Meet Our Family

Cathy D. Ryan, CMCA, AMS, PCAM | Chief Executive Officer & President

After being with PSI for her entire career, Ms. Ryan purchased the company in 2014 after the passing of the firm’s founder, Tracy Hill.  She began with PSI in 1983 and helped to build the firm to the size and quality service provider it is today.  She currently holds her PCAM certification, the highest designation awarded to an individual manager through CAI.  She has been a member of CAI since 1990, was the CAI-IL Chapter President in 2017, is a member the Chapter’s Finance Committee, and is a recipient of the Olympus Award.  Ms. Ryan serves on the editorial board for an industry magazine, and was named Residential Community Manager of the Year by Condo Lifestyles.

Brittany Kojzarek, CMCA, AMS, PCAM | Chief Operating Officer

Ms. Kojzarek has been with PSI since May 2005 when she began as a filing clerk. Through her tenure with PSI she has worked in several capacities, with many of her years spent in the Accounts Receivable Department working closely with the Association’s attorneys on the collection of assessments. Ms. Kojzarek acquired her CMCA in 2013 and AMS in 2017. She has been a key asset in bringing in new technology and implementing it at PSI. In addition to her responsibilities at PSI, she is very active with CAI-IL as past Chair of the Marketing Committee, current Chair of the Manager Education Committee, member of the Volunteer Commission, and 2020 Olympus Award winner.  When she is not working or volunteering in the industry she enjoys spending time with her family, watching Disney and playing games.

Megan Gillette, CMCA | Vice President of New Construction

Ms. Gillette is a licensed Community Association Manager that specializes in managing new construction associations. She began her career in community association management in 2007 and started working for PSI in 2009 as a receptionist. Throughout her years with PSI, she has advanced from the receptionist position and now currently holds the position of Vice President of New Construction. When she is not managing and overseeing our new construction department, Megan enjoys spending her time making memories with her husband and son. 

Jennifer Morgan | Director of New Construction

Ms. Morgan has been an asset to the PSI team since 2002.  Starting at PSI as an administrative clerk in high school and working her way up through the ranks.  She has worked in several different departments over the years which has made her a great resource for other staff members and PSI clients. As the Director of New Construction, Jennifer works with home builders during the development of a new communities. Striving to be a success in the community association management industry she balances work and home by spending time with her family, serving on the Board of the local youth football organization, and being active within her community.

Melissa Brooks, CMCA, AMS, PCAM | Senior Account Manager

Ms. Brooks has been a Community Association Manager since 2007.  She is a member of CAI-IL, the Chair of the Expo Committee, and licensed in the state of Illinois.  In addition, she has her CMCA and AMS designations. Melissa has recently completed her M200 courses and is pursuing her PCAM, the highest designation a manager can receive.  During her down time, Melissa enjoys reading, yoga, and donating her time and support to our Veterans and Active Military.

Sarah Harnish, CMCA, AMS, PCAM | Senior Account Manager

Ms. Harnish became a community association manager in 2014 and has been with the Property Specialists family since 2015.  Sarah started as an onsite property manager, moved into portfolio management, and has since been promoted to hold one of the Senior Account Manager positions. When she is not at work, she enjoys spending time with her family, gardening, and walking with her dogs. 

Community Association Managers

Alexandra Carmigiano, CMCA

Joined the Property Specialists team in the fall of 2020. She began her career as an onsite assistant, with 8 years of high-rise experience, before becoming a Community Association Manager. She enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her friends and 2 dogs.  

Ariel Lepe, IREM

Began working in the industry in 2013; she become a manager in 2017 after getting her IREM. Ariel joined the PSI team in the summer of 2020. Her green thumb brings all the office plants to life. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family, DIY projects, gardening, and of course, relaxing. 

Cristy Ulrich, CMCA, AMS

Started in this industry in 1979 and in 2003 Cristy joined the Property Specialists Team as a portfolio manager. Prior to joining the PSI Team Cristy was an on-site manager for 20+ years at a Retirement Community. She enjoys working with all her board members and homeowners, camping, and relaxing by the campfire.

Dan Grahn

Has worked in the property management business since 1984 in commercial and association management. Dan started in 1997 working at Property Specialists as a property inspector and soon moved to a portfolio manager. In his free time, Dan likes gardening and traveling.

David Ahrens, CMCA, ARM

Joined the PSI family in 2020 as a Community Association Manager with a background in residential management and maintenance. He loves chatting about all facets of real estate and property management whether it is as a real estate broker, property manager or more recently as a landlord. You will often find him spending the weekend working on a DIY project or out exploring a new hiking trail with his family.

Jody Murray

Began her career in property management in Pensacola, FL for 15 years and moved to Illinois in Nov 2018.  She enjoys working with the owners and Board Members to ensure that their property is taken care of in the best possible way for their investment.  Jody enjoys cooking, planting flowers, and spending time with her husband, children and grandchildren. 

Joe Tasic, CMCA

Has been managing the ever-expanding technological needs of PSI since 2012 and has recently taken on the role of Community Association Manager in 2018. In his free time, he enjoys camping with his family and dogs as well as outdoor activities, such as hiking and swimming. 

Justin Werner, CMCA

Began his career as a property manager in 2002 and started working for PSI in 2012.  His true passion is on-site management.  He takes great pleasure in educating Board members and working with residents to increase their property values.  Justin grew up on the West Coast and enjoys all forms of water sports and outdoor adventures, while spending time with his family.

Kathryn Coconato

Began her career in real estate in 1993. In 2007, she transitioned to a community association manager and began working with PSI in 2021. In her free time, she enjoys being with family and watching racing, Cubs games, swimming, boating, and reading. She also donates her time to Veterans of Wars (VFW) helping with the fundraisers, the largest one for Thanksgiving, bringing down all those from Great Lakes who cannot make it home for the holidays.

Leslie Beltran, IREM

Leslie has been with PSI since 2017. You might catch her on a walk with vendors, Board members, or members of the community when she’s on property. Leslie enjoys baking and spending time with her family. When she’s not watching a Bears or Cubs games she is cheering on her children from the sidelines. One of her favorite saying is, “ No matter how you feel… get up, dress up, show up, and never give up”. 

Michelle Courtney, CMCA, AMS, PCAM

Began her career as a Community Manager in 2006 and has been with PSI since 2012. She enjoys volunteering on the Suburban Education Committee of CAI. During her free time, Michelle enjoys cooking, reading true crime, crafting, spending time with her photogenic pup Margo, and planning the next family trip to Disney.

Robert J. DeFrank, CMCA

Previously worked in the real estate industry as an award-winning manager. His many years of experience serving clients has been rewarding. Robert received his CMCA in 2019 and joined PSI in 2020. He enjoys solving problems and improving the communities he serves. In is his off time he enjoys spending time with family and friends.

Rose Cunneen

Joined the PSI team in 2017 as a Community Association Manager and has been in this challenging yet rewarding industry since 2002. Professional and friendly demeanor, and enjoys problem solving, contract negotiations, and working together with the Board of Directors as a team to accomplish their goals. She enjoys gardening, reading, and the outdoors.

Vitto Pena, IREM

Has worked in Community Association Management and part of the PSI team since 2014, and has helped over 15 communities enhance and maintain their properties values. He has also volunteered as a Basketball Coach for his local Park District for the last 10 years.

Assistant Property Managers

Amanda Grafer

Started at PSI in 2020 right before COVID-19. Her career started as front desk receptionist for an onsite community association, was quickly moved up to assistant manager and then front desk lead. In her free time, she enjoys gaming, reading horror stories, camping, and playing in creeks. She has several animals and hopes to one day have even more in her family.

Brandee McBride

Joined the PSI Family in 2020 as an Assistant Property Manager.  She is also an Administrative Assistant for a manufacturing company, a Dance Instructor/Choreographer, and a Licensed and Board Certified Massage Therapist.  In her free time, she enjoys listening to and discussing rock music with her husband and daughter.

Brandy Rueber

Started fresh in the industry with PSI in June 2020. She spent 15 years in higher education and decided on a new adventure. She has been married to her wonderful husband for over a decade. She has two beautiful stepdaughters and together they have a son. In her spare time, she loves being with family, crocheting, and watching Disney movies.

Melissa Micari

Has been with the PSI family since 2005, she started as the receptionist and was promoted to Assistant Property Manager. She has 2 wonderful children and loves to spend time with her family and friends. Her happy place is sitting on the beach listening to the ocean and also loves to crochet and garden.

Mitzi Buttner

Has been a part of the PSI Family since 2001. She has worked in various departments through the years, such as Reception, New Construction, and currently as an On-site Assistant Manager for two of PSI’s properties. Her creative eye is a huge asset as she assists the Marketing Team with PSI’s marketing materials. She loves to spending time cooking, camping with her family, and crafting beautiful art.

Traci Markland

Began working at PSI and in the property management industry in December 2019. She has worked in regular real estate on and off since 2001 . She loves to go camping, fishing, hiking, bicycle riding and spend time with her husband and children.

Administrative Staff

Andy Hill | Accounting Department

Son of the founder of Property Specialists, Tracy Hill, he began working for PSI in November 1993. He works in the accounts payable department, filing and invoice processing as well as lending a helping hand to coworkers. Lover of everything Star Wars and Star Trek, he boasts an impressive movie collection that is continuously expanding. Most weekends, you can find him at the theatre catching the latest flicks. 

Ashley Ryan | Operations Manager

Working behind the scenes since 2014 and the occasional summer since high school, she is a gear that keeps the system moving. She works as a system admin, assistant closing secretary, and self-appointed director of miscellaneous tasked with many different projects. She loves computers and technology so after spending a full day at work, she relaxes with video games across all platforms as well as arts and crafts.

Chris Pfleger | Accounts Payable

Coming from a strong accounting background of over 20 years, she first joined the PSI family in June of 2007. Number oriented and able to prioritize and switch gears at a moments notice, she pays our customer’s bills while maintaining healthy bank balances! When away from the office, she enjoys reading, concerts, cross-stitch, and puzzles. She also likes to spend time with friends, family and her kitty Reece.

Dawn Evans | Accounting Department

Joined the PSI team in 2002. Dawn holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration (BSBA) with a major in Accounting and a minor in Economics from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. Dawn’s current job focus is handling banking and financial matters for our clients.

Janet Dean | Executive Assistant

Started at PSI as a temporary employee, filling in for an employee on maternity leave (Cathy Ryan, the current CEO & President). Was then hired on to fill the position of an Associate in 1996, for a couple years before moving over to the administrative and accounting-payroll department, working her way up to Assistant to the Vice President, followed by her current position as Executive Assistant to the CEO & President.

Jeannie Cooney | Accounts Receiveable

Joined the PSI Team in 2016 as our Corporate Office Receptionist and has been a member of the Accounts Receivable Department since January 2018. She is grateful for the opportunity to work for Property Specialists and to provide exceptional assistance to our Homeowners. To attain a healthy work/life balance, she enjoys spending time with family, gardening, swimming, bicycle riding, and traveling.

Julie Tasic | Accounts Payable

Has worn many hats over her years with PSI from Associate to Accounting and Payroll, to name a few. Tends to love working with numbers. Currently working with all vendors to switch to electronic payments of invoices to ease and speed their receipt of monies. Her interests range from sewing, crafting, camping and gardening to being a grandma.

Kelly McDonough | Closings

Joined the industry and PSI in 1994 as a receptionist, later an assistant manager, and since 1998, has worked in the closing department when everything was done via phone, fax, or mail. With today’s technology, she is able to process closing requests quickly. In her spare time, she likes to read, bowl, spend time with her 3 sons, attend fairs, festivals, and musical concerts.

Kent Lowe | Property Inspector

Prior to starting with PSI as QA Director and Assistant Property Manager in 2011, he spent the previous 18 years with a major Chicagoland Home Builder as their Midwest Customer Service Manager and later as their Director of QA.

Michelle Gillette | Accounting

She has been with PSI since spring of 2001. Along with her co-worker, she is responsible for producing and verifying the monthly financial statements. In addition, reconciles monthly bank statements for operating, money market, investments and CD accounts. Her biggest hobby is photography.

Mitch Swiatek | Accounts Receiveable

Has been with PSI since 2002, starting in the Accounts Payable before transferring to the Accounts Receivable. As the manager of AR, he oversees the day to day operations of payments and correspondence regarding homeowner accounts, and investigates and resolves irregularities with the homeowners’ accounts. He enjoys a good mystery, while they can be frustrating it is the satisfaction when he can solve the issue.

Sharon Hooper | Accounts Receiveable

Her journey with PSI started in January 2011 in the Accounts Receivable Department. Since most of her work life has been in customer service, she feels comfortable speaking and assisting homeowners. She enjoys sewing, crocheting, reading fiction, traveling, going to concerts, playing games, walking her dogs, and spending time with family and friends.

Wendy Dominguez | Receptionist

As Property Specialist’s front line, she is the first face you will see at the office managing the front desk. She has been in the industry and with PSI since 2019. Her computer skills, detail orientation, and organization are great assets as is her upbeat and positive attitude that inspires others. In her free time, she likes to stay active and socialize with others.

PSI Specializes in the management of homeowner associations. From professional business, governance, and community management services, to leading online services – we offer a complete and unparalleled solution for our clients.

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