Our Management Team

H. William Walter

Bill Walter is President of Heartland Realty Investors, Inc., founding the business in 1971. Bill graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in civil engineering and received an M.B.A. from the University Of Minnesota Carlson School Of Business. Bill learned the business not only from holding an executive role with Shelter Corporation of America but from experience as an officer in the U.S. Navy, and serving as a construction project supervisor in Vietnam. During his tenure with Heartland, Bill has worked in all facets of the real estate investment business. From 1971 to 1986, he launched the growth of Heartland through his investments in HUD-backed affordable housing partnerships. Thereafter, Bill led the Company into its new phase of growth by acquiring conventional and affordable properties. The current expansion of Heartland follows a commitment to expand its multifamily activity by utilizing Heartland’s experienced management team.

Outside of Heartland, Bill enjoys spending time in community affairs, most notably serving on the board of the National Parks and Conservation Association. This activity corresponds with a lifelong interest in our national parks and environmental issues. He is also on the Carlson School of Business Board and is a lifetime Minnesota Gopher sports fan. His wife, Judy, is a retired ESL teacher in the Minneapolis school system. Together they love spending time with their 6 grandkids.

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Matthew Walter
VP of Acquisitions

Matthew joined Heartland in 1994 and currently serves as its Vice President of Acquisitions. Matthew grew in the industry starting as a property manager transitioning troubled properties into valuable assets. Matthew is currently responsible for Heartland's acquisition strategy which has provided unprecedented growth for the Company. Starting in 2012, he expanded Heartland into Hotel ownership. He lead the team to transition the 265-room Holiday Inn Metrodome to undergo a $30 million conversion to a Courtyard by Marriott, Downtown Minneapolis. Later in 2013, the Hotel Ivy was purchased, which also received substantial renovations to the hotel and restaurant.

Matthew graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.A. in economics and small business administration. He is also a licensed real estate agent. Matthew and his wife, Julie, live in the Twin Cities with their three children. Matt is very active with neighborhood and school activities. He is also committed to working on Habitat for Humanity, as well as with the Greater Minneapolis/Twin Cities YMCA helping Urban Youth. He is also a trustee for the National Parks Conservation Association.

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David Walter
VP of Operations

Dave joined Heartland in 2003 as its Vice President of Operations. Dave's primary responsibilities include overseeing property management operations for Heartland's portfolio of market and affordable properties. His focus areas include establishing Heartland as one of the leading apartment operators in the country and building strategic partnerships.

Before joining Heartland, Dave served as a partner for ServiceMaster Ventures, a corporate venture capital fund, and worked in Piper Jaffray's investment banking group.

Dave graduated from Northwestern University with a B.A. in economics and received an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Dave is also active in coaching youth sports and volunteering. He is currently the chairman of the Midwest National Parks Conversation Association council and is on the Board of Mount Olivet's Cathedral of the Pines camp. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and three children.

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Steve Perkins
Chief Financial Officer

Steve Perkins has been with Heartland Realty Investors, Inc. since 1987. As the Chief Financial Officer, Steve oversees asset management and accounting functions and is also instrumental in the development and implementation of Heartland’s business plan and management philosophy. Before joining Heartland’s executive team, he learned the basics of real estate management and finance at a number of local real estate firms.

As the CFO, he enthusiastically thinks of the future and betterment of the company. With his help, Heartland continues to search for new technologies to improve our customer’s satisfaction with the services we deliver and/or that improve our back office operating efficiency.

Steve graduated from the University of Minnesota with a B.S. in accounting. He is a licensed real estate agent and also holds the designation of Certified Property Manager, (CPM®) from the Institute of Real Estate Management. He has three children and lives in the Twin Cities area. Outside of Heartland he enjoys numerous outdoor activities and is actively involved with his church.

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Sarah Kastan
Accounting Manager

Sarah has more than 25 years of experience in the real estate industry. She has been with Heartland since 1999. Sarah is the Accounting Manager and part of the software project implementation team. Sarah also formed the Yardi software User Group for the Minnesota region. Sarah has an Associate's degree from Winona State and Winona Technical College.

Sarah enjoys spending time outdoors running, skiing, biking and canoeing.

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Molly Peterson
Property Accountant/Payroll Specialist

Molly joined Heartland Realty Investors in 2004 as a property accountant. She has since expanded her role to include voucher management and payroll, and also assists with various other projects. Molly graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Superior with a B.S. in accounting.

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Nancy Miller
Property Accountant

Nancy has been with Heartland since 2013 as a Property Accountant. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband & 3 daughters and volunteering in the various activities that they are involved in.

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Binita Tenner
Property Accountant

Binita joined the accounting team with Heartland Realty Investors in January 2022. With more than 15 years of experience, she has an extensive background in various roles within property management, real estate, and interior design. She is currently completing her licensure requirements to become a licensed MN Real Estate Agent. In her spare time, Binita enjoys traveling, writing poetry, music, trying new restaurants, and spending quality time with her family & friends.

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Shawna Hasser
Accounts Payable

Shawna joined Heartland in 2003. In her free time, she loves to travel and enjoys spending time with her husband and family. Shawna graduated from Bemidji State University with a B.S. in office administration.

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Vicki Rademacher
Affordable Compliance Specialist

Vicki joined Heartland in August 2013 as Community Manager at Clifton Townhomes in Shakopee, MN. In November 2015, she moved to Home Office to serve as an Affordable Compliance Specialist.

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Sheila Melton
Asset Manager/Regional Manager

Sheila Melton joined Heartland Realty Investors in March 1985. She holds various roles at Heartland which include: asset manager, regional property manager, and supervisor of the compliance department. Sheila resides in Illinois with her husband Tom and daughter, Allison. She has 3 grandchildren and enjoys gardening, camping, and boating.

In her Asset Manager capacity, Sheila is responsible for the housing contracts, contract renewals, and rent negotiations between HUD and the Owners. Sheila also assists with procedure development, policy changes, resident liaision, housing program conversions and risk management issues. Additionally, she oversees one property in Indiana.

Sheila supervises the Compliance Department at Corporate headquarters. Specifically, she supervises and assists with compliance procedures, policies, and procedures development. She also assists with the coordination of management reviews, file audits, and updating Section 8 compliance requirements.

Institute of Real Estate Management
Illinois Real Estate
Nevada Real Estate
Bradley University
Peoria Midstate College

Certified Property Manager Designation - CPM
Accredited Residential Manager - ARM
Certified Occupancy Specialist
Member of ACTHA
Licensed IL Real Estate Managing Broker

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Al Hirlston
National Maintenance Director

Al joined Heartland in July, 1986, shortly after leaving the U.S Air Force, as a Police Officer. He spent his first 12-years with Heartland, as a Maintenance Technician at Arboretum Village Apartments, in Lisle, Illinois, before transferring to Minnesota in 1998. In 2002, Al became the National Maintenance Director for Heartland.

Although Al performs various duties, his main role involves contract/purchase negotiations and supervising large projects. Al’s education, certifications and experience include: Facility Management, Construction Management, General Contractor, Certified Renovator, HVAC, OHSA, REAC, CAD, and others.

A little known fact about Al: While at Arboretum Village Apartments, Al was in a band for 11-years, where he played the bass guitar. The band was originally formed by actual residents of Arboretum Village Apartments and was named Complex as in “Apartment Complex”.

In his spare time, Al enjoys oil painting, Bass fishing, painting fish lures, spending time with his family and every now and then, breaking out the bass guitar.

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Ron Rodriguez
Regional Manager

Ron joined Heartland in 2005. He supervises the financial operations and renovations of our Market Community in Texas and our Affordable communities in Texas and California. He provides leadership, guidance, and support to all Community Managers in an effort to allow them to achieve success in reaching our owners goals.

Ron's career in the apartment industry spans a period over 24 years. Because of his experience, he's been involved in the implementation of start-up company's policies and procedures along with the onsite work flow structure. Throughout his career he's supervised properties throughout the US, has been responsible for overseeing the financial, operations and renovations of multiple complexes ranging from Market, Affordable, Tax Credits, Bonds, and SRO.

National Apartment Association
National Affordable Housing Management Association
National Center for Housing Management

Certified Apartment Property Supervisor - CAPS
Housing Credit Certified Professional - HCCP
Certified Occupancy Specialist - COS

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Sarah Walter
Regional Manager

Sarah has been with Heartland since 2005. Over the years, she has held many positions within Heartland and currently serves as a Regional Property Manager overseeing affordable and market-rate communities in Minnesota. Sarah also supports our Team as the human resources and benefits liaison.

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Laura Rowe
Regional Manager

Laura joined Heartland in 2003. She leads teams in meeting demanding performance objectives, which improve efficiency, reduce costs and increase profits while helping to streamline processes and customer satisfaction. She oversees communities in NV, MN & IL.

Laura Rowe has been with Heartland Realty Investors for over 10 years, but her experience in the industry spans a period of more than 30 years. Because of her experience, she directly supervises the financial, operational, and improvement operations for Market properties.

Art Institute of Chicago
Has received various certifications within the industry
Attended many continuing education classes

Illinois Realtor's License
30 years of property management experience
13 years with REITS

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Jenny Anderson
Director of Project Management

Jenny joined Heartland in 2013. She oversees various projects including property acquisitions and sales, refinancing activities and new product implementation. She also enjoys providing training and support to our on-site property management teams.

Jenny graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a B.A. in English Literature and received her MBA from St. Thomas' Opus College of Business. She enjoys traveling to new places, exploring the great outdoors and spending time with family.

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TJ LaDuke
Senior Project Manager

TJ joined Heartland in 2016 as an Analyst. He was promoted to Project Manager in January 2018, and to his current position in June 2019. His primary responsibilities include managing property transactions – including acquisitions, sales, and refinances – as well as managing insurance renewals and real estate taxes.

He graduated cum laude from the University of St. Thomas with a B.S. in Real Estate.

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Christine VanBrocklin
Project Coordinator

Christine joined Heartland in 2021 as a Project Coordinator. Her primary responsibilities include assisting the Project Management Team in property transitions and new product implementation. Christine graduated magna cum laude from the University of North Dakota with her B.A in Anthropology and B.S in Forensic Science. She enjoys traveling, fishing, and the great outdoors. She also is an avid lover of new information and challenges herself weekly in competitive trivia.

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