Archive for Executive Management

Diane Cullinan Oberhelman

Diane founded Cullinan Properties in 1988 after being in the real estate business since 1981. Diane is known in the industry to pay particular attention to projects by being personally involved from inception to completion. Her vision and commitment led to one of Cullinan’s most notable projects, Grand Prairie Developments, which began as farmland and has since led to thousands of acres of multi-family, residential, entertainment, office and hospitality uses. Today, Diane is nationally regarded as a visionary and passionate business owner and continues to be a leader in real estate development industry.

Diane’s leadership and board affiliations are numerous and have included the Federal Reserve Advisory Council of Chicago, Illinois Economic Development Board, Ducks Unlimited Board, Kids Konnected Board, Multi-Ad Services, Inc. Board, Peoria Civic Center Authority Board, Susan G. Komen Board, OSF Foundation Board and chairman of the Salvation Army Tree of Lights Campaign and Illinois Development Finance Authority.

Diane’s awards and recognitions include being inducted into Midwest Real Estate News’ Commercial Real Estate Hall of Fame; honored as a 40 Leaders Under Forty Alumnus of the Year; induction into Junior Achievement’s Central Illinois Business Hall of Fame; Boy Scout Distinguished Citizen of the Year Award for Central Illinois; Central Illinois Volunteer of the Year Award; being named one of the 25 Women In Leadership; and receiving the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Athena Award.

Diane is married to Doug Oberhelman and has four grown children: Kathleen Cullinan Brill, Maureen Cullinan Bennett, Alison Cullinan Unkovich, and Allen Cullinan. Doug is the recently retired Chairman and CEO of Caterpillar Inc. They also have 11 grandchildren.

Christopher M. West

Chris leads the Cullinan Properties organization with specific responsibility for implementation of new developments, leasing, marketing and administration. With more than 35 years of experience, he has successfully completed the development and re-development of hundreds of millions of dollars in mixed-use, retail, office, medical and multi-family projects, including the master planning and development of projects such as Streets of St Charles, The Levee District and Grand Prairie Developments. Chris pays particular attention not only to the flow and logistics of a development, but also to the special amenities which can set a project apart from its competitors.

Prior to joining Cullinan Properties in 2002, Chris served as Vice President of Development with Urban Retail Properties Co., where he was responsible for developing, expanding and renovating more than ten major projects nationwide. Preceding Urban Retail Properties Co., Chris had various roles in Property Management for JMB Properties. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Illinois State University.

Chris is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). He is also a licensed real estate broker.

Michael C. Owens, C.P.A.

Mike leads Cullinan Properties’ investment activities and ensures the necessary capital stack is in place for all Cullinan projects from national, regional and local sources. During his time at Cullinan Properties, Mike has been the point person on over $1 billion of construction, mini-perm and permanent financing. He also leads Cullinan Properties’ Office and Medical Division. Currently, Cullinan Properties’ portfolio has in excess of $200 million of medical facilities. Including previous projects completed, Cullinan has developed over $300 million of office and medical projects in the last 10 years.

Prior to joining Cullinan Properties in 1995, Mike served as Senior Financial Analyst and Property Manager for Equitable Real Estate Investment Management (EREIM) in Chicago, a third party asset manager where Mike maintained an asset portfolio in excess of $300 million. Preceding Equitable, Mike was a Senior Property Manager for Equitable’s sister company, Compass Property Management. In 1988, Mike began his career as a Senior Auditor at Grant Thornton, a Chicago-based public accounting firm where he performed audits for a variety of client types including municipal, manufacturing, financial and real estate. Mike holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accountancy from University of Illinois and is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Mike serves on the Board of Directors for the Streets of St. Charles Community Improvement District (CID).

Timothy J. Hogenkamp, C.P.A.

Timothy oversees the Accounting Department including all of its operations, treasury functions, company cash management and insurance risk management, as well as involvement with various tax and other finance matters. He also is responsible for driving strategies that grow Cullinan’s investor base.

Prior to joining Cullinan Properties, Timothy spent close to 18 years as Vice President at Staenberg Group and THF Realty, where he was responsible for all operating accounting, budgeting, tax compliance, financial reporting, lease administration, risk management and human resource functions.  He also has experience in startups, growth and billion-dollar industries having served in various capacities with Venture Stores, Anheuser-Busch and other organizations. Timothy holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Degree in Accounting from the University of Missouri. He passed the CPA exam in 1993.

Timothy volunteers his time with St. Louis Crisis Nursery and has held board positions there for over 10 years. He is also involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Cycle for Life event and Gateway Off-Road Cyclists (GORC).

Sean Garrett

Sean oversees all aspects of the acquisition process, including financial analysis, due diligence and underwriting, while also developing and maintaining important relationships with Cullinan Properties’ community partners. Sean regularly makes investment presentations to senior management, investors, lenders and municipalities. He also provides daily guidance to the leasing, marketing, and construction departments to help guide potential opportunities from inception to reality. Sean leads monthly Strategy Meetings focused on ensuring Cullinan Properties maintains a long-term vision and makes necessary adjustments in order to remain a national leader in commercial real estate development.

Prior to joining Cullinan Properties in 2011, Sean served as a Development Associate in Washington, D.C. at Western Development Corporation, where he coordinated the pre-development of over 1 million SF of retail and mixed-use projects. He was also a contributing team member during the founding of, which is now one of the leading real estate crowdfunding platforms in the country. Sean graduated Cum Laude from the University of Pennsylvania.

Sean is actively involved in the Peoria community. He presently serves as President of Central Illinois BizPAC and is a member of the Peoria CEO Council and the Emerging Philanthropists advisory council. Sean regularly volunteers with Heart of Illinois United Way, where he has served on the Agency Audit committee, as a cabinet member for the United Way Campaign and co-chair of Generation United. He has been recognized by InterBusiness Issues as one of Peoria’s 40 Leaders Under Forty.

Steven C. Gatton

Steven oversees all aspects of property operations, including supervision of both in-house personnel and third party firms. He also coordinates leasing and tenant coordination related activities for the managed properties.

Prior to joining Cullinan Properties in 2017, Steven served as Finance and Asset Manager for The Staenberg Group, where he led the company on various financial strategies and debt placement for all new and existing projects. His responsibilities also included day-to-day operations and management of all TSG Retail Properties in the Midwest and Eastern United States. Preceding The Staenberg Group, Steven worked for THF Realty, where he managed 17 shopping centers totaling over 3.3 million square feet. He also served as a Senior Financial Analyst at THF Realty and was involved with placing $500 million of structured financing. Steven holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration and Graduate Certificate in Entrepreneurship from Keller Graduate School. He also holds a degree in Business Finance from Lindenwood University.

Steven serves as Vice President of Peoria’s Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Chapter. He also serves on the board for Neighborhood House and is a board member for Mustaches for Kids Peoria, an organization that raises money for children’s charities in Peoria by encouraging men to grow a mustache in April. Steven was also selected to be a part of Senator Chuck Weaver’s 1,000 Pounds Project, an initiative focused on impacting the greatest needs of the Peoria community. He is a graduate of Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce’s 43rd Annual Community Leadership School.

Kathleen Brill

Kathleen oversees the Leasing Department and is responsible for new development and existing property leasing and sales at properties owned and/or managed by Cullinan Properties. She has successfully completed over 1,000,000 square feet of transactions with Cullinan Properties, including big box and junior anchor retailers such as Target, Costco, Gordmans and Hy-Vee, as well as numerous national and regional small shop tenants and restaurants.

Prior to joining Cullinan Properties in 2006, Kathleen served as a Broker with InCommercial Property Group. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Kathleen is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). She co-founded the Peoria area Kids Konnected, a support group for children of parents with cancer. From 2008-2013, Kathleen served as Auxiliary Board President for the Sue Duncan Children’s Center, a safe haven for children to strengthen core academic skills while also developing self-esteem, respect for others and a renewed sense of hope. She continues her affiliation with the organization as a board member. Additionally, Kathleen served on the Auxiliary Board of the Art Institute of Chicago. She has been recognized by Real Estate Forum as one of the real estate industry’s Leaders Under 40.

Ginger L. Benz

Ginger has been a member of the Cullinan Properties team since 2006. As Special Projects Executive, she assists in driving strategies to grow Cullinan’s investor base and organizes legislative, congressional and grant initiatives relating to assigned projects, including Rock Run Crossings.

Ginger previously served as a Board of Manager and Vice President of Operations & Marketing for Cullinan Properties, where she was responsible for the oversight of Cullinan’s operations, marketing and administration and worked closely with ownership on implementing business plans. Prior to joining Cullinan Properties, Ginger served as Director of Marketing and Public Relations at CPM Marketing Group, Inc., a Customer Relationship Management and database marketing provider for the healthcare, financial services and telecommunications industries. Ginger holds a Business Administration degree from Midstate College and certificate in Development, Design and Construction from John T. Riordan School for Retail Real Estate Professionals.

Ginger is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). She serves on the board for the Will County Center of Economic Development and is a former executive board member of the Neighborhood House Association.