Timothy J. O’Neill, Jr., is a third-generation real estate developer, and has been involved with commercial real estate development, leasing, and management since 1987. During that time he has gained extensive experience in retail development, with particular specialization in the areas of property renovations and big-box redevelopment. Mr. O’Neill founded Vanguard Associates, Inc. in 1991, with an initial focus on tenant representation, buyer representation, and property management. Within a few years, the business focus was expanded to include the purchase and development of commercial real estate throughout Georgia and Florida. Currently, Mr. O’Neill’s primary role is on the acquisition and subsequent redevelopment of value-add retail projects; Vanguard Associates, Inc. and subsidiaries have been prolific buyers of former Wal-Mart facilities and other value-add properties, with approximately 50 projects undertaken since 2000. Mr. O’Neill has cultivated strong relationships with a number of America’s best retail companies, such as Beall’s/Beall’s Outlets, Tractor Supply, Big Lots, and Dollar General.
Mr. O’Neill, married with two grown children, is a graduate of Auburn University, and earned an M.B.A. degree (Finance, 1987) from the University of Notre Dame. His hobbies include spending time with his family, fishing, and scouting for potential redevelopment projects.
S. Vern Hakes was originally licensed to practice Real Estate in Georgia in 1989 and joined Vanguard Associates in 1994. He has extensive experience in commercial real estate sales and leasing transactions and property management. The early part of his career focused on the representation of clients in the leasing and acquisition of commercial properties. As the scope of Vanguard’s business expanded to include the purchase and development of commercial real estate throughout the Southeast, Mr. Hakes spent an increasing amount of time on the acquisition of said assets. Ultimately, his role focuses on the acquisition, management and disposition of assets contained in the Vanguard Portfolio.
Mr. Hakes is a graduate of Georgia Tech (BSM ’87), is married to Kim Hakes and together they have three children – two in college and one in high school. He and his family live in Marietta, GA.
Patrick D. Prins, has been with Vanguard Associates since 2001. A relative newcomer to the real estate business when he started with Vanguard, Mr. Prins has been involved with many of the properties in the Vanguard portfolio in varying capacities. Currently, Mr. Prins’ primary role focuses on Vanguard’s Georgia properties. His responsibilities include property management issues and leasing strategies as well as identifying potential new investments in the area.
Mr. Prins is married with no children. He received a B.S. and M.Ed. from Auburn University.
Bill Battillo joined Vanguard Associates in August 2002. Prior to joining the Vanguard team, Mr. Battillo was in the commercial banking industry for 12 years. He began his banking career as a management associate with SunTrust Bank in Ormond Beach, Florida. Here he gained valuable training in commercial lending. After 6 years with SunTrust, Mr. Battillo joined Colonial Bank as Vice President in commercial lending. With Colonial Bank, he specialized in commercial real estate lending and progressed to the position of Lake County President. His banking experience also includes the founding of Reunion Bank of Florida.
Bill’s role with Vanguard Associates centers on securing funding for new and existing projects. In addition to the financing side of the business, Mr. Battillo is involved in property management, specifically of a large segment of Vanguard’s Florida portfolio, and the identification of new acquisitions. Mr. Battillo is a graduate of The University of Florida (BS ’89). He and his wife live in Orlando, Florida with their two children and they enjoy boating, fishing and spending time with their family.
Liza Atkinson joined Vanguard Associates in the Fall of 2004 as an Administrative Assistant. Working on virtually every property in the Vanguard portfolio in one capacity or another, Liza’s current role has evolved to that of communication specialist, special projects/problem solver across the portfolio, and property manager for a few specific assets. Some of her responsibilities include physical property management, marketing strategies for available space, lease renewal negotiations and administrative management for the Vanguard portfolio. Ms. Atkinson is a graduate of Iona College in New Rochelle, New York (BA ’85), has a son in Med School and a daughter entering Grad School, and lives in Woodstock, GA. Liza is an avid cyclist and runner and participates annually in charity events benefiting the 24 Foundation and St. Baldrick’s Childhood Cancer, among others. Liza sits on the board of Bike Roswell and is chairperson of its annual Mayor’s Ride.
Alison Bell joined Vanguard Associates in November 2019 as the Accounting Director. She holds a masters degree in Business Administration she received from Kennesaw State University. Alison has worked in commercial real estate since 2007. She has previously held accounting positions at several major firms in Atlanta such as RCG Ventures, Blue Ridge Capital, and Carter & Associates.
Ms. Bell’s duties at Vanguard Associates incorporate all the accounting functions/duties including monthly financial statements, producing quarterly and monthly reports to all investors and communicating daily with Vanguard’s numerus property managers.
Alison and her daughter, Farrah, are Georgia natives, originally from East Cobb but now reside in Woodstock. Alison loves spending time with her family, enjoys painting and is an avid gardener with an excellent green thumb.
Caitlin O’Neill Niswonger
Caitlin O’Neill Niswonger joined Vanguard Associates as the Director of Marketing and Investor Relations in February 2019.
Caitlin has over ten years of experience within the professional service and real estate industries. Prior to joining Vanguard Associates, Caitlin was the Marketing and Project Manager for a student housing real estate firm, where she was responsible for the marketing strategy within the firm’s Advisory Services practice, the creation and delivery of proposals to prospective clients, and all client relations and event planning. Caitlin also led and assisted Market and Demand studies for higher-education institutions all across the United States and Canada.
Earlier, Caitlin worked as a Client Communications Coordinator at a professional services firm, where she was responsible for all of the firm’s marketing and business development efforts, communicating regularly with firm partners, clients, and vendors to plan and coordinate firm events, meetings and conferences.
Caitlin earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Auburn University. She is married with one child (and one on the way) and resides with her family in Tampa, Florida.