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Sage Executives Change Roles, Bolster Little Rock OpsLock Icon

3 min read

Cushman & Wakefield/Sage Partners, a major player in Arkansas commercial real estate, has plenty of storied business names in its complex history, including businesswoman and philanthropist Johnelle Hunt, Gus Blass, co-founders Brian Shaw and Tommy Van Zandt, and Mark and Marshall Saviers.

But since merging with Capital Properties of Little Rock in 2016 and Cushman & Wakefield in 2018, the company has grown exponentially, and it is now shifting its top leadership and putting new emphasis on its central Arkansas operations. The firm has offices on J.B. Hunt Drive in Rogers and in Little Rock.

Shaw, who had been chief executive officer, will become executive chairman of the board, with his old CEO role going to Marshall Saviers, previously the firm’s president, Saviers revealed last week. Van Zandt, described by Saviers as the keeper of Sage’s culture, will be vice chairman of the board, which will include both Savierses, Hunt, Blass, Tom Allen and T.J. Lefler.

Allen will be president, and Jordan Martin will be chief operating officer.

“With growth comes change, and it’s good change,” Saviers said in a telephone interview joined by Allen, a veteran of Hunt Ventures who helped merge its asset services division with Sage and Capital Properties, the Blass family firm.

“We’re about 85 folks right now and growing fast, adding one or two very qualified people a month in all areas of the business,” Saviers said. “Because of that, we needed to position ourselves correctly as far as leadership goes. It was time for the next level of leadership to step up, which we’re happy to do.”

The New Chart

The new organizational chart prominently features two executives who’ll be working out of Little Rock, Aaron Nicholson as executive vice president and Lori Adcock-McGhee, vice president of asset services. Tina Miles will be chief financial officer and Farris DeBoard general counsel.

Nicholson and McGhee’s central Arkansas team will include Executive Broker Rick O’Brien and Vice Presidents Ryan Gibson and Jason Parker.

“As head of asset services, property management and everything that falls under that will be Lori’s purview,” Saviers said. “Aaron Nicholson has really grown up in the Little Rock business and has been doing a great job of training our brokers.

“All these changes came from within the company; we didn’t have to hire from the outside. We’ll then backfill some of those positions and responsibilities with other qualified folks.”

Scott Audrain, the firm’s former CFO, took an amicable retirement opportunity. He told Whispers he “thoroughly enjoyed working with the people” at Sage and was proud of his contributions to the asset services division. “I plan to remain in northwest Arkansas working on other development ventures.”

Cushman & Wakefield/Sage Partners has made some high-profile moves in central Arkansas recently, working with Amazon on its distribution center project at the Port of Little Rock and its center in North Little Rock, and buying and refurbishing the Doctors Building off University Avenue. It also sold the Colony West Shopping Center at Rodney Parham Road and Interstate 430, and took over marketing for Chenal Properties.

“Our Little Rock office has probably tripled in revenue over the past couple of years,” Saviers said. “A lot of that has to do with Aaron’s leadership and the work of Rick O’Brien. … We look at Little Rock right now and see that as a real growth market.”

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