Executive Team

Meet Our Executive Team

Gary Cress
Chief Executive Officer/Principal

Gary, Founding Principal of The Cress Group, is a successful, entrepreneurial real estate developer. Throughout his career of more than 30 years in commercial real estate, Gary has developed office buildings and shopping centers in Mississippi and Florida, managing more than 65 third-party properties in the Southeast.  Prior to the creation of The Cress Group, Gary received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Mississippi State University and worked for IBM in the data processing division.

Gary Cress

Blake Cress
Vice President/Principal

Blake has 23 years of experience with The Cress Group and its various divisions. During his career he has served as property manager, leasing agent, sales and leasing broker, and commercial and residential developer. He currently directs the operations of Cress Development, LLC, the commercial and residential development division of The Cress Group. Prior to joining The Cress Group, Blake received his Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Alabama and also holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Mississippi College. Blake lives in Madison with his wife and two sons.

Chad Hirn, CCIM
Principal Broker/Investment Broker

Chad graduated from Mississippi State University in 2001 with an undergraduate degree in forest resources, and in 2002 with a master’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in real estate. He joined The Cress Group that same year. Chad has been responsible for facilitating and overseeing acquisitions and dispositions of shopping centers and office buildings, shopping center development, new financing and refinancing of investment property, lease negotiations, tenant representation work, and commercial property management. Chad oversees the day-to-day operations of the Brokerage Division. A CCIM member since 2008 and member of ICSC, Chad serves on the committee for the CCIM Mississippi Chapter.

John Shanks

John is responsible for the accounting operations of the company including accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, and management reporting. Prior to joining The Cress Group, John was the controller for Hudson Capital Partners, LLC, and company specializing in asset disposition services. John was also the Assistant Controller and Director of Accounting for Bill’s Dollar Stores for more than thirty years. He is a graduate of Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi.

John Shanks

Aaron Herrington
Assistant Controller

Aaron is a graduate of Mississippi College with a degree in Business Administration with emphasis in Accounting, Aaron joined The Cress Group in July of 2014. As the Assistant Controller, Aaron assists in all accounting operations of the company and oversees the management reporting on all properties managed by The Cress Group.

Aaron Herrington