Featured Speakers


Eilene ClaarEilene Claar

Social Media Spokesperson - The Home Depot

Eileen loves design. As a founding member of the online platform, The Home Depot Community, Eileen uses her design and training background to promote the thrill of doing-it-yourself. Whether speaking to national organizations, producing how-to videos, or leading a local community group project, she enjoys empowering others to transform their world. With over 20 years of experience, Eileen serves as a subject matter expert and content creator for national media and publications.

Session Info
Designer Tips from the Pros - Budget Friendly Ideas that Will Make any Entryway POP!
3:15 pm | FMLS Theatre

Matthew FerraraMatthew Ferrara

Philosopher & President - The Learning Network

I originally wanted to be a chemist. But like all good stories, life has twists. Mine landed me with a degree in philosophy, where I was lucky enough to sit next to a real estate broker in class. Seeing an opportunity, I started speaking and training salespeople right out of college which has taken me to 49 U.S. States and 18 countries since 1991. Then, halfway through my career, I threw out the script and rewrote the story - this time with a camera, as well as a microphone.

A teacher’s career is about words: Speaking, writing, showing, sharing. I use photographs to tell stories that spread ideas that help entrepreneurs, leaders, salespeople, writers and managers build themselves and others. My props are the people and places I’ve visited and the moral of the story always includes ways to use innovation and creativity to delight our clients and improve our lives. My knack is connecting the dots between different perspectives: When we bring literature, art, photography, business, marketing and history together, we develop entirely new strategies for success. My work an endless conversation with clients, designing ways to turn dreams into achievements. I grew up in Boston, went to school in Italy and now live in Las Vegas. I have been a salesperson, a CEO, trainer, keynote speaker, street photographer and mentor. Today I write, host retreats, anchor conferences and organize masterminds that make a few small differences in the lives of friends who are gracious enough to also be clients.

Session Info
Special Guest Speaker
Yellow Pants & Pirates
11:00 am | FMLS Theatre

Monica Gilroy, JDMonica Gilroy, JD

Founding Principal - The Gilroy Firm, LLC

Monica K. Gilroy, a founding principal of The Gilroy Firm, is the firm managing partner and has over 25 years of experience practicing law. The focus of her national litigation practice includes all aspects of real estate litigation, including broker and agent liability defense. She regularly assists closing attorneys, real estate agents, property managers, and brokers when title or other contract issues arise. Ms. Gilroy has extensive lead counsel trial experience and frequently appears in all of the state and federal courts of Georgia, including the state and federal appellate courts serving as lead Appellate Counsel. She is also a member in good standing with the United States Supreme Court. She speaks and teaches on a regular basis at the state and national level to attorneys, real estate professionals, property managers, and real estate brokers and agents on litigation and real estate related topics. Since 2017, Ms. Gilroy has been named one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Georgia.

Session Info
To Infinity…and Beyond!!: Realtors® and the Future of E-filing, E-closing, Wire Fraud and More
2:30 pm | FMLS Mini Theatre

Mary HessMary Hess


Mary has been involved in the real estate industry for 20 years. From office admin to Realtor® member to Association employee, she has worked in various areas of the industry. Currently she is consulting/training for ShowingTime, which she has been doing for the past 6 years. She helps with MLS system conversions and follow-up training. Mary and her husband Shannon live in the Blue Ridge Mountains and have two beautiful red-headed daughters. Also, Mary really loves coffee.

Session Info
Dive Deep into the Housing Market with MarketStats by ShowingTime for First MLS!
10:30 am | FMLS Mini Theatre

1:15 pm | FMLS Theatre

Bill KauffmanBill Kauffman

Lead Agent Trainer - HomeSnap

Bill’s main focus is to teach brokers and agents the tips, tricks, & best practices to mastering Homesnap Pro in minutes. He leads online and off-line training to drive engagement, increase adoption and usage of Homesnap Pro products. As a licensed Broker, Homesnap is an integral part of his business whether he is collaborating with clients or closing a deal with a colleague.

Session Info
A Day in the Life of a Homesnap Agent: Features, Tactics and Tricks to Get the Most out of Homesnap
11:30 am | FMLS Mini Theatre

Prabakar MahalingamPrabakar Mahalingam

VP of Enterprise Business Development - Real Estate Digital

Prabakar Mahalingam is a VP of Enterprise Business Development with Real Estate Digital. In this capacity, Prabakar works with Multiple Listing Services, REALTOR® Associations, Franchisors and Brokers to strategize and execute on technology and product initiatives. Prabakar is a co-founder of the eSignOnline solution used by members of FMLS and has been in and around the real estate industry for the past 15 years, first working as a broker in the San Diego market before launching a technology company.

Session Info
What’s New and Upcoming Features with rDocs
12:30 pm | FMLS Mini Theatre

Stefan ManeaStefan Manea

Independant Insurance Agent - Healthcare Solutions Team

Stefan has been in the wellness industry for over 15 years which has led him into a remarkable timing of being an insurance advisor with Healthcare Solutions. Healthcare Solutions provides access to health, accident, and life insurance coverage in all 50 states and has been recognized by Fortune 500 Inc., Forbes, and CBS Money Watch.

No longer a captive agent, his association with Healthcare Solutions allows him access to national carries throughout the United States, such as; Aetna, United Healthcare, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Mutual of Omaha to name just a handful. Utilizing a portfolio of over 489 national carrier policies, Stefan and his associates can customize any kind of coverage, such as major medical-ACA Compliant plans, Medicare supplement plans, short term medical plans, fixed indemnity plans, guaranteed Issue plans, group plans, child only coverage plans, and prescription only plans, just to name a few.

His goal is to fulfill every unique need of coverage and budget, a realtor will face in his/her lifetime and due to the growing business demands of Healthcare Solutions, he found it necessary to create a strategic alliance with colleague, Elizabeth Firnschild. Having 15 years of health, life and accident insurance experience; She understand that customizing coverage is essential, as health insurance is not a “one size fits all” type of product. Therefore; as health advisors she will be available at booth 517, where she can assist you in answering any questions, help you determine your best options, and schedule any necessary appointments to simplify & complete the entire process for you.

Elizabeth resides locally in Atlanta. Stefan resides in Detroit, Michigan and enjoys being a husband to a very aspiring & supportive wife of 5 years, Phionah, and has two spectacular joys; his 2-year-old princess, Angel Gabriella and his charming son of 4 years, Xavier.

Session Info
Healthcare Solutions Team
1:00 pm | Technology Theatre

Sean MossSean Moss

SVP, Director of Operations & Customer Support - Down Payment Resource

Sean Moss is senior vice president, director of operations and customer support, directing operations, implementation and support of Down Payment Resource tools and customers. Moss has more than 10 years of experience in the real estate and finance industry, where his leadership roles ranged from loan operations to corporate-level technology projects and process improvement for small and large mortgage companies.

Session Info
Solving Your Buyers' #1 Problem
1:30 pm | FMLS Mini Theatre

Scott MurphyScott Murphy

Chairman - Georgia Real Estate Appraisers Board

Mr. Murphy has been appraising real estate since 1985. In 1993 he earned his SRA designation from the Appraisal Institute – a credential earned by less than 1% of the appraiser population.

In 1996 he established D. S. Murphy & Associates and has grown the firm to have over 70 associates – servicing Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida and California.

In 2004, Mr. Murphy was appointed by Gov Perdue to the Georgia Real Estate Appraisers Board where he is actively working to improve the laws and more closely regulate appraisers in Georgia. He has served as the Chairman of the Georgia Real Estate Appraisers Board for the past four years.

He is an active member of the Appraisal Institute, the National Associates of REALTORS®, the Northeast Metro Atlanta Board of REALTORS® and the Georgia Real Estate Fraud Prevention and Awareness Coalition.

Session Info
Why Did My Property Not Appraise? How to Avoid a Low Appraisal
3:00 pm | Technology Theatre

Frank NortonFrank Norton

CEO & Chairman - The Norton Agency

Frank K. Norton, Jr. joined his family’s company in 1986 to manage the Commercial and Residential Real Estate Divisions. He brought to the business 9 years of sales and management experience from the Atlanta Commercial real estate market, as well as a creative energy and imagination to direct the company’s growth.

Widely recognized for his excellent marketing skills and keen business intuition, Frank has presented - for the past 31 years - an economic forecast outlining growth and business trends for the Northeast Georgia region. The report, based on a wealth of data collected by The Norton Agency’s Native Intelligence Division, is a resource that guides many area companies and organizations in making their own business decisions. Frank is also a noted national speaker, guest lecturer and teacher on the principles of investing and the changing dynamics of real estate. He regularly speaks 30-40 times a year to business, civic, industry and government institutions.

Session Info
A Research Nerd’s Guide to Today’s Atlanta Real Estate Universe
9:45 am | Technology Theatre

Peter PasternackPeter J. Pasternack

CPA, Entrepreneur/Business Expert

Growing up in Connecticut, Peter Pasternack came by his entrepreneurial spirit very early on. Peter’s parents owned and operated a Dunkin’ Donuts location as well as a fast food restaurant in the West Hartford area. From an early age Peter had a knack for numbers as he assisted his father with payroll for both businesses, even processing payroll checks himself starting at age 5 when his parents were away for vacations.

Peter’s love of numbers lead him to the University of Georgia where he earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in accounting. Upon graduation he began his career at Price Waterhouse in Atlanta before transitioning to the banking industry where he gained over 20 years of experience. From this He financed over 500 businesses and saw firsthand why some ventures succeed and many fail.

In 2005, Peter co-founded Foundations Design, LLC with his best friend and business partner, Brian Trow. The award winning company designs, builds, and renovates residential properties in the Greater Atlanta area. Peter is responsible for the operational and financial aspects of Foundations Design as well as the long term growth of the company.

The initial success of Foundations Design and some fortunate timing led to a leading role on one of television’s most recognized real estate investment and home renovation shows, A&E’s Flip This House. On the show, Peter is routinely seen integrating his business savvy with trademark enthusiasm. He has been called upon to offer his knowledge and experience to prospective entrepreneurs and real estate investors through national and local media outlets such as Fox Business Channel, Georgia Society of CPA’s Magazine, and Business World Magazine in addition to various speaking and radio engagements.

In 2010, as the real estate economy was struggling to recover, Peter and Brian saw an opportunity to assist others in their local market of Atlanta. Real Estate Connections, a monthly networking event, was created to facilitate a positive atmosphere where real estate professionals and real estate related industries could join forces to network, share ideas and strategies, and ultimately grow their businesses. Over its 7+ year history, Real Estate Connections has continued to grow and influence thousands within the local real estate community to the point that the average attendance is 350-400 people. This is just another example where they have seen market needs and worked to fill the void. On top of two businesses, in 2017 Peter and Brian finally decided the moment was right to harness all they had learned through the years and pass it on to the next generation of real estate investors. Along with Denny Faircloth, The Investor’s Blueprint was formed to educate and inspire seasoned and new investors alike while taking them through the ins and outs of the real estate investing world. It is the perfect format to showcase Peter’s knowledge and infectious attitude for real estate investing and business in general.

Peter has worked diligently for his many achievements and believes in passing on the information that has made him so successful. He is excited about sharing his knowledge and skills in making money and believes strongly in the entrepreneurial spirit.

Session Info
Investor's Blueprint to Success
11:00 am | Technology Theatre

Shonda PaulShonda Paul

Senior Product Manager - CoreLogic

She has been in the Real estate industry for 20 yrs designing MLS systems and now leading the GoMLS mobile team for CoreLogic. Her passion is providing tools that make a Realtor’s job: easier, faster and fun while making them the experts in their field.

Session Info
The Future of Matrix and GoMLS
10:00 am | FMLS Theatre

Amy PowersAmy Powers

CSP - Ask for Staging, LLC Home Staging

Amy Powers is a professional real estate stager and has been serving Metro-Atlanta since 2007. Powers is the RESA State President for Georgia and on the RESA National Board of Directors and attends the local Atlanta RESA Chapter. Amy Powers is a RESA-PRO stager, the highest attainable designation in the Real Estate Staging Association and has earned the International Masters in Staging through C.S.P. Powers was Georgia's first Approved Instructor offering a three-hour CE course to Agents called Staging to Sell What Every Agent Should Know. In May of 2018, Amy was voted by her industry peers and colleagues as the Top 100 Most Influential People in Real Estate Staging. Amy also is a home staging trainer with the nationally recognized school, Decorating and Staging Academy (DSA).

Amy is a Georgia peach, born in Griffin, GA and has lived in Woodstock, GA with her husband and her three children since 1999.

Session Info
Pretty Talk or Money Talk
2:15 pm | FMLS Theatre

Katie SmithsonKatie Smithson

Director of MLS Services - W+R Studios

Katie Smithson is the Director of MLS Services at W+R Studios - Creators of the Cloud Agent Suite. She is a Tennessee native currently residing in Atlanta, GA with her boyfriend Zach.

Session Info
Transform the Way You Do Real Estate
2:00 pm | Technology Theatre

Char TheinerMark Toro

Founder & President - North American Properties

Mark Toro founded the Atlanta office of North American Properties in 1996 and now leads an award-winning team of 80 commercial real estate professionals. He has acquired, developed or redeveloped more than 70 properties totaling 25 million square feet in his 35 year career, creating more than $5 billion in value. Recent projects include the repositioning of Atlantic Station, redevelopment of Colony Square, as well as the development of Alpharetta's Avalon and Gwinnett's Revel. An active community builder, Toro is Chairman of the Midtown Alliance Board and serves on the Board of Directors of City of Refuge. He was the recipient of the 2015 Henry H. Robinson Award for "outstanding contribution to the Atlanta commercial real estate community" and voted "Most Admired CEO" in commercial real estate by the readers of Atlanta Business Chronicle in 2016.

Session Info
Keynote Speaker
The Secret Sauce - Key Ingredients to Creating Community
12:15 pm | FMLS Theatre

Danny Watson - The Home DepotDanny Watson

TV Personality & Associate - The Home Depot

Danny has spent his whole life gardening. Growing up in North Florida, he spent summers with his grandmother, growing fresh produce in her garden and selling it at her farmer’s market. Now, a 19-year veteran of The Home Depot, and s State Certified Landscape Professional, Danny runs the garden center at The Home Depot’s Midtown Atlanta store. He is a longtime volunteer for Team Depot and a regular contributor for both national and local broadcast media.

Session Info
Designer Tips from the Pros - Budget Friendly Ideas that Will Make any Entryway POP!
3:15 pm | FMLS Theatre

Showcase 2018 | 5784 Lake Forrest Dr. • Atlanta, Georgia 30328

Co-Hosts: Atlanta REALTORS® Association (ARA) & First Multiple Listing Service (FMLS) | © 2018