Our People

JBC employees share great synergy and a passion for creating value. Our outstanding team supports each other in delivering industry-leading service and solutions. Every employee plays a vital role in sustaining an investment and culture that fosters and rewards teamwork, creativity and success.

Executive Management:

John A. Buck II

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer


John A. Buck II founded The John Buck Company in 1981 and currently serves as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. Buck is responsible for the overall strategic direction of the firm and its resources.  Mr. Buck also leads JBC’s Board of Directors and is a member of the Firm’s Investment Committee.

Throughout his career, Mr. Buck has served the community through numerous civic boards and committees.  In addition to The John Buck Company Foundation, which focuses on at-risk children and families within the Chicago metro-area, Mr. Buck has served on the Metropolitan Planning Council; The Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago; The Lyric Opera; San Miguel Schools; and, The Big Shoulders Fund.

Mr. Buck received a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame, a JD from the University of Texas Law School, and an M.B.A. from the Wharton School of Business and Finance.

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Kevin Hites

President and Chief Investment Officer


Mr. Hites joined JBC in 2014 and currently serves as President and Chief Investment Officer for the Firm. His primary responsibilities include the development and implementation of investment strategy, oversight and coordination of the Firm’s investment activities, capital raising and the origination of new investment opportunities. Mr. Hites also has direct responsibility for management of capital partner and investor relationships. Mr. Hites serves on JBC’s Board of Directors and is a member of the Firm’s Investment Committee.

Prior to joining JBC, Mr. Hites was Chief Investment Officer at Pearlmark Real Estate Partners, where he directed the firm’s acquisition and investment activities.  He also managed Pearlmark’s West Coast office in Los Angeles for five years and was a member of the firm’s investment and management committees.  He invested over $2 billion in real estate across the U.S. on behalf of Pearlmark’s private equity funds during his 15-year tenure at the Firm.  Previously, Mr. Hites was with ING Clarion Partners and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter’s Real Estate Investment Banking Group, both in New York.

Mr. Hites earned his A.B. degree in Business Economics at Brown University and his M.B.A. at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.  He is an active member of Urban Land Institute (ULI).

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Dirk Degenaars

Chief Operating Officer


Mr. Degenaars serves as the Chief Operating Officer for The John Buck Company and the JBC Funds with primary responsibility for portfolio management, fund performance, investment oversight and coordination of the firm’s asset management function.  Mr. Degenaars is also responsible for originating new investment opportunities, managing the firm’s capital relationships and serves on the JBC Board of Directors and Investment Committee.

Prior to joining JBC, Mr. Degenaars was a Managing Principal at Pearlmark Real Estate Partners, where he oversaw the firm’s equity investment and asset management activity in mixed-use investments on a national basis and coordinated commercial acquisitions in various gateway markets.  Previously, Mr. Degenaars was with Lend Lease Real Estate Investments, where he was involved in asset management on behalf of several fund vehicles and separate account clients.  Mr. Degenaars began his career with JLL (formerly LaSalle Partners) in its Corporate Finance/Investment Banking Group.

Mr. Degenaars earned his AB degree at Dartmouth College and is an active member of the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC).

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Ben Kochalski



Mr. Kochalski joined JBC in 2011 and serves as a Principal, and a member of both the Board of Directors and Investment Committee. Based in JBC’s San Francisco office, his primary responsibilities include development and implementation of investment strategy, oversight and coordination of the West Coast investment activities.  In addition, Mr. Kochalski is responsible for joint venture structuring and the origination of new investment opportunities.

Prior to joining JBC, Mr. Kochalski worked for InSite Real Estate, LLC as a Director.  While at InSite, his primary focus consisted of acquisitions, development management, and asset management.

Mr. Kochalski earned his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from Ohio State University.  He received his M.B.A. from Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management.  He is also an active member of Urban Land Institute (ULI).

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Betsy Traczek

Principal | Director of Property Management


Ms. Traczek joined JBC in 1995 and serves as Principal and Director of Property Management and a member of JBC’s Board of Directors. Ms. Traczek primary responsibility is to oversee all JBC owned and third-party property management functions. Ms. Traczek coordinates the implementation of portfolio-wide initiatives specifically related to insurance, real estate taxes, customer satisfaction, and security.

Prior to directing all of JBC’s property management operations, Ms. Traczek was involved with the management of over 3.35 million square feet of Class A office space at JBC. As the General Manager at the Leo Burnett Building, she oversaw the successful completion of a complex, simultaneous renewal of two major tenants totaling over one million square feet.


Ms. Traczek earned her B.S. in Business Administration from Marquette University.  She is a certified Real Property Administrator and a Licensed Illinois Real Estate Broker..

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Sam Persico

Chief Financial Officer


Mr. Persico joined JBC in 2014 and serves as Chief Financial Officer for the Firm.  His primary responsibilities include oversight and management of all treasury, accounting and financial reporting functions, as well as the maintenance of all of the Firm’s banking and investor relations.

Prior to joining JBC, Mr. Persico was a Managing Director at The Corvus Group Inc., primarily responsible for oversight of the firm’s ongoing contracts with the FDIC.  Mr. Persico was hired by Corvus in 2010, at the height of the most recent financial crisis, to provide consulting and compliance monitoring services to the FDIC in their disposition of over $8 billion in failed bank commercial real estate loan and REO portfolios.  From 1997 to 2010, Mr. Persico was Sr. Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Metropolitan Real Estate Co., a commercial real estate development company located in Oak Brook, IL.  He also served as President of Metropolitan’s residential development company, Stonegate Development, Inc. from 2000 to 2010.  In these executive positions, Mr. Persico was responsible for the development and sale of over $200 million in residential condominium, retail and mixed-use projects, including several build-to-suit Walgreens retail outlets and prominent downtown Chicago condominium buildings such as Silver Tower and Park Place Chicago.  Mr. Persico began his career at the public accounting firm Altschuler, Melvoin & Glasser.

Mr. Persico earned his B.S. in Accounting from Illinois State University in 1987 and is a CPA in the State of Illinois.  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Civic Federation of Chicago.

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Sherri Davis

Chief Administrative Officer


Mrs. Davis is Chief Administrative Officer of The John Buck Company and serves as Assistant to the Chairman.  Ms. Davis has been with the firm for over 25 years and her duties include overseeing human resources, policy, legal and the administrative staff. Ms. Davis also serves on the Compensation Committee and performs a variety of executive level duties for John Buck in order to assist him thoroughly in the scope, diversity and complexity of all operations of the firm.

Ms. Davis also serves as an internal and external central resource on initiatives for the Firm, where she coordinates and oversees activities in support of the company’s portfolio.

Ms. Davis attended the University of Houston.  She is actively involved in JBC’s Civic Involvement Committee and serves as Officer-in-Charge of JBC’s Annual Spring Fling event.

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