The Bellwood team is committed to its unique vision to reweave the fabric of community in Atlanta’s iconic Westside neighborhoods.
Valerie Boucher is the Chief Executive Officer at Bellwood Homes. She oversees the company’s Building Program, Sustainable Community Development and Community Advocacy projects. Originally from New York, Valerie first moved to Atlanta to earn her Bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing from Clark Atlanta University. She then went on to complete a program in project management at Georgia Tech that primed her for her dynamic role at Bellwood Investments Family Office.
During her time at Bellwood, Valerie has spearheaded plans to revitalize communities in the northwest corridor of Atlanta. Valerie’s mission is to transform the way buildings are designed to enable environmentally and socially responsible conditions for residents. Most recently, she managed the introduction of a charter school, reflecting her core belief that access to quality education is necessary for any community to flourish. Over the next decade, Valerie wants to assist in building thousands of homes for Atlanta residents across the northwest corridor.
Guided by a core belief that “it takes a village”, a mentality instilled in her from a young age by her mother, Valerie hopes to leave the world a cleaner and better place. Her family life and community work are a reflection of her professional ethos that the most worthy pursuits are those built together.
LA Williams is the Chief Operating Officer at Bellwood Homes. She oversees the business’s daily operations including project development of latent lots, rental property management and monitoring of permits, subdivisions and land surveys and structures. With a Bachelor of Science in chemistry from Wichita State University and a Master’s degree from Emory University, LA uses her background in research and community engagement to facilitate socially conscious developments within the northwest corridor of Atlanta. She aspires to use her background in research and community engagement to facilitate socially conscious developments in the northwest corridor of Atlanta. In her work to enrich underserved neighborhoods, LA has become skilled in land development and investment infrastructures.
LA’s passion for community building extends far beyond her responsibilities at Bellwood. She works closely with Atlanta’s Neighborhood Planning Units (NPUs), fostering strong relationships with community leaders and fortifying her understanding of their needs – work that she views as an intrinsic necessity in urban development. She dedicates her time to organizing regular neighborhood clean-ups in Carey Park and Almond Park.
Grant Todey is a Sales and Purchasing Strategist for Bellwood Homes. As a licensed real estate expert, Grant identifies strategic acquisitions and directly coordinates with Bellwood’s landscape specialists to prepare each lot for vertical construction.
Outside of Bellwood, Grant officiates Division I College Basketball in the NCAA and is one of twelve professional international officials in the United States to officiate the World Championships for the International Basketball Association (FIBA).
Nnamdi Nwajagu in an Analyst at Bellwood Homes. He first joined the Bellwood team in 2016 as an intern with the task of developing an organizational system to track real estate investments. After a hiatus at IBM’s TJ Watson Research Center in 2017, he returned with more experience for a full-time position with Bellwood Investments. Nnamdi is able to apply his decade of computer programming experience, computer science education from Kennesaw State University and skills learned at IBM to a vast set of problems. At Bellwood, Nnamdi acts as an IT professional configuring the corporate computer infrastructure, as a GIS Analyst creating maps and reports to give structure and spatial context to projects and as a Developer creating and maintaining a small ecosystem of software from investment tracking to workforce management.
In his free time, Nnamdi enjoys casual reading, building and modifying electronics, programming and giving back to the community. As a dog lover, Nnamdi has volunteered nearly 100 hours with the local Humane Society.
Steve Gross has over 40 years of diverse experience in the C.P.A., business consulting and venture capital worlds. He is the Founder Emeritus of HLB Gross Collins, P.C., one of Atlanta’s most well-known certified public accounting and consulting firms, and has also served as Regional Managing Partner, National Director of Business Consulting and an Executive Committee member of an international accounting firm. Steve co-founded Trusted CFO Solutions and Business Builders’ Network to assist businesses and management teams in transitioning their financial reporting to new platform technology. He also founded Gross Capital Partners and The Gross Consulting Group to provide service and capital to operating companies.
Steve has extensive experience as an entrepreneur, board member and business adviser having held directorship and board positions with organizations such as The Ritz Group, Boy Scouts of America Atlanta, WebMD, Hank Aaron Enterprises, Mutual Fund Family for Citigroup Smith Barney and others. Steve is a licensed CPA, Chartered Global Management Accountant, Certified Fraud Examiner, Certified Valuation Analyst and is certified in Financial Forensics. He is a member of numerous professional associations including state and national CPA societies, the Institute of Business Appraisers, the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts and the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.
An Atlanta area resident since 1995, Brian Simmons spearheads new home sales for Bellwood Homes. Brian’s unique blend of financial, real estate and investment experience along with his deep knowledge of Atlanta neighborhoods allows him to act as a strong advocate for clients navigating the complexities and opportunities of buying real estate. Understanding that a home purchase is often the largest investment one makes, Brian works with his clients to not only find what they are looking for but also to make wise decisions understanding the many factors that could impact their purchase. He has built two new homes himself, giving him firsthand experience in the details and process of new construction.
Before his real estate career, Brian served as a CPA with PricewaterhouseCooper’s investment management practice where he worked with many real estate firms. He co-founded his own investment firm focused on co-investing in private companies, commercial real estate and other developments. Brian credits his time in the financial industry for his keen attention to detail and priority focus on client service. In his free time, Brian enjoys spending time with his family – he is married with a son and daughter. He also enjoys the outdoors and is an avid skier.
With more than 20 years of experience in the real estate and homebuilding industry, Scott Payne is Vice President and Managing Broker for Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty’s Buckhead office, alongside Nancy See and Jennifer Pino. He also leads the Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty Developer Services division as the premier source for new home sales and marketing in the metro Atlanta area. Scott has witnessed firsthand the ever-evolving trends of the Atlanta market and has a proven track record of identifying promising market opportunities. By combining his experience with the unmatched global advantages of the Sotheby’s International Realty® brand, Scott aims to offer an exceptional level of service to his team with a goal to contribute to the unrivalled productivity of metro Atlanta’s one true international realty brand.
Scott previously served as the vice president of new home sales at his previous brokerage, national vice president of sales operations for a Fortune 500 builder and Charlotte division president for a major regional builder. Scott earned his BBA in real estate from the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia and is a licensed real estate broker in Georgia and South Carolina.
Ansley has 12+ years’ experience in new construction residential real estate. Prior to joining Atlanta Fine Homes Sotheby’s International Realty in 2015, Ansley was an independent marketing consultant whose past clients include The Residences at Mandarin Oriental, Atlanta, owned by iStar Financial, The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Atlanta, Buckhead, developed by Post Properties, the St. Regis Residences and The Aberdeen in Vinings.
Since joining AFHSIR, she works closely with the division’s developer and investor clients to create and execute marketing plans specifically tailored to each project’s needs. Ansley oversees every aspect of the project’s branding, message development and creation of all sales tools including project website and collateral, and implements all awareness initiatives including print and digital advertising, social media campaigns, events and agent outreach. She has led branding and marketing efforts for The Sutton Buckhead, 1065 Midtown, Emerson Buckhead, Chastain East, the Atlantic, Hickory Lakeside, The Gardens at Arbor Springs and The Oaks on Woodlawn.
Ansley grew up in real estate, with a father, brother, sister and now husband who all work in the field in Atlanta. Ansley holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and a minor in business from Auburn University.
Matt DeCesaro is the Senior Vice President of the Builder Services Division at Southeast Mortgage. Matt has worked in new home construction since 2003. He began his career as a Mortgage Loan Originator focusing exclusively on new construction. He was later promoted to Branch Manager where he coached one of the Southeast’s top performing branches. In both positions, he was consistently ranked as one of the Top 1% of all mortgage professionals in the United States. Matt has a unique business perspective which combines his knowledge of new construction finance, branch management and front-line mortgage experience. The combination of this experience makes him one of the nation’s foremost experts in new construction finance and a huge asset to Southeast Mortgage.
Matt was born in Northwest Chicago. He comes from a family of Italian immigrants who arrived in Wisconsin during the early 1900’s. Matt’s grandfather, who was a huge influence in his life, was a butcher by trade and one of his best friends. His grandfather taught him the importance of hard work, strong personal relationships, integrity, and “what it means to give your all” in everything in life!
Lori Thompson is an Executive Mortgage Loan Originator for Southeast Mortgage. Lori has been in the mortgage industry for more than 30 years. Providing special care and attention to each of her clients is her number one priority. Lori is committed to helping her clients achieve their dream of homeownership by making the loan process as seamless as possible. She strives to deliver superior service from application to closing for both clients and real estate professionals.
Lori currently lives in Marietta. When not finding the perfect loan for her clients, she enjoys exploring new cities and towns, watching movies and spending time with her family. Lori’s personal motto in life is “make sure you don’t forget to dance”. She is passionate about helping others and her family. Her biggest accomplishments are her two daughters.
Shaun Graham is Executive Vice President at Southeast Mortgage. Over his 14 years in the mortgage industry, Shaun considers the greatest skill he has developed to be his people skills, noting that while it seems like a simple skill to develop, it really is not. He enjoys the art of competition and describes himself as an ultra-competitive guy. He also consider himself a true Man’s Man who relates entirely too many scenarios back to sports. The mortgage industry has allowed Shaun to foster his competitive personality as well as make a difference in the community in which he resides.
When he’s not in the office, he is with his family, doing everything possible to live a life that makes his kids proud to say “that’s my dad!” When he’s not with family or at work, he most likely has his sneakers laced up and a basketball in his hands.
Jennifer Minton Nilsson is a founding partner and Managing Director at Clementine Creative where she oversees strategy, communications and content development. Jennifer brings to her role more than fifteen years of comprehensive marketing experience including leadership roles in integrated brand marketing, advertising and creative services. She served six years as Vice President of Marketing for John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, one of homebuilding’s most iconic brands, leading the company’s brand marketing and creative team in the conception and execution of corporate branding initiatives, digital initiatives and strategic public relations as well as tactical marketing applications for more than 50 individual neighborhoods across five southeastern markets.
In addition to her leadership roles, Jennifer is an accomplished copywriter with her work featured in a variety of published print and digital materials. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in marketing from the University of Georgia. Outside of work, she enjoys reading, writing and photography.
Merissa Davis is a founding partner and Creative Director at Clementine Creative, leading the agency’s design and creative team. A true artist of many colors, Merissa has more than thirteen years of career experience as a versatile graphic and multimedia designer and loves working collaboratively with clients to create world-class artwork that fits their unique style and goals. Prior to Clementine, she served as Art Director for John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, one of homebuilding’s best known and most respected brands, guiding the company’s visual style and image.
Merissa holds a bachelor of fine arts degree with a specialization in digital media from the University of Georgia. In addition to her work at Clementine Creative, Merissa is Art Director and co-founder, along with her husband Miles, for Massive Burn Studios, an Atlanta-based design and art house, and Butterpup & Friends, a children’s picture book series. In her free time, she enjoys honing her skills as resident cupcake baker extraordinaire, playing tennis and spending time with her husband and their instafamous pup, Pica.