Team Birmingham

Matthew Whitaker
Founder, Director of Market Development

Matthew is a student of the book Good To Great and is passionate about building gkhouses to become the best property management company on the planet; and maybe even the universe if Elon Musk will hurry up. To do that, he spent the first seven years of gkhouses in the trenches but now focuses most of his time facilitating growth in other markets. Entrepreneurship runs in the family. His wife runs a successful business called Engaged. You can usually find Matthew at the baseball field with his son, at a dance recital with his daughter or at his favorite restaurant with his wife, when he’s not in the office. And if you can’t find him any of those places, it probably means he’s traveling. Hometown: Vestavia Hills, Alabama

Spencer Sutton
Director of Marketing

Spencer wakes up with Google and Facebook on his mind. His passion is all things marketing and lead generation - both new owners and new tenants! Having bought and sold over 150 homes in Birmingham (even making money on SOME of them), he gets a kick out of helping new and seasoned investors navigate the mistakes he made as an investor. Spencer is also passionate about his love for Michael Jordan and does his best to explain to the Millennials (who never saw him play live) how much better he was than LeBron. Spencer has traveled to some of the most remote parts of the world with Neverthirst (India, Sudan, South Sudan, Nepal, Central African Republic, etc..) but mostly loves to hang out with his wife, kids, and the world’s best black lab, Jett. Hometown: Mtn. Brook, Alabama

Curren Melgarejo
Director of Finance

Curren is our Director of Finance. There isn't anything he can't do - both in and out of the office. Need a fantasy football coach? Need a car fixed? Need a poker partner? Need impeccable books and innovative reports? Need a Team Leader? Curren's got it handled. His professional passion is financial analysis and reporting, and he firmly believes that "information is everything" when it comes to providing our clients with relevant data. He is so valuable to gkhouses and our customers that we overlook his obsession with the NFL and disdain for college football. Outside of the office Curren enjoys spending time with his family and playing basketball. Hometown: San Clemente, California.

Will Morton
Team Leader

Will Morton joined the gkhouses team in May of 2019 as the Birmingham Team Leader. Will graduated from the University of Alabama in 2003 and spent the last 15 years in the Logistics/Transportation Industry before joining the team at gkhouses. Will is intense, friendly, and has a passion for excellence in his role. He is responsible for all aspects of the Birmingham market operations including leasing, owner communication, and maintenance. When Will is not at work he spends the majority of his time with his wife of over 15 years and his 2 children. Will enjoys baseball and spending time in the outdoors hunting and fishing.

Ryan Miller
Mergers & Acquisitions Manager

Ryan grew up in a small-town north of Birmingham, AL & graduated from UAB with a degree in Accounting. After obtaining his accounting degree he returned to UAB to get his MBA while working full time as a Director of Accounting. Ryan joined gkhouses after helping his privately held company successfully complete a sale to a private equity company. Through that process Ryan played a key role in the transaction & after the sale Ryan decided he wanted to focus full time on the process of helping a company acquire other books of business, so he decided to join the gkhouses team in 2019. Ryan loves technology and when he isn’t working at gkhouses you can usually find Ryan building websites for other companies or working on his smart home.

Tim Mbogo
Accounting Manager

Tim was born in Kenya, Africa but moved to America when he was 7. He grew up in Birmingham and eventually attended Mississippi University for Women (yes, they do accept men, and yes it is a real school). Tim is known at gkhouses for always showing up with the sharpest outfit in the room. In his free time he enjoys watching sports, specifically basketball and soccer. You'll catch him discussing the stats every morning in huddle with the team. He also enjoys coaching his sons athletic teams and not getting yelled at by the other teams parents and coaches.

Adam Smith
Accounting Manager

Adam is from Slidell, Louisiana. After graduating from Southeastern Louisiana University, he moved to Birmingham, AL. Adam’s desire to combine his accounting skills and MBA degree helped lead him to gkhouses. When Adam is not wrestling budget dollars away from the Marketing department, he enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter, and their pets.

Emily Jackson
Property Accountant

Emily grew up in Pelham, AL and graduated with a degree in Finance and Marketing from Samford University. Her desire to work in real estate led her to join the gkhouses team in January 2020 as a Property Accountant. for Birmingham and Nashville. In her free time, you will lost likely find Emily at the lake, walking her dog, Rivers, or daydreaming about her next adventure abroad.

Joseph Alexander
Owner Onboarding Specialist

Joseph grew up in Birmingham and graduated from The University of Alabama in 2019 with a marketing degree and a specialization in real estate. While in college, he also studied abroad in Adelaide, Australia to learn about sustainable business practices. As an owner onboarding specialist, his role is to assist owners during their first 100 days with gkhouses. He is passionate about offering a warm welcome and great long term experience with new owners! When he is not at the office, you can find him spending time at the lake, working on the family farm, or watching Alabama football.

Meagan Walker
Application Underwriter

Born and raised in Hazel Green, Alabama, Meagan moved to Birmingham to study English literature and business at the University of Montevallo. She is passionate about writing and published her first novel at nineteen. She now manages our underwriting department and is fueled by a keen eye for small details (and a pot of black coffee) to find the best tenants for each of our houses. Meagan believes an acute focus in the workplace is key to success, a principle she lives out through training her border collie, Karma, and analyzing literature and Muse lyrics.

Rebekah Hill

Rebekah was born and raised in Fairhope, Alabama. She moved to Birmingham to study Business at the University of Montevallo where she found her passion for Marketing. Rebekah is the lead receptionist for Birmingham, Arkansas, Chattanooga, and Nashville! She loves spending time with friends and family in her free time, as well as adventuring to new places.

Erica Scothorne
Applications Underwriter

Erica grew up in the White Mountain region of New Hampshire and studied Business Administration at Colorado Technical University before moving to Alabama and joining the gkhouses team as a Receptionist in Birmingham in February 2020. She recently moved up to Application Underwriting Team where she is able to work with prospective tenants. When not at work, Erica is spending time with her husband, two children, and three dogs or exploring back roads on her motorcycle.

Holly Atchley
Project manager

Holly grew up in Florence, AL. She graduated with a degree in Nutrition and Dietetics at Auburn University.Shortly after graduating she began working in the property management field. In April 2019, she joined the gkhouses team as a Property Manager for the Birmingham market. Her main goal as a Property Manger is to make sure every Owner and Tenant has the best rental experience. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, hiking, and kayaking!

Roger Garcia
Tenant Communications Specialist

Roger is a team player, energetic and outgoing. He will always put a smile on your face and is always willing to help others. This is why he is a perfect fit for one of our communication roles. Raised in Golden, Colorado, Roger graduated in 2004. After graduation, he started working in the customer service industry where he has developed his skills overtime. He has three children, enjoys the outdoors, sports and traveling to new places. Hometown: Delicias, Chihuahua.

Morgan Smith
Maintenance Coordinator

Morgan Smith is from Homewood, Alabama. He graduated from the University of Alabama and since 2019, he has been gkhouses Director of Maintenance. In Morgan's free time he enjoys spending it with his family. "Time is the only thing of real value in life, spend in wisely".

Alexandra Legentus
Tenant Communications Specialist

Alexandra Legentus loves working with people. She is also known for her reliability and dependability among other qualities. She graduated from ENARTS in 2007 with Bachelor degree in Visual Arts and graduated from UTESA 2015 with a bachelor degree in Modern Languages. Alexandra is thinking of getting her master degree in English. When she is not communicating with customers, you can find her at the gym or painting with watercolors.

Paloma Galvan
Maintenance Coordinator

Don't tell Paloma that it's time for Drew Brees to retire! She's an avid Saints fan having spent a lot of her childhood in New Orleans. Paloma is passionate about customer service and is currently growing and improving our maintenance team! She manages vendor contracts, our maintenance technicians, dispatching and all of our maintenance team members. If you are interested in being a vendor for gkhouses, Paloma is your contact! Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana

Christen Carver
Property Manager

Christen joined the gkhouses team in Birmingham as a Property Manager in March 2020. A Birmingham native, she graduated from UAB with a degree in Communications Management. Christen has always had a passion for people, and customer service. After a successful career as an event manager for several years in the Hospitality / Hotel Industry, she decided to make a career change and fell into the exciting world of property management. Her role is to provide support and deliver excellence to our wonderful owners. Her favorite part about gk houses is the entrepreneurial atmosphere; it pushes her to reach her full potential through personal development, and provides an opportunity to tap into her creative side, with a supportive team backing her up 100 percent. When she's not at work, Christen is probably listening like a detective to true crime podcasts, binge-watching the latest hits on Netflix, or outdoors with her loved ones fishing and building a bonfire. She is also always trying to plan a beach vacation - her equivalent to a mountain-top experience, and where she finds her best ideas.

Savannah Kennedy
Business Development Manager

One of Birmingham’s new kids on the block, Savannah Kennedy - an avid reader, podcast enthusiast (especially True Crime), dog lover, and Alabama football guru. She is driven by an obsession with processes and a love of communication and connection. Savannah never meet a stranger or a coffee that she didn't like or connect with. She is originally from Athens, Alabama, but is loving her new home in Homewood. When Savannah is not selling ice to an eskimo for gkhouses, you can probably find her at home with her Westie pup, Cooper, or at the golf course with her professional golfer fiancé (She taught him everything he knows). Savannah is excited to be on this team and to work with Birmingham investors!

Ed Russell
HVAC licensed technician

Residence Riverside ALABAMA- attended Miami Dade community college .Have four children and my wife of 14 years.Have been in the property management field for 38 years, I enjoy Darts and fishing and spending quality time with my family

Jerry Smith
HVAC licensed technician

HVAC Technician with 21 years of Licensed HVAC experience. I have been part of the GK Houses family/team for 4 years. Husband, and Proud Father of three Awesome Kids.. Roll Tide !!

Bryon Van Gieson
Property Manager Technician

Bryon Van Gieson a general maintenance technician with GK houses. He has over 15+ years of experience in carpentry, home improvements, and household maintenance. He lives in Alabaster Al with his wife and 2 young children. He is also an ordained pastor and is actively involved in ministry with his church which includes working in city food distribution and feeding foster families among many other charities.

Bill Homuth
Property Manager Technician

Bill started his 19 years of facility maintenance experience setting up new stores for retailers and remodeling established stores that just needed a facelift. This took him to over 1/2 of our 50 states. After getting married and wanting to be home every night with family he transitioned to working for a local home repair company whose owner mentored him in both, technical skill development as well as business development and eventuality leading him to start his own home repair business. Bill came to gk with a growing interest in real estate and property management. Outside of work he can be found fishing, or doing virtually anything else family oriented including an occasional tea party with his daughter

Scott Cromer
Master plumber technician

Scott Cromer started with gkhouses as their master plumber in September of 2017 and started in the plumbing industry in new residential plumbing at the age of 20. He has since continued in all types of residential plumbing, commercial plumbing and water treatment of private and public water. Scott has worked for school systems as a master plumber along with contracted work out to several large chain restaurants taking care of all their water softening and filtration needs. Property management plumbing with gkhouses is always interesting and never a lack of work.

Jake Tornatore
Property Manager Technician

Jake Tornatore worked in the car inspection industry for 3 years and switched over to inspecting houses soon after that. Since he has worked for gkhouses he has recently gotten married. Jake’s hobbies are basketball and going to the gym. Whenever he can he enjoys helping others by serving at my church.

Arnold Yates
Property Manager Technician

Arnold Yates was born and raised in Choctaw County Alabama. He is married and has a 5-year old daughter. Arnold’s hobbies include target shooting and fishing. He is a huge sports fan and enjoys watching and playing football, basketball, and baseball. Arnold has been in the property management/maintenance field for 7 years. He enjoys learning more and more everyday and look forward to further growing within in the field in the future.

Tra Griffin
Chief Operating Officer

Tra is our Chief Operating Officer and has spent the past 15 years in a variety of roles and responsibilities: Leading Marines in Combat Operations on two deployments to Iraq (2003 & 2007), serving as VP of Operations for Iron Tribe Fitness (Birmingham based fitness franchise), and advising CEOs & Executives on scaling their organizations through the Culture Index program. Tra is now responsible for day-to-day operations and the growth/development of our Team Leaders in all markets across the U.S. His 3 rules in leading teams: 1) Self-Awareness 2) Understand that nobody thinks like you do 3) Ask questions. Tra is married to his wife Molly and they have 2 daughters: Lela and Ivey. In Tra’s spare time he enjoys cooking, exercising, family beach trips, reading, and working in his yard.

Gabrielle Taylor

Gabrielle is one of our Receptionists at gkhouses. Gabrielle is extremely diligent, organized and enjoys helping others. She was born and raised in Birmingham, AL and while attending college she had the opportunity to work for Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. During her time working for Disney she mastered her customer service skills. When Gabrielle is not working at gkhouses, she can be found working on one of her many creative projects such as re-upholstering, painting, or home decorating.

Ismael Perez
Tenant Communications Specialist

Ismael Perez grew up in Guadalajara, Mexico. He began working for gkhouses in June 2020 as a Tenant Communication Specialist. He has more than five years experience providing customer service and bilingual interpretation. Ismael says, "the idea of ​​helping others makes me feel like I am making a difference. Besides, it gives me the power to learn new skills that help me overcome the difficult obstacles that arise along the way." He likes learning and reading about new things, most of the time you’ll see him researching things online or reading about new stuff, you can call him a real “curious George”. In Ismael's spare time, you can find him listening to music or watching a good show on Netflix.