Derek Dickow Presents:


Building powerful connections in Commercial Real Estate

Derek Dickow Presents:


Building powerful connections in Commercial Real Estate


Thursday, June 22, 2023
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
The Townsend Hotel
100 Townsend Street | Birmingham, Michigan

Power Connections Event Recap

Derek Dickow is renowned for his networking prowess, and this event showcased another triumph in connecting key players from the commercial real estate industry. A carefully curated lineup of seasoned professionals shared invaluable insights through expert keynotes, fireside chats, and trend-focused panels.

The event featured the region’s largest 1:1 speed networking, providing ample opportunities for meaningful connections. A delightful cocktail and reception added to the networking experience.

Gratitude to our sponsors, as Power Connections welcomed more than 400 attendees who networked, learned from our experts, and collectively envisioned the future of the state’s commercial real estate industry.


Thanks to the incredible generosity of the attendees and sponsors, we were able to donate over $39,500 to The Children’s Foundation, which advocates for the health of children in Michigan through research, education, programs, and other initiatives.


Commercial real estate isn’t about buildings and land. It’s about people.

Success in Commercial Real Estate requires human connection. It’s more than just discussions about buildings and land — it’s also about people. That’s why we bring key members of the industry together to share information and insights and to experience mutually beneficial networking opportunities. Building powerful connections is what happens at our Power Connections events.

Across the region, industry leaders in CRE consider this the can’t-miss date of the year. This year’s event has been reimagined, retooled, and reinvented to bring even more value to professionals in commercial real estate. It will spark connections that change careers, industries and lives.

In this one-day immersive event, you’ll hear exclusive insights into the latest market conditions driving the region’s CRE landscape. You’ll hear from innovators, trendsetters, and newsmakers — crucial next-gen intelligence that will help you build your business and grow your network.

Attend POWER CONNECTIONS: Building Powerful Connections in Commercial Real Estate, and you’ll experience:

• A day of connecting with the smartest people in the industry
• Engaging panel discussions with actionable advice
• The newest and best strategies to build your business
• Insight into the latest market trends
• The region’s largest 1:1 speed networking event
• Social and networking opportunities to help you connect with more than 300 professionals from across the CRE ecosystem
• A tradeshow that features exhibits from an array of established and up-and-coming businesses

This event is where ideas are nurtured, relationships are built, and careers are made. New connections. Lasting Impact. Are you in?

*Please note: Agenda, timeline, and speakers may change at any time.


Thursday, June 22, 2023
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
The Townsend Hotel
100 Townsend Street | Birmingham, Michigan

Thursday, June 22nd









Click on a speaker below to learn more about them.

Dr. Ammar Alkhafaji

Principal, W Investors Group

Dennis Bernard

Founder, President of Bernard Financial Group

Sam Beznos

CEO, Beztak Companies

Ron Boji

CEO, Boji Group

Stephen Burke

Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Rair Capital

David Cohen

President & CEO, ARCO

Patty Cosman

Managing Director of Real Estate, Hylant

Derek Dickow

Event Host, Power Connector

Zaid Elia

CEO, Elia Group

Jared Friedman

Managing Director, Friedman Real Estate

Andy Gutman

President, Farbman Group

Saab Grewal

Director, Asset Management, Singh Development

Charles Gleeson, II

President & CEO,
C.E. Gleeson Constructors, Inc.

Kevin Johnson

President & CEO, DEGC

Emily D’Agostini Kunath

Principal, D’Agostini Companies

R.J. King

Editor, DBusiness Magazine

Richard Karp

President, Karp and Associates

Kevin Kovachevich

Founder, District Capital

Adam Lutz

Managing Principal, Q10 Lutz Financial Services

Lori Mullins

Vice President of Economic Incentives, MEDC

Fadi Nassar

President, Nassar Companies

Rudy Patros

CEO, Securatech

Gideon Pfeffer

CEO & Managing Partner, GSH

Kirk Pinho

Senior Reporter, Crain’s Detroit Business

Krystol Rappuhn

Executive Vice President, Beanstalk Real Estate Solutions

Amb. John Rakolta Jr.

Chairman, Walbridge

Steve Schimpke

Director of Client & Real Estate Strategy, Cunningham-Limp

Jonathon S. Margolis

Farbman Group

Angela Thomas

Co-Founder, AERES Real Estate

Mark Winter

President & Founding Partner, Identity


“I am beyond thankful that Derek held this networking event; I gained tremendous knowledge from industry leaders and people alike. I met many people that I am now pleased to call friends. I recommend Derek’s event to anyone in the industry or looking to break into the industry! I look forward to attending more!”

Petar Elieff
Associate, ICONIC Real Estate

“Derek is first class all the way. He knows his stuff and wants everyone he meets to succeed. He is an excellent speaker, and his events are packed full of beneficial information!”

Joey Smith
President, U&S Companies

“This was my first time going to the Power Connections Event. I not only benefited from participating as a speaker but also as an attendee. Derek has mastered the art of putting together a well-attended, professionally executed, and informational event. I will definitely return.”

Emily D’Agostini Kunath
Attorney, D’Agostini Companies

“Derek performs at a top tier level. He’s proven that with all the events he’s hosted. He’s proven that with all the people he brings together through his mastered talent of being a power connector. I highly recommend Derek, not only for his connections, but for his extraordinary willingness to give, with his whole heart, in order to help someone achieve their goals.”

Andrew Attisha
Property Manager, AY Property Management

“WOW! What an incredible day! I absolutely loved the Speed Networking, as always, though the panel of retail, office, mixed use and multi-use with many of the industry titans was truly awesome. Such an incredible day overall! Kudos for organizing such an awesome event.”

Sara Faircloth
Business Development Consultant, Interior Environments

“The most valuable aspect of this event is connecting with people you would not otherwise have the opportunity to connect with. In these days and times, it is very difficult to get in a confined space and learn of new opportunities, new possibilities … and this networking event provides that for us, and for that I am very grateful.”

Kevin Johnson
President & CEO, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation

“I would recommend anybody in the real estate business that wants to network and get a full appreciation of a diverse group of speakers to attend this event next year.”

Howard Luckoff
Co-founder & General Counsel, Essex Title

“I found the event very well done. It was a great group of leaders in the real estate industry, and I thought that the topics of discussion were solid. I certainly left with a lot of great information and met a lot of good people.”

Ron Goldstone
Executive Vice President, NAI Farbman

​​Power Connections in Commercial Real Estate

June 22, 2023 @ The Townsend Hotel

8:oo a.m.  i Continental Networking Breakfast – Sponsored by Symmetry Management Networking Breakfast
9:00 a.m. to 9:15 a.m. i Session 1: Derek Dickow Keynote: How to Build Power Connections: To start the day, Derek Dickow will provide best practices on how to maximize networking opportunities during the conference. This abbreviated keynote and introduction provides attendees tools to help maximize the day. Keynote: How to Build Power Connections
9:15 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. i Session 2: 1:1 Speed Networking: This is likely the most valuable session of the conference. During the speed networking power hour, participants will have an opportunity to meet other attendees in micro meetings. We expect attendees to have several conversations during this session. 1:1 Speed Networking
10:15 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. i Session 3: Panel 1: Multi-Family
Navigating Construction Costs, Legislative and Capital Challenges in Multifamily Real Estate.
Sponsored by District Capital Detroit & C.E. Gleeson Constructors, INC.

Our first panel features leaders in the Multi-family sector. Panelists will be discussing their thoughts on the current state of the market, trends, as well sharing their experiences. Participants include:
· Sam Beznos, CEO, Beztak Companies
· David Cohen, CEO and President, ARCO North
· Charles Gleeson II, President & CEO, C.E. Gleeson Constructors, Inc
· Saab Grewal, Director of Asset Management, Singh
· Kevin Kovachevich, Founder, District Capital Detroit
· Moderator: Gideon Pfeffer, CEO & Managing Partner, GSH
Panel 1: Multi-Family
11:00 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Break
11:15 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. i Session 4: Panel 2: Mixed-Use
Strategic Approaches to Mixed-Use Developments: Unlocking value and incentives in a Changing Landscape
Sponsored by Q10 Lutz & Securatech

This panel features a diverse group of developers, a banker and professional service provider, and economic catalyst from the state of Michigan focused on Mixed Use developments. Learn how the experts source opportunities, leverage public-private-partnerships and maximize revenue. Participants include:
· Richard Karp, President, Karp & Associates
. Adam Lutz,Managing Principal, Q10 Lutz Financial Services
· Lori Mullins, Vice President of Economic Incentives, MEDC
. Rudy Patros, Owner and President, Securatech
· Krystol Rappuhn, Beanstalk Real Estate
· Moderator: Kirk Pinho, Senior Reporter, Crain’s Detroit Business
Panel 2: Mixed Use
12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. Lunch
12:45 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Afternoon Program Begins
1:00 p.m. to 1:25 p.m. i Session 5: Fireside Chat with Ron Boji – Boji Group: Hear Ron Boji’s story – Father and Son duo that built a CRE juggernaut including more than 60 properties specializing in mixed-use, retail, petroleum, hospitality and wholesale distribution. Specializes in private-public partnerships that make a difference in each engaged community through innovative development solutions, creative strategy and trusted property and construction management. Fireside Chat with Ron Boji
1:30 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. i Session 6: Panel 3: Retail
Revitalizing Retail, Hospitality and Discovering Innovative Strategies while Adapting to the Digital Age.
Sponsored by RAIR Capital & Identity PR

This panel features a diverse group of retail leaders, including a banker, broker, restaurateur, hospitality expert and developer highlighting opportunities in the retail sector. Participants include:
. Dr. Ammar Alkhafaji, Principal, W Investors Group
· Stephen Burke, RAIR Capital
· Zaid Elia, The Elia Group
· Stoli Liti, Prime Concepts
. Angela Thomas, Co-Founder, AERES Real Estate
· Moderator: Mark Winter, President, Identity PR
Panel 3: Retail
2:15 p.m. to 2:25 p.m.  Keynote: Stopping Michigan’s Population Loss
2:25 p.m. to 2:35 p.m.  Fireside Chat with Ambassador John Rakolta, Jr.

2:35 p.m. to 2:50 p.m. Afternoon Break: Snacks Provided
2:50 p.m. to 3:35 p.m. i Session 7: Panel 4: Industrial
Industrial Real Estate: Optimizing Construction Costs and Capital Investments
Sponsored by Jaimes Industries & Cunningham-Limp

This panel features a variety of developers and a builder focused on the industrial markets from owner operator, multi-asset class developers and a construction expert. Panelists include:
· Jared Friedman, Managing Director, Friedman Real Estate
. Emily D’Agostini Kunath, Principal, D’Agostini Companies
. Fadi Nassar, President, Nassar Companies
. Steve Schimpke, Director of Client & Real Estate Strategy, Cunningham-Limp
· Moderator: R.J. King, Editor, DBusiness Magazine
Panel 4: Industrial
3:35 p.m. to 3:45 p.m​. Break
3:45 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. ​ i Session 8: Panel 5: Office
Reimagining workspaces through Office Conversions, Capitalizing on Government Incentives and the Cost of Capital
Sponsored by Bernard Financial & Farbman

Our final panel of the day features a fully integrated CRE firm, a CRE risk mitigation expert, and the economic catalyst from the city of Detroit and a public-private CRE leader focused on the office market. Panelists include:
· Dennnis Bernard, Founder & President, Bernard Financial Group
. Patty Cosman, Managing Director, Hylant
. Kevin Johnson, President & CEO, DEGC
. Eric Larson, President, Downtown Detroit Partnership
· Moderator: Andy Gutman, President, Farbman Group
Panel 5: Office
4:30 p.m. to 4:40 p.m. Closing Remarks
4:40 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception

Interested in sponsoring this event? Email us at