Management Team

Bernie Grablowsky, PhD, PCAM
Chairman of the Board

Bernie’s interests include hiking, wilderness horseback riding and mountain biking in Colorado each summer as well as travelling throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean. He is still adding to his “bucket list.” Bernie is an avid reader of fiction on vacations, but sticks to business publications at home. His newest passion is swimming, where he continues to add laps and distance in his quest “mile” each week. As a builder, developer, real estate investor and consultant, Bernie brings many years of experience to UPA clients. Prior to starting UPA in 1978, with his wife, Helene Grablowsky, Bernie was Chairman of the Department of Finance at Old Dominion University. He holds degrees in civil engineering and management from Georgia Tech and a doctorate in finance from Ohio State, with post-doctoral study at The Wharton School. After many years as President of UPA, Bernie’s desire is to help nurture the company’s growth and development as the region’s premier management company for the next generation of his family. Helene is still involved with ensuring the financial stability and operational integrity of the business.

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Debra G. Young
President and Chief Executive Officer

An enthusiastic traveler, Debra has visited South Africa, a number of countries in Europe, Hawaii and Belize. She enjoys baking, trying new restaurants, and spending time with her friends and family, most of all her two sons. Debra began her career by graduating from an intensive management development program and continued her career at MBNA, SunTrust and General Electric in marketing, management and business development roles. She joined UPA in 2009. She was brought on board to maintain the operational integrity of UPA through the creation of policies, procedures, employee retention programs, and business development efforts. She holds a degree in Business Management from the University of Delaware, earned her Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA), and a broker’s license in Virginia.

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Emma Connelly, PHR
Human Resources Director

A seashore and outdoor enthusiast, Emma enjoys taking the top and doors off her Jeep Wrangler on a sunny day and heading to the beach. Prior to joining UPA in 2014 she worked with large corporations and has used her previous experience to bring new ideas to enhance the operations within the company. As new parents to their little boy, Emma and husband Channing enjoy doing home projects, assisted by Mae, their Great Pyrenees. She sums up her job like this: “I believe that creating the best practices and policies for the organization help attract and retain exceptional employees so that UPA clients receive exceptional service.” Emma holds a Bachelor of Criminal Justice degree, with a minor in Psychology, from the University of North Florida.

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Dana Jenkins, RAM
Director – Rentals Division

Dana loves to travel and fishing is her favorite sport. She has been a Big Sister, recently became a child life volunteer specialist at the Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters, and is the active godmother of four boys and five girls. “My life is great!” she says. “Doing what you like is freedom and liking what you do is happiness.” That’s been Dana Jenkins’ belief for many years. She began her career helping people as a childcare provider and made the transition to a property leasing specialist when she moved from Hawaii to Washington State. Over twenty years later, providing exceptional customer service and team building are still her passions. OSHA certified, Dana has also completed Fair Housing Training and holds a Registration in Apartment Management (RAM) certification for her knowledge in all the essential aspects of property operations including: administrative and financial management, marketing, resident services, maintenance, fair housing, and security.

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Anita Loonam, CMCA, AMS, PCAM
Executive Vice President – Association Management Division

Anita’s favorite pastime is spoiling her grandchildren! She also enjoys gardening, traveling, fine dining and playing billiards. She placed 5th in the APA National Pool Tournament in Las Vegas in both 8-ball and 9-ball tournaments in 2014 and currently plays on two teams for the Southside APA league. As Vice President of the Association Management Division, Anita supervises the day-to-day operations of the department and is responsible for employee, company growth and development. She has redesigned the manager training curriculum for the division and oversees the mandatory monthly training programs to ensure that UPA’s managers are properly trained and up-to-date on any changes forthcoming in the industry. Over the course of her career, she has earned her Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA), Association Management Specialist (AMS), and Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM) designations through the Community Associations Institute. She is an active participant in the local South-Eastern Virginia Community Associations Institute (SEVA-CAI) chapter, as well as, the Central Virginia chapter in Richmond. Anita was recognized as Speaker of the Year in 2015, 2016 and Recruiter of the Year in 2015 for the SEVA-CAI chapter.

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Craig Ward
Comptroller – Association Management Division

An avid sports fan, Craig is partial to the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots. He bikes and walks for health and fitness. Craig and his wife, Wendy, also have twin sons and a daughter. A decade as a U.S. Navy Supply Corp Officer along with operating his own business made Craig a “teacher at heart” and he enjoys helping board members further their understanding of association financial statements. Craig has been instrumental in implementing the new management software and automated Accounts Payable programs at UPA over the last few years.

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Maria Khrustselevskaya
Senior Accounting Manager – Association Management Division

When traveling with her husband and her two sons, Maria’s favorite activities include reconnecting with nature at local state and national parks. They also like to visit fine art museums, especially if they are exhibiting works by her favorite painters – Raphael, Vermeer, and van Gogh. At UPA, she oversees the Association Division accounting department. Maria draws on her accounting management experience at a fast growing telecommunication installation and service company as well as her volunteer work at the United Nations. This background has also helped her to be a patient trainer who is able to communicate complex information in simple terms. Maria holds an Honors Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with Accounting and Audit majors.

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Kristen M. Millard
Comptroller – Rentals Division

For quiet relaxation, Kristen likes to settle in with a good book, her Yorkiepoos, Daisy Mae and Kino, curled up nearby. When looking for something more active, she heads for the bowling lanes, or just hangs out at home with Danny, her husband of 20 years, and their two teenaged children. As well as leading the UPA accounting team, Kristen may join them in their daily work process. “It enables me to see their challenges as we all work toward an efficient solution.” The team also benefits from her background as a business analyst and banking operations specialist. Kristen has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Management from Strayer University.

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Kelli Badary, CMCA, AMS, PCAM
Assistant Director – Association Management Division

Kelli’s passion is to over-deliver and exceed expectations, including answering phone calls before they go to voice mail. Her love of yoga, running, hiking and caring for two Yorkies means she is equally energetic outside of the office. As a call center team lead with an international consumer electronics manufacturer, Kelli learned how important customer service satisfaction is to the product or services offered. At UPA she uses that experience to help teach association managers and board members the specifics of condominium and homeowner associations. Kelli attends key association board meetings, works with new client onboarding, setting up boards and their documentation, and assists with the day-to-day management of UPA’s Association Division. She has an Associate in Applied Science and earned her Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA), Association Management Specialist (AMS), and Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM) designations through the Community Associations Institute.

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Anna Oquendo, CMCA
Team Leader – Peninsula Office

A native of Hampton Roads (born and raised in Newport News), Anna and her husband love to travel with their son, vacationing in a different city every year, plus making annual trips to New York, her husband’s hometown. With nearly two decades in real estate sales, investment, appraisal and property management, she brings a wealth of experience and enthusiasm to her role in association management. As the face of UPA to many residents, she leads her Team in delivering outstanding customer service, responding quickly and providing solutions. Anna is a graduate of William Peace University with a double major in Communications and Business Leadership Studies, holds her Certified Manager of Associations (CMCA) certification, and is an FHA-approved Certified Residential Appraiser.

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Richard Shermer, CMCA, AMS
Business Development – Association Management Division

Richard likes to view the world from a few thousand feet up as a private pilot, also likes to turn back the clock as a “living historian” and Civil War reenactor. In between those activities he plays tennis, does genealogical research and searches out antiques with Margaret, his wife of thirty years. Richard plays a large role in UPA’s growth as the Business Development Manager. He has had two “tours of duty” with UPA, from 2002 to 2004 and, after a career in higher education administration, returned in 2012. Richard credits his lifetime in front line customer service as inspiration in his daily dealings with residents, vendors and, what he considers his most important work, mentoring team members. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Susquehanna University.

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Benna Thomas, CMCA, AMS
Team Leader - Suffolk Office

While serving in the U.S. Navy in Hawaii as a Hospital Corpsman, Benna met Michael, her husband of 38 years. After leaving the Navy, she became a Licensed Practical Nurse. Benna’s three children and four grandchildren live in the area. Two rescued pugs and other pets share the Thomas' home. Benna brings years of practical experience to UPA clients. She lives in a Homeowner’s Association where she has served as a board member. Prior to joining UPA in 2002, Benna worked as a Homeowner’s Association Site Manager. Benna is the office manager for UPA's Suffolk office. Currently, her duties include portfolio management and supervision of Association Managers. She has earned her Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) and Association Management Specialist (AMS) designations through the Community Associations Institute.

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Kelli Allen, RAM
Assistant Director – Rentals Division

As long as the Dallas Cowboys and the WVU Mountaineers are doing well, Kelli is a happy fan. She combines her love of football with gardening, enjoying the area beaches, and being a mother to son, Damien. Having risen up through the ranks at UPA, she has the experience to ensure that properties are properly maintained. To prove her point, she received the award for the Most Improved Property for three years in a row and more recently has helped UPA’s single family rental business grow significantly. Kelli’s role now is to assure owners that their rental properties are being professionally managed under the Fair Housing Laws and the Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act. Part of her job is regular on-site interior and exterior inspections of properties for any issues. She also holds a Registration in Apartment Management (RAM) certification for her knowledge in all the essential aspects of property operations including: administrative and financial management, marketing, resident services, maintenance, fair housing, and security.

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Brenda Dalton, SHCM, COS
Regional Property Manager - Rentals Division

With more than 15 years of experience in property management and related areas, Brenda is a family-oriented professional. Her family is very important to her as are the families who live in the homes she manages. Throughout her career Brenda has managed and overseen a diverse range of family homes including Low Income Tax Credit Program (LIHTC), Section 8 housing and conventional properties. Her current role with UPA is to supervise compliance monitoring for tax credit properties. She holds a number of professional certifications including HCCP (Housing Credit Certified Professional), SHCM (Specialist in Housing Credit Management), and CPO (Certified Professional of Occupancy) from the National Center for Housing Management and The National Association of Home Builders. Brenda studied Business Management at Norfolk State University.

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Cheryl Marston
Regional Property Manager – Rentals Division

With husband, Aron, three sons and a daughter – along with five cats and a dog – Cheryl Marston’s household is a bustling place. Cheryl is also a Girl Scout Troop Leader, Parent Teacher Association (PTA) volunteer, and finds time for her daily workout. A military spouse for 31 years, Cheryl understands first-hand the importance of customer service. With over 20 years in property management, she has the understanding and skills to make finding and enjoying a new home a smoother experience. Furthering her experience, she has served on the Board of Directors of her Homeowners Association for the past six years.

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