Our Company

Companion Associates, Inc., a privately held real estate development and management firm based in Charleston, South Carolina, has developed over $125,000,000 in real estate since it’s beginning in 1996.

“Where Community Comes First” is not only the slogan, but is lived through the dedication of it’s management and maintenance staff regarding tenant satisfaction.

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Roger Jones

Roger Jones


Roger Jones is the founder and CEO of Companion Associates, Inc. He has provided oversight of the development of more than 2000 multifamily units located in South Carolina. Companion Associates has received extensive recognition including a “Fastest Growing South Carolina Company” and a “Roaring Twenty Firm” in Charleston. A graduate of Carson Newman University in Jefferson City, Tennessee Mr. Jones has served on numerous non-profit boards including, The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce, Charleston Philanthropic Partners, South Carolina Writers Association and the founding director of Reading Partners of Charleston. In 2010 he and his wife Teresa Jones founded a private foundation, The Companion Foundation which supports various local and national charitable organizations.

Sharon Leppard

Sharon Leppard has employed by Companion Associates, Inc. since 1997. She has experience in all facets of the Company, including but not limited to; property development, construction, accounting, property management, HUD rules and regulations, Low Income Housing Tax Credit rules and regulations, HOME rules and regulations, and Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant application process in 2010. She also coordinates physical site inspections of approximately 2000 units. Ms. Leppard acquires and manages property insurance needs as required by funding sources and/or any government regulation. Sharon is a licensed Property Manager and Real Estate Agent. She has been a volunteer for animal rescue organizations and is a South Carolina Notary Public.

Lynn Winkler

Lynn Winkler, CPA, is the CFO of Companion Associates, Inc. and is responsible for all accounting, payroll, tax, cash flow and financial activities for the company. She is a graduate if LTC/Ohio State University with a degree in Accounting and has been a CPA since 1995. Other certifications include Certified Business Valuation education and Microsoft Certified Professional. With an accounting career over 35 years, Lynn has held accounting positions at all levels in various industries. She previously served on the Accounting/Finance board at North West Business College in Lima, Ohio and currently volunteers for the Charleston Animal Society.

Austin Thornton

Austin Thornton joined Companion Associates, Inc. in 2007. During his time with the company Mr. Thornton has been involved in all aspects of Property Management and is the Broker-In-Charge for Companion Associates. Mr. Thornton is also involved with the acquisition and development of new properties. He has extensive experience with affordable housing programs including the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, the HOME program, and the Neighborhood Stabilization Program. Mr. Thornton is a 1998 graduate of the University of South Carolina, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with concentration in Management and Marketing. He is a “Specialist in Housing Credit Management (SHCM)”, designated by the National Affordable Housing Management Association. Austin is the Co-Founder and Board of Director for The Spokes Group of Charleston and formerly served as Board of Directors for the Charleston Paddle Club.

Kellie Stoner

Kellie Stoner joined Companion Associates, Inc. in 2009 as a Regional Property Manager responsible for upstate South Carolina properties. Kellie has over 25 years experience in varying roles in the multi-family apartment industry. She has extensive experience with affordable housing programs including the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, the HOME program, the Tax Exempt Bond program and the Neighborhood Stabilization program. She also has previous experience in conventional housing, lease ups and apartment to condo conversions. Ms. Stoner is a “Certified Apartment Property Supervisor (CAPS)”, designated by the National Apartment Association as well as a “Specialist in Housing Credit Management (SHCM)”, designated by the National Affordable Housing Management Association.

Jason Smith

Jason Smith joined Companion Associates in 2020 as the Director of Construction. As a licensed South Carolina Residential Builder since 2017, Mr. Smith oversees the building and development of all construction projects. Mr. Smith’s degree in Forest Management and experience building single family homes is an asset to maximizing land use and property value in order to meet long term financial goals. Whether building a custom home or multi-family apartment development, Mr. Smith’s attention to detail assures that residents’ satisfaction will be exceeded through quality craftsmanship.