Team

The management team is led by Liz Holland, Norris Eber, Jim Sutphen, Al O’Donnell and Tom Walsh. Bringing more than seventy years of experience to the management and development process, the management team combines cutting-edge innovation with a conservative management style with proven success in all types of business environments. Our investment and management decisions are designed to implement long-term strategies to improve our properties year-in and year-out.

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Liz Holland
Chief Executive Officer

Liz Holland

Liz Holland is the Chief Executive Officer of Abbell Credit Corporation and Abbell Associates, a seventy-year old private real estate acquisition, development and management company with an approximately 3.5 million/sf portfolio, comprised of shopping center, office, and enclosed mall properties. She is responsible for overseeing all business and legal matters, including development, financing, leasing, capital improvements, and investor and tenant relations. During her tenure with Abbell, she has overseen the redevelopment and re-positioning of the entire 3.5 million square foot portfolio of projects, including the creation of public/private partnerships; brownfield remediation; and multiple anchor store replacements and relocations. Liz is active in the International Council of Shopping Centers, currently serving as the first Vice Chairman of the Council (2015-2016) and a Member of the Board of Trustees.

Prior to joining Abbell, Liz was a Senior Staff Attorney with the National Bankruptcy Review Commission, a Congressional commission charged with making recommendations to the Bankruptcy Code. Previously, she was a restructuring and business reorganization attorney with the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in New York. Prior to becoming an attorney, Liz was a fixed income portfolio manager at Brown, Brothers Harriman & Co, in New York. She is admitted to the Bar in New York and Illinois.

Liz is a frequent speaker and contributor to publications focusing on retail real estate. She is active on a number of non-profit boards, including Lighthouse Academies, Uptown United, and 1,000 Friends of Iowa.

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Norris R. Eber, CSM, CLS, CRX
President & CIO

Norris R. Eber, CSM, CLS, CRX

Norris Eber is the President and Chief Investment Officer of Abbell Associates, LLC and oversees all acquisitions and dispositions; asset management; investor relations; and strategic partnerships for Abbell, a seventy-year old Chicago-based investment, development and management company with over 3.5 million square feet of enclosed mall, open air and office properties located in the Midwest.

Norris has over thirty five years of combined experience in retailing and shopping center development. He has earned the Certified Shopping Center Manager (CSM); the Certified Leasing Specialist (CLS); as well as the Certified Retail Property Executive (CRX) designations. Currently he serves on the International Council of Shopping Centers’ Open Air Center Committee, ICSC Education Advisory Committee and the Chair of the ICSC Foundation. He is a past ICSC Central Division Vice President, ICSC Trustee and State Director for Illinois.

Prior to joining Abbell, Norris was Executive Vice President of Assets and Acquisitions at Joseph Freed & Associates LLC the largest privately owned shopping center developer in the state of Illinois. From 1996 to 2004 he was responsible for the administration of the Company’s shopping center portfolio, to include Freed's Property Management, Tenant Construction and Tenant Services teams along with coordinating all acquisition activity. In 2004 Mr. Ebershifted focus to directing the repositioning, renovation and upgrade programs within the portfolio – including most notably the redevelopment of Sullivan Center, a 1,000,000+ square foot historic mixed use office and retail building on State Street in Chicago, IL. Along with these duties Mr. Eber sought out new acquisitions to grow the Freed’s portfolio. Mr Eber also identified mature assets within the Freed portfolio for disposition and executed all phases of the sale process. During his 15 years with Freed he was involved in over 30 property transactions.

Before joining Freed, Norris served as Senior Vice President, Asset Management & Acquisitions for seven years for Tucker Properties Corporation REIT. During this time he was one of four key executives that helped convert the company from private ownership to a public REIT on the NYSE. Prior to Tucker, he served as Managing Director for Moor + South. There he supervised the execution of a program that included more than $150 million in specialty retail real estate. Mr. Eber also served as Manager of Leasing for Homart Development Co., a national shopping center developer where he was employed for 15 years with Homart & Sears.

Norris holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Market Research from Northern Illinois University. He holds a real estate brokers’ license in Illinois.

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James M. Sutphen, CSM, CDP
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer

James M. Sutphen, CSM, CDP

Jim Sutphen currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Abbell Associates and its affiliates, a private real estate company based in Chicago that owns and manages approximately 3.5 million square feet of retail and office space in Iowa and Ohio. Jim is responsible for overseeing all day-to-day management, leasing, construction, and tenant coordination activities for the family portfolio of projects. Recent projects include reconfiguration and renovation of enclosed super regional mall space to add four junior anchors. Over the past 23 years, Jim has held a variety of positions within the real estate industry. Prior to his current role at Abbell, Jim served as Vice President of Construction for the Midwest for Regency Centers Corporation, a publicly traded REIT, and oversaw all regional design and construction activity for the company. In his role with Regency, Jim oversaw development of several million square feet of new developments and re-development projects in the Midwest.

Before joining Regency, Jim served as Vice President of Construction and as Vice President of Property Management for Joseph Freed and Associates, a large privately held real estate development company based in Chicago. In multiple roles, Jim oversaw all day-to-day property management functions for the company’s multi-million square foot portfolio and then oversaw all design and construction activities for several million square feet of retail and mixed-use developments in Illinois, Michigan, and Colorado.

Jim is a 1986 graduate of the University of Illinois and received his CSM designation in 1995 and his CDP designation in 2010 from the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). In addition, Jim has served as a panelist on multiple occasions at ICSC’s Centerbuild conference and has also hosted several roundtable events at ICSC conferences.

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Al E. O’Donnell, CPA
Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer

Al E. O’Donnell, CPA

Al O'Donnell is responsible for overseeing the finance and accounting activities for the family portfolio of projects including loan negotiations, closings and administration, tenant billings and expense recoveries, financial reporting, budgets and projections, external audits and strategic planning. Since 1982, Al has held a variety of positions within the real estate industry. Prior to joining Abbell, Al served as Senior Director of Accounting and Finance for Heartland Alliance, a large multi-national non-profit organization based in Chicago. Al worked for the Housing Division where he oversaw the accounting and finance for subsidized housing projects in Milwaukee and Chicago.

Before joining Heartland, Al served as Chief Financial Officer for Joseph Freed and Associates, a private real estate development company based in Chicago.

In this role, Al oversaw the finance, tax, accounting and treasury management for this diverse real estate company. Al started his career in real estate working as Controller for a large real estate firm in St. Louis, CenterMark Properties, a subsidiary of May Company. CenterMark Properties was one of the largest shopping center developers and managers in the country. Al was integrally involved in a public offering of company stock in 1993 and assisted in the analyses relating to the sale of the company to an insurance company and public REIT. Al graduated from the University of Missouri and is a Certified Public Accountant. He is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, the American Institute of CPAs and the Illinois Society of CPAs.

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Thomas M. Walsh, CLS, CRX
Senior Vice President & Director of Leasing

Thomas M. Walsh, CLS, CRX

Tom Walsh serves Abbell Associates as the Senior Vice President, Director of Leasing, overseeing all retail leasing activity.

Tom is a highly accomplished, 30 year leasing veteran with extensive experience developing and executing leasing plans for open air, lifestyle, mall, and mixed use properties, including both ground-up development as well as re-merchandising an existing center. Tom has worked with a broad spectrum of tenants, including:Target; Elder-Beerman; Bed, Bath & Beyond;Old Navy; Michael’s; DSW; Circuit City; and Borders. Specialty retail and restaurant work has included: Ann Taylor; Eileen Fisher; Gap; Puma; Yankee Candle; Steve Madden; Flat Top Grill; Max & Erma’s; Long Horn Steakhouse; CPK; Au Bon Pain; Panera; and Chipotle. Prior to joining Abbell, Tom spent 20 years with Joseph Freed and Associates, coordinating the Leasing activities of a portfolio that grew to 6 million square feet including both ground up projects and existing property redevelopments.

Prior to joining Freed, Tom leased properties for developers Bronson & Hutensy in Hartford, CT, and Zaremba Midwest in Chicago, and started his real estate career at commercial brokerage firm Sheldon Good & Company in Chicago.

Tom is a graduate of Drake University, holds the Certified Leasing Specialist (CLS) and the Certified Retail Property Executive (CRX) designation from the International Conference of Shopping Centers, and is a licensed Illinois broker.

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