Jump into Worthshop's “Try Tell” sessions where presenters and judges square off Shark Tank style. It's fun, informative, occasionally vicious and consistently hilarious


"Try Tell" Presenters

Heather Sittig Jackson

Heather Sittig Jackson is an entrepreneur who has dedicated her career to making the world of real estate a better place for Agents and Homeowners.  In 2002 she founded Maison Nouveau, the first bay area firm with an entirely team based model.  Maison Nouveau was acquired in 2011.

Today she is the CoFounder and CEO of Relola.  Relola provides the real estate industry technology tools to share insights and more about homes where buyers and sellers are already looking - all over the internet. Heather is an expert on content sharing for the modern agent, and a firm believer in the value of transparency in all markets


Kāwika Burgess

Kāwika Burgess is the President and CEO of the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (HILT). HILT is a Hawaii based land conservation organization that works to improve and enhance the quality of life in Hawaii by working with willing landowners and local communities to protect Hawaii’s unique natural and cultural resources including coastal lands, working farms and ranches, and historical and cultural landscapes. 

Prior to joining HILT, Kawika owned and managed a real estate management company on the island of Oahu. He previously served as the Chief Operating Officer at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Hawaii’s 13th largest landowner, and as the Land Assets and Operations Manager at Kamehameha Schools where he managed a portfolio of 13,000 acres on Oahu and Molokai. 


Joe Root

Overseeing all aspects of Kohanaiki including development, operations, sales and administration, Joe’s passion is to create a special place and experiences for future generations to enjoy. With nearly 20 years at notable Hawai‘i luxury golf resorts, including Mauna Kea Resort and Waikoloa Land Company, Joe most recently managed the development, startup and operations of CordeValle, a private club and boutique hotel in California’s Silicon Valley. Joe’s focus now is Kohanaiki—its core values of taking care of the place and its people, including the world-class team assembled to create and deliver the Kohanaiki experience.


Paul Grasshoff

Paul's enthusiasm for cutting edge technology led him to Matterport, a silicon valley startup that pioneered a unique 3D media solution that powers industries from real estate to entertainment, and everywhere in between. As Senior Account Manager, Paul focuses on helping realtors succeed in their market by leveraging the selling power of Matterport's breakthrough 3D technology.  Paul's previous experience in real estate started at age 10, deploying yard signs for his grandmother's brokerage in Beverly Hills.


Jon Whittington

Jon Whittington is president of Compass Home Loans LLC, a Hawaii-based direct mortgage banking company.  Prior to launching Compass in August 2014, he was president of American Savings Bank’s home loans division where he had been since 2009.  A career mortgage banker, he spent the bulk of his career with Countrywide Home Loans “prime” consumer markets division where he started as a branch manager in downtown Honolulu and he and his team grew to be one of Hawaii’s largest lenders.


Dan Bardenhagen

Dan Bardenhagen has been with Wells Fargo for 15 years.  He was born in the bay area, raised in the central valley and graduated from Sonoma State University with a BS in Business Economics. He started his Wells Fargo career in Torrance, CA and then transferred to Hawaii in 2003. He has been in Wells Fargo’s financial division, Home Credit Solutions, Retail home lending and is currently a Private Mortgage Banker. In 2014 he was awarded Top 40 under 40 from Hawaii Pacific Business news.  Dan is the top funder for the State of Hawaii and is currently in the top 1% Nationwide for Wells Fargo purchase volume.


Ben Bacal

Ben Bacal, an agent with Rodeo Realty and founder of Roofshoot, has made a name for himself in the high-end luxury market by melding together the mindset of a never-quit entrepreneur, the follow-through of seasoned salesman and the vision of a Hollywood director. Starting in real estate at the age of 24, Bacal’sprofessional accomplishments include becoming the first person to sell a property for $20 million in Trousdale, an exclusive neighborhood in Los Angeles. 


Greg Robertson

Greg Robertson is the CEO and co-founder of W+R Studios. W+R Studios is a privately-held software company, headquartered in Huntington Beach, California. W+R Studios crafts simple software tools that help real estate agents earn trust from their clients and win more business. Creators of the Cloud Agent Suite which includes Cloud CMA, Cloud Streams and Cloud MLX. Cloud MLX recently won Inman’s Most Innovative Technology Award for 2016. 

A 20-year veteran in the industry, Greg also publishes the popular real estate technology industry blog, Vendor Alley. Greg has been named by Inman News as one of “Real Estate’s 100 Most Influential Leaders” 5 years in a row. He is also named on the Swanepoel Power 200, a list of the most powerful people in real estate.


Jed Carlson

Jed Carlson is a serial entrepreneur with a focus on technology and marketing, and is the CEO of Adwerx. Previous ventures include SmartPrint, a division of AmeriDisc Inc, and ReverbNation, the music-marketing platform with 3.5 million users. Jed is obsessed with taking on the digital challenges that face small businesses, and building scalable, simple and affordable products to solve them. He has an MBA from Duke University and lives in Durham with his wife and three children.


David Gorman

David Gorman is a Partner and Director of Sales and Business Development for RevoluSun Smart Home. Prior to joining RevoluSun, Gorman spent over a decade in the financial services industry in New York and San Francisco, including work with various established financial institutions including Pequot Capital, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, as well as start-up software company, Capital IQ, now a division of Standard and Poor’s. In 2009, shortly after returning to Hawaii, he began working in the solar industry as the Director of Sales and Finance for a Maui-based solar company.  Gorman joined RevoluSun in 2011.


Scott Wishart

As a Project Developer at RevoluSun, Scott Wishart delivers the highest level of service to homeowners wishing to lower their energy costs. Prior to joining RevoluSun, Scott was a Senior Loan Officer for seven years, first at JP Morgan Chase Bank then at Territorial Savings Bank. Wishart brings fifteen years of experience in managing client and business associate relationships to RevoluSun Smart Home. Amiable and customer service oriented, he gets along with absolutely everyone and thrives on being a trusted advisor on all things solar to colleagues in Real Estate, Architecture, Finance, Insurance, Mortgage, and construction. 


"Try Tell" Judges


Vanessa Bergmark

A native New Yorker and a Penn State University graduate, Vanessa started her career in real estate in 2003 in the state of California as a sales agent, moving into management a year later.  For three years she ran a large franchise, growing it to the #2 in profitability in the Northern CA region.  In the 2007 downturn she left to manage a small, independent brokerage, one year later becoming General Manager of the entire company, and ultimately acquiring the 35 year old brokerage.  Since then, she has rebranded and reshaped the entire organization, moving it from 12th in market share to 3rd in just 4 years.  Presently, she oversees 100 sales agents in two offices located in Berkeley and Oakland, California.  


Leslie Appleton-Young

Leslie Appleton-Young is Vice President and Chief Economist for the California Association of REALTORSâ (C.A.R.), a statewide trade organization with more than 190,000 members dedicated to the advancement of professionalism in real estate.

Leslie directs the activities of the Association's Member Information Team.  She oversees the analysis of housing market and brokerage industry trends, broker relations, and membership development activities.  She is also closely involved in the Association's strategic planning efforts and is a well-known speaker in California’s real estate community.


Nobu Hata

A real estate industry veteran since 1996 Nobu is student of real estate sales, marketing, communications trends, social media, and technology. As NAR's Director of Member Engagement he brings insight and context of agent, brokerage and association issues up the national pipeline and delivers value-added information down to industry stakeholders.


Mike Pooley

Mike Pooley began his career in Marketing in the late 90’s while being involved in the Skateboard industry in Southern California. After moving back to Hawaii in 2004, he worked for Apple Retail managing their Business Development team. In 2008 he got back to Marketing and began his path into Social Media and Digital Marketing at Mountain Apple Company, the largest record label in Hawaii. As of 2014 he has been with Hawaii Life and is currently their Media Manager.