Our Team

We are a team of commercial real estate advisors who offer development consulting and leasing services for owners and entrepreneurs in walkable urban areas, with deep experience in the North Loop, Warehouse District, Uptown and Northeast neighborhoods of Minneapolis and St. Paul’s Cathedral Hill, Lowertown, Mac/Groveland and Highland Park neighborhoods.  We currently represent over 500,000 SF of office and retail space in the Twin Cities. Our team members have completed hundreds of leasing and sale transactions for dozens of businesses and led more than $150 Million in development projects. 

Element was founded by JoAnna Hicks and Kevin Kuppe in 2015 on the belief that the best solutions arise out of collaborations between people with different ideas, perspectives, and skills.  Our experienced team has a deep breadth of knowledge rooted in history, economics, landscape architecture, market research, affordable housing, business administration and urban planning.  We have worked for some of the state’s largest developers and for boutique commercial real estate firms.  We came together because we are united by a passion to transform the world around us by embracing the idea of possibility.

Who We Are

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joanna hicks

Co-Founder & Principal

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JoAnna Hicks

JoAnna Hicks: Co-Founder & Principal

JoAnna saw an opportunity to return to her roots of helping others by utilizing her experience as a project manager, landlord, developer, and broker to assist property and business owners to successfully achieve their real estate goals. She is driven by a desire to transform the world around her and excels in building strong, deep relationships with her clients and partners. JoAnna’s infectious enthusiasm enables her to motivate and lead teams to accomplish complex projects and achieve long term goals. With fifteen years of commercial real estate experience, JoAnna has led over $150 Million of office, retail, mixed-use, and housing projects and utilized almost every type of grant and tax credits that are currently available. The depth and breadth of her knowledge in every facet of real estate transactions is unique in the market, and makes her a tremendous asset to any client.

JoAnna is active in several organizations including ULI, NAIOP, MNCAR, and WIRED UP, and devotes time to help create affordable housing and support children with autism. JoAnna lives in St. Louis Park with her husband and three energetic kids and loves to explore the Twin Cities by foot, bike or canoe.

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kevin kuppe

Co-Founder & Principal

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Kevin Kuppe

Kevin Kuppe: Co-Founder & Principal

Driven by a keen desire to understand the world around him and make it better, Kevin is a natural Maker, who pulls things apart to understand them and reassembles them into a creative vision to be shared with others. A skilled problem solver with an incredible work ethic, Kevin leads design and construction teams with a thoughtful and methodical approach that is focused on delivering results that exceed client expectations. His experience covers the entire scope of real estate: opportunity identification, site selection, entitlements, design, pre-construction planning and budgeting, closing, construction, and leasing to a smooth transition to operations. Kevin’s award winning projects range from the creative repositioning of industrial warehouse buildings in Minneapolis to leading the creation of the largest private art park in Minneapolis. Kevin is active in the real estate industry with leadership positions in ULI, NAIOP and MNCAR.

Passionate about the sustainability behind restoration of buildings and building communities, Kevin spent a year restoring a foreclosed house in the Kingfield neighborhood and turned it into his residence. In his spare time, Kevin loves to explore nature, including hiking, canoeing, snowboarding, running marathons, and seeking un-trekked terrain where it is left to be found.

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ian mcroberts

Director of Real Estate Advisory

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Ian McRoberts

Ian McRoberts: Broker

Ian McRoberts has over twenty years of experience in commercial real estate, serving most recently as the principal of McRoberts Real Estate. Ian specializes in commercial site identification for tenants, including site location analysis, lease vs. buy evaluations, lease and purchase negotiations, and full project management. Over the past decade, Ian has completed more than $50M in transaction deal volume for clients including Fairview Hospitals and Clinics, the City of Minneapolis, the Minnesota Children's Museum, My Burger Restaurants, as well as many technology, laboratory and creative based companies. Ian has extensive experience in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) which provides insight and thoughtful strategy to corporations and entrepreneurs looking for opportunistic growth.

Before founding McRoberts Real Estate, Ian served as the Director of Leasing for a privately owned 400,000 SF commercial real estate portfolio. Prior to that, he worked with the McComb Group LTD, a Minneapolis consulting firm serving the shopping center industry. During business school, Ian spent a year working with Sherpa Partners, and a Minneapolis based venture capital firm.

Ian holds an MBA from the Carlson School of Management with a focus in Finance, Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship and a BA from the Macalester College with majors in Economics and Geography.

Tiffany Brace_Element Inc



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Tiffany Brace

Tiffany Brace: Broker

Tiffany L. Brace has been in commercial real estate for over six years. Originally working in the Denver market, Tiffany now focuses in the Twin Cities area. Tiffany represents tenants & landlords, buyers & sellers, and investors primarily in walkable urban neighborhoods. Tiffany is extremely customer-centric, steadfast and diligent in assuring that she understands her customer’s needs, wants and desires in order to get them in the perfect location to start and/or grow their business or investment!



Marketing Associate

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Brita Lundgren

Brita Lundgren: Marketing Associate

Brita recently joined the Element team as a Marketing Associate and key contributor to marketing and business development. Though she is new to the commercial real estate industry, she brings with her nearly ten years of sales experience as a top-performing medical device rep. Working for Vascular Solutions/Teleflex, she was independently responsible for generating over $2 million in annual revenue. Brita has a natural ability when it comes to building meaningful relationships with her clients, and takes a personal and sincere interest in helping them achieve their goals. Brita credits her own success to her authenticity and integrity.

She has always been interested in renovation/redevelopment, design, and the ability of a space to create a sense of community. She’s thrilled to be a part of the team at Element, and is currently in the process of obtaining her MN Real Estate Salesperson’s License.




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Tomas Panek

Tomas Panek: Intern

Tom is a Macalester College student majoring in Economics, with a particular interest in technology for real estate finance. By interning at Element, he hopes to gain a thorough understanding of the CRE industry and generate ideas for his eventual CRE tech startup. His work centers around improving internal asset management processes and enhancing the company’s information technology assets. Tom’s objective is to help Element become more efficient by providing software/technology that anyone can understand and everyone loves to use. In his spare time, Tom enjoys attending classical music concerts, exploring the Twin Cities, and reading business books.


We Believe

In the importance of authenticity.

In the value of collaboration.

In the positive energy that springs from fun.

That to drive towards a vision, you need grit.

We want to work with people who ask the question “what if?”.

We are looking for clients who are passionate about their business and community. Explore what is possible with us.

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