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
• 1,800 openings / 5 yrs
• Senior RE Counsel
Einstein Bagels
• VP Real Estate – U.S.
• 400 openings / 3 yrs


Insite Development
• VP Retail Dev. (Dev. 30 ground up single & multi-tenant BTS’s)
• Equity Partner
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 / PepsiCo
• U.S. Strategic Dev. Analysis
Starbucks
• Regional RE Mgr.
Matthew Dev. & Century Retail
• VP Dev., Strip & Grocery S/C


Winn-Dixie Grocery Stores
• New Store Dev.
TGI Fridays
• National Dir. 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 SW U.S.
• Regional Dir. of Dev.
Einstein Bagels
• Regional Dir. of Dev.
Vestar Development
• Dev. Mgr.


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

Mark Hoffmann

Vice President


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



KinderCare Learning Centers
• National VP
• Turnaround / M&A Co-leader
Movie Gallery
• SVP Dev. N. America-led M&A


LFI, Inc. – Partner
• Nationwide S.C. Dev.
Boston Chicken & Einstein Bagels
• Regional Dir. RE
Taco Bell / PepsiCo
• National Mgr. of Acquisitions

Jim Brennan

Vice President


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



Einstein Bagels
• Dir. Real Estate
Caribou Coffee
• Real Estate Mgr.
CVS / Zaremba Group
• Dir. of Dev.


Apache Capital Dev.
• Principal
• Walgreens, Starbucks, PNC Bank, FedEx Kinkos
Arthur Andersen & Co.
• Domestic & Intl Corp. Tax Mgr.

Mike Beck

Senior Consultant


• M.B.A., WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY
• B.S., UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA, CHAPEL HILL



Townsend & Associates
• Partner
• National Rollout Consultant, Forever 21 and other brands
• 80 openings
Blockbuster Entertainment
• VP, Development
• North America, all BE brands
• More than 2,200 new stores
Extended StayAmerica Hotels
• VP, Real Estate
• Nationwide Hotel Development
• From zero to 475 hotels


Ruby Tuesday
• SVP, Chief Development Officer
• North America, all RT restaurant brands
Pinkberry
• VP, Development
• All new store development, domestic and international
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
• SVP, Real Estate & Construction
• All US development

Ray Payne

Senior Consultant


• J.D., UNIVERSITY OF SAN DIEGO
• B.A., SAN DIEGO STATE UNIVERSITY



Rite Aid
• VP Real Estate U.S.
• VP Real Estate West
PayLess
• VP Real Estate U.S.


American Stores Properties
• Real Estate Manager
Sav-On Drug Stores
• Staff Attorney

Chris Baker

Senior Consultant


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



Pizza Hut / PepsiCo
• Regional Dev. Mgr.
Einstein Bagels
• Regional VP Dev.
Chevy’s Fresh Mex
• VP Development


Trammel Crow
• Retail Leasing Assoc.
Wells Fargo
• AVP, Workouts / Troubled Asset Mortgage Lender
• $300M & 500 loans over 10 yrs

Tom Dwyer

Senior Consultant


• M.B.A., FINANCE, PACE UNIVERSITY, NEW YORK, NY
• B.S., MARKETING, MANHATTAN COLLEGE, RIVERDALE, NY



Rite Aid Corporation
• VP Store Dev.
Eckerd Corporation
• Senior Dir. RE


Tricon Global Restaurants
• Dir. of Dev.
Taco Bell Corporation
• Real Estate Mgr.

Sam Saul

Senior Consultant


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



Chipotle Mexican Grill (17 yrs)
• Dir. Real Estate
• 750 openings
Clothestime
• Dir Real Estate & Assets
• 125 Openings


Blockbuster
• Real Estate & Asset Mgr.
• 75 openings / 5 yrs
Little Caesar’s Pizza
• Mgr. Real Estate & Constr.
Westar Associates
• Dir. of Leasing

Marc Summey

Senior Consultant


• B.B.A ACCOUNTING – UNIVERSITY AT TEXAS IN DALLAS



Gamestop, Inc. (22 yrs)
• Senior VP RE Dev.
• Managed growth from 400 stores to over 4,800
• Managed 1,500 annual lease renewals


Zale Corporation
• Senior Dir. RE

Positions in Corporate
Finance, Lease Accounting,
and Credit Operations

Michael Ullian

Senior Consultant


• M.B.A. NYU, Real Estate / Finance
• B.A. LIU CW Post College



Mattress Giant
• Chief Dev. Officer
• 300 openings / 4 yrs
Sleepy’s
• Master Broker, NY Tristate Region
• 200 openings / 3 yrs
Rockaway Bedding
• Master Broker, NY


Executed major Roll outs / Roll ups, debt restructuring and CMBS work outs

Represented: Ethan Allen, Thomasville, Lazy Boy, Ashley, Dunkin Donuts, and many others across U.S.

Paul Beck

Senior Consultant


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



Cardsmart Retail Corp
• VP Real Estate
LOEW’S Cineplex
• Senior Dir. RE
Hoyts Cinemas Corp
• VP Real Estate
California Pizza Kitchen
• Regional Dir. RE
Taco Bell / PepsiCo
• Real Estate Mgr.


Daybridge Learning Centers, Inc
• Dir. RE 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
• Dir. of Real Estate
• Directed Midwest Office / 8 states-350 stores / Responsible new stores and renewals: Athleta, Banana Republic, Gap, Intermix, Old Navy, and Outlet.


Mid America Asset Management
• Senior Leasing Rep.
• Recipient 2008 CoStar Power Broker Award, Chicago
ICSC
• IL State Retail Co-Chair

Robert A. Delia

Senior Consultant


• MBA FINANCE, FORDHAM UNIVERSITY
• BA ACCOUNTING, MORAVIAN COLLEGE



Summit Realty, LLC
• President/Founder
Land Capital Group
• Senior Dir. of Acquisitions


Quick Chek Food Stores
• Dir. of Real Estate
Taco Bell
• Dev. Mgr.

Ed McGraw

Senior Consultant


• J.D., CUM LAUDE, WIDENER UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW
• M.B.A., STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK AT BUFFALO



Ignite Restaurant Group
• SVP and Chief Development Officer
• Managed 150-unit portfolio in 35 states
• Managed Macaroni Grill real estate portfolio acquisition of 188 units
T.G.I. Friday’s/Carlson Restaurants Worldwide
• Vice President Real Estate
• Led Real Estate Department with 600+ domestic units
• Oversaw 25-40 corporate and franchise openings per year


Au Bon Pain
• SVP and Chief Development Officer
• Managed Facilities for 100 corporate units
David’s Bridal
• Real Estate Manager and Attorney
Red Robin
• Director of Real Estate
Wagamama
• Vice President Development
BigShots Golf/ClubCorp
• Vice President Real Estate

Ray Ruiz

Senior Consultant


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



Ruiz Brokerage
• Tenant Representation, Dev. / Consulting
• Court appointed Receiver
• Foreclosures / Bankruptcies / REO Consulting
• FDIC / RTC / Citibank


Bilingual
• English / Spanish

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 (21 years)
• VP Real Estate Assets – 2,800 units / 22 states
• Managed lease renewals (150 yr), fee owned, sale leasebacks and surplus
• 500 sale/leasebacks completed


Great American Bank (13 years)
• VP Real Estate – 400 branches

Wilhelm Kreuzer

Senior Consultant


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



Tartan Realty Group
• Principal / Financing and Investment Mgr. Retail / Mixed-Use Dev.
HSA Commercial
• Senior VP Finance


Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM)
• Assisted in financing over 18 million SF of real estate valued at over one billion dollars

Cyndi Reynolds

Senior Consultant


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



Winn-Dixie Stores
• Regional Real Estate Mgr.
Blockbuster
• Regional Real Estate Mgr.
• 50 openings / 3 yrs


Cencor Weitzman
• Asset Mgr. Leasing & Lease Administration

Jen Annello

Senior Consultant


• B.A. English, Texas A&M University



Planet Fitness
• Dir. Real Estate
Pet Supermarket
• Dir. Real Estate
Guggenheim Retail Real Estate Partners
• Dir. Real Estate


Clearwire Corporation
• Dir. Real Estate
Panda Restaurant Group
• Regional Real Estate Mgr.

Brian Wetzel

Senior Director of Financial Analysis


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



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


Harris Corporation
• Corporate Finance & Strategic Planning
• Senior Mgr. Bus. Dev.
• Bus. 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


Sherry Weathers

Account Coordinator


• TECHNICAL DIPLOMA, HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, AMERICAN BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY UNIVERSITY
• A.S., COMPUTER INFORMATION SYSTEMS IVY TECH STATE COLLEGE



Leverage our Professional Network and Relationships.



Our Clients


These industry leaders access the best talent available by outsourcing critical functions to ARES. Clients use ARES unique knowledge of best practices to grow, evolve and increase shareholder value. Given today’s constantly changing environment, ARES is an invaluable resource for optimizing real estate portfolios.