Ambition. Honesty. Reliability. They are all traits of our founder, Henry Fenton. And they are also common to the company’s 250 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
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.
Robert Gottlieb Chief Financial Officer
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.
Kaitlin Payne Vice President, Employee Lifestyle
Vice President, Employee Lifestyle
As the Vice President of Employee Lifestyle, Kaitlin guides the company in strategic team leadership, advancing a culture where employees can thrive personally and professionally as they achieve goals. Kaitlin’s cross-industry experience provides a solid foundation for leading successful initiatives to attract, develop and retain talent, preparing the company for future organizational growth. Kaitlin draws on her own professional growth story at H.G. Fenton as she champions the personal and professional development of others. Kaitlin grew from a recruiter, to leading the Employee Lifestyle team, and most recently to Vice President, balancing key elements such as the employee experience, customer experience and financial results. Leading from that mindset, Kaitlin is invigorated to keep cultivating a culture where employees can Flourish.
Kaitlin has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a double major in Marketing and Finance from the University of Denver. Accolades include a Professional in Human Resources certification from the HR Certification Institute. Recently married, Kaitlin and her husband are both from Denver and enjoy traveling internationally, seeing live music and spending time with family.
Employee Lifestyle and Recruitment
Kristy Gois Director, Employee Lifestyle Operations
Director, Employee Lifestyle Operations
A fan of saltwater and sand, Kristy loves relaxing with her family on San Diego’s many beaches, and enjoys traveling to new places, creating memories and experiences that allow her to embrace other cultures.
When not exploring the far corners of the world, Kristy relishes her time working with employees across all departments and connecting talented individuals to meaningful careers at H.G. Fenton. Kristy has a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from San Diego State University and a certificate in Human Resource Management from UCSD. She joined H.G. Fenton’s Employee Lifestyle Team in 2016, and in her current role as Director of ELT Operations she draws on over 10 years of human resources experience to lead the department’s operations, compensation and performance programs, ensuring that the company’s systems and practices create lifestyle opportunities for H.G. Fenton’s employees to Flourish.
Chandra Williams Talent Development & Recruiting Manager
Talent Development & Recruiting Manager
As Talent Development & Recruiting Manager, Chandra leads H.G. Fenton Company’s recruiting efforts with a focus on placing the “right person in the right role.” Chandra is committed to setting candidates up for success and delivering a positive employee experience. She also builds strong partnerships with business leaders to facilitate the development and growth of current employees. As a member of the Employee Lifestyle team as well as the event planning team at H.G. Fenton, Chandra enjoys the company’s focus on collaboration across teams and departments, and her creativity blossoms with each new idea and challenge her teams take on.
Since joining H.G. Fenton in 2014 Chandra has grown within the Employee Lifestyle Team, contributing to its success with each new opportunity. She has a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Phoenix. Always eager to expand her knowledge, Chandra plans to pursue a master’s degree in Organizational Psychology. When she’s not helping build the H.G. Fenton team, she enjoys surrounding herself with her friends and family, practicing gratitude, and spending her free time dancing, cooking and focusing on health and fitness.
Kimberly Sloan Onboarding and Talent Enrichment Specialist
As Onboarding and Talent Enrichment Specialist, Kimberly supports the creation and leads implementation of innovative, multi-functional onboarding, training and performance management programs. With an eye for delivering an exceptional employee experience, she also oversees a robust portfolio of training programs for existing teams designed to further develop professional skills and help employees flourish in their roles.
Kimberly has a bachelor’s degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona and she’s an accredited Life Coach. Both elements of her background have focused on building connections with others, and in her onboarding and training role she continues to enjoy building connections with new employees and modeling the values that define the employee experience at H.G. Fenton Company. At work and in her personal life, she’s passionate about supporting others to follow their dreams and live a life that they love.
For Kimberly, living a life that she loves includes spending quality time with her husband and daughter, traveling, appreciating nature, singing, and taking trips to Montana’s “Big Sky Country,” which she considers her second home.
Alex Winborn Vice President, Residential Asset Management
As Vice President of Residential Operations, Alex Winborn oversees the operational performance of H.G. Fenton Company’s Large-scale Lifestyle Apartment entities.
Alex blends his educational background (which includes a bachelor’s degree in Communications and Business Law from Saint Peter’s University and a master’s degree in Management and Leadership from Webster University) with his professional experience including residential property management and fitness industry leadership. Combining these elements has been fun for Alex, infusing his background and experience into developing team members and delivering a lifestyle that allows residents to live well at Fenton communities.
Alex is passionate about collaboration with everyone he crosses paths with and he’s never without an interesting story to tell. Whether his stories are snippets of recent adventures or lessons learned that could empower others, he enjoys building connections as a leader and trusted partner. He’s also written several articles about trendy topics related to multifamily real estate and health and wellness. His hobbies include stand-up comedy, photography, mentoring, traveling, and learning new things.
Leslie Giroux Director, Residential Operations
As the Director of Residential Operations, Leslie leads our residential maintenance and office systems, driving for financial results while supporting a positive experience for her customers and team. Leslie excels in recognizing talent in team members and empowering them to reach their full potential by providing them resources, training, and support to flourish. She began her own career over 20 years ago as a custodian and is grateful for the tools her leaders provided as she grew from a maintenance role to leasing, then managing. Her growth has continued since she joined the Fenton team as a Community Director in 2003, and one of her proudest achievements is watching employees that she trained and promoted, grow into leaders themselves.
Leslie’s commitment to excellence has led her to become a Certified Apartment Manager, while earning accolades including Property Manager of the Year. When doing what she loves the most, she can be found spending cherished time with her family – especially her grandchildren. And when the weather is good, she finds time to go camping and enjoy the outdoors.
Olivia Connolly Residential Portfolio Director
As a Residential Portfolio Director, Olivia Connolly oversees H.G. Fenton Company’s residential communities in the Downtown and Mission Valley neighborhoods. She also partners with the Development team on new residential projects, focusing on how Fenton can deliver a Live Well experience through the concept and construction stages of future communities.
Olivia began her career at H.G. Fenton Company in 2007 as a Leasing Manager, growing in roles such as Resident Manager, Community Director, and now flourishing as Portfolio Director. Over the last decade, Olivia has led 2 successful lease-ups of new apartment communities, built strong teams that exceed financial goals, and helped team members develop and grow in their own careers.
A leader inside and outside of the organization, Olivia continuously identifies opportunities to experiment and improve the customer experience as a key member of Fenton’s innovation and technology teams. Her ongoing achievements have also been recognized by receiving multiple Mark of Excellence Awards for Property Manager of the Year.
Born and raised in California, Olivia is a San Diegan at heart. She enjoys golfing and spending time at the beach. Her sidekick Tobey, a Boston Terrier, makes frequent appearances in the office and has become an honorary mascot for H.G. Fenton’s residential team.
Jonathan Herbert Residential Portfolio Director
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 Vice President, Commercial
Jeffrey (Jeff) Diltz
Vice President, Commercial
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
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
Pete Carroccio Commercial Leasing Manager
Pete brings a wealth of commercial leasing experience, practical market knowledge, analytical skills and industry awareness to his role at H.G. Fenton Company. As a leasing expert, Pete is driven by the importance of identifying his clients’ business requirements up front to ensure budgets are adhered to, timelines are met and the entire leasing process is flawlessly executed. Pete understands the latest marketing and developer trends and is a consummate professional. He enjoys developing strong broker relationships, which enable him to proactively identify renewal opportunities, negotiate and secure favorable leasing terms, and bring to life his clients’ visions for success.
A graduate of the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree, Pete enjoys surfing in Pacific Beach, hiking in Torrey Pines and enjoying all of San Diego’s abundant outdoor activities with his fiancé and their dog, Benny.
Nicole Crivello Commercial Leasing Director
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.
Linda Kaufman Commercial Leasing Manager
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
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
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
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
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.
Devyn Pancipanci Commercial Property Manager
Devyn is a passionate Commercial Property Manager who ensures the business needs of her tenants are met at every opportunity. She joined Fenton in 2017 as an Assistant Commercial Property Manager and her growth and commitment to her tenants was recognized in 2019 with a promotion to her current role. With focus remaining on her tenants and their experience, Devyn is motivated to make their properties a place they enjoy going to each day.
A native Hawaiian, Devyn graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a focus on Marketing. She then moved to San Diego with her college sweetheart to pursue professional opportunities and start a family in America’s Finest City. While the Hawaiian Islands remain a huge part of her family’s lives, Devyn and her husband consider Southern California their home and are grateful to be able to raise their two sons in such an amazing place.
Désirée Sellers Commercial Property Manager
Commercial Property Manager
As a Commercial Property Manager Desiree is responsible for leading property management while maintaining high quality tenant relations in accordance with our company values. She began her career with H.G. Fenton Company in our Residential department where she excelled, receiving the Assistant Property Manager of the Year Mark of Excellence Award from the San Diego County Apartment Association in 2015. She also contributed to the team award for Rental Community of the Year for Portofino Apartment Homes three years in a row.
Now with our Commercial team, Desiree is focused on growing her skills and expertise on the commercial side of the industry. She is currently working towards her Real Property Administrator® designation through the Building Owners and Managers Institute (BOMI).
Supporting her team and helping tenants’ businesses succeed are what she considers the most rewarding parts of her work at H.G. Fenton Company.
Desiree is a San Diego native who loves her hometown and also enjoys international travel to places like London, Rome, and Mexico City. Committed to helping where she can, she uses her status as a Type O universal donor to regularly donate blood as a way to give to the community. She’s equally committed to raising her Corgi puppy and they recently began working toward his AKC Canine Good Citizen title right after his adoption.
Susan Woolard Senior Commercial Property Manager
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 Sr. Maintenance Engineer
Jordan Spiva Sr. Maintenance Engineer
Richard Moran Porter
Rocky Yanez Sr. Maintenance Engineer
Sal Pimental Sr. Maintenance Engineer
Scott Williams Sr. Maintenance Engineer
David Gatzke Senior Director of Entitlement and Development
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 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.