How Diverse Development Backgrounds Create Innovative Solutions

The leadership team that makes up Avenue features a diverse development, construction, design and operations backgrounds with senior living and healthcare expertise. From pre-construction management to managing legal risk, design, and development, Avenue is a nationally recognized development company that focuses on the industries of active adult, healthcare, senior living and post-acute healthcare. Learn more about the team that is shaping the future of wellness and care.

Mike Mattingly - headshot

Mike Mattingly | Principal & Co-Founder
Mike led pre-construction management and real estate development support for medical and senior living owner/operating clients focused on national expansion, and in five years was responsible for the leadership of a portfolio valued more than $300 million, covering over two million square feet. Mike spent years assisting on pre-construction efforts and design-assist activities for one of the Midwest’s largest medical builders, with projects ranging from large high-acuity hospitals to outpatient centers and medical office buildings. His entrepreneurial lineage runs deep and his passion for seniors housing and healthcare development was the next step in co-founding Avenue Development.

Q: What makes you most proud of the knowledgeable team that makes up the leadership team at Avenue?

A: Over our quick years of building Avenue, our leadership team continues to build leaders – a dynamic group of individuals who are top-tier professionals in their role and excel in specific components of what acquisition, development and operations require. I am most proud of the level of commitment and purpose that each of our team leaders contribute to the mission and integrity of our firm.

Laurie Shultz - headshot

Laurie Schultz | Principal & Co-Founder
With a diverse development background, Laurie has spent her career balancing real estate investments with forward thinking healthcare trends. Prior to co-founding Avenue, she developed projects in medical ambulatory care, post-acute rehabilitation, senior housing and market rate apartments exceeding $800 million in value. She has also developed 3,000+ units of market-rate, Class A, apartments and senior communities, and directed development for one of the country’s largest and most respected privately held apartment management and development firms, producing over $150 million of expansion across the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions.

Q: How does a background in real estate finance help Avenue perform successfully at senior living and healthcare developments?

A: One of my early career lessons in commercial real estate was understanding the importance of conservative, realistic project underwriting and this is ingrained in Avenue’s transparent culture. Our underwriting approach has been instrumental during this rapidly rising interest rate environment to maintain investor confidence and be able to continue with new developments during this turbulence.

Adam Filler - headshot

Adam Filler | President, Avenue Construction
Adam has nearly two decades of pre-construction management, construction management, general contracting and subcontracting experience within the senior living, medical and multifamily markets totaling over 2 million square feet constructed. Over a 3-year period working together with the team, Adam helped to grow revenue from $13MM to $33 MM.

Q: How does your unique experience in construction management contribute to the success for clients and their experience working with Avenue?

A: Having worked in a variety of different capacities within the development, design and construction processes allows Avenue to bring a better understanding of the impact different potential decisions will have downstream. We also look at projects from an owner’s perspective, act in their best interest and are good stewards of capital!

Alexander O’Neill - headshot

Alexander O’Neill | Executive Vice President & General Counsel
Alexander is committed to providing creative and practical solutions to managing legal risk. Prior to joining Avenue, Alexander practiced with the law firm of Krieg DeVault LLP for ten years in the areas of real estate and environmental law, and as in-house counsel with the largest skilled nursing development company in the country.

Q: What is the benefit to Avenue clients of Avenue having in-house legal counsel?

A: Avenue clients benefit from Avenue having in-house legal counsel because an in-house lawyer has a deep understanding of the business and can therefore help spot issues sooner rather than later and create efficiencies. In addition, having good in-house counsel allows Avenue to make strategic decisions because in-house counsel is also a strategic business advisor. While I represent Avenue and its affiliates, all parties involved in a project or deal typically benefit when issues are called out early, giving the business people and lawyers time to work through them. Avenue also strives to be efficient in our processes, and one of the contributions that the Avenue legal function has made to that effort has been to develop templates for many of the common real estate/development/ business agreements needed on our projects and deals. These often serve as good starting points and allow us to get initial drafts turned around quickly to the other party(ies) in an effort to help move the deal along. One of our co-founders is fond of the adage that “time kills all deals.” All of our team members understand this and, as Avenue’s in-house counsel, it is one of the truisms that guides me and helps me to find ways to get deals done – not stand in the way of them getting done – and in the end that benefits all of the parties.

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Matt Kwapis | Senior Vice President
With over a decade of experience, Matt is dedicated to the seniors housing industry creating life-enhancing environments for America’s seniors and those who care for them. Prior to joining Avenue, he led project management and procurement operations for one of the nation’s largest professional services firms and was responsible for exceptional project execution on over 200 projects annually.

Q: How does a solid foundation of development experience help with the project progression for clients?

A: Possessing a solid foundation of development experience helps our clients achieve their goals more efficiently, effectively, and with less risk. Our team is uniquely situated to help our clients streamline the development process and make better decisions. We leverage our experiences working with all stakeholders, including our clients, investors, contractors, government officials, and many others to effectively communicate to ensure that everyone is on the same page as we work through the various stages of the project. When challenges arise, we use our extensive experience to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions that mitigate risks and keep the project on track. While no project is ever the same, drawing upon experiences from past projects provides our team with the skillset to help our clients navigate through the development process and helps lead to better outcomes.

Brian Lane - headshot

Brian Lane | Vice President, Strategic Development
Brian has a diverse operational background with over 25 years of experience in the senior living industry. During this time, Brian has held leadership positions in all facets of senior housing including serving as an on-site Executive Director as well as a senior leadership role as Director of Operations for one of the nation’s most well-respected operators. Prior to joining Avenue, he was Director at K2M Design leading the Senior Housing division, which allowed Brian to provide clients a unique ability to recommend design ideas based on his operational expertise.

Q: How does your operational experience shape your insight for Avenue clients?

A: Working in senior living for over 25 years, I have the experience to help our team design and build a community with the end users in mind. This allows us to build a community that is sized appropriately for the residents to maximize their experiences, while ensuring the layout of the community is efficient for the employees. When these two critical components are completed correctly, it goes a long way to ensuring a successful community.

Robin Keltner - headshot

Robin Keltner | Vice President, Accounting
Robin has over 28 years of experience in the accounting field. She began her career working for a local CPA firm in the Business Valuations and Tax Departments before moving on to take over the Controller position at a large Office Supply Cooperative. While there, she managed the Accounting Department, maintained the company’s general ledger, along with preparing the financial statements for Executives and Board of Directors.

Q: What does having in-house accounting oversight do for the success of the company?

A: Having in-house accounting oversight enables the accounting function to evolve in a similar way to the business and quickly and easily adapt to fulfill our companies’ needs.

Brent Bauters - headshot

Brent Bauters | Vice President, Construction
Brent has 15+ years of construction experience throughout the United States in both the GC and Owner Agent roles, most of which were spent with Adam Filler, Michael Mattingly, Ashley Dyer and Lyndsy Cain at Meyer Najem Construction. While with one of Midwest’s largest and renowned General Contractors for 13 years, he also constructed over a million square feet of senior living and medical space and a portfolio valued nearly $200 million.

Q: How does your background in construction help Avenue stand out among development companies?

A: Having construction experience and knowledge in-house adds another perspective during all phases of development. Whether its site selection, budget development, or design, we are able to weigh in regarding any potential issues and best practices related to cost, constructability, lead times, and availability. Our experience base is unique due to the amount of construction projects we have completed across the country. Building around the country exposes you to different code requirements, soil types, structures, installation methods, inspection processes, and of course people/contractors. All of these factors combined with our experience help us stand out when compared to other development companies.

Meg Sutton - headshot

Meg Sutton | Development Manager
Meg led the creative direction for one of the nation’s largest professional service firms specializing in seniors housing. In that role, Meg was directly responsible for growing individual designers’ technical and creative skills, managing quality across the studio, and developing new business opportunities with internal and external partners.

Q: What are you able to contribute to Avenue projects considering your specialization in seniors housing design?

A: Balance is an important element in development: balancing the cost of the project, or elements of the project against the operational impact, the aesthetic nature and ability to market the project. I have a unique ability on the development team to assess and ensure that balance on a deeper level because of my experience on the design side. I have the ability to look at a selection or element (large or small) and quickly perform cost/benefit analysis or ask the right questions to determine the answers we need quickly. If we can’t achieve the right balance in the project, there may not be a project to build.

Bob Akin - headshot

Bob Akin | Development Manager
Prior to joining Avenue, Bob spent over seven years working for a regional CPA firm where he built an expertise in tax compliance and advising for high net-worth individuals and small/medium sized businesses with a focus in the real estate industry. During his time in public accounting, Bob managed over 250 clients, with +/- $875M of net-worth, and grew a strong passion for providing the highest quality and professional service possible.

Q: How does your experience in tax compliance and advising contributed to your role as a Development Manager?

A: The experiences and knowledge gained from working in public accounting helped me build a set of skills that I can apply to my role as a Development Manager. I am a motivated, results-driven individual who enjoys working with a team effectively to achieve common goals. My expertise and financial background will help provide value by creating efficiencies with our investment analysis and decision making for the betterment of the entire team.

Joy Skidmore - headshot

Joy Skidmore | Development Manager
With over 20 years of experience in real estate development and construction, Joy worked in the pre-development, brokerage, survey & engineering, architectural design and construction segments of both the commercial and residential industries. By working within many different fields in the real estate development business across the nation, she has been able to gain a wide range of knowledge within each discipline needed from site contract execution to grand opening of a project.

Q: What do you believe makes Avenue stand out in the real estate investment field?

A: This team has so much combined, diverse experience in real estate development, someone always has the answer to any question or a solution to any problem that has come up during a project.

Ashley Dyer - headshot

Ashley Dyer | Office Manager
Ashley brings 18+ years of high level accounting, management, organization, and leadership skills to the Avenue family of companies. Most of her most recent experience was within the healthcare industry including assisted living facilities, on-campus hospitals, ambulatory locations and small medical office projects. Her acute attention to detail and expertise are undoubtedly an advantage to the Avenue Team.

Q: How does your vast background in management and organization contribute to your ability to provide invaluable attention to detail and expertise as a member of the Avenue team?

A: I consider management and organization a core value essential to business operations. It’s knowing when to step in for the fine details and when to step back for the bigger picture that makes a difference. Being organized assists the workflow and delivers manageable results.

Sydney Montgomery - headshot

Sydney Montgomery | Market Analyst
With an eye for detail and analytical talent, Sydney provides essential support to the Avenue Development Team. Sydney gathers data on consumers and competitors, helping the team make informed decisions. She is also responsible for preparing invoices and financial reports to assist with daily operations.

Q: How does your data and analytics background contribute to the Avenue Development team’s ability to make informed decisions and successfully navigate the real estate investment landscape?

A: I believe my data and analytics background allows me to identify emerging market trends that can impact the demand for senior living and healthcare services. With this information I contribute to the Avenue Development team by providing insight in order to make informed decisions about where to develop new facilities and how to position them to meet the needs of the target market. With this information the Development team is able to share data-driven insights with stakeholders that allows them to make educated decisions on which projects they feel confident supporting.

Gary Smith, Executive Advisor, Avenue

Gary Smith | Executive Advisor
Gary is the former Senior Vice President of Mainstreet Health, and prior to joining Mainstreet provided consulting services to acute care hospitals and post-acute providers to address hospital readmissions, strategic business development and new revenue cycle opportunities via GSS Management Group. Gary has an esteemed operations background, heading operations for Encore Healthcare, with 30 skilled nursing centers and 5 long term care hospitals and was the co-founder and Executive Vice President of Administration for American Care Communities.

Q: How does your background in consulting help to support smooth day-to-day operations at Avenue?

A: I utilize my background in healthcare development consulting as Executive Adviser for Avenue to support day to day operations via biweekly meetings with the development team discussing market selection, design/engineering issues, operations partners and other issues where my 40 years of experience can provide value. Collaboration with the Avenue principals allows for discussion regarding longer term strategy, capital/financing partners and network connections within the industry.

To learn more about Team Avenue, the leadership team and the mission of the company, visit


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