Earlier this month, San Diego–based ConAm brought Julie Brawn-Whitesides in as its new executive vice president of property management. Brawn-Whitesides, a former executive vice president at Folsom, Calif.–based FPI Management with 22 years of experience, takes over ConAm’s national management operation as the company focuses on growth.
“With her strong background in property operations, Julie’s leadership will complement ConAm’s existing platform,” Rob Singh, co-president of ConAm, said in a press release. “We are very excited for Julie to lead our property management team, overseeing current and future fee-managed and company-owned assets.” 
Management has been ConAm’s forte. Last year, the company ranked 20th (for the second straight year) on the NMHC 50 Managers list with approximately 51,000 units.
But there’s still room for more. “I’ll be looking to grow the third-party management business,” she says.
Brawn-Whitesides would seem well suited for the task. Last year, FPI ranked eighth on the Top 50 with 76,500 units. In 2010, by comparison, FPI managed 55,000 units.
“Julie was instrumental in the growth of her previous company during her tenure there. With this hire, we have found someone who will uphold ConAm’s reputation as an excellent apartment manager of our existing 50,000-unit portfolio, and who will be an important factor in growing our portfolio,” said Bob Svatos, co-president of ConAm, in the release. “As we continue to rapidly acquire company-owned units which she will oversee, Julie will also be seeking out new third-party contracts nationwide.”
ConAm’s new head of property management will focus on gaining scale from existing clients. “We’re focused on partnering with clients that are currently owning [in ConAm’s existing 12 markets],” Brawn-Whitesides says.
Right now, ConAm also is growing its development, with approximately 600 units in the pipeline, and acquisition platforms, with approximately 3,500 value-add units bought in the past 5 years.
“If I could sum it up in one word—it’s opportunity,” Brawn-Whitesides says about growth. “It’s a great time to be in the apartment business.”