At Ventus Group, we pair our knowledge and skills with outstanding creative problem-solving capabilities in order to navigate the many needs and challenges of complex real estate properties and projects.

 
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SCOTT GALE
PRESIDENT

Determined to find and execute on opportunistic real estate opportunities, Scott Gale formed Ventus Group (“Ventus”) in 2006. From 2007-2013, Scott acquired nine distressed properties from various banks and builders. The acquired assets, located through California and Oregon, included semi-improved single-family lots, subdivisions and master-planned communities, as well as retail, office and industrial buildings. All but one of those properties were sold between 2012-2015.

Through 2012, Ventus also entitled, managed and/or consulted on several residential, retail and hotel projects/assets owned by third-parties (national homebuilders, market analysts, and private developers). The company’s consulting activities included entitlements processing, cash flow analysis, market research, and project management.

Since 2014, Ventus has dedicated its efforts solely to The Fig. During this period, Scott and his team assembled more than eight contiguous acres in a prime Los Angeles location, all along advancing the design, analysis, and entitlements for The Fig-  a 4.42-acre mixed-use development (hotel, residential, retail).

Prior to forming Ventus Group, Scott served as Vice President of Land Acquisition at Shea Homes where he acquired 3,146 residential lots (attached and detached) throughout Southern California. Before Shea Homes, Scott was a Project Manager at Woodside Homes, where he was responsible for design team coordination, entitlements processing, horizontal development purchasing, as well as sales/construction support.

 Scott also served as a Senior Consultant in the Real Estate Capital Markets at Ernst & Young Kenneth Leventhal. There, Scott analyzed and supported large real estate transactions, including asset and company sales, as well as capital procurement and due diligence.

Scott earned a Master of Business Administration and Master of Real Estate Development (“MRED”) from the University of Southern California. He also holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, San Diego.

Scott serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the California Science Center. He also taught several Real Estate Development and Finance courses at University of California-Irvine in the Light Construction & Development Management program.

 


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JOHN DAVID BOOTY
EXECUTIVE VP

"JD" manages relationships with Ventus Group’s network of private investors, while serving as Ventus Group’s primary liaison to the municipalities, public agencies, community groups, and administrative personnel at University of Southern California.

Prior to joining Ventus Group in 2013, JD served as Regional Manager of Target Oilfield Services LLC in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he was responsible for a team of 400+ employees.

JD also played quarterback in the National Football League for four years on the Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans, and Houston Texans.

JD graduated from the University of Southern California (USC), where he played quarterback and earned his B.A. in Sociology. As a Trojan, JD won two NCAA National Championships (2003 and 2004) with USC; and he had two Rose Bowl victories as a starter in 2006 and 2007 (including Rose Bowl MVP honors in 2007).


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CYNTHIA EPPELDAUER
SENIOR VP

Cynthia joined Ventus Group in 2015 and is directly responsible for all financial analysis , project budgets and schedules, investor and lender reporting, managing Ventus’ market feasibility consulting firms, as well as managing Ventus’ reporting to tax and accounting firms. Prior to joining Ventus, Cynthia spent more than 15 years managing large-scale multifamily development projects throughout Southern California (Type I, Type III and Type V) for national REIT’s and multifamily developers, overseeing construction of $16 billion of mixed-use development throughout Southern California.

As Vice President of Development at Lyon Apartment Communities, Cynthia managed the development of 904 multifamily units with ground-floor retail.  Before that, Cynthia served as Director of Development at Archstone Communities. During her long tenure there, Cynthia delivered 4,772 apartment units (and ground-floor retail) located in infill locations throughout Southern California.  

Cynthia holds Master of Business Administration and Master of Real Estate Development (“MRED”) degrees from the University of Southern California. She is also a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration.


MICHAEL O'MELVENY
VP OF ACQUISITIONS AND DEVELOPMENT

Mike O’Melveny oversees all entitlements and approval activities for Ventus Group, including the management of design and consultant teams, as well as being directly responsible for all land acquisitions, lease negotiations, historical housing relocation, affordable housing requirements, and asset management reporting.

Before joining Ventus Group in 2016, Mike served as Vice President of Acquisitions and Land Development at Shea Homes. For more than two decades, Mike acquired, entitled and developed a wide array of projects, ranging from large masterplan communities to small infill communities--overseeing all project management and horizontal land development activities.   During his long tenure with the nation’s largest private homebuilder, Mike delivered more than 10,000 residential units (multifamily and single-family detached) with total costs in excess of $2 billion

His most recent and notable project was Baker Ranch, a rare masterplan in the heart of Orange County (near Irvine Spectrum). For this master planned development, Mike’s team at  Shea Homes planned, entitled, and installed the horizontal development for  more than 2,000 residential units, 430 apartments and 189 affordable housing.

Mike holds a B.A. in English from the University of California-Berkeley. Mike earned his certificate in the Light Construction Development Management Program at the University of California-Irvine.


TRACEY RASZEWSKI
DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT

Tracey joined Ventus Group in 2015 and is directly responsible for all entitlements and pre-construction activities for Ventus Group. Her responsibilities  include project scheduling, coordinating various design, legal and consulting teams, as well as processing technical applications and permits with the City of Los Angeles and all regulatory agencies.

Before joining Ventus, Tracey managed design, entitlement approvals, and permitting processes for numerous real estate owners/developers throughout Southern California, including  Jade Homes, Alexander Communities and Woodside Homes.

Tracey also has experience with the public sector, including positions at the City of Las Vegas Planning Department, RBF Consulting and T&B Planning.

Tracey holds a B.S. in Business Management from the University of Phoenix, as well a certificate in Light Construction & Development Management (LCDM) from the University of California Irvine extension program.


KAMILIA ELDEFRAWY
DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATE

Kamilia initially joined Ventus as an intern and now, as Development Associate, she supports Ventus Group’s acquisition, development and construction efforts, working closely with each member of the executive team. She is also highly involved with all aspects of project marketing materials, database management, research and due diligence.

Kamilia holds a B.A. in Architecture from the University of Southern California and served as President of the American Institute of Architecture Students(AIAS).


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KURT DUERFAHRD
CONSTRUCTION ADVISOR

Kurt directs all construction activities  for The Fig, including general contractor identification and negotiations, construction budgeting, value-engineering, among other building-related activities. In addition to providing Ventus with over twenty years of direct “in-the-field” construction experience throughout Southern California, Kurt provides seasoned relationships with many of the largest and most respected general contractors, architects, and consultants in the nation

Since 2014, Kurt has contributed to The Fig as a Construction Advisor, while balancing his schedule as a sole-source Construction Manager/Owner’s Representative for Caruso Affiliates and The Irvine Company.  Currently Kurt is based in Montecito, California and is leading construction activities for Caruso Affiliates $200 million 161 key Rosewood Miramar Hotel Montecito, which is scheduled to open January 2019.   Upon opening, Kurt will join Ventus full-time to serve as onsite Construction Manager for The Fig.

Kurt’s leading role for Caruso Affiliates on their highest profile real estate development is a continuation of a 20+ year relationship.  During this time frame, Kurt earned the respect and confidence of Caruso Affiliates by completing the following real estate developments:

Ø  The Americana at Brand (est. 2008): 600,000 sqft shopping and entertainment center plus 450,000 sqft residential, and an 8-story/3,298 stall parking structure

Ø  The Grove (est. 2002): 600,000 sqft shopping and entertainment center, and an 8-story/3,560 stall parking structure

Ø  The Commons at Calabassas (est. 1998): 215,000 sqft shopping center

Ø  The Promenade at Westlake (est. 1996): 205,000 sqft shopping center

 

Through 2017, Kurt was also the sole-source Construction Manager/Owner’s Representative for The Irvine Company on the following real estate developments:

Ø  Irvine Spectrum: Four (4) parking structures totaling 21 levels and 6,220 parking stalls.

Ø  200 Spectrum Center Drive: 21-story office tower totaling 426,000 sqft.

Ø  Hotel Irvine (formerly Hyatt Regency Irvine): significant renovation of a 536-key hotel built in 1986.

Kurt earned a Master of Real Estate Development (MRED) from the University of Southern California, as well as professional licenses from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), The California Architects Board, and the US Green Building Council LEED AP BD+C.