Ambition. Honesty. Reliability. They are all traits of our founder, Henry Fenton. And they are also common to the company’s 200 employees today. The success of H.G. Fenton Company is directly attributed to the excellence of its people. Please take a moment to meet the leaders and staff members that keep our tradition of integrity and service going strong every day.
Michael P. Neal President & Chief Executive Officer
Mike has many passions, including building things and fast cars. Growing up he and his buddies were quite the builders. Their specialty was tree forts, some as high as 20 feet up in a tree and three levels tall. To gather the materials needed, he and his friends would bring lemonade to construction sites where homes were being built and barter for surplus nails and scrap lumber. He and the same group of friends also built go-karts and minibikes in metal shop class so they could get their speed fix, and some of them even ran.
In high school, Mike’s pursuit of building continued. He and his dad rebuilt a 1956 Ford F-100 truck from the ground up and turned it into a 140 mph racing machine. At the same time Mike was working every summer and vacation break as a construction laborer digging ditches, pouring concrete, and any really dirty job assigned to him. After all, the truck’s parts had to be paid for somehow. While in college at SDSU, Mike’s work as a laborer continued until his junior year when he was asked to transition to concrete quality inspection at the Naval Outpatient Clinics in Balboa Park. The 400,000sf complex was Mike’s first management job in the building industry and he was instantly hooked. From there his enthusiasm for construction became more than a passion – he knew he could turn it into his career.
Mike now shares his love of fast cars with both of his children, each having raced junior dragsters as one of the many family activities. Today he continues to enjoy cars and the building of Companies, Communities, and Careers. Mike’s passion for building can be seen in the energy he invests in each of those areas. He’s proud to be a part of the growth and development of Fenton and of the careers so many have enjoyed building as part of the Company.
Kari Prevost Chief Administrative Officer
Passionate about Fenton and those who experience our company, Kari leads organizational strategy, legal and overall employee experience in her role as Chief Administrative Officer. A mom of two young boys, devoted friend, champion of personal and professional growth and active participant in all aspects of the Company, Kari inspires others to achieve results.
Her breadth of experience with real estate transactions, entitlements, risk management, team building and the “human” side of things ensures that our organization is best aligned to achieve its short and long-term goals, instilling a strong and mindful approach from strategy through implementation. From east coast to west, Kari brings a variety of perspectives – including her learning’s while at Bucknell University and Georgetown and Board experience on a variety of non-profits, to help create a values-driven culture focused on our customers, employees and financial results.
Robert Gottlieb Chief Financial Officer
Robert Gottlieb brings more than 30 years of financial experience to this his position as Chief Financial Officer of H.G. Fenton Company. Robert is responsible for all financing, treasury, accounting, and tax functions of the Company. Robert is a member of the Executive Leadership team and provides strategic leadership to the Company.
Prior to joining Fenton, Robert lived a non-traditional life. He spent his 20s obtaining a significant amount of financial education at UCLA and San Diego State University, followed by working several years at a stuffy, but well respected, international accounting firm. Robert had enough of being responsible and decided it was time to see the world. He spent much of the 80s roaming around Asia and Europe. This was broken up by working at several real estate investment companies to earn enough money to support his traveling passion. After getting married and trying to be responsible again, Robert decided roaming was more fun. Robert, needing money to support his and his wife’s traveling, happened upon Fenton. The plan was to work a while and then resume roaming. Instead, Robert found a home. Almost 30 year later Robert is still making a positive impact at Fenton. Robert is still passionate about roaming, but now it is bite size roaming, with numerous destinations still on his list of must see places. When Robert is not working nor roaming with his family, he is riding his Elliptigo, practicing several forms of Yoga, or at the gym. He also thinks it’s important to give back to the community. He is on the board of a local private high school, The Grauer School, and on the board of a not-for-profit affordable housing developer, Community Housing Works.
Carroll Whaler Executive Vice President, Residential Asset Management
Carroll has a passion to make a difference in people’s lives, and the opportunity to provide quality apartments for people to live gives her great satisfaction and purpose. For over 30 years, her teams have had the privilege to rent apartments to tens of thousands of individuals, roommates and families. The focus on providing an exceptional customer experience has resulted in over a decade of H.G. Fenton Company being recognized with national and local awards for the quality of its communities and the high level of service its residents receive. Carroll is also a wife, mother of five children, graduate of Chapman University and immediate past president of The San Diego County Apartment Association.
Employee Lifestyle and Recruitment
Kaitlin Erickson Employee Lifestyle Director
Kaitlin’s experience in multiple industries, being an out-of-the-box thinker, and her continuous evaluation and implementation of new recruiting and marketing strategies make her a successful leader of Talent Acquisition initiatives. She has been with H.G. Fenton Company since February 2014 and is excited by the growth and development being achieved in all facets of the business.
Kaitlin has enjoyed professional growth at H.G. Fenton, developing from her role as a recruiter to leading a team as recruiting director to her current role where she drives the strategy for the company’s employee experience, performance and retention. She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a double major in Marketing and Finance from the University of Denver and earned a Professional in Human Resources certification from the HR Certification Institute. Denver is her hometown and she enjoys visiting it every year as well as travelling to new places to discover live local bands and sing-alongs.
Kristy Gois Recruiting and Onboarding Leader
A fan of saltwater and sand, Kristy loves relaxing with her family at different beaches in San Diego and loves traveling through Europe, creating memories and experiences that allow her to embrace other cultures.
When not exploring the far corners of Europe, Kristy relishes her time working with employees across all departments and connecting talented individuals to meaningful careers at H.G. Fenton. As a member of H.G. Fenton’s Employee Lifestyle Team, she draws on over 10 years of human resources experience to lead the company’s recruiting and onboarding strategy and to create lifestyle opportunities for H.G. Fenton’s employees to flourish. She ensures every team member has the resources that he or she needs to succeed and help the company reach its goals. Kristy joined H.G. Fenton in February 2016 and continues to love connecting the right person with the right job and seeing them grow. Kristy has a bachelor of science in Business Management from San Diego State University and a certificate in Human Resource Management from UCSD.
Chandra Williams Recruiting & Onboarding Specialist
Chandra is often the first person a job candidate connects with at H.G. Fenton Company. She guides them through the candidate life cycle providing support from the start of the application process all the way through the onboarding experience. Together with her team, Chandra is committed to setting up candidates for success and delivering a positive employee experience that welcomes new employees. One of the most rewarding aspects of Chandra’s own daily experiences is the company focus on collaboration across teams. As a member of the ELT and the C Team at H.G. Fenton, her creativity blossoms with each new idea and challenge the teams take on.
Chandra came to H.G. Fenton with 10 years of experience working as an assistant for HR and administrative departments. Since joining in 2014, Chandra has grown within the Employee Lifestyle Team contributing to their success with each new opportunity. She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Phoenix and a Human Resources Management certificate from the University of California San Diego. Always eager to expand her knowledge, Chandra plans to pursue a master’s degree. When she’s not helping build the H.G. Fenton team, she enjoys surrounding herself with her friends and family, spending her free time dancing, cooking and shopping.
Robin Duma Residential Portfolio Director
Robin has a strategic role within the residential portfolio, overseeing a half of H.G. Fenton’s 16 apartment communities. Motivated by leading teams with integrity, Robin is focused on making a difference in the lives of her employees and the residents H.G. Fenton serves teaching others how to use the company values as a guiding post in daily decision making. Robin has enjoyed professional growth in her 19 years at H.G. Fenton, flourishing in seven key positions in Residential Property Management and receiving recognition for her achievements through career advancements. While she has grown at H.G. Fenton, she is also grateful to have developed countless employees since starting with the company in November 1998, helping them pursue their career goals and build a solid track record of their own accomplishments. Most rewarding to Robin is seeing great results produced by her team’s hard work at each property and contributing to H.G. Fenton’s training and development teams.
Robin has been recognized for her work through numerous awards including multiple Mark of Excellence Awards from the San Diego County Apartment Association. She has multiple certifications in real estate and leadership along with a diploma in Fashion Merchandising from Fashion Careers College. Her personal badges of honor include being a mother, writing songs and singing at her local church, and spending time with her family which includes her English bulldog named Lady.
Jonathan Herbert Residential Portfolio Director
Working with H.G. Fenton Company’s community directors, Jonathan oversees seven residential communities across San Diego County ensuring residents at each community enjoy a referral-worthy experience. His motivated team genuinely cares about the customer and the quality of their experiences which makes his job a pleasure each and every day.
Jonathan feels fortunate to be able to help his team members succeed and grow. He understands their challenges and opportunities firsthand since he started out at H.G. Fenton in 2009 as an Assistant Property Manager. His hard work over the years has been recognized through the San Diego Apartment Association’s Mark of Excellence awards including an Assistant Property Manager award in 2011. He has a bachelor of science in Finance from Indiana University and a Certified Apartment Manager designation.
Herbert is also a member of H.G. Fenton’s Eco IQ℠ team and regularly participates in environmental cleanup efforts. He believes it is important for everyone to do their part to keep San Diego clean and green. Outside of building relationships and helping San Diegan’s live well at Fenton’s communities, Jonathan enjoys attending sporting events, playing tennis, swimming, traveling and spending time with his family.
Every member of our Residential Property Management team is an empowered leader, focused on getting to know and understand their residents. From leasing to maintenance, this team is proud to create lifestyle opportunities where residents can live well at all our communities.
Commercial Portfolio Leaders
Jeffrey (Jeff) Diltz Director, Commercial Team Leadership
Responsible for the overall performance of H.G. Fenton Company’s commercial real estate portfolio, Jeff co-leads the commercial team, guiding the strategic planning, financial management and operations from acquisition through disposition. He and his team support the success of over 1,100 San Diego businesses across industrial, office and retail buildings throughout the county. It is important to Jeff and the commercial team that they make sure that tenants have the right facilities for their businesses and room to grow as their businesses needs evolve.
Diltz’s previous experience as vice president at two other property management and brokerage firms prepared him for his role at H.G. Fenton. Jeff has continued to grow in his role since joining H.G. Fenton in 2016. He attributes much of his personal success to the culture, resources, and people that create a motivating platform for individuals to succeed. Working in a values-driven culture, being empowered to creatively overcome obstacles and collaborating with a variety of teams contribute to his positive employee experience.
Jeff has a bachelor of science in Accounting from the University of Southern California and was a proud member of the USC Trojans football team. His love of sports continues as he enjoys attending his four children’s sporting events and golfing when he gets the chance. He also enjoys hosting barbeques with his wife and trail running with his boxer.
Bill Hooper Commercial Portfolio Leader
Bill brings almost two decades of real estate experience to his position co-leading H.G. Fenton Company’s commercial real estate portfolio. He is directly responsible for managing the strategic planning, leasing, operations and financial performance associated with commercial and industrial real estate assets in central and north San Diego County. Bill’s passion for commercial real estate is matched by his love of San Diego’s surf and oceans. Years ago, he worked in the San Diego sport fishing fleet and as a California State Lifeguard. With over 50 triathlons under his belt, Bill stays active surfing, riding motorcycles and fishing but also makes sure he can enjoy time with his family.
Bill appreciates the opportunity to help develop and advance many future commercial real estate industry leaders in his role. He is a graduate of San Diego State University with a bachelor of science in Finance and an MBA.
Commercial Leasing Managers
Nicole Crivello Commercial Leasing Director
Nicole can be found connecting with tenants daily, bringing a smile and positivity to their day. Whether it’s a simple hello, working with them on an expansion or learning more about their passions, she enjoys building relationships with tenants. Nicole has a real estate sales license and over 24 years of experience as a Leasing Director. She is part of the team responsible for leasing activity for all new leases, renewals and expansions at Silverton Business Center.
Nicole is honored to be a part of the H.G. Fenton family and supports its success by living the company values. The most rewarding moments in her career at H.G. Fenton have been those when tenants returned to her to lease more space because of the prior positive customer experience they had with her and the company. As the mother of two daughters, Nicole’s personal life is equally challenging, exciting and rewarding and she most enjoys spending time skiing and hiking with her family.
Donna Benson D'Angelo Commercial Leasing Manager
Having been with H.G. Fenton Company for over 26 years, Donna continues to make a difference for every commercial tenant and prospective tenant she interacts with through her dedication to deliver an unwavering high level of service. She seeks to exceed tenant expectations and provide them the very best in customer service so that they can fully focus on their businesses.
Donna’s Fenton story began in 1991, starting off as an Executive Secretary and then progressing into a variety of commercial roles, all contributing to her steadfast focus on the customer experience. Throughout her career at H.G. Fenton, Donna has contributed to teams that positively impact the employee experience like being an original ‘Fun Force’ member and contributing to the re-design of the entire home office. She has a bachelor’s degree in Consumer Sciences and Business from San Diego State University. When she’s not working, Benson finds joy in various community volunteer activities, especially those focused on helping women, children and the elderly.
Linda Kaufman Commercial Leasing Manager
Linda enjoys learning about the dreams and needs of each business and tenant that she helps during the leasing process. Listening to their long and short-term goals gives her the insight necessary to find the right location and provide the resources and amenities that will contribute to their businesses success. Linda is joined in her passion to help tenants with a fun and supportive commercial team. Together they are committed to providing a quality customer experience with each interaction.
Linda has been with H.G. Fenton for almost 30 years and finds fulfillment in the company’s big-picture commitment to improving communities throughout San Diego. She’s been a part of the company’s growth in the real estate industry and has been involved in community service organizations throughout her career. Linda chaired the Mission Valley Planning Group for eight years, receiving a proclamation from the City at the end of her term. Linda’s background also includes a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Business Administration from the University of Redlands, as well as an active real estate license. Her passion for the community weaves into her personal life as a member of the National Charity League along with her twin daughters, where together they continue to find new ways to give back to the community they enjoy.
Cory LaShell Commercial Leasing and Property Manager
Cory’s love of learning and readiness to take on new challenges has created many opportunities for him at H.G. Fenton. Originally starting as part of the residential property management team which focuses on creating lifestyles for residents to live well, within two years Cory took on the challenge to transition and create quality customer experiences for commercial tenants. Always ready to learn something new and comfortable wearing many hats, Cory now leads leasing and property management for a commercial business park with over 180 tenants. He enjoys days filled with a variety of tours and lease negotiations to managing construction and capital projects to municipal outreach and tenant retention activities, all with focus and commitment to the customer experience. In 2013, he was recognized for his excellent client work with a CEL & Associates Platinum Award for his tenant satisfaction scores.
Cory has also contributed to H.G. Fenton’s environmental committee, the Eco IQ℠ Team, to its innovation team (iTEAM), which focuses on ideas for continuous improvement, and its employee soccer team. Cory has a bachelor’s degree in Spanish and he’s found that connecting with others in another language has helped him overcome barriers in his professional and personal interactions. He has also completed the BOMA Real Property Administrator (RPA®) designation. Cory’s desire to learn is also evident in his personal life with the addition of hobbies such as diving, hiking, snowboarding and pretty much anything outside.
Commercial Property Managers
Dawn Baker Senior Commercial Property Manager
Turning plans and drawings into the perfect spaces for tenants is the most stimulating aspect of Dawn’s role. Dawn manages tenant improvement construction, fulfills tenant needs with creative solutions, conducts property inspections and runs preventative maintenance projects to optimize safety and manage risk. She enjoys the variety of work her role offers, especially her interaction with tenants, the satisfaction of seeing her projects progress on time and on budget and the joys of working with such a dedicated team including the opportunities to coach and learn from them. Dawn feels that she has found her calling in commercial real estate after beginning her career in higher education. She earned a bachelor of arts in History from the University of San Francisco and a master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from the University of Portland. She is a certified real estate broker with a Certified Property Manager designation from the Institution of Real Estate Management.
When she’s not coaching her motivated team at H.G. Fenton she is putting her basketball skills to good use, coaching her children on the court. Dawn was a Division I basketball player and coached college and semi-professional basketball for over a decade. Her active lifestyle has not slowed over the years and she loves taking vacations with her family to Mammoth and Big Bear where they can snowboard and ski, to Zion National Park where they can hike, and to the Channel Islands where they can explore their surroundings on kayaks and river rafts.
Connie Braaten Commercial Property Manager
Connie receives fulfilment from seeing tenants succeed as a direct result of providing them a high level of customer service and support. Connie’s real estate background and her love for traveling and experiencing different cultures comes together perfectly in her position, making it easy for her to interact with tenants from all backgrounds and walks of life. She brings over a decade of experience in real estate to her position and has been contributing to H.G. Fenton’s success since November 2015. Connie enjoys seeing the outcome of creative projects she has had the opportunity to be involved with at H.G. Fenton. In her downtime, she loves finding a great balance between work and life by exploring San Diego, spending time with her rescue pup and practicing yoga.
Brett Matus Commercial Property Manager
Brett enjoys the variety of work his role at H.G. Fenton brings through the projects he manages, the relationships he builds with tenants and the recurring cross-departmental interaction. Brett handles the day-to-day management of the Silverton Business Center and Metroplex development where he works closely with his team to successfully create lifestyles where businesses succeed. One of the highlights of his career with H.G. Fenton is being part of the commercial team that manages the largest property in the company’s portfolio.
When he’s not busy managing properties, Brett can be found at the gym keeping fit or exchanging stories about travel with friends and colleagues. He has an international background, having spent time in South Africa, where he received his higher diploma in mechanical engineering from Technion. His background helps him manage San Diego’s diverse communities as he can leverage his intercultural competence to deliver positive tenant experiences.
Sara Pinneo Commercial Property Manager
Sara brings over a decade of experience to H.G Fenton Company and has been focused on its North County commercial assets and ensuring well-maintained, high-quality properties for her customers’ businesses. She delivers flexible solutions in a professional and friendly manner, and by taking the time to build real relationships with her tenants, Sara can facilitate tenant needs in a tangible way. She receives gratification from positively influencing others, tackling tasks together to find mutually beneficial resolutions and providing high quality properties to her customers with the goal of exceeding expectations. Sara is motivated by her friendly, supportive team and the great synergy they share as they work together to deliver results.
For her, working at H.G. Fenton is both a refreshing and rewarding experience where she feels honored, respected and valued. Sara is a Certified Property Manager with an active real estate license, a notary public and has attended the University of Alaska Anchorage and Colorado Mountain College. Sara and her husband are both avid surfers and enjoy being active outdoors – whether that’s through hiking, camping or jet skiing.
Susan Woolard Senior Commercial Property Manager
Susan’s role involves maintaining high-quality properties that offer tenants the best environment for their businesses to succeed. She collaborates with the company’s engineers to support tenant businesses and manages tenant improvement construction, capital projects, property inspections and preventative maintenance projects that optimize safety and manage risk. For Susan, fulfilling tenant needs with flexible solutions and seeing satisfied tenants after completed jobs, build outs and projects is the best part of her job. She has been with the company since October 1999 and considers her colleagues friends. Throughout her career growth from Assistant Property Manager to her current role, she’s found her contributions and expertise always directly impact the success of the company. Her accomplishments have also been recognized externally as she has received multiple industry awards from CEL & Associates for her work.
Susan has a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Chapman University and a Real Property Administrator (RPA) designation from BOMA. In addition to her dedication to tenants, Susan has had fun playing on the company softball team. Outside of her work, she has coached her son’s basketball team and led them to victory twice with no prior experience. Susan is proud to have successfully raised two babies all while working full-time and going to night school. Her dedication to succeed continues in her career at H.G. Fenton
Commercial Maintenance Team
Alex Basora Maintenance Engineer
Frank Roach Maintenance Engineer
Jordan Spiva Maintenance Engineer
Richard Moran Porter
Rocky Yanez Maintenance Engineer
Sal Pimental Maintenance Engineer
Scott Williams Maintenance Engineer
David Gatzke Senior Director of Entitlement and Development
David manages the successful execution of new or redeveloped commercial, residential and mixed-use developments for H.G. Fenton Company. He guides new development projects from concept through construction completion, leading the approval process with jurisdictions and support from community members and key stakeholders. David has over 20 years of real estate development experience, half of which was with Community HousingWorks, a California nonprofit focused on affordable housing. David enjoys problem solving to advance projects as well as the opportunity to shape the creative vision for what a new building can offer its neighbors, future residents or business tenants. Best of all is seeing that vision become a successful reality.
David has a bachelor of arts from UCLA and a Master of Urban Planning from the University of Washington. Having visited 49 of the 50 states, the proud father of two loves exploring cities in America and across the world when he’s not spending time engaging with his colleagues and community stakeholders.
John La Raia Vice President of Government and Community Strategy
John leads H.G. Fenton Company’s corporate political strategy, government relations and community outreach efforts. John values the growth opportunities H.G. Fenton offers having started his career here focused on development entitlements, then leading the Little Italy and BLVD projects before further utilizing his skills to expand into his current role. His most rewarding moments have been those spent walking through a site before construction, conceptualizing all that it could be, and then watching that site transform from a blank slate into his team’s vision. Likewise, he also enjoys navigating the process and finding new solutions to help H.G. Fenton more effectively and efficiently provide people with quality places to live and work in San Diego County.
John has received accolades for his work including the H.G. Fenton Innovate Award in 2016 and the BIA Industry Professional of the Year award in 2015. He has a bachelor’s degree from Denison University and a Certificate in Real Estate Development from the University of San Diego. His passion for supporting communities extends to his personal life where he and his family are actively engaged in their local church community. John also enjoys open water swimming and snowboarding with his family. His goal is to one day swim the English Channel.