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Leadership Team

With over 130 combined years of experience in real estate management, as well associated industries including student affairs, the leadership team at UPPM has the talent, knowledge, and enthusiasm to drive results

Michael J. Uccellini, CPM®, COS®

CEO / Principal

As President and CEO of The United Group of Companies, Inc. (“United Group”), Michael Uccellini oversees a full-service real estate company specializing in the development, finance, construction, acquisition and management of real estate. He has spearheaded over $3 billion in real estate development, acquisitions and financing transactions. Currently, Michael is directing the development, construction and financing of $350 million in senior, multifamily, commercial, and mixed-use developments.

Michael directs a staff of over 300 professionals at United Group. As Manager of United Plus Property Management, LLC., AMO®, Michael directs the asset and property management of a $1 billion multi-family, senior, student and commercial portfolio for United Group and third-party clients, of nearly six million square feet.

Michael holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Lally School of Management and Technology in Troy, New York. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Managerial Economics from Union College in Schenectady, New York.

Michael is active with a variety of community and national organizations. He is a Trustee of St. Gregory’s School for Boys, Loudonville, New York, and an Executive Member of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s Executive Council. He is a Board Member of the Center for Economic Growth, Albany, NY and Hudson Valley Pattern For Progress. Michael holds the designations of CPM®, COS® and is a past Chair of the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) National FHAB and LPP National Committees as well as a former Chapter President. He is also a member of several Real Estate related organizations (IREM, BOMA, ICSC, US Green Building Council, AUSA, ACUHO-I, NAR, NAHB and others).


Joan Cavanaugh

Chief Human Resources Officer

Joan Cavanaugh is a twenty-six year veteran of human resource management. Twelve of those years have been as the leader of United Group’s Human Resources Division for over 300 employees. Joan’s expertise includes managing recruitment, talent acquisition, employee relations, leadership and employee development, succession planning, organizational effectiveness, change management, compensation and benefits administration.


Joan plays a valuable role effectively integrating business strategy and planning, and translating business plans into operational Human Resource programming. Additionally, she provides oversight of Corporate Administration including corporate office operations. Under Joan’s direction the company has enriched benefit offerings to employees from traditional to pioneering over the last decade. Joan launched the company’s first Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and the first dedicated Wellness Program In Good Health for United’s employees.


Joan has been responsible for implementing a dynamic and sustainable HR environment to ensure readiness for growth of the organization through sound management and the implementation of on-line, web based tools and applications. The On Boarding program for newly hired employees, as well as the creation of a Performance Management Process that ensures employees are focused on core competencies and desired behavioral expectations, has created emerging entrepreneurial spirited employees who can visualize their success within the organization. Joan has also implemented training programs, and partnered with industry professionals, to provide continuous support and growth to United’s employees. As a senior member of a Task Force especially designed to bring new construction and newly acquired product on line, Joan managed the pre and post opening activities for new luxury properties for Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide and has provided HR leadership and support for 15 of United Group’s newly developed residential and commercial properties throughout her tenure.


Joan’s earlier career experience includes serving in leadership roles in both the hospitality and higher education sectors. She has served as adjunct faculty teaching human resource management. She understands the importance of continually building the skills and knowledge required to be effective in a changing world of work. Joan holds an Associate’s Degree in Arts & Sciences, General Business from Russell-Sage Junior College of Albany, and State Teaching Certification, State Board of Directors for Community Colleges of Arizona.


Michael DiGiacomo

Vice President of Operations

As Vice President, Operations, Mike DiGiacomo oversees operations and asset management of United Group’s senior, student, multifamily and commercial portfolios.


Prior to his current position, Mike was a Regional Manager, and oversaw the management and operations of United Group’s student housing portfolio, which consists of 1,554 beds, and four senior housing properties containing 578 apartments. Mike managed a team of more than 25 employees and also had responsibilities for two local commercial properties. He had previously been an Operations Manager at College Suites at City Station and Schuyler Commons, Property Manager at Schuyler Commons, and Property Manager at Schaffer Heights.


Before joining United Group, he was a Property Manager for Gross and Cohen LLC, where he directed site operations for off-campus student housing properties in New York and Kentucky. Mike earned an Associate’s degree from Fulton Montgomery Community College and a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies from Excelsior College.

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