Our Team

Joe Cordaro

Joe Cordaro


Joe has a deep understanding of the Des Moines Real Estate market. He has owns and manages nearly 500,000 square feet of commercial real estate in Iowa – most in the Des Moines. Joe’s professional background includes US Department of State, Principal Financial Group, Wells Fargo, and The Members Group. He holds a Bachelor’s and Master’s in Accounting from Drake University and a post-graduate diploma in strategy from the Navy War College. In addition Joe served on the Salisbury House Foundation Board.

Brian Johnson

Legal Affairs & Operations

Brian oversees Benchmark’s legal affairs and general operations. Prior to joining Benchmark, Brian worked in the Los Angeles area as an attorney, and previously spent multiple years working for the U.S. Department of State. He brings a wealth of knowledge and wide-ranging background to the organization. He is a licensed attorney and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a Juris Doctor degree, both from Gonzaga University.

Laura Headshot

Laura Thomas


Laura has more than 30 years of experience in the accounting industry, including nearly a decade in the public accounting field. She is a graduate from the AIB College of Business and has worked extensively in the Des Moines metro area. She is dedicated to her community and active local groups dedicated to encouraging healthy lifestyles.

Michelle Coffey Headshot

Michelle Coffey

Administrative Manager

Michelle has joined Benchmark in her encore career. She has a broad-based background and wide-ranging skillset honed over thirty-plus years in the workforce. She spent the majority of her first career with John Deere Financial. She is active in the community and has volunteered with the Girl Scouts organization, Habitat for Humanity, Junior Achievement, United Way, and her local church and schools. Michelle comes from a family of small-business entrepreneurs, with a history of owning and operating a commercial cleaning business, as well as residential property ownership and management. She is a lifelong Des Moines area resident and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Northern Iowa.