Aaron Miripol

President & CEO

About Me

Aaron Miripol has 20 years’ experience running community development and affordable housing companies. He has over seen more than $400 million in direct economic development, including over 2,000 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 26 properties totally $66 million, and ranging from vacant lots, to 600,000 square feet of nonprofit facilities, and preserving and developing over 1,000 units of affordable housing. Over 600 affordable units have come through the country’s first Transit Oriented Development (TOD) Fund for affordable housing, a partnership with Enterprise Community Partners, the City of Denver, Colorado Housing Finance Authority, MacArthur Foundation, Rose Community Foundation, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank and FirstBank.

In the last year over 10,000 people (more than 80% are low income households) were served by the ULC’s acquisitions and 600 jobs are supported by its real estate.  Aaron is a board member of Wyatt Academy School;  a board member for Housing Colorado (the statewide advocate for affordable housing); and PLACE, a national advocate for community development practitioners.

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 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.

Debra Bustos

Vice President of Real Estate

About Me

Debra Bustos manages all phases of project development including property acquisition, financing, new construction project concept and development, as well as community management and partnership relations.  Debra completes strategic property acquisitions along current and future transit corridors to support the creation and preservation of affordable housing, leveraging investments to create transit-oriented mixed-use development and spur economic development.

Debra has over 35 years of experience in mortgage lending, nonprofit management, and community development. She has been involved in the development of over 3,000 units of affordable housing and over 300,000 sq ft of commercial community space.  Property acquisitions have included commercial properties, vacant land, multi-family projects in several states financed utilizing various financing mechanisms such as Private Activity Bonds, Tax Exempt Bonds, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, HOME, CDBG, Federal Home Loan Bank AHP Grants, conventional financing, and various other grant sources.  Prior to joining ULC, she held positions with several affordable housing and community development organizations, including a regional nonprofit organization, and has also served as executive director of two start-up nonprofit organizations involved in community development and affordable housing, and as a Community Relations Officer for JP MorganChase.  Debra was instrumental in helping to establish the Colorado Foreclosure Prevention Task Force in 2005 and served as its co-chair, helping to spearhead efforts to combat foreclosure in Colorado.

Debra holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree from the University of Denver Women’s College and is a Colorado native.  She was a 2013 Finalist for Outstanding Business Woman of the Year (Real Estate category) and 2013 Housing Colorado Eagle Award Nominee.  She is also a recipient of a Ford Foundation Fellowship and a participant in the 2014-2015 NeighborWorks America Achieving Excellence Program.

Tony Pickett

Vice President – Master Site Development

About Me

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.

Christi Smith

Operations and Communications Director

About Me

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 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 (Go Buffs!).  She is a member of Mile High Connects, Healthy Places Westwood, Westwood Unidos, Community Development Partnership and Denver Shared Spaces.

Mark S. Marshall

Real Estate Director

About Me

Mark Marshall joined the ULC team in November 2015 as the Real Estate Director and brings over 28 years of experience in the building/development industry.  Mark ‘s  wealth of knowledge spans a variety of development types that include government facilities and military family housing, affordable housing, mixed-use, mixed-income, market-rate and student housing.   As  a  developer,  he has participated in the construction, rehabilitation and preservation of over 2,300 single-family and  multi-family  affordable  housing  units  valued  at  over  $273  million,  as  well  as  over 1,700 units of market rate housing valued at over $280 million.  His  extensive work experience encompasses deal  sourcing, acquisitions, housing  development,  land  development,  budgeting,  scheduling, architectural design and  project  management.

Before becoming a member of the ULC team, Mark had lived in Chicago for the past 20-years – where he began his career in community development and affordable housing.  He has had the opportunity to work with a number of well-respected regional and national development companies, granting him the opportunity to gain valuable experience in development financing through the use of Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, Historic Tax Credits, HOME, CDBG, Federal Home Loan Bank AHP grant, IHDA Trust Funds, State Donation Tax Credits, TIF, McKinney Section-8 and a number of other grant and subsidy programs.  He was able to leverage these financing tools to develop deals that include HOPE VI, New Homes for Chicago, SRO housing for the Homeless and at Risk, Historic redevelopments and single-family and multi-family housing communities.

Mark’s former employers include: the US Air Force where attained the rank of Captain  while  serving  in  the  Civil  Engineering  Squadron  as  a  Base  Architect and Community Planner; Lakefront  SRO,  as  Assistant  Director  of  Development; Heartland  Housing,  as Director of Development; Mercy Housing as Regional Director of Real Estate Development; and AIMCO, as Midwest Region Senior Director of Development.  Mr. Marshall earned a Bachelor of Architecture degree  from  the  University  of  Tennessee  /  Knoxville  and  a  Masters  of  Business Administration degree from Indiana University / Bloomington.

Trisha Wolfe

Director of Accounting and HR

About Me

Since January 2015, Trisha Wolfe has been the ULC Accounting Manager where she manages all ULC finances, accounts payable, accounts receivable, program and property financials, annual budget and oversees audit preparation. Trisha is also the point person for ULC as a supporting organization to The Denver Foundation.

Prior to moving to Denver in late 2014 and starting with ULC, Trisha spent 15 years working with Covenant House Michigan in Detroit, where she most recently was the Finance Director for this 43 year old nonprofit organization, dedicated to providing homeless crisis shelters for youth.

Trisha now takes advantage of living in the beautiful state of Colorado, and has big plans for many outdoor adventures. She has also taken up archery, loving the precision of hitting a target.

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.

Rebecca Landau

Property Manager

About Me

Rebecca Landau joined ULC in late 2014 as Property Manager. She is a transplant to Colorado from downstate Illinois.  Rebecca began her career as a museum curator, later working for the Illinois State University  Foundation as the Executive Director of Ewing Properties and Director of Foundation Enterprises in Chicago. Rebecca has particularly enjoyed the projects she has been involved in, including the restoration of a  historic house and the construction of an outdoor theatre and botanical garden.

Rebecca has Bachelors and Masters Degrees in American Social and Cultural History from the University of South Dakota. She has extensive service on State and Local Commissions focusing on Historic Preservation, Community Planning and most recently was a member of the Downtown Normal Design Review Commission. She has served as a grant reviewer for the U.S. Institute of Museum Services and has studied at the Smithsonian Institution. Rebecca is a graduate of the Bloomington-Normal Leadership McLean County program.

Emily DeSimone

Assets and Compliance Associate

About Me

Emily is a Denver Native and Graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in Geography. Recently relocating back to Colorado from Atlanta where she lived for 7 years, her experience includes working with AmeriCorps and Habitat for Humanity 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.  Recently Emily moved into the role of Accountant and Property Manager, and now focuses her time working in the Yardi database where she maintains property financials and tenant leases.

Tim Winn

Facilities Manager

About Me

Tim joined the ULC team in 2017 as their facilities manager. In his role he is responsible for the maintenance and operations of ULC’s assets. His prior experience includes Facilities Management, residential property management, and construction. In addition, he also has a degree in business management. He is passionate about working for a company that creates opportunities for the underserved in Denver’s housing and commercial markets.

Tim is a Colorado native and loves to play in the great outdoors. On any given weekend he can be found pursuing native fish with his fly rod or looking for a podium finish in an archery tournament.

Lauren DeBell

Senior Real Estate Associate

About Me

Lauren joined ULC in 2017 as a Senior Real Estate Associate.  In her role with ULC, Lauren focuses on due diligence around site acquisition and development, project management and community engagement.

Lauren’s real estate experience includes more than six years as a commercial real estate broker completing leasing and sale transactions across multiple asset types, asset management for a portfolio of industrial flex parks including 200,000 SF of space and over 90 tenants, as well as project management for the first modular multifamily development in Denver.

Lauren earned her Masters in Real Estate and the Built Environment from the University of Denver and her Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology from the University of Colorado, Boulder. An art and an outdoors enthusiast – you’ll often find Lauren spending weekends on her bike, in the mountains, exploring art exhibits or creating art herself.

Alana Romans

Business and Communications Coordinator

About Me

Alana first joined ULC as a Communications Intern in February 2016. Originally from Florida, she moved to Denver after a 12 month backpacking trip following her graduation from Elon University in May of 2014.

With a degree in Journalism and a strong desire to work in the nonprofit world, she couldn’t think of a better organization to get her start. With a passion for community development and working in the field of communications, she is excited to be part of a nonprofit here in Denver. Growing up in a family of commercial real estate brokers, Alana is fascinated with all that goes into the real estate acquisition process. She loves the idea of acquiring new spaces for the purpose of bettering the surrounding community.

The outdoors played a major role in Alana’s move out west, so you can always find her outside with a good book. While she misses the ocean, the mountains have been a great retreat for her new found love of skiing.

David Schilling

Accounting Coordinator

About Me

David joined Urban Land Conservancy in October of 2017.  He is part of the expanded accounting department with a focus on accounts payable, accounts receivable in addition to staff accounting support activities throughout each month.

He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Kansas and is currently enrolled at Metro State University completing his accounting degree.

David moved to Denver in 2001 and proudly now calls the city home.  Outside of working in the accounting field he enjoys live music, hiking with his dogs and trying new craft breweries all over Denver and the Front Range.

Andrea Estudillo

Administrative Assistant

About Me

Andrea joined Urban Land Conservancy in early 2017. She focuses heavily on ensuring the office operations run smoothly on a daily basis, as well as working in the communications, public relations and marketing areas of the organization.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications with a minor in Public Relations and Publicity.  Working for a nonprofit is one of her many professional goals as she feels passionate about community and social development.

Denver has been her home since February of 2015. She loves the city but also enjoys spending time outdoors, and visiting little towns around the state.