Meet Our Team

William Haase

Founder, Managing Director

William “Will” Haase founded Certus Financial in 2009. Under his leadership, Certus has earned a reputation for being a creative all-in-one source for creditors in the operational and financial advisory space. While having personally managed or advised on over $4 billion of assets secured by municipal securities and commercial loans, Will is driven by his client’s success, which is the barometer for Certus. Industry experience includes, but is not limited to, senior care, renewable energy, fiber, water, sports and entertainment and commercial real estate. Clients include Fortune 100 institutions, indenture trustees, mutual funds, investment banks, companies/borrowers and regional and community banks.

Will was recognized in 2010 for Real Estate Deal of the Year given by M&A Advisors. In 2017, he directed the turnaround of a severely challenged senior care facility, resulting with Certus being awarded with 2018 Turnaround of the Year by the Turnaround Management Association. Again in 2020, Certus earned the prestigious Turnaround of the Year award for the stabilization, turnaround, and asset sale of a senior living community located in New London, MN.

An additional and notable achievement was when Will led the workout of a nearly complete 32-story condominium tower located in South Padre Island, Texas, known as the “Leaning Tower of Padre”. While representing the 52-bank syndicate, Will led the prosecuting team; including special counsel and structural engineers. Efforts concluded within a year following a successful two-day, non-binding mediation. The economic recovery was a unanimous approval by the bank syndicate which included the demolition of the failed tower, resulting in a world record for the tallest post-tension structure to ever be imploded.

Will attended Iowa State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in finance. He resides in Orono, MN with his wife Krista, two sons Miles and Liam, and yellow lab / pheasant expert, Jack. In addition to family functions, Will enjoys being a hobbyist furniture maker and an active outdoorsman.

Philanthropic activities include being a Board Member and Treasurer of Minneapolis HOPE Dollars for Scholars (“HOPE”), which he co-founded. HOPE has partnered with inner-city schools in Minneapolis to provide scholarships and mentoring to extraordinary students seeking a higher education, whereby Will mentors to certain recipients. He has partnered with Lady of Lourdes, located in a challenged part of the Twin Cities, whereby helping families in need during the Holidays. Dating back to 2003 he continues to volunteer his time and financial support to the ASL Cancer Research Fund, whose mission is to find the cure for certain cancers found in children through a unique form of genetic engineering utilizing salmonella.

Troy Cornick

Director

Troy Cornick is Director at Certus, having joined the firm in 2015. His primary functions include providing corporate planning, management consulting, restructuring, transaction advisory and interim management services for businesses in a variety of industries. He has worked extensively with trustees, receivers, and creditor groups on distressed assets including the assessment of current operations, developing turnaround/exit strategies, and actively implementing said strategies. Transactions include operational turnarounds, implementation of value-add capital improvement campaigns, and shutdown and sale for adaptive reuse, all with the focus of maximizing the return for the client.

Troy has over 15 years of national experience including mortgage lending, acquisitions, asset management, and debt advisory. He has been involved in over $1 billion of transactions involving office, industrial, multi-family, retail, parking garages, self-storage facilities, manufactured housing communities, senior care facilities, and renewable energy.

Prior to Certus , Troy worked at Meridian Realty Investments, a real estate investment company with a portfolio of over $500 million of Class A office and apartments. At Meridian, he was responsible for the acquisition and asset management of institutional commercial real estate. Acquisition duties included sourcing and underwriting investment opportunities, preparing private placement memorandums, and overseeing the acquisition due diligence process. Asset management duties include preparing quarterly asset management reports for investors, approving and overseeing manager’s monthly operating and cash flow reports, approving office lease proposals, and advising on refinance/disposition strategies. Notable achievements include acquiring a 4-property portfolio of Class A apartments totaling $115.4 million acquisition price and orchestrating a tax appeal resulting in a $200,000 reduction of property taxes for investors.

In addition, Troy spent 9 years originating commercial mortgage loans AEGON USA Realty Advisors, Inc. While at AEGON, he was involved in originating over $900 million of commercial loans in the Midwest and Southwest regions including fixed and floating rate debt, construction and permanent financing, and participation loans. Notable achievements include individually funding over $250 million of loans and working on an AEGON led $240 million multi-property participation loan funded by 4 life company lenders.

Troy is a graduate of University of Northern Iowa where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Finance. He currently resides in Maple Grove, MN with his wife Jocelyn and his two sons. He serves as a Board Member of the Maple Grove Community Organization, a position he has held since 2015. Troy enjoys camping, fishing, swimming, biking, and traveling with his family.

Logan Zick

Analyst

Logan is an analyst at Certus, having joined in March 2018.  In this role, his responsibilities include a variety of functions relating to the analysis of taxable and tax-exempt debt instruments involving operating businesses and new developments. Logan’s primary duties include supporting operational turnaround efforts, the review and drafting of financial assessments, financial modeling, ad hoc operational analysis, creation of Offering Memorandum, and market research.

Logan is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul where he earned a degree in finance from the Opus College of Business. While at St. Thomas, he was an active member of the Financial Management Association as well as Investments Club. He currently resides in Minneapolis, MN and during his free time enjoys spending time at the lake, traveling, and attending sporting events.

Russ McGinty

Vice President

Russ McGinty is Vice President for Certus Financial Advisors, a subsidiary of Certus. With over 25 years of successful industry experience, Russ has developed strong relationships and reputation amongst national and local retailers, investors, and developers. Respected for his knowledge, integrity and track record, investors and developers tap into Russ’ experience and relationships when searching for opportunities predominantly in the Midwest, but also nationally. Clients include some of the largest names in their respected categories.

Additional experiences include president and founder of North Central Commercial Real Estate, Senior Vice President of Retail Services for Madison Marquette, and Senior Vice President of the Retail Services Group at Grubb & Ellis Company, where he led their retail services group.

In 1999 and 2000, Russ was Grubb & Ellis’ top producer for the Minneapolis office, as well as being awarded the top retail broker in the nation for Grubb & Ellis in 1999 and second in the nation in 2000. He was also a consistent qualifier for the Circle of Excellence, recognizing top performers within Grubb & Ellis nationwide. Russ is a three-time winner of CCIM’s Annual Retail Forecast Competition and a Member of the Minnesota Shopping Centers Association (MSCA) and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). He holds a Bachelor of Science in Marketing, Management and Industrial Relations from Mankato State University, Mankato, Minnesota. In his free time, Russ enjoys field training his springer spaniels while actively involved in youth hockey.

Val O’Reilly

Marketing Coordinator

Val O’Reilly is Marketing Coordinator for Certus. In her role, Val assists Certus clients with marketing programs and collateral, such as branding and positioning, websites, photography and video collateral, marketing campaigns, and other strategies and tools to communicate with prospects and generate sales. Val has worked with several senior living communities on marketing campaigns during her time at Certus. She also supports the Certus business by ensuring the office runs smoothly and in helping stakeholders and the general public understand the value that Certus delivers in sophisticated projects.

Val has worked with numerous businesses across many industries during her career. Val graduated from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN and lives in Minnetonka, MN with her husband and two children. She loves walking her dogs, Max and Finn, spending time outdoors, and traveling. When she’s not in the office, Val can be often be found either practicing or teaching yoga.

Rob Fuglie

Director

Rob Fuglie brings a wealth of experience in private enterprise from start-up through turnaround and dissolution. He has performed multiple debt restructurings on operating companies with a keen eye for cash flow impacts of financing activities.

With industry experience that spans wholesale manufacturing, consumer credit, B2B services, and consumer packaged goods, Rob brings a creative, opportunity seeking mindset to deliver value focused on highest and best uses of assets.

Notable accomplishments include: the restructuring of a closely held commercial service subcontractor from a bank “Special Asset” to annualized 50% growth and normalized banking relationships; operating finance restructurings greater than $10 MM using combinations of debt, private placement, and grants for turnarounds; advisory and solution development for NASA, US Army Corps of Engineers and others; and finally, coaching 13U baseball and president of his Home Owners’ Association to keep him grounded in his community.

Rob thrives in ambiguous situations that require clarity and the development of clear plans and goals. He has an MBA from University of St Thomas, Minnesota and lives in Chanhassen, MN with his wife and two children.

Renae Witschen

Senior Director

In her role as Senior Director at Certus, Renae is focused on senior care operations. Renae has over 26 years of senior living experience, spanning 40 communities in eight states. During her career, Renae has opened new communities through construction and/or acquisitions, 3rd party management, and owner-operator structures. Having managed large portfolios of senior housing in the Midwest to the East Coast, Renae specializes in business development, successful acquisitions, and has experience in staff stabilization, having implemented numerous employee-centered strategies in the communities that she managed. Renae won the “President’s Club” Award, while at Sunrise Senior Living, by improving census and quality service standards in the community. She was also awarded the LeadingAge of Minnesota “Confident Choice Award”, while serving as executive director, for improved operational efficiencies in a community.

Renae has worked with various national assisted living providers across the United States throughout her career. Renae gradated from St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul, MN and lives in Monticello, MN with her family. When she is not working, Renae loves to work in her gardens and spending time outdoors and traveling with family and friends.