Jennifer Litwak, Executive Director
Jennifer Litwak serves as the Executive Director of Housing on Merit. At the helm of Housing on Merit, Ms. Litwak has successfully managed the closing of over $283 million in multifamily acquisitions and overseen the preservation and renovation of over 2,150 units of affordable housing in California and Washington, D.C. Nationally, Ms. Litwak is an active member of the American Bar Association and is currently serving a two year appointment as a Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Fellow. She is a Board of Trustee of the National Housing Conference and serves on their Research Committee which advises the Center for Housing Policy. In addition, Ms. Litwak serves on CREW Network’s Industry Research Committee, which provides the industry reliable statistics addressing the advancement of women in commercial real estate. In 2017, Ms. Litwak was profiled by the Daily Transcript’s Influential Women Report as one of the most influential women in San Diego County. In 2016, Ms. Litwak was chosen as one of the Top 100 Business Professionals in San Diego and in 2015 she was recognized as one of Real Estate Forum’s Fifty Under 40 in the commercial real estate industry.
Locally, Ms. Litwak has complemented her professional career with extensive community service. Ms. Litwak was elected to Downtown Community Planning Council, a Community Planning Group of San Diego which advises the City Council, the Planning Commission, and other decision-makers on development projects, general or community plan amendments, rezonings and public facilities. She was appointed by Mayor Jerry Sanders to serve on the Consolidated Plan Advisory Board, which recommend processes, policies, and procedures for the fair distribution of approximately $14 million of Community Development Block Grant and Emergency Shelter Grant funds to non-profit and other organizations eligible to receive these funds.
Ms. Litwak has a Bachelor of Arts from Wake Forest University where she graduated magna cum laude. She also holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and is an active member of California Women Lawyers, Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), Lawyers Club of San Diego, Urban Land Institute, and the Women’s Foundation of California.
Board of Directors
Patrick Luke, President
Pat Luke is a Principal of BLVD Capital, an opportunistic real estate investment firm focusing on the acquisition and redevelopment of real estate assets in California and Puerto Rico, and subsidized multifamily housing nationwide. Mr. Luke oversees all aspects of the firm and is principally responsible for BLVD’s affordable housing investment platform, where he has led his team in acquiring and asset managing 21 properties within this platform, and continues to oversee significant growth.
During the last 12 years, Mr. Luke has focused primarily on sourcing and acquiring value-add, ground up, low income and distressed multifamily investments, with individual properties ranging from 1 – 500+ units.
Prior to joining BLVD Capital, Mr. Luke served as the Vice President of Acquisitions at California Landmark, a regional multifamily development and investment firm. He was responsible for the formation and management of the acquisitions platform, and for the sourcing, acquisition and financing of the company’s multifamily investments. Mr. Luke created the investment platform for the company to acquire low income housing, focusing on Section 42 tax credit properties and Section 8 HAP contract properties.
Prior to California Landmark, Mr. Luke was Director of Multifamily Acquisitions for Starpoint Properties, a Beverly Hills-based investment and operating company focused on value added and opportunistic investments. In this role, he was responsible for the sourcing, acquisition, disposition and financing of all multifamily properties in California. Additionally, in 2010 he helped create StarPoint Homes, LLC, which acquired distressed single family residences at trustee sales. Prior to joining StarPoint in 2005, Mr. Luke worked for commercial real estate brokerage firms Marcus & Millichap and Voit Real Estate Services, where he was involved in over $60 million of transactions.
Mr. Luke graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Los Angeles where he was an All-American pole vaulter, and is an active member of the Urban Land Institute and the UCLA Real Estate Alumni Group. He was selected as one of Real Estate Forum’s Tomorrow’s Leaders in 2014.
Keith Dragoon, Interim CFO
Keith Dragoon is the Vice President of Finance at Standard Property Company, a full-service multi-family real estate investment and management firm. Prior to joining Standard Property Company, Mr. Dragoon was a Vice President at Hunt Capital Partners, LLC (“HCP”), a subsidiary of Hunt Companies, Inc., which focuses on investment in, and syndication of low income housing tax credits relating to multifamily and senior housing. Mr. Dragoon has specialized in affordable multifamily finance for over 13 years, focusing on structuring and underwriting tax credit equity and debt transactions. Prior to joining HCP, Mr. Dragoon was Vice President, Credit Products Officer for Bank of America Merrill Lynch from November 2009 to February 2011. While at Bank of America, Mr. Dragoon was responsible for underwriting and structuring a variety of credit facilities, primarily including taxable and tax-exempt loans for affordable multifamily transactions.
Prior to joining Bank of America, Mr. Dragoon was Vice President of Acquisitions for MMA Financial (now Boston Financial Investment Management) from 2000 to 2009. While at MMA, he was responsible for originating, underwriting, and closing tax credit equity and debt transactions. Mr. Dragoon received his BS in Hotel Administration from Cornell University and his MBA with a focus in Real Estate and Finance from Columbia Business School and University of California, Berkeley as part of a joint program.
Ronda Gibbs, Secretary
Ronda Gibbs is the Director of Housing for Community Research Foundation which is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that designs and operates programs focused on the treatment, education, and rehabilitation of individuals with mental health problems. Ms. Gibbs oversees the housing for approximately 700 adults and seniors living with chronic and persistent mental health illness. She specializes in the expansion and accessibility of new and existing housing opportunities as well as working with community housing leaders in reducing stigma surrounding mental health users.
Ms. Gibbs is the founder of the Independent Living Association which develops and implements quality standards for private homeowners who rent rooms in their homes exclusively to adults and seniors with mental illness. In this role, she has developed training guides and educational course work to support owners and tenants to achieve successful housing. The Independent Living Association is the only known organization to provide this type of training for private homeowners. Ms. Gibbs is a 23-year veteran of the U.S. Army and U.S. Army Reserve where she served as a senior instructor in the Army Combat Medic School. Ms. Gibbs received her Juris Doctorate in law in 2011 from Kaplan University, Concord School of Law and her BA in healthcare management from Saint Leo University in 2007.
Scott Alter is the co-founder of Standard Property Company and Standard Communities, a full-service, multi-family real estate investment and management firm that specializes in acquisition, repositioning and preservation of affordable housing. Prior to co-founding Standard Property Company, Mr. Alter was an investment professional at Stockbridge Real Estate Funds, a $2.7 billion real estate opportunity fund. Previously, Mr. Alter worked as a Financial Analyst in Merrill Lynch & Company’s real estate, hospitality, and leisure investment banking division.
Additionally, Mr. Alter currently serves on the board of the One Percent Foundation, an organization dedicated to addressing persistent global challenges by building a broad-based movement of next generation philanthropists. Mr. Alter holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.
Randy Babbush is a Senior Partner in the Real Estate Department of Rutan & Tucker- Orange County, California’s largest full-service law firm. He has practiced law for over 30 years and has specialized expertise in matters related to affordable housing, multifamily housing revenue bonds and Section 42 tax credits. Mr. Babbush is active in the management of Rutan & Tucker and has served as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and head of the firm’s Real Estate Department. Mr. Babbush is a graduate of University of California, Irvine and University of California, Hastings College of the Law.
Bryan Barker has 15 years of experience in providing financing solutions to developers of affordable multifamily communities throughout the United States. He specializes in using tax exempt bonds to provide construction and permanent financing. Past financing structures have included private placements, direct bank purchases and credit enhancement (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac). Most transactions have also involved low income housing tax credits.
Mr. Barker has arranged over $3 billion of financings. Mr. Barker joined Citi Community Capital, formerly GMAC Commercial Mortgage Affordable Housing Division, in 2002.
Mr. Barker is a graduate of St. Lawrence University (B.A., Economics).
Jeffrey Jaeger is a co-founder and co-owner of Standard Property Company, a full-service multi-family real estate investment and management firm. Mr. Jaeger specializes in acquisition, repositioning and preservation of affordable housing and maintains the in-house construction management team. Since starting the company in 2008, he has taken an active role in acquiring undervalued market rate and affordable, tax credit, and multifamily properties. The firm partners with institutional investors and currently owns and operates more than 30 communities and 6,000 apartments in nine states, serving working families, veterans, disabled citizens and seniors.
Prior to founding Standard Property, Mr. Jaeger was the co-founder and former Chief Operating Officer of Jackson Square Properties, a value-added investment company that oversees over 10,000 apartments and 1,000 mobile home park units. While at JSP, he established departments for acquisitions, general contracting, property management, asset management and accounting as well as invested over $100 million in institutional capital. Previous to joining JSP, Mr. Jaeger worked in the capital transactions department at Lend Lease Real Estate Investments.
Mr. Jaeger is an active member on the Board of Directors of Inner-City Arts, a skid row center that provides free arts education to underprivileged youth; a member of the Advisory Board of the Banc of California; a board member and co-founder of Say Word, a project of California Community Partners; a board member and co-founder of Housing on Merit, which focuses on providing transitional housing for female veterans, and is active in the affordable housing space. Mr. Jaeger is a licensed California Real Estate Broker and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Berkeley.
Tyler Martin has been a multifamily investment specialist since 2007 and has exclusively focused on the Southern California marketplace. Mr. Martin joined Institutional Property Advisors in January 2017, having previously served as a managing director at ARA Newmark from 2010 to 2017 where he was involved in transactions totaling over 5,000 units, working on behalf of notable institutions such as JP Morgan, AIMCO, Alliance Residential, Bank of America, and BRE Properties. Prior to joining ARA in 2010, Mr. Martin was at CB Richard Ellis in Los Angeles as a member of a team solely concentrated on institutional apartment transactions. Joining Institutional Property Advisors (IPA) in its Newport Beach office, Mr. Martin continues to leverage his experience with over $800 million in multifamily transactions. He received his Bachelor of Arts from University of the Pacific.
Stacie Nekus is Senior Vice President of Investor Relations at The Alliant Company, where she is responsible for raising and placing equity investments by institutional and corporate investors in both proprietary and multi-investor funds. Ms. Nekus is also the President of Alliant Equity Investments, Alliant’s brokerage arm.
Ms. Nekus has been in the real estate industry for over 20 years working in the affordable, residential, investment and industrial sectors. From 2002 to 2011, Ms. Nekus worked for the National Equity Fund, a large national non-profit tax credit syndication firm, as the Managing Director of Investor Relations. She is a highly respected professional in the industry who plays a very active role within the industry and with various organizations. You will find her participating on equity panels at numerous national and state conferences.