MEET THE TEAM

The Richland team has an exceptional history and proven experience working with communities to entitle and implement large master planned projects.


Executive Team

Jack H. Bray

Chairman

With over 30 years of entrepreneurial business experience focused primarily on real estate investment and land management, Jack Bray has positioned Richland among the leaders in creating asset value through successful entitlement processing and permitting. Under his leadership, Richland has owned and developed projects valued at more than $1 billion in the U.S. and Canada. Mr. Bray also led Richland's successful entry into the broadcast- tower infrastructure industry, and has substantial ownership interest through securities in several oil and gas companies, as well as direct interest in natural gas drilling and development. He holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor's Degree in Engineering from the University of Manitoba, Canada.

Matt Bray

Chief Executive Officer

As Chief Executive Officer and a principal in the firm, Matt Bray oversees Richland’s Corporate, Real Estate, and Broadcast interests. Most recently, Matt was President of Richland Towers, a large, national telecommunications and broadcast tower business that was sold to a publicly traded REIT in 2014. Prior to Richland, Matt worked in the Project Finance Group of Sumitomo Bank in New York. Mr. Bray holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from The Anderson School at the University of California, Los Angeles and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Washington University in St. Louis.

Regional/Asset Managers

John H. Schafer

Senior Vice President

John H, Schafer is responsible for acquisition entitlement, development and sale of properties throughout the Southern California region. Prior to joining Richland in 1994, Mr. Schafer held various real estate industry management positions with office and residential development companies in California. He began his career with KPMG, holds a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Creighton University and is a California Certified Public Accountant.

Mike Byer

Vice President of Acquisitions & Dispositions

Mike is responsible for identifying and overseeing companywide acquisition opportunities through contacts with brokers, builders, bankers, landowners, engineers, planners, attorneys, and municipal officials. Mike’s skillset includes financial analysis, market analysis, contract negotiation, and zoning interpretation. Mike has experience in all facets of the acquisition and entitlement process throughout CA, FL, and NV and has acquired several hundred million dollars of land transactions throughout his career.

Mike is a graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, CA and an active Director of the California Irrigation District.

Craig Cristina

Vice President of Entitlement

Based in Richland’s corporate office in Irvine, Craig provides both daily management on various Southern California assets and oversight of entitlement projects throughout California and Florida. Mr. Cristina’s focus is in neighborhood design, community place making, development feasibility and infrastructure planning. He is responsible for managing many of Richland’s ground-up entitlement projects, which require a multitude of local government, state and federal approvals. Mr. Cristina has significant expertise in developing large new communities that are essentially "new towns" with all new infrastructure, homes, parks, schools and shopping.

Mr. Cristina’s capability within the company is strengthened from over ten years of planning, entitlement and development experience at both private and public companies before joining Richland. Most recently prior to joining Richland, Mr. Cristina was Director of Land Entitlement and Project Manager for Brookfield Residential Southern California office for six years where he was responsible for various residential entitlement projects, including master planned communities, urban infill and green-field development. Mr. Cristina provided project management throughout the entitlement process from acquisition, design, CEQA certification and permitting.

Mr. Cristina received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Urban and Regional Planning from California State Polytechnic University in Pomona. He has been a Board Member within the Building Industry Association and Home Builders Council.

Curt Wilkinson

Vice President, Florida

Curt Wilkinson is responsible for managing the company’s entitlement and development activities in Florida. Curt has over 30 years of multifaceted experience in the real estate industry. Curt’s career at Richland began in 1985, initially developing commercial shopping centers and later master planned communities in central Florida. Beginning in 2003 Curt headed the entitlement and development efforts for KB Home’s Tampa Division, consisting of over 30 distinct communities totaling over 6,000 home sites. Curt returned to Richland in 2007 to run the operations component of its broadcast tower business until 2014. Curt is a graduate of the University of Florida and holds a State of Florida General Contractor’s License.

Clifton Taylor

Vice President, Sacramento Region

Based in Richland’s Roseville, Calif., office, Clifton Taylor manages a variety of the company’s Northern California assets in the Sacramento region, Bay Area and San Joaquin Valley.  Mr. Taylor’s primary focus is on entitlement and regulatory permitting of master-planned communities.

Mr. Taylor has worked successfully with federal, state and local agencies on numerous complex regulatory permitting matters in locations including Lathrop, Elk Grove, Lincoln, Sacramento and West Sacramento.  He also has played a leading role on development of the Placer County Habitat Conservation Plan, serving most recently as a member of the Finance Committee. In 2005, Mr. Taylor led a team that received a California Department of Conservation Director’s Award and San Joaquin Council of Governments Regional Excellence Award for its work on the largest Williamson Act easement exchange in California history.

Prior to joining Richland, Mr. Taylor worked on entitlements and acquisitions for Centex Homes in Roseville. He began his career as a planner for the County of Yuba, serving as Zoning administrator and secretary of the County Fish & Game Commission.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara.  Mr. Taylor is active in the community, serving on the Sutter Roseville Medical Center Foundation board of directors and the California Irrigation District board of directors. He also is a founding member of the Urban Land Institute Young Leaders Group in Sacramento.

Aaron Ross-Swain

Director, Bay Area

Aaron Ross-Swain is responsible for managing Iand acquisition entitlements, and the disposition for projects within the Northern California Bay Area Market. Prior to joining the Richland Team in 2012, Mr. Ross-Swain worked for Standard Pacific Homes where he was tasked with acquisitions and forward planning for infill and green-fieid developments. With his experience from working for a large pubic builder, Mr. Ross-Swain is able to develop and entitle residential home communities that are desirable to future home builders and ultimately future home owners. He holds a Business Administration Degree from California State University Chico.

Trevor Smith

Manager, Central Valley

Mr. Smith has spent the majority of his 25-year real estate career specializing in the review and preparation of environmental documents, entitlement planning, and regulatory permitting. Mr. Smith has an impressive breadth of experience and skill in effectively interacting with all stakeholders at every stage of project development. Mr. Smith has been responsible for the entitlement of industrial, commercial and residential uses, including the entitlement of large-scale master plan projects, throughout the states of California and Nevada.

Legal Team

John Troutman

Chief Legal Officer

John Troutman has primary responsibility for the company’s legal matters. Prior to joining Richland, Mr. Troutman was an attorney with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, where his practice emphasized transactional matters, including real estate acquisitions and sales, joint ventures and finance. He holds a Law Degree from the University of Arizona College of Law and a Bachelor’s Degree from New Mexico State University.

Courtney Nelson

Real Estate Counsel

Courtney Nelson manages the company’s real estate transactions, including the acquisition, disposition, leasing, development, and financing of the company’s real property assets. Mrs. Nelson has spent her entire legal career in the real estate sector and has amassed extensive experience representing clients in a wide range of real estate transactions. Courtney started her legal career in the Orange County offices of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Jackson DeMarco Tidus and Peckenpaugh. She graduated Order of the Coif from UC Davis School of Law, where she was Editor in Chief of the UC Davis Law Review. Prior to law school, Mrs. Nelson earned her BA in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego.

Kate Hart

Land Use Counsel

Kate is Land Use Counsel at Richland Investments, Inc. where she focuses on land use, permitting and environmental law. She has extensive experience with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Subdivision Map Act, Planning and Zoning Law, the Brown Act, the Public Records Act, as well as with federal and state environmental and water quality statutes. Kate assists in entitling industrial, commercial and residential projects from start to finish, and has defended numerous project approvals up through the California Courts of Appeal. She has also taught various CEQA classes over the years for the Association of Environmental Professionals, CLE International, and the California State Bar Environmental Section.

Kate served as a member of the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board between 2005 and 2012, and served as Vice-Chair or President for a majority of her time on the Regional Board. She has been a member of the Sacramento Valley Conservancy Board of Trustees since 2005, and was President of the Conservancy from 2010 to 2012. Kate currently serves as the President of the Board of Trustees at the American Montessori Elementary School in Roseville, California.

Prior to joining Richland, Kate worked on land use and environmental issues at Abbott & Kindermann, LLP in Sacramento, Trainor Robertson in Sacramento, Reed Smith in Oakland, and was the contract Deputy City Attorney of the City of Pittsburg from 1997 through 2001. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Santa Clara University and a Juris Doctor Degree from McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific.

Finance Team

Richard Freeman

Vice President of Finance

Richard Freeman leads Richland’s capital formation, planning control, accounting, compliance, business systems, risk management and human resources functions. Prior to joining Richland in 2006, Mr Freeman held Finance Management positions with Gateway Computers, Community America Bank and Isuzu Motors of America. Mr. Freeman holds a B.S. Degree in Finance, Real Estate, and Law from the California Polytechnic University, Pomona

Mike Rindge

Controller

Mike Rindge is responsible for managing the accounting, financial reporting, treasury, insurance, and human resources functions. Prior to joining Richland in 2003, Mr. Rindge held financial management positions with Fair Isaac Corporation, United Healthcare, and Metropolitan Life. Mr. Rindge holds a B.S. degree in Accounting from Loyola Marymount University.

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