Meet Our Team

Founded in 2009, ARES has a long and successful history of service in the real estate community. We are a real estate advisory firm composed of professionals with advanced degrees and senior-level officer experience with industry leading retailers and developers involving transactions for all types of retail including mall, high street, community, neighborhood, and restaurant retail.

Jeff Harpster

Co-Founder, CEO


  • J.D., UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO SCHOOL OF LAW
  • B.A., PRE-LAW, OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY


Blockbuster Entertainment
• VP Real Estate U.S. & Canada
• Opened 1,600 stores in 5 yrs
• Senior RE Counsel
Einstein / Noah Bagels
• VP Real Estate – U.S.
• Opened 400 stores in 3 yrs


Insite Development
• Equity Partner
• V.P. Retail Development (Completed Over 30 Freestanding Single and Multi-Tenant Projects)
Woolbright Development
• VP Leasing – 30+ centers

Andrew Zeck

Co-Founder, COO


  • M.B.A., EMORY UNIVERSITY
  • B.A., MULTINATIONAL BUSINESS, FLORIDA STATE UNIV.


Taco Bell / Pepsi Co
• U.S. Strategic Dev. Analysis
Starbucks
• Regional Real Estate Mgr.
Matthew Development & Century Retail
• VP Dev., Strip & Grocery S/C


Winn-Dixie Grocery Stores
• New Store Dev.
TGI Fridays
• National Director Dev
ZuZu Restaurants
• VP Real Estate & Construction

Mark Villalpando

Vice President


• J.D., HARVARD LAW SCHOOL
B.A., UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA



Boston Market
• Franchisee / Principal Owner SW U.S. Region
• Regional Director of Dev.
Einstein / Noah Bagels
• Regional Director of Dev.
Vestar Development
• Dev. Mgr.


Vertical Holdings Company
• Principal, Retail Dev.
First Arizona Savings Bank
• Chairman of Board of Directors
Partner
• Gallagher & Kennedy, P.A. – Attorneys at Law

Mark Hoffmann

Vice President


• J.D., DEPAUL UNIVERSITY
• B.A., ECONOMICS, UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO



Taco Bell / PepsiCo
• Regional RE Mgr.
• National Mgr. Acquisitions
Movie Gallery
• SVP Development N. America
LFI, Inc. – Partner
• National Dev. NNN BTS’s


Boston Market & Einstein Bagels
• Regional Director RE
KinderCare Learning Centers
• National VP
• Turnaround Co-leader

David Deason

Vice President


• UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS – DALLAS



Barnes & Noble Inc
• Vice President of Development
• Senior Real Estate Officer for United States
• Managed New Store Development
• Responsible for all construction, design and legal
• Headed Portfolio Optimization Program
• Accountable for all financial aspects of RE Program


Pillsbury Corporation
• Director of Real Estate for Bennigan’s and Steak & Ale

Jim Brennan

Vice President


• M.B.A., FINANCE, MIAMI UNIVERSITY
• B.S. / B.A., PRODUCTION OPERATIONS, BOWLING GREEN UNIVERSITY



Einstein / Noah Bagels
• Director Real Estate
Caribou Coffee Company
• Real Estate Mgr.
CVS / Zaremba Group
• Director of Development


Apache Capital Development – Principal
• Walgreens, Starbucks, FedEx Kinkos
Arthur Andersen & Co.
• Domestic & International Corp. Tax Mgr.

Chris Baker

Senior Consultant


• M.B.A., DUKE UNIVERSITY
• B.A., DARTMOUTH COLLEGE



Pizza Hut / PepsiCo
• Regional Dev. Mgr.
Wells Fargo
• AVP, Managed Workouts / Troubled Asset Portfolio
Mortgage Lender
• $300M & 500 loans over 10 yrs


Einstein / Noah Bagels
• Regional VP Dev.
Chevy’s Fresh Mex
• National Real Estate & Dev.
Trammel Crow
• Retail Leasing Assoc.

Sam Saul

Senior Consultant


• B.B.A., FINANCE, UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA



Chipotle Mexican Grill (17 yrs)
• Director Real Estate & Construction Western Region
• Opened 750 stores
Little Caesar’s Pizza
• Real Estate, Construction & Design


Blockbuster
• Real Estate Mgr.
• Opened 75 stores in 5 yrs
• Real Estate & Asset Mgr.
Westar Associates
• Director of Leasing

Cyndi Reynolds

Senior Consultant


• B.S., SOFTWARE ENGINEERING / MINOR ACCOUNTING, TEXAS A&M UNIV.



Winn-Dixie Stores
• Regional Real Estate Mgr.
Blockbuster Entertainment
• Regional Real Estate Mgr.
• Opened 50 stores in 3 yrs.


Cencor Weitzman
• Asset Mgr. Leasing & Lease Administration

Wilhelm Kreuzer

Senior Consultant


• B.S., REAL ESTATE FINANCE, INDIANA UNIVERSITY



HSA Commercial
• Senior VP Finance
Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM)


Tartan Realty Group
• Principal / Financing and Investment Mgr. Retail / Mixed-Use Dev.

Bette Lackovic

Senior Consultant


• B.S., THE COLLEGE AT BROCKPORT: STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK
• A.A., SUFFOLK COUNTY COMMUNITY COLLEGE, NY



Jack in the Box / Qdoba
• VP Real Estate Assets
• Real Estate Development, Sale / Leasebacks
• VP Surplus Properties


Great American Bank
• VP Properties / Site Selection
• VP, Multi-tenant Building Management

Paul Beck

Senior Consultant


• M.B.A., RICE UNIVERSITY
• B.A., ST. JOSEPH’S UNIVERSITY



Cardsmart Retail Corp
• VP Real Estate
LOEW’S Cineplex Entertainment
• Senior Director Real Estate
California Pizza Kitchen
• VP Real Estate
Taco Bell Corp / PepsiCo
• Real Estate Mgr.


Daybridge Learning Centers, Inc
• Director Real Estate Acquisition
Hunt Real Estate. Services (Family Dollar)
• VP Dev.
Gershman Brown Crowley (CVS)
• VP Real Estate

Kitsy Ritter

Senior Consultant


• B.S., BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION AND MANAGEMENT, UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO



GAP Inc
• Director of Real Estate
ICSC
• IL State Retail Co-Chair


Mid America Asset Management
• Senior Leasing Representative

Ray Ruiz

Senior Consultant


• M.B.A., UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
• B.A., FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY



Ruiz Brokerage
• Retail Dev. / Consulting
• Court appointed Receiver
• Foreclosures / Bankruptcies / REO Consulting
• FDIC / RTC / Citibank / Chase Federal


Bilingual
• English / Spanish

Brian Wetzel

Manager of Financial Analysis


• M.B.A., FLORIDA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
• B.S., FINANCE, INDIANA UNIVERSITY



Direct Beam Incorporated
• National Business Dev. Director
ISO Group
• Corporate Account Director


Harris Corporation
• Corporate Finance & Strategic Planning
• Senior Mgr. Business Development
• Business Area Financial Mgr.

Sabrina Miranda

Account Coordinator & Market Research


• YEOMAN, UNITED STATES NAVY
• 20 YEARS CRE ADMIN EXPERIENCE


Adalize Scavino

Account Coordinator / Accounting


• B.A.S, SUPERVISION AND MANAGEMENT, PALM BEACH STATE COLLEGE
• 4 + CRE INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE



Leverage our Professional Network and Relationships.



Our Clients


ARES clients are able to outsource critical functions by accessing the best talent available. Clients use ARES’ unique knowledge of best practices to enhance stakeholder value, grow, and evolve. Given today’s constantly changing and turbulent environment, ARES is an invaluable resource maximizing client’s ability to perform and obtain results at the highest level.