Wendy Berger



Wendy Berger is principal of WBS Equities, LLC. WBS Equities specializes in ground-up construction, renovation, development, sale lease back transactions and acquisition of industrial buildings for food and beverage manufacturers and distributors.

Over the last 28 years she has been involved in the real estate business as a lender, property manager, broker and consultant, as well as an investor. Wendy began her career at American National Bank and Trust Company of Chicago (a subsidiary of First Chicago, now JP Morgan Chase) in Commercial Lending. Wendy spent several years as a principal with Berger Realty Group, an 80-year- old family owned Real Estate business where she focused on residential and industrial property management and development. She was responsible for managing 3,000 apartment units, 200,000 square feet of commercial space and 250,000 square feet of industrial space.

Wendy is also a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and served as the chair of the Real Estate Membership Committee. Wendy served two years on the Board of Directors of TEDxMidwest, the locally and independently organized TED event. TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Wendy is an active mentor, a role she takes very seriously, usually mentoring 4 – 5 young women at any given time. Most recently, Wendy is proud to now call herself a TED speaker, her talk is available on the TED web site or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tirTJQVO1dE

Ben Weishaar


Vice President

Ben joined WBS Equities in 2014 with an extensive accounting background. Prior to joining, Ben spent four years as a public accountant, most recently with Ernst & Young, LLP. At Ernst & Young, Ben served multiple manufacturing and transportation clients, both public and private. He focused on analyzing companies’ financial statements, accounting strategies, estimates and processes. At WBS Equities, Ben is responsible for underwriting, project management and investor relations.

Ben earned his Master of Accountancy and B.S. in Business, Accountancy from Miami University.

Heather Silver



Working with start-ups and partnership-based organizations, Heather has over fifteen years of experience across a broad spectrum of development ventures. Beginning first in San Francisco in the real estate and pharma industries, she now lives in Evanston.

She earned a BS in Finance from San Jose State University and her CPA in Illinois.

She volunteers at the Woman’s Club of Evanston where she has served in several capacities including Board Member, Treasurer and Business Manager.


Dean Kelley


President of Abbott Land & Investment Corp.

Dean Kelley has over 25 years of experience in commercial real estate development. He has been involved in projects ranging from grocery stores to liquid asphalt terminals.

Dean began his career in Chicago Illinois as a Commercial Banker at Harris Trust & Savings Bank. He worked in various roles at Harris from 1984 to 1990.

In 1990, Dean started working for Abbott Land & Investment Corp. At Abbott Land, Dean has been involved in the master planning and developing of more than 1,500 acres of land and the construction of more than 1,000,000 square feet of commercial buildings.

Dean received a Master’s in Management from the J.L. Kellogg Graduate School at Northwestern University and a Bachelor’s in Economics from Northwestern University.

Howard Wedren


Founder of Dayton Street Partners

Howard Wedren has been working in the Chicagoland real estate community for the last 21 years. He has been involved with the development and leasing of a variety of real estate including office, industrial, parking and retail properties.

Howard began his commercial real estate career in 1994 after joining Fifield Realty Corporation as an associate. At Fifield, Howard was actively involved in the development and leasing of over 2,000,000 square feet of class A office buildings in the Chicago Metropolitan Area. After Fifield, Howard joined Chicago, Illinois based Montero Partners, Ltd., a commercial real estate investment firm, as Principal.

In November of 2006, Howard founded Dayton Street Partners LLC, a commercial real estate investment and development firm based in Chicago, Illinois. The firm is focused on the acquisition and development of key infill industrial and office projects throughout the City of Chicago.

Howard holds a bachelor’s degree in Regional Development from the University of Arizona.

Jeff Smith


Founder of MAS Development

Jeff Smith has over 30 years of experience in commercial real estate. He has been responsible for design, financing, development, and construction of over $200 million in commercial and industrial real estate projects. He has used various contracting methods to complete these construction/development projects. He has executed over $100 million in real estate transactions. His responsibilities also includes entitlements and land planning.