ATMs funds, residential commercial projects as well as developments in the hospitality space.

Billy’s traveled to 86 countries, speaks 5 languages and enjoys traveling and meeting people from diverse backgrounds. Some of his big pleasures come from leisure travel with his wife and two boys as well as investing quality time with his family in the USA.

Grand Slam Sponsor – Passive Investing

Whitney Elkins-Hutten

Whitney Elkins-Hutten is the Director of Investor Education at PassiveInvesting.com and a partner in $700MM+ in real estate — including over 63000+ residential units (MF, MHP, SFR, and assisted living ) and more than 1400+ self-storage units across 8 states—and experience flipping over $4.0MM in residential real estate.

Trading Card Sponsor – BAM Capital

Andrew Hogan

As the manager for Investor Relations, Andrew works closely with current and future partners.

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Skilled in executing equity finance strategies, Andrew strives to be open and transparent at every step by educating investors and providing them with strategic consultation.

Andrew has taken on a handful of roles in business development throughout the US and Latin America. After a two-year service mission in Colombia, he worked in Paraguay consulting nearly 100 small and medium business entrepreneurs with corporate real estate investments, feasibility analyses, clientele acquisition, and foreign investments. These pillars remain the focus of his work to this day.

Upon graduating from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Global Business and Latin-American Studies, Andrew worked for Cushman & Wakefield Mexico where he authored several reports on market research and capital markets.

As an active member in his community, he has served as a youth mentor in his church for the past decade. In his free time, Andrew loves to be with his wife and two daughters.

Rookie of the Year Sponsors

MAG Capital Partners

Drew Wahlgren

Drew Wahlgren serves as Vice President of Investor Relations managing both equity and lending relation- ships. Joining MAG Capital Partners in 2019 after 8 suc- cessful years as a risk analyst and program manager at Liberty Mutual Insurance, and holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from California State University at Hayward. Mr. Wahlgren lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metro with his wife and two children and enjoys the outdoors with his family.

Spartan Investing Group

Ed Osborne

Ed Osborne is the Vice President – Investments at Spartan Investment Group. Ed brings over 20 years of commercial construction and development experience. His extensive background in business development and ability to work though complicated deals complements Spartan well.

Ed lives and works in Seattle Washington where he enjoys all the outdoor opportunities the Pacific Northwest offers.

LBX Investments

Rob Levy

Rob Levy is one of the Founders and Managing Partners of LBX Investments. Along with his Co-Founder and Co-Managing Partner, Phil Block, Rob guides overall corporate strategy and is responsible for the growth of the platform, acquisitions and execution of the firm’s strategy.

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Through his leadership, LBX has built a premier portfolio of shopping centers throughout the country with a concentration in the Southeast, Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions. Since 2016, Rob and Phil have led over $400 million in acquisitions. Rob has more than 30 years of real estate experience. Prior to launching LBX in February 2018, Rob co- founded BVC, an investment vehicle focused on acquiring Southeastern U.S. shopping centers. While at BVC
he oversaw and underwrote the partnership’s 11 Southeastern U.S. shopping center acquisitions and managed all capital raising (both debt and equity) and asset management efforts. Prior to BVC, Rob was the Chief Operating Officer of the Real Estate Group at Benefit Street Partners, a multi-strategy credit manager with over $11.0 billion in assets under management. Prior to Benefit Street, Rob held various positions at Centerline Capital Group, including Chief Executive Officer, President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer and was a member of the Board of Trustees of Centerline’s parent company, Centerline Holding Company.

Centerline was a publicly traded multifamily finance and asset management company with a national scope mortgage banking platform and over $13 billion in equity and debt under management. Rob joined Centerline in 2001 as the Director of Capital Markets. From 1998 to 2001, he was a Vice President in the Real Estate Equity Research and Investment Banking departments at Robertson Stephens, an investment banking firm. Prior to 1998, Rob worked at Prudential Securities in the real estate equity research group and at the Prudential Realty Group, the real estate investment arm of the Prudential Insurance Company.

Rob received his MBA from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University and his BA in Economics from Northwestern University. Rob grew up on Long Island and resides in New Jersey with his wife, two sons and daughter.

SIH Capital Group

Anthony A. Khan

Anthony has been a Project and Program Manager for 17+ years serving the
pharmaceutical, healthcare, finance, and telecom industries. He has always enjoyed
Real Estate and in 2009 purchased his first home that required rehabbing. In order to
gain business expertise, that same year Anthony started a business in eCommerce and
successfully ran a low cost business through mentorship and master-minding with other
passionate business owners. In 2014 he decided to take the next steps in real estate
and began what is now KWW LLC (aka KWW Holdings).

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By 2018 KWW Holdings obtained 65 units through 13 properties managing a variety of
Single Family, Commercial Mixed-Use, and Multi-Family assets. Due to the success of
the projects and returns for investors, KWW Holdings decided to increase in size and
take the business model to the next level through partnerships and working with a larger
pool of investors. As of 2022 KWW Holdings has been an operator on over 200+ units
ranging from abandoned properties to high occupancy properties with a high level of
experience in the affordable housing space.

Wellings Capital

Paul Moore

After a stint at Ford Motor Company, Paul co-founded a staffing firm where he was 2x Finalist for Michigan Entrepreneur of the Year. After selling to a publicly traded firm, Paul began investing in real estate. He launched multiple investment and development companies, appeared on HGTV, and completed over 100 commercial and residential investments and exits.

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He has contributed to Fox Business and The Real Estate Guys Radio and is a regular contributor to BiggerPockets, producing live shows, recorded video, and blog content. Paul also co-hosted a wealth-building podcast called How to Lose Money and he’s been featured on over 200 podcasts. Paul is the author of Storing Up Profits – Capitalize on America’s Obsession with Stuff by Investing in Self-Storage (BiggerPockets Publishing 2021) and The Perfect Investment – Create Enduring Wealth from the Historic Shift to Multifamily Housing. Paul is the Founder and Managing Partner of Wellings Capital, a real estate private equity firm.

Ashcroft Capital

Evan Polaski

Evan Polaski is the Managing Director of Investor Relations at Ashcroft Capital. Throughout his career, Evan has spoken with thousands of investors looking to gain exposure to real estate. These investors range from individuals looking to make their first real estate investment to seasoned investors with decades of experience. Personally, Evan has invested in real estate since 2007 through public and private REITs, direct single family and small multifamily, and to passive investments in larger deals as a limited partner. Evan has focused the majority of his career in real estate. Between his personal experiences and the experiences of others through his conversations, he brings a wealth of knowledge around real estate investing.

Book Sponsor – Picheny

Matt Picheny

Matt Picheny is a real estate investor, Tony award winner, and author of the #1 best-selling book: Backstage Guide to Real Estate. He is focused on developing passive income streams that enable investors to write their own story and choose how they want to spend their time.

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Matt has over 15 years of experience revitalizing and elevating communities through real estate investment and has invested in over 10,000 apartments nationwide. He is a licensed real estate agent and has earned both Commercial Real Estate & Real Estate Finance certificates from Boston University. Matt is a member of the Forbes Real Estate Council, the Fast Company Executive Board, and is an advisor to a PropTech company.

A PMI certified Project Management Professional, Matt is a digital marketing veteran whose 18-year career in the advertising world included working for some of the world’s largest advertising agencies, producing award-winning projects for Fortune 500 clients including Verizon, IBM, and Coca-Cola.

Matt and his wife have two Tony Awards® as co-Producers of the Broadway shows Moulin Rouge! and American Utopia. They have invested in many other theatrical productions including the iconic musicals Hamilton and Wicked.

A native of Orlando Florida, and a former actor, Matt still believes in happily ever after. He lives with his wife and their two daughters in Brooklyn, New York and in his downtime enjoys long walks on the beach, Broadway, Rock and Roll, and amazing barbecue.
For more information about Matt, please visit picheny.com

Chris Franckhauser

Vice President of Strategy & Growth, Advisory Partner

Chris Franckhauser, Vice President of Strategy & Growth, Advisory Partner for Left Field Investors, has been involved in real estate since 2008. He started with one single-family fix and flip, and he was hooked. He then scaled, completing five more over a brief period. While he enjoyed the journey and the financial tailwinds that came with each completed project, being an active investor with a W2 at the time, became too much to manage with a young and growing family. Seeing this was not easily scalable or sustainable long term, he searched for alternative ideas on where to invest. He explored other passive income streams but kept coming back to his two passions; real estate and time with his family. He discovered syndications after reconnecting with a former colleague and LFI Founder. He joined Left Field Investors in 2023 and has quickly immersed himself into the community and as a key member of our team.  

Chris earned a B.S. from The Ohio State University. After years in healthcare technology and medical devices, from startups to Fortune 15 companies, Chris shifted his efforts to consulting and owning a small apparel business when he is not working with LFI (Left Field Investors) or on his personal passive investments. A few years ago, Chris and his family left the cold life in Ohio for lake life in the Carolinas. Chris lives in Tega Cay, South Carolina with his wife and two kids. In his free time, he enjoys exploring all the things the Carolinas offer, from the beaches to the mountains and everywhere in between, volunteering at the school, coaching his kids’ sports teams and cheering on the Buckeyes from afar.  

Chris knows investing is a team sport. Being a strategic thinker and analytical by nature, the ability to collaborate with like-minded individuals in the Left Field Community and other communities is invaluable.  

Jim Pfeifer

President, Chief Executive Officer, Founder

Jim Pfeifer is one of the founders of Left Field Investors and the host of the Passive Investing from Left Field podcast. Left Field Investors is a group dedicated to educating and assisting like-minded investors negotiate the nuances of the passive investing landscape and world of syndications. Jim is a former financial advisor who became frustrated with the one-path-fits-all approach of the standard financial services industry. Jim now concentrates on investing in real assets that produce cash flow and is committed to sharing his knowledge with others who are interested in learning a different way to grow wealth.

Jim not only advises and helps people get started in passive real estate syndications, he also invests alongside them in small groups to allow for diversification among multiple investments and syndication sponsors. Jim believes the most important factor in a successful syndication is finding a sponsor that he knows, likes and trusts.

He has invested in over 100 passive syndications including apartments, mobile homes, self-storage, private lending and notes, ATM’s, commercial and industrial triple net leases, assisted living facilities and international coffee farms and cacao producers. Jim is constantly looking for new investment ideas that match his philosophy of real assets producing cash flow as well as looking for new sponsors with whom he can build quality, long-term relationships. Jim earned a degree in Finance & Marketing from the University of Oregon and a Master’s in Business Education from The Ohio State University. He has worked as a reinsurance underwriter, high school finance teacher, financial advisor and now works exclusively as a full-time passive investor. Jim lives in Dublin, Ohio with his wife, three kids and two dogs. In his free time, he loves to ski, play Ultimate frisbee and cheer on the Buckeyes.

Jim earned a degree in Finance & Marketing from the University of Oregon and a Master’s in Business Education from The Ohio State University. He has worked as a reinsurance underwriter, high school finance teacher, financial advisor and now works exclusively as a full-time passive investor. Jim lives in Dublin, Ohio with his wife, three kids and two dogs. In his free time, he loves to ski, play Ultimate frisbee and cheer on the Buckeyes.

Chad Ackerman

Chief Operating Officer, Founder

Chad is the Founder & Chief Operating Officer of Left Field Investors and the host of the LFI Spotlight podcast. Chad was in banking most of his career with a focus on data analytics, but in March of 2023 he left his W2 to become LFI’s second full time employee.

Chad always had a passion for real estate, so his analytics skills translated well into the deal analyzer side of the business. Through his training, education and networking Chad was able to align his passive investing to compliment his involvement with LFI while allowing him to grow his wealth and take steps towards financial freedom. He has appreciated the help he’s received from others along his journey which is why he is excited to host the LFI Spotlight podcast and share the experience of other investors and industry experts to assist those that are looking for education for their own journey.

Chad has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business with a Minor in Real Estate from the University of Cincinnati. He is working to educate his two teenagers in the passive investing world. In his spare time he likes to golf, kayak, and check out the local brewery scene.

Ryan Steig

Chief Financial Officer, Founder

Ryan Stieg started down the path of passive investing like many of us did, after he picked up a little purple book called Rich Dad, Poor Dad. The problem was that he did that in college and didn’t take action to start investing passively until many years later when that itch to invest passively crept back up.

Ryan became an accidental landlord after moving from Phoenix back to Montana in 2007, a rental he kept until 2016 when he started investing more intentionally. Since 2016, Ryan has focused (or should we say lack thereof) on all different kinds of investing, always returning to real estate and business as his mainstay. Ryan has a small portfolio of one-to-three-unit rentals across four different markets in the US. He has also invested in over fifty real estate syndication investments individually or with an investment group or tribe. Working to diversify in multiple asset classes, Ryan invests in multi-family, note funds, NNN industrial, retail, office, self-storage, online businesses, start-ups, and several other asset classes that further cement his self-diagnosis of “shiny object syndrome”.

However, with all of those reaches over the years, Ryan still believes in the long-term success and tenets of passive, cash-flow-focused investing with proven syndicators and shared knowledge in investing.

When he’s not working with LFI or on his personal passive investments, he recently opened a new Club Pilates franchise studio after an insurance career. Outside of that, he can be found with his wife watching whatever sport one of their two boys is involved in during that particular season.

Steve Suh

Chief Content Officer, Founder

Steve Suh, one of the founders of Left Field Investors and its Chief Content Officer, has been involved with real estate and alternative assets since 2005. Like many, he saw his net worth plummet during the two major stock market crashes in the early 2000s. Since then, he vowed to find other ways to invest his money. Reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad gave Steve the impetus to learn about real estate investing. He first became a landlord after purchasing his office condo. He then invested passively as a limited partner in oil and gas drilling syndications but quickly learned the importance of scrutinizing sponsors when he stopped getting returns after only a few months. Steve came back to real estate by buying a few small residential rentals. Seeing that this was not easily scalable, he searched for alternative ideas. After listening to hundreds of podcasts and attending numerous real estate investing meetings, he determined that passively investing in real estate syndications was the best avenue to get great, risk-adjusted returns. He has invested in dozens of syndications involving apartment buildings, self-storage facilities, resort properties, ATMs, Bitcoin mining funds, car washes, a coffee farm, and even a Broadway show.

When Steve is not vetting commercial real estate syndications in the evenings, he is stomping out eye diseases and improving vision during the day as an ophthalmologist. He enjoys playing in his tennis and pickleball leagues and rooting for his Buckeyes and Steelers football teams. In the past several years, he took up running and has completed three full marathons, including the New York City Marathon. He is always on a quest to find great pizza, BBQ brisket, and bourbon. He enjoys traveling with his wife and their three adult kids. They usually go on a medical mission trip once a year to southern Mexico to provide eye surgeries and glasses to the residents. Steve has enjoyed being a part of Left Field Investors to help others learn about the merits of passive, real asset investments.

Sean Donnelly

Chief Culture Officer, Founder

Sean holds a W2 job in the finance sector and began his real estate investing journey shortly after earning his MBA. Unfortunately, it could not have begun at a worse time … anyone remember 2007 … but even the recession provided worthy lessons. Sean stayed in the game continuing to find his place, progressing from flipping to owning single and multi-family rentals to now funding opportunities through syndications. While Sean is still heavily invested in the equities market and holds a small portfolio of rentals, he strongly believes passive investing is the best way to offset the cyclical nature of traditional investment vehicles as well as avoid the headaches of direct property ownership. Through consistent cash flow, long term yield and available tax benefits, the diversification offered with passive investing brings a welcomed balance to an otherwise turbulent investing scheme. What Sean likes most about the syndication space is that the investment opportunities are not “one size fits all” and the community of investors genuinely want to help.

He earned a B.S. in Finance from Iowa State University in 1995 and a MBA from Otterbein University in 2007. Sean has lived in eight states but has called Ohio home for the last 20+.  When not attending his children’s various school/sporting events, Sean can be found running, golfing, shooting or fly-fishing.

Patrick Wills

Chief Information Officer, Advisory Partner

An active real estate investor since 2017, Patrick Wills’ investing journey began like many others – after reading the “purple book” by Robert Kiyosaki. Patrick started with single family rentals, and while they performed well, he quickly realized their inability to scale efficiently while remaining passive. He discovered syndications via podcasts and local meetups and never looked back. He joined Left Field Investors in 2022 as a member and has quickly become an integral part of the team as Vice President of Technology.

An I.T. Systems Engineer by trade, he experienced the limitations of traditional Wall Street investing firsthand in his career and knew there had to be a better way to truly have financial freedom.

Unfortunately, that better way is inaccessible to those who need it most. His mission is to make alternative investments accessible to everyone who seeks to take control of their financial future and to pursue their passions in life.

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