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Our Team

Blake Wettengel

Blake Wettengel

Chief Executive Officer

As Chief Executive Officer of Book and Ladder and its related entities, Blake Wettengel is responsible for the creation of a firm that is now recognized nationally as a leading real estate operating company that has acquired, managed, and/or developed well in excess of $1 billion in real estate investments with properties across the country. Under Mr. Wettengel’s leadership, his firms have received multiple awards including a ranking in the Inc. 500, recognizing the fastest growing companies in the country. 

Mr. Wettengel holds a Juris Doctorate degree from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He practiced law from 2005 to 2015, specializing in real estate and corporate transactions and related tax and securities matters. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree with honors from Brigham Young University.

Tanya Muro

Tanya Muro

Chief Operating Officer

Tanya Muro is Chief Operating Officer of Book and Ladder and its related entities. With over 20 years of experience in the commercial real estate industry, Mrs. Muro has closed more than $2 billion in real estate equity, beneficial interests, LLC/LP interests, land development and oil and gas transactions, including the country’s first tenant in common acquisition. 

Mrs. Muro has managed over 3,500 investors while heading Business Development at multiple firms, including Nelson Brothers Professional Real Estate, which was ranked in the Inc. 500 as one of the fastest growing real estate companies in the country. Mrs. Muro has broad knowledge of regulatory bodies, including NASD, FINRA and the SEC and holds a B.A. from Loyola Marymount University.

Dillon Deffense


Dillon has overseen the leasing and marketing strategy of over 4,000 multi-family units, including 10,000 student housing beds. Dillon joined the real estate industry after a career of leading operational, sales, and corporate finance teams across multiple divisions of PepsiCo. Leveraging his unique background, Dillon has implemented successful strategies at Book & Ladder, setting the standard in the industry with digital marketing and overall leasing of student housing properties. Dillon holds a Master of Business Administration from Utah Valley University and a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Brigham Young University-Hawaii. Dillon is an expert in the industry and a member of Forbes Real Estate Council where he has contributed to multiple real estate articles published by Forbes.

Justin Bumgardner

Executive vice president of business development

Justin joins the real estate industry after a career of client service and leadership at Goldman Sachs. Over the years Justin built experience in areas such as Client Onboarding/Due Diligence, Sales/Trading, and Private Wealth Management. Most recently Justin was the Business Unit Manager at Goldman Sachs’ Southern California Private Wealth Management office where he managed the operations of over 50 billion dollars in assets.

Justin has received multiple awards for culture and client service and received extensive training in personality and management. He also holds several licenses with FINRA and received a B.S. with honors in Business from Brigham Young University Hawaii with an emphasis in Human Resources and Psychology.

Mark Miller

Vice President of Operations

As the Vice President of Operations, Mark provides oversight for a team of professionals operating over 3,000 units of student (7,000+ beds) and conventional housing. Mark delivers a diversity of over 20 years of experience having begun his career in student housing as a Residence Hall Director and holding positions on university campuses including Director of Housing and Assistant VP of Operations. Moving off-campus, he has supervised operations at the portfolio level in both student and traditional multifamily housing including staffing, marketing and leasing, residence life, rent collections, maintenance systems, capital improvements, property takeover, stabilization, and repositioning.

With his distinctive combination of experience Mark is able to combine the best of what on and off campus living has to offer into a program that lends itself to a positive resident experience for both students and parents. He holds a Master’s degree in Higher Ed Administration from Western Michigan University and is an IREM Accredited Residential Manager.

Tyler Lawrence

Vice President of Marketing

As the Vice President of Marketing, Tyler oversees the marketing results of the entire Book & Ladder portfolio of multifamily apartments and student housing communities. He works with a team of marketing professionals to craft strategies, create content, perform analysis, and deploy tactics that generate tangible results on a property and portfolio level. His focus on user experience, lead conversion, and digital marketing best practices results from over 12 years of hands-on experience.

Mr. Lawrence has a Bachelor of Arts from California State University, Fullerton. While in college, Tyler started a podcast that helped him identify his passion for marketing. The podcast turned YoutTube channel eventually amassed over 150 videos, 15K+ subscribers, and 24 million+ views. He would later accept a Digital Marketing Strategist position with Pacific Life Insurance Company to help the Retirement and Life Insurance divisions leverage digital marketing strategies. He occupied high-level marketing leadership roles before joining the Book & Ladder team in August of 2020.

Steve Donahoo

Vice President of Facilities Management

Steve brings with him a wealth of experience in Facilities Management with in-depth knowledge and a thorough understanding of today’s living-space agility. Complemented with a diverse Construction Development background ranging from the Motion Picture industry as a Construction Coordinator and Propmaker to managing large multi-family development projects. Most recently, Steve was the Director of Facilities for DealerSocket, an Automotive SaaS company where he was responsible for the global facilities footprint, including real estate, design, construction, and operations.

As VP of Facilities Management at Book and Ladder, Steve will provide operational oversight and maintenance of all facilities with a primary focus on creating functional, efficient living environments as the company continues to expand its presence in the student housing market.

Alyssa Crinieri

Associate Vice President of Sales

Alyssa has been in the Real estate development/ management industry for over ten years. Her journey began in college while she was working as a leasing agent and pursuing a degree in Biochemistry at Coastal Carolina University. Throughout her tenure in the industry, she has held many roles, but her passions were always in sales, training, and leadership. She has worked in over 40 different states and markets nationwide; managing over 20,000 beds and has a vast knowledge of the student housing as well as conventional housing markets. In addition, she has a proven success rate of maintaining the highest percentages of occupancy across her many portfolios throughout the years.

Currently, what brings Alyssa the most joy is growing and developing our teams here at Book & Ladder to reach their fullest potential and become an invaluable resource to our community guests. “Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much” – Helen Keller.

John Burns

Portfolio Manager

John has over 30 years of real estate experience. John has a diverse real estate background and his primary focus has been in the commercial retail sector. In his last role, he was the Vice President of Portfolio Strategy for a privately held retail Owner/Developer located in Orange County California. He has executed business plans and added value to assets through strategic planning. He has also headed up several internal Property Management departments overseeing all facets of responsibility. He has experience working with REIT’s as well as privately held companies.

John has been a member of ICSC for over 25 years. John graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in Finance. John grew up in Southern California and currently lives in Orange County. He is married and has four daughters. He enjoys playing golf and trout fishing.

Matt Peters

Portfolio Manager

Matt Peters is a Regional Director based out of Champaign, IL. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing the operations of multiple assets throughout the Book & Ladder portfolio. In addition to operations, he is responsible for the overall leasing performance of each assigned property, analyzing budgets, staffing, maintaining the facilities, policy compliance, resolving guest concerns, and analyzing market trends & development of market strategies.

With more than eight years of property management experience, Matt has held roles as Leasing Manager, General Manager, National Operations Specialist, and most recently Regional Director. Throughout his career, he has had exposure to 25(+) markets throughout the Nation with a diverse focus in Student Housing and Conventional Property Management. He found his passion for the Property Management industry during his studies at Ball State University.  

Nicole Stines

Portfolio Manager

Nicole Stines has been in the student housing industry for over 20 years. She earned a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham as she continued to pursue positions that would provide a wide variety of experiences and catapult her into higher level executive positions.

During her career, she has managed the start-up of multiple new construction luxury student housing apartment communities, has renovated distressed assets, maintained public-private partnerships, and served in a variety of roles on and off campus for several universities and property management companies around the United States.

Erik Carlson

Portfolio Manager

Erik has vast experience in the property management industry, contributing his expertise to over 3000 units. With Marriott Vacation Club Erik first managed a property tucked away in the majestic mountains of Park City, Utah. His leadership continued onto a mega-resort on a 300-acre campus in the stunning California desert. His influence then extended to the lifestyles at an ultra-luxurious high-rise property on the beach in Santa Monica, California. Moving slightly south to “Silicon Beach,” Erik’s impact was on a thriving community that was voted as one of the best places to live in California.

Erik’s best-in-class customer service training with Marriott, and experience in creating luxurious living experiences have made him a great fit to oversee the conventional housing operations of Book & Ladder. Erik has a B.S. in Finance Degree from Southern Utah University.

Stacy Rhodes

Director of Special Projects

In her role as Transitions, Training & Systems Manager for Book & Ladder Stacy has been integral to the successful transition and onboarding of five properties encompassing over 1,000 units added to the Book & Ladder portfolio since her promotion in May 2021. 

Stacy joined the corporate team after being an on-site property manager.