March 2015 Speakers

Industry Speakers

Karl Kuykendall
Principal Economist
US Regional Services
IHS Economics


Karl Kuykendall is a Principal Economist in IHS Economics’ US Regional Services Group. He prepares forecasts and written analysis for several states in South region, including Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas and the Metropolitan Statistical Areas of those states. Mr. Kuykendall tracks regional economic developments on a daily basis closely monitoring regional outlooks and emerging trends. He regularly makes presentations of these regional economic forecasts and analysis to clients, conferences, and the press. Mr. Kuykendall is involved in the Regional group’s economic impact assessment modeling and also works on consulting projects, including reports on transportation and international trade, analysis of the Community Development Block Grant program’s impact on metro area economies, analysis of the economic impact of tax exempt bonds, and capital spending impact studies for several utilities. Mr. Kuykendall received a B.A. in economics at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth where he was a Commonwealth Scholar.

John Hunt
Senior Analyst
ViaSearch, Inc. &
Smart Numbers


John Hunt is the founder and president of ViaSearch, Inc. and a Senior Analyst with Smart Numbers, Inc. Since 1995, ViaSearch has surveyed over a quarter of a million home buyers from Seattle to Washington DC and points in between. ViaSearch is the only company in the nation providing continuous, on-going consumer research for the housing industry. This allows for both short and long range trending on new home buyer demographics/motivation, product preferences and shopping habits.Smart Numbers provides residential real estate information, analysis and forecasting for brokers, builder/developers, and mortgage and banking professionals in six Southeastern markets. The data that Smart Numbers produces accurately predicted the housing downturn as early as September 2005, when letters went out to clients stating that a “Housing Downturn is Eminent!”
Smart Numbers was the only company to provide data to the Senate Banking Committee in October of 2009, helping Senator Johnny Isakson successfully extend the Home Buyer Tax Credit. Smart Numbers is regularly quoted in publications such as the Wall Street Journal and the AJC. The company has also been featured many times as an expert in housing on CNN, FOX and all 3 local Atlanta networks.
John has also co-produced the largest semi-annual event for the Atlanta Housing industry (The Atlanta Housing Summit) since 2006, with more than 500 leaders in Atlanta and national real estate in attendance.
After graduating from Samford University with a BA in Finance/Economics, John worked as a marketing executive in the Atlanta housing industry until starting ViaSearch in 1995. He has been with Smart Numbers since 2001.
Frank K. Norton, Jr.
CEO Chairman
Norton Holdings

Georgia native, Frank K. Norton, Jr. joined his family’s business, The Norton Agency, in 1986 as manager of both Commercial and Residential Real Estate Divisions. He was promoted to President of the holding company in 1997 becoming CEO Chairman in 2007 and today manages a network of 52 associated real estate, investment and financial services businesses with an annual volume exceeding $550 million.

Well recognized for his excellent marketing skills and keen business intuition, Frank has presented, for the past 28 years, an economic forecast outlining growth and business trends for Georgia and the Southeastern United States region. The report, based on a wealth of data collected by Norton’s Native Intelligence Division, is a resource that guides many area companies and organizations in making their business decisions. He is a noted and colorful speaker on economic, demographic and real estate trends, giving 25 + talks annually.

His clients include The Atlanta Falcons, 3 School Systems, Northeast Georgia Medical Center and The Longstreet Clinic.

Frank is also partner in Southern Capital Funds, a private group of closed end real estate funds geared toward long-term and opportunistic investments throughout Georgia.

In 2007 he recast his family’s brokerage company to zero in on the troubled distressed asset market segment. During that stressful time, manages and markets currently a portfolio of residential and commercial stressed assets over $300 million, 49 banks and institutions, including the FDIC, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Since 2007 the REO team has been involved in $700 million in asset product sales.

Professionally, Frank holds Broker’s licenses in the states of Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina. He is a member of the National Association of Realtors and the Council of Commercial Investment Managers.

Besides his obvious commitment to the business of Real Estate, Frank is also involved with a number of community organizations. He is an assistant Scout Master to Boy Scout Troop 16, acting as the Eagle Scout Advisor, having achieved the Eagle Scout level at the age of 13 and the designation of Boy Scout of the Year for the State of Georgia at 15. He regularly donates his “birds”, whimsical drawings he has hanging in 12 Southeastern galleries, to charitable groups for their fundraising.

He graduated from Georgia Tech with a Bachelor of Science in Building Construction, College of Architecture and became, at 25, the youngest manager in the history of CBRE, the world’s largest commercial real estate firm. Frank and his wife of 32 years, Nancy, have two daughters Teddie, and Emilie and a son, Tripp.