John A. Schaffer
C.P.A., President of ContraVest Management Company, Principal, Chief Financial Officer
Schaffer’s background encompasses nearly 40 years of experience working in the real estate field covering development, investment, operations, finance/accounting, and workouts. In 1997 became a partner and now is intimately involved in the analysis, structuring, and closing of all real estate developments, joint ventures/partnerships, and property dispositions. In addition, he is responsible for securing construction and permanent loan financing and in 2013 became the Partner in charge of ContraVest Management Company. John is a Partner in all three ContraVest operating companies.
Schaffer previously worked for Prudential Life Insurance Co. in its Real Estate Investment Office, as well as BJF Development, Inc. (Condo Converter/RE workout firm), Cardinal Industries (RE Developer), Arlen Realty Co. (National RE Investment Co.) and the FDIC (liquidating failed banks). His responsibilities included asset management, financial/acquisition analysis, workouts and other various accounting duties.
Schaffer received his Bachelors Degree in Accounting in 1976 from the University of Florida, and a Masters Degree in Accounting from Florida International University, Miami, in 1980 and his CPA designation in 1980. John has been a member of the University of Florida’s Real Estate Advisory Board since 2006 and sits on his Church’s Finance Committee since 2004.
Vice President of Management, CAPS
ContraVest: As Vice President of Management Operations, since 1999, Christin is responsible for overseeing the management portfolio to include both stabilized and new lease-up communities. Her dedication, loyalty, leadership and team building skills permeate throughout the entire company. In addition to her management responsibilities she plays a vital role in development with input on location of new projects as well as interior/exterior design of clubhouse, units and amenity package. She is also actively involved in the construction process from coordination of design, setup, to opening communities from dirt to keys to ensure the best outcome for both ContraVest and investors.
Experience: Christin began her career in Property Management in 1985. Her 41+ years of experience has afforded her the opportunity to perfect the art of property management. Throughout her career she has managed properties new and old, large and small. She has experience working for large institutions, REIT’s and with individual investors. Christin’s lease-up experience spans 34 properties and 12,219 units. She has both CAM and CAPS accreditations through the National Apartment Association Education Institute.
Christin is actively involved in the apartment industry and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Orlando Apartment Association (AAGO) where she is involved in increasing membership and encouraging current members to attend monthly events to build a stronger association. She motivates her teams to be involved in legislation with annual visits to Tallahassee. In addition, Christin volunteers for the FAA Annual Conference committee and plays a role in bringing ideas to the table and decision making from the Masters Sessions to the suggestions and choices of keynote speakers.
Christin was recognized by her peers in 2018 when she was awarded an AAGO Golden Key for Management Executive of the Year.
Regional Director, CAPS
Brigitte Desko has been a ContraVest team member since 2011. She has held positions with ContraVest Management Company as a Leasing Specialist, Assistant Property Director, Property Director, Regional Training Director and Regional Director. During these years, she has successfully overseen multiple lease-up and stabilized assets throughout the Southeast as the Property Manager and Regional Director.
Currently, Brigitte serves as the Regional Director for ContraVest overseeing a portion of the ContraVest Management portfolio. Brigitte’s overall responsibilities include training, development, strategic marketing, personnel management, revenue growth, expense control, and reporting to owners. Brigitte has 12 years of apartment industry experience which has led her to sharpen her leadership skills and asset management capabilities.
Brigitte received her Bachelors Degree in Psychology at The University of Florida.
Christina Haskin began her career in property management as a Leasing Specialist in 2003 where she was quickly promoted to Assistant Property Director working in both Naples and Orlando markets. Due to a sale, she continued to work with Epoch Management and joined the ContraVest team in 2011 as an Assistant Property Director at Integra Meadows in Champions Gate, Florida. Her experience on both stabilized and lease-up assets earned her a promotion as Property Director at The Addison Apartment Homes in Brandon, Florida that same year. Christina continued to successfully manage luxury apartment homes in Brandon and Champions Gate for ContraVest.
Her 15 years of successful management and experience landed her a promotion to corporate as a Regional Director over a portion of the ContraVest Management portfolio. Her overall responsibilities include development, training, applying innovative target marketing, personnel management, revenue growth, expense control and reporting to owners.
Beth Buckman joined ContraVest in 1991 as an Assistant Manager at The Greens at MetroWest, one of ContraVest’s first projects in Orlando. In 1993 she moved to the home office and has been in charge of the administrative operations for the management company ever since. She has overall responsibility for weekly and monthly reporting to owners as well as being the company historian and statistician. In addition to her duties with ContraVest, Buckman also earned CAM and CAPS accreditations from the National Apartment Association.
Beth received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing/Management in 1988 from Florida Southern College.
Wendy McWhorter Manning
Chief Technology Officer
Wendy McWhorter Manning joined the property management industry in 1992 where she gained extensive experience over the next seven years in property management software, network administration, software implementation, hardware and training.
Wendy joined ContraVest in 1999 as their IT Director and was promoted to Chief Technology Officer in 2013 where she oversees all company web design, communication, hardware/software implementation and support. She also configures and supports new development networks, community network setups and property management applications. Wendy is also a member of the Greater Apartment Association (AAGO) Branding and Communication committee and was selected to sit on the 2020 AAGO Board of Directors.
Wendy received her Bachelor’s degree from Stetson University in 1991.