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Meet the 2020 GCAR Leadership

Posted by GCAR on January 14, 2020
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Tom McGroder

Tom McGroder, Thomas J. Real Estate, Inc.
Thomas J. McGroder, ABR, GRI, SRS, PSA, Broker/Owner of Thomas J. Real Estate, Inc. began a career in real estate after retiring from law enforcement. Thomas is a consistent multi-million dollar producer, an active member of The Greater Capital Association of REALTORS®, The Global Multiple Listing Service, and Edinburg Emergency Squad. He formerly served as the 2011President of the Fulton County Board of REALTORS®, and received the “2011 REALTOR® of The Year” awarded by Fulton County Board of REALTORS®. In 2012 Tom was recognized as the Women’s Council of REALTORS® Member of The Year.  He is also a member of the National Association of REALTORS®, New York State Association of REALTORS®, Hudson Gateway Association of REALTORS® and served as the 2013 – 2014 NYSAR Regional Vice-President for the Capital District. At the state and national level, Tom served on numerous committees, including Education Forum, Ethics, MLS Committee & Professional Standards.


Jeffrey Decatur

Jeffrey Decatur, RE/MAX Capital
Jeffrey Decatur is an Associate Broker with RE/MAX Capital in Albany. He has been involved in GCAR since he obtained his license in 1994, under Welbourne & Purdy a locally owned real estate company. Jeffrey was honored by GCAR as the 2017 REALTOR of the Year. He was a 2017 and 2018 National Association of REALTORS® Political Action Committee Participation Council State Representative. Jeffrey was a member of the 2018 NYSAR Board as well as a delegate. He also serves on the following NYSAR committees; Communications, Marketing & Technology Forum, Professional Standards, Leg Policy Forum, Education Management, Legal Action, and Nominating. He has served on the GCAR Professional Standards Committee, Education Management Committee, and RPAC Committee. Jeffrey is an instructor at the GCAR Real Estate Professional Institute.


Cindy Quade

Cindy Quade
Cindy brings over 35 years of experience to the real estate profession. Broker/Owner of Signature ONE Realty Group, a small boutique brokerage specializing in new home sales as well as resale. Cindy has served as Director of the New York State Association of REALTORS® and serves on the Committee for Professional Standards with the Greater Capital Association of REALTORS®. She is also a past president of the Women’s Council of REALTORS® and is Commodore of Harris Bay Yacht Club in Lake George serving as the first (and only) female Commodore in the region.


Jay Christiana

Jason Christiana, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Blake
Immediate Past President
Jay serves as President of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Blake, REALTORS® with 9 branch offices in Upstate New York. He was recognized in 2012 as one of the Albany Business Review’s 40 under 40 and received the small business leadership award from Workplace Dynamics and the Albany Times Union in 2015 and 2018. Jay is proud of his company’s achievements over the past several years, which include recognition as a Top Workplace for 2017, 2018 and 2019 (#1 Large Employer) and additionally as Best Places to Work in 2019.



Kendal Baker

Kendal Baker, Octagon Realty
Kendal Baker is the broker/owner of Octagon Realty with 14 years of experience in real estate. An active member of GCAR, Kendal has served on the Professional Standards Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee, and is currently a GCAR and a NYSAR Director. Kendal is a past president of the Washington County Board of Realtors and was active on that Board for nine years. Kendal holds an MBA from Columbia University and was a financial advisor with CommVerge Solutions, a telecom integration company based in Hong Kong. Prior to that, he was a Senior Credit Officer with the Bayerische Vereinsbank, based in Munich. He is a trombone player with the Sage City Symphony and the Stardusters swing band.



John Bevilacqua

John Bevilacqua, The Property Shop of the Capital Region
John Bevilacqua is the Broker/Owner and Founder of The Property Shop of the Capital Region. He has been a licensed real estate broker for over 16 years. John began his real estate career in New York City at the beginning of the millennium, specializing in investment multi-family housing. John won the elite “National Pace Setter” award at Marcus & Millichap. In addition, he secured a position in the exclusive “Rookie Club” through being consistently ranked in the top 10% of his office in Manhattan. John was the owner of a franchise brand brokerage for 5 years and since opening The Property Shop, he’s seen similar success. He serves on the Professional Standards Review Committee and volunteers his time when needed at GCAR.



Kirsten Blanchard

Kirsten Nachbar Blanchard, Coldwell Banker Prime Properties
Kirsten Nachbar Blanchard has been a REALTOR® since 1988 and became an associate broker in 1997. She holds the following designations, Graduate REALTORS® Institute (GRI), Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB), Certified Buyer Representative (CBR), and Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES). Kirsten has been involved in various GCAR committees including, community relations (chair), RPAC (co-chair), trade show, grievance, and education. Her daughter Amanda has joined her in real estate.


Chris Culihan


Christopher J. Culihan, Coldwell Banker Prime Properties
A lifelong resident of the Capital District, Christopher has been a Licensed Real Estate Sales Associate for 11 years and has spent his entire career at Coldwell Banker Prime Properties. He is an avid fundraiser and promoter; involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Upstate New York-Vermont Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as well as with Catholic Charities. He also participates with The Toys for Tots annual holiday drive.




James McClenaghan


James McClenaghan, Howard Hanna
James is a lifelong resident of the Capital Region and has been working full-time in the real estate industry since 1985. He is a Sales Manager with Howard Hanna Real Estate Services in the Greenbush and Troy/Brunswick Offices.  James was a member of the Rensselaer County Board of Realtors Top Producer Club 1985-1996.




Michelle Poccia

Michelle Poccia, Keller Williams Capital District
In 1989 after being a successful “For Sale By Owner”, the real estate bug bit Michelle. She got her license in 1990 to help others. In 1993, after having the basics down, Michelle became a licensed associate real estate broker.

GCAR committee work has included…technology, education, Realtor Day, and an assortment of project-oriented ones…strategic planning, nominating, review of rules and regulations, as well as professional standards. She has also served as a NYSAR Director. Michelle is well versed in our Code of Ethics and NYS real estate law. One day she hopes to be an instructor.


Kathleen Sullivan

Kathleen Sullivan, Keller Williams Capital District
Kathleen is an associate broker with over 39 years of experience in buying and selling real estate. She has been a member of the GCAR Board of Directors for 4 years and has been elected to the NYSAR board of directors. Kathleen has extensive sales and marketing experience. She is a Certified Buyer Representative specializing in residential, new construction, and condo sales. Kathleen is a life long resident of Delmar. She has 3 grandchildren who all live in the area and she enjoys all of her time with them. She is a member of St. Stephens Episcopalian Church. She is a past board member and president of Bethlehem Pop Warner and has coached soccer, football, cheerleading, and baseball.



Melissa Woodcock

Melissa Woodcock, Staged Nest Real Estate
Melissa is the Broker/Owner of Staged Nest Real Estate, a full-service boutique real estate firm servicing the entire Capital District and beyond. She began her real estate career in 2005 as an agent and worked for two national brokers for over 10 years. In January 2016, Melissa opened Staged Nest Real Estate. To set herself apart from the competition she used the staging method. Melissa received the Home Staging Expert (HSE) designation in 2013 as well as the Accredited Staging Professional (ASP Professional Home Stager) designation in 2008. She also holds the CBR (Certified Buyer Representative), Certified New Home Sales Professional, and (ABR) Accredited Buyer Representative designations. She has volunteered for several years on various GCAR committees including the Professional Standards, Trade Show, and Broker/Owner/Manager.