Chief Executive Officer
As founder of Steadfast Companies Rodney F. Emery is responsible for the corporate vision, strategy and overall operational guidance of Steadfast Companies. He serves as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Steadfast Apartment REIT. He also serves as Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Steadfast Income REIT, positions he has held since the company's inception in May 2009. Mr. Emery chairs the Steadfast Executive Committee, which establishes policy and strategy and acts as the general oversight committee of Steadfast Companies. Mr. Emery also serves on the Steadfast Companies Investment Committee and is a member of the Board of Managers of Stira Capital Markets Group. Prior to founding Steadfast Companies in 1994, Mr. Emery served for 17 years as the President of Cove Properties, a diversified commercial real estate firm specializing in property management, construction and development. Mr. Emery received a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Southern California and serves on the board of directors of several non-profit organizations.
Ella Shaw Neyland serves as the president and an affiliated director of Steadfast Apartment REIT. She also serves as president and an affiliated director of Steadfast Income REIT, positions she has held since October 2012. From October 2011 to September 2012, Ms. Neyland served as an independent director and Audit Committee Chair of Steadfast Income REIT. Ms. Neyland has considerable experience in real estate investment, development and finance. From 2001 to 2004, Ms. Neyland served as Executive VP, Treasurer and Investor Relations Officer of United Dominion Realty Trust (UDR), where she was responsible for capital market transactions, banking relationships and presentations to investors and Wall Street analysts. Ms. Neyland also was a voting member of UDR’s Investment Committee, which oversaw the repositioning of more than $3 billion of investments. Prior to 2001, Ms. Neyland served as the CFO at Sunrise Housing, a privately owned apartment development company, and as the Senior VP of Finance and the VP of Troubled Debt Restructures/Finance for the Lincoln Property Company, a commercial real estate development and management firm. In addition to her extensive real estate background, Ms. Neyland has held executive positions in the banking industry, including CIBC, BancOne and Frost Bank. Ms. Neyland received a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas.
Mr. Keating serves as Treasurer and the Chief Accounting Officer of our advisor, where he focuses on the accounting function and compliance responsibilities for us and our advisor. Mr. Keating also serves as Treasurer of Steadfast Income REIT, a position he has held since April 2011. Mr. Keating brings over 25 years of experience, including 13 years in public accounting. Mr. Keating has extensive experience working with public companies, including serving as the Audit Manager for one of the largest, public multifamily REITs while he was part of the Real Estate Group at Ernst & Young, LLP. He worked for Ernst & Young from 1988-1999. Prior to joining our advisor, Mr. Keating served as Senior Audit Manager with BDO, USA, LLP (formerly BDO Seidman, LLP), an audit and accounting firm, from 2006 to 2011. For two years, Mr. Keating served as Vice President and Corporate Controller of Endocare, Inc., a medical device manufacturer. Mr. Keating holds a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from St. John’s University and is a certified public accountant.
Ana Marie del Rio serves as Secretary for Steadfast Apartment REIT. Ms. del Rio also serves as Secretary and Compliance Officer of Steadfast Income REIT, positions she has held since its inception in May 2009. She also serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Steadfast Companies. Ms. del Rio manages the Human Resources, Information Technology and Legal Services Departments for Steadfast Companies and is responsible for risk management and company-wide communications. She also works closely with Steadfast Management Company, Inc. and handles risk management in the management and operation of Steadfast Companies’ residential apartment homes, especially in the area of compliance. Prior to joining Steadfast Companies, Ms. del Rio was a partner in the public finance group at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP, from September 1993 to April 2003, representing both issuers and underwriters in financing single-family and multifamily housing, transportation projects and other types of public-private and redevelopment projects. From 1979 to 1993, Ms. del Rio co-owned and operated a campaign consulting and research company specializing in local campaigns and ballot measures. Ms. del Rio received a juris doctor from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1993, She earned a Master's of Public Administration in 1978 and a Bachelor of Arts in 1976 from the University of Southern California.
Kerry Dean Vandell serves as one of the independent directors for Steadfast Apartment REIT. Dr. Vandell also served as an independent director of Steadfast Income REIT, a position he held from October 2012 to August 2015. Dr. Vandell currently serves as the Dean’s Professor of Economics and Public Policy and Director of the Center for Real Estate at the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California-Irvine (UCI), having joined UCI in July 2006. He also has held courtesy appointments at UCI’s School of Law and the Department of Planning, Policy and Design in the School of Social Ecology since 2008. Before joining UCI, Dr. Vandell was on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison for 17 years where he held the Tiefenthaler Endowed Chair in Real Estate and Urban Land Economics, was Director of the Center for Urban Land Economics Research, and served as Chairman of the Department of Real Estate and Urban Land Economics. His first academic appointment was at Southern Methodist University in 1976, where he ultimately served as Professor and Chairman of the Department of Real Estate and Regional Science before leaving in 1989. Dr. Vandell received his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Urban Studies and Planning, his master of city planning in city and regional planning from Harvard University, and his undergraduate and masters degrees in mechanical engineering from Rice University. He has authored or co-authored over 70 publications and has been invited to provide numerous presentations on the topics of finance, economics and real estate. Dr. Vandell has also previously served as a board member for consulting firms representing the commercial banking, REIT and shopping center sectors.
G. Brian Christie serves as one of the independent directors for Steadfast Apartment REIT. Mr. Christie has practiced as an attorney in the real estate, corporate and banking fields since 1979. Mr. Christie currently serves as a principal of Christie Law Firm. For seven years, Mr. Christie served as Chief Executive Officer of Liti Holographics, Inc., a 3-D optimal technology company. Mr. Christie has also served as a Director, Executive Vice President and General Counsel of ARV Assisted Living, Inc., or ARV, a company that acquired, developed and operated multifamily apartments, senior apartments and assisted-living apartments. While at ARV, Mr. Christie played an integral role in the listing of ARV on NASDAQ. Prior to joining ARV, Mr. Christie was a partner at the law firm of Good, Wildman, Hegness and Walley. Mr. Christie received a Bachelor of Arts from Calvary Bible College, a Master of Theology from Dallas Theological Seminary and a Juris Doctor from the University of Texas Law School. Mr. Christie is a member of the State Bar of California and the American Bar Association. Mr. Christie is also a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of California.
Thomas H. Purcell serves as one of the independent directors for Steadfast Apartment REIT. Mr. Purcell has been actively involved in the real estate development business for 41 years. Since September 2009, Mr. Purcell has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Curci Companies, a real estate investment company that owns and manages real estate throughout the western United States. Before that, Mr. Purcell was Co-Founder and President of Spring Creek Investors, LLC, a private equity capital business focused on real estate development. Mr. Purcell also served as President of Diversified Shopping Centers, where he developed and managed neighborhood and community shopping centers. From 1977 to 1996, Mr. Purcell co-founder served as president of a shopping center development business that developed and renovated over 4 million square feet of retail shopping centers. Prior to 1977, Mr. Purcell was employed at a shopping center development company where he headed the development and construction management team and served as the controller. Since 2007, Mr. Purcell has been a board member of Bixby Land Company, a private industrial REIT, where he also chairs the investment committee and is a member of the audit and compensation committees. Mr. Purcell is a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers, or ICSC. He was Western Division Vice President of ICSC and served on the organization's Board of Trustees and Executive Committee. He also was a trustee of the ICSC Educational Foundation. Mr. Purcell formerly served as a board member of the California Business Properties Association and as an advisory board member of Buchanan Street Partners and Western National Realty Fund. Mr. Purcell received a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the University of Southern California.
All members of the audit committee are "independent" as defined by our charter and the New York Stock Exchange and have significant financial and/or accounting experience. The audit committee assists our board of directors in overseeing and monitoring (1) the systems of our internal accounting and financial controls; (2) our financial reporting processes; (3) the independence, objectivity and qualification of our independent auditors; (4) the annual audit of our financial statements; and (5) our accounting policies and disclosures.
Our board of directors has delegated to the investment committee certain responsibilities with respect to investment in specific investments proposed by our advisor, and the authority to review our investment policies and procedures on an ongoing basis. The investment committee must at all times comprise of at least three members, a majority of whom must be independent directors.