THE TEAM

John Bissell, the director of property assets at Urban Land Conservancy

John Bissell

Director of Property Assets

About Me

John joined ULC September of 2017 as the Director of Property Assets, and oversees the Assets department. In his new role at ULC, John not only manages the Assets team, but is responsible for making decisions that impact the financial performance of ULC’s property assets. In the Director position, John works closely with our third party property managers (as some of ULC’s assets are not directly managed in house) to ensure the overall success of these properties. He is the lead for all properties managed by ULC, with responsibilities including cash flow management, third party contract negotiations, capital improvement projects and the overall guidance of property assets.

 

John has over 24 years of experience in the multi-family and building management industry. Most recently he was the Regional Maintenance Director for Pinnacle, overseeing all aspects of property maintenance operations for the Colorado portfolio. This included capital improvements, building maintenance programs, assistance with building operations, training, recruitment and hiring, budgeting, etc. Before that, he had spent more than 15 years as a Regional Manager for a family owned, owner/operator property management firm. He oversaw and supervised portfolios of 6 to 7 properties, consisting of 1500+/- units. His duties encompassed all aspects of building operations, capital improvement planning and execution, property financial health and growth, customer relations, employee development and budgeting. John Started his adult career in the US Army in an Engineering Battalion as a Draftsman working closely with the Battalion Officer/Engineers on many different types of civil engineering and construction projects for both the Military and in Civil Action Projects.

A headshot of Autumn Brennan, the Properties Assets Coordinator at Urban Land Conservancy

Autumn Brennan

Properties Assets Coordinator

About Me

Autumn joined Urban Land Conservancy in June 2020 as the Property Assets Coordinator and has over five years of experience working in residential property management and commercial real estate. She began her career in Washington, D.C. after graduating with a history degree from George Mason University. She worked with luxury apartment homes and then transitioned to commercial real estate. Autumn is excited to use her real estate experience to help create sustainable communities in the Denver metro region. 

Autumn is originally from the Washington D.C. metro region and is happy with her choice to move from the East Coast a few years ago. Like many people living in Colorado, she loves the outdoors and adventuring in different parks and trails. You can also catch her in the air practicing aerials, listening to podcasts, or reading a good book while drinking copious amounts of coffee.

Headshot of Brad Dodson, Chief Financial Officer of Urban Land Conservancy

Brad Dodson

Chief Financial Officer

About Me

In March 2022, Brad Dodson joined ULC as the Chief Financial Officer to lead our efforts in strategically deploying capital to support ULC’s mission and manage ULC’s financial operations. He brings significant experience in managing complex financing structures, negotiating public and private partnerships, and real estate development finance.

Since 2001, Brad has worked in the finance and development fields. He began at Chubb Corporation, where he won a pitch competition to establish a brand office in a new territory. He then spent five years with the City & County of Denver reporting to the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Projects Officers to oversee complex public and private redevelopment projects, including Central Park (Stapleton) and Broadway & I-25 (Gates). In 2017 Brad was appointed Deputy Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of the National Western Center (NWC) by Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. He was responsible for the financial management of the $800M NWC redevelopment program and was instrumental in securing millions of dollars in additional funding partnerships.

He holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of South Carolina and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New Orleans.

Brad is an avid skier, a frequent hiker and camper, and a passionate New Orleans Saints fan

Ty English, Senior Accountant at Urban Land Conservancy

Ty English

Senior Accountant

About Me

Ty joined Urban Land Conservancy in September 2022 as the Senior Accountant and brings 20+ years of accounting experience to this role.  He graduated from University of Colorado-Denver with a dual degree in Accounting and Finance and subsequently earned his dual MBA in Accounting and Finance from Regis University.   Ty has worked across several industries which include hospitality, healthcare and energy and is excited to join an organization that is working to keep Denver affordable and sustainable.

Ty is a native Coloradan, born and raised in Pueblo.  He enjoys gardening, hiking, skiing and spending his free time with family, friends and his COVID puppy Maya.

A headshot of Sarah Harman, the Vice President of Real Estate at Urban Land Conservancy

Sarah Harman

Vice President of Real Estate

About Me

Sarah Harman joined ULC’s team as the Vice President of Real Estate in June of 2021.

Sarah comes to us after finishing six years at the Metropolitan State University of Denver as Executive Director of Strategic Initiatives, where she directed the Center for Advanced Visualization and Experiential Analysis, integrated a set of teams serving the university’s data-informed decision making and culture of continuous improvement, and launched a campus-wide data governance task force. Her previous work has spanned educational filmmaking, affordable housing, and community development with a mission-driven focus. Sarah’s favorite memories include writing a state bill that was signed into law, scripting and directing an immersive presentation to mobilize infrastructure re-investment, founding a crowd-sourced endowed scholarship for university students studying earth and atmospheric sciences, and overseeing construction for ULC of a school for pregnant and parenting teens and their babies.

Sarah enjoys traveling to meet, interview, and be inspired by innovators and change agents worldwide. These have included Bill Strickland, founder of Manchester Bidwell Corporation; Miquel Salines, founder of Vivero Alamar Farm; Will Allen, founder of Growing Power; and Yvonne van Amerongen and Jannette Spiering, founders of De Hogeweyk. For the past decade, she has also performed with Bennie L. Williams Spiritual Voices and Sankofa — preserving the powerful musical legacy of Africans and their descendants in the United States. Sarah has a master’s degree in fine arts and is writing a doctoral dissertation in political studies.

Shawn Hurston, Facilities Technician at Urban Land Conservancy

Shawn Huston

Facilities Technician II

About Me

Shawn joined ULC as the Field Maintenance Technician in May of 2018. He is a Colorado Native, and few people have a deeper love or knowledge of all that Colorado has to offer.  He spends his free time on the highest majestic mountain trails to the hidden charms of the Denver’s urban grottos.

Shawn has an associate’s degree in renewable technology and sustainable energy from the Echo Tech Institute as well as his Journeyman in industrial mechanics. He also has extensive knowledge of electrical and building maintenance and experience in landscaping, as he is attentive to bringing the beauty of Colorado into its cityscapes.

Shawn has over 15 years of experience in customer service reconciling the human element with professional objectives. He is grateful to use his experience to work for a nonprofit whose mission he feels passionate about, and he is really looking forward to giving back to the state he loves with his career at Urban Land Conservancy.

Chris Leding, the Executive Coordinator at Urban Land Conservancy

Chris Leding

Executive Coordinator

About Me

Chris joins ULC after spending the bulk of her career as Communications Director at Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) moving from the important issue of preserving the outdoors to the important issues of neighborhoods and housing at ULC.

Chris spent 19 years at GOCO, which was created by the voters in 1992 as a dedicated funding source for outdoor projects. In her tenure there, she was responsible for all media relations, collateral materials and public outreach efforts across the state in addition to overseeing legislative affairs. Prior to joining GOCO, she had wide-ranging responsibilities in a Colorado-based strategic planning, business and political consulting firm.

As executive assistant, she will be using her years of experience in staffing executive directors and board members. She will also be assisting ULC’s public policy advocacy efforts.

Chris hold a bachelor’s degree in political science. In her spare time, she loves being with her husband, daughters and cats.

Shannon Luedke, Office Manager at Urban Land Conservancy

Shannon Luedke

Office Manager

About Me

Shannon joined Urban Land Conservancy in April of 2019 as the Office Manager. Shannon’s background includes over 20 years of experience as an administrative assistant and executive assistant for a variety of for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Shannon is passionate about customer service in her role and is dedicated to supporting ULC staff members and ensuring office management runs as efficiently as possible.  Shannon is excited to be back working for a nonprofit who she believes has an amazing mission to support great communities in Colorado.

Shannon is a native of Colorado and enjoys all that our state has to offer.  Her biggest pride and joy is her son Barry who plays college football at Colorado State University.  Shannon is usually at Barry’s games both in and out of state during football season, and always finds an excuse to talk about football any time of year. Go Rams!

Aaron Martinez, the Vice President of Operations & Sustainability at Urban Land Conservancy

Aaron Martinez

Vice President of Operations & Sustainability

About Me

Aaron joined ULC in June of 2020 as our Facilities & Sustainability Manager. He is responsible for the efficient and effective operations of ULC’s buildings and assets, as well as long-term planning and project management for ULC’s renewable energy and sustainability projects. He brings more than 15 years of experience in the non-profit sector; focusing on social issues such as environmental sustainability, affordable housing, energy equity, food access, and youth development.

After growing up in Pueblo, CO, Aaron has spent equal time working in both the construction industry and the non-profit sector. From framing houses in the heat of the Texas summer to leading at-risk youth development programs in Pittsburgh, PA and Denver, CO, to implementing emergency home rehabilitation programs in Boulder, CO after disastrous flooding in 2013, he has a broad range of experience. Most recently, Aaron served as Deputy Director for one of the nation’s largest Weatherization Assistance Program providers.

Aaron loves all things outdoors, including skiing, cycling, hiking, camping, and motorcycles. Most evenings you will likely find him on a patio enjoying a cold beverage, preferably near a campfire.

Erin McMillin, Property Manager at Urban Land Conservancy

Erin McMillin

Associate Director of Assets

About Me

Erin joined ULC in October 2019 as a graduate school intern in the Real Estate Department. In January 2020, she joined the Assets Team full time as a Property Manager. Erin has worked as the President and Executive Director of the Denver Handmade Alliance, as well as an artist and jeweler. As a Real Estate Broker since 2017 and a life-long community organizer and volunteer, she is thrilled to combine her love for Real Estate and social equity in her work.

Erin moved to Colorado in 2003 and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from CU Boulder. She is currently in the New Directions Political Science Graduate program at CU Denver. When she is not working or studying you can find Erin cooking, hiking, at a community meeting, making art or walking around the La Alma/Lincoln Park neighborhood.

Anna Mercurio, the Master Site Development Project Manager at Urban Land Conservancy

Anna Mercurio

Director of Real Estate

About Me

Anna Mercurio joined ULC in September of 2019.  Anna has worked with a mix of land development and special district clients for the last decade and a half, providing an amalgam of legal and project management services.

As Master Site Development Project Manager for ULC, Anna provides technical, research and project management expertise as ULC creates large scale, multi-phased and multi-use developments.  Anna works to ensure all projects are completed in alignment with ULC goals and community identified needs.

Immediately before joining ULC, Anna worked in civil engineering, splitting her time between project management work, including regulatory permitting, survey and GIS projects, and operations management, focusing on financial and project reporting, team and client relationship building and process implementation and improvement.

Anna has also served as a Special District Administrator; handling statutory requirements and other operations of metropolitan districts in the greater Denver area.  Similarly, she provided legal support to metropolitan districts, working with developers, consultants and local governments assisting in the creation, management and dissolution of special districts.

Anna received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Colorado State University, her paralegal certification from an ABA-approved college and is PMP certified.

Aaron Miripol

President & CEO

About Me

Aaron Miripol has 30 years’ experience running community development and affordable housing companies. He has over seen more than $1 billion in direct economic development, including over 3,000 permanently affordable homes. 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 invested in 34 properties totaling $100 million in investments, which leverages over $700 million in development.

Over 10,000 people and (more than 80% are low income households) and 2000 jobs are served by ULC’s real estate.  Aaron is a founding member of the Neighborhood Development Collaborative and Mile High Connects, and currently serves on the Board of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition.

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 grew from 100 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 nonprofit 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.

Jennifer Seo, Assistant Property Manager at Urban Land Conservancy

Jennifer Seo

Assistant Property Manager

About Me

Jennifer joined ULC in June of 2022 as Assistant Property Manager with a wide range of experience in residential real estate and digital marketing for Fortune 100 companies in New York City. Prior to joining ULC, Jennifer worked with the City and County of Denver’s Affordable Housing program, which focused on making homeownership possible for everyone in the Denver Metro area. Also, she served as a founding board member of Asian American Real Estate Association of America (AREAA), a national nonprofit trade association committed to enhancing the lives of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) population via homeownership. She is excited to make the transition to commercial real estate with the same focus in mind, sustainability.

A Colorado native, Jennifer graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with BA in Communication. When not working, she enjoys traveling all over the world, being the best aunt to her nephew and niece, and spending time with her super adorable Maltipoo, Amore.

Headshot of Itamar Steiner

Itamar Steiner

Research Assistant

About Me

Itamar first joined ULC as an intern in the real estate department in March of 2021. At that time he was a student at the University of Illinois studying political science and urban planning, but was living in Denver while school was shifted online during the beginning of the pandemic. His internship ended when he graduated in May of 2022, but Itamar rejoined ULC in a part time capacity to conduct research across the portfolio. 

Itamar is from Skokie Illinois, but has lived in Minneapolis, Denver, Los Angeles, and Israel. He enjoys learning tactics for affordable housing production, preservation, and management from his work with ULC.
In his free time Itamar enjoys baseball, reading, cooking, gardening, and walking around with his trash clamp.
Amelia Wiygul, Communications Manager at Urban Land Conservancy

Amelia Wiygul

Communications Manager

About Me

Amelia Wiygul joined ULC as the Communications Manager in September 2022. She is from Ocean Springs, Mississippi, and has a background in graphic design, illustration, and grassroots activism. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Studio Art and Environmental Studies from Tulane University in New Orleans. She’s excited about joining an organization that is responding to the housing crisis and that is passionate about building a better future for Coloradans. 

In her free time, she paints and makes prints at Art Gym Denver, hikes, spends time with family and friends, and sees as much live music as possible.

Rick Woodruff, Senior Fellow at Urban Land Conservancy

Rick Woodruff

Senior Fellow

About Me

Rick Woodruff, ULC’s former CFO, is stepping in as ULC’s interim Vice President of Finance to support our finance and accounting needs. Rick has been working closely with ULC over the last 16 months on our two major refinances, Holly Park development, and providing support to the Assets Department.

2022 Board of Directors

Bill Ryan, Board Chair
Colorado State Land Board

Bill Pruter, Past Board Chair
Nichols Partnership

Rob Holway, Treasurer
Citywide Bank

Dawn Bookhardt, Secretary
Butler Snow

David Younggren, Past Board Chair
Gary Community Ventures

Matthew Barry
Learn Venture Capital

Denise Denslow
CliftonLarsonAllen

Tim Howard
Former ULC Executive Director and Founding Board Member

Grant Swanson
Reduex Developments

Molly Urbina
Urbina Strategies, LLC

Creighton Ward
Centennial Realty Advisors, LLC

Tracy Winchester
Denver Mayor’s Office

Past Board Members

Diane Barrett
City and County of Denver

George Beardsley
Inverness Properties LLC

Scott Beasley
Inverness Properties LLC

Peter Bowes
Bowes and Company

Sue Casey
Former Denver City Councilwoman

Mary Cronin
Former President, The Piton Foundation

Renee Desai
Neighborworks

David Fine, Secretary
General Counsel, Metro State University

Jamie Fitzpatrick
Corum Real Estate

Anne Garcia, Past Board Chair
Retired – Rose Community Foundation

Tom Gougeon
Gates Family Foundation

Ismael Guerrero
Denver Housing Authority

Beverly Haddon
Former CEO of Stapleton Foundation for Sustainable Urban Communities

Rus Heise, Past Board Chair
Retired – RBC Capital Markets

Myrna Hipp
Former Deputy Director, Denver Office of Economic Development

David Miller
Barton Institute for Philanthropy and Social Enterprise

Skip Miller
Miller Real Estate

Cec Ortiz

John Parvensky
Colorado Coalition for the Homeless

Rick Pederson
Foundation Properties

Susan Powers
Urban Ventures LLC

George Shaw
Shaw Construction

Mark Smith
East West Partners