US LEADERSHIP-LAS ISLITAS ISLAND PARTNERS
NEWPORT BEACH - NEW YORK
Marc E. Harris Principal/Managing Partner
LAS ISLITAS ISLAND PARTNERS
CEO of DESTINAY S.A. de C.V.
Mr. Harris is the Principal of Bliss Resorts International LLC, an international real estate development, investment, and project management company. BRI is a multi-disciplinary firm with diverse expertise in public policy, land planning, real estate development, environmental engineering, and international relations and trade. Mr. Harris possesses over 40 years of hands-on, real-world business and real estate development experience.
After graduating from Stanford University with a degree in Environmental Engineering, he joined the San Francisco Bay Area real estate development firm of Parnas Corporation as a Project Analyst and Environmental Impacts Specialist, and later served as a Project & Development Analyst for Toll Brothers USA.
Mr. Harris also developed the 147,500 sq ft, $75 million 15-acre Brea Plaza Shopping Center in Brea, California; achieving the first ever lease of a county flood channel; obtaining all environmental permitting to convert a contaminated drainage slough into a parking structure with an engineered bioswale filtration and treatment facility that improved the channel's flow and water quality by 400%.
Fluent in Spanish and Mexican culture, Mr. Harris was appointed as a Delegate to Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo’s 1994 Presidential Panel on Agrarian Reform and Foreign Investment, a policy advocacy group seeking to open land development in Mexico for foreign investment. The Panel developed the protocols which were subsequently incorporated into the landmark Article 27 legislation which would allow ejido-class land to be disincorporated and sold as fee land to foreign investors.
In 1998, the LAS ISLITAS ISLAND RESORT property is the first property in Mexico to transact under that new legislation.
Besides his Environmental Engineering Degree from Stanford, Mr. Harris also holds a Civil & Environmental Engineering degree from California State University Long Beach, as well as holding several certificate programs in Business, Economics, Real Estate Law, a Securities & Exchange Commission Series 7 License, and he is an NYSE Registered Representative and Registered Investment Advisor.
David M. Semas Principal/Managing Partner
LAS ISLITAS ISLAND PARTNERS
President & CEO, Sierra Dorado Advisors
Over the course of a diversified career Mr. Semas has been involved in more than $4 billion of real estate transactions. He has risen from the ranks of the construction and real estate development business to senior management positions in the real estate finance industry. As a Santa Clara County Planning Commissioner during the 1970's he witnessed first-hand the expansive growth years and rise to global prominence of Silicon Valley. As Executive Vice President Shearson American Express he was the senior executive of the construction-lending and real estate investment banking departments with oversight of 72 joint venture developments throughout the U.S. with an asset value of $1 billion. The projects consisted of a wide range of properties including office buildings, shopping centers, hotels, golf resorts, condominiums, multi-family, residential lots and unimproved land. As the President of American Realty Advisors, Mr. Semas consulted on the 1,572 room Anaheim Hilton Convention Hotel, 1,234 room LAX Hilton Hotel and was Project Manager for the 156-unit high rise Park Wilshire condominium project, the Los Angeles Pacific Stock Exchange Building and the 928,000 square feet Beaudry Center high-rise office building. Mr. Semas and an investment group owned and operated several resort hotels including the Canyon Hotel golf and Tennis Resort. Located in Palm Springs, California the 640-acre and 500-room property had 400 homes, two 18-hole championship golf courses, a 30,000 square foot convention center, an 18-court tournament tennis facility, 225 condominiums and 100 apartments.
Richard Bren Principal
LAS ISLITAS ISLAND PARTNERS
Managing Partner Bren Global, LLC
As Managing Member since 2004 of Wave Hill Investors, LLC, Mr. Richard Bren was portfolio manager for multiple institutional funds investing in various specialty finance and real estate derivative strategies. From 1996 to 2003, Richard was a partner of Best Property Fund L.P., one of several investment vehicles of KBS Realty Advisors, a registered SEC real estate investment advisor that has achieved over $30 billion of transactions since its inception in 1992
Bren also headed KBS’s Capital Markets Group and ran the daily operations of its CMBS investment portfolio. Prior to joining KBS in 1996, Mr. Bren was a partner of Onyx Partners, Inc. He was a managing general partner of Onyx Opportunity Fund, which acquired operating real estate assets and distressed mortgages from the Resolution Trust Company. Prior to joining Onyx, Mr. Bren was an associate at Morgan Stanley Realty in New York and Los Angeles where he participated on project teams providing various real estate financial services to developers, financial institutions, pension funds and corporations. Richard started his career as a corporate finance analyst at Drexel Burnham Lambert in Beverly Hills, California in 1986. At Drexel, he worked extensively with the Commercial Mortgage Capital Markets Group. Mr. Bren earned an MBA at The Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA with a concentration in real estate finance. Mr. Bren graduated with honors from Tufts University in 1985.
Martin Burke Principal
LAS ISLITAS ISLAND PARTNERS
Managing Partner Bren Global, LLC
Mr. Burke has over 26 years of career experience as an investment banker and advisor or executive officer to specialty finance companies, with a particular focus in real estate finance. Mr. Burke is currently the Managing Partner of Cappello Group, Inc., a Managing Partner at Bren Global LLC and Credinvest, a private equity investment vehicle used to purchase interests in operating companies in the real estate finance, subprime and non-performing credit card and consumer receivables industry.
Burke previously served as a Managing Director of Wind River LLC, a company specializing in reselling/financing the acquisition of major oil company-owned gas stations to franchisees. He has run or founded numerous companies such as: Ultimate Sports - co-founder and managing director, a public company in the comic book business that acquired the rights from the MLB, NBA and NFL for comic books; The Credit Store - chairman and CEO, an Amex exchange-traded credit card company and one of the nation’s leading specialty finance companies; and American Home Credit - co-founder, specializing in wholesale origination in the sub-prime and non-agency mortgage industry. Mr. Burke serves as an advisor to the board of Card Acquisition, a specialty credit card company. Previously he held advisory positions at firms, such as JLB Equities (liquidation of a $100M portfolio of private real estate and small business loans), Onyx Partners and G&L Realty REIT.
Arthur Valdes is a native Californian who resides in Newport Beach, California. His early building designs occurred in the Southern California area. Mr. Valdes fashioned so many successful dining establishments that his initial fame and recognition derived from these achievements. Observing his keen abilities and noting that they had application to other types of building projects, owners and developers began to engage Mr. Valdes to design thematic office complexes, retail centers, hotels and resorts, health spas, custom residences, golf and tennis clubhouses and even theme parks.
Mr. Valdes' work can now be found throughout the world. impact of his creative talents are visible in such places as the the Palm Springs desert community in California, exclusive residential communities along the California coast from La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe to Montecito, Carmel and Pebble Beach, the "gold coast" of Florida, the islands of Hawaii, Canada, the Caribbean Islands and Mexico. The designs of Arthur Valdes appeal to the public eye and capture the character, theme and mood of time.
Mr. Valdes has designed and provided architectural services luxury resorts in Mexico. The partial list of properties include: Auberge’s Esperanza Resort, The Palmilla, The Hacienda, Cabo Real, Punta Ballena, Cortes Ocean Club and Espiritu Villas &Casitas resorts of Los Cabos. The Las Hadas and Karmina Palace resorts of Manzanillo. The Camino Real and Tres Vidas of Acapulco and the Royal Luxury Playa del Carmen of Cancun.
In the United States Mr. Valdes was the architect for the Santa Barbara and Newport Beach Four Seasons Hotels. Marriott’s Las Palmas Resort in Palm Desert, Sir Francis Drake in San Francisco and Westin Bonaventure in Los Angeles.
George W. Girvin
Project Landscape Architect
Over the past thirty years, Girvin Associates has completed some of the most highly rated resort & branded residential properties in the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe. Included among them are the One & Only Palmilla Resort & Spa and the Esperanza Resort & Spa in Los Cabos, Mexico; rated by Conde Naste Traveler Magazine as the number one spa in the Americas, and the number three spa in the world. In Europe, Girvin did the landscape design for the Castello di Casole Resort & Spa in Tuscany, Italy, which Travel and Leisure Magazine listed as one of the top ten resort projects in the world.
Girvin world class resort and spa projects include The Montage, Chileno Bay, and Cabo del Sol in Los Cabos Mexico, Hokuala Resort in Hawaii, the Rosewood Miramar Beach Monetecito in Santa Barbara, the Amelia Island Hotel and Village in Florida, Kiawah Island Residences in South Carolina, the Westin Hotel in Guadalajara Mexico and the Viceroy Resort in Anguilla, BWI.
Mark Wyman Principal - Residential Construction
LAS ISLITAS ISLAND PARTNERS
President, Wyman Development Company
Wyman Development Company, and its founder, Mark Wyman represent enduring words like Quality, Craftsmanship, Vision, Dedication and Work Ethic. These everlasting values are not necessarily something that can be taught or learned over a lifetime but rather deeply rooted in one’s upbringing and in generational tradition. In the span of less than 20-years Wyman Development has established itself as a leader in the construction of high quality and environmentally harmonious homes. Residential construction contract awards varied in size and scope from those individuals in the modest budget range of $2,000,000, to many of Mark’s clientele willing to entrust Mark with $5,000,000 to $25,000,000 to bring their dream estate residence into a reality.
Before mass-construction methods, techniques, and materials became the norm, there was a time when true craftsmen painstakingly invested the skill and attention to detail required to produce a finished product of unimaginable beauty and durability. Indeed, this time-honored tradition of craftsmanship is difficult to find today. For Mark, however, the level of dedication and
commitment to excellence necessary to achieve truly superior quality and artistic
craftsmanship is the norm, rarely practiced in the modern building industry. Each Client
deserves and receives individual attention on every aspect of their unique building project.
Each individual home deserves and receives the special attention to detail required to produce a finished product of timeless quality.
MEXICO LEADERSHIP - DESTINAY OPERATIONS
PUERTO VALLARTA, SAN BLAS & TEPIC
Lic. Jose Faro Lopez
Partner/Chief Operating Officer
Lic. Jose Faro Lopez ("Faro") has been a long time resident of the town of San Blas, and is very well connected to the townspeople as well as the leadership of this warm and inviting community. He has owned and operated businesses in San Blas, and has been involved in Public Relations & tourism promotion throughout Mexico his entire life. For the past 25 years, Faro has been a trusted friend and partner in the pursuit of Mr. Harris' vision for the Las Islitas Island Resort. Faro oversees all day-to-day operations of the DESTINAY Mexico Team, including community relations, advance activities, and overall property management, including farming operations. Faro has lived in the US, and speaks perfect English. He was also a professional baseball player and pitcher in Mexico. He married with four children, resides in Puerto Vallarta and San Blas. He loves deep sea fishing and is an excellent chef.
Lica. Lupita Lopez Lazaro
Executive Vice President-Administration
Lica. M. Lupita Lopez Lazaro ("Lupita") was born and raised in San Blas, and now runs the DESTINAY offices in Puerto Vallarta. Lupita is also very well connected to the people and leadership of the town of San Blas, including having grown up and gone to school with the current Mayor, Hon. Lica. Candi Yescas. Lupita attended the University of Nayarit (UAN) in the capital city of Tepic, where she earned her degree in Business Administration, as well as an advanced degree in Education from the Nayarit State Educational Institute. Lupita has worked for the past ten years for the Secretary of Education, overseeing the Nayarit state's public education system. Lupita is married and has two children.
Lic. Carlos Alejandro Lopez Murillo
Lic. Carlos A. Lopez ("Carlos") was born in the Nayarit state capital of Tepic, just 29 miles east of the Las Islitas site, where he is a partner in a prestigious law firm and runs the Tepic offices of DESTINAY. Carlos is an extremely capable and valuable addition to our team; holding numerous degrees and credentials in every aspect of the legal and technical issues associated with a development of this scope. Carlos began his professional career earning a degrees in Construction Technologies and Electrical and Propulsion Machinery from the Krakow AGH University of Science and Technology in Poland. Prior to earning his degree in Constitutional Law from Del Valle University in Tepic, Carlos also completed an advanced degree program in Electrical Engineering from the Laguna Torreó Technical Institute in Coahuila, Mexico. He is currently completing his Professorial credentials at Del Valle University, and serves as a delegate to the Federal Commission on the Normalization and Legal Ownership of Land.
José F. López Lázaro
Director, IT and Web Services
José Lorencio Rodriguez
Director General of Transportation
José Lorencio Rodriguez has been involved in automotive transportation nearly his entire life, starting out at age ten driving a tractor on his family's Mango farm in Nayarit, and then moving up to driving the family's semi trucks hauling and distributing mangoes all over Mexico. He has driven tourism buses, and has run his own taxi and private car company for the past 20 years. He is also an excellent mechanic. José's duties include fleet maintenance as well as providing safe transportation for US and Mexico company executives, partners, consultants, and investors.
Ignacio Renteria Céjas
Foreman, Property Management and Farming Operations
One would hardpressed to find an individual as interesting and as hardworking as our illustrious PM and Farming Operations Foreman, Ignacio Céjas ("Nacho"). Nacho has travelled the world, and worked in faraway places such as Paris, Canada, China and has even served in the military in Africa. He is fluent in English, and can keep you mesmerized with his constant recounting of his exploits, adventures and narrow escapes from certain dangers on land and at sea. An expert fisherman, farmhand, and horseman, Nacho is revered by all of our farm and forest workers. Whether digging ditches, felling trees, building fences, breaking horses, building farm structures, scaring off crocodiles, or tending and harvesting all 290 acres of the tropical fruits grown on the LAS ISLITAS island, Nacho is the first one on the job before dawn, works all day alongside the crews, and is the last man to leave after dark. He is someone absolutely perfectly suited to our environment and the demands of this vast property. He is also quite entertaining to work along side, or to relax and have a cold Pacifico with. Thanks for all you do, Nacho!