JOIN THE TEAM
CEO | REAL ESTATE EXPERT
Smike Wallen, entrepreneur and real estate expert, earned his wealth and built his reputation by successfully flipping properties, designing residential and commercial spaces, and representing buyers and sellers of homes.
During his childhood in Indiana, Smike watched as his divorced, single mom struggled to support two young children while living in public housing. Early experiences with scarcity and loss during formative years left their mark on Smike. Yet, with the support of his family and a deep-seated drive to overcome, Smike broke the cycle of poverty to become the first member of his family to attend college.
In 1994, Smike packed up his red Jeep and headed for California to prove that coming from nothing couldn’t stop him from building a better life. With the help of mentors along the way and his own uncompromising work ethic, Smike began to develop the skills that would allow him to realize his true potential.
After saving enough money to make a down-payment, Smike picked the most dilapidated house in one of LA's best neighborhoods to be his first home. He learned how to do all the renovation and design work himself –fully reimagining it into a showplace that he sold for profit. From there, Smike’s flipping business grew steadily. He had developed the knowledge to move from scarcity to prosperity. This quick, expansive journey led Smike to an unusual conclusion: that personal success and achievement need not come at the expense of others.
Within ten years of arriving in Los Angeles, Smike had become a millionaire. Although he had crossed the personal threshold of financial success he had always sought, he still felt as if something was missing. During a month-long trip to Bali, Smike had his “Oprah moment” – to share his “golden-touch” with others. Upon returning to California, Smike set out to form a real estate & design company that would operate differently than any other – one that would place clients first, knowing that with results, compensation would follow.
Today, the team at SMIKEWALLEN believes in a world of abundance and opportunity. By leveraging their unrivaled real estate expertise and collective knowledge of all things home, Smike and his diverse team manifest opportunities and deliver results for their clients.
T 323 791 6948
REAL ESTATE | SALES
Joey was born to recent immigrants from El Salvador. Joey’s birth parents wanted to give Joey a better life than what they felt they could offer, and found a wonderful family who adopted him at birth. Joey’s mom and dad are from New York. Joey has an adopted younger brother, who also joined the family at birth. Joey and his brother were raised by two loving parents who instilled the core values of family, loyalty, integrity, dedication and trust.
Joey grew up in Mar Vista, and is a first generation Californian. As he was growing up in LA, he learned his way around quickly, a skill that comes in handy for showing properties to clients. Joey knows where to find the hidden gems in this dynamic city. As a child when carpooling to school, Joey was fascinated by the houses he would pass, and by the age of 13, developed an interest in earning his living selling houses by becoming a real estate agent. Joey watched his parents invest in rental properties, as well as buying and reselling homes for a profit.
In his teens and early adult years Joey began the early stages of a career as an actor for TV shows, films and commercials. During his middle school and high school years, Joey was a champion swimmer. After earning a high school diploma at age 16, Joey then earned an AA from community college in business marketing and psychology. His next step was to study for the real estate exam and earn his real estate license as an agent.
Joining Keller Williams Hollywood Hills was just the beginning. Within the first few months of joining KW he interviewed with SMIKEWALLEN. He has proven to be a dedicated hard worker always putting clients’ needs first. There is nothing that makes Joey happier than seeing the smile in clients' eyes when they see a property that they love, and then when we close.
T 310 486 4143
DESIGN | INTERIOR & EXTERIOR
Deborah was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, where she is a licensed Certified Public Accountant, and graduated from the University of Detroit. She established a successful career in the entertainment industry, where she spent 33 years with Twentieth Century Fox in Michigan, New York City, and Los Angeles, where she has called home since 1991. In August 2016, she retired from Fox as Vice President of Royalty Reporting, an accounting department for the Home Entertainment division.
Deborah graduated from the Interior Design program at the Otis School of Art & Design in June 2008, while still working at Fox. Her passion for interior design and architecture began as a teenager, when she aspired to attend Parsons School of Design in New York. Life had other roads that led her away from her passion, but she never gave up her dream. She absolutely believes that it is never too late to pursue your passion – no matter how many twists and turns life may have in store. After meeting Smike in 2001, Deborah watching firsthand as his journey flipping houses developed, and found herself creatively inspired once again.
While the time was not yet right for her to leave her “day job,” Smike and Deborah became close friends over the years. The two have traveled extensively together, and have established a shorthand that integrates one another’s creative eye. Smike watched over the years as Deborah established her own design company and began to take on consulting projects, in addition to her full-time job. Aware of her passion and enthusiastic about her talent, Smike extended Deborah an open invitation to join the team at SMIKEWALLEN after retiring from Fox. Today, Deborah is an integral part of the team, bringing her talent and passion for design to the Interior Design and Styling & Staging teams. Deborah is also responsible for 3D modeling, as needed, for more extensive renovation projects. An avid traveler, Deborah takes her creative inspiration from the rich visual traditions of Asian and African cultures, including those of her favorite places – Morocco, Indonesia, China, and Thailand.
Deborah takes pride in her deep connection to South Los Angeles, where she resides. For 19 years, Deborah served as executive director of Fox‘s volunteer workplace mentoring program at Susan Miller Dorsey High School. Deborah has also served as Chair of the Board of Directors of Community Coalition of South LA, a non-profit organization that empowers the South Los Angeles community and creates resident leaders, who advocate to strengthen their schools, families, and community by changing public policy. Deborah has served on the board for 13 years.
T 323 632 3220
DESIGN | PROJECT DIRECTOR
As a Southern California native, raised in the city of Lakewood, Chad Caluza is passionate about creating comfortable, modern, chic, and functional spaces. His extensive travels around the world and immersion into various cultures has enabled him to conceptualize most any space to the client's lifestyle.
After living in Tokyo and Hong Kong for four years, Chad completed his bachelor’s degree from California State Polytechnic University in Urban and Regional Planning. The program's combination of design, sociology, law, and study of urban environments not only touched on all his interests, it also led to a year long internship with the planning department for the City of Anaheim. After which, Chad took a position with Ecuador Volunteer -- relocating to the Andes Mountains and working in community development with the County of Chunchi as well as the Galapagos Islands doing environmental protection and preservation on San Cristobal Island.
After traveling abroad for nearly six years, Chad moved back home to Southern California, inspired and motivated to develop his new design ideas into dream homes for his client's. Over the years, Chad has developed an unrivaled partnership with SMIKEWALLEN and has delivered a design experience second to none.
T 562 805 4025
REAL ESTATE | SALES
Growing up in the countryside of Dallas, Texas, Michael-Carlo Garcia spent his formative years cultivating his talents in art, outreach, and architecture. But it was his summers abroad that further developed an international outlook, passion for new cultures, and a keen appreciation for good design.
So much so that even after becoming an award-winning concert pianist and equestrian, Michael still knew his love for home design was his true calling. Michael left his home state to attend the University of Southern California, where he had the opportunity to finally immerse himself into his passion. Concentrating in real estate finance, development, and furniture design, Michael completed his studies and launched his career in real estate at one on New York City’s premier commercial real estate firms.
After a successful run in the Big Apple, Michael decided to return to his adoptive home of Los Angeles. Michael's unique skill-set, authenticity and passion for helping others made him an ideal fit for joining the SMIKEWALLEN team.
In doing so, he's proudly continued to expand his service to clients alongside his involvement with various causes near and dear to his heart including LACMA, The Midnight Mission, and Habitat for Humanity.
T 917 819 5777
REAL ESTATE | SALES DESIGN | STYLING & STAGING
Hugh Garvey draws from a diverse set of skills and experiences to bring a unique approach to real estate and design. A proud Angeleno, Hugh has made Los Angeles his home since the age of 18. His intimate knowledge and passion for the area allows Hugh to navigate the Southern California real estate market with the valuable perspective and insider knowledge of a local.
At SMIKEWALLEN, Hugh brokers winning real estate deals and contributes his vision and voice to a wide array of beautification projects. Hugh also leads the styling and staging businesses, where he works with clients to identify untapped potential and unlock additional value in their homes.
Hugh prides himself on an innovative marketing approach that integrates web-based strategies, social channels, professional photography, and resourceful design solutions to broaden exposure and engage new audiences. Hugh plays an integral role at SMIKEWALLEN under the brokerage of Keller Williams Hollywood Hills, bringing with him a keen eye for design and a network of high-end buyers the world over.
An East Coast native, Hugh moved between the New York City area, London, and Charlotte before settling in Los Angeles, where he earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts and Marshall School of Business. Hugh began his career in the entertainment business, representing talent at some of the industry's leading talent agencies and management companies.
Initially a client of Smike's, Hugh completed his first real estate flip at the age of 20. Whether developing opportunities for talent or working with real estate clients to buy, sell, or beautify property, Hugh has spent his entire career making deals that win.
T 310 625 8131
REAL ESTATE | SALES
Born and raised in Corbin, Kentucky, Bram Hoover's small town upbringing helped mold him into a hard-working, loyal, and community-focused man. The only thing it didn't offer, however, was an outlet for his dreams. His father, a real estate developer, and mother, an interior designer, clearly shaped Bram’s early interest in all things design related, but eventually the charm and character of small town living wasn’t enough to keep Bram’s lofty ambitions at bay. So, at the age of 18, he ventured out into the world, heading West, with just a suitcase and an ardent determination to achieve his goals.
Three years later, Bram flipped his first home at the age of 21 and has continued with this pursuit for over a decade.
Combining his diligent ongoing research into new products, innovative technology, and new building concepts, with a meticulous eye and creative experience to transform spaces as only a perfectionist can, Bram joined forces SMIKEWALLEN, with where he could further share his knowledge, experience, enthusiasm and vigor with a like-minded team of creative people.
Because, more than anything else, Bram's greatest ability is his innate connection with people from all walks of life. His authentic charm and loyal following allows him to make even a vibrant and diverse city like Los Angeles feel like a cozy, small town.
T 818 802 8311
REAL ESTATE | SALES
Regarded for her outstanding client service, personal touch, and high-tech marketing techniques, Esther Marie specializes in the sale of new and existing architectural luxury homes as well as new developments.
Working in some of the most luxurious zip-codes in all of LA, Esther is widely sought after as one of the top up and coming realtors in the entire Los Angeles market.
Her ascent in the industry came as little surprise to those who've known her. Prior to Real Estate, Esther worked in the Fashion and Design industry, which led to starting her own small business in the Children’s Market. It was this successful experience of launching her own company that motivated her to leverage her skill-set into her love of architecture and homes.
Though, her client's will say what sets Esther apart from the rest is her contagious passion and her laser focus on customer service and communication, Esther will tell you it’s because she has the most amazing clients’ who continue to send referrals. Regardless, Esther's diligent and detailed work ethic provides her clients with top notch information and market insight, so they can make the best decisions possible. She makes the process fun, easy and is a valued member of the SMIKEWALLEN team.
T 310 388 7932
DESIGN | CONTRACTOR SERVICES
As President of Messina Management Inc., Brandon Messina is a Los Angeles based licensed General Contractor who has been working in construction for more than 20 years. Originally from St. Louis, Brandon came to Orange County in 2004 on a two week invite to remodel Dennis Rodman's Newport Beach restaurant and nightclub. After being dubbed a “creative contractor," his short trip became a permanent one, finding his new home in OC and LA.
In the years since, Brandon has been using his unique set of skills with designers, realtors, and other contractors on many multimillion dollar homes and projects, including NFL Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez's APS packaging facility, Dillon Francis' personal home, Hotel La Casa Del Camino in Laguna Beach, Hotel Menage in Anaheim, Sutra Lounge in Newport Beach, and Watson's Drug and Soda Fountain in Downtown Orange to name a few.
With an exceptional eye for detail and keen ability to bring a client’s vision to life, Brandon's sharp-witted personality and fun-loving attitude made him a more than worthy addition to the SMIKEWALLEN team. Now, with his knowledge, combined with the wide-ranging resources that the company provides, his loyal client base has the perfect answer for all of their construction needs.
T 424 335 4941
DESIGN | CLIENT SERVICES
Born and raised in the small town of Mooresville, Indiana, life in this small town environment taught Mac Norton the importance of hard work, community engagement, family values, and friendship. These core values had become the foundation for his world perspective as he struck out on his own, receiving a Bachelor's Degree in Rhetoric and Spanish at Wabash College in Indiana -- one of the three remaining all-male colleges in the country. More than the average college experience, Mac's involvements at Wabash included extensive research and work on community conversation, with a specific focus on facilitation of conversations for various organizations.
Nearing the end of his education, Mac discovered SMIKEWALLEN and applied for a summer internship after finding out that Smike was a graduate of Wabash. Immediately, Smike saw Mac’s positive attitude, versatility, and loyalty as great qualities and brought him on as his full-time assistant after graduation.
Alongside his given duties, Mac works on the day–to-day operations at SMIKEWALLEN with his construction background and education aiding him in assisting in most areas of the business. As his young career continues to blossom, his open-mindedness, business acumen, and genuine personality allow him to form lasting bonds with others, which he hopes to utilize in the future as a real estate agent for SMIKEWALLEN.
T 317 354 5464
REAL ESTATE | SALES
Kristine was born and raised in Los Angeles. She completed her BA in Business at the American University of Paris (France) and her MBA from Columbia University (New York). She was previously a hedge fund portfolio manager, where she analyzed and traded large cap technology + social media stocks.
When she bought her first condo in Los Angeles in 2001, and sold it in 2004 for 180% of the purchase price – she was hooked.
Kristine utilizes her background in business to the best of her client's advantage – from negotiations, marketing, and across the entire real estate transaction.
Kristine is highly responsive to her clients' needs, and prides herself on communication and accessibility. She adheres to a high level of ethics and professionalism and is singularly focused on helping her clients achieve their real estate goals.
T 310 601 0425