The Team at Urban Land Conservancy
President & CEO
Aaron Miripol has over 20 years experience running community development and affordable housing companies. He has over seen more than $100 million in economic development, including 1,300 permanently affordable homes. Aaron is the President & CEO of the Urban Land Conservancy (ULC), a supporting non-profit organization to the Denver Foundation. Aaron joined ULC in 2007 and leads this unique real estate company in partnering with a wide range of organizations in the Denver metro area on the strategic acquisition and development of land and buildings to preserve and enhance their ability to create sustainable benefits in underserved communities. To date ULC has partnered on 19 real estate transactions totally over $37.5 million, and ranging from vacant lots to non-profit office space, affordable housing through Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Fund. In the last year over 4,250 people (more than 80% are low income households) were served by the ULC’s acquisitions and 400 jobs are supported by its real estate.
Prior to his work at ULC, Aaron was the Executive Director of Thistle Community Housing, providing oversight on one of the fastest growing non-profit housing providers in Colorado. In his nine years at Thistle, the organization’s affordable housing production increased over nine times, going from 100 plus homes to 1,000 rental and ownership homes valued at over $70 million. Most importantly, Thistle grew from serving 250 people a year to over 3,000 people annually in need of affordable housing.
Before moving to Colorado, Aaron worked in Baltimore running two inner city non-profit community development corporations, Southwest Visions and The Loading Dock. He was a Goldsmith Scholar in International Studies at Hebrew University in Jerusalem, has his BA in History & International Studies from Macalester College in St. Paul, and a Masters in Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Vice President of Real Estate
Debra Bustos serves as the Vice President of Real Estate for the Urban Land Conservancy and manages all phases of project development, including financing, land purchase and partnership, project concept and development, as well as community management.
Debra also helped to create the Neighborhood Development Collaborative which is a non-profit organization that specifically focuses on addressing foreclosure issues through neighborhood stabilization. The collaborative consists of five community development organizations and the local housing authority all working together to contribute a unique skill that helps to strengthen and stabilize community neighborhoods.
Prior to joining Urban Land Conservancy, Debra held the position of Community Relations Officer for JPMorgan Chase where she managed philanthropy in Colorado and was responsible for grant making, sponsorships, community initiatives, public relations, and CRA. She also spearheaded efforts to establish the Colorado Foreclosure Prevention Task Force, and served as its co-chair, overseeing efforts that resulted in the creation of the Colorado Foreclosure Hotline that has successfully helped 4 out of 5 people who have accessed its services.
Debra has 30 years experience in the non-profit arena working with community development organizations to create affordable housing and impact communities through asset preservation. She also has prior experience in mortgage origination and mortgage lending.
Debra holds a Bachelor of Administration Degree from the University of Denver Women’s College and is a Colorado native.
Vice President – Master Site Development
Tony Pickett is a LEED accredited professional with over 25 years of real estate experience in the planning, design, financing and implementation of large scale mixed use urban redevelopment initiatives. His commitment to equitable transit oriented development (TOD) recently led him to join the staff of the Urban Land Conservancy as Vice President – Master Site Development. Tony is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Architecture, Art and Planning. He previously served as the founding Executive Director of the Atlanta Land Trust Collaborative; leading efforts to create equitable development along the $2.8 billion Atlanta Beltline TOD project, targeting the creation of 5,600 affordable housing units over a 25 year period, in order to mitigate potential displacement and gentrification impacts in existing underserved communities along a 22 mile transit corridor. Prior to that he was the Atlanta Housing Authority’s Director of Real Estate Strategy and Development; creating new mixed-income communities with innovative financing provided by public/private partnerships. Tony has participated in creating and using multiple tax increment financing districts to leverage private investments in combination with additional federal and state funding sources to revitalize distressed communities. During his tenure with the Atlanta Housing Authority, he secured recognition from the Atlanta Regional Commission for the West Highlands community revitalization public/private partnership as a 2004 Development of Excellence, with exceptional merit for mixed income community design. West Highlands is a 250 acre multi-phase masterplan redevelopment which has resulted in 700 mixed-income rental units, approximately 100 new single family homes, a new public park and multi-use trail all supported by new public infrastructure.
Tony has experience working both for and with community residents, private for-profit real estate entities, quasi-government agencies, local municipal governments and non-profit mission driven organizations. He is a champion for collaborative efforts to redevelop urban areas; creating increased value and inclusion for both existing and new residents with a superior quality of life. Tony will soon be joined in Denver by his wife and daughter, who are all looking forward to calling Denver home.
Operations and Communications Director
Christi joined Urban Land Conservancy in 2010 and is responsible for marketing, public relations and all communications between ULC staff, Board of Directors, partners, media and the community. She also manages overall operations of the organization and enhances support to the President, Board of Directors and Board Committees.
Before joining ULC, Christi most recently served as Program Director for the ACE Mentor Program of Colorado. She was responsible for organizing volunteers to work with high school students in 14 schools within 4 districts where they mentored in the fields are architecture, construction and engineering. In the 4 years she was with ACE, she helped the program more than double the number of participating schools and students, giving ACE the opportunity to award more than $300,000 in scholarships.
Christi holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is a member of Mile High Connects, Denver Livability Partnership, Community Development Partnership and the Denver Shared Space Project.
Stephanie Tamblyn has 16 years of commercial real estate experience in property and asset management, brokerage, construction and project management, corporate real estate, development, acquisition, marketing, finance, and accounting. Since 1997, she has worked for a variety of for profit commercial real estate development, management and leasing companies in Denver. In addition, she handled the corporate real estate management of 85 offices for a $1 billion global environmental engineering firm.
Before joining ULC, she ran Tamblyn Real Estate Investments, representing buyers and sellers in residential real estate transactions and consulted for the Urban Land Conservancy on a part-time basis. She formally joined the ULC team in January 2013 and is responsible for overseeing a portfolio of 14 commercial, residential, mixed use and land assets. She handles the day to day operations, marketing, leasing, maintenance and renovation of ULC’s commercial assets. In addition, she interfaces with outsourced residential management companies who manage, lease and maintain ULC’ s residential assets.
Stephanie graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in with a degree in Business Administration and has held a Colorado Real Estate Brokerage license since 2000. Stephanie grew up in Minnesota and moved to Colorado in 1992. When Stephanie is not working, she enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 children skiing, hiking and being outdoors enjoying the Colorado sunshine.
Before joining ULC Rick Woodruff served as the CFO and COO at WW Reynolds for over 26 years. During that time he also was the CFO for Rincon Development and taught for 20+ years as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Colorado. He remains actively engaged at the CU Real Estate Center on a voluntary basis, primarily mentoring students pursuing careers in real estate.
Rick’s professional affiliations include NAIOP at the national level where he has served as Chair of the Tax and Finance Subcommittee, Capital Markets Forum Member and is one of 43 Research Governors in the organization. Rick’s involvement with NAIOP Colorado has been as a Board Member, Finance Chair and a lengthy involvement with the Legislative Affairs Committee.
Rick earned his accounting degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, his MBA from the University of Colorado at Denver, and completed the Harvard Advanced Management Development Program in Real Estate.
Cindy Everett joined Urban Land Conservancy (ULC) in 2008. Her community development studies at Metropolitan State College of Denver and her background in real estate compliment the mission and work of ULC. She provides program support through research, predevelopment and post acquisition activities related to the Transit Oriented Development Fund and other organizational priorities. Cindy assists with the coordination of due diligence and maintains crucial communication with vendors, contractors, city staff, lenders, and development partners. Cindy has led efforts to understand the intricacies of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program and how it can be utilized to benefit community development and affordable housing goals. She coordinates activities for the Community Land Trust Coalition of Colorado and participates in the Community Development Partnership.
Cindy brings eleven years of residential real estate sales experience and has been involved in small, residential real estate investment for over 20 years. She works and volunteers within her community in educational settings from elementary school to university, and in local faith-based organizations serving community needs.
James Roy II
Master Site Development Associate
James Roy II joined the Urban Land Conservancy in December, 2010. James is practically a Denver native, having spent most of his life in Denver’s Cole neighborhood, the Park Hill neighborhood, and Aurora. After a successful internship while attending University of Colorado, Denver majoring in Urban Studies, James was hired as an Associate on the Development Team.
His work has focused mainly around mapping and transit-oriented development (TOD) research. James has created maps for ULC board and committee meetings, internal research, and grant proposals. He also contributed to DRCOG’s successful Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant proposal with supporting maps. James also built ULC’s database that tracks and monitors potential opportunities and investments as well as the GIS map database. He has contributed to ULC’s marketing efforts, designing many of the current brochures, handouts, and asset maps. James’ ongoing mapping work can be seen on our Maps page.
James is a member of the Research and Evaluation Steering Committee of Mile High Connects (MHC). He has been a vital contributor to the housing piece of the Denver Regional Equity Atlas, a project displaying the need for equitable growth and access illustrated through maps and narratives produced by MHC.
Since joining the Urban Land Conservancy in the summer of 2012 as a Development Associate she has been assisting in real estate transaction pieces, grants tracking and policy pieces.
Karly comes to the Urban Land Conservancy from Congresswoman Diana DeGette’s Denver District Office where she worked as a Congressional Aide and Special Projects Coordinator for six and a half years. Her work there allowed her to work on all matter of federally related issues, in particular housing, transportation, redevelopment and social equity programs.
As a Denver native that wanted to see what life was like out east she accepted attendance to Trinity College. After attending Trinity College in Hartford, CT and receiving her Bachelors of Arts in Sociology she returned to Denver for a new adventure.
Karly previously worked at Denver Inner City Parish as their Food Bank Manager, GED Teacher and Volunteer Coordinator.
Jonathan Cappelli joined the Urban Land Conservancy in the Summer of 2013 after a 6 month internship. He assists our community development efforts, helps identify strategic acquisitions, creates maps, monitors community development policy and conducts affordable housing research. Jonathan also serves on the Steering Committee of Westwood Neighborhood’s Colorado Health Foundation “Healthy Places” grant.
Before joining ULC, Jonathan worked with ACDI/VOCA on their climate change adaptation efforts in their international agricultural assistance projects, for Clear Creek County in historical preservation and for the Aspen Institute in event logistics.
Jonathan has a Bachelor’s in Political Science from St. Olaf College, MN and a Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Colorado Denver. In his free time, Jonathan is an avid rock climber, mountain biker, runner and reader.
Denver Shared Spaces Project Coordinator
Megan joined the ULC team in 2012 as the Denver Shared Space Project Coordinator, a position created in collaboration with the Denver Office of Strategic Partnerships. In this newly-formed position, Megan is responsible for providing program planning, management and logistical support to Denver Shared Spaces as the project continues to expand its work in the nonprofit community.
A Midwestern transplant, Megan moved here for her master’s in social work at the University of Denver in 2010. Prior to moving, she worked for several years as a counselor for young people and their families in her hometown of Carbondale, Illinois. Her previous work in direct service reinforced the importance of collaboration, community partnership and effective use of resources in nonprofit work. Her work with Denver Shared Spaces provides the opportunity to support the positive work of nonprofits across Denver in their efforts to support, advocate and improve community.
Staff Accountant, The Denver Foundation
Courtney joined the Denver Foundation in 2010 where she is primarily responsible for the accounting and financial reporting of the Urban Land Conservancy, a supporting organization of the Denver Foundation. She previously worked for nearly 3 years in public accounting, focusing mainly on the non-profit and hospitality industries, with an emphasis in real estate acquisitions and development.
Courtney holds a Masters and Bachelors degree in Accountancy from the University of Missouri, and remains active in the Colorado Society of CPA’s.
Emily is a Denver Native and University of Colorado at Boulder Graduate, who recently moved back to Denver from Atlanta, Georgia. Emily moved to Georgia to attend nursing school, but quickly realized she would pass out at the sight of blood. She then joined AmeriCorps and worked with Habitat for Humanity for a year, where she traveled throughout the south building homes including those in Mobile, Alabama that were destroyed during hurricane Katrina. Emily spent the rest of her time in Atlanta working at Piedmont Park Conservancy, a nonprofit organization that works to preserve the historic Piedmont Park.
Emily joined the Urban Land Conservancy in 2012, supporting communications, executive support and operations.