Leverage Global Partners

Staff & Contacts

Chief Executive Officer Amy Banner Updegrove

I started my media career at Texas Monthly magazine in ad sales and moved with them to their New York office, Mediatex National Sales, selling advertising for Chicago magazine. From there, I served for many years as the Retail Marketing Director for Polo Ralph Lauren and in 2000, I became Interim Publisher for Latina magazine. In 2002, I returned to Texas Monthly and Emmis Communications as Advertising Director. I was named Publisher and President of Los Angeles magazine in September 2007, and in 2010 returned once again to Texas as the VP, Group Publisher of Emmis Publishing and the Publisher of Texas Monthly. This long, amazing career in media, marketing, sales and client service has given me a specialized skill set to easily adapt to my role as Chief Executive Officer of Leverage Global Partners.

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Our President F. Ron Smith

I'm passionate about real estate. I have lived and worked in Los Angeles for my entire real estate career and consider myself fortunate that many of my clients have become close friends.

After 25 years of service and over $1 billion in real estate sales, I collaborated with four talented associates and founded Partners Trust Real Estate Brokerage and Acquisitions in 2009. In just five years, Partners Trust has sold over US $5 billion in real estate with 200 associates in seven offices. One of the key elements to the immediate success of Partners Trust is the company's ability to network directly with the best realtors in their markets.

I am a proud co-founder and President of Leverage Global Partners, which aligns the most prestigious independent real estate brokerage firms from around the world.

I credit my long-term success to my local expertise and strong community connections. I introduce my clients to both a home that fits their needs, and a neighborhood and community lifestyle that matches their interests.

As an expert in new construction and advisor to my clients in everything from home staging to color palettes and landscaping, I have successfully represented over US $1 billion in transactions.

I live in Brentwood on LA's Westside with Tracy, my wife of 26 years. I am enormously proud of our sons, Evan and Brandon. I enjoy travel, fitness, good wine and live music. I am an active supporter of numerous charitable organizations, including LA Family Housing and Concern Foundation for cancer research. I am proud to be a member of the Executive Committee of USC's Lusk Center for Real Estate.

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Phone: Beverly Hills Office - (310) 500-1373


Our Staff

We have assembled a team of experts in their respective fields - from digital marketing to customer service - who are working to keep Leverage on the leading edge of the global real estate market.

Chief Operating Officer, Business Development Director Tom Forbath

My career spans 20+ years in corporate finance and banking in a variety of capacities, including sales and business development, real estate financing, portfolio management and client relationships. As a Vice President of Wells Fargo Capital Finance, I managed a team of professionals that serviced a demanding portfolio of corporate finance transactions for Fortune 1000 companies with commitments in excess of $1.2 billion. My vast experience working with all levels of management at both domestic and international companies in numerous industries, including real estate, brings a unique global perspective to Leverage. A longtime resident of LA's Westside, I am an avid golfer and also enjoy beach vacations, real estate investing, and serving on the Board of Directors of EduCare Foundation, a local non-profit providing essential after school programs for 25,000 high school students annually in the Los Angeles area.

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Phone: (310) 500-3659

Chief Marketing Officer Annalisa Povlock

With a background in advertising, development, real estate, and urban planning, I now have the privilege and rare opportunity to whole-heartedly pursue my passion – building a brand and providing a service that empowers its members to reach their greatest success, at Leverage Global Partners. I am fortunate to work alongside an amazing and talented team who inspire me every day. My dream has always been to fall in love with my work, and Leverage has given me that opportunity. On an average day, you’ll find me developing programs, producing events & media, overseeing client service & marketing, managing technology projects, forming strategic partnerships, and planning our next initiatives to best serve our Partners. Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband, Lance, taking part in renovation projects on our duplex, and enjoying all that life in Southern California has to offer.

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Phone: (310) 500-3661

Chief Creative Officer Emily Desai

From an early age, I knew that I wanted to be an architect. So I earned my bachelors degree in Architecture at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. After graduating, I moved to Paris to work in a design firm and soak in as much of the city as possible. When I returned to the States, I settled in Los Angeles, where I have enjoyed working in a variety of creative companies. Early on, I worked for local design firms, then took a break to start and run a letterpress design company for several years. On any given day, you may find me strategizing new marketing initiatives or brainstorming with Leverage Global Partners team members on upcoming projects. When I am not working, I love to spend time with my husband and our son, and fixing up our 100-yr old bungalow and attempting to garden (it's harder than it looks). I also continue to pursue new artistic endeavors and love spending time with family and friends.

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Senior Account Director Morgan Northway

Born and raised in the Midwest, I have always embraced a spirit for exploration, innovation, and out-of-the box thinking. I graduated from Iowa State University where I focused on Apparel Merchandising and Design and Entrepreneurial Studies, and then I made my way to Los Angeles. My enthusiasm for technology and building strong relationships with clients has led me to Leverage Global Partners, where I support our team and our partners. I take time to enjoy life in Los Angeles and its infinite possibilities each and every day, whether that's a hike in Griffith Park, a historic tour of downtown Los Angeles or through my volunteer work at local charities.

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Phone: (310) 500-3673

Account Director William Shetler

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, I moved to Los Angeles in search of better weather and great opportunities. I developed my career launching several start up companies, and I enjoyed contributing to many key functional areas of Sales, Marketing and Business Development. I felt a natural connection with the overall goal of Leverage Global Partners. There's something exciting about being a part of a company with this much drive and integrity. In my spare time you can find me doing anything outdoors, writing, listening to music and waiting for my favorite holiday, Halloween.

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Phone: (310) 500-3663

Project Manager Marissa Boladian

A Southern California native, I recently graduated from Chapman University where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. I had the amazing opportunity of studying abroad in London, where I was able to travel to numerous European countries immersing myself with the people and the cultures I encountered along the way. Such exposure has helped prepare me in my position as Referral & Account Coordinator with Leverage Global Partners in building and nurturing relationships with people around the world. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. I have an enthusiasm for travel, as well as a love for all things fitness, and I can never say no to ice cream.

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Phone: (310) 500-3667

Analyst Raquel Peña

I come to Leverage Global Partners with an extensive background in finance. As a native to Los Angeles, I have had the opportunity to work in diverse industries such as entertainment, publishing and law. I get a charge out of learning the inter-workings of business operations and am thrilled to have the chance to gain a working knowledge of the real estate field. For play, you can find me at live concerts of assorted genres, catching independent movies, and reveling in the latest LA hot spots.

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Phone: (310) 500-3656

Partner Madison Hildebrand

Madison Hildebrand, President and Founder of The Malibu Life, Inc., is one of the world’s most recognizable faces in the world of real estate. Bringing 10 years of experience and career sales of over $250 Million, Madison acts as a founding member of Partners Trust Malibu office and is recognized internationally as a top producing agent year after year. Madison incorporated The Malibu Life, Inc., enlisting a team of 8 specialists who work together to make record transactions, exerting passion, professionalism, integrity, and uncanny industry knowledge. Madison’s ability to connect and communicate with a wide range of clientele is guided by his passion for travel, and his experiences living in various countries, states, and cities.

After completing his Bachelor of Arts in Advertising from Pepperdine University, Madison decided to plant his roots in Malibu. Soon after graduating, Madison became a pillar within the community, involving himself in numerous organizations and charitable institutions. He regularly gives back as a volunteer within the community, serving as a current Board Member of the Malibu Boys and Girls Club, a past Board Director of the Malibu Association of Realtors, a weekly volunteer at the ER at the UCLA Santa Monica Hospital, and Vice President of The Malibu Green Machine.

A six-year veteran to the small screen, Madison is most widely known as the original cast member of Bravo TV’s hit reality show “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles” and as a contributing host on E! News. Madison is also an acclaimed public speaker, author of the book Activate Your Passion, Create Your Career, and a product designer for a line of candles. His most recent accomplishments include signing on as Brand Ambassador for DocuSign, Inc. – The global standard for digital transaction management, as well as becoming the spokesperson for Leverage Global Partners, which brings global exposure and networking to boutique agencies across the world. Whether it’s gardening, traveling, or hiking with his rescue Doberman, Maya, Madison lives by his philosophies of “Spread the Love,” that “You can mix business with pleasure,” and his most important mantra of “Be a blessing, then be blessed.”

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