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CHICAGO-Thompson National Properties LLC, an Irvine, CA-based company, has turned its eyes on the Midwest. To implement this new focus, Thompson National has hired Ron Leathers to serve as regional vice president of the Midwest region. Leathers will be based out of Chicago.

“Now is a good time to focus on the Midwest because this market has strong fundamentals and was not as exposed to financial institutions as many other markets, and therefore, was not as affected by the downsizing,” a spokesperson for the company tells GlobeSt.com. “Additionally, this market has an increasingly diverse economy.”

While Thompson National has always been present in the area, executives are hoping the addition of Leathers will solidly establish its presence here.

“Ron brings many years of experience successfully representing public REITs, mutual funds, annuities and various real estate programs, including 1031 exchanges,” says Greg Genovese, president of the securities division at Thompson National. “He is a seasoned industry veteran with many established relationships within the broker-dealer community. He is an excellent addition to our team.”

Before joining Thompson National, Leathers worked as a wholesaler at BGK. In this position he dealt with 1031 exchanges and private placement funds. For three years prior to that he worked as a senior vice president for the Midwest at Triple Net Properties LLC, now known at Grubb & Ellis Realty Investors LLC.

Although mum about the deals the company is pursuing, the spokesperson does say they are looking into a couple. “The Midwest has not been as depressed as other markets. We expect a slow, but solid recovery. Additionally, heavy equipment manufacturing and sales, farming and agriculture, which are strong exports for this market, are benefitting from the weak dollar.”

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