Our Speakers

Austin Walker

Austin Walker serves as a broker for Whitney Commercial Real Estate Services, specializing in the sales and leasing of office and industrial properties in Western North Carolina. With over 18 years of commercial real estate experience, Austin has secured over 475 transactions resulting in a career sales volume in excess of $200 million. Austin has a consistent track record or closing 30 to 65 transactions annually since he started brokering in Asheville in 2003.

Austin is a licensed North Carolina real estate broker, as well as an SIOR and a CCIM designee. The Society of Industrial and Office Realtors (SIOR) designation is a professional symbol of the highest level of knowledge, production, and ethics in the real estate industry, held by only 3,500 commercial practitioners worldwide. The Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation represents a theoretical and practical knowledge base from years of study.

Prior to joining Whitney Commercial Real Estate Services, Austin worked with Tessier Associates, Inc., focusing on leasing, property management, and the disposition of investment properties. Previously, Austin was a project manager of Talon Development Group, Inc. in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, focusing on due diligence, financial analysis, and asset management of several commercial and mixed use projects.

Austin currently serves on the Board of the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, the SIOR Carolinas Chapter Executive Committee, and is the acting President of the West Asheville Business Association. He has also served as a member of the NC-CCIM Chapter Board of Directors; has been the Chair of the Commercial Investment Division standing committee of the Asheville Board of Realtors; and as President of the Asheville Commercial Industrial Realtors Association. Austin earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from Ohio University.

Originally from Birmingham, Michigan, Austin currently resides in Asheville, North Carolina with his wife and their two children. Leisure interests include competitive cycling, swimming, hockey, and causing trouble with his two kids.

Wes Reinhardt

Wes Reinhardt is President and Co-Founder of Altamus, LLC, a full-service property management firm specializing in commercial real estate. He holds the professional designation of Certified Property Manager (CPM®) awarded by the Institute of Real Estate Management and considered to be among the industry’s premier real estate management credentials. His career life spans more than 20 years and includes valued experiences that range from Wall Street to Main Street.

Since 2004, he has been immersed in all aspects of commercial real estate including brokerage, sales, leasing, design, development, project management, facility operations and property management. Prior to establishing Altamus, he was Vice President at FIRC Group, a full-service real estate investment firm with properties throughout the Southeast.

In addition to the title of Vice President, he was a development partner in several signature projects and the Broker-in-Charge of FIRC Group, NC, Inc. During his tenure, his responsibilities transcended multiple market sub-sectors including retail, office, mixed use, hospitality and land.

Wes has established a reputation built on quantifiable results. He played an integral role in revitalizing the region’s oldest neighborhood shopping center, assisted in the strategic repositioning of a faltering independent boutique hotel and facilitated development entitlements for numerous multimillion-dollar projects. In all cases, hands-on management played a critical role in achieving those successful results.

Wes possesses an expertise for navigating the challenges of the Asheville municipal development ordinances and has extensive relationships with department personnel who oversee planning, permitting, code compliance, zoning and safety. Other professional attributes include a keen ability to manage the relationship dynamics inherent between Landlord and Tenant. He has been highly effective in managing delinquency issues and understands the legal complexities involved in tenant collections and defaults. His relationship management skills also extend to owners and vendors. He maintains a deep pool of vendor resources, which provide owners with the value proposition of choice and transparency.

The guiding principles of his real estate management philosophy are built upon accountability, efficiency and execution, shaped in part by his early career experiences as a commodity trader where he learned the critical importance of business ethics, discipline and risk management. Wes is a licensed North Carolina Real Estate Broker, a member of the National Association of Realtors, a member of the Charlotte Region Commercial Board of Realtors, the former President of the Commercial Investment Real Estate Association of Western North Carolina, a member of the Asheville Chamber of Commerce, a member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and a member of the Institute of Real Estate Management. His CPM® designation makes him 1 of only 8,600 professionals worldwide who hold this coveted accreditation.

Chris Gragtmans

Chris serves as Managing Director of the Commercial & Investment Department at Keller Williams Professionals, and is also a licensed NC Broker / Realtor serving a variety of equity and credit clients. Chris has a demonstrated third party track record across commercial product categories, with concentrated work in medical office, industrial, hospitality, and multifamily land assemblage / entitlement.

Chris also participates as an equity principal and syndicator. As a former professional kayaker and avid mountain biker and skier, he works to merge work and play into a real estate investment thesis. His most recent project is Saluda Mountain Lodge, a 24 room motel overlooking the Green River Gorge.

Chris is a guest instructor at Cumbie & Trull School of Real Estate and serves on the Board at Childcare Center of First Presbyterian Church. He and his wife Ashley are shareholders in Parsec Financial. They live in Montford with their three young daughters and unhinged yellow lab.


Your Name Here?!

Want to speak at our next event? Are you passionate about a topic you think we should consider for our next meetup? We'd love to hear from you! Fill out this form and apply to speak at our next event!

Speakers have the opportunity for some in-person content marketing by being the subject matter expert on stage, however, we do not allow direct selling. These events are not teaser info sessions to get anyone to sign up for a paid program, and the speakers' time on the mic sharing their knowledge is their only allowable "sales pitch!"

AVLmeetup is dedicated hosting panel discussions with local industry leaders & experts where we tease out as much insight & actionable information as we can. The format starts with a quick market update tailored for the discussion at hand from The Ruiz Report, followed by about 60mins for the panel, ~15mins of Q&A, and as much networking as possible to follow.

Our goal is to bring the movers and shakers in Asheville together under one roof to expand our minds, hone in our skills, and grow our networks. As such, speakers are selected based on their performance track record - you must walk the walk before coming on stage to talk your talk!

Click here to apply to speak!