Board of Directors

John Arabia, CPA

Biography (PDF)

John Arabia was elected to EdR’s board of directors in March 2014.  He was named president of Sunstone Hotel Investors Inc. (NYSE: SHO) in February 2013, having previously served as the company’s chief financial officer and as executive vice president of corporate strategy from April 2011 to February 2013.  He joined Sunstone from Green Street Advisors Inc., where he served as a principal and a managing director beginning 1997.  Prior to joining Green Street, he was a consulting manager at EY Kenneth Leventhal in the firm’s west coast lodging-consulting practice that specialized in hotel market studies, valuation and acquisition due diligence. From 2006 through 2013, Mr. Arabia was a member of the Hotel Development Council of the Urban Land Institute.  In 2005, 2006 and 2007, he was named by Institutional Investor as the Best Independent Gaming and Lodging Analyst. Mr. Arabia won The Wall Street Journal’s best on the street award in the hotel and gaming category in 2008.  A Certified Public Accountant, Mr. Arabia earned his MBA in real estate and accounting at the University of Southern California and his B.S. in hotel administration at Cornell University.

Kimberly K. Schaefer

Biography (PDF)

Kimberly K. (Kim) Schaefer was elected to our Board of Directors in 2016.

Ms. Schaefer brings 20 years’ experience in real estate, hospitality management and finance along with a strong business acumen to our board.  Additionally, her creativity and experience in establishing and refining the Great Wolf Resorts brand into a premier family entertainment brand will make her a valuable addition to EdR's leadership.

Ms. Schaefer has served as Chief Executive Officer of Great Wolf Resorts, Inc. — the brand leader in the waterpark resort industry — since January 2009 and has been a member of the company’s Board of Directors since February 2009.  For nearly 15 years prior to her advancement to CEO, Ms. Schaefer served at various times as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Brand Officer, and was involved in site selection as well as producing a strong and successful operations record.

A certified public accountant, Ms. Schaefer holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin, and sits on the Board of Trustees for the college’s Business School.

Howard A. Silver
Lead Independent Director

Biography (PDF)

Howard A. Silver was elected to our Board of Directors in 2010.

From May 1994 to 2007, Mr. Silver was the president and chief executive officer of Equity Inns, Inc., a former NYSE listed company. Until the sale of the company to Whitehall Global Real Estate Funds in October 2007, Equity Inns was the largest hotel real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on the upscale extended stay, all-suite and midscale limited-service segments of the hotel industry. Mr. Silver also served as Equity Inns' executive vice president of finance, chief financial officer, and chief operating officer from 1994 to 2004. Prior to joining Equity Inns, Mr. Silver was employed by Ernst & Young LLP from 1987 to 1992 and by PricewaterhouseCoopers (formerly Coopers & Lybrand L.L.P.) from 1978 to 1986. Mr. Silver holds a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Memphis, and has been a certified public accountant since 1980.

John T. Thomas

Biography (PDF)

John T. Thomas was elected to the Board of Directors in 2016.

Thomas has been the president, chief executive officer and member of the board of trustees of Physicians Realty Trust (NYSE: DOC) since August 2013. DOC is an internally managed healthcare REIT with a focus on acquiring and managing medical office buildings and other healthcare facilities that has invested $2.4 billion in 222 properties across 30 states since its IPO in 2013.  

Prior to that Thomas was executive vice president – medical facilities group for Health Care REIT Inc. (NYSE: HCN) from January 2009 to July 2012. Under his guidance, the total net investments of HCN’s medical facilities group grew from $2.3 billion in assets to approximately $5 billion.

Thomas received his J.D. from Vanderbilt University Law School and his B.S. in Economics from Jacksonville State University, where he was a scholarship letterman on the football team and a member of the Academic All-Conference Team. Thomas graduated with Distinction and Special Honors in Economics.

Thomas “Tom” Trubiana

Biography (PDF)

One the nation’s preeminent student housing experts, Tom has been a leading figure in the student housing industry for more than 30 years. He has been directly involved in the development and/or management of over 150 collegiate housing communities representing more than 90,000 beds.

Having previously helped guide the company from a number of leadership positions, Tom was promoted to president of EdR and appointed to serve on the company’s board of directors in January 2015.

Tom began his career in student housing as a resident assistant for Allen & O’Hara — EdR’s predecessor company. He also served as president and chief executive officer of American Campus Communities (ACC) from July 1997 until October 2003, leading ACC through the company’s critical period of pre-IPO growth.

Prior to serving as president of ACC, Tom held numerous executive management positions for Cardinal/Lexford Realty Services, Inc. including chief operating officer. As COO, Tom was directly responsible for overseeing 530 multifamily communities.

Tom is a member of The National Apartment Association and its Student Housing Committee, The National Multifamily Housing Council, The National Association of College and University Business Officers, and other higher education and student housing organizations.

A graduate of West Virginia University, Tom received a B.S. in marketing and an M.B.A. with an emphasis in finance.

Wendell W. Weakley

Biography (PDF)

Wendell W. Weakley has served as a member of our Board of Directors since May 2007.

Mr. Weakley is the chief executive officer and president of the University of Mississippi Foundation. Prior to joining the Foundation on July 1, 2006, he was with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, or PwC, from August 1976 to June 2006. Mr. Weakley was an audit partner with PwC serving public clients in the manufacturing, distribution and retail sectors in the Memphis, Dallas and Tampa offices over his career. As an audit manager, he also served a two-year international tour of duty with PwC. He has served as the Office Managing Partner for the Memphis office of PwC as well as the audit and industry leader in the Dallas/Ft. Worth market for PwC. He was also a Regional Risk Management partner for PwC. Mr. Weakley is a Certified Public Accountant.