THE TEAM

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Will Kralovec

Director – Master Site Development

About Me

Will Kralovec has a passion for the built environment and how it can be designed and sustained in ways to better people’s lives, positively impact health, promote economic opportunity, and increase community.  His career has spanned over 25 years, devoting his work in what he collectively calls “the three developments” that affect the built environment—real estate development, community development, and economic development.

During this career, Will has been involved in various aspects of over $4.5 billion of real estate investment transactions working in a wide range of organizations—from entrepreneurial start-up companies, to Wall Street investment subsidiaries, to the public sector and municipal government, to the nonprofit sector. From this diverse professional background, Will has experience in the following: city and regional planning, real estate development, project management, site planning, land use entitlements/permitting, urban design and placemaking, mixed-use and transit oriented development (TOD), multifamily residential and affordable housing, retail/office leasing, finance, asset and portfolio management, property acquisitions and due diligence/underwriting, investment analysis, public-private partnerships, government relations, new business originations and sales, marketing, PR and business communications, organizational structuring, strategic planning, and general business management/operations.

Will joined ULC at the end of 2015 to help facilitate the organization’s development and long-term stewardship of its TOD land holdings. As Director of Master Site Development, Will is responsible for daily activities related to development of these large scale, multi-phased, mixed use, mixed income future TOD communities.  On any given day this can include a variety of multi-disciplined functions such as project management; community engagement; conducting due diligence; conceiving of and advancing site and building concepts; modeling financial projections and evaluating capital structure options; identifying and working with development and funding partners; negotiating legal agreements; team oversight of architectural planning and construction; assembling and monitoring budgets and schedules, managing debt repayment and final project take outs; and just about anything else necessary to ensure development projects deliver upon all expectations, including ULC’s mission-driven goals and those of the surrounding communities.

Prior to joining ULC, for six years Will co-owned and ran a consulting firm that worked nationwide.  Prior to that Will was the “TOD Specialist” with the Denver Office of Economic Development (OED), where he planned for and help facilitate real estate development around future light rail/commuter rail stations being built as part of the metro area’s 119-miles of FasTracks transit expansion. In this role he worked closely with ULC, Enterprise Community Partners, and City leadership to help assemble a successful MacArthur Foundation grant application that led to the creation of the Denver TOD Fund in 2010. Additionally, Will was one of four founders of Denver Shared Spaces—now part of Radian.

Before moving to Denver in 2003, Will was Senior Vice President of a Wall Street subsidiary which provided real estate investment advisory services to REITS, pension funds, insurance companies, and other large national institutional investors. Will started his real estate career with Chicago-based Balcor Company—at the time one of the largest investment, property management, lending, and syndication companies in the country.

Mr. Kralovec holds an undergraduate degree in History (with Minors in Political Science and Economics) from the University of Vermont, and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Cornell University. In 2008, he completed his second and third master degrees at the University of Colorado Denver in Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) and Urban Design (MUD).  He remains actively involved in Denver Shared Spaces on its Steering/Advisory Committee, is an active member of the Urban Land Institute, and is a founding committee/Board of Directors member of the Denver’s civic advocacy nonprofit organization All In Denver.

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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.

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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.

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Emily DeSimone

Accountant and Property Manager

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.

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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.

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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.

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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 providing support to the executive staff.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and is aspiring to expand her education. Working for a nonprofit is one of her many professional goals as she feels passionate about community and social development. She is a Spanish grammar geek, Public Relations enthusiast, and most of all someone that is always willing to help.

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