Leadership Team

Bernie Grablowsky, PhD, PCAM
Chairman of the Board

Bernie’s interests include hiking and biking in Colorado each summer as well as travelling throughout the U.S. and the Caribbean. 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, having completed 450 miles in October, 2022. 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, 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 Waylon, 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 enjoys volunteering and has been in the role of a Big Sister and child life volunteer specialist at the Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters. Her volunteer work has led to UPA sponsoring the child life department at CHKD once a year. She is a Gigi and an active godmother of four boys and five girls. “Let the life I live, speak for me,” 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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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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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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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 includes supervising 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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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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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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Della Johnson, CMCA, AMS
Team Leader - Virginia Beach Office

Since joining UPA in 2015, Della has always made providing excellent customer service a top priority. She has obtained her Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA), Association Management Specialist (AMS), and is working towards the Professional Community Association Management (PCAM) designation through the Community Associations Institute (CAI). She was also named the 2018 SEVA-CAI Recruiter of the Year. As a team leader in the Virginia Beach office, she strives to give the most accurate and up to date information available to assist her boards and her team of managers. In her spare time, she enjoys paddle boarding, crafting, cooking, and supporting her favorite football team the Philadelphia Eagles. Della and her husband have two fur children, a Maltese and a Maltese Pomeranian mix. Her two daughters are in college at Old Dominion University and Virginia Commonwealth University. She also has a teenage son and a son in the United States Marine Corp.

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Andrew Paul, CMCA, AMS
Team Leader - Virginia Beach Office

With over 13 years of experience working in property management, Andrew Paul joined United Property Associates in 2016. Andrew holds his CMCA, AMS and a bachelor's degree in Science from American University. As a Team Leader, Andrew enjoys helping to guiding and sharing his knowledge to help his team grow. He helps Boards keep the big picture in mind, especially when making financial decisions. Andrew enjoys golfing and running in his free time. He has a family of five including his wife Abby, their two children Lily and Cash, and their goldendoodle Henry. Although his career may be fast paced, Andrew enjoys slowing down in his downtime by listening to music, trying new beverages and spending time with his family. He hopes to continue to establish long term relationships and trust with his Boards and vendors.

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Michaela Audet, CMCA, AMS
Team Leader - Virginia Beach Office

With over 10 years of experience working in property management, Michaela Audet started her career as an Association Manager in Connecticut and joined UPA in 2014. Michaela has worked hard to continue learning by obtaining her CMCA and AMS designations and becoming a Team Leader. She loves to run in her spare time and spend quality time with her son Kaiden, husband and their two dogs. Michaela finds that helping to make a clients home a better and more comfortable place to live, makes her job rewarding and helps her to strive to better serve each one of her communities.

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Paula Burchette, CMCA
Team Leader - Virginia Beach Office

Paula Burchette began working in property management in Outer Banks, NC. She joined the UPA team in 2018 and as a Team Leader she holds a CMCA certification. Paula excels in maintaining good working relationships with all her clients and vendors. She believes good communication is key to helping her communities prosper. Paula likes reading, shopping, and going to the beach, but most importantly she enjoys spending quality time with her blended family. Together, they have five girls, one very spoiled boy, one grandson, a dog, two tortoise, and multiple cichlid fish!

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Andrea Emodi, CMCA, AMS
Team Leader - Virginia Beach Office

Beginning her career with United Property Associates in 2019, Andrea Emodi used her knowledge of customer service and management to become a Team Leader. She has her bachelor’s degree from Connecticut College and master’s degree from the University of Chicago and has since earned her CMCA and AMS. Andrea helps to resolve Association issues with efficiency while helping to keep costs low. She enjoys reading, baking and watching K-dramas in her spare time. Andrea has been married for 32 years to her husband Victor. They share three children, Trinette, Kristin, and Christopher. Andrea hopes to continue and help her Associations with her skills and knowledge.

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Shane Prillaman, CMCA
Team Leader - Peninsula Office

Shane Prillaman joined the UPA team as an Association Manager in 2013. Within the eight years Shane has worked with UPA, he has received his CMCA certification and been promoted to Team Leader. In his spare time, Shane enjoys playing basketball. In addition to his all-star management and basketball skills, he enjoys practicing Tae-Kwon-Do. Shane is married with one son and a family cat. When Shane isn’t building Legos with his son, he is building rapport with his boards. Shane enjoys helping others and believes customer service is the most important aspect of the job.

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Ashley Benbow, CMCA, AMS
Team Leader - Peninsula Office

Originally from Wilmington, North Carolina, in 2016 Ashley moved to the Hampton Roads area with her husband Matt and their golden retriever Thor. When she is not nestled up reading a book or cooking in the kitchen, Ashley enjoys a good DIY project. With over ten years of real estate and property management experience, she finds enjoyment in helping her communities problem solve and achieve their goals. During her career at UPA, Ashley has also obtained her Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) and Association Management Specialist (AMS) designations through the Community Associations Institute (CAI). As a team leader in the Newport News office, Ashley works diligently with her team to provide the resources and guidance so that all the properties within their portfolios receive excellent customer service.

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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 was an FHA-approved Certified Residential Appraiser.

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Debbie Vincent, CMCA
Team Leader - Peninsula Office

Debbie Vincent joined the UPA team in 2017. She has since received her CMCA certification and has been promoted to Team Leader. Debbie works out of our Peninsula office and has an extensive background in customer service. She was born and raised in England and moved to Virginia in 2007. In her spare time, Debbie enjoys gardening and spending time with her family which consists of her husband, two children and seven grandchildren. Debbie is detail orientated, organized and believes that communication is the key to providing superior customer service to all of UPA’s clients.

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

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 her husband, Michael. After leaving the Navy, she became a Licensed Practical Nurse, working at DePaul Hospital. Benna’s 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. 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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Toni Adams, CMCA, AMS
Team Leader - Suffolk Office

As a team leader in UPA’s Suffolk office, Toni believes listening to her team, her board members, and the homeowners within the community to be one of her best attributes. During her career at UPA, Toni has obtained her Certified Manager of Community Associations (CMCA) and Association Management Specialist (AMS) designations through the Community Associations Institute (CAI). She has applied her previous experience in a senior living community to her role at UPA. Toni recently completed her second year of participating on UPA’s Polar Plunge team and has raised over $400 for the cause. When she is not jumping into freezing water, Toni enjoys gardening and crafts with her young son while their chickens free range in the yard.

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Casey Lindblad, CMCA
Team Leader - Suffolk Office

Casey Lindblad joined UPA in early 2020 with over 18 years of customer service experience and training. Starting as an Association Manager, Casey quickly became a Team Leader, earning her CMCA, and helping to use her customer service knowledge to provide quality service and solutions. In her spare time she enjoys spending her time outdoors, kayaking, hiking and gardening. Casey has a son named Julian and two dogs. Casey believes understanding her client’s needs and providing high quality communication and professional services are the key to helping provide the best service to her clients.

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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, goes camping with Danny, her husband of 23 years or chases after her grandson, Aiden. 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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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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