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 previously worked for the 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.

Jackie Nickolaus

Vice President of Development Services

Jackie is charged with developing Benchmark’s growing portfolio in the Central Iowa real estate industry. Jackie has deep roots in the Des Moines market.  Jackie has over a decade of experience focusing on multifamily, mixed-use, and commercial development projects across the Midwest and Europe. Prior to that, Jackie worked at the City of Des Moines in Community Development and the Office of Economic Development.  As the past President of CREW Iowa, Jackie furthers her passion for the advancement of the real estate industry and the exchange of ideas throughout the region.  She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Iowa and a Master of Arts from the Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota.

Brian Johnson

Legal Affairs & Operations

Brian is tasked with overseeing Benchmark’s legal affairs and general operations. Prior to joining Benchmark, Brian worked in the Los Angeles area as an attorney, and previously spent seven 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.