The Principals of Back Nine are actively engaged in all facets of the business, and are passionate about providing exceptional service to investors and residents.
Jill Sickle
Co-Founder, Principal
773.741.1880

Jill Sickle is a co-founder and Principal of Back Nine Apartment Investments. Jill is also the founder and Principal of Hanover Hamilton Investments, LLC, a Chicago-based investment real estate company that owns and operates 8 multifamily properties in the Chicago Market.

Previously, Jill was a Principal for 11 years at a national real estate investment platform specializing in Tenant in Common investments where she closed over 40 transactions valued in excess of $800 million across 15 distinct markets. Jill began her real estate career in 1990 at Hines, the international development company where she led the development of a $110 million office tower and oversaw a five-city portfolio of office buildings totaling 7 million square feet.

Jill is a licensed real estate broker in the state of Illinois. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Colgate University where she captained the Women’s Tennis Team and played number one singles and doubles. Jill also received an MBA from The Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. In 2015 and 2017, Jill represented the United States at the Maccabi Games where she won three silver medals. In 2014 and 2016, Jill was ranked among the top ten women tennis players in her age group in the nation.

Doug Imber
Co-Founder, Principal
773.305.4902

Douglas S. Imber is co-founder and President of Essex Realty Group, Inc. He has been involved in more than $1 billion of investment real estate transactions throughout his 28 year career and has represented many of Chicago's most prominent real estate companies and lending institutions. In addition, Doug has acquired and sponsored 5,000 apartment units across the United States. 

Doug received his Bachelor of Arts from Auburn University and completed his Masters of Management from Northwestern University's J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management, with concentrations in finance and real estate. He is a licensed real estate broker in Illinois. 

Doug has been honored numerous times as Chicago's top multi-family broker and is a regular speaker and writer regarding Chicago's investment real estate market. 

Doug lives in Glencoe with his wife Lisa, a real estate attorney, and their twins, Jacob and Arielle. 

Kate Varde
Co-Founder, Principal
773.305.4908

Kate Varde is a co-founder and Principal of Back Nine Apartment Investors. Kate is also a Partner of Essex Realty Group, Inc., which she joined in 2007. Kate has been involved in more than $300 million of investment property transactions, including more than 3,000 apartment units. Kate has also acquired and sponsored more than $30 million in multi-family and mixed-use properties.

Previously, Kate was a Foreign Exchange Trader, responsible for analyzing and interpreting market conditions. Kate also played professional softball for the Chicago Bandits. She graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Psychology and has been inducted into the Cornell University Sports Hall of Fame. Kate is a licensed Illinois Real Estate Broker and has been recognized as Chicago’s leading multi-family broker.

Dave Ammann
Chief Financial Officer
773.680.2361

Dave Ammann is the Chief Financial Officer of Back Nine Apartment Investors. He is responsible for financial reporting and structuring new acquisitions.  In addition, Dave coordinates with investors and their counsel regarding 1031 exchange requirements.

Dave earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing from University of Colorado – Boulder, and a Masters of Business Administration from University of Colorado – Denver.  For the past 15 years Dave has held various positions for a Chicago-based real estate development, investment and management company including CFO.   Immediately prior to joining Back Nine, he oversaw the disposition of their $80 million portfolio, including exchanging the assets into 1031 compliant investments.  Previously, he worked as Executive Director of a Micro-Lending Program in Denver. 

Rick Eddington
Managing Director of Acquisitions, Principal
773.272.5020

Rick Eddington is the Managing Director of Acquisitions and a Principal of Back Nine Apartment Investors. Rick is responsible for sourcing, underwriting and negotiating Back Nine investments. After earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from University of Missouri, Rick spent 10 years in finance, working for both Northern Trust and LaSalle Bank where he specialized in middle market lending for real estate investors and privately held businesses. Rick has been involved in over $300,000,000 in real estate transactions.


Kevin Smith
Director of Asset Management
407.810.2604

Kevin Smith is the Director of Asset Management of Back Nine and is responsible for overseeing and optimizing the performance of each Back Nine investment.

After earning his bachelor’s degree from University of Miami, Kevin spent 10 years in finance, working for multiple institutional brokerage firms where he specialized in the sales and trading of securitized fixed income securities. Most recently, Kevin founded a boutique real estate investment company and has spent the last 4 years acquiring, managing and repositioning various residential and commercial properties.

Hollie Savitt
Director of Accounting
847.533.6526

Hollie Savitt is a Director of Accounting and Asset Management for Back Nine Apartment Investors, LLC. After earning her Bachelor and Master Degrees in Accountancy from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with Honors, she was a consultant at Navigant Consulting for 6 years rising through the ranks to Managing Consultant. Hollie was most recently the Financial Manager at Northwestern University’s School of Law for 4 years. She managed the team that was responsible for overseeing all financial operations at the Law School, which included budgeting, forecasting, and creating consolidated reporting for senior leadership. 

Jaimie Steinher
Director of Marketing
773.741.1880

Jaimie Steinher is a Director of Marketing with Back Nine Apartment Investors. Jaimie graduated from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in Bloomington with a Bachelor of Science in Business degree and is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Illinois.

Outside of work, Jaimie volunteers her time as the communications director for the Albany Park Community Center Associate Board. She also serves as the internal vice-president for the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education Associate Board. Both of these organizations help provide services for Chicago community members and students on the north side and in inner city areas.

Clay Maxfield
Associate Director of Acquisitions
773.741.1880

Clay Maxfield is an Associate Director of Acquisitions with Back Nine Apartment Investors, LLC. Clay is also an Associate with Essex Realty Group, Inc., which he joined in 2014.

Clay is a graduate of Indiana University, where he operated a successful apartment rental business and managed several multi-family properties. He is also a licensed real estate broker in the State of Illinois.

Jill Sickle
Co-Founder, Principal
773.741.1880
Doug Imber
Co-Founder, Principal
773.305.4902
Kate Varde
Co-Founder, Principal
773.305.4908
Dave Ammann
Chief Financial Officer
773.680.2361
Rick Eddington
Managing Director of Acquisitions, Principal
773.272.5020
Kevin Smith
Director of Asset Management
407.810.2604
Hollie Savitt
Director of Accounting
847.533.6526
Jaimie Steinher
Director of Marketing
773.741.1880
Clay Maxfield
Associate Director of Acquisitions
773.741.1880
Multi-Family Investments